New Devotee Premanand Das Bhagat

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Premanand Das Bhagat (Aaron Joy)
Given in Satsang by Dr. Chaturbhai J. Babaria on the 11th of February, 2023
Letter sent with seva to Dr. Chaturbhai J. Babaria

Premanand Das Bhagat (Aaron Joy) is a YouTuber, writer, and musician. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his fiancé and their cats, where he works as a paralegal and archivist for an established law firm. He reads scriptures such as the Shikshapatri, Bhagavata Purana, Ramayana, Vedas, and Upanishads (as well as works by many teachers, scholars, and gurus) on the YouTube videos he posts every other day. He is making a great effort to show the relevancy of the Sanatan Dharma to the modern world. He also produces weekly live broadcasts and discusses religious topics connected to Sanatana Dharma and the Swaminarayan Sampradaya.

Premanand grew up in an atheist home with no interest in religion and felt a sense of ignorance about the true nature of reality. After discovering Neem Karoli Baba while attending college, he instantly developed a belief in God, hung pictures of Lord Krishna, Lord Shiva, and Ganesha in his room, and compiled notes from library books. Being a westerner, he soon experienced great separation between himself and Indian culture. This initial disappointment began a life-long search of the world’s religions across many countries for the Supreme Lord.

Premanand eventually returned to the Sanatana Dharma after becoming a devotee of Advaita Vedanta guru Adi Da Samraj. However, he soon felt that was not an authentic path and left, desiring an authentic scriptural tradition focussing on the Supreme Lord and not “new age” ideology. He practiced meditation at the Vedanta Society of New York, a Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Temple in Manhattan, and under Swami Tathagatananda. After returning to his home in Maine, he discovered ISKCON and Sri Dharma Acharya of the International Sanatana Dharma Society. He collaborated with North Carolina-based Christian minister Apostle Dr. Lee Ann Marino to bring a Hindu perspective to her work. In May 2022, he was a guest on her podcast and discussed true yoga, versus modern American yoga, with extensive readings from the Bhagavad Gita. Find the episode here:

Frustrated by “spiritual but not religious” (fraudulent) teachers, new ageism, and the Sanatana Dharma reduced to soundbites and memes, Premanand decided that it was necessary to read the scriptures himself. In 2021 he mustered the courage to do this openly on YouTube by starting a channel where he could read the scriptures for himself and others who had not read them, and as a way to learn about, honor, and spread the glories of Sri Krishna.

One of the first texts he read was the Shikshapatri. He considered it overwhelming yet fascinating. Not until reading the first four Cantos of the Bhagavata Purana and the Upanishads did he realize what the Shikshapatri was or how his beliefs aligned with our sampradaya. He felt pulled towards Ramanujacharya, so Lord Swaminarayan felt like home to him. Through conversations with Dr. Babaria and myself, he realized the greatness of the Shikshapatri and that Lord Swaminarayan is an avatar of Sri Krishna. He recognized the eternal truths of Lord Swaminaraya’s divine words as only a true Mumukshu can and finally felt he had found the true path to the Supreme Lord.

Premanand is also a bass player, music lover, and the author of over seventy-five books (mainly concerning music). He considers himself an example of success by trial and error through great patience and enjoys helping struggling artists and encouraging them to never give up on their dreams. He is a playwright, editor, publisher, and blogger and has written for numerous newspapers.

His books are available here:
His YouTube channel: “Hindu Scriptures & More w/ Premanand Das Bhagat.” can be found here: and on Spotify, BitChute, and Anchor podcasts.

Published by Ananda Bhagat

Devotee of Lord Swaminarayan

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