Founders & Leadership
Dr David Frawley - Chairman
Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) is a recipient of the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, the third highest civilian award granted by the government of India, “for distinguished service of a higher order to the nation,” honoring his work and writings as a Vedic teacher, which he received in March 2015. He has a rare D. Litt. (Doctor of Letters), the highest educational title possible in the field of Yoga and Vedic sciences, from SVYASA (Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana), the only deemed Yoga university recognized by the Government of India. He has a second D. LITT. from Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh that was given to him by the governor of Uttar Pradesh. He has a special National Eminence Award from the South Indian Education Society(SIES), affiliated with the Kanchi Shankaracharya Math, which has only been given to about fifty educators over the last forty years.
Jeffrey Armstrong - Co-Chairman
Stephan Knapp - Co-Chairman
Stephan Knapp (Srinanandan Das) 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
Jeffrey Armstrong (also Kavindra Maharishi) besides one of the founders of VFA is also the founder of the Vedic Academy of Sciences & Arts, is an award-winning author of numerous books on Vedic knowledge, including Spiritual Teachings of the Avatar. Armstrong is an ayurvedic astrologer, philosopher, practitioner, and teacher of the Vedas for over forty years, with degrees in psychology, history and comparative religions, and literature. He also had a successful career as an executive in Silicon Valley and as corporate speaker for Fortune 500 companies before turning to teaching the philosophy and lifestyle of yoga full time. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
Benny Tillman - President
Benny J Tillman (Balabhadra Bhattacarya Dasa) is the president of VFA, he is also first African American President of VFA. He is a direct disciple of His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (Founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness). He joined the Hare Krishna Movement in 1973 in Atlanta and has since traveled extensively in India and other parts of the world practicing and teaching the ancient Vedic philosophy. Prior to joining the Hare Krishna Movement he was a successful entertainer in the Atlanta music scene during the late 60’s and early 70’s. Mr. Tillman is the first VFA director of Georgia and is very eager to network with like minded people and organization of the dharma community for serving the socio-spiritual needs of the greater Atlanta community. Mr. Tillman served as president of the Atlanta Hare Krishna Temple for more than eighteen years. He is an avid reader and preacher of Bhagavath Gita, the ancient sacred Sanskrit text from India, holy to a billion plus people. His specialization is engaging the youth in Dharmic activities in many of its dimensions is commendable, children love him. He is very eager to network with likeminded people and organization for serving their socio-spiritual needs.
Subhash Kak - Scientist
Michael Cremo - Vedic Scholar