Every day, I live grateful for this lineage of yoga, the Iyengars, and for my teacher’s burden and effort in imparting it. Once, after thanking my teacher, Manouso, and his wife, Rita, for the Abode of Iyengar Yoga, he requested as thanks, that I should inspire others.
This excerpt is from a talk by Geetaji Iyengar, from 70 Glorious Years of Yogācārya B.K.S. Iyengar: “The drishta (seer), Purusha—is forgotten because we embrace ahamkara (the ego). That is why we are like rocks....Guruji told you to drop your ego. He has shaken you, awakened you. Drop the ahamkara, the ego, and alasya, laziness. If you have achieved something, good, thank God, but do not embrace the ego. If you have not achieved anything then drop the laziness (alasya) and work, work hard and practice and be honest and religious in your approach. [From the Taittirya Upanishad,] the Guru while saying goodbye to the pupils (shishya) says “ Swadyaya Pravachanabhyam Na Pramadityavyam”. Swadhyaya indicates studying by oneself. The Guru asks the pupil to be a student forever, never to miss one’s lesson or practice. Then Prachana indicates imparting the knowledge to others. Here it is the teaching. It is a double responsibility. Even if you become a Guru, a teacher, you are not supposed to give up your practice.
Whatever has been taught by the Guru, do it. That will guide you. It is the duty of every pupil to preserve and protect this tradition. The same Upanishad says, “Acharyam Priyam Dhanam Ahritya Prajatantum ma Vyavachchetsihi” Take care that the thread of your lineage doesn’t break.
After all what does the Guru want from
You? It is the knowledge (vidya), the art that he has given you. In return he wants moral, ethical and religious practice as a gift. He wants you to preserve the art. Why does he say, do not break the lineage? So that you can transfer the knowledge to the next generation.
Never compete with a Guru. On the contrary when you get closer to the Guru, when you are almost equal to the Guru, the Upanishad says, “Here the Guru and Shisya both pray together....May [God] protect us both...May be both enjoy [supreme joy] together....May we both work together...May we not hate each other.”