Mr Iyengar Returns to Omkarananda Ganga Sadan

The police are controlling the traffic between Sivananda Arch and the entrance to Omkarananda Ganga Sadan in readiness for Guruji’s arrival in a few minutes.

It is now the turn of the Iyengar Yoga Centre at Omkarananda Ganga Sadan to host B.K.S. Iyengar, a legendary figure in the world of yoga and named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2004 for his contribution to yoga.

The entrance reception area is filled with flowers and photos of Guruji and everyone is in place lining his pathway from the car to the entrance of the yoga hall. As Mr. Iyengar enters the building, the Priests are there to greet him and perform Purna Kumbha (welcoming prayer). The chanting begins and the students can hardly maintain their silence for more than a few minutes before bursting into applause. Once again, we drop red rose petals on the floor as he walks past us all. He is smiling and making eye contact with everyone as he walks towards the yoga hall. Inside the room Swami Vishveshwarananda, President of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, Kumari Somashekhari, General Secretary of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, and Swami Narasimhulu, Trustee of Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, are there to welcome their honoured guest. Guruji is then led to the beautiful statue of Sage Patanjali to perform a Pushpanjali (offering of flower), as Siddhartha Krishna chants the invocation to Patanjali and we all join in.

With the formalities completed Guruji moves to the stage and takes his place. He appears relaxed and happy as he does Namaste to us all and informally begins to talk asking us about what it means to be a Sadhaka, he asks us to see and find out what we see with the mind and with intelligence and tells us the body acts and the Self observes. He spoke of Union... Self to skin, skin to Self... See a full transcript of his speech here.

Swami Vishveshwarananda concludes the gathering with some very joyful and affectionate words, thanking Guruji for coming today and remarking on one of Guruji’s earlier comments that ‘we are the ocean.’ “Guruji... if we are the ocean, then you are the Ganga,” he said.

Guruji is then invited for some refreshments in the reception area where Marie Christine was waiting to serve our guests coffee and cookies. Kumari Somashekhari chatted with Mr. Iyengar and expressed the Ashram's heart felt gratitude to Guruji for helping Usha in her road to recovery.

Guruji left the building to rousing cheers, applause and calls from the students. “We love you Guruji.”

Vladimir Malutin