A Conversation with Manouso Manos
One who is firmly and completely established in Yoga
It has been three weeks since Guruji left. I have not been able to gather myself after this personal loss.
An inner urge to write about this great man takes me towards my computer. His life spans across my mind. I am a direct witness to glimpses of his life for a small part of his lifetime, which is about 17-18 years. The rest of his life is historical and I gather about it from the myriad of interviews and articles in publications ranging from small local magazines to the internationally renowned Time magazine. There are innumerable people who knew him and I am certain that each one will have unique stories revolving around him.
Yoga: The Art of Transformation.
Manouso Manos gave a lecture at the Asian Art Museum as part of this exhibition. He describes yoga, past and present, and the life of BKS Iyengar, his teacher. Check it out.
NPR story about BKS Iyengar:
The Yoga Sutras by Patanjali
This text is a concise, compact exploration of the various facets of life and how they affect us physically, emotionally and spiritually. The text offers concrete suggestions of how to adopt the principles of yoga to overcome and manage life’s stresses and strains. We offer a few sutras at a time to learn, think about, and perhaps use in one’s daily life.
The commentary used is mainly that of BKS Iyengar as his understanding of the yoga sutras is through his own experience of practice of asana and how it pertains to understanding this text more deeply. Occassionally other translations and commentaries will be used and will be noted appropriately.
International Yoga Day
Geeta spoke about the importance of yoga practice to overcome the effects of the Klesas (afflictions of the mind). The practice of yoga is always to travel from the path of the known to the unknown using the knowledge that we gain with regular practice. Yoga is a practice of knowledge. It takes us from poses we know to poses that we don’t know or are less familiar with. The actions that we learn at the beginning of our journey travel with us and help us to take the next step – into the unknown. What we take with us to the next pose, is our own knowledge of the actions needed to practice that pose safely and with integrity.
Yoga is a practice that guides us towards knowledge of the self. Avidya is the first of the five klesas – it is translated as “ignorance”. B.K.S. Iyengar describes it as nescience “not knowing”. The other four klesas are ego and pride, desire and wanting more of the things that we like, aversion and avoiding things that we don’t like, and lastly, the fear of death and dying and clinging to life, or as Mr. Iyengar writes ” a great deal of human activity throughout all ages is an attempt to perpetuate the existence of the ego itself, through name, fame, wealth, glory or achievement. Yet the soul endures and the known ego will perish”. Many of you have asked for the readings from Sundays class that incorporated
Mr. Iyengar’s short commentary on Avidya:
” What don’t we know when we are ignorant? The answer is this. You don’t know what is real and what is not. You don’t know what is enduring and what is perishable. You don’t know who you are and who you are not. Your whole world is upside down because you take the artifacts in your living room to be more real than the unity that connects us all, more real than the relations and obligations that unite us all. Perceiving the links and associations that bind the cosmos in a seamless whole is the object of yoga’s journey of discovery…..we cannot endure the loss of the known. We have insufficient faith to place trust in the survival of the unknown. Yoga’s answer is to say, ” Discover the unknown, and you will encounter your own immortality”. (B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life.)
From a lecture given by Birjoo Metha at “Yoganusasanam 2014″
What is the difference between individual consciousness and universal consciousness?
Imagine a river coursing through the landscape. Then there is a lot of rain and the water comes down fast into the river and it breaks its banks and over flows into the surrounding area. When the waters subside there are ponds left over that are filled with the river water but are no longer connected to the river itself. Banks develop around these ponds and the river continues on it’s way. After a while, these ponds develop their own life within the boundaries, or confines of the pond edges. The pond is the individual consciousness. The river is the universal consciousness. The water always wants to join the river so it can see itself. Our practice is to try and break the boundaries of our individual consciousness to join the flow of universal consciousness rather like the pond breaking it’s banks. We have to let go of the identities that exist and let water return to the universal consciousness.