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Sanju’s Passing ~ Your Prayers

It is with great sadness that we at Rasa Ayurveda share our truly tragic and shocking loss of Sanjeev Kumar S. – known to all as “Sanju.”

Sanju aniyan’s passing is an enormous loss we cannot begin to fully understand at this time. As my adopted Malayalee brother, co-founder of Rasa Ayurveda and our manager and co-director these years, his mind, heart and hands were in the birth and growth of Rasa Ayurveda from the very first day, literally up until his last breath at the moment of his untimely passing on January 29, 2013. (So sadly, Sanju succumbed to a massive heart attack, possibly due to a pulmonary embolism resultant from a leg injury.)

Sanju and I started Rasa Ayurveda with nothing but our close relation and a dream to offer a true healing sanctuary for women to receive treatment, learn and live in a world of traditional Ayurveda.

With my dear brother, Sanju, at Rasa Ayurveda

We were both 100% dedicated to making a special place that respects each person–our patients, each staff member and everyone in the community–and the beauty and bounty of Nature. Far from any kind of tourist set up, we created Rasa Ayurveda to be a place women can come to feel safe and extremely well cared for, yet have the opportunity to connect with real Malayalee life and Ayurveda as it is still lived today.

With our vision always in his heart, Sanju was a natural manager at Rasa Ayurveda and motivated people with the most positive energy you can imagine. Even in tough times – and we have faced these – Sanju demonstrated extraordinary faith, intelligence, love and hope. No matter the trouble anyone was having he would always say,
“For any problem, we have one thousand and one ideas!”
Sanju’s great capabilities and positive energy made everything possible at Rasa Ayurveda.

Young Sanju

As a boy, young Sanju was fanatic about India’s national sport – cricket ! His second love? Making traditional herbal medicines by hand under a great doctor and pharmacist, the father of a friend. Over the years he became a very skilled traditional medicine-maker. In time, he also mastered traditional Siddha Vaidya and Ayurveda therapies and brought healing to many, many patients from all over the world over the years.

Sanju prepares ingredients for a traditional Ayurvedic healing oil.

He knew so much about hands-on traditional medicine–and taught us all at Rasa Ayurveda: how to prepare the fresh therapy materials, how to perform the therapies, how to make medicines and oils, and how to work with patients for healing success. He was a great cook, as well, and enjoyed sharing the wonders of Kerala cuisine and Ayurvedic nutrition.

Sanju teaches a Healing Ayurvedic Cooking Class at Rasa Ayurveda

If you have come to Rasa Ayurveda in the last 5 years, I know–without a doubt– Sanju brought a smile to your face! He made you more relaxed, more grateful and more open to healing. He always offered plenty of his time to sit and talk with patients, hearing troubles, joys, hopes and dreams. He spread love, joy and compassion in all directions.

Celebrating a Patient’s Birthday at Rasa Ayurveda

Sanju often warned patients, “I am not a singer.” Nevertheless, his sweet, soulful voice often rang out with traditional or cinema songs as he made his way around the buildings and grounds of Rasa Ayurveda, his charming smile brightening every room. He would even offer a lullaby in the evenings before he left for home, to warm the hearts of the patients before saying “Good night.”

Sanju Opens a Lotus

We are all missing him so much. All eyes are brimming with tears as these days pass. Everywhere we look, we expect to see him. It’s impossible to believe he is gone. We hear his voice around every corner.  We miss him so greatly, but to honor him, we are all trying to be more like him as patients continue to arrive here at Rasa Ayurveda from all over the world.

Sanju brought us all together at Rasa Ayurveda

Sanju was a truly valuable and rare man, a living treasure while he was here with us and he taught us many lessons about healing, love and life. For all of us whose lives were touched by Sanju, I hope we can become more like he was.

We invite you to please join us in offering your prayers, wishes or good blessings toward Sanju as his soul travels on.

Sanju is survived by his beautiful wife, Bindu and his two darling daughters, Anjana (11) and Aiswarya (15).

Until now, Bindu has lived the life of a traditional housewife, always there to support Sanju in his work, the girls in their studies, providing nutritious meals and keeping a happy, peaceful home for the family. Bindu’s mother lives with the family, praying for everyone and preparing fresh herbal medicines to keep colds, flu, digestive problems and headaches away.

Sanju with his family at home

Little Anjana has been learning to play the violin. She enjoys spending time with the therapists at Rasa Ayurveda, and likes to help at Rasa Ayurveda when she has a day free from school.

Sanju’s eldest daughter–Aiswarya–is an excellent student, a top student in her class as she completes the 10th grade. She has also been noted for her skill in traditional dancing. Here in Kerala, there is a moment in the life of every student that determines the entirety of their future education and career possibilities. Aiswarya will be taking the most important exams of her education in just a few weeks. Your prayers for her concentration and confidence at this time will be appreciated.

If you care to make a donation toward Sanju’s family, any contribution will be greatly appreciated. Sanju was the sole support of his family. To suddenly loose a beloved spouse or become fatherless overnight anywhere is sad. But in traditional South India, this is extremely difficult for a broad scope of practical, financial and social reasons. If you care to contribute to school fees, housing or other basic needs for Sanju’s wife and girls, I invite you make a donation of any amount.

If you have a message for Sanju’s family, I know they’ll be pleased to hear from you. Leave your comment here on the blog. Bindu and the girls will see your message.

With a heavy but grateful heart,
Niika Quistgard
Founder/Director, Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women