Proponent and Guru
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois was born in 1915 in Mysore, South India. He studied yoga under Acharya Sr T. Krishnamacharya from 1927 to 1945. He attended the Sanskrit College of Msyore and eventually served as a professor of Sanskrit and Advaita Vedanta.
The Maharaj of Mysore appointed him head of the Yoga department. At the Sanskrit College in 1937, and he retained that post until his retirement in 1973. In 1945 he was honored with the title “Yogasana Visharada” (one who is distinguished in Yoga Asana) by Sri Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Puri.
In 1948, he founded the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute with a view to teaching yoga according to traditional methods prescribed by the ancient maharishi’s of India and to explore the curative value of yoga as described by the ancient texts
Parampara is knowledge that is passed in succession from teacher to student. It is a Sanskrit word that denotes the principle of transmitting knowledge in its most valuable form; knowledge based on direct and practical experience. It is the basis of any lineage: the teacher and student form the links in the chain of instruction that has been passed down for thousands of years. In order for yoga instruction to be effective, true and complete, it should come from within parampara.
Knowledge can be transferred only after the student has spent many years with an experienced guru, a teacher to whom he has completely surrendered in body, mind, speech and inner being. Only then is he fit to receive knowledge. This transfer from teacher to student is parampara.
The dharma, or duty, of the student is to practice diligently and to strive to understand the teachings of the guru. The perfection of knowledge – and of yoga — lies beyond simply mastering the practice; knowledge grows from the mutual love and respect between student and teacher, a relationship that can only be cultivated over time. The teacher’s dharma is to teach yoga exactly as he learned it from his guru. The teaching should be presented with a good heart, with good purpose and with noble intentions. There should be an absence of harmful motivations. The teacher should not mislead the student in any way or veer from what he has been taught.
The bonding of teacher and student is a tradition reaching back many thousands of years in India, and is the foundation of a rich, spiritual heritage. The teacher can make his students steady – he can make them firm where they waver. He is like a father or mother who corrects each step in his student’s spiritual practice.
The yoga tradition exists in many ancient lineages, but today some are trying to create new ones, renouncing or altering their guru’s teachings in favor of new ways. Surrendering to parampara, however, is like entering a river of teachings that has been flowing for thousands of years, a river that age-old masters have followed into an ocean of knowledge. Even so, not all rivers reach the ocean, so one should be mindful that the tradition he or she follows is true and selfless.
Many attempt to scale the peaks in the Himalayas, but not all succeed. Through courage and surrender, however, one can scale the peaks of knowledge by the grace of the guru, who is the holder of knowledge, and who works tirelessly for his students.
ASHTANGA YOGA MANTRAM
Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde
Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
I bow to the lotus feet of our great teachers,
who uncovers our true self and awakens happiness
Like a Shaman in the Jungle he brings total complete well-beeing.
He can even heal the most awful poision of conditioning and illusion.
The upper body of human shape, carrying
a mussel horn (original tone), a discus (infinity) and a sword (power of differentiation)
having 1000 bright heads,
I bow to Patanjali.
वन्दे गुरूणां चरणारविन्दे
सन्दर्शित स्वात्म सुखाव बोधे ।
संसार हालाहल मोहशांत्यै ॥
शंखचक्रासि धारिणम् ।
सहस्र शिरसं श्वेतं
प्रणमामि पतञ्जलिम् ॥
Swasthi Praja Bhyah
Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
Let prosperity be glorified,
let rulers rule the world
with law and justice,
let the eternal truths and enlightenment
let people of the whole world
be happy and prosperous.
Om Peace Peace Peace
न्यायेन मार्गेण महीं महीशाः ।
गोब्राह्मणेभ्यः शुभमस्तु नित्यं
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनोभवंतु ॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
Do your practice and all is coming.Sri K. Pattabhi Jois