Stephen has dedicated himself to spreading the deepest and most practical levels of spiritual knowledge about the soul–our real identity. It is his strongest realization that our existence on this earthly plane becomes much easier and more vibrant the more we expand our spiritual awareness to perceive the higher dimensions and purpose of things around us.
Though this world may give us numerous challenges, when we rise above the basic materialistic view and its limited search for solutions, our evolutionary development on all levels greatly accelerates. By recognizing that we are all spiritual beings who are, basically, attempting to achieve the same essentials for our existence–namely love, acceptance, harmony, peace, and happiness, not to mention the ordinary needs of food, water, clothing and shelter–we can reach a new level of cooperation with each other. Then everything can be much easier for everyone. It is Stephen’s conviction that this can be attained by the distribution of genuine spiritual knowledge. This is one of Stephen’s purposes in what he does.
It is through this means that we can discover who we are and get a better understanding of what is our position in this universe and our relationship with God. Fortunately, many of the answers to the numerous questions in this regard have already been given, as seen in the ancient spiritual texts of the East. These have provided not only the insights but also the timeless methods for our continued spiritual development. Stephen has studied these numerous ancient texts and practiced the methods prescribed therein for over 30 years. He is now presenting this enlightening information in a much needed, concise, and easy to read format.
Stephen Knapp grew up in a Christian family, during which time he seriously studied the Bible to understand its teachings. In his late teenage years, however, he sought answers to questions not easily explained in Christian theology. So, he began to search through other religions and philosophies from around the world and started to find the answers for which he was looking. He also studied a variety of occult sciences, ancient mythology, mysticism, yoga, and the spiritual teachings of the East. Finally, after his first reading of the Bhagavad-gita, the classic summary of Vedic philosophy known as The Song of God, he felt he had found the last piece of the puzzle he had been putting together through all of his research. This increased his understanding of everything else he had been studying. Therefore, he continued to research all of the major Vedic texts of India to gain a better understanding of the Vedic science, until he became a full-fledged follower and practitioner of Sanatana-dharma. Now he also tirelessly works to protect, preserve and promote the deep spiritual knowledge of Vedic philosophy and its traditions. An introduction to his research, writing and projects can be found at his website: www.stephen-knapp.com.
It is known amongst all Eastern mystics that anyone, regardless of qualifications, academic or otherwise, who does not engage in the spiritual practices described in the Vedic texts, cannot actually enter into understanding the depths of the Vedic spiritual science, nor acquire the realizations that should accompany it. So, rather than pursuing his research in an academic atmosphere at a university, Stephen directly engaged in the spiritual disciplines that have been recommended for hundreds of years. He continued his study of Vedic knowledge and spiritual practice under the guidance of a spiritual master, His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Through this process he was given the spiritual name of Sri Nandanandana dasa and became initiated into the genuine and authorized spiritual line of the Brahma-Madhava-Gaudiya sampradaya. This is a disciplic succession that descends back through Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Sri Vyasadeva, the compiler of Vedic literature, and further back to Lord Sri Krishna, who originally enlightened Lord Brahma to help in the universal creation, and who again appeared on this planet 5,000 years ago in Mathura, India to display His pastimes.
Besides being brahminically initiated, Stephen has also been to India numerous times and traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting most of the major holy places and temples, and many minor ones, and gaining a wide variety of spiritual experiences that only such places can give. His knowledge of India and familiarity with traveling in such a diverse country has made him an advisor for those who would like information concerning their own journeys to India. Stephen is also a free-lance photographer and does what he calls cultural photojournalism, capturing the essence of India and spiritual life in practice, which can help explain and show the depth of the culture. He enjoys giving slide shows on the holy places, and mixing photos with philosophy. You can see samples of his photography on this website.
Stephen continues to travel to India on a regular basis, giving lectures on the benefits and glories of the Vedic tradition. His life is dedicated to spreading the eternal knowledge of the soul, Sanatana-dharma, and the Vedic teachings to help everyone get a better understanding of themselves and bring everyone closer to God. He has especially focused on the sadhana of bhakti-yoga and mantra-yoga to purify the mind and consciousness, and awake one’s love for the Supreme Being.
Stephen is also the founder of the World Relief Network. Its goal is to help relieve the sorrow, suffering and confusion on the planet by the dissemination of genuine spiritual knowledge and the means for individual and social enlightenment, and to work with others who feel the same. Many of his books have been first published through the World Relief Network.
Stephen is also one of the founders and president of the Vedic Friends Association (VFA), a non-profit organization for networking with other serious writers, researchers and teachers who help protect, preserve and expand the knowledge and benefits of Vedic culture. Many students also join the VFA to learn more about the Dharmic traditions. The VFA thus works to maintain a network of people assisting in bringing the world to a higher level of consciousness and a more peaceful and happier existence for one and all. More about the VFA can be found at its website at: www.vedicfriends.org.
Stephen has written numerous books, such as ”The Secret Teachings of the Vedas,” “The Universal Path to Enlightenment,” “The Vedic Prophecies: A New Look into the Future,” and “How the Universe was Created and Our Purpose In It.” Other books he has written include “Toward World Peace: Seeing the Unity Between Us All,” “The Key to Real Happiness” and “Proof of Vedic Culture’s Global Existence,” along with additional booklets on his website.
Stephen has put the culmination of over thirty years of continuous research, practice and travel experience into his books in an effort to share it with those who are also looking for higher levels of spiritual understanding. Full descriptions of all of his books, plus numerous articles he has written, and many more resources can be found here on his website. More books are forthcoming, so check back to his website for any new developments.
Stephen also worked in home health care for a few years and has experience in assisting with those who are departing from this world through the dying process. He has also counseled people in their loss of friends and relatives to help them understand that death is not a tragedy but only a process that can help us reach our destiny. With his insights and philosophical background, he has the qualifications and understanding to provide a most unique and uplifting view of the natural transition called death and how it can be used for our benefit. For this reason he has written his book, “Facing Death: Welcoming the Afterlife” to help others understand how to cope with death.