The Founders

Turning a Dream
into Reality

Two people with a vast vision

Combining a passion for Hinduism, gardens and healing

Dandapani was born in Malaysia and is of Sri Lankan ancestry. He moved to Australia as a teenager, and after graduating from university with a degree in Electrical Engineering, he left it all behind to become a Hindu monk under the guidance of one of Hinduism’s foremost spiritual leaders of our time, Sivaya Subramuniyaswami. For 10 years, he lived a life of austerity, serious personal discipline and training at his guru’s cloistered monastery in Hawaii. When his vows expired, he chose to venture out into the world. Today, he is a Hindu priest, international speaker and entrepreneur living with his wife, Tatiana, and daughter in Costa Rica.

Tatiana was born in Oregon to Russian Orthodox Christian refugee parents. Neither of her parents attended school beyond the eighth grade. She learned a strong work ethic as a child when around the age of five she, along with her siblings and cousins, was put to work on the family berry farm during the summers in the poor farming town of Woodburn, Oregon. She went on to attend Reed College in Portland on a scholarship and worked summers, weekends and holidays to make up the difference in her financial aid package. After graduating, she moved to New York City in 1998. She converted to Hinduism in 2006 and has since traveled to India on pilgrimage many times. Today, she is an entrepreneur, an Upledger and Barral Institute-trained cranio-sacral/manual therapist, and co-founder of Siva Ashram. Prior to moving to Costa Rica, she ran a busy private practice and holistic healthcare clinic in New York City for 11 years.

When Dandapani and Tatiana lived in New York City, they spent a lot of their free time designing and planning Siva Ashram. They traveled to Costa Rica twice a year, working 12-hour days alongside a small team of hard-working, dedicated locals to design and build the gardens, and plant the thousands of trees and plants in Siva Ashram’s botanical gardens.

Neither Tatiana nor Dandapani come from wealth and when they met, neither had much money in their bank accounts. But they share the belief that people can manifest big dreams if they practice Gurudeva’s tools with a disciplined and methodical approach. For many years they sacrificed personal comforts in order to manifest the vision of Siva Ashram. They lived in a humble apartment in Queens, New York and after paying living expenses, they put 100% of their earnings toward the creation of Siva Ashram. Siva Ashram is an example of what can be accomplished by those who apply the tools consistently, stay focused and work hard to manifest their dreams.

In 2020 when the global pandemic hit, they fast-forwarded their life plan by a few years and moved from New York to Costa Rica in order to help move the project forward.

“Deep within you is the essence of all energy. It is up to you to channel that force. ”

~ Gurudeva Subramuniyaswami

“Proper visualization by the exercise of concentration and willpower enables us to materialize thoughts, not only as dreams or visions in the mental realm but also as experiences in the material realm.”

~ Paramahansa Yogananda