I find myself reflecting on the notion of ‘authentic lineage’, often taught within the statement of Paramparā or ‘from one to another’ as in a succession from teacher to student et al. Both from questions asked of me and questions I have around what I see, generally within the world of ‘Modern’ Yoga and more specifically emerging around the claims on facets in the evolution of TKV Desikachar’s teaching over four decades.
Currently I see various representational phrases being used in modern organisational setups around pupils or students of TKV Desikachar such as ‘Influenced by the Teaching of…..’ or ‘The Living Tradition of…..’ or ‘The Lineage of……’ as if a provenance of authority alluding to authenticity, studentship and tradition.
For me personally, authentic lineage is experienced whenever I practice from what my teacher taught me. In other words it is a feeling in my heart that arises as a fruit or flower from precious seeds that have been offered, received, deeply rooted and tended with care, from within a long relationship with ones teacher.
It is an experience that both remains constantly fresh and yet also continues to deepen and evolve. It is also something that cannot be effaced whatever ones ‘official status’ may be seen as within the ranks of the ‘qualificatory’ hierarchies that generally surround institutional bodies laying down ownership claims to be the authentic, valid, living teachings of a ‘tradition’, a teacher, or a student of the teacher.