Rudrananda, Swami

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Rudrananda, Swami Gender: M
Albert Rudolph
born on 24 January 1928
Place Brooklyn (Kings County), New York, 40n38, 73w56
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)
Data source
Date w/o time
Rodden Rating X
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif 03°29' s_mo.18.gif s_aqucol.18.gif or s_piscol.18.gif

Portrait of Swami Rudrananda 
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Swami Rudrananda
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American art dealer and spiritual teacher. Albert Rudolph (Rudi) was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York at the beginning of the Great Depression, along with his two brothers. His mother worked in burlesque after their father abandoned the family.

Albert’s first spiritual experience occurred when he was 6 years old, playing in the park. Two Tibetan lamas appeared in the air before him. They told him they represented the heads of the Red and Yellow Hat Tibetan Buddhist sects, and they were going to place within him all of the energy and spirituality of Tibetan Buddhism. Several clay jars appeared next to them, which they said they would put inside his solar plexus. The lamas said these jars would stay in him and begin to open at age 31, at which time the process of assimilating their contents would continue for the rest of his life.

At age 20, Albert - now called Rudi - "experienced a deep spiritual awakening" in his being. He also developed a serious interest in Asian art and began collecting sculptures.

Rudi was walking down Seventh Avenue one day, and passed a little store in Greenwich Village with a "FOR RENT" sign in the window. It was extremely small and in terrible condition; however, he heard a voice whispering, "This is your store, this is your store, this is your store." Rudi opened his business, Rudi Oriental Arts, with just a few hundred dollars and some of the sculptures he had collected. Over the next few years, Rudi established an international network of Eastern art suppliers, collectors, and distributors in several countries.

In early 1959, Rudi became a spiritual teacher and worked with students individually in his store. Rudi’s method of teaching was to sit opposite a student and gaze intently into their eyes for perhaps five to ten minutes, while transmitting shaktipat energy.

In the autumn of 1959, Rudi's spiritual teacher, Pak Subuh, strongly recommended that he move to New Zealand and buy a farm. After receiving this advice, Rudi went back to his store and asked hour by hour what he should do. A voice said, 'Leave', and Rudi began to make plans to move to New Zealand with several of his students. Over the next nine months, Rudi liquidated his business and closed his store. In the summer of 1960, Rudi traveled to several countries, including Japan and India, to disband the network of suppliers and distributors he had established.

Rudi arrived in India, and traveled with a friend to meet Bhagawan Nityananda, a guru located in Ganeshpuri. When Rudi met the guru, he was asked if he had a question. Rudi stated that he was planning to move to New Zealand shortly, and asked if it was the right thing to do. The guru replied that he should go home instead. At the same time, Rudi experienced a power that poured out of the guru and completely paralyzed his psychic system, which took almost a year to digest. Rudi later wrote, "My first meeting with the renowned Indian guru, Bhagawan Nityananda, was of such a depth that it changed the course of my life."

Rudi traveled back to New York and reestablished his business. He moved into a new store that was five times larger than the prior location. In late 1960, Rudi began to hold classes in his apartment.

Rudi traveled back to India in 1961 on business and had hoped to meet Bhagawan Nityananda again; however, upon arriving in Ganeshpuri, Rudi discovered that the guru had taken mahasamadhi earlier in the year. Rudi later wrote, "My initiation by Swami Nityananda took place two years after his death.

In 1962, Rudi became affiliated with a fellow disciple, Swami Muktananda, who had assumed responsibility for the ashram at Ganeshpuri. Rudi described this relationship as “a struggle between two spiritual heavyweights.” Continuing a relationship with Muktananda was necessary, however, so that Rudi could continue to gain access to Bhagawan Nityananda's shrine. Rudi said of his experiences at Ganeshpuri, "After Bhagawan Nityananda took mahasamadhi, I have had many encounters with him there. During those times, he is as real to me as any living person." In 1966, Muktananda formally acknowledged Rudi’s connection with Bhagawan Nityananda and the lineage by giving him the title, Swami Rudrananda.

In 1971, Rudi was invited by Muktananda to attend a special ceremony at Ganeshpuri in the spring. Rudi had commissioned a statue of Bhagawan Nityananda, and Muktananda assured him that he would be notified when the dedication of the statue took place. As Rudi remarked later about the event, “One day I went into town for an hour. When I returned, I discovered the ceremony had just occurred. Something inside me gave way.” With that, Rudi packed bags and told someone who was nearby to say goodbye to Swami Muktananda.

By end of 1972, Rudi had taught thousands of students worldwide. Fourteen ashrams had been established across the US, and three ashrams had been established in Europe. Rudi’s business, Rudi Oriental Antiques, had expanded tremendously, and his Manhattan store housed one of the largest Eastern art collections in the world.

In early 1973, Rudi published Spiritual Cannibalism, his only book.

On February 21, 1973, Rudi died in a small plane crash in the Catskills. The three other occupants walked away with only minor injuries. He was dictating a journal entry, and his last words were, "...a deeper sense of surrender".

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • (has as) student relationship with Adi Da (born 3 November 1939)


  • Work : Begin Major Project 1959 (Became a spiritual teacher)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1973 ("Spiritual Cannibalism")
  • Death by Accident 21 February 1973 (Plane crash, age 43)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Felipe Ferreira quotes a letter in hand from Rudi's Ashram, the Nityananda Institute, on behalf of Swami Chetanananda; time unknown


  • Family : Relationship : Married late/never (Never)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids none
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Eastern (Chela, Guru)
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Meditation
  • Personal : Religion/Spirituality : Mystical experience
  • Personal : Death : Accidental
  • Vocation : Religion : Spiritual Leader/ Guru
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy