TKV Desikachar taught the viniyoga of Yoga,
or application of Yoga according
to state of life, place, time and circumstance
to optimise the student’s potential within
that situation as seen from his
own, forever evolving, innovating and
maturing, developmental teaching thread.
TKV Desikachar taught the viniyoga of Yoga,
with Paul Harvey in the Cotswolds
Paul was taught Mantra and Vedic Chanting privately within 121 lessons by his teacher TKV Desikachar over 20 years. As well as studying Chanting, he also studied Indian singing through 121 lessons in Chennai within both the traditional Indian Carnatic and Hindustani music systems.
Paul also explored the application of Indian voice work in the West with some of the leading proponents of Indian Rāga singing and movement fusion workshops and Indian Rāga 121 vocal skills lessons.
Originally it was during Pauls continuing visits to study the Arts and Practices of Yoga from 1979 with Desikachar in India that he became exposed to the Art of Mantra, Veda and Yoga Chanting. It was taught by his teacher both as a method of transmission for sacred texts and teachings and as a personalised Sādhana through which one became deeply focused as well as facilitating access to the profundity of an experience of the Sacred.
This experience and the other benefits such as a deepening confidence in the message of the heart, improvements in memory through the teaching and learning processes, confidence and power arising in the sound of our own voice, led Paul in 1985 to begin nearly 20 years of formal study with his teacher.
Yoga Service in Berlin talks with TK Sribhashyam and Srimathi Shubha Mohan Kumar, the youngest son and youngest daughter of Śrī T Krishnamacharya, about their father, vinyāsa and the essence of Yoga.
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
“All food is medicine, all medicine is food.”
Āyurveda was the one of the first medical systems to realise the crucial importance of the kind of food we eat and to appreciate the interaction between health and disease, disease and food, and food and health. It will be from this point that this article will explore the question of diet by examining the concepts of elements and taste in food.
This five day gathering, convened in June 1993 with a worldwide gathering of personal students of TKV Desikachar, was a personal exploration, facilitated by Desikachar around the theme: ‘Meditation – Some Concerns’. It still arouses fond memories of our time together even if juxtaposed by my travelling afterwards to New York City with Desikachar teaching at a full on Yoga Journal Convention with over 2000 attendees and many of the Yogalebrities of the day.
This group picture was taken outside of Mary Louise Skeltonn’s newly completed Gurukulam in Hamilton, Upstate New York. Mary Louise was originally a student of T Krishnamacharya in 1969 and then TKV Desikachar from 1974 and was one of the main players in the rooting of Desikachars work in the West through her part in the setting up of a one month seminar in Colgate University in 1976 under the theme ‘Religiousness in Yoga’.
The transcript of this course was published in 1980 as ‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America. Currently available through Amazon US or Amazon UK it remains, still for me to this day in all but appearance, as one of the finest modern expositions on Yoga. Again, for me, still superior to the re-edited version, although many photographs added within a ‘user friendly’ presentation and textual cut down. Personally described to me by Desikachar as ‘old wine in new bottles’ it was published under the title ‘The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’ by Inner Traditions.
A bow of gratitude is offered for Mary Lou’s part in the dissemination of the seeds of Krishnamacharya’s teaching through the work of his son in the West.
”Sahavāsam (Dwelling Together)
– What you associate with becomes part of you.”
– TKV Desikachar January 15th 2000
“You should only take that food which you would offer to the person you revere most.”
Notes from my studies of the Dhyānamālika verse 11 with TKV Desikachar in Chennai 23rd December 2000
tat savitur vareṇiyaṃ
That sun most excellent
bhargo devasya dhīmahi |
on the radiance of the Divine I meditate |
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt ||
wisdom may (that radiance) our impel |
“I meditate on the divine radiance
of the most excellent sun.
May it impel my wisdom.”
Gāyatrī is a particular ancient metre or rhythmic pattern of twenty-four syllables generally composed as a triplet of three lines with eight syllables in each line.
Hence T Krishnamacharya’s view that Om is not a component part of this Mantra, though it may be added as an accompaniment if appropriate, according to the students background, interest and understanding.
“So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture we must consider whether this symbol (Om) has a place with people who don’t understand it.”
TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland (Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)
Suffering is the starting point for the Yoga journey of four steps from:
the symptom (Duḥkha or suffering);
through to the cause (Avidyā or illusion);
to the path (Kaivalya or independence);
and the means (Aṣṭāṅga or 8 limbed path) for Viveka or discrimination.
This fourfold process is at the heart of Yoga, Āyurveda and Buddhism.
“Teach what is inside you.
Not as it applies to you, to yourself,
but as it applies to the other.”
– Śrī T Krishnamacharya
This mantra is asking for health and long life to link body, senses, energy, mind and awareness.
Learning Support for Chanting the Laghu Nyāsa – Agnir Me
– From the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa 3.10.8
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
View or download this post as a PDF with chanting notations without translation.
To Download or Listen to a recording by TKV Desikachar
To Download the Chant Sheet as a PDF with Romanised Saṃskṛta, Chant Notations and English Translation
CHANT IN PRAISE OF YOGA
Chant from Vyāsa’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6.
yogena yogo jñātavyo
yogo yogāt pravartate |
yo’prama tastu yogena
sa yoge ramate ciram | |
“Only through Yoga Yoga is known,
Only through Yoga Yoga arises.
One who is diligent with Yoga,
Enjoys Yoga for a long time.”
View or download this post as a PDF with chant notations.
View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam relative to Patañjali.
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.