Look Inside

B.K.S. Iyengar: Light on Life (The Yoga Journey to Wholeness, Inner Peace, and Ultimate Freedom)

FREE Delivery
(40% off)
Delivery Ships in 1-3 days
Item Code: NAQ494
Author: B.K.S. Iyengar
Publisher: RODALE
Language: English
Edition: 2005
ISBN: 9781594865244
Pages: 302 (Throughout B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.00 X 6.00 inch
Weight 300 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
Back of the Book
One of the world's masters of yoga invites both those new to yoga and those who are experienced practitioners on an inward journey designed to in-crease their physical health, emotional vitality, mental clarity, intellectual wisdom, and spiritual bliss. As B.K.S. Iyengar says, the potential for enlightenment lies in the heart of every person and the yogic journey will illuminate the path.

Light on Life conveys his discoveries from a lifetime of intensive yoga practice, study, and teaching, and explains the role that yoga postures and breathing techniques play in our search for wholeness, the external and internal obstacles that keep us from progressing along the path, and how yoga can help us live in harmony with the world around us. Beyond the physical benefits that have drawn millions to the practice, Mr. Iyengar shows how yoga can improve our lives in many practical and life-changing ways.

If this book is to lay any claim to authenticity, it must make one point clear above all others. It is this: By persistent and sustained practice, anyone and everyone can make the yoga journey and reach the goal of illumination and freedom. Krishna, Buddha, and Jesus lie in the hearts of all. They are not film stars, mere idols of adulation. They are great inspirational figures whose example is there to be followed. They act as our role models today. Just as they reached Self-Realization, so may we.

Many of you may worry that you are unable to meet the challenges that lie ahead. I want to assure you that you can. I am a man who started from nowhere; I was heavily disadvantaged in many ways. After much time and effort, I began to reach somewhere. I literally emerged from darkness to light, from mortal sickness to health, from crude ignorance to immersion in the ocean of knowledge by one means alone, namely by zealous persistence in the art and science of yoga practice (sadhana). What held good for me will hold good for you too.

Today you also have the benefit of many gifted yoga teachers. When I began yoga, there was, I am sorry to say, no wise, kind teacher to lead me. In fact my own Guru refused to answer any of my innocent inquiries on yoga. He did not instruct me as I do my students, offering them step-by-step guidance in an asana. He would simply demand a posture and leave it to me or his other students to figure out how it could be realized. Perhaps that stimulated some stubborn aspect of my nature, which allied to unshakable faith in the subject of yoga made me burn to go on. I am ardent and passionate, and maybe I needed to show the world that I was not worthless. But far more than that, I wanted to find out who I was. I wanted to understand this mysterious and marvelous "yoga," which could reveal to us our innermost secrets, as equally as it revealed those of the universe around us and our place in it as joyful, suffering, puzzled human beings.

I learned through practice, earned a bit of experienced knowledge, and reinvested that knowledge and understanding in order to learn more. By following the right direction and with the help of a naturally sensitive perception, I was able to further my knowledge. This produced in me a growing accumulation of refined experience that eventually revealed the essence of yoga knowledge.

It took me whole decades to appreciate the depth and true value of yoga. Sacred texts supported my discoveries, but it was not they that signposted the way. What I learned through yoga, I found out through yoga. I am not, however, a "self-made man." I am only what seventy-two years of devoted yoga sadhana has created out of me. Any contribution I have made to the world has been the fruit of my sadhana.

This sadhana provided me with the tenacity of purpose to continue even through trying times. My disinclination toward laxer lifestyles kept me on the straight path, but I never shunned anyone, for I have come to see the light of the soul in all. Yoga ferried me across the great river from the bank of ignorance to the shore of knowledge and wisdom. It is no extravagant claim to say that wisdom has come to me by the practice of yoga, and the grace of God has lit the lamp of the inner core in me. This allows me to see that same light of the soul glowing in all other beings.

You, my readers, must understand that you are already starting from somewhere. You have the beginning already shown to you, and no one knows in what wholeness and felicity you may end. If you take up any noble line and stick to it, you can reach the ultimate. Be inspired but not proud. Does not aim low; you will miss the mark. Aim high; you will be on the threshold of bliss.

What Patanjali said applies to me and will apply to you. He wrote, "With this truth bearing light will begin a new life. Old unwanted impressions are discarded and we are protected from the damaging effects of new experiences." (Yoga Sutras, Chapter I, Verse 50)

It is my hope that my own lowly beginnings and ordinariness may serve as a source of encouragement as you seek this truth and begin a new life. Yoga transformed my life from a parasitic one to a life of purpose. Later yoga inspired me to partake in the joy and nobility of life, which I carried to many thousands of people without consideration of religion, caste, gender, or nationality. I am so grateful for what yoga has made of my life that I have always sought to share it.

In this spirit I offer my experiences through this book in the hope that with faith, love, persistence, and perseverance you will savor the sweet flavor of yoga. Carry the flame forward so that it may bring the blissful light of the knowledge of true reality to future generations.

This book owes its conception and delivery to a number of people who worked together to bring it to its final state so that I may offer it to you. I would like to acknowledge in particular Doug Abrams of Idea Architects, John J. Evans, Geeta S. Iyengar, Uma Dhavale, Stephanie Quirk, Daniel Rivers-Moore, Jackie Wardle, Stephanie Tade, and Chris Potash. My gratitude goes to Rodale for bringing this work to the public at large; I share all credit and merit with them.

Yoga was my Destiny, and for the past seventy years, yoga has been my life, a life fused with the practice, philosophy, and teaching of the art of yoga. Like all destinies, like all great adventures, I have gone to places I never imagined before I set out. For me it has been a journey of discovery. In historical terms it has been one of rediscovery but undertaken from a unique perspective: Innovation within traditional boundaries. These past seventy years have taken me on the Inward Journey toward a vision of the Soul. This book contains my triumphs, struggles, battles, sorrows, and joys.

Fifty years ago, I came to the West to shed Light on Yoga. Now through this book, I am presenting half a century of my experience in order to shed Light on Life. The popularity of yoga and my part in spreading its teaching are a great source of satisfaction to me. But I do not want yoga's widespread popularity to eclipse the depth of what it has to give to the practitioner. Fifty years after my first trip west and after so much devoted yoga practice by so many, I now wish to share with you the whole of the yoga journey.

It is my profound hope that my end can be your beginning.

Freedom Awaits

When I left India and came to Europe and America a half century ago, open-mouthed audiences gaped at the presentation of yogasana positions, seeing them as some exotic form of contortionism. These very same asana have now been embraced by many millions of people throughout the world, and their physical and therapeutic benefits are widely acknowledged. This in itself is an extraordinary trans-formation, as yoga has lit a fire in the hearts of so many.

I set off in yoga seventy years ago when ridicule, rejection, and outright condemnation were the lot of a seeker through yoga even in its native land of India. Indeed, if I had become a sadhu, a mendicant holy man, wandering the great trunk roads of British India, begging bowl in hand, I would have met with less derision and won more respect. At one time, I was asked to become a sannyasin and renounce the world, but I declined. I wanted to live as an ordinary householder with all the trials and tribulations of life and to take my yoga practice to average people who share with me the common life of work, mar-riage, and children. I was blessed with all three, including a long and joyous marriage to my beloved late wife, Ramamani, children, and grandchildren.

The life of a householder is difficult, and it always has been. Most of us encounter hardship and suffering, and many are plagued by physical and emotional pain, stress, sadness, loneliness, and anxiety. While we often think of these as the problems caused by the demands of modern life, human life has always had the same hardships and the same challenges-making a living, raising a family, and finding meaning and purpose.

These have always and will always be the challenges that we humans face. As animals, we walk the earth. As bearers of a divine essence, we are among the stars. As human beings, we are caught in the middle, seeking to reconcile the paradox of how to make our way upon the earth while striving for something more permanent and more profound. So many seek this greater Truth in the heavens, but it lies much closer than the clouds. It is within us and can be found by anyone on the Inward Journey.

What most people want is the same. Most people simply want physical and mental health, understanding and wisdom, and peace and freedom. Often our means of pursuing these basic human needs come apart at the seams, as we are pulled by the different and often competing demands of human life. Yoga, as it was understood by its sages, is designed to satisfy all these human needs in a comprehensive, seam-less whole. Its goal is nothing less than to attain the integrity of oneness-oneness with ourselves and as a consequence oneness with all that lies beyond ourselves. We become the harmonious microcosm in the universal macrocosm. Oneness, what I often call integration, is the foundation for wholeness, inner peace, and ultimate freedom.

Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit the broken pieces together. Yoga allows you to find an inner peace that is not ruffled and riled by the endless stresses and struggles of life. Yoga allows you to find a new kind of freedom that you may not have known even existed. To a yogi, freedom implies not being battered by the dualities of life, its ups and downs, its pleasures and its suffering. It implies equanimity and ultimately that there is an inner serene core of one's being that is never out of touch with the unchanging, eternal infinite.

As I have said already, anyone can embark on the Inward Journey. Life itself seeks fulfillment as plants seek the sunlight. The Universe did not create Life in the hope that the failure of the majority would underscore the success of the few. Spiritually at least, we live in a democracy, an equal opportunity society.

Yoga is not meant to be a religion or a dogma for any one culture. While Yoga sprang from the soil of India, it is meant as a universal path, a way open to all regardless of their birth and background.

Patanjali used the expression sarvabhauma-universal-some 2,500 years ago. We are all human beings, but we have been taught to think of ourselves as Westerners or Easterners. If we were left to ourselves, we would simply be individual human beings-no Africans, no Indians, no Europeans, no Americans. Coming from India, I inevitably developed certain Indian characteristics adopted from the culture in which I was nurtured. We all do this. There is no difference in the soul-what I call the "Seer." The difference comes only between the "garments" of the seer-the ideas about ourselves that we wear. Break them. Do not feed them with divisive ideas. That is what yoga teaches. When you and I meet together, we forget ourselves-our cultures and classes. There are no divisions, and we talk mind to mind, soul to soul. We are no different in our deepest needs. We are all human.

Yoga recognizes that the way our bodies and minds work has changed very little over the millennia. The way we function inside our skin is not susceptible to differ either in time or from place to place. In the functioning of our minds, in our way of relating to each other, there are inherent stresses, like geological fault lines that, left unaddressed, will always cause things to go wrong, whether individually or collectively. The whole thrust of the yogic philosophical and scientific inquiry has therefore been to examine the nature of being, with a view to learning to respond to the stresses of life without so many tremors and troubles.

Yoga does not look on greed, violence, sloth, excess, pride, lust, and fear as ineradicable forms of original sin that exist to wreck our happiness-or indeed on which to found our happiness. They are seen as natural, if unwelcome, manifestations of the human disposition and predicament that are to be solved, not suppressed or denied. Our flawed mechanisms of perception and thought are not a cause for grief (though they bring us grief), but an opportunity to evolve, for an in-eternal evolution of consciousness that will also make possible in a customable form our aspirations toward what we call individual success and global progress.

Yoga is the rule book for playing the game of Life, but in this game no one needs to lose. It is tough, and you need to train hard. It requires the willingness to think for yourself, to observe and correct, and to surmount occasional setbacks. It demands honesty, sustained application, and above all love in your heart. If you are interested to understand what it means to be a human being, placed between earth and sky, if you are interested in where you come from and where you will be able to go, if you want happiness and long for freedom, then you have al-ready begun to take the first steps toward the journey inward.

The rules of nature cannot be bent. They are impersonal and implacable. But we do play with them. By accepting nature's challenge and joining the game, we find ourselves on a windswept and exciting journey that will pay benefits commensurate to the time and effort we put in-the lowest being our ability to tie our own shoelaces when we are eighty and the highest being the opportunity to taste the essence of life itself.

My Yogic Journey
Most of those who begin to practice yogasana, the poses of yoga, do so for practical and often physical reasons. Perhaps it is for some medical problem such as a bad back, a sports injury, high blood pressure, or arthritis. Or perhaps it is as a result of a broader concern to do with achieving a better lifestyle or coping with stress, weight problems, or addiction. Very few people begin yoga because they believe it will be a way to achieve spiritual enlightenment, and indeed a good number may be quite skeptical about the whole idea of spiritual self-realization. Actually, this is not a bad thing because it means most of the people who come to yoga are practical people who have practical problems and aims-people who are grounded in the ways and means of life, people who are sensible.

color="red" size="5">Book's Contents and Sample Pages

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q. What locations do you deliver to ?
    A. Exotic India delivers orders to all countries having diplomatic relations with India.
  • Q. Do you offer free shipping ?
    A. Exotic India offers free shipping on all orders of value of $30 USD or more.
  • Q. Can I return the book?
    A. All returns must be postmarked within seven (7) days of the delivery date. All returned items must be in new and unused condition, with all original tags and labels attached. To know more please view our return policy
  • Q. Do you offer express shipping ?
    A. Yes, we do have a chargeable express shipping facility available. You can select express shipping while checking out on the website.
  • Q. I accidentally entered wrong delivery address, can I change the address ?
    A. Delivery addresses can only be changed only incase the order has not been shipped yet. Incase of an address change, you can reach us at help@exoticindia.com
  • Q. How do I track my order ?
    A. You can track your orders simply entering your order number through here or through your past orders if you are signed in on the website.
  • Q. How can I cancel an order ?
    A. An order can only be cancelled if it has not been shipped. To cancel an order, kindly reach out to us through help@exoticindia.com.
Add a review
Have A Question

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Book Categories