My Story

My great-grandparents came from Kerala, India and settled in Malaya (today Malaysia). I grew up mostly in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Since early childhood, I was delightfully drawn to reading about spirituality. Early on, I explored various spiritual practices independently. I taught myself Sanskrit chants and mantras. It was not long before I decided to be a vegetarian. As a child, I was deeply inquisitive and contemplative. I love animals and roaming around, especially in nature. I always felt a deep psychic connection amidst nature.

At the age of 15, I stumbled upon the Bhagavad Gita and it marked the beginning of a new journey in my life. I became much more conversant in yogic spirituality and its methods. Almost every single day, I would study the Bhagavad Gita – a text that I continued to study for over 20 years, including with many teachers.

The Yoga Teacher...

Overtime I became interested in the reasoning and logics of the Hindu wisdom tradition of Advaita Vedanta. It deeply resonated with my own independent thinking. It gave me the clarity I was seeking. It wasn't dogmatic nor faith-based. I love the emphasis on understanding and direct perception of truth. My earliest exposure to Advaita came from some materials highlighting the work of the great 8th century philosopher-saint Adi Shankaracharya, whom I greatly admire. Around the age of 20, I became acquainted with the books written by the world-renowned yogi, Swami Sivananda - the founder of the Divine Life Society which is headquartered in Rishikesh, India. Inspired by Swami Sivananda’s writings I took up various yoga practices, engaged in social services and eventually I started conducting Hatha yoga classes in the ashram. I also taught Vedic spirituality and personal growth to youngsters.

The other life...

I excelled in school and went to university to study Computer Science. There I obtained a degree in Software Engineering. I graduated with First-Class honours and multiple excellence awards including a lifetime membership of the Golden Key International Honour Society. I am also an AIESEC student nominee. Later on, I joined the Central Bank of Malaysia (Bank Negara Malaysia) as a Senior Executive.

From a very young age, I've always felt an inner calling to fully dedicate time in the study of the ancient Vedic scriptures and philosophy from expert spiritual masters. As years passed, my yearning for Self-knowledge and personal spiritual experience kept growing, day by day, even though I was having a good career in the corporate world and many students attending my hatha yoga class on weekends. During that time, I stumbled upon Swami Chinmayananda’s commentary of the Bhagavad Gita. His rational and analytical presentation was not only refreshing and inspiring, and it effectively nudge me forward to finally decide to leave everything – my family, friends, relationship and all activities including my job at the Central Bank and head to India. I resigned and left for India in 2008.

Living like a monk...

I first attended the Sandeepany Sadhanalaya Mumbai – the famous Institute of Vedantic studies founded by Swami Chinmayananda. I underwent strict studies and training commonly expected of the monks in the tradition of the great Adi Shankaracharya’s monastic order. Here, my principal teacher was Swami Advaitananda and there were also a few other teachers as well. Later on, I moved to the ancient city of Varanasi to study from Swami Chidananda (author, speaker and founder of FOWAI Forum). Here, I had the opportunity to study one-on-one, with the teacher; mostly discussing the Bhagavad Gita and the principles of Advaita. Also in Varanasi I studied spoken Sanskrit from my teacher Prithviraj Singh.

Roaming yogi...

Throughout my stay In India, I travelled to many places attending courses and meeting scholars. Once in Bangalore, I had a memorable discussion with Dr. R.L. Kashyap, a scientist in the field of applied mathematics and pattern recognition and author of the English translations of the Vedas. I also had many study trips especially in places in Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Another interesting stop was in Puducherry, were I stayed to take lessons on Sanskrit verbal-sounds and metrics from Dr. Sampadananda Mishra, a Sanskrit researcher and author, associated with the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Later on, I settled in Mysore, where for months I advanced my studies in Sanskrit under the guidance of my teacher Jagannatha Acharya, a great Vedic scholar and sage.

Meditation to Master's...

On the last leg of my journey, I retired to the Sri Ramana Ashram, at the foothills of Mt. Arunachala where I spent time in meditation before returning home to Malaysia. In 2012, I earned a Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Sanskrit (literature and philosophy) from the Karnataka State Open University in India.

The Life Mentor...

My thoughts evolved through contacts with the teachings of many spiritual teachers and philosophers, and I am grateful to all of them. However the teachings of Swami Chinmayananda, Sri Ramana Maharshi and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj have had the most prominent influence on me personally and continue to do so in my work today.