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A Brazilian’s journey from yoga to Hinduism

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Sangareddy: A Brazilian research scholar, who has been practising yoga and meditation for over 12 years, has developed interest in Hindu religion. Dafne Pires Pinto (30), who arrived at IIT-Hyderabad as part of her PhD research last May, has read Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavad Gita, Advaita Veda, Upanishads, Mahabharata, Viveka Chudamani, Self-Knowledge of Sri Ramakrishna and many other books pertaining to Indian philosophy, culture and religions over the past one decade.

Brazilian
Dafne Pires Pinto

She wants to settle in India and marry an Indian after converting to Hinduism soon.
Dafne, who completed her graduation in Bio-Medical Engineering, and M.Tech in Chemical Engineering in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is pursuing research on ‘Bio-Mechanical Study of Yoga Postures’ in her nation’s capital. Born to a Christian mother and an atheist father, who is a professor in Musicology in a Rio varsity, Dafne said she had developed disinterest in the routine lifestyle during her adolescence. When she was struggling to move in with her friends, she took to yoga following her mother’s advice. Initially, Dafne practised yoga by reading books and following online videos to just lose some weight and stay fit. However, when her fitness routine started giving wonderful results, the 30-year-old decided to study yoga.

Brazilian
Dafne Pires Pinto

She attended a yoga certificate course at the University of Estacio de Sa in Rio, where the teacher had talked to her about a Buddhist temple. “I found some piece there for the first time,” she says. “Though I loved the preachings of Lord Buddha”, Dafne says she continued to read various books available on Hindu religion and culture. “Why am I so inclined to Hinduism? I questioned myself many times. Since I believe in second life, I may have been an Indian Hindu in my previous life,” she adds.

“I quit eating non-vegetarian five years ago as I also turned a yoga trainer,” she says. She also loves wearing saris and other Indian outfits. Dafne made her first visit to India last year as a tourist. She visited Varanasi, New Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad where she visited a number of temples.

She learnt about IIT-Hyderabad through some friends during her visit to the city last year. As Prof Mohan Raghavan, faculty at Department of Bio-Medical Engineering, assured her of help to carry out research, she arrived at IIT-H to continue her PhD research this May. Meanwhile, Dafne, who is proficient in several yoga postures like Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga, is looking forward to meeting an expert yoga teacher here to learn more difficult forms of yoga.
Dafne, who is also associated with Theosophical Society, regularly meets members of International Society for Krishna Consciousness in Rio besides attending the Indian Weeks organised in her country. “Though I had a conflict with my family, they still love me a lot and accept me as I am,” she says.

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