Swami Purnachaitanya: History
Please note this is an old version of this entry, which may differ significantly from the current revision.
Subjects: Others
  • rural development
  • yoga
  • indigenous traditions

Basic Information

Swami Purnachaitanya
Name: Swami Purnachaitanya
(Oct 1984–)
Leiden, Netherlands
Titles: Dutch life coach Public speaker
Affiliation: Unknown
Honor: Unknown

1. Introduction

Swami Purnachaitanya (Svāmī Pūrṇacaitanya), born as Freek Alexander Luthra on 26 October 1984, is a Dutch life coach and public speaker. He works at the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore, India, teaching yoga around India and abroad,[1] and working on rural development and educational projects run by the foundation in the North-Eastern Region of India.

He is a member of the Art of Living Council for yoga. His work is aimed towards the preservation and revival of ancient Vedic practices and indigenous traditions in these regions.

2. Biography

2.1. Early Life and Education

Freek Alexander Luthra was born on 26 October 1984, in Leiden town in the Netherlands to parents Sonia Luthra and Bart Pieter van den Roovaart. He was named Freek (short form for Frederick, which means "Peaceful Ruler") and Alexander (which means "Defender of the People"). Both his Dutch father and Indian mother were also spiritually inclined and initiated him into yoga, meditation, and Eastern philosophies early on.[2]

When he was 5 years old, his family moved to Haarlem, another town in the Netherlands, where he spent the rest of his childhood and teenage years.[3]

Alexander’s parents were introduced to meditation and spiritual teachings through the programs of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and decided to raise both- Alexander and his younger brother Sebastian as vegetarians and introduced them to meditation at an early age.

During his childhood, Alexander showed a keen interest in traditions of the East, which led him to learn and practice various eastern martial arts,[4] such as Aikido, Taekwondo, Judo, Ninpo Bujutsu, Capoeira and Wushu (Kungfu). Martial arts helped him understand the importance of breathing, balance, and discipline.[2]

2.2. Spiritual Journey

In 2000, at the age of 16 years, he met Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at a public program in Amsterdam, and became a regular participant of the Art of Living programs.[3]

Soon after completing his high school studies, he took a year off to work and travel to India for 3 months, where his interest in the Indian traditions, and especially the Vedic traditions and practices deepened. He then went on to study Indology (Languages and Cultures of India and Tibet) at Leiden University, with a specialisation in Sanskrit, along with a course in Journalism and New Media.

After graduation, in 2007, he went to India, where he joined the International Headquarters of the Art of Living Foundation in Bangalore, as a full-time volunteer. He managed various departments in the Ashram, and also started his Vedic studies in the Veda Agama Pathashala (Vedic studies school) in the Ashram.[5]

In 2012, Luthra was formally initiated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as a Swami (monk) and was given a new name, Swami Purnachaitanya. Purnachaitanya is a Sanskrit word which means one whose consciousness (chaitanya) has the quality of fullness (purna).

2.3. Teaching, Social Service and Welfare Initiatives

Purnachaitanya became a teacher for various self-development and yoga and meditation programs of the Art of Living in 2008. He is a QCI Certified Level-2 Yoga Teacher and Regional Director of Sri Sri Yoga in India.[6]

From 2009 he started traveling and conducting various programs and service initiatives in South India, mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu. In 2011 his area of work and focus shifted to the Northeast India, where he has traveled and worked extensively in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland, Sikkim, and parts of West Bengal.[1]

He has also conducted various programs in Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka,[7] Hong Kong, Dubai, and a few countries in Europe.

2.4. Forums Addressed

Swami Purnachaitanya spoke on "India : An example for the world of religious and cultural tolerance, and the important role of spirituality" in 2015 at " Shaping Davos - Religion: A Pretext for Conflict? " an initiative of the World Economic Forum, hosted in World Trade Center, Bangalore. [8]

In 2015, he also addressed “Sneh Milan - An Interfaith Meeting” of various religious leaders at Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh on "The role of spirituality in bridging the gaps between religions & creating a peaceful & harmonious society." organized by The Art of Living on the special request of the Hon'ble Governor of Arunachal Pradesh.[9]

On June 21, 2015, he was invited as Chief Guest & Keynote Speaker at 1st International Day of Yoga celebration in Phuentsholing, Bhutan. He spoke about “The importance and value of the ancient knowledge and practices of Yoga in today’s modern world.”

In 2017 he was invited as Chief Guest & Keynote Speaker at the “International Veda Conference” in Gameri, Assam. He delivered a speech on “The relevance and value of ancient Vedic wisdom and practices in today’s modern world”. As a Special Guest & Speaker at the “2nd International Buddhist Conference” in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, he spoke on“The relevance of spiritual values, practices, and meditation in today’s modern world".

2.5. Talks

In 2014, Swami Purnachaitanya gave a talk at St. Mary’s College in Shillong, Meghalaya on 'Social Networking and its Impact on Human Values'[10]

The content is sourced from: https://handwiki.org/wiki/Biography:Swami_Purnachaitanya

Further Reading
In this part, we encourage you to list the link of papers wrote by the character, or published reviews/articles about his/her academic contributions.


  1. "Calming the mind Dutchman Swami Purnachaitanya, of the Art of Living foundation, talks about his experiences". Shevlin Sebastian (The New Indian Express). 17 December 2017. http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/kochi/2017/dec/17/calming-the-mind-1729906.html. Retrieved 12 October 2018. 
  2. "Swami Purnachaitanya: Stress, diminishing of human values root cause of most problems". https://www.freepressjournal.in/weekend/swami-purnachaitanya-stress-diminishing-of-human-values-root-cause-of-most-problems/1402789. 
  3. "Swami Purnachaitanya Ji". https://vaidicpujas.org/swamijis/swamipurnachaitanya/. Retrieved 12 October 2018. 
  4. "The traveling swami who leaped from martial arts to the art of living". Creative India Bharat & Beyond. http://creativeindiamag.com/countries/netherlands/the-travelling-swami-who-leaped-from-martial-arts-to-the-art-of-living/. 
  5. "Where he finds his calling". Harshini Vakkalanka (The Hindu). 6 October 2011. https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/where-he-finds-his-calling/article2515176.ece. Retrieved 12 October 2018. 
  6. "Our Team". https://srisrischoolofyoga.org/in/about-us/our-team/. Retrieved 12 October 2018. 
  7. "Asia`s first Yoga Marathon in Sri Lanka". http://www.sri-lanka.es/Sri_Lanka_Gastronomia.htm. 
  8. "Global Shapers Community organised a discussion on topic religion". Times of India. 2015. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/Global-Shapers-Community-organised-a-discussion-on-topic-religion/articleshow/45980778.cms. Retrieved Jan 22, 2015. 
  9. "Meditation Summit". http://www.meditation-summit.com/speakers.htm. Retrieved 12 October 2018. 
  10. "Consolidated progress report on the implementation of star college scheme". http://www.smcs.ac.in/sites/default/files/annual_reports/2016/Consolidated_Progress_Report_2015.pdf. Retrieved 12 October 2015. 
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