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Krishnamacharya Yoga

Mandiram
Yogcrya Tirumala
Kamcrya
Sanskrit Scholar

Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Yogcrya, T Kamcrya (1888-1989) was a
unique personality, an avatra purua. At
present, he is very popularly known as the
Father of the modern day Yoga and is
acclaimed
as
such
nationally
and
internationally. He is singularly responsible
for the spread of Yoga in a way to take it to
the door steps of every home.
All the present day inventions in Yoga are based
on the fundamental principles evolved by him.
Yet he remained humble to say that all his
teachings are what he got from his teachers.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Yoga Journal, a foreign yoga magazine, in its issue
May/June 2001, in an article entitled The Legacy of
Krishnamacharya says:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------You may never have heard of him, but Tirumalai
Krishnamacharya influenced or perhaps even invented
your Yoga. Whether you practice the dynamic series of
Pattabhi Jois, the refined alignment of BKS Iyengar, the
classical postures of Indra Devi or the customised
Vinyasa of Desikachar your practice stems from one
source, a five foot two inch Brahmin born more than
one hundred years ago in a small South Indian village.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Of all his contributions to Yoga,
outstanding features are:
Not deviating from the original
teachings as found in the Vedas
and handed down by the ancient
sages.
Adaptation of yoga for the
individuals
Application of yoga for therapy
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
vedeyaegae bxa ae>
ta<gae yaegaemuOy>
ptil> Igvan! #Tw<
ddezsUE> SvktE> kpau>
Xyanmailka
In the Vedas, Yoga is spoken of in many ways
Among them the eight limbed yoga is the best
Patajali, the Supreme Being,
Out of compassion expounded it through his stras.
Dhynamlik
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Yogcrya Kamcrya was born in a family
devoted to Vedic education with his father running
a Gurukulam in which he had his initial
education.
His lineage is traced to Saint Nathamuni, the third
century vaiava acrya responsible for revival of
the 4000 Tamil hymns and considered as the
foremost among the teachers of the rvaiavism.
His family was followers of Parakla Mutt,
established by the disciple of Svmi Deikan (12691370) rvaiava acrya of fame.
His family deity was Hayagrv, the deity
worshipped in the Parakla Mutt.
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Yogcrya Kamcrya
vrI v&Tymanae id IhyaSyae
nrI n&Tymanae rs}a< zrIre
jrI j&M_yma[> sm]< irpU[a<
smaIyma[> sda si> Astu
hyIvakm!
Lord Lakshmi Hayagriva is especially present in the
heart (of devotees) of the knowledgeable,
specially dancing through the activities of the
noble, in the presence of enemies specially
swells with the power (knowledge). Let good
people always surrender to Him.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
When Kamcrya was 11 years of age, he
lost his father and came under the tutelage
of the Parakala Mutt, where he continued to
receive the Vedic education. He proceeded
to the North India, particularly Varanasi
where he received numerous degrees in
various branches of Vedic education. The
titles he acquired includes: vednta vga,
veda kesar, nyycrya, mmmsa trtha,
skhyayoga sikhmai vednta. All through
his education has been in Sanskrit medium.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Thus
Sanskrit
became
his
language of expression. Apart
from having the facility to
converse in Sanskrit fluently, all
his works were in Sanskrit; be it
commentaries, hymns on deities,
message of yoga, etc. He had the
facility to compose Sanskrit
poems spontaneously.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
His published works in Sanskrit are:

(1) Yoga Valli


Commentary in Sanskrit for Yoga Sutra Chapter
1 Samadhi Pada
(2) Yogjalisram Hymns on the message of Yoga
(3) Dhynamlik Hymns on Meditation one of the tools of Yoga
(4) Yoga Rahasya Revival of the text on Yoga as expounded by
Sage Nathamuni
(5) diseakam- A hymn in praise of Adi Sesha whose
incarnation is Patanjali.
His unpublished works in Sanskrit include:

(1) Cit acit tatva Mimms- Commentary in Sanskrit for Brahma Sutra
(2) Hymns on Hayagrva, the God of Knowledge.

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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
In every opportunity that came across to him he
would converse in multiple languages familiar to
the other person.
He was very fluent in
Sanskrit, Hindi, Telegu, Kannada, Tamil and
English. His conversation with Dr R Krishnamurti
Sastrigal and Dr V Varadachari used to be only
in Sanskrit. In the valedictory function of an
International
programme
conducted
by
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) in which
Dr H V Hande, the then State Health Minister
presided over, Krishnamacharya gave his speech
in Sanskrit which drew the attention of one and
all.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
He was a non-compromising believer of
Vedic system to be practiced with
perfection. Though he brought in the
contribution of adaptation in Yoga he
will not permit even a slight deviation in
pronunciation of vedic mantras. He was
so strict that priests who conducted
rituals in his house were doubly
cautious about not committing any
mistakes lest they will be reprimanded.
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Yogcrya Kamcrya
Krishnamacharya shared a special relationship with the
Kanchi
Mahaperiyava,
Sri
Chandrasekharendra
Saraswati (1894-1994). In all his philosophical treaties,
particularly his commentary on Brahma Sutras he has
argued against Advaita philosophy in a severe way,
but that did not deter him from showing the respect to
the great Kanchi Seer who also reciprocated it. For the
80th
Jayanti celebrations of Kanchi Periyava,
Krishanamacharya composed and sent a special
composition called Sandhya Saram which talks about
the performance of Sandhyavandanam, the steps
involved there in and above all the connection between
the
yoga
and
Sandhyavandanam.
In
return
Mahaperiyava sent special prasadams through special
messenger.
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Yogcrya Kamcrya
gayI AnuSmraim AnUklam! kLyanpUnaRmh<
gayI zr[m! jaim Azr{y> svaR" inv&Rye
gayIm! jptae nyaim sklm! kalm! dya ivha<
gayI ih sda sumnsh Xyayaim tTvaiTmka<

I meditate on Gayatri, who is full of auspicious qualities,


I, who is without any support, take refuge in Gayatri for
removal of impurities
I spend my time repeating the Gayatri all time who is
embodiment of compassion
I meditate on Gayatri belonging to the divine realm and
whose form is Truth.
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Kamcrya has always highlighted the close link
between Vedas and Yoga. In his teachings, he clearly
states that it is the samantraka praymam which
works in the application of yoga for therapeutic
purposes.
He has advocated how mantra can be
properly chosen depending on the adhikram of the
recipient including their belief system. He never forced
the use of mantras, vedic chanting or even the belief of
God on those who approached him for learning yoga.
However, he taught vedic chanting to ladies and
explained saying that in the Kali Yuga where Brahmins
who are supposed to protect the Vedas have taken up
other professions, teaching women would help in
protecting the Vedas from total extinction. He used
extensively vedic mantras for healing purposes
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
Being a staunch Viidvaitin and follower of Srivaishnava
tradition, his unique contribution lies in linking the Yoga with the
philosophy of Viidvaita. Some of the following references
will highlight the same:
He has composed a unique explanation for the word Yoga
which in Sanskrit combines four letters, i.e. yam, am, um and
gum. The sloka runs as under:

- :

The word Yoga combines the four letters which represent


Hanuman (the son of marut) Hari, Lakshmi (Ramaa) and Garuda
(tarkshya) who together protect those who live in this Universe.

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Yogcrya Kamcrya
In explaining Isvara in the Yoga Sutra he
states in his commentary Yoga Valli
$rpdm! caixe
$re[

kraeit
#it
A_yupeym!
In tune with the Srivaishnava philosophy,
he states that the Isvara includes Isvari
and
hence
the
Isvara
is
Lakshminarayana.
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Yogcrya Kamcrya
inTyzYya IpteyR> Aaidze; #it ut>
[ashmUxaR c zcgdaisx&t!
hStEtuiR> IkaNtinTykE<kyRdIi]t>
atu me dye inTym! nagrajae mha*uit>
Aaidze;akm!
Known as die, having one thousand heads and four
hands, each holding a conch, a disc, a mace and a
sword, he is the bed for rpati (Lord Narayana). He is
eternally absorbed in the service of rknta (Lord
Narayana).
Let this resplendent King of Serpents
reveal himself to me in my heart.
dieakam
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Yogcrya
Kamcrya
One rarely comes across a Yogi
who had the facility to make use
of the Sanskrit knowledge to the
full extent in spreading the
message of yoga and takes the
pride
of
place
among
the
Acharyas of yesteryears such
as Sankara, Ramanuja, Vedanta
Desika, etc.

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