Who Am I ?
1: Who am I?
My name is Dada Pranakrsnananda. Prana means ‘vitality’. Ananda means ‘happiness that cannot be measured’. Krsna is the romantic nucleus of the universe. The person who gets his vitality and happiness from the romantic nucleus of the universe is me. I am a yogic monk, meditation teacher, and mantra therapist.
2: What do you do and what project are you currently working on?
I teach the eight limbs of yoga and meditation through workshops and personal instruction. I travel in the USA giving mantra therapy workshops, helping people to transcend obstacles bubbling up in their meditation or life.
3: Where are you from and where are you going?
In this life I was born in Chicago, have traveled 32 countries of the world and now reside in New York City. I am moving towards selflessness.
4: Who is your biggest hero?
My Guru, Anandamurti, who selflessly worked his whole life to inspire love for my internal divinity and selfless service to the creation.
5: What book is your bible?
Ananda Sutram is my map, my guide in life. Ananda is ‘immeasureable happiness’ and sutra means ‘thread’. It is a small book of one line aphorisms which explains the nature of consciousness and energy, the cycle of creation, the nature of action and reaction and the evolution of human psychology in a social context.
6: What are some things you love? And some things you hate?
I am inspired by authentic people who struggle against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and embrace their humanness and share their strength and humanness with others. I am saddened by people who see others as a means to an end, who treat people as objects rather than as mirrors of themselves and the Divinity residing within us all.
Everything in this universe is a manifestation of the Divine. Yoga psychology states that whatever you think you become. Love and hate are strong emotions which bind us to the people and things that we love and hate. I want to merge in the Divine One, Yoga, like the river in the sea. If I love or hate anyone or anything then I will become what I love or hate.
7: What is your raison d’être?
I exist to satisfy myself with something unlimited. Although I may temporarily divert my mind to other interesting things, still, my mind longs for limitlessness.
8: What is your favorite color?
Saffron is a color that represents service and sacrifice. It is a happy color and a color that attracts attention.
9: Who is your favorite comic book superhero?
I like the comic book heroes who use whatever power they have to help those who are being exploited by selfishness and greed. I liked the Lone Ranger as a child because he did good for others and nobody ever knew who he was.
10: What is your favorite NYC hot spot?
The hottest, most challenging, place for me in New York City is my balcony on the 20th floor. I have always been afraid of high places. I go out on my balcony at midnight and meditate there as my mind challenges me with fantasies of falling and death.
11: What turns you on?
Being with a person who brings who they are authentically into relationship so that both of us reach a space of awareness that neither one of us had before we met.
12: What would the last question of this questionnaire be if you were the one asking?
Are you satisfied? My answer? Not yet.
Dada Pranakrsnananda attended training sessions in India in 1971 to become a full time, qualified meditation teacher. He has been teaching mantra meditation in 32 countries for the past 40 years. Originally from Chicago, Dada now lives in New York City. He completed a graduate diploma in Gestalt Psychotherapy in Australia.
Dada leads a guided meditation for several sessions until his students feel comfortable meditating without guidance. The topics of his class include breathing, creating psychic privacy or space, and focusing the mind. He teaches his students how to use the sound, idea, and relational value of the mantra to make their meditation deeper and more intimate. He also teaches how to take care of the thoughts which naturally arise as a result of good meditation.
Overseen by Jillian Mercado
Questions by PMc Magazine
Edited by Meaghan Coffey
Photography by Jonathan Mandel
Design by Jillian Mercado
Contact Jillian Mercado if you’re interested in becoming a “Who Am I?”
Dada Pranakrsnananda, 2011, Photography by Jonathan Mandel