BKS Iyengar (1918-), famed teacher instrumental in bringing hatha yoga to the West


"God is the creator, and the best way of offering prayer to him is to be creative. God is all loving, and the best way to serve him is to serve humanity." Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1825-1883), Hindu reformer

There are more than one million Indians here in America now. And I think more than half of them are here tonight (laughter and applause). And I might say, Mr. Prime Minister, the other half are disappointed that they're not here (laughter). President Bill Clinton at a State Dinner held at the white house in honor of India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee

To call woman the weaker sex is a libel; it is man's injustice to woman. If by strength is meant brute strength, then, indeed, is woman less brute than man. If by strength is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man's superior. Has she not greater intuition, is she not more self-sacrificing, has she not greater powers of endurance, has she not greater courage? Without her, man could not be. If nonviolence is the law of our being, the future is with woman. Who can make a more effective appeal to the heart than woman? Mahatma Gandhi in Young India, 10/4/1930

One who is established in a comfortable posture while concentrating on the inner Self naturally becomes immersed in the Heart's ocean of bliss. Siva Sutras III, 16

Over the last few years, American universities have had to adjust their cafeteria menus to reflect the fact that ten to fifteen percent of their incoming students are vegetarians. Now the US federal prison system is doing the same, perhaps a dubious distinction for the advocates of vegetarianism. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals see an up side, "It should help us all sleep a little better to know we're taking away violent criminals' taste for blood." Estimates of the number of vegetarians in the US run from one to three percent of the total population.

The smallest good deed is better than the greatest intention.

Time may be a great healer, but it's also a lousy beautician.

The three most important things you need to learn in life are counting and speling.

Worrying about something is like paying interest on a debt you don't even know if you owe. Mark Twain

"May I take your order?" the waiter asked. "Yes. I'm just wondering, how do you prepare your chickens?" "Nothing special, sir," he replied. "We just tell them straight out that they're going to die."

One of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. Ralph Waldo Emerson

What happened to the man who couldn't keep up the payments to the exorcist? He was repossessed.

"I have decided to abolish all corporal punishment at this school," said the principal at a morning assembly. "That means that there will be no physical punishment."
"Does that mean that we don't have to eat school meals any more, sir?"

Decay is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.
Buddha's last words

There are things of deadly earnest that can only be mentioned under the cover of a joke. J. J. Procter

A great idea is the soul of a sentence, for which words form the body.

In view of the fact that God limited the intelligence of man, it seems unfair that He did not also limit man's stupidity.

That which we call the Hindu religion is really the Eternal Religion because it embraces all others.
Sri Aurobindo (1872-1950)

Three monks decided to practice meditation together. They sat by the side of a lake and closed their eyes in concentration. Suddenly, the first one stood up and said, "I forgot my mat." He stepped miraculously onto the water in front of him and walked across the lake to their hut on the other side. When he returned, the second monk stood up and said, "I forgot to put my other clothes to dry." He, too, walked calmly across the water and returned the same way. The third monk watched the first two carefully in what he decided must be the test of his own abilities. "Is your learning so superior to mine? I can match any feat you two can perform," he declared loudly and rushed to the water's edge to walk across it. He promptly fell into the deep water. Undeterred, he climbed out of the water and tried again, only to sink. Yet again he climbed out and yet again he tried, each time sinking into the water. This went on for some time as the other two monks watched. After a while, the second monk turned to the first and said, "Do you think we should tell him where the stones are?"

In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life–it will be the solace of my death. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher and writer and first Western philosopher to have access to translations of philosophical material from India.

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian. Dennis Wholey

Possessing Love

Tirukural 72: The unloving belong only to themselves, but the loving belong to others to their very bones.

Tirukural 78: Life without love in the heart is like a sapless tree in a barren desert.

Tirukural 79: What good is a body perfect in outer ways, if inwardly it is impaired by lack of love?

Tirukural 80: With love enshrined in the heart, one truly lives. Without it, the body is but bones encased in skin.



In 1952, BKS Iyengar, the famous yoga teacher, met the legendary violinist, Yehudi Menuhin. Their meeting was instrumental in introducing Iyengar and yoga to the Western world, as Menuhin became one of Iyengar's devoted students. Year after year Menuhin brought Iyengar to teach yoga to him and his family and friends. Menuhin acknowledged Iyengar as his "best violin teacher" and continued practicing yoga until his death in 1999. Menuhin also introduced Iyengar to the Queen Mother of Belgium, who at age 82 learned to "stand on her head."