Bjoern Pettersen (born 1955 in Sarpsborg and brought up on Jeloey island outside Moss, Norway).
 
Short biography:
From his childhood Bjoern’s great interest was nature and wildlife. He became an active Truth-seeker from the age of 14 having decided early to explore the inner life rather than to go for a more worldly education. As a 21-year old young man he set out on an overland journey through Europe and the Middle-East to Asia which lasted for seven months. Three of these months were spent with a Yogi in a small ashram in the jungle in the Himalayan foothills, where he first got an insight into the Indian spiritual tradition. After returning to Norway he soon found the old Norwegian engineer and hermit Einar Beer at the foot of Mt.Tron in Alvdal and stayed with him from 1978. Einar Beer shared with Bjoern the history of 30 years of co-existence with the Indian Rishi and Yogi Swami Sri Ananda Acharya, who lived in Norway from 1915 to 1945 (on Tronsvangen in Alvdal from 1917). After the death of Einar Beer in 1982 (aged 95), Bjoern continued Beer’s work as chairman of the Swami Sri Ananda Acharya Trust, which Beer had founded in 1975.
 
For seven years, from 1982 to 1989, Bjoern lived as a hermit at "Shantibu" (Beer's old home) in Alvdal and practiced intensive meditation and yoga. Throughout all these years he commuted between Norway and India, following his second visit in 1983. He then met Swami Paramananda who initiated him into spiritual life, and he stayed for several months at a time in the various welfare centres of Paramananda Mission in rural West Bengal. During that time Paramananda guided Bjoern on the “Path of Wisdom” (Jnana Yoga) and blessed him with final success in 1987. Bjoern then invited Paramananda to Norway. On his first visit in 1989-90 he stayed for a full year and, amongst other places visited, they journeyed together in Europe for three months in 1990. Late in the same year Tripti Ma came to Norway as a representative from Paramananda Mission, and after that the more external work at Shantibu started with the founding of the Mt.Tron University of Peace Foundation (1993) and the planning of a concrete project for the realization of the university. Bjoern is the chairperson of this foundation. He is also chairperson of the newly established Mt.Tron University of Peace Estate Inc. (2010).
 
Every day he lives and works at Shantibu in Alvdal where many visitors from all over Norway and abroad, who come for retreat or for discussions about the deeper questions of life, are welcomed throughout the year. Many of them receive, at their own request, initiation into meditation and spiritual life. Otherwise he is occupied with planning and administering the development of the University of Peace. Moreover he writes and translates, and give lectures. He had a regular column in the Norwegian cultural newspaper Breidablikk – "Utsyn fra Tronfjell" ("View from Mt.Tron") – published between 2001-09. In September 2003 he was invited to participate at an international symposium of peace in Brisbane, Australia, as one of three key speakers.
 
For Bjoern personally it is of no importance to belong to any particular religion, philosophical school or spiritual trend. He identifies with life itself and the universal in the human being.

Since 2015 Bjørn has moved a few hundred metres further uphill to Tronsvangen Seter (www.tronsvangenseter.no), which is a retreat and course centre with activities by Mt.Tron University of Peace (www.tronuni.org). From here he published the book: "Universell religion - Essensiell religionsforståelse" (only available in Norwegian), which can be ordered here:
http://www.tronsvangenseter.no/content/universal-religion

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(Read a more complete version of the interview here).

Contact Bjoern on bjorn.pettersen@fjellnett.no