I met Pradeesh around 2008, at the age of 53, introduced through my wife, who had begun to attend his class. We continue to be a part of his class now in the year 2017. All these years have been a gradual incremental life-changing journey and our association has turned into a deep-seated friendship and gratitude, in all dimensions of life. It thus gives me great pleasure in writing this piece for him.
I had attended Yoga classes before but Pradeesh was undoubtedly instrumental in shaping the finer elements of Hatha-Yoga for me. Like the practice of Yoga itself, it was meant to be just more than the perfection of postures. Pradeesh, most unobtrusively, opened for me the path towards greater vision of the all-encompassing Self, while all along preparing my body for the demands such a vision would ask of me.
He most unhesitatingly, introduced me to a different master in Kerala, who was a practicing Yoga-Chikitsak, from whom he had learnt and from whom he was acquainting himself in the pro-bono body-healing-recognition techniques. This phase was a turning point in my progress as it gave the huge benefit of Hatha-Yoga in a style which was both ancient, body-type specific, hype-free. It was heavily oriented towards deep, forceful, vibrant and systemic breathing with calm holding of postures. Such was its impact on me that I used to travel from Mumbai to Kerala (Kannur) for several months, every fortnight. He also gave me a glimpse of his early Kalaripayatu life and the crucible where he learnt it. And all this while living in his parental home in Kerala.
This phase was important in another way. He saw in me a growing need for quest and an automatic orientation to an ancient knowledge system opened up in front of me. What followed and continues is a partaking of a tradition of immense joy, fulfilment and integration to all forms which is, Srividya, a benign Sakta Tantric school still widely prevalent in South India and many parts of the world. He then implored me to meet another Guru, an adept and great scholar-teacher, of the Srividyatradition, at Devipuram, Andhra Pradesh. Meeting Amritananda Saraswati, from whom I received Diksha, initiation into the Sakta fold, was again a pivotal point.
Another dimension was to open in my life when Pradeesh opted to see a master of Kriya Yoga, the great grandson of the legendary Lahiri Mahashay, Shibendu Lahiri. We both received initiation into Kriya Yoga from him and key wisdom of the divisiveness of the mind and the edgy path to the destruction of the ‘I’.
The most recent of the forays is one in which we come upon to observe the human body and its marvels when left alone to heal through a combination of fasting, hydration, naturopathy massages, mud packs, yoga, meditative silences, long walks and sun exposure. Here again he opened this way to all those who were interested in resetting their body to natural states of prime health and resurrection, with healthy rapid weight-loss as a bonus.
All put together, several facets of an esoteric search and reverential devotion into the traditional forms opened up, available to any individual open to and thus ordainedto such a journey.
The quintessential part of this recounting is to say that in all these journeys Pradeesh was a Gurubhai, willing to show and share the treasures dear to him. This is the true love of a benefactor and teacher. His openness, gentle disposition, knowledge and learnings makes me unhesitatingly regard him as my true Guru, a position he modestly and subtly refuses to partake off by deflecting my vision to the real search which needs to be done. Pradeesh is a virtual store house of some rare books which he shares and is constantly in search of writings of great masters and their ways.
Pradeesh has, in his years, been a arduous follower of esoteric practices of the Sakta tradition having lived and learnt from masters as also a practitioner of intense breathing and shudhi techniques which is there for the taking for anyone who wishes to be there.
Of his Hatha-Yoga classes, it is to note that, not only are they popular attracting people of various age groups, nationalities and requirements but both highly energising and contemplative at the same time by an amalgamation of invigorating techniques and meditative interludes. He is also into healing methods which he has learnt over the years and an astute reader of the human body and mind.Such is his repertoire and multi-facetedness.
Tasmai Gurave Namaha
Senior Executive Vice-President
Reliance Industries Ltd