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Gurus of Modern Yoga$
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Mark Singleton and Ellen Goldberg

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199938704

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199938704.001.0001

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T. Krishnamacharya, Father of Modern Yoga

T. Krishnamacharya, Father of Modern Yoga

Chapter:
(p.83) Chapter 4 T. Krishnamacharya, Father of Modern Yoga
Source:
Gurus of Modern Yoga
Author(s):

Mark Singleton

Tara Fraser

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199938704.003.0005

This chapter explores T. Krishnamacharya’s place as a guru of modern, transnational yoga. It offers a brief summary of his life and an examination of the core principles of his mature yoga teaching. It then considers some of Krishnamacharya’s pronouncements concerning the role of the guru before examining his relationship to his own gurus. The importance of his native Śrī Vaiṣṇavism is discussed, along with the apparent tension between his commitment to that faith and the discourse of religious universalism that pervades his organization’s teaching on yoga. Krishnamacharya’s own role as a guru and his creative adaptation and rewriting of tradition are then examined, followed by a consideration of the importance in his yoga teaching of bhakti (devotion). T. K. V. Desikachar is also considered, since Krishnamacharya’s later teachings are in many respects indistinguishable from Desikachar’s interpretations and mediations of those teachings.

Keywords:   guru, yoga, modern yoga, Krishnamacharya, Desikachar, bhakti, Śrī Vaiṣṇavism

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