At the heart of the Foundation is Svami Purna. Dr Svami Purna was born into an Indian family of philosophers and rulers. Educated in India and Europe, he later renounced material wealth, position, and possessions and began a spiritual life of austerity and hardship among the caves, forests and mountains of the Himalayas. He is a Sanskrit Master and a doctor of medicine, psychology, philosophy and literature. Dr Svami Purna’s mastery of the six schools of Indian philosophy and the Eightfold Path of Yoga has earned him the title Vidya Vacaspati, Lord of Learning. His unique courses and seminars on yoga and philosophy have been accredited in the Universities of Europe, the USA and other parts of the world. He has advised and guided Prime Ministers of India, as well as Presidents, leaders and diplomats all over the world. It has been said of Svami Purna that, while there are many gurus who have found fame and success in the West, he is one of the very few who are also greatly revered in India. Dr Svami Purna has also trained in the law. In the 1960’s he used this training to remedy injustice as a pioneer to enable access to justice for the poor and the needy of India, especially in Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta. He memorized the entire Constitution of India for this purpose with the assistance of his spiritual discipline that is a largely an oral tradition requiring extensive memory concentration.
Dr L S Spedding, LL.B (Hons), LL.M., Vice President
Dr Spedding has assisted the Foundation since the early 1980s; as well as acting as lawyer for the Foundation, she has been pivotal in the transcription, editing and publishing of many discourses and the 12 week yoga program. She is qualified to practice as a Solicitor (England and Wales and the European Union), Advocate (India) and Attorney at Law (USA). International lawyer, lecturer and writer, Dr Spedding is the author of many articles for professional journals and several books including Transnational Legal Practice in the EEC and the United States and International Professional Practice, as well as leading environmental law guides covering due diligence, corporate governance, ethical business practice and sustainable risk management for the professional and business audience. Dr Spedding has been international advisor to many commercial and professional bodies (private and public sector including Prime Ministers, Ministers and leading politicians). She has also raised awareness of the environment and human rights through the law. In this regard she has studied the ancient laws of Manu that consider the cutting of trees to be a sin. More recently she has also assisted women to realize some understanding of equal access to justice and achieve more enhanced exchange of information through workshops and retreats (see www.womeninlawinternational.com). Throughout her career she has assisted Dr Svami Purna in all aspects of the Foundation activities as part of her life work balance (see www.lindaspedding.co.uk and www.womeninlawinternational.com). She is a certified Foundation yoga instructor in the Patanjali system of yoga. For a consultation call with Dr Linda Spedding please click here
Ms Petra Kues, Secretary/Treasurer
Ms Kues, a registered nurse, came into contact with Dr Svami Purna in 1977. This brought about a major life change. She became a yoga instructor as well as a special care nurse. She moved to the USA and continued nursing, simultaneously expanding yoga instruction in two cities in Arkansas, where the Foundation came into being. While in Arkansas she worked under the guidance of Dr Svami Purna, documenting teachings and compiling lessons and discourses into book form (see Publications). Ms Kues later moved to New York and Pennsylvania, continuing to compile the teachings of Dr Svami Purna given in lectures and talks around the world (see www.the-banyan-tree.net and www.innerwisdom-outerpeace.com) and working with Dr Spedding to enable their publication. Ms Kues has taught yoga since the Foundation’s activities began and has assisted with piloting and editing the yoga course and publications. The course has become recognized in her workplace and may be offered to other healthcare centers.