Gloria Arieira wins 2020 Padma Shri Award

It is with great joy that I inform you that my teacher, Gloria Arieira, has been awarded one of India’s highest civil honours on this past Republic Day 2020, in the category of Literature and Education, for her dedication over the years to promoting Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta in Brazil, having translated the Bhagavadgita, the Yoga Sutra, and several Upanishads into the Portuguese language.


She is the founder of Vidya Mandir, the school where she has taught since 1984.

It was in January 1974 that Gloria Arieira went to India, invited by Swami Chinmayananda, to study with Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who became her guru.

Gloria studied in a traditional gurukulam until July 1978, when she returned to Brazil. Besides her stay at Sandeepani Sadhanalaya, a place of study and living with the guru in Mumbai, she also studied at other ashrams in Uttarkashi and Rishikesh in North India. She has travelled throughout India to attend courses, lectures and pilgrimages to temples in the North and South of India, especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, immersed in the cultural and religious tradition of the Vedas.

Since her return to Brazil, she has been teaching Vedanta and Sanskrit in Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil since 1979, as well as in Portugal since 2009. Her dedication to the Tradition has led her to translate the Bhagavadgita, Upanishads and several others the Sanskrit treatises into Portuguese. She is responsible for publishing Swami Dayananda Saraswati’s books into Portuguese from her publishing house, Vidyamandir Editorial. She is the author of two other books in the Portuguese language “Millennials Prayers” and “Puja – the performance of a Vedic ritual”.

Her Bhagavadgita: the dialogue between Krisha and Arjuna has been published in India by Motilal Banarsidas.

Her English language version of the Bhagavadgita will be available via e-book in 2020, as well as the release of her English language version of the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, both of which have been humbly translated by me. I am grateful for this opportunity to bring her unique understanding of the Vedic Tradition in the English language.

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A native of Chicago, Ricky Toledano has lived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for over twenty years as a writer, translator and teacher. [a]multipicity is multi-lingual collection of reflections through the humanities.

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