It’s always a pleasure to interview someone we actually know and give them credit for the work that they do. If you’ve been following our posts over the past year, then the name Tharanath Gajendra will not be new to you. Tharanath has dedicated his life to service and spends his time healing people with love, laughter, and good food! We’re thrilled to be able to shine our light on him and his efforts.
Where It All Began
Tharanath’s journey began in Hassan, where he was born and raised. An introverted child, he loved helping his mother at home with her daily chores. Though he had a small circle of friends, his real adventures occurred between the pages of his books. An avid reader, he spent his childhood in a world of his own.
However, his blissful years would soon come to an end. He says, “We were from a lower middle-class family. We always had money for education and healthy food, but we didn’t have any luxuries. Somewhere around 6th or 7th std, I happened to move into a locality where there were people of my age who were of a different class.”
The disparity in circumstances between him and his classmates had an adverse effect on Tharanath’s life. Not all his friends navigated the divide kindly. He narrates, “I had a friend whose parents used to run a convent, and they used to have Christmas parties. He had invited all his friends, including me, and he was giving out gifts during Christmas celebrations. He had gifted a scale on which a toy rotated, to all of my friends but not me. I asked him a couple of times to give it to me too, but he said he didn’t have any more of them, which wasn’t true. I knew he didn’t want to give it to me!”
He continues, “That stayed in my head. I never understood why he didn’t give me the toy. It was a troubled one month for me after that incident. I then decided not to take anything from anyone. I just wanted to earn for myself and buy things for myself. That was my first revelation when I was in 6th standard.”
Surviving Growing Pains
His drive to forge his own path would stand him in good stead later in life, but as a teenager, Tharanath was rebellious and angry. He explains, “I started questioning why I was studying, and why I should have a good life! I then grandly failed my 8th std exams. My group of friends had also failed. They were all rich, happy, but they were safe too. I realized only I was the loser. It was then when I decided that this path wasn’t right, and I should go up the ladder and not waste my life. That was my second revelation.”
Determined to succeed on his own terms, he began working harder and focusing on the future. However, it was easier said than done. He says, “I did flourish in my studies later on, and then the college life happened. But I did have those anger issues in me, and I went into a depression. That was when my friends asked me to channel my anger into something meaningful and not waste my life. I then started pursuing my goals!”
A Period Of Transition & Learning
After completing his studies, Tharanath found himself pursuing an IT career. Despite his substantial paycheck, he found that something was lacking. An incident at work lead to reassessment on personal and professional levels. He says, “Something happened there which questioned my integrity. I had to check what my values were and what I had actually achieved.”
He began asking himself some tough questions,“What did I do to myself? How much do I enjoy this? Am I doing something which is appealing to me? There was absolutely nothing. I resigned and then after that, I struggled for a month, as I had gotten used to a certain lifestyle and spending. I had nothing on my mind. I was slowly going into a depression. I started listing down my expenses and I asked what is not required. I listed down only the primary essentials to live and decided to stick with those. I then started the process of learning healing.”
A Healing Touch
After he left his job, Tharanath’s wife suggested that he learn more about Reiki healing. He learned it but he wasn’t feeling anything. Though he admits Reiki isn’t his path of choice, he found something special while exploring it. He says, “I had an ankle sprain and my wife said that she could heal it without touching my feet. I thought to myself – there’s nothing wrong in giving it a try. And it worked! I could feel something there.” It was a life changing moment for him, which led him to subsequently learn pranic healing too, and he says,
“I realized what life was – We are strong in our own beliefs and make them our life, there’s nothing right and wrong in this world. It’s all about your mind, and your intentions. If your intention is strong, anything can happen. I didn’t heal anyone for 3 years after learning how to heal. And then one day my brother-in-law was ill, and he had tried everything – homoeopathy, allopathy; but he suffered a lot with a bad neck sprain. Nothing worked. That’s when I told him – I know something that I can try on you, if it works, great, otherwise, there is no harm!”
He continues, “By God’s grace it worked. Then I wondered if I should continue the process of healing, and then started doing it. Now, after travelling so far, I understand, whatever the healing process is, it’s all in the mind. Human mind is the most powerful tool. It can manifest anything it wants.”
The Power Of The Mind
Tharanath recounts, “It was 11 at night, and a girl messages me saying – ‘I have had a terrible headache for the last one month, and it’s troubling me a lot. I have not been able to sleep for the last month’. I asked her to come in for the treatment, and when she turned up I told her that I’d start my process, and if she slept off during it, it was okay, and that we could talk in the morning. She woke up at 12 o’clock the next day and told me, ‘Thank you, sir. I haven’t slept so peacefully in a month!’. I hardly knew who the girl was, but hearing that was a great feeling.”
“Healing doesn’t require physical presence. I just need to see them in real or in pictures. It’s beautiful that way,” he concludes. In fact, according to Tharanath, “If we are travelling in a bus, and you see someone suffering, you can go ahead heal him. He or she doesn’t need to know you have healed them, and no one knows. It’s not I who have healed it, it’s the mind, it’s the universe. I’m only an instrument.”
However, he’s also aware of the challenges that healers can face especially if untrained and unsure. He says, “There’s a different level of healing – Initial healing is with the prayer – The prayer is asking God to make us an instrument to heal someone. It’s not me, it’s God, the energy, which takes over me and the energy knows everything. Energy just needs somebody’s command. Along with that, if we go to the higher levels of healing, we have colors representing certain types of energies. Few are dangerous and can negatively impact you. When I meet people, I tell them about good and pleasant colors.”
Negative energy can hamper the healing process, and he says, “Some use energy for negative purposes as well, because this is energy and energy by itself doesn’t know good or bad, it doesn’t have any direction. But a healer should always remember that what you sow is what you reap!”
A Different Kind Of Healing
Connecting with people is one of Tharanath’s favourite things, so it isn’t surprising that he has delved into the world of counselling. After all, it’s also an incredibly important part of the healing process. He says, “It all happened by accident. I was interested in psychology and human behavior. When I go to the airport or a bus-stand, I observe people and why they behave how they behave. I did my course on Counselling for 6 months, and then went ahead with counselling.”
It has expanded his world view immensely. He elaborates, “Counselling is not about finding solutions. It teaches you what not to do. It is about listening first, asking them to stop their thoughts, and re-look at it based on different perspectives, and take a call based on their own needs and not suggesting something else. I do that with people who are comfortable talking to me.”
He does it as a form of service, and says, “I’m not a commercial person in any manner. I don’t charge anybody anything. As a part of healing and energy exchange, I tell my patients to pay me something, but what they pay is their call. They have an option of paying back in service to others also. I ask them not to stop the healing because of lack of money; same goes for counselling. It’s also called gift economy. The one who pays decides what to pay, doesn’t matter if they want to pay or not.”
On Love & Laughter
In addition to his healing work, he also moonlights as a medical clown. For those of you who haven’t come across medical clowns before – the concept is simple – these trained clowns use laughter as therapy in hospitals and other medical spaces.
Tharanath lights up while describing his work as a clown, “Let me tell you about an incident – We went to Karunashraya, and I enter the ward which had 40 patients. The patients in Karunashraya are living the last stage of their lives- they’re asked to enjoy their last days.”
He continues, “One of the ladies, who was in her 60’s, her face completely wrapped in cloth, looked at me and was excited to see me. I spoke to her for 15 minutes, she spoke about her daughter, son and wanted me to have some juice, chocolate, etc. I told her I’m not going to take anything from her at that moment, but I promised I’ll come back after I see all the patients. But that didn’t happen and I couldn’t see her later on as I was physically drained. When I went there the next week, she was no more.”
Tharanath says, “I spoke to her son, and her son thanked me for making her forget the pain in her last 3 days, and how she went on and on about the clown! Hearing that was beautiful.”
He shared another poignant story, “There was another incident – I visited an 18 year old girl, I spoke with her for 15 minutes, sang with her and enjoyed my time with her. Looking at her condition, I had to ask the nurse about her situation, I came to know that she has gangrene in her leg, and her legs had to be amputated. She chose to die instead of getting her leg amputated. And I remember her smiling and knowing it all when I had visited her.”
He exclaims, “You have a migraine and you see people going bonkers. People who smile at their own death are the strongest people!”
On Learning To Serve
When Seva Cafe started up in Bangalore, Tharanath was immediately attracted to the idea of providing delicious meals to others. He says, “Seva Cafe was initially a restaurant setup in Bangalore with many volunteers coming and going. As I was a regular, eventually it became my responsibility as volunteers became less frequent due to personal commitments. That’s when someone pitched the idea of doing it for the lower class who can’t afford to come to these restaurants.”
He reminisces, “It made me think – why not? But we also had to think of funding and investments. We decided to let the volunteers contribute whatever they want without any expectations, and if there is any shortage, we can cover it for some time and that’s how it all started.”
“Seva Cafe is all about cooking food and serving love. We create a festival environment, give importance for personal connections, and make the disadvantaged people we serve feel wanted. It’s a happy environment for both the serving and the served. It’s sharing love unconditionally”, he continues.
These days, the Seva Cafe group host these events regularly and also contribute their time and efforts towards other projects such as painting schools, old age homes and orphanages. The spirit of service, under Tharanath’s guidance, has multiplied!
We can’t help but feel grateful for the amazing work that Tharanath does, and the beautiful connections he has formed over the years, which have resulted in more and more seva. It’s definitely a legacy to be remembered!
Liked reading this? Then you might also like to read Swati Janu – On Starting ModSkool, Choosing To Build Dreams And Reconstruct Attitudes.