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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24 Sep 2023


Heart-to-Heart with the Guru
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. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi, Member, Governing Council, Indian Yoga Association. He is also the Director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India

Founding Organisation / Part of Organisation: Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, Govt. of India

Designation: Director


Country & State: India / Delhi

About Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi
Dr. Ishwar V. Basavaraddi is the Director of Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi, under Ministry of Ayush, Government of India since June 2005. He is Head of the Institution of Yoga Certification Board of Ministry of Ayush, Government of India since 2018. He is also the Head of the Center WHO CC for Traditional Medicine (Yoga), since 2013. He is a renowned yoga scientist, a philosopher and an eminent yoga master. He is recognised as one of the eminent yoga educationist and yoga expert of the country. He has more than 33 years of experience in yoga teaching, training therapy and research.

Who is a Guru?

गुशब्दस्त्वन्धकारः स्यात्‌ रुशब्दस्तन्निरोधकः।
अन्धकारनिरोधित्वात्‌ गुरुरित्यभिधीयते ॥

Guru Word made by GU + Ru, Gu means darkness and ru which stands for light that dispels it. The guru is seen as the one who ‘dispels the darkness of ignorance’.

How important is Guru- shishya parampara for sustaining the social structure of our society at large?

Guru-shishya parampara has been an important part of education in ancient Indian culture. The parampara involves the tradition of a living and learning relationship between the Guru and the Shishya, signifying the emotions, intellectual and spiritual bonding between them. This bond leads the shishya from ignorance to wisdom and enlightenment. This relationship is not only a part of education, but also a milestone in the life of human being in the society.

A healthy mind in a healthy body can do wonders. How can yoga help in achieving this goal?
Yogic practices are mind centric. The process of mind-body coordination starts with detoxification, diet modification, neuro-muscular coordination through yogasana, regulate breathing practice through pranayama, withdrawal or inward of sensory through pratyahara, this leads to concentration (dharana) and dhyana (meditation) happens. This is Yoga technology to keep both body and mind in harmony and achieve the desire goals.

Yoga is a union which provides peace amidst the purposeless chaos of the current times. How?

  • Yoga is for personal development at all levels.
  • Yoga helps to bring harmony between the mind and body.
  • Regular practice of Yoga can keep families and communities together and build harmony at every level.
  • Yoga can prevent diseases and promotes health.
  • Yoga helps in achieving inner peace. We can always control what goes on the inside. This is the beauty and power of Yoga to balance you inside out.

Yoga and Ayurveda are two sides of the same coin but still are two different entities. Should they be treated as two?
Ayurveda is a science of life and helps primarily to maintain the physical health of a person. It is a way of happy and healthy living by adopting the practice of Yoga. Yoga and Ayurveda together form a complete approach for optimal health, vitality and higher awareness. Both are from ancient Indian traditions and complementary to each other. We can get more and more benefits while we accept both together rather than independently.

Yoga originated in India, it is our science. Are we really taking advantage of the age-old science we are so proud of?

Today is a proud occasion for all Indians as people across the globe are celebrating IDY. The ancient, physical, mental and intellectual practice which brings about a union between the mind and body, man and nature.

IDY has brought Yoga closer to people like never before. Your comments.

  • PM addresses to UN General Assembly and said:-
  • “Yoga is an invaluable gift of our ancient Indian tradition” after that UNGA in 2014 suggested June 21st to be proclaimed International Day of Yoga.
  • Yoga has proved to be a very powerful set of practices which can be practiced by all from children to youth and youth to elderly to advocates purity of mind, speech and body, acceptance of others, perseverance, self-study, self-reflection and contemplation of the supreme consciousness.

It won’t be incorrect to say that Yoga and Ayurveda helped the entire country fight COVID-19 and emerge as winners. Still people lack faith in the ancient wisdom. Your comments.
According to some Journal reports that number of doing Yoga has grown up during last pandemic period and even use of Ayurvedic herbs/ Kadha etc. during COVID-19 without any side effects.

What do you think is the most significant aspect of Yoga in the national context?

Yoga is essentially a spiritual discipline based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body, man and nature, which ultimately leads to get freedoms from all kinds of suffering.

Too much stress is being given on physical well-being while emotional and mental health is equally important. Yoga balances all these aspects at the same time. Please elaborate.

Yoga generally taken as a fitness entity to keep the body fit where the emphasis on bodily posture (asana). However, UN resolution recognizes that Yoga provide a holistic approach to health and well-being and wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing Yoga for the health of the world population. Whoever practices Yoga regularly, slowly start giving importance to physical, mental and emotional well-being too, which are ingredients of practice of asana, pranayama, dhyana, yuktahara and yuktakarma. The holistic approach of Yoga practice is being accepted slowly worldwide which is positive step towards the promotion of Yoga.

How important is the scientific validation of yoga asanas and why?

Yoga asanas is the 3rd limb of Ashtanga Yoga. It strengthens musculoskeletal system and improves performance and helps to achieve other limb of Ashtanga Yoga. Many research articles has already been published and provide the information regarding immediate, short term and long term effects of many Yoga asanas. It covers the beneficial effects of asanas on cardiovascular system, respiratory system, musculoskeletal system, metabolism and other systems. Validation has very much importance. However, textual references need more rigorous scientific research for validation. Upon the validation, therapist may choose proper asanas for the formulation of proper Yoga protocol for any disease condition. Also, society will be benefitted to formulate group Yoga protocol.

With commercialisation of Yoga, fear of adulteration has also come along. Your comments.

There are various form of Yoga coming in the society with commercialization and adulterations. It is the duty of all Yoga gurus/ Sadhaks/ Institute to support the steps taken by Government to prevent such initiatives with feasibility. It is necessary to stop wrong practices exercises in the form of Yoga.

Please elaborate on the difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy.

Yoga is a system of health and well-being, Yoga therapy is its byproduct.

Yoga is an invaluable gift of ancient Indian tradition. It embodies unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature and a holistic approach to health and well-being.

Yoga therapy addresses only some of diseases condition based upon the ancient concept and practice of Yoga chikitsa which also included the Ayurvedic concept of healing like tridosha, dhatu etc.

Concept and principle of Yoga therapy has not mentioned in Yogic text. However, it is observed that Yoga as a therapy could not be complete system of therapy without ample understanding of Ayurveda. Yoga therapy is a specialized subject’s needs medical and traditional Yoga knowledge to be imparted by the competent qualified Yoga professionals.

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