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Yoga & Hinduism's Journey to America: A New Documentary Premieres on Public Television and

Public Television Stations, The PBS World Channel, and The PBS App premiere 'America's First Guru' this May, tracing Yoga and Hinduism's entry into the popular American conversation in 1893 with the arrival of an unknown Indian monk, Swami Vivekananda, at the first World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago.

PRINCETON, NJ / ACCESSWIRE / May 16, 2024 / This May, Public Television, PBS World Channel, the PBS App, and will premiere the captivating documentary "America's First Guru," directed by award-winning filmmaker Raja Choudhury and produced by A Thousand Suns Academy, a spiritual media production and talent management company. The film explores the fascinating story of Swami Vivekananda, the Indian monk who introduced Yoga, Vedanta, and Indian wisdom to America in the late 19th century.

'America's First Guru'
'America's First Guru'
Public Poster Artwork for Film

A Spark That Ignited a Spiritual Revolution

"America's First Guru" delves into a pivotal moment in American history: the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago. It was there that Swami Vivekananda, a charismatic but then-unknown figure, captivated audiences with his profound teachings on Yoga, Vedanta, Hinduism, and the universal principles of Indian wisdom. His powerful speeches left an indelible mark, sparking a spiritual revolution that continues to shape and influence American culture today, from Yoga studios to the "Star Wars" saga.

From Obscurity to Widespread Influence

Vivekananda's impact extended far beyond the Parliament walls. Over the next six years, he traveled across America, establishing the first Hindu ashram in the country, the Vedanta Society of New York, and sharing the transformative practices of Yoga and Vedanta. Today, over 55 million Americans actively practice Yoga, and terms like "Guru," "Asana," and "Karma" have become part of everyday vocabulary. The gesture of Namaste is a familiar sight from the red carpets of award shows to baseball stadiums.

Vivekananda taught Yoga in America for the first time and introduced the more profound Vedantic concepts of meditation, universalism, tolerance, pluralism, and accepting all faiths as ultimately true. He opened the door for American women, creatives, and people from diverse backgrounds and traditions to discover their inherent divinity and become spiritually free. In just six short years, he became America's First Guru.

Exploring a Legacy

Produced by A Thousand Suns Academy, presented on Public Television by WTTW Chicago, and distributed by NETA, "America's First Guru" offers a captivating exploration of Swami Vivekananda's life and his lasting influence on American society.

Stream "America's First Guru" on or the PBS app. Visit the official website,, to learn more about the film, its filmmakers, Swami Vivekananda, Vedanta, and Yoga, and where to find public screenings and engage in conversations.

Contact Information

Raja Choudhury
Producer & Director
(609) 955 0335

SOURCE: A Thousand Suns Academy


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