the heart and soul of karuna
meet Arun - the founder
Arun’s journey of transformation began in India while growing up in a complex environment of not only a loving family and profound religiosity but also personal sexual abuse and domestic violence. While his story may be different, the narrative is the same as that of many others. The stress and trauma of the early years continued to shape his adulthood including the constant pursuit of answers to existential questions – Why am I here? What’s my purpose? How can life become peaceful and happy? How can science solve the puzzle of human mental wellbeing? What answers are buried in ancient wisdom, including in different religions, to alleviate suffering? Among others. This journey ultimately culminated in the founding of karuna – the desire to remove suffering through unbound compassion.
Arun obtained his formal undergraduate education in hospitality management and also in business administration in India. He came to the United States in 1988 and completed his MBA from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, in the year 2000. In 2019, in order to inform his work with orphans and abused children in Costa Rica, he completed a Masters in Clinical Psychology and Education with a focus on Spirituality, Mind & Body, from Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Over the past 25 years, Arun has built a successful entrepreneurial practice in financial services. It is through the fruits of this labor that Karuna has become a reality.
Arun loves to travel to explore and understand new cultures and their practices. While nature inspires deep creativity and spiritual insights, gastronomy and oenology nourish his body. Insightful conversations, hiking in nature, music, yoga and meditation feed his mind and soul. He is the proud father of two amazing daughters who are working hard to bring about social change and wellbeing in their own unique ways.
Over the last few decades, mounting evidence has been produced by preeminent scholars, researchers, and scientists from institutions around the globe, showing that asking the question "what's good in us" versus "what's wrong with us" can completely shift the dialogue about mental health and wellbeing. This science falls under the broad umbrella of positive psychology, but other branches of science, such as neuroscience, psychiatry, endocrinology, and even psychoneuroendocrinology (yes, there is such a thing) are deeply engaged in this important work. Additionally, these fields of modern science are merging with and even drawing inspiration from many bodies of ancient wisdom to help create a more holistic approach to wellbeing. This merging of mind, body, and spirituality is now at the forefront of the wellbeing movement taking place across the globe.
karuna, as a leader and an active participant in this movement, leans on a prominent group of scientists, researchers, practitioners, academics, and consultants to inform our work. These highly accomplished individuals from acclaimed universities and institutions around the world comprise karuna's Scientific Advisory Board. We are deeply grateful for their work and contributions to support karuna in this compassion movement.