Dattatreyam Gurum Devam
{ Dattatreya Guru and God }
Dhyayannisham Sadashivam
{ I meditate on Him auspicious one }
Tanmantram Tasya Gitam Ca
{ His Mantra and His Hymn }
Vyakurve Tat Prasadatah
{ I expound by His Divine Grace }


India has always made her most precious wisdom public. Even so, much of this wisdom remains esoteric. In Hindu belief, it is the Guru or Master who delivers the shishya (disciple) from the darkness of ignorance and delivers liberation through knowledge.

A Guru plays many roles: that of a guide, a philosopher, a father, and a friend. For all who have come to Dharmikam Ashram, time spent in the presence of the Guru forms a crucial and most precious part of their experience in life. For those who will come in the future and will not meet the Guru in the physical form, his energy can be felt and experienced everywhere here.

Guru Balachandran Nair (31 January 1949 – 20 March 2022)

Guru Balachandran Nair, also known as Satguru Dharamananda Swaroopa Hanuman Das, was one of the few great Masters responsible for carrying on the traditions of Kalaripayattu. Traditionally, the Nair family was a warrior family and served the king and kingdom of Travancore. Guruji's father, grandfather, and uncles all worked for the royal family. When the royal family and kingdom were gone, these warriors showed their zeal to serve the country by joining the army.

Naturally, Kalaripayattu played a crucial part in Guruji's life from his childhood. He learned the importance of the tradition very quickly, from his family. He continued to learn discipline and the qualities of a warrior by serving in the Indian Navy for 16 years. After his military service, he decided to continue the family tradition and teach the art of Kalaripayattu, knowing that it was ‘gasping for breath'—struggling to survive in these modern times.

Since then, Guruji has dedicated his entire life to preserving martial art. To this end, he established the Indian School of Martial Arts in Trivandrum in 1983. Later in 2003, he opened Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram in Parasuvaikkal, Thiruvananthapuram.

Training with his Masters

Guruji's training under the late Panniyodu Louis Gurukkal and Moolachal Narayanan Gurukkal provided him with the greatest of blessings. These Masters trace their lineage to the mighty sage Agastya. Through many years of discipline and devotion to them, he gained the knowledge of the Marmas, or vital points, of the human body. From his Master, he also received ancient palm leaves and other manuscripts containing treatments for virtually every known ailment, disability, and injury. In this way, he learned both the art of fighting and the art of healing.

Guruji has told us that meeting his master was one of the most precious times of his life. His discipleship shaped him into the true warrior he became, full of both strength and devotion.

International Renown

As part of his commitment to keeping the tradition of Kalaripayattu alive, Guruji traveled the world to teach. Wherever he went, he spread the knowledge and practice of this martial art in order to preserve it for future generations. For Guruji, Kalaripayattu offered a way to combat moral degeneration and encourage his followers around the world to be strong and spiritual human beings.

Innumerable television programs and news features have published Guruji's life and work. His unique skills and achievements have been recognized on documentary programs, television shows, and print media.

These include Discovery and National Geographic, German, French, Swiss, and Japanese television shows, and print media such as Yoga Journal.


Through his intense discipline and training of the mind, under the guidance of his late Satguru Swaroopananda, Guruji has reached the stage of ‘Self Realization.'

It was also this guidance that led Guruji to reach the state of ‘detachment. ‘In Hindu tradition, a person may decide to enter this state after marriage and raising a family, to focus on God and spiritual growth. This allows freedom from all worry about the past, or the future.

Guruji continued to teach Kalaripayattu at his Ashram Retreat, until right before his death. As the Sage of Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram, he provided spiritual leadership, training, and treatments to his innumerable disciples, students, and visiting guests.

Swami's energy permeates all the activities at the Ashram. The beautiful Smrithi Mandapam offers a place for resonating oneself to his omnipresence and energy. It is a shrine visited by numerous disciples from all over the world.