Yoga Paramparas Revealed

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IYA Central Secretariat’s Outreach Efforts 

On the 19th July, IYA team including Prof Kambhampati Subrahmanyam, Sri DR Kaarthikeyan and Ravi Tumuluri visited Rajarajeshwari Temple and paid their respects to Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Puri Mahaswamiji, the present pontiff of Sri Kailash Ashrama Mahasamshtana. Sri Sri Sri Tiruchi Swamigal was the…

Daaji’s Message from Kanha! 

Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…

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28 May 2023


Heart-to-Heart with the Guru

Heart-to-Heart with the Guru 

गुरुर्ब्रह्मा ग्रुरुर्विष्णुः गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः ।
गुरुः साक्षात् परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः ॥

Guru is light, Guru is wisdom. Gu is darkness and Ru means light. Guru is someone who mentors the shishya (disciple) and pulls him out of darkness and takes him towards light. Guru acts as a guiding light and takes the shishya from ignorance to enlightenment. Guru is dispeller of darkness. Guru-shishya parampara is ingrained in our tradition. It is an inevitable part of our culture. Taking this tradition forward, Indian Yoga Association brings to you a candid tête-à-tête with Dr HR Nagendra, President, Indian Yoga Association

Founding Organisation / Part of Organisation:
Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana / Swami Vivekananda Anusandhana Samsthana / Swami Vivekananda Yoga Prakashana

Chancellor / President / President

Website: / /

Country & State:
India / Karnataka / Bangalore

Special Techniques Developed / Improvised:
CM (Cyclic Meditation), PET (Pranic Energisation Technique), MSRT (Mind Sound Resonance Technique), MEMT (Mastering the Emotions Technique), MIRT (Mind Imagery Technique), VISAK (Vijnana Sadhana Kausala) and ANAMS (Anandamrita Sincana)

Who is a Guru?

A Guru is an entity that removes ignorance and darkness and takes us into the light of knowledge. As Swami Atmapriyananda mentioned, probably the first candidate who learned remotely from a distance was Ekalavya.
Any source of knowledge and wisdom may probably be equated to a Guru. These days, there is a plethora of knowledge and wisdom. The teaching methodologies and techniques, with the advent of such technologies as artificial intelligence, make learning very interesting and scalable, removing the distance.

But a person whom you accept will be ideal as a Guru. And the person can change as you grow. A primary school teacher is enough as Guru and as you go to secondary and higher secondary and college and Ph.D. levels, you need bigger Gurus!

It is the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where teachings are transmitted from a guru “teacher” after the formal diksha. How can this guru-shishya prampara be enriched and revived?

In places like Prashanti, a gurukul system can be found. Prashanti is a gurukul for higher education. In a gurukul, guru-shishya parampara can be seen. Similarly, there are a few gurukuls which start at age of 9 years for the children. Prof Ramachandra Bhat is a founder of a number of such gurukuls.

What seems to have qualified a gurukul is a closed campus where teachers stay with the students close to help the students anytime. This will probably help in reviving the Guru-Shishya Parampara. It is important the learning is such that we go back to our original home or our Sahaja Svarupa. But what with modern-day technology, learning has come to the student’s doorstep.

What is Spirituality?

Spirituality is to search for Reality within us. Regular, continuous, and consistent practice is a must. Swamiji has brought in a concept called ‘practical Vedanta’. He says that Indian children need football more than books as the children have become lazy, Taamasik. So first need is that we should shatter our Tamasik nature.

Football or any other rigorous sport such as kabaddi may be a relevant example that brings a person to become Rajasik. Then he has to raise to the level of Satva and then to Gunatita Sthiti.

What is the relevance of spirituality in contemporary scenarios?

Spirituality is essential for developing total personality. As science has become important in our lives, Spirituality widens its horizon for the whole creation from its search only in the physical world.

How does one become spiritual doing yoga?

Yoga is the tool for spiritual growth – using the body as the mechanism and using the power of the will, emotions and intellect to reach our causal state which is also the causal state of all creation.

Yoga is holistic. Can we say the same about Spirituality?

Yes. Spirituality is also Holistic.

Common man is unable to differentiate between Spirituality and religion. As the Guru, please guide?

Religion is a code or a framework created to bring discipline, ethics, and integrity. It is the doctrine of the way of a good life. Spirituality is the science that explains why one should be ethical or act with integrity. It is an ancient science called Sanatana Dharma encompassing the whole creation and beyond.

Yoga is gradually gaining momentum. Still the journey seems to be long. Your views.

Yoga has come a long way. Swami Kuvalyananda started the modern scientific journey. We at VYASA / S-VYASA have taken the journey forward. We have come a long since our first paper was published in 1985 in which we proved the efficacy of yoga practices for Bronchial Asthma. More than 200 questions were asked before it got published. Now, many papers have been published.

Our Prime Minister, Sri Narendra Modi Ji, made Yoga universally accepted by giving a clarion call in the UNO. This has since been accepted by the whole world.

Yoga practice may be positively associated with several aspects of spirituality. Can this be said for both Eastern and Western approaches to yoga?

Yoga in this right vision is associated with Spirituality. But distorted practices of Yoga are not. We must encourage the beginning of the yogic journey as physical practices – Yogasanas in all. Yoga is to grow continuously towards Moksha or total Freedom from all stresses and tension, diseases, bondages. It may take many lifetimes for this attainment. Till such time, we should continue our journey.

Classic yoga displays a remarkable vision of holistic living. Why are we resisting?

In this modern-day, we are drawn more by instant gratification. While technological advances have made life comfortable, yoga is all about regular, continuous, and consistent practice. In search of happiness, we are seeking only sense pleasures. Without a proper understanding of what happiness is, we are lost. Today’s lifestyle has become contrary to this.

What would be more relevant are Swamiji’s words: “Each Soul is potentially Divine. The goal of life is to manifest this Divinity within by controlling nature External and Internal. Do it by Work or Worship, Philosophy or Psychic control; by one or more or all of these and be Free”

This COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener for all of us who had been leading a life sans physical activity. The eight-limbed approach to self-realisation should be the goal. Why is it missing from our lives?

Yes. It has made people stay home for a longer duration. Thing p the families. Learning to work from home. Using the Online approach. Reaching people all over the world sitting from home. The eight-limbed approach to reach Moksha or Kaivalya should be the goal.

People may describe a spiritual experience as sacred or transcendent or simply a deep sense of aliveness and interconnectedness. Can we say yoga and spirituality are the two sides of the same coin?


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