Notes and quotes from various lectures

Geeta on Guruji: December 13th

She is tired from teaching for 5 days and giving talks.  When the speech is tired, everything is tired; body, mind and breath.

My mother and father have guided me throughout.  Guruji was a different child.  He had a way of looking, observing, watching. Everyone thought his life would be short.  He had a limited education.  But education is not as important as we think.  Yet he touched everywhere.  He was hardly with his Guru Krishnamacharya.  Only 2 and a half years and a few asanas.  He couldn’t touch his knees in forward bends. 

If you are stiff you can follow Guruji and your stiffness will be broken.

His knees and elbows were always bent.  He had to start yoga from his body – his first instrument.  It was in a poor state.  Physical exertion and physical weakness was there.  Except for physical exertion, he knew nothing. Everything was exertion.

Guruji was a very angry person.  He will give a short hit exactly on the part that is not working. The touch of his had a close relationship with many.  In front of nourished bodies this un-nourished body was in front of them trying to teach them in college.  Try to picture this.  So many jumpings and backbendings.  Nobody taught him sequencing but he knew.  He never used the wall for sirsasana to balance but when students said they could not balance, he told them to go to the wall.  He invented the wall as a prop.  It had not been done before.  Please understand this.

He was very disciplined.  What had to come after started with his own body so people could start to understand their own body.  He has already discovered what to do because he has practiced it and understood it.  He won’t accept your practice if is not in the box of  the yamas (non violence, truth, non stealing, not wasting energy, not to be greedy), and the niyamas (burning zeal, self study, cleanliness, contentment, devotion).  Dharana (focus) is connected with the body and dharana is connected to dhyana (meditation).  One aspect affects the other.  Be inside yoga.  In the beginning of your practice yama and niyama are big, but eventually they become subtle. Non violence is not only on the outside but also on the inside.

Abhyasa (disciplined practice) and viaragya (detachment, removing the obstacles from practice).  No one can become desireless without practice.

We neglect this.  This concept of yoga is not understood.  Viaragya has to be developed.   It is not giving up.  It is an inner disassociation/desirelessness that comes from an absolutely practiced yogi. 

Our consciousness has everything in it.  The good, the bad, mostly bad things! we are bad but project ourselves as very good.  This is why we behave impurely.  Convert the impure consciousness with practice.

Guruji did this.  He never used the word exercise.  An asana is a cleansing.  His philosophy is not based on academic philosophy.  He was a healer, teacher, philosopher, friend.  He talked in aphorisms.  He showed how the consciousness (citta) can move from vyutthana (rising thoughts), to nirodha (restrained thoughts) to ekagra (one pointed thought) to santa citta (peaceful thought)  Yoga is a consultation process until we reach this sharp end of citta. 

Sirsasana, sarvangasana is a must because the body has to be cleansed.  There have to be forward bends and back bends.  They affect our consciousness in different ways.   There is no question of likes or dislikes.  Somewhere, the asana will help you.  Some people ask me if Iyengar yoga will continue – why worry about such things.

The siddhis (powers): let’s not think of them as accomplishments or not.  Look at them as a step.  At every level of our practice there are siddhis.  Even in the yamas and niyamas.  One muscle has the depth to connect all the levels of our consciousness towards samadhi (total absorption).  Each has it’s own depth.  Cells that have that inner energy.  The chakras connect from the body to the transformation of citta.  But it didn’t happen for him – he left before he could reach that. 

There is a divinity in him.  He will be reincarnated.  What we know is only a quarter of him.  He did his practice and his sadhana and experienced everything. 

Prashant said that Guruji was like an ocean and we are specks.