Meet The Team

Ricky Gopal

Ricky loves to read books and share with others what he has picked up along the way. Two of his favourite books are the Bhagavad Gita and Ikigai by Hector Garcia. He would say one of his strengths is the ability to digest spiritual concepts and present them in a way that others can understand. His years of experience working in schools has helped him explore different techniques and styles when it comes to facilitating sessions. One of his genuine passions is to see how he can support the youth of today. They have given him an abundance of joy in the classroom so he hopes he can be of some service in return. If he had to choose a favourite session he likes to present to this age group, it would probably be something on purpose or forgiveness. He has facilitated sessions for College of Vedic Studies since the start of it's journey. It's a blissful experience and he looks forward to meeting you all. He is also one of the Directors of Ahimsa West Midlands.

Mithun Nandi

Has been practicing the bhakti tradition since childhood. He is an avid reader and takes special interest in referencing the Vedic scriptures such as the Puranas and the Bhagavada Gita and applying the teachings in a modern, relevant and practical way, using analogies as a means to relate Vedic axioms and philosophy to those who may be foreign to the tradition. In 2013, he and his wife spent four months in Mayapur, India, extensively learning from teachers who have 45 years of experience, all the aspects of deity worship (arcana): worshiping the deity (murti), how to perform arati (ceremonial worship), performing samskaras (fire sacrifices), the art of dressing the deity, abhiseka (bathing the deity), cooking for the Lord, the importance of Brahminical qualities and mantra recitation. He is an accountant by profession and his interests like in cooking, travelling and sharing wisdom of the Vedas.

Vandna Dey

Had been searching for answers to her existential questions since she was a child and came across the Bhagavad Gita in year 2000 whilst she was at university. After graduating in Economics and Business Finance she worked in the Investment Banking Sector in London. Having moved to Birmingham, she has been teaching the Bhagavad Gita to university students since 2008. In 2011 she went to live in India for 4 months to study for her Bhakti Sastri degree and to experience what full time devotional life is like. Vrindavani really enjoys being part of the dynamic College of Vedic Studies, sharing Vedic Knowledge with participants and at home alike with her children. Join a course today and transform your life!

Mohan Nandi

Has been practicing the bhakti tradition since his early childhood and has taught at the College since its inception. Having obtained a Bhakti Sastri in 2012, he has been focusing on sharing what he has learnt with others. Currently, he speaks in various circles from the corperate world, university students and the Vedic world. Mohan is currently an Assistant Headteacher at an inner city secondary school. He leads several Faculties, focusing on career and curriculum development and improving teacher practice. He sits on the Senior Leadership Team and the Diversity Committee for the School. He is also one of the Directors of Ahimsa West Midlands. He holds a Masters degree in Education and Leadership and is married with a young son. His interests include travelling, reading, running, hiking and football.

Nishi Pankhania

Has studied the Bhagavad Gita since the age of 17 & spent 3 months studying full time in India to obtain her Bhakti Sastri degree in 2004. She had a career change from financial analyst to high school mentor a few years back & strongly believes quality education should be accessible to people of all learning types & backgrounds. She tries to create a personalised experience for those she is teaching. Nishi has a diploma in coaching from Warwick University & coaches women & teenagers. She reads the Gita daily with her 2 young children & has been teaching on our College of Vedic Studies courses for 2 years.

Dr Jesal Pankhania

Has been practising bhakti since his childhood & he has dedicated the last 15 years to sharing it with adults & children of all ages. His students say he is engaging, relatable & creative in the way he delivers his sessions. He is an oral surgeon by day & spends a lot of personal time coaching & mentoring young adults to help them create the change they’re looking for in their lives. Dr Pankhania holds a diploma in coaching from Warwick University. He has been a teacher with College of Vedic Studies for 2 years.

Amit Chhabra

Amit started his spiritual journey 11 years ago. Being inspired by the chariot festival in Birmingham, which he saw thousands of free vegetarian plates being served to the public, he was inspired to participate in this unique festival the following year and has continued ever since. He is married and has two children. Amit has been facilitating Vedic talks for the past 3 years. He has always wanted to share this spiritual knowledge and become a part of College of Vedic Studies, where he can share his realisations to help others. He has graduated with a Masters in Aeronautical Engineering and is currently a Director of a Heating Company based in Birmingham.

Ashvin Patel

Ashvin is a Financial Adviser and a Property Developer by profession. He is also the Chair of Hindu Forum (Walsall), a post he has held since the past 4 years. He also sits on the West Midlands Combined Authority Faith Strategic Partnership Group and Advisory group. He has served in various leadership capacities with his local temple and still continues to inspire the youth. In his spare time, he loves meeting new people, gardening and playing squash. He is also one of the Directors of Ahimsa West Midlands.

Dr Chandra Rao

Has been studying the Bhagavad Gita and other Vedic books over the last 30 years. He has a keen interest in understanding the principles of Vedic literature and their application in day to day lives. He has been on College of Vedic Studies teaching faculty for 3 years and loves to learn Sanskrit. He is also passionate about synthesis of science and religion. NHS Consultant Orthopaedic surgeon and Clinical Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics in Hereford. He holds a degree of Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons in Trauma and Orthopaedics from Edinburgh and Masters degree in Orthopaedic Engineering from Cardiff University. Specialises in joint replacement surgery of hips,knees and ankles . Mentors and teaches Orthopaedic trainee junior doctors.

Amie Anand

Amie got involved with spirituality at Aston University and has been practicing for 13 years. She was attracted to the kirtan and the deep philosophy that made total sense. She went on to study the Bhagavad-Gita and other scriptures in Mayapur, India for 3 months and achieved the Bhakti Shastri qualification in 2012. Her interest now lies in teaching and sharing spiritual knowledge with the youth and university students, who are the future leaders of our society. She has been part of College of Vedic Studies for the past 3 years. She is a pharmacist by profession and enjoys the outdoors including long walks and hiking. Music is her passion and joy in life. The friends she has created in this community are her greatest treasure.

Krishna Kanta

Krishna Kant was born in a Vaishnava family and has been studying the Vedic texts from a young age; he started sharing Vedic wisdom since the age of 19 years. He is currently studying Vedanga Jyotish in the prestiges ‘Jaimini Scholar Programme’ which is a study of Maharishi Jaimini’s magnum opus ‘Upadesh Sutras’. This linage traces back to Jagannatha Puri and Vaishnava saint Sri Achyutananda Das. He holds a Degree in Drama and is interested in Indian History (Gupta Era-Mughal Era), cooking, hiking, East Asian Cinema and Travelling.

Dr Rashmi Rao

Has been practising Bhakti Yoga for 19 years especially by studying Bhagavad Gita and practising Mantra mindfulness. She was involved in teaching the concepts of Bhagavad Gita to children and has joined the College of Vedic Studies faculty in April 2020. She has been a Consultant Histopathologist in the NHS for 10 years, having qualified as a doctor and becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists based in London. She is regional lead for Bowel cancer screening for Herefordshire and served as the Head of the Department of Histopatholgy (2017-2020). She regularly teaches medical students from Birmingham University and mentors Junior doctors.

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