Kashmir Lost Its Only Female Transpersonal Counsellor To Mt Everest

KL Report


Renu Fotadar
Renu Fotadar

As the death toll in Nepal’s devastating earthquake is nearing three thousands, Kashmir lost its only qualified female transpersonal counsellor, Ms Renu Fotedar.

Mother of two sons (aged 17 and 15), she was on her first trip to Mount Everest and had last contacted her Mumbai relatives including her sons on eve of the devastating earthquake from Makalu First base camp, her family sources said.

While it was confirmed that she had reached Base Camp 1 on April 24, there was no contact as her son Tushar tried to use social networking sites to trace her mom.

“I have lost contact with my mother at Everest base camp just before the avalanche struck. Please help me find her by retweeting her photo. Any help is appreciated,” the status at Tushar’s newly created Twitter account said.

Ms Fotedar was among those who had been killed in an avalanche on the mountain. At least 19 people at the Mount Everest base camp were killed in the avalanche, triggered by the quake. Expedition leaders said an American, Australian and Chinese national were among the dead.

Renu was an Australian passport holder and was operating her holistic and transpersonal counselling practice from Melbourne, and recently from Switzerland. As a ‘motivational’ speaker, she has an impressive fan following. She was the founder of life coaching provider Athena International. She was supposed to fly to Rome for a conference after spending two months in Nepal. She also edited a magazine Sophia.

Born and brought up in Srinagar, Renu was married to businessman Lokesh Fotedar. They shifted from Delhi to Australia after they got the citizenship. She along with her parents migrated to Udhampur wherefrom she went to Delhi for studies. A mountaineer, she climbed Tanzanian Mount Kilimanjaro last year.

Renu was considered a transformational leader who helped people set in the productive mind set and valuable strategies in order to create a better future and fearless grid of life. She had been conducting work-shops on leadership skills and women’s spirituality across the contents and has been working in various countries.

“It is effortless in me,” Renu told a reporter about being what she was. “Language, food, literature, mythology, rituals, sense of humor…all of this is embedded in my DNA. In that sense you can call me a real BATIEN, living & working across the continents, yet bringing forward feminine essence of Kashmir where ever I go.”

Renu was part of the tens of thousands of Pandits who left Kashmir in 1990s. After trying her hand at ventures, which turned out be successful, she could not avoid what was destined for her – the spiritualism, a website wrote about her last year. “As a young Kashmiri girl, she found her interest in Kashmiri Shaivism and Greek Mythology and frequent visit to Dargaahs and the Church next to Women’s College just a tool of enhancement for her towards what she is doing today.

Probably, the only one from her generation who is a qualified transpersonal counsellor with a background of psychotherapy, transpersonal psychology, neuro-linguistic program and a executive & life coach,” it added.

An occasional blogger, she once wrote on rituals, informing she has grown up with grandmothers and had always an opportunity of being part of some of the most brilliantly powerful performed rituals.

“Even though these women of Kashmir were never formally educated in the field of Psychology and Meta physics, they had inherited, the age old wisdom of rituals partly by the virtue of being part of the community they belonged, partly through their spiritual intelligence they exuded in their daily practical routines of life,” she wrote.

“May it be Laleshwari, Roop Bawani, or my grandmothers, these women of Kashmir, did derive some sort of power from these rituals that was keeping them grounded with the realities of life.”

Even though they may or may not have gone into the mechanics behind these rituals, they still had that great inclination to perform them constantly as and when they got time and the opportunity after the daily chores – delivered them well with utmost confidence, passion brilliance and love.

“As an adult as I studied Meta physics, behavioural sciences and transpersonal psychology, I recognized the power of these rituals in our daily life. And started helping people to create ‘fearless grid of life’,” she wrote.


Her last blog was about Suffering which went live on March 5, 2015. Here we reproduce it for the benefit of readers:

There are times in our life when we suffer and through the experience we learn lessons that would not have otherwise brought understanding, tolerance, love and empathy into our life.

Most of us at some point in time or another in our life face suffering. Suffering is not optional, what is optional is how long do we want to suffer. Our responsibility is to enhance the capacity of awareness that can check and balance our deliberating behaviours and extracting life negating patterns. That means the behaviour via DNA or by deep awareness will not be carried on to the present and consequently into the future. Unresolved suffering can become an addiction. This type of addiction is a fulfilling way for some people to feel important.

Suffering comes from your personal mythology and about what is happening in your life and much less about what is actually happening emotionally or physically. More than 70% illness is psychological. Understanding and healing this personal mythology, which can carry different levels of understandings and interpretations, brings end to the suffering. Look at your, personal mythology from different angles and once you interpret your history with different perspectives that will begin to transform your reality.

I am aghast at the many who hold grudges against those who they say they love. Isn’t the love thing then a lie and probably an addiction too. The old pattern of holding a person to a story or indiscretion that happened often long ago, equates to ‘delight in suffering’ and becomes an addiction and addiction to a suffering.

This pattern of suffering can be carried in the DNA for generations. How sad is it, to pass such debilitating behaviours to the children and even to the children that are not yet born. According to new research work carried in transpersonal psychology and age old shamanic methodology of healing, your concerns, happiness, sadness etc run until next 100 years in the family even after your death !!!! That means effect is up till the third generation.

When you see the reality you are carrying within yourself from different angles, you shift your experience of your reality outside the boundaries of your mind the logic box and start exercising your other resources like, EQ, (emotional intelligence) & SQ (spiritual intelligence) these resources allow you comprehend life’s vastness, at the same time deepen further your gratitude for life…..with this understanding , you only suffer, if you choose to,

And do not forget, when you well-up with empathy, care and active kindness for those who suffer through abuse, loss of life, loss of freedom, loss of ability. You invite understanding, tolerance, love and empathy into your being-ness. Emotional suffering can produce real physical pain in the body. With this understanding most professionals in the medical world now advocate that pain must be managed at psychological levels otherwise, the body may heal but the pain remain active!!!!!

After the mysterious death of Sunanda Pushkar, Renu is the second Kashmiri prominent pandit to lose her life. RIP, Renu!


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