Pune (Maharashtra) [India], November 28: Suhana Swasthyam, an extraordinary event, stands as a radiant celebration of mindfulness, deeply rooted in its origins in India and holding profound significance in our contemporary lives. Positioned as India’s largest wellness festival, Swasthyam aims to bring together esteemed dignitaries, spiritual leaders, health educators, and wellness experts to illuminate the path to inner well-being. Among the speakers is Gabriella Burnel, popularly known as Gaiea Sanskrit, hailing from England, who graciously shared her insights with us. Here are some edited excerpts from our conversation:

1. Tell us about your relationship with the language Sanskrit. How did it start?

I was born to parents who studied advaita Vedānta philosophy, enabling them to read and write Sanskrit and recite verses from the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads. They sent me to a school in London where Sanskrit was taught, and I studied it from the age of 4 to 18.

2. What have you studied in Sanskrit, and did you ever have a teacher who taught you?

At school, we delved into the stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, reading Hitopadesha, Gita, and Upanishads under the guidance of teachers like Mr. and Mrs. Jessup, Miss Morgan, and Mrs. Harper. Later, at Oxford University, I studied Panini and Buddhist texts. My journey continued with further study at a gurukula in India and in Pondicherry with a cherished teacher.

3. How did you get associated with the Swasthyam event?

The organizers extended an invitation for me to participate and share Samskrit chants. The event resonated with a noble intent—to share the beauty and wealth of Samskritic culture and wisdom with all.

4. In your life, how important is health and wellness? What can one expect from you in the Swasthyam event? Please elaborate in detail.

Health and wellness, to me, are primarily a state of mind and an attitude toward daily life. A heart full of love and being present are crucial. Physical health, especially gut health and digestion, holds significance, and I believe chanting contributes positively. At the Swasthyam event, I will share some simple Sanskrit chants and stotrams, allowing attendees to experience the pure sounds of Sanskrit—a language that transcends to become a whole system of vibrations.

5. How many times have you visited India before?

I have been to India about 15 times.

Suhana Swasthyam is a wellness festival dedicated to promoting mindfulness, inner well-being, and holistic health. It brings together a remarkable assembly of speakers, experts, and artists to inspire and guide individuals on their journey to a balanced and harmonious life.

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