Announcing: America’s First Guru Now Streaming on!

America’s First Guru

The Swami Vivekananda Story
The Man Who Brought Yoga to America

A Film by Raja Choudhury

America’s First Guru

The Swami Vivekananda Story
The Man Who Brought Yoga to America

A Film by Raja Choudhury

Announcing: PBS is now Streaming ‘America’s First Guru’ on

Streaming Now on
Airs May 31 and June 1 on 194 PBS World Stations
Coming soon to your local Public Television Station!
Download the PBS app for FREE

The compelling story of how a young, charismatic Indian monk forever changed American popular and spiritual culture in 1893.

America’s First Guru is the compelling story of how, in 1893, at the first World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, a young, charismatic Indian monk, now nearly forgotten, Swami Vivekananda, forever changed American popular and spiritual culture.

Vivekananda stunned the audience with his revolutionary interfaith perspectives, ultimately putting in motion ideas that changed the collective conversation related to religious tolerance, interfaith dialogue, and universal spirituality. Over the next two years, he paved the way for Yoga, Vedanta, and the deeper aspects of Hinduism to take root as he electrified audiences and inspired a following of devotees; he became America’s First Guru.

“More than 100 years ago, America welcomed a son of India — Swami Vivekananda.  And he helped bring Hinduism and Yoga to our country.  And he came to my hometown of Chicago.  And there, at a great gathering of religious leaders, he spoke of his faith and the divinity in every soul, and the purity of love.”

~ President Barack Obama

Discover how Yoga, Hinduism, the deeper universal teachings of Indian wisdom, and interfaith understanding entered the popular American conversation in 1893 and how the profound universal concepts of Advaita Vedanta became integrated into contemporary American culture.

See the Film

Support The Film

Show the Film

“My ideal, indeed, can be put into a few words, and that is to preach unto mankind their divinity, and how to make it manifest in every movement of life.”

~ Swami Vivekananda

America’s First Guru chronicles the remarkable journey of Swami Vivekananda, who made a significant impact on American society through his appearances at the First World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893 and subsequent speaking engagements across the United States.

This film explores how Vivekananda’s teachings on Yoga, Hinduism, and Universal Indian Wisdom captivated audiences and garnered interest from prominent figures such as Nikola Tesla, John D. Rockefeller, William James, and Sarah Bernhardt.

Directed by renowned Indian-origin filmmaker Raja Choudhury, the film sheds light on Vivekananda’s role as America’s First Guru and his enduring influence on American culture for the past 130 years.

Written and directed by the acclaimed Indian-Origin documentary filmmaker Raja Choudhury, America’s First Guru is a groundbreaking work produced by A Thousand Suns Academy (USA).

The film is presented by WTTW Chicago (PBS) and distributed by NETA (National Educational Telecommunications Association) on Public Television.

America’s First Guru premiers on Public Television in the US in May 2024. The film will be available soon on Prime Video and through International Partners in various languages.

Enter your first name and best email to receive updates when new opportunities to watch America's First Guru are released.

You have Successfully Subscribed!