Two trips to the Institute yesterday. One for class, one for the Guru Pournima celebrations. Back bends and prostrations. Both filled my heart.
The program began with the traditional invocation to Sage Patanjali and the Guru Brahma chant. It was followed by a beautiful dramatization of a series of conversations between 2 practitioners. Abhijata and Raya enacted the roles or rather spoke from the heart. The script was probably not necessary for them if their voices were anything to go by, almost as though everything they narrated, happened to them. Through their dialogue interspersed with some asana demonstration and video clippings, we were treated to some pearls of Guruji’s wisdom. Some things made me go “yes, I’ve felt that” and then I question if it is possible since I am so young in yoga. I too have felt the timelessness spoken about in paschimottanasana or janu sirsasana for the tiniest moments but then I am still very raw, so is it real? It doesn’t matter.
There was a quote by Guruji in the presentation that has stayed in my head since yesterday, “Does the flower fall from the tree of its own free will or does the tree abandon it?”
Geetaji released the latest Yoga Rahasya and spoke a few words at the end, reminding us all to preserve what Guruji has given us.
The format of a dialogue between 2 practitioners was very interesting and got me thinking about my peers. Perhaps it would be nice to discuss the subject to find a different perspective. However, that is very limited since I wait for someone else to initiate a conversation. It’s nice when it happens but I’m equally content staying in silence. Perhaps, it is because I get my sense of community and fellowship through this blog. I receive encouragement and experience, unconditionally shared, that nudges me to explore in ways I don’t usually do. Online pilgrims on the same journey…
I wonder who did Guruji share with? Of course, millions of people through his books and teachings but that happened much later in his life. As a beginner, who did he share with? Today’s reading from Gaudapada’s Karika on the Mandukya Upanishad (commentary by Swami Chinmayananda) had a very beautiful line and I found my answer.
अस्पर्शयोगो वै नाम सर्वसत्त्वसुखो हितः।
अविवादो ऽ विरुद्वश्च देशितस्तं नमाम्यहम् ।।२।।
“I salute that yoga of detachment which is called asparsha, (lit. no touch, in other words, having no relationship with anything, at any time), which is taught through scriptures, which promotes the happiness of all, which is conducive to the well-being of all, which is beyond all disputes and which is at once free from strife and contradiction.”
The commentary by Swamiji states- In the case of Asparsha yoga, it being mainly the inward development of the individual, accomplished in the secret caves of the heart, it is never painful to others and it is ever good for the individual concerned.
The beauty of Guruji’s sadhana is the hope it gave and continues to give. Yoga as taught by him emphasised on correct alignment and is seen as rigid and harsh by some. But at the core of it is compassion. The language of the heart.
Guruji was not a man, he was a phenomenon. Same with Swami Chinmayananda who made the great scriptures accessible to the modern day seeker.
Offering my humblest pranaams to Guruji and Swamiji who guide my path.