A Buddhist practitioner, he is an ordained teacher (Dharmacharya) in the Zen tradition of the Vietnamese Master, Thich Nhat Hanh. He teaches in India and other countries and has been leading well acclaimed pilgrimages "In the Footsteps of the Buddha" since 1988. In the last few years he has been leading inter-faith, educational, cultural and spiritual journeys to diverse regions of India. At the same time, he has been deeply involved with social and ecological development issues for over 20 years.
He is on the Government of India’s expert committee for the Promotion of Buddhist teaching and learning (including advising on the development of the Buddhist sites for pilgrimage/tourism), has trained guides for the Government of India and UNESCO, is on the Indian executive of the inter faith group Temple of Understanding, and has addressed a number of forums and universities including the Chicago Council of Global Affairs, the World President’s organisation (WPO), the Young President’s organisation (YPO), the UNDP executive board among others.
He has contributed to a number of books including 'Walking with the Buddha', 'I Have Arrived, I Am Home' and 'Volunteers Against Conflict'. He has also been a consultant on films including 'Life of the Buddha' made by the BBC/Discovery and Michael Wood’s ‘The Story of India’ by BBC/PBS. He had helped Mira Nair when she was working on her film version of the Buddha with Warner Bros and Martin Meissonnier while he was working on the Life of Buddha for Arte (French TV). He is presently working on a Hollywood production entitled 'Buddha'.
Shantum has taught on a half hour weekly TV programme on Zee TV, called Buddham Saranam Gachami (I take Refuge in the Buddha) and has appeared on other Indian TV stations such as Doordarshan and NDTV. He has offered programmes for radio on BBC and Doordarshan among others. He and his work have been featured in many magazines and newspapers including, National Geographic, Qantas (in flight), New York Times, Newsweek, Times of India, Outlook, India Today and Hindustan Times.