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This prof from Brazil is now a teacher of Sanatan Dharma

Author: Prashant Pandey
Publisher: The Indian Express
Date: January 31, 2013
URL: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/this-prof-from-brazil-is-now-a-teacher-of-sanatan-dharma/1067152/0

A former professor in psychology from Brazil, who delved into many spiritual philosophies including that of Christianity, is now working to bridge the gap between the East and the West, teaching the latter lessons of Sanatan Dharma in a language they can relate to.

Sri Prem Baba, who was ordained into the Sachcha Dham Ashram lineage of sadhus from Rishikesh around 12 years ago, is currently camping at Kumbh Mela. He is also one of the active partners in the clean environment campaign going on at the mela, in partnership with Chidanand Saraswati of Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh. He, along with several of his devotees, is sharing the camp with Chidanandji in Sector-13 and 14 of the mela on the Arail side.

Talking in Portuguese, through Swami Param Advaiti, one of his senior disciples who doubles up as interpreter, Prem Baba says: "I went to many different spiritual schools; I know many different masters. But I had a dream early on in my life, in which I saw a man with a white beard asking me to come to Rishikesh. I reached there for the first time in 1999 and I met Sri Hans Raj Maharajji of Sachcha Dham Ashram, and felt that I knew him since long."

Born as Janderson Fernandes de Oliviera in Sau Paulo, Brazil, in 1965, Prem Baba was brought up as a Christian. He also delved into gnostic psychology and went on to become a "priest". Having graduated from Unipaz University in Brazil in inter-disciplinary holistic therapy, he also gained considerable amount of fame within Brazil as a spiritual speaker. However, he continued to feel something amiss and kept looking for enlightenment, getting to know about Buddhism and even Shamanism in the process.

"I was a professor of psychology. I believed only what I saw. I needed a scientific proof for everything. But this experience (meeting his Guru in Rishikesh) enlightened my faith; and after this, it was just a succession of miracles," says Prem Baba, when asked how a person who questioned most of the religious philosophies began believing in Sanatan Dharma.

Talking about spreading the messages of Sanatan Dharma, he says: "After my Guru showed to me Sanatan Dharma, I discovered a universal nature in it. I respect and worship it and share it with the West in a language that they can relate to." He teaches his devotees the Vedic teachings, besides training them in yoga.

Deeply anguished by the recent tragedy in Brazil, in which around 250 people died in a blaze at a discotheque, Baba says: "I would not like to be in the skin of those, whose children died. We will be praying for the bereaved families."

Over a period of time, Prem Baba has also evolved his own method - called "Path of the Heart" - for spreading his messages, which combines the spiritual and psychological. "Till that time, I did not find answers to the suffering of the people. now I know how to teach them to turn their sufferings into benediction," says Baba, who has also written a book 'From Suffering to Joy'.

Prem Baba stays five months in Rishikesh and the rest of the time he spends in Brazil and the rest of the world to spread his messages
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