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Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, Ph.d.


Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PhD, is a renowned spiritual leader in India. Originally from Los Angeles and a graduate of Stanford University, Sadhviji has lived at Parmarth Niketan in Rishikesh at the foothills of the Himalayas for 24 years, where she gives spiritual discourses, satsang and meditation, and leads a myriad of humanitarian programs.

Sadhviji is Secretary-General of Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, the world’s first alliance of religious leaders for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, launched by UNICEF in 2013. She is President of Divine Shakti Foundation, a charitable organization bringing education and empowerment to women and children. She is also Director of the world-famous International Yoga Festival. Additionally, Sadhviji has numerous high-level international appointments including as Vice-Chair of the United Nations’ Advisory Council on Religion. She sits on the Steering Committees of the international Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development (PaRD) and the World Bank’s Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty. Sadhviji is a regular speaker at the United Nations, Parliament of Religions and other large international fora.

Sadhviji has received numerous awards and recognition for her leadership role in India, including from the Cabinet Minister of Water Resources, Government of India, as well as from the Ambassador of the United States to India.

OUR MODERATOR

Amertat Cohn


Amertat Cohn is an award-winning American filmmaker, a businessman, a spiritual leader, and producer-director of Sunseed The Journey (2019). Amertat began his career in visual media at 15 as photo instructor at a summer camp and then photo editor and photographer in high school. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wesleyan University, Middletown Conn., in 1965. While there, his photo art was exhibited at the Davidson Art Gallery, and he made his first film as part of its film studies program. He entered the Masters Film program at UCLA in 1965 but dropped out the next year during the "summer of love" and moved to San Francisco. There he began a lifelong study of meditation, yoga, mystic arts, Sufism, and the esoteric traditions of the world’s religions, all while working in the top documentary film unit in the USA at KQED Public Television.His films at that time included From Protest to Resistance, Fidel, The Krishnamurti Lectures series, and A.C.T. Now (1968) which received a Cine Golden Eagle award for direction. He began filming Sunseed, the acclaimed documentary of the world-wide New Age awakening in 1970. He took on the name Amertat, which is the name of a Zoroastrian archangel (his birth name was Fredrick), as given to him by his spiritual guide, Pir Vilayat Khan, while making the film. He received a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA Film School in 1973 for his direction of Sunseed. Its first showing was at the Palace of Fine arts, San Francisco in 1974 and later had its New York premiere at the Whitney Museum in New York City in the New American Filmmakers series, where it became the most viewed film in the history of the series.He has directed several other documentary films, Wynn Bullock Photographer, Sister, Zen in America, and Elliott Porter’s World for which he received his second Cine Golden Eagle award. His photographs were exhibited as part of a group show at the Montserrat Gallery in New York in 2017. In other endeavors, he has created a successful international distributorship and marketing company for Herbalife Nutrition (1998-present) and ascended to the Chairman’s Club by becoming one of its top 50 independent distributors in the world. Amertat is a student of many of the world's great traditions including Sufism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and others. He has lived in the USA, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, India, and in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, since 2006. He also maintains a residence in New York City.