B K S Iyengar was an outstanding human being whose vast contribution to human physical, mental and spiritual health cannot be quantified. Through his dedicated practice of yoga B K S Iyengar worked on himself to such an extent that he could help all yoga students from a raw beginner to yoga to an advanced practitioner of yoga. In addition, his ability to empathise with people with medical problems enabled him to help people with health problems of all kinds. There can be no other teacher who has contributed so much to the field of relieving human suffering and yoga therapy.
The origin of yoga philosophy is the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. B K S Iyengar studied the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali in a uniquely practical way and bought this to bear in his teaching of asanas and pranayama. In 1993 he published his own translation and commentary Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This was the third in his trilogy of publications bringing light to the world.
“Be inspired but not proud” B.K.S. Iyengar
The first was Light on Yoga published in 1966. This contains a concise summary of yoga philosophy, yoga asanas and how to perform them, and some pranayama techniques. The second, published in 1981, was Light on Pranayama which contains the theory, the art and the techniques of pranayama and the art of relaxation and meditation. The third was Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Later, in 2005, B K S Iyengar published Light on Life which is a book about life. The subtitle is The Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace and Ultimate Freedom. In his own words B K S Iyengar describes the book as an attempt to light the way for you and other spiritual seekers. It aims to map out a path that all may follow. It offers advice, methods, and a philosophical framework at a level that even a newcomer to the practice of yoga may grasp. This book presents the culmination of B K S Iyengar’s understanding of yoga based on seventy years of practice.
Few practitioners of yoga have applied themselves consistently for so long and few have reached the level of practice and understanding achieved by B K S Iyengar. Without doubt he was one of the world’s greatest yoga teachers ever.
Biographical details can be found on the Official B K S Iyengar website bksiyengar.com
Guruji's wide yoga family throughout the world will miss him but we are very privileged to have lived and worked with him. To have stepped on the path of yoga alongside one whose wisdom and light blazed forth is indeed a great honour.
In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krsna describes to Arjuna the characteristics of a perfect yogi (II55-59, 61, 64-72) which Guruji quoted this in Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (pp 228-9). It is well worth rereading with Guruji in mind.
Yoga Sutra I.48 also seems to describe Guruji, When consciousness dwells in wisdom, a truth bearing state of direct spiritual perception dawns.
To our dear Guruji we offer sincere thanks for his dedication to yoga, for bringing yoga to the West, for all his practice, all his teaching, all his teacher training, and all his remedial work. We resolve and pray that our practices and teaching may be worthy of his name.
Many students and teachers took part in the international Communal Dedication to Guruji on Thursday 28 August 2014 by practicing a simple sequence of asanas and sitting quietly to reflect on the life and work of this great man.
IYCE opened a book of condolences that was taken to the Iyengar family.