These are the bios of the illustrious speakers at this year’s in person 2023 Conference
In 1998 when Bṛhat Parāśara Horā Śāstra became the principal book on her table she began exclusively studying and practicing Jyotisa under the able guidance of Pt. Sanjay Rath.
After receiving the Bṛahaspati Gāyatrī in 2002 she has been practicing jyotisa professionally and teaching as a Jyotisa Guru of Sri Jagannath Center (SJC) and Devaguru Bṛhaspati Centre (DBC). She went on to be the President of SJC in 2008. She continues her passion of reading Vedic literature and after finishing a thorough study of the Garuda Purana, has worked on the Śāradātilaka Tantra, the Skanda and Vāyu Purāṇa. In 2011 she successfully completed the 5-year long Jaimini Scholar Programme (2007-11) and is a certified Jaimini Scholar of the First Himalaya Batch of Devaguru Bṛhaspati Center (DBC). In 2016, she was certified as a Jyotisa Paṇḍita after completing the 5-year Parāśara Jyotisa Course (DBC).
Under the aegis of the DBC, she is currently a teacher and Course Coordinator of JSP Hanumukha, a batch of the Jaimini Scholar Programme. As the Managing Editor of Sagittarius Publications, she oversees the publication of the quarterly jyotisa journal The Jyotish Digest and other astrology books.
Sarbani has presented papers at various Jyotish conferences in India, USA, London and Serbia and practices jyotisa worldwide. She is a member of the British Association of Vedic Astrology (BAVA) and the Council of Vedic Astrology (CVA). https://www.sarbanirath.com
Visti Larsen began studying Western Astrology in his spare time during his secondary education, a journey he began upon hearing the mention of the word ‘Ascendant’. He has been studying Astrology since an early age, beginning with Western Tropical Astrology and since migrating to Vedic Astrology or Jyotish. During his higher studies Visti came under the tutelage of Pt. Sanjay Rath, belonging to the tradition of Shri Achyutananda Dasa.
Setting his higher studies aside temporarily, he travelled to attend and present papers at several conferences and workshops across the USA, UK, Serbia and India. Studying solely through the Shri Jagannath Center, Visti was among the youngest selected to be a teacher by his Jyotish Guru and has spent considerable time at Jagannath Puri, Odisha as well as New Delhi learning personally with his guru. Completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, he has since dedicated all his time to teaching and practicing Jyotish. Under this tutelage, he has since earned the title of Jaimini Scholar after completing the five year Jaimini Scholar program. Following his completion of the program, his proficiency and dedication to the program entitled him to be the caretaker of the Maharishi Jaimini Krtam Upadesha Sūtra and the head of the Jaimini Scholar Program.
Being taught in the ancient ways of the Parampara besides Jyotish Visti has been educated in several aspects of ancient Vedic knowledge, comprising topics of philosophy, Mantra Shastra, Sanskrit, Upasana and allied fields. The ancient texts that he learned, and relies on, are that of Gita, Upanishad, Purana and Veda.
Attempting to imitate his Guru’s every word and gesture, his understanding, academic and systematic approach to the topic has earned him much appreciation within the Jyotish spectrum. He, like his teacher, is a strict follower of the ancient teachings and a promoter of Sanatan Dharma, encouraging vegetarianism, a spiritual and holistic lifestyle. Having a background in other religious philosophies, he enjoys bridging the gaps between different schools of thought and understanding the truths that unite all religious philosophies.
His teaching style is clear, thorough and systematic. Having a passion for teaching, his dedication for the topic becomes evident as he creates the building blocks for his students to climb. His students are located in several different countries, comprising mainly the continents of Europe, the Americas and South-east Asia, whilst his clientele represents almost all corners of the globe. Besides his efforts within the Jaimini Scholar Program, he runs RAMA, the Regional Academy for Mantra and Astrology wherein he holds courses and monthly webinars on various topics of Jyotish.
Presently he is active with performing Jyotish consultations, translating and decoding ancient Jyotish scripture for publication. His website is https://srigaruda.com/
Vijaya had a successful international career in finance for two decades before giving it up to pursue Jyotish studies with her Guru, Pandit Sanjay Rath. Vijaya has been a member of BAVA since 2003 and is a practising astrologer and speaker in London. Her quest for the meaning of life makes her an ardent student of Vedanta and she also teaches the philosophy of Vedanta in a yoga teachers’ training programme in the UK. Her interest in the human mind and behaviour has led her recently to complete a Masters degree to become an accredited Executive Coach in Europe (www.vijayajyoti.com)
Gordon initially studied for a degree in Modern Languages. He took up Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy some 35 years ago, which subsequently led to the study of Jyotish 10 years later. He joined BAVA in December 1996 a few months after it was set up. Gordon is a Jaimini scholar under Pandit Sanjay Rath.
He represents BAVA on the UK Advisory Panel for Astrological Education and on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Traditional Indian Sciences. Gordon also imports and sells Vedic Astrology books online at www.gordonbrennan.com
Sonal is an astrologer, speaker and writer and is a student of Pandit Sanjay Rath. She is currently the Resident Jyotish at one of London’s Oldest Esoteric Bookshops, Watkins Books.
During 2013, Sonal launched Divine Astro Essences – a line of Astrological Aromatherapy products using the traditional wisdom of Ayurveda, Astrology and principles of Aromatherapy. Products ranges include 100 per cent pure moisturizing oil blends that provide deep nourishment to the skin and promote emotional well-being as well as altar oils, sacred oils, and Astrological Body and Room Mists.
Using the principles of Aromatherapy and the ancient wisdom of planets and Astrological influences, twelve Astrological blends were created. Each of these twelve-unique hand-made oil blends is a high-vibrational, mantra-infused formulation, tailored to the placement of Sun, Moon or Ascendant.
For more go to www.CircleofDivine.com or Visit Watkins Bookshop in London. She runs a Youtube Channel (CircleofDivine) and runs courses in Vedic Astrology at the Astrological Lodge of London, UK. (www.CircleofDivineAstrology.com)