More about the team

Pravin

An acclaimed spiritual educationalist; for many years running, countless numbers of sincere, Krishna conscious practitioners have studied and benefited under the expert guidance and tutelage of Pravin. Born into a devout Swami Narayan family, it seems Pravin was destined for a life of spirituality. From a young age Pravin was immersed in Vedic culture and his home was regularly visited by monks, holy men and spiritual practitioners. Growing up, he was also heavily into athletics and was track, field and cross country champion for Harrow athletics club many years running. At one point he even considered it as a professional career. At school he was also one of the leading members of the Air training corps, which is a subsidiary part of the RAF.

But his real love was always enquiring about God, how to connect with him and meditating on the deep questions in life such as what is morality? What is the meaning of death? Why do bad things happen to good people? In 2000, while studying for a Master’s degree in Aerospace engineering from Queen Mary University in London; he came across the Krishna Consciousness University Society.

Finally he met a sincere and devoted group of spiritual practitioners who were able to answer all his existential questions, with thorough detail, clarity and backed up with sound logic and strong scriptural evidence. He was so inspired by their presence that he would come to see the Hare Krishnas every other day. Soon he was implementing their spiritual practices in his own life starting with the Hare Krishna mantra meditation.

Within a year Pravin became the President of the Krishna Consciousness Society! He also started hosting Sunday night interactive sessions with University students at the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple. After graduation, Pravin worked for a year in the aircraft industry before deciding to pack it in and move into the temple as a full time monk. Since that time, Pravin has gone from strength to strength. His chosen field is education and he has taught numerous course and residential training programs of varying levels of advancement.

Pravin has demonstrated through his character and example, what it means to be a determined, disciplined and loyal spiritual practitioner. He is also a distinguished scriptural scholar and frequently hosts seminars and functions on the deeper essence of the scriptures. He is a multifaceted personality, on one hand he is a grave, sober gentleman, on the other hand he can be incredibly animated and is known to have a humorous and eccentric side. Whatever it may be, everyone would agree that he has a heart of gold who looks after his students in a deeply personal way. Often going beyond the call of duty to make sure they’re cared for properly.

Aside from teaching, he is one of the leaders of congregational development in the temple and places a very high emphasis on devotee care. Pravin has a few lesser known talents, one of which is being an incredibly talented and versatile actor. So far he has played a few amazing roles in theatre productions from the temple but there will certainly be more to come from him on that front. He is also a gifted dancer and his former athletic prowess often comes through in his graceful dancing during some of the energetic ‘kirtans’ that take place at the temple.

Santanu

The son of first generation Hindu Bengali immigrants, Santanu grew up on some of the harshest, crime ridden streets of South London. Thankfully due to his parent’s strong culture and family values, he never was led astray while growing up. Instead he worked to achieving his dream of qualifying as a Doctor from King’s College, London and became a highly successful GP. Whilst he was studying at University, it was his mother that actually got into Krishna consciousness. Soon Santanu was also intrigued by the Krishna conscious philosophy and started reading Srila Prabhupada’s books. He now cites this as a major source of inspiration and strength throughout his life.

After being established in his career, Santanu always had an inkling that he would eventually dedicate his life to the pursuit of Krishna consciousness but this was juxtaposed with his desire to fully reap the material pleasures that this world can give him. Whilst there was some momentary pleasure, Santanu soon recognised that it wasn’t giving him the real satisfaction that his heart was craving for. That’s when he went back to Srila Prabhupada’s books and read them again with a fresh perspective. He realised that the Krishna consciousness process can give him an ongoing pleasure and joy that will not just touch his senses, but his heart and soul as well. A few years back, he decided to take time out of his profession and joined the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple as a monk.

He is currently one of the leading speakers within the community and is especially noted for his direct, candid approach to teaching the scriptural truths. He is also an expert in making the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita relevant to the modern world in a way that people can apply in their everyday lives. In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic musician and a keen muay thai boxer.

 

Sesa das

Sesa was born into a Hare Krishna household and the Bhaktivedanta Manor has effectively been his second home since birth. The story of how he became one of the main teachers within the College of Vedic studies is a classic case of ‘The prodigal son returns!’

A deep thinker with a strong scientific mind, Sesa has always been interested in the structure of the cosmos, how our minds operate and the nature of consciousness.

During his youth, he was a top sportsman, being on the 1st for cricket, football and rugby. Sesa then went onto study Mathematics at City University. He was intrigued by the different mathematical laws and paradigms that help to explain the structure of our Universe. Even more captivating was the possibility of using maths to explore other levels and dimensions of reality and ultimately our own consciousness. After going deep into this field for a number of years, Sesa found the mathematical field to be rather limiting. Particularly, when it came to investigating issues of transcendence and metaphysical possibilities. This spurred him to go back to his Krishna conscious roots. He scrutinised, analysed and dissected the ‘Bhagavad Gita as it is’ to the best of his ability.

He was simultaneously humbled and delighted by the experience. The Bhagavad Gita was found to be limitless in its scope, magnitude and levels of understanding of this reality and beyond. Never had he come across a book that went so severely into uncovering the profound truths of who we actually are, why we are here and what is the purpose of this universe. In the process, he underwent an intense and deeply emotional journey of introspection. A mind blowing experience indeed!

He knew then that he was not going to go into the modern day rat race. Instead he was going to use every iota of energy in his body to fully realise the answer to life’s perennial question: What is the purpose of life, what is the perfection of life? With this in mind, he joined the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple and immediately got involved in the financial and operational management of many projects ranging from youth trips abroad to University societies for Krishna Consciousness and more.

Sesa has travelled throughout India, South Africa, and most of Europe learning and propagating the Krishna Conscious philosophy wherever he goes. And he often cites his most valuable possession as being the wisdom from the Sacred Krishna Conscious scriptures. His main responsibilities now are giving philosophical talks at universities and promoting the College courses in various ways and helping people to enrich and enhance their lives with spiritual wisdom. So don’t be alarmed if he calls or emails you. He’s a vegetarian, so he doesn’t bite. On the side, he also conducts scientific research in the field of metaphysics and spiritual psychology.

 

Jankinath das

Jankinath (or ‘JD’ as he is affectionately called) is an innovator, a maverick and an intrepid risk taker. Known for his quick mind and boundless energy, he helped to conceptualise and start two of our most famous courses; ‘Gita Life’ and ‘Explore’.

Born to a family of Gujarati immigrants who settled in West London, JD was a highly dynamic individual from the word go. From a young age he was passionate about environmentalism and used to travel around the world on a bicycle. Simply to reduce his carbon footprint! Not only that, he would experiment with various new age, health diets to keep his ‘Ayurvedic doshas’ in balance as well as being a committed follower of celibacy to maintain his vitality, strength of character and sense control.

In 2007 he graduated from King’s College, London with a first class degree in Telecommunications. A huge fan of extreme sports, JD also took a year out to go backpacking, hang gliding and ‘free’ rock climbing (without any harness or aids) in Zanzibar, Congo, Kenya and Rwanda. In his travels he got arrested in the Congo, mediated between various militant groups and came across war-torn areas where he got involved in volunteering work, providing street kids with food, shelter and material and spiritual education.

After finishing University, JD got involved in managing various marketing projects for the Cannes Film Festival and the Harley Hamburg Festival. Being the ‘tour de force’ that he is, he was soon back to his globetrotting ways again. This time to India, where he got involved with a Hare Krishna organic farm for 6 months and learnt about self-sustainability. He loved it so much that he extended his stay and spent a further 18 months in one of India’s leading Hare Krishna temples learning about Vedic culture.

This eventually inspired him to come back to England and become a full time monk and help to elevate the consciousness of the planet. Since being a monk here, JD has travelled extensively to USA, Canada, Europe doing University programs, public programs and prison programs. He is also a self-taught magician and if you’re lucky to have him as one of your course teachers expect professional standard magic tricks in your lessons!!

His current services include book distribution, teaching at the College of Vedic Studies and of course sharing wisdom with students.

 

Tanmay

Some people go to University to get educated about life and some get educated from the University of life! Tanmay certainly falls into the latter category. Coming from half Indian half German parentage, he never had any formal schooling. Instead, during his childhood and youth he travelled all around the world with his father assisting him in his various business ventures.

It was soon apparent that Tanmay had a strong entrepreneurial streak within himself; and he soon put this to good use by setting up and running a worldwide horse riding equipment business.

Although he has been constantly on the move, he spent most of his life growing up in India and Germany and is proficient in Hindi, German and English.

What bought him to Krishna consciousness was his German born mother. She had a spiritual awakening some years ago after coming in contact with the one of the Hare Krishna temples in India. The experience impacted on her to such an extent that she decided to commit her life to attaining the Supreme truth through the process of Krishna consciousness. She soon relocated to the UK and is now one of the longest serving, actively involved nuns within our temple.

His mother’s transformation really stimulated Tanmay and he soon started delving into the timeless teachings of Krishna consciousness. It was only a matter of time before he became so inspired that he decided to put his thriving business on hold and dedicate himself to disseminating knowledge of Krishna to society. Although he is now a monk, he certainly hasn’t sacrificed his entrepreneurial talents. In fact, he is one of the key managers within Bhaktivedanta Manor and oversees the day to day running of various departments within the temple of which the College of Vedic studies is his primary project.