Dinesh Kashikar, (Kashiji as he is widely known) did his schooling from St. Xavier’s, Ahmedabad and graduated in Chemical Engineering from IIT Mumbai. Always a topper in school, he had a keen interest in sports and theatre.
Joining IIT Bombay to pursue a Masters in Chemical Engineering seemed to be the best thing that could have happened to him. At college, he did the usual stuff – participated in literary, cultural and sports events, took an active interest in the hostel activities and generally, had a good time. By the fourth year, he was the GSec of the hostel, had played football for the hostel, organised and participated in mood Indigo and PAF. Yet there seemed to be something missing.
He was introduced to the Art of Living in the year 1995, and became a full time volunteer with the organization. Besides arranging various stress –elimination programmes of the Art of Living, he simultaneously began contributing to varied departments such as administration and human resources at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore.
He then went on to become a teacher of the Art of Living’s stress -elimination programme through which he has been able to reach out and benefit more than half a million people. He has a keen interest in both the practical and academic aspects of yoga and today is a specialist in the field of yoga and pranayama. He has travelled with HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar across India conducting yoga sessions for enormous gatherings.
His responsibilities in the Art of Living have been diverse. He headed the publication division of the Art of Living, editing and publishing many of its books and has even co-ordinated the working of the Sri Veda Agama Samskrutha Mahapatahasala, a heritage school started by the Art of Living, with the aim of preserving the rich traditions and rituals of India. Brought up in a traditional Brahmin family, he naturally took to puja and chanting and is currently the trustee of the Vaidic Dharma Samsthana which aims to promote and propagate the lofty ideals of the ancient vaidic culture to people from all over the world. In his capacity as a member on the Board of Academic Studies for the Department of Yoga at Sri Sri University he has designed the syllabus and structure for the graduate and undergraduate programs currently offered at the university.
In his capacity as an international yoga teacher (He happens to be a certified Yoga Alliance teacher holding their highest level of accreditation – the E-RYT 500) Kashiji has traveled widely. He has conducted Art of living programmes in countries like Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Russia and Mongolia.
Of how he came into this path, he says “After meditation, all aspects of life – interpersonal, social and internal – started improving which really made me sit up and take notice. I realised that my purpose was not just to eat sleep and make money. Coming to Gurudev gave me a higher purpose and having a guru I was able to realise the depth of our traditions.”
He is technology savvy and loves new gadgets. He has contributed to open source projects and codes in php mysql as a hobby. Among other interests, Kashiji loves listening to music and reading Amar Chitra Katha.