and to ascribe materials to ancientfounders to make them more authentic.Even my father, Krishnamacharya,invented parts of his teaching. I know that he wrote down several passagesin his early life which he changed inhis later life. He also authored workshimself, much like, in ancient times,ancient scholars would do and thennever acknowledge that they had doneso. Divine intervention or not [
],these scholars always claimed that texts were by some superhuman being ratherthan themselves. So, naturally, they would say that Shiva was the composerbecause Shiva is a supernatural being,rather than just an ordinary individual. And, yes, of course, they talked aboutsubtleties and superhuman powers, but we don’t know how they perceived this. We have to rely on textual evidenceand can only assume that there wasan esoteric teaching running parallel with their texts. Subtleties such as the
s [nerve pathways] and variousenergy channels are mentioned in theUpanishads and it is evident that thesepeople had an insight into them, but itis not easy for us to understand wherethey derived their knowledge from. LikeShankaracharya, for example, who saidhe learned everything from Gaudapada.But who was Gaudapada? at’s why they say,
gurubhyo param apnoti
, whichmeans a person’s clarity should highlighthis teacher, not himself. One shouldnever tell anybody where a mantra wasreceived from. Instead, one should only speak of the guru, never of the mantra.at’s the universal law.
I don’t know for certain.I only know what my guru taught me.But many texts mention the
sMatsyendranath, Goraknath, Vamana,but before them, there were other
s. Yoga is at least two to threethousand years old, if not older.
W NUE H YOFROM OER YL FNEEXERE?Desikachar:
According to various texts,“
. When thesetwo energy channels,
, mergetogether in the
[spinal nadi],there is a complete understanding of Hatha yoga. Hatha also means power orforce, but whatever the interpretation,I believe that the union of these twomajor
s produces a harmonizinginﬂuence on the body and hence allowsus to experience yoga.
] Yoga is notphysical—very wrong! Hatha yoga can,of course, be used as external exerciseonly, but that is not its real beneﬁt. Yogacan go very deep and touch the soulof man. When it is performed in theright way, over a long period of time,the nervous system is puriﬁed, and sois the mind. As the Bhagavad Gita istelling us.
Yatato hyapi Kaunteya purshasya vipashcitah indriyani pramathini haranti prasabham manah Tani sarvani samyamya yukta asita matparah Vase hi yasyendriyani tasya prajna pratishtita BG 2:60-61
Controlling all the senses, the self-controlled one should sit meditating on Me. Verily, his wisdom is steady whose senses are under control. The turbulent senses, O son of Kunti, forcibly lead astray the mind of eventhe struggling wise person.
]The whole purpose of Hatha yoga is topurify and control our senses. It is theultimate science of helping us discover what lies behind the apparent reality of body and mind. But look at the worldtoday! There are so many different ways of doing yoga. Everybody saysthat they are doing it the right way,but what is the right way unless itproduces a certain change in people,unless a certain energy is awakened within them? As Swatmarama is tellingus, in the last verse of the Hatha YogaPradipika:
Yavan naiva pravishati caran maruto madhyamarge Yavad bindur na bhavati drdaprana vata prabandhat |Yavad dhyane sahajasadrsham jaayate nanva tattvam Tavaj jnanam vadati tadidam dambhamithyapralapah ||HYP 4:113
enters and flows inthe middle channel and the breathbecomes firm by the control of the movements of
; and until the mind assumes the form of Brahmawithout any effort in contemplation,up to then, all talk of knowledge and wisdom is merely the nonsensical babblings of a mad man.
]So, we must follow the method that iscorrect and practice it for a long time.
Satu dirgha kala nairantarya satkara sevitodridhabhumih
[A practice over a longperiod of time, consistently, humbly, with the best intention, becomesthe firm foundation for cultivatinga cessation of the fluctuations of themind.] This can take many lifetimes of practice—even 100,000 years!
CN YOU EREKRNMRY N REE OR?Desikachar:
[spiritual teacher]. at is enough!
He was a versatile man,an extraordinary man—not of a normalkind. I revered him. He was the masterof many subjects. It is hard to ﬁndpeople nowadays with knowledge likehis. And how men of our low intellectcan speak of a person like him, I don’tknow!
A very good man, a strongcharacter. A dangerous man.
W O YOU NO OFKRNMRY’ LNEE NEER?Desikachar:
You can refer to this in thebook covering Krishnamacharya’s lifepublished by our institute.
As far as I know, his teacher wasRamamohan Brahmachari of Nepal,but we didn’t speak much about hisguru in detail. I knew Krishnamacharyabecause he married my sister in thenineteen-thirties. What he did beforethat, I am not too familiar with. But itis certain that, due to his being a greatSanskrit scholar, he met a lot of ancientscholars in India who introduced him toRamamohan Brahmachari. Accordingto legend, Krishnamacharya studied