I was born in 1965 in Madagascar, a former French colony situated in the Indian Ocean. My ancestors migrated from India (Gujarat) in the beginning of the 20th century. My family had to leave Madagascar, the Great Island, because of a rising political and social instability and decided to move to France in 1975. I completed in Paris a Doctorate in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a MBA.
Like many seekers, I was haunted since my adolescence by fundamental questions on existence which would not let me rest. Being in Paris, with its vibrant cultural and intellectual life, I was reading avidly Eliade, Lévi-Strauss in the field of ethnology and history of religions in order to find some answers. I was sharing my readings of Freud, Jung, Sartre with my friends, reciting poems of surrealists, such as Louis Aragon, Paul Eluard. I had passionate discussions with some of anarchist friends who wanted to change the world and initiate a revolution. I was trying to understand the human brain through neurobiology (Changeux, Laborit) and reading books on quantum physics and astrophysics to understand the nature of reality. I learned a lot but had no answers.
I also read oriental philosophy (Zen, Hinduism, Sufism etc.) and went to ask questions to some spiritual masters. However, I also lost interest when they told me not to ask too many questions, as it was a matter not for reasoning but for believing or experiencing. I was not prepared to surrender my questioning mind and accept everything blindly in any given tradition. I could not buy the promise of some others that one set of techniques or experiences will lead me to the truth. None had clarity in the definition of the end to be accomplished and the means to be employed. Many times I felt the exposition of their teaching to be vague, self-contradictory, their wisdom fragmentary and lacking in depth and vision.
What was the result of this search of many years? Disappointment and despair; feeling not to progress at all. I began to think that my quest was just a waste of time. But I could not just give up the search. On a more external level, everything looked perfect: I had a dream job in the corporate world in Paris, in International Marketing & Sales and then Strategic Planning. I was traveling all over the world and had a very Parisian social and cultural lifestyle. But fire of the search was still in my head and my heart. Nothing could extinguish it.
Then, I was made to hear in 1995, a teaching that transformed my life: the traditional teaching of Vedanta. Why? Because it highlighted the problem of the human being as taking oneself to be limited and inadequate. It pointed out that this problem is universal. It then questioned the very conclusion that 'I am a limited individual'. In its vision, this conclusion is wrong and the problem is ignorance of the reality of oneself. It boldly stated that nothing is to be done or accomplished but only to know oneself. And it said that all that is here is only one absolute non dual reality and that one non dual reality you are. It was just amazing!
In the unfolding, I found that all questions and doubts were welcome. All contentions of the various schools of philosophy, spiritual traditions as well as concepts coming from contemporary science were examined and addressed one by one.
I realized in time that this vision could not be contradicted or shaken by anybody because it was unfolding what the reality is. The truth it was unfolding was standing, untouched and as clear as a diamond.
During this journey, I could clearly see many times the grace at work: the grace which brought me to this teaching and the grace which carried me along to keep on pursuing this knowledge in spite of difficult moments. Another meaningful moment of grace is when I met the first time in 1995 on the campus of Anaikatti (Coimbatore), Neema. She was a student of Vedanta with an exposure to both Western and Indian culture and was also successful in her professional career at the United Nations. We decided to pursue this journey together and got married in Bangkok in 2001.
Since then, our lives have been enriched everyday and have gained depth by our common dedication to personal growth, celebration of life and love for the vision of Vedanta. Grace is indeed visibly at work!.