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…
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. O. P. Tiwari, Member, Governing Council, Indian Yoga Association
Founding Organisation / Part of Organisation:
Kaivalyadham S.M.Y.M. Samiti, Lonavala
Country & State:
India / Maharashtra/ Mumbai
About Dr. O. P. Tiwari
Dr. O. P. Tiwari is a student of Swami Kuvalyananda. One of the few masters teaching Pranayama practice with a classical technique, where the scientific outlook harmonizes with traditional wisdom. He is a humble man who does not try to prove anything, but with integrity, and sincerity passes on the practice of Yoga in the traditional way.
He arrived at Kaivalyadhama in 1958 and spend time under the direct guidance of the founder Swami Kuvalyananda. In 1965, he was nominated as the Secretary of the Trust Kaivalyadhama. At the age of 90, he continues his teachings with all humility and simplicity, to contribute towards the society. His primary objective in life is to serve the vision of his teacher Swami Kuvalyananda, and believes in ensuring that Yoga is not diluted.
Who is a Guru?
Guru is one who has experience teaching. A guru is one who knows completely well the origin, the technique and its results. There is a very good saying in our text: Guru kije jan ke pani piye chan ke.
The literal translation of guru is someone who is a “dispeller of darkness.” The darkness here is ignorance. A guru guides the spiritual progress of their students. A true guru is one who, in his attainment of self-mastery, has realized his identity with the omnipresent Spirit. Such a one is uniquely qualified to lead the seeker on his or her inward journey toward perfection.
What is Pranayama?
Pranayama is a breathing practice wherein between the inhalation and exhalation the pause of breath comes. Pranayama means a pause in the movement of breath. In Sanskrit, prana means breath and ayama means a pause.
In yoga, prana also represents the physical forces of light, heat, magnetism, and energy.
How important is Guru- shishya parampara for sustaining the social structure of our Society at large?
It is very important and that is why our society is alive, our sanskara, samskruti are alive, things are coming from 1000 years because of Guru-Shishya parampara. The guru-shishya relationship is the highest. It is based on unconditional divine love and wisdom. It is the loftiest and most sacred of all relationships.
Please let us know something about your journey? How satisfactory has it been?
I am a very simple person born in a middle-class family. I lost my father when I was 7 years old, but I had a principle of a disciplined life because of my family. I am a pure vegetarian who does not eat garlic and onions. After doing my post-graduation from Allahabad University, I decided to come to Kaivalyadhama to be a student of yoga which gave me a real direction in life. I have studied and practiced yoga all my life and today I continue doing the same. Finally, I say that I am a very happy and content person with total satisfaction.
If Pranayama is practiced over a long period of time, what kind of effects it can have on a body?
If you practice yoga from a growth point of you, where physical psychological and spiritual aspects are taken into consideration it will take a sufficiently long time. For this you should be ready to have a long patience period.
I remember a small anecdote: Shree Ram asked the same questions to his Guru, the answer from his guru was ‘Ram there are many Vasana’s in the mind and this takes a long time to free from them’. The same is applicable to us, one has to be ready with patience.
Yoga and Pranayama are now seen as separate entities. How justified is this differentiation?
Pranayama is a part of Yoga it is not away from yoga, and it requires the current technique of Pranayama as we know it is the fourth step in Ashtanga yoga. Yoga is the generic term coined for physical, mental, and spiritual practices aimed at attaining a state of permanent peace.
Pranayama is a means of attaining higher states of awareness. In this materialistic world to what extend this philosophy works?
It works perfectly but one should know how to lead life. One very necessary thing is, you should always remember in our life the problem is not in the mind but the mind is the problem. It is said by Abyasena Prayatnena Lalit Chitta Balakam.
Please elaborate on the relation of the between asana and pranayama.
Asana is divided into 2— meditative and cultural. Meditative asana takes care of your seating. Asana helps in refreshing the mind and strengthening the muscles. Pranayama helps in improving the capacity of the respiratory system. Pranayama induces a positive effect on the body. Breathing exercise helps in energizing and healing the body.
How does awareness of breath helps in overcoming stress?
The real question of this problem is stress is your mind you cannot attend to two things at one time. Either be aware of what you are practising or be aware of the stress. Focusing on the breath helps you to be aware of your prana and because you are focusing on the breath you are not focusing on stress.
Can regulation of breath help in regeneration of cells?
Yes. It helps all body functions.
Can pranayama reduce suffering- mental, physical, emotional?
Yes, it does because it helps all functions of our body and mind.
In the last two years we witnessed that yoga and pranayama helped a large percentage of population overcome corona virus. In spite of such positive results people are unable to add pranayama and yoga in their daily routine. Your comments
It is up to your own perception. If it is beneficial, people have a choice to do Pranayama and Yoga. It is not only for Pranayama and Yoga but also other beneficial things which are good for people but many times people don’t choose what is good for them.
Another thing is nowadays it is difficult to find a good teacher.
Can we add more years to our life with pranayama?
Yes, I am a living example, provided it is practiced correctly.
Catch them young. How appropriate is this phrase when it comes to practicing pranayama?
It is said that yoga should be started when one attends the age of 11 and 12. When they start young they will adopt all yogic attitudes which will help to mold into a better, healthy, peaceful and meaningful life.
It is an era of customisation. Can pranayama be customized?
Yoga is not for sale, it is to experience for the benefit of the body and mind.