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While hundreds are practicing yoga and singing kirtan, Sridhar and I find a quiet place to sit down and do a podcast in the middle of the annual Shakti Fest festival in Joshua Tree, California. Our conversation takes on a wide biographical tone in that I used Sridhar’s amazing life as the backdrop for a discussion on the practice of yoga, the wisdom of Bhakti and the complicated nature behind this whole guru thing. Sridhar has one of the most colorful lives I’ve ever come across and I can say without any ego, that’s saying a lot.
While many people may know him as the Godfather of Bhakti Fest, Sridhar Silberfein has a long and storied history in the spirituality and health and wellness communities. He arranged to have Swami Satchidananda on stage at Woodstock to lead the Western world’s first mass Sanskrit chanting. And since the 1970s, one of the first stops in the US for many great spiritual teachers has been the Center for Spiritual Studies, a nonprofit organization Sridhar founded. Sridhar’s mission for everyone he meets or influences is to provide assistance to go deeper into Sadhana (or spiritual practice)—even if it requires a dose of tough love.