On my first trip to India I met an individual who
would have a decisive influence on my life and thought. He would serve as my mentor for
introducing me into Hindu thinking and to Hindu issues in India today. Dr. B.L. Vashta was
an Ayurvedic doctor working on product development for an Ayurvedic company in Bombay. It
was in that context in which I met him. He was then about seventy years of age or about
the age of my father.
After chatting informally, we immediately felt a certain kinship. He
inquired about my activities and interests and was curious about my work with the Vedas
and ancient India. I would gradually develop a broad association with Vashta that would
connect me to a whole network of Hindu organizations. We had long conversations over a
wide variety of topics, mainly relative to India, Hinduism and the Vedas. We gradually
developed a strategy to promote Vedic causes in both India and the West. Vashta helped
with my Ayurvedic work and introduced me to various Ayurvedic teachers and schools,
particularly in nearby Pune. We attended several Ayurvedic conferences in places as far
away as Bangalore and Madras.