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Article on Krishnamacharya of Mysore; Yogi Nathamuni, a ninth-century South Indian Vaishnava saint; The Hindu (online) - Mangala Kadaba

From: Mangala I. Kadaba 908-577-6016 (
Date: Fri Apr 11 1997 - 10:47:26 PDT

                             [THE HINDU]

                       Friday, April 11, 1997
                       SECTION: Entertainment

              Dedicated to great Yogi

              Date: 11-04-1997 :: Pg: 25 :: Col: a

              About 90 years ago, 16 year old Krishnamacharya of
              Mysore had a dream in which he was directed by Yogi
              Nathamuni, a ninth-century South Indian Vaishnava saint,
              to go to Alwar Tirunagari in Tamil Nadu. The boy went to
              the place and at the premises of a temple of Lord
              Vishnu, saw an old man seated under a tamarind tree. The
              boy asked him where he could see Yogi Nathamuni. The
              latter pointed to a particular direction, which the boy
              followed till he reached a mango grove by the side of
              the river Tamaraparani.

              As Krishnamacharya was very tired and had not eaten, he
              fell unconscious. He went into a trance and found
              himself in the presence of three sages. Saint Nathamuni,
              who appeared in the centre of the trio, explained the
              ``Yoga Rahasya'' to him. A few hours later, he opened
              his eyes to find nobody there. The mango grove had also
              disappeared. It was then that he realised that he had
              received the ``Yoga Rahasya'' directly from its author
              and his ancestor, Yogi Nathamuni.

              That teenage boy later went on to become an eminent
              teacher- practitioner of Yoga.

              The ``Yogacharya'' T. Krishnamacharya was not just an
              exponent on Yoga but was a versatile personality. He was
              a great scholar in religion, the Vedas, the Upanishadas,
              Carnatic music, Ayurveda and astrology. An expert in
              many languages, Krishnamacharya who lived between 1888
              and 1989, influenced the thinking in various fields such
              as Vedanta, Karma and Ayurveda. He wrote many books in
              Sanskrit, Kannada and Telugu.

              An `acharya' of a high Krishnamacharya said emphasise on
              the basic methods of teaching _ ``Desa'' (place),
              ``Deha'' (constitution), ``Kala'' (time), ``Vrtti''
              (Avocation), ``Marga'' (interest) and ``Shakti''
              (capacity). His prescription to teachers was: ``Teach
              what is inside you, not as it applies to you, to
              yourself, but as it applies to the other''.

              To make his life and teachings widely known, the
              Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM), a 21-year-old
              institution named after him to teach Yoga, has brought
              out a publication to mark his 108th anniversary.

              Releasing the publication at a function held at the
              premises of KYM on Tuesday, Mr. C. Subramaniam, former
              Maharashtra Governor, praised Krishnamcharya for
              propagating and imparting, what he called, the science
              of Yoga. Describing Yoga as a great heritage of the
              country, he said in the present days of constant
              controversies and confrontations, people required it
              much more now than at any other time.

              Calling upon people to practise Yoga, Mr. Subramaniam
              said any amount of reading about it could not fetch the
              full benefits and significance of Yoga. As it would help
              people realise their talents, the study of Yoga should
              be included in school curriculum, the former Governor

              Receiving the first copy of the book, Mr Govind
              Swaminathan, veteran advocate and one of the students of
              Krishnamacharya, reminisced about the days when he was
              taught Yoga. He said it was a leveller of one's ego and
              it would make those who practised it self-disciplined

              Mr. T.K.V. Desikachar, son of Krishnamacharya and
              Managing Trustee of KYM, said the publication was
              compiled on the basis of writings of the Yoga exponent
              and many oral narrations. Mrs. Mala Srivatsan, Executive
              Trustee of KYM, who compiled the publication, said a
              section of the book contained `Ashtothrams' (108 hymns
              in praise of the ``Yogacharya'').

              T. RAMAKRISHNAN