A Brazilian man, Jonas Masetti was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ when he highlighted Masetti’s work and accomplishment, the man who has been giving lessons on Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita near Rio de Janeiro.
Speaking about the impact of Indian culture and scripture on people across the world, PM Modi said, “Some people came to India in search of them and stayed here for life. While some returned to their countries as cultural ambassadors of India.”
The culture of India is gaining popularity all over the world.
One such effort is by @JonasMasetti, who is based in Brazil and popularises Vedanta as well as the Gita among people there.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) November 29, 2020
“I got to know about the work of Jonas Masetti, who is also known as ‘Vishvanath’. Jonas gives lessons on Vedanta and Gita in Brazil,” he went on to explain.
So, who is Jonas Masetti?
Masetti, a mechanical engineer, is the founder of an organisation called ‘Vishva Vidya’, located in the hills of Petrópolis, about an hour away from Rio de Janeiro. It is here that he teaches hundreds of his students about ancient Indian sacred texts, including the Bhagavad Gita and Vedanta. He also teaches Sanskrit, mantras and Vedic culture.
How was Masetti first introduced to Indian scripture?
In the latest episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, PM Modi outlined Masetti’s life and what drew him to Indian culture and the study of India’s sacred texts. “After completing mechanical engineering, Jonas worked for a stock market company,” the Prime Minister explained. “Later he was attracted towards Indian culture, especially towards Vedanta. He studied Vedanta in India and spent four years at Arsha Vidya Gurukulam in Coimbatore.”
According to his website, Masetti began pursuing a spiritual path while he was still working in the financial market. In the years after he graduated from engineering college, he ran a consultancy firm and worked with several “top management companies”. But he would always ask himself — “How could I have everything in life: family, girlfriend, money, professional success and at the same time not being full and satisfied?”
After seeing that other “successful” people, too, appeared to lack clarity and peace, he turned to spirituality to look for answers. This was when he moved to India and studied Vedanta for four years under the guidance of Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
What is behind Masetti’s popularity?
Apart from teaching students at his institute near Rio, Masetti also reaches out to thousands of people online through his daily podcast, ‘Vedanta Cast’, as well as on YouTube, where he uploads videos about spirituality, the benefits of yoga and the vedas.
In a tweet shared after the episode, PM Modi praised Masetti for using technology to popularise India’s “culture and ethos”.
On Twitter and Instagram, where he has over 34,000 followers, he shares lessons drawn from Indian spiritual texts.