I have always been a seeker, with an abiding interest in Vedic culture. I was initiated into Transcendental Meditation in 1969, while in graduate school. During my doctoral qualifying exam, I was asked what I would do once I finished my degree. Speaking from my heart, not filtered by my more rational and pragmatic intellect, I voiced my dreams for the future… “I will work for five years, save as much as I can and move to Dal Lake in Kashmir, India, and start an import/export business.” Life had other plans though, and it was to be 44 years later that I made my first trip to India in 2014. Now, four years after that first trip, my wife, Jody, and I (both happily retired and, in the Vedic scheme of things, starting out on our forest-dwellers stage of life) are running an import business. While I have yet to visit Dal Lake, the business now requires frequent visits to various regions of India.
Aum Blog

photo courtesy @aumcuisine

“Very important for you to start a small retirement business”

Our inspiration for starting Aum Sacred Art occurred in late 2014 while on a pilgrimage tour of the nine planetary (Navagraha) temples in the Kumbakonam region of Tamil Nadu in South India. While on this journey, we connected with a remarkable spiritual master, Shri Paramartha Namboodriji who instructed us to start a retirement business. This initial contact gave us a few clues as to how our business would take shape. It would involve beautiful creations, and come to positively impact many people, including us; it would be filled with crafts and culture, and be linked to a lot of happiness for people. We were to create magic with malas designed in a unique way by Vaidyaji Priyanka, who comes from a 725-year lineage of women Ayurvedic healers from Kerala, India. Vaidyaji is an acclaimed teacher of Kaya Kalpa, and has designed jewelry for over 25 years. The jewelry would be blessed, Reiki infused and energized, and dipped in India’s holy rivers. Shri Namboodriji continues to advise us generously, including for the specific types of gems to be used in our designs.

From this initial encounter, we formed Aum Sacred Art in October 2015, and set up a procedure to source gems from around the world, and have them assembled in India and the United States.

We sold our first one-of-a-kind, handcrafted necklace, made by a select group of individuals from artisan families in India in November 2016, and formally launched our business in August 2017. We continue to sell in private boutiques and at trade fairs and festivals.

Our broad vision is to work with businesses such as spas, yoga studios and gift shops whose clients appreciate art, jewelry and clothing which feeds their souls, and can be both uplifting and thought provoking.

Giving Back

In the spirit of living in the forest-dweller stage of life, we are grateful for the opportunity to give back to our community. A portion of the proceeds from Aum Sacred Art purchases is donated to organizations that enhance and support the health and education of women and children. To date, we donate to Brighter Beginnings, based in the San Francisco East Bay Area; Embracing the World, Ammachi’s Empowering Women in India; and the What If? Foundation in Haiti.

Richard Wong, Owner