Anecdotal memories around Śrī T Krishnamacharya

A link to a Newsletter from Yogakshemam, the website of TK Sribashyam the son of TK Krishnamacharya and younger brother of TKV Desikachar. Scrolling down this particular newsletter, the first from January 2000, will reveal interesting anecdotal stories from some of Krishnamacharya’s children, grandchildren, relatives, students and even a recipe for almond milk.

Āyurveda & Yoga – Dhātu & Mala, Body Tissues and Means of Elimination – Part 8 of 12


Previous articles have presented some ideas of Prāṇa so we can now move towards presenting a more complete picture of how Āyurveda sees the human body. This article looks at how Ayurveda sees the types of bodily tissues and waste products as vital to the effective construction and working of the body.


Yoga is a word that has, within Indian thought, many meanings. To define the word Yoga is very difficult as the word is so adaptable.

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Knowledge can be taught and learnt……

“Knowledge can be taught and learnt.
Wisdom cannot be taught but can be learnt.
Our priorities are to be wiser rather than more knowledgeable.”

Yoga – To Link to myself. Hinduism – To Link to God.


Yoga – To Link to myself.
Hinduism – To Link to God.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2001

Sāṃkhya – Redefining the Marriage of Wisdom and Action……


Sāṃkhya – Redefining the Marriage of Wisdom and Action

Until the Dancer (Citta) deeply realises that
the Observer (Cit) of the Spectacle (Viṣaya)
is not interested in the drives (Avidyā) which animate the dance,
the Dancer continues to Dance.
Sāṃkhya Kārikā Āryā 59

Rāmānuja, Yāmunācarya, Krishnamacharya and Viśiṣṭādvaita


Rāmānuja, was a disciple of Śrī Yāmunācarya. Śrī Yāmunācarya, composer of texts such as the Gītārtha Saṃgraha, Siddhi Traya and Stotra Ratna, was the grandson of the 9th century sage Śrī Nāthamuni and a forebear of T Krishnamacharya.

Krishnamacharya’s personal devotional philosophy and practices were grounded in the teachings that arose from these great sages and evolved into what became known as Viśiṣṭādvaita or qualified non-dualism (One of the three primary schools of Vedānta).

“Rāmānuja agrees with the Advaitin that the scripture teaches the non-twoness (Advaita) of reality.
But, he denies the Advaitan’s conclusion that this oneness is attributeless, pure being or consciousness and that plurality with regard to soul and material world is falsely imposed on this one Being due to ignorance.”
Rāmānuja on the Yoga – Dr. Robert C Lester 1976.

Unfortunately, many people are not able to differentiate between……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Unfortunately, many people are not able to differentiate between Yoga and Hinduism.
This is the biggest blunder I have seen in many institutions.”
Excerpt from an interview with TKV Desikachar by Fit Yoga Magazine April 2008

Responses to three questions for a media article

I was recently asked to provide ‘expert quotes’ in response to three questions for a media article by a freelance journalist for MSN on a Yoga related issue. These are my reflections:

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The Breath is the canvas on which we paint the pictures of our Body.

“The Breath is the canvas on which we paint the pictures of our Body.”

Cit Mudrā – A means to appreciate the subtlety of Yoga Sūtra C2 v46……

cit devanagari

“Cit Mudrā –
A means to appreciate the subtlety of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46
the integration of the qualities of steady attentiveness and spacious clarity.”

Pañca Kedar Yatra May-June 2001

A gallery of pictures from a Journey to India in 2001 with family, friends and students to ascend five sacred mountains to the the five sacred temples depicted in the Pañca Kedar myth from the Mahābhārata in the events following the final battle. It is based around the five Pāṇḍava brothers attempt to seek atonement for the Gotrahatya (killing of kinsmen) and Brāhmanahatya (killing of Brahmins) they had just committed during the war. (View with PicLens.)

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T Krishnamacharya, a Yogi par-excellence……

Quote by TKV Desikachar in Omega Institute, New York in May 2002

“T Krishnamacharya, a Yogi par-excellence, immersed in the ocean of ancient Indian wisdom, understood the wealth of teachings that Yoga had to offer and showed how each practitioner can choose the right means for his or her own development.”
– From a Seminar at Omega around the theme “The Ocean of Yoga – From the Parts to the Whole.”

Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad – Ṛtaṃ Tapas as Mantra Practice with translation

Mantra on tapāṣtāṅga or the eight limbs of tapas.

– Tapas is an activity of mind, body or speech which demands a keen concentration of thought or requiring unusual and continuous physical effort.
View or download this Mantra complete with Chant notations as a PDF
View or download other Mantra from this Upaniṣad complete with Chant notations as PDF files

Or linking to what we need to understand to help refine……


Bhagavad Gītā Chapter FourJñāna Yoga or The Yoga of Knowledge

“Or linking to what we need to understand to help refine the outcome of our actions.”

Āyurveda & Yoga – Prāṇa and its links within Āyurveda – Part 7 of 12


This article intended to introduce Prāṇa, its origin, function and malfunction. However, Prāṇa is such an important part of Yoga and Āyurveda that I have concentrated on presenting some basic ideas on its relationship to the individual, to Yoga and to the understanding of life known as Āyurveda.

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A Yogi is never surprised.

Quoted to me by TKV Desikachar as from his father T Krishnamacharya

“A Yogi is never surprised.”

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How to Observe an Āsana Session – by Margaret Pierce

By Margaret Pierce Co-Founder of the Pierce Yoga Programme in Atlanta, Georgia
Download this article as a PDF

The dancer glides gracefully to her accustomed spot and sighs as she lies down. It is 5.50pm, ten minutes before class. One woman sits knitting intently. Another sits serenely in Ardha Padmāsana. Another, face alit, places a rose on my table, while the tense weight-lifter eagerly describes his latest injury.

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Online Monier Williams Saṃskṛta-English Dictionary

Prepared and Published by Cologne Digital Saṃskṛta Dictionaries. Choose the SLP1 Input option and use the downloadable PDF Saṃskṛta alphabet guide to help with choosing the appropriate Romanised Saṃskṛta letters.

T Krishnamacharya – Collection of Film Clips from 1938


Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was 50 when the film was made in 1938 from which these excerpts were taken. He is now seen as one of the the most influential teachers in establishing what Yoga is identified as in today’s society. His students included Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his son TKV Desikachar.

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Prārthanā Ślokam – Śuklām Opening Verse with Translation


This prayer is used most often as an opening verse or Prārthanā Ślokam – Request Verse.

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Āyurveda & Yoga – Prāṇa & The Five Aspects of Each of the Tridoṣa – Part 6 of 12


This article introduces the concept of Prāṇa and its place in Āyurveda within the three principles or Tridoṣa.


Generally the purpose of Yoga is to bring about a change within the prominence of awareness and its subsequent impact on the attitude and function of the individual.

Whether this change is a yoking of opposites or an unyoking of two aspects, seemingly inseparable, time and a process are involved. Also this notion of change may be initiated within an individual’s physical body or emotional responses and mental attitude.

However, within Indian thought there is a concept that is common to the different philosophies and to the different aspects of the individual. This concept is the presence and action of Prāṇa.

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Prārthanā Ślokam – Vedic Chanting Full Opening Prayers with Svaraḥ

Download the Full Opening Prayers for Vedic Chanting
as taught to me by TKV Desikachar
with chanting notations (svaraḥ).

Yoga Sūtra – Full Opening Prayers with Svaraḥ

Download the Full Opening Prayers for Patañjali
as taught to me by TKV Desikachar
with chanting notations (svaraḥ).

Āyurveda & Yoga – The Tridoṣa The Human Constitution & The Ageing Process – Part 5 of 12


This article explores the balance of the Three Principles in the individual and their effect on the processes of change and age.

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Tradition is honouring the function. Innovation is adapting the form……

“Tradition is honouring the function.
Innovation is adapting the form.
Good not to get the two confused or even worse – the wrong way round.”