Monday, August 08, 2016
Sir TKV Desikachar passed away yesterday after a long illness. He was the teacher of my teachers and it is testament to the strength of his teaching that I feel like I knew him too. Their stories about "Sir," as his students called him, reveal him to be a humble, deeply knowledgable and realized human being. This morning, I am thinking about how they described him teaching to an almost empty room at at Yoga Journal conference sometime in the 90s. It made me catch my breath - here, a genuine acharya, offering his profound teaching and everyone was flocking to whomever was the latest superstar at that moment. Still, as they describe it, he taught his class wholeheartedly. Perhaps as a good follow-up to that story, my teacher Chase likes to remind us that Mr. Ds definition of avidya (which often is translated as incorrect knowledge or delusion) was "I know."
Chase also said that one of Sir's favorite chants was in English, done to the same svara or melody as "śanti, śanti, śantih." He would chant, "Thank you, thank you, thank you." To me, this sums up his wisdom. One might be tempted to think that it was simple, indeed so simple as to be easily dismissed. But don't be fooled! Don't be fooled.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.