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 

Founding Organisation / Part of Organisation: Former Technical Adviser and Former Managing Trustee, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram

Designation: Yoga Therapist Consultant


Country & State: India / Chennai, Mandaveli

About Sri Sridharan S

S. Sridharan, 72 years old, is the senior most teacher of the Krishnamacharya Yoga
Mandiram (KYM). He is presently the Senior Yoga Therapist, Consultant and Mentor at KYM.
He had a successful career as a Merchant Banker in a Public-Sector Bank for 28 years. He became a student of T.K.V. Desikachar in 1980s and learnt the nuances of Yoga in the ‘Gurukula’ style directly for over 3 decades during which time, he was exposed to all the important texts in Yoga and application of Yoga for illnesses and spirituality. He also learnt Vedic Chanting in the traditional style under his teacher. During this period, he had to divide his time between a banking career and learning and teaching Yoga under the tutelage of Desikachar.

Who is a Guru?

The one who has been responsible for bringing in mental clarity and showing a direction. In Sanskrit there are two words which are often used synonymously. They are Guru and Ācārya which is used to denote ‘teacher’. In the context of Yoga, Ācārya, by definition, can be considered to be more relevant as Yoga is a ‘Anuśāsana Śāstra’, i.e., the branch of knowledge with emphasis on practice.  Ācārya is “one who after studying and practising undertakes teaching and spreading the knowledge.”

Whom do you consider your Guru?

My Yogācārya is Shri T K V Desikachar, son and disciple of Shri T Krishnamacharya. 

A healthy mind in a healthy body can do wonders. How can yoga help in achieving this goal?

Yoga looks at the human system wholistically. The body mind link is brought out by the concept that both the body and the mind are made up of the same ‘three Guṇa-s’. Mind is the subtlest part and the cause, while Body is the grossest part and effect.  Thus, any change in anyone of these two will have immediate and simultaneous consequence.  The Aṣṭāñga-Yoga model addresses the mind body complex by proposing solutions for the body, breath and mind with an interlink, as Āsana (body) leads to Prāṇāyāma (breath) which in turn leads to Dhyānam (mind). 

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

Any branch of knowledge which traces its origin to Vedas are passed on through the Parampara way for preservation of exclusive features.  The teachings are based on the experience-based knowledge and not simply what was learnt and memorised. They include the way of life and value system.  The Guru/Ācārya is a role model and a living guide to the student. 
A potential student is developed and moulded to be a teacher and certified by the Guru to teach, initially under his/her guidance and later independently.

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

Yes. The percentage of population who are taking to Yoga as a practice is increasing multifold. The flip side is the threat to quality.  The demand for yoga teachers has increased.  A sense of urgency has developed to get to teaching fast. There is a need to deal with this trend.

Is Yoga applicable to the society at large also? How is yoga relevant for groups of individuals? Does yoga influence the society through individuals practice?

Human beings continue to live as a community and the changes at the individual level affect the community as well.  Even during the recent pandemic impact of Covid, the talk is on “Herd Immunity” which means the Immunity level of the community as a whole.  This is made up of the improvement of the immunity of every individual.  Yoga makes individuals healthy and the summation of this is reflected as the level of the society.  This is just not physical but extend to psychological, emotional and spiritual aspects as well.

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

The wholistic approach.  Yoga practice can lead to reduce tensions within the nations and at the global level.  Yoga is the only solution to make the planet a place of peaceful living. 

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

The efficacy of Yoga as therapy tool is important aspect of the scientific validation.  This makes the doctors to recommend Yoga as an integral part of the therapeutic process.

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

This is true.  Commercialisation cannot be avoided but adulteration can be avoided.  Strict quality control is the key.

Please elaborate on the difference between Yoga and Yoga Therapy.

Yoga Therapy involves use of yoga tools, such as Āsana, Prāṇāyāma and Dhyānam to alleviate illnesses. There are references in Yoga Sūtra, Haṭhayogapradīpikā, Yoga Yājñavalkya Samhita, etc on this aspect of Yoga.  Illness is considered as an impediment in the path of Yoga for higher purposes. Yoga, in general, is meant to remove suffering fully and finally.

Would you like to give a message our Yogavāṇi readers?

Yoga is the only succour to lead a healthy and happy life in the midst of all challenges Yoga means ‘union’.  Let the whole world be united peacefully through Yoga and make the Planet liveable healthily. Yogavāṇi is doing an excellent service by spreading the message of yoga and bringing all interested together.

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