Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya

Hindu Chaplain
headshot of Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya

Contact Information


Brahmacharini Shweta Chaitanya was appointed the Hindu Chaplain of Emory on February 1, 2021. Reporting to the Dean of Religious Life she works as part of Emory's multifaith chaplaincy team to support the spiritual and religious interests of the growing and diverse Hindu community on campus. Her responsibilities include supporting weekly spiritual gatherings, providing educational opportunities, offering pastoral care, and promoting service, social justice, and interfaith engagement in the Emory campus community and with partners beyond.

Before coming to Emory, Shweta served as a spiritual teacher at the Chinmaya Center in Houston, Texas--part of an international Hindu religious and spiritual organization engaged in promoting Vedanta, or the science of the self as taught in the ancient South Asian scriptures of the Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad Gita.

At the Chinmaya Center, Shweta offered classes and study groups for children, youth, and adults centered on the texts and teachings of Advaita Vedanta--a non-dualistic tradition of Hindu philosophy. In addition to teaching, she helped to facilitate Hindu festivals and cultural events and offered spiritual support to the community.

Shweta completed the two-year, residential Advaita Vedanta course at the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya ashram in Mumbai, India, after which she was initiated as a brahmacharini in the Advaita Vedanta tradition through the Chinmaya order in 2017.

Prior to her Vedanta training, Shweta completed her undergraduate degree in South Asian Languages and Cultures (Sanskrit) at the University of Texas at Austin, and later her MA in South Asian Studies at Columbia University. In the 2019-2020 academic year, Shweta had the opportunity to study at Harvard Divinity School through the Nagral Fellowship, where she and two other Hindu monastics engaged in conversation about the study and practice of Hindu traditions as part of Harvard's plans to develop a Hindu Ministry Initiative.

In the role of Hindu Chaplain at Emory, Shweta hopes to foster a sense of community and compassionate support for Hindu students, faculty, and staff on campus as they navigate their lives and faith. And in this same spirit of compassion and community, she also hopes to be of support for the larger Emory community and with Emory's campus and community relationships.

Shweta enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, experimenting in the kitchen with baking, watching competitive baking shows, and going on long drives.



  • MA | Columbia University

  • BA | University of Texas, Austin