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, 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 come to Dharmikam, time spent in the presence of the guru forms a crucial and most precious part of their experience.

Guru Balachandran Nair

Guru Balachandran Nair, also known as Satguru Dharamananda Swaroopa Hanuman Das, is one of the few surviving great masters 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 joined the military and continued to serve their country.

Naturally, Kalaripayattu played a crucial part of Guruji’s life from a very young age. From his family, he learned very quickly the importance of the tradition. He continued to learn discipline and the qualities of a warrior by serving in the Indian navy for 15 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 whole life to preserving the 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, which is where he now resides.

Training with his masters

Guruji’s training under the late Panniyodu Louis Gurukkal and Moolachal Narayanan Gurukkal has provided him 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 masters he also received ancient palm leafs and other manuscripts with treatments for virtually every known ailment, disability and injury. In this way he learned both the art of fighting as well as the art of healing.


Today, Guruji thinks of meeting his masters as one of the most precious times of his life. His discipleship shaped him into a true warrior, full of both strength and devotion.

International renown

As part of his commitment to keeping the tradition of Kalaripayattu alive, Guruji has traveled the world teaching. Wherever he goes he spreads the knowledge and practice of this martial art so that he can preserve it for future generations. For Guruji, Kalaripayattu offers a way to combat moral degeneration and encourage his followers around the world to be strong and spiritual human beings.

Innumerable television programmes and articles have featured 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 Realisation.’ 

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

Guruji continues to teach Kalaripayattu at his ashram retreat Dharmikam, but he is also now ‘Swami,’ which means monk. As the sage of Kalariyil Dharmikam Ashram he provides spiritual leadership, training and treatments to his innumerable disciples, students and visiting guests.

Guruji is available for spiritual guidance even to those not staying at the ashram. Those who wishes to speak with him can attend Satsangs at the temple on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, or by scheduled appointment.