Rajiv Bajaj mourns BKS Iyengar, says ‘I feel like I have lost my mother a second time’
Aug 21, 2014, 08.17 AM IST
By Rajiv Bajaj
Guruji was much more than just a yoga guru. He was a life guru because he taught us the purpose of life itself by teaching us how to intelligently push the envelope without giving in to our fears. And he did so by simplifying yoga with his invention of various props, so that everyone could experience its benefits, irrespective of their physical abilities. Guruji would say that the body is the mind’s first prop. He showed us how we can use our body to control our minds, instead of it always being the other way around. In doing so, Guruji said that yoga helps us cure what cannot be endured and endure what cannot be cured.
When I grievously hurt my back two years ago, Guruji called me to see him. I didn’t go as I’d been in bed three weeks, I was hurt and scared, and all the doctors had warned me against doing any yoga for a while. But Guruji called again and again until I finally gave in and went to see him.
He straightened, stretched, bent, and twisted me in every possible way, with his own hands, over two hours. At one point I gasped as he pushed the top of his head into the middle of my back with the strength of a young bull. And I was 45, Guruji 93.
Suddenly the entire length of my body from my middle back down to my left knee, that for weeks had felt like it was in several vulnerable pieces, felt like one strong, solid whole. Guruji rewarded me by coming home on my birthday to teach me some yoga and regaled us with his stories about Nehru and Menuhin, and how he made the queen of Belgium stand on her head at the age of 80! And as he ate a dozen of his favourite jalebis (the rest he packed and took home with him) he taught me a great lesson when he told me that management, like yoga, is just about alignment alignment of one part with another, all parts with the whole, and the whole with a higher purpose. Guruji’s exceptional skills were matched only by his abundant love for each and every one of us.
Every time we met, I was greeted by his hearty laugh, a thump of blessing upon my back, and simple words of shining wisdom. I’d often ask him to give me a chance to do something for him. His response was always how can I? I’m a man of yoga. As long as Guruji was around, I felt fearless. I knew there was no problem I could have that he could not solve. Now he’s gone. I feel like I have lost my mother for a second time.
To a man who fought every possible adversity since childhood with exemplary courage, grace, and dignity, I pray that God give him in full measure the peace that he has earned over 75 years of teaching millions around the world the yoga of life.
(The writer is MD, Bajaj Auto Ltd)