Who I Am
I was born in America, but my family is from India. Growing up around my family and grandparents, I quickly became bilingual and also had early-life exposure to the Vedic sciences. My grandfather, Dr. Y.I. Dixit, was a professor of Indian history, but at home he was a true Vedic scholar. He had a vast library of books on Ayurveda, Jyotish, Advaita Vedanta, and Yoga. If he was not waxing eloquent on the benefits of ghee, then he was recommending remedies to people in the form of churnas or herbal pastes. I will never forget the uniquely foul aroma of some of the herbal pastes he would make! I remember visiting him in India as a very young boy and joining him for morning prayers on the swing of his veranda. Chanting Sanskrit prayers with my grandfather is perhaps the most potent early-life connection I made with Vedic scriptures.
My grandfather was a well-known palmist--and his father was an astrologer. My mother told me that people would frequently come to their home in India to receive palmistry readings from him. My great uncle was also a renowned psychic and palmist. Though I had met him as a young boy, I only met him once as a grown man. The reading he gave me at that time remains one of the most powerful and defining experiences of my life. Although he was often described as a palmist, my great uncle did not really read palms--he used them as a touch-point. He placed a finger on my palm, and without looking at it, began to tell me things about myself, including profound experiences I had never spoken of with anyone. He was a true seer who showed me what it means to have real vision.
It comes as no surprise that I would be deeply drawn to the Vedic sciences of Ayurveda and Jyotish. In 2016, I graduated from the California College of Ayurveda with degrees as an Ayurvedic Health Educator and Ayurvedic Health Practitioner. After graduating, I continued my pursuits in Ayurvedic medicine under Vaidya R.K. Mishra, my beloved Ayurveda guru. I saw in Vaidya Mishra the embodiment of a living tradition of ancient knowledge. Vaidya Mishra was the lineage holder of the ancient Shaka Vansya Ayurveda lineage, a lineage of Ayurvedic knowledge and practice that can be traced to the time of Lord Krishna nearly 5,000 years ago. I was blessed to become a practitioner within his lineage and to receive the title of Pranavid which means "knower of prana". (Vaidya Mishra passed away in May of 2017--the tribute I wrote him can be found here.) My passion for medicine eventually led me to Tibetan Medicine--and I am currently in my third year of study to become a doctor of Tibetan Medicine at the Shang Shung Institute School of Tibetan Medicine.
After finishing my Ayurvedic studies, I trained with Qigong Masters Jane Yang and Paul Litchfield at their Qigong Therapy Centre in Melbourne, Australia. During this training, I learned a unique form of Medical Qigong Therapy called Wuji Qigong. In Wuji Qigong, I discovered the power of energy healing as the primary means to address imbalances in my patients. While Ayurveda offered a sophisticated and holistic approach to medicine, I felt a calling to address disease not where it manifests, but where it originates: the field of life-energy.
If energy healing was the missing link in my Ayurvedic practice, astrology has been the missing link in my healing work with people altogether. Astrology is truly indispensable to the practice of medicine (and vice versa). This has been traditionally understood for thousands of years and is why the traditional education in Ayurveda or Tibetan Medicine included a full curriculum in astrology. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, admonished that one should not call oneself a doctor unless one was also an astrologer. In his view, there was no true diagnosis to be made without also examining the astrological details of the patient.
Thus, I began my study of astrology with Dr. David Frawley, from who I received certification in Ayurvedic Astrology. Eventually, I discovered the work of astrologer Ernst Wilhelm who I consider to be my Astrology guru, as it is his unique approach and in-depth understanding of Vedic astrology that has influenced me the most. It is my hope that the profound knowledge of these ancient sciences be utilized in service to others and become an inherent part of people's lives, as they once were in ancient days.
From 2009-2011, I lived on an island in Fiji at the Hermitage-Ashram of my Spiritual Guru, Avatar Adi Da Samraj. Since 2011, I have been residing on the garden isle of Kauai at another one of His ashrams where I serve as a priest. Spiritual practice is a profound and principal dimension of my life that deeply informs my approach to health and healing. Every year, I embark on extended meditation retreats at Adi Da's Hermitage of Naitauba Island. It is only through the gifts and transmission of my Beloved Guru that the light of healing has dawned in my life. With gratitude for the blessings of my Master and all my teachers, I look forward to sharing the light of healing and knowledge with everyone who comes to see me.
Neeshee Pandit, AHP