Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sheer Joy and Treat to meet Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar

Invitation for the event in Pune:

One of our friends Ms. Shirisha called me up and said that Dr. B. Raghu’s 60th Birth Anniversary is going to take place in Pune this time and he invited us to come. So I called up my teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan for further information. She added that he personally invited her and all the students of Iyengar Yoga Hyderabad for the event. She also said, unfortunately she is not going to make it for the event due to certain family commitments. Therefore, she asked me to pass on the message to all other students willing to go. Following her request I passed on the message to some of my friends over their mobiles and created an event in our facebook group ‘Iyengar Yoga Hyderabad’ inviting all the members to join the event. Finally we four Sridhar, Suresh, Me, and my wife Tulsi have decided to attend the event.

60th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Dr. B. Raghu:



By the time we reached RIMYI, proceedings have already begun. Dr. B. Raghu and Savita B. Raghu were participating in the traditional rituals amidst the chanting of mantras by priests surrounded by few guests and family members. Very few Iyengar yoga teachers especially from Mumbai and Pune were present on the occasion. I got an opportunity to capture some of the footages of the colorful event. Guruji, Geetaji, Prashantji were all present. Prashantji looked great as usual but it was heartening to see Geetaji in great shape. She appeared to me very slim and fit. At the end of the rituals I went to Savitaji and Raghuji to wish them. I also conveyed the greetings and wishes of my teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan and said she is unable to attend the event due to some family commitments. They were really happy to see us there. The proceedings ended with the completion of Sitarama Kalyanam. After meeting Guruji we were asked to visit the nearby community hall for Lunch. We had a very delightful lunch as all the delicacies of Karnataka were served. We then took the blessings of Dr. Raghu and Savitaji and returned back home. Had they not invited us we wouldn’t have met Guruji and had some wonderful time with Guruji. We thanked both of them for everything they offered us.

Meeting Guruji:

RIMYI – Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute is the heart of Iyengar Yoga. It always has a special place in the hearts of Iyengar yogis across the world. When RIMYI is the heart of Iyengar Yoga, Guruji Shri B.K.S. Iyengar is its soul. Every yogi no matter what type of yoga he practices dream to visit RIMYI at least once in his life time and meet Guruji Shri. B.K.S. Iyengar. Such is the respect Guruji has earned through his work on Yoga. For people like me he is simply the divine in human form who has transformed my life. I don’t even need him in person to teach me. I get inspired by just looking at his images from any of his books, internet or on TV. Often, when my practice goes off the track due to various reasons, I used to watch Guruji’s videos on my computer or on internet, read his books or watch his photos in action for inspiration. Believe it or not! It works like a tonic and pulls my practice back on track immediately. I believe this might have happened to many others.

In one of my previous blogs I mentioned how I began my practice through Guruji’s book ‘Light on Yoga’ overcoming all the odds. Many people who knew me before yoga and now have appreciated me for the transformation I had gone through with regards to my lifestyle and health. Before meeting one of my friends Mohit, I thought I was the only guy who learned yoga by reading Guruji’s ‘Light on Yoga’. After meeting Manouso Manos at Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad during an Iyengar Yoga Intensive by Manouso I learned that even Manouso had practiced yoga with Guruji’s ‘Light on Yoga’ for two years before meeting him. More over, he was seriously suffering from a back injury before meeting Guruji which is later corrected by Guruji and after that he never looked back. Thanks to Manouso for landing me on the ground. Only then I realized I was developing a subtle ego which I was not aware of. That incident taught me another lesson too. Guruji is teaching hundreds and may be thousands of other such students who do not have the facility of a good yoga teacher through his books and DVD’s.

Since I began my practice with a book, I used to surf internet most of the time for seeking help on various aspects of yoga. During that time I realized, there are so many communities, groups and pages on various social networking sites on Guruji and Iyengar yoga and they are all from Western Countries and Far East. I found hundreds of articles on Guruji, his images, quotes and videos stumbling upon each day. Later when I visited Guruji for Guru Poornima for the first time, I was surprised to see more foreigners attending the ceremony than the Indians. Inspired by the success of Iyengar yoga communities in the West, I created a Group called ‘Iyengar Yoga Hyderabad’ on facebook and informed it to all my fellow students of Hyderabad. The ‘Iyengar yoga Hyderabad’ is the most active group in India now. But the story is no different here. The members who actively participate in the group are none other than foreigners. They are the ones who actively like, promote and share the pages that are posted in the group.

It took me some time to understand the reason. My friend Mohit who is one of the moderators of the group often used to say, ‘I had been in Mumbai and Pune, but this Hyderabad batch has some kind of zeal and enthusiasm towards yoga and Guruji which I did not found in Mumbai or Pune. Well, I feel the reason probably is that we are isolated and are not really connected to RIMYI as others do due to various factors. Therefore whenever an opportunity comes to visit Guruji we do it with lot of enthusiasm. Whenever the opportunity comes to visit Guruji, you can find our boys and girls making all the noise and activities all over the place. If this is the situation of Hyderabadi boys who lives only a few hundred Kilometers away from Pune, then what would be the situation of people living on the other corner of the Planet? Obviously, they are more hungry and thirsty to see Guruji. We miss, love and honor the dear ones who are very far. This is a human tendency. This happens with our parents as well. We don’t understand their importance as long as they are with us. Those who live near Taj Mahal lookout for the Liberty Tower and people living near Liberty tower looks out for Taj.

Whenever the opportunity comes I definitely visit Guruji and seek his blessings. It is always a treat to meet Guruji. Couple of weeks before our visit to Pune, our teacher’s husband visited RIMYI but could not meet him as he stopped coming down for the practice due to illness. Obviously, it was a matter of concern but we were confident that he will bounce back and make himself fit for the event. 

By the time we went there Guruji was sitting on the chair in the verandah watching the proceedings. He was definitely not looking in a great shape but seen better than what we have heard. As soon as the proceedings of Dr. Raghu’s 60th Anniversary celebrations ended, I went to Guruji along with my wife and friends Suresh and Sridhar and sought the blessings of Guruji by bowing over his feet. Since Guruji was sitting alone we got an opportunity to chat with him for some time. I conveyed the wishes of my teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan and also informed about her participation in the World Parliament on Spirituality and her forthcoming event at NFC. Guruji patiently listened to us with a cute smile. He said that he is aware of her participation in the World Parliament on Spirituality and felt happy for the upcoming event at NFC. I asked, “Guruji! It is learned that you were not feeling well over the past few days. How is your health now? Guruji said, it is so, so with a childlike smile on his face.” We ended up the meet with a memorable photograph and walked off without bothering him much. Though Guruji was not practice fit but he is definitely improving. I could see him attending the entire event patiently without any trouble. This is not new for Guruji. He always bounces back to his normal vibrancy. He will for sure.

Guruji gives a special kind of feeling and experience for every individual. My wife Tulsi has got back with such kind of special feeling from Guruji. She could not forget that experience for couple of days even after coming back home. As everyone is engaged in the proceedings of Dr. Raghu’s anniversary celebrations, she was staring at Guruji as it was her first time to see Guruji live. The charisma of Guruji has not let her eyes drop from Guruji. She was just looking at him from a crowd not bothering about the proceeding that was taking place. All of a sudden she got jolted hard within as Guruji turned his head and looked at her as if he is asking; what are you looking at? The eyes are so deep and powerful that she couldn’t dare to stare at him anymore. She still asks me, how is it possible? How did he knew that I was looking at him non-stop as many others were also present? Amazing! I said that is Guruji. Did you forget what Manouso said in Allahabad? He used to catch the mistakes of students from the other corner of the hall even though he is facing backwards.

There are many such stories associated with Guruji. Manouso has shared some of his experiences during our visit to Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. Senior students of Guruji have many such experiences associated with him. It is always a pleasure, Joy and Treat to meet Guruji.

I always have great regards and fascination for Prashantji. He is one of the coolest yogis present today. We got an opportunity to seek his blessings and an autograph as well. Moreover, it was very pleasant to see Geetaji in a good shape. As you all know that she could not attended Guruji’s 94th birthday celebrations in Bellur last November due to her bad health. We did not get an opportunity to meet her but I made it by seeing her for a short stint during the event. Let us pray for her recovery further and to see her taking up the classes again from June this year.

This trip to RIMYI was as memorable as any other. Just a glimpse of Guruji, Geetaji and Prashantji will give a sheer joy and happiness.

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