On knowledge

On knowledge

Dear all,

It’s a very delighted Linda that his writing to you. On the 26 of this month (February) I am going back to India for one whole month. I am planning go to Varanasi and also spend two weeks at Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai.

What! Said a friend a mine. Don’t you ever take a break from Yoga? What can I say? I am amazed how I never have enough of yoga. Yoga has no finality. The more I learn, the more there is to learn. My life is dedicated to yoga. Yoga is my passion.

I once came across a quote of Krishnamacarya, who was himself quoting the Katopanishad/Mudakopanishad, that I had a big impact on me :

“Steeped in ignorance and confusion “avidya” yet thinking themselves wise and learned the ignorant wander about, like a blind man leading another blind man.“(I am paraphrasing)

This quote really had a big imprint on my consciousness and made me realized my responsibility as a yoga teacher. For this reason, I keep studying, improving my knowledge and skills. As yoga teachers our outmost responsibility is to ensure the transmission of true knowledge “pramana” that has comes to us from the ancient seers. We must not allow ourselves to transvestite the truth and perpetrate the veil of illusion.

Patanjali in the first eight yoga sutras warned us. He cautions us against, among others, of “Viparyaya” in English translated by false or wrong knowledge. Viparyaya in yogic philosophy is the equivalent to ignorance “avidya” and is caused by illusion “bhranti”. It is often explain in the commentaries as knowledge born out of misapprehension such as: mistaking a rope for a snake and vice versa.

Just as the written and verbal testimonies of the ancient seers have come through them, our teachings have to come through our own personal experience. We have to be honest with our selves and not be in denial in our practice.Honesty is acquired by connecting with the witness within and by observing oneself with detachment and truthfulness. Mastering the ancient art of yoga is not done through conceptualization or abstract thinking. Yoga is freedom of the mind: yogash chitta vritti nirodhah. These skills are acquired with lots of practice of meditation, kriya, pranayama and asana.

In The Heart of Yoga, Desikashar says that at the end of his life Krishnamacarya was teaching is his sleep. He had so much knowledge to share and felt there was not enough time. He probably felt a sense of urgency.

So let’s soak up the knowledge from the ancient masters, let’s be diligent and put it in practice in our lives and once we master it, lets share it.

In peace and light,

Linda Madani