"What are we seeking?" reflects that teaching of ancient Indian wisdom including yoga in a simple and direct manner which makes it relevant to all. Anyone who picks up this book will recognize TKV Desikachar's talent in rendering the profound teaching which he has received applicable to everyday life.
In 1995 he conducted a series of lectures in Europe, one of which was entitled "What are we seeking?". The simplicity and pertinence of his words fascinated the participants and many expressed a desire to know more.
As a result Desikachar requested Martyn Neal to organize the talks into a book. Over a period of four years Martyn worked on the tapes, com-plied the chapters and interacted on many occasions with his teacher before finalising the manuscript.
It was first printed in French under the title "En Quete de Soi" and many readers praised it as being "Up – Put downable". This set the ball rolling for the present English version.
Son and student of T.Krishnamacharya with whom he spent over three decades studying yoga, Ayurveda, veda, Vedanta and other Indian philosophies, TKV Desikachar is recognized today as one of the world's foremost yoga teachers. Through Desikachar the lineage from the ancient masters to the modern world is assured.
He began teaching Yoga in 1961, Vedic Chanting in 1970 and founded the Krishnamacharya yoga, Mandiram in 1976 to share and transmit his father's teaching. Travelling world to wide since the 1960's Desikachar's words are regularly printed in countless magazines and newspapers on almost every continent. Author of many books, including "Health, Healing and Beyongd", "The heart of Yoga", "In search of Mind" and the first English Translation of the classical yoga text "Yogayajnavalkya Samhita" , he has also recorded two audio CD's Vedicchanting and has recently authored a CD Rom entitled " Patanjali's Yogasutras: an Exploration". He lives in Chennai, India, with his wife and children.
Martyn Neal is a yoga teacher in France. Born in England, he became a student of TKV Desikachar in 1983. As a musician he showed an interest in vedic chanting and has accompanied TKV Desikachar on two cassettes intended for western audiences: An Introduction to Vedic Chanting" and the "Yoganjlisaram". He lives in Narbonne, France with his wife and children.
While re-reading "The Eighth Day" by American novelist Thornton Wilder, I was struck by this description:
"Men of faith and men of genius have this in common: they know (observe and remember) many things they are not conscious of knowing. They are attentive to relationships, recurrences, patterns, and laws. There is no impurity in this operation of their minds – neither self – advancement nor pride nor self-justification. The nets they fling are wider and deeper than are fully aware of.
TKV Desikachar is one of these men. There are many people who have not had the opportunity to meet him and to appreciate his clarity and simplicity – this book will give them an insight into the depth of the teaching which he received from his father, Professor T. Krishnamacharya. It exposes some of the aspects of yoga in relation to the inner quest – the role of suffering, appropriate discipline, the student- teacher relationship, and values, the mind, action, faith.
The message conveyed is open and accessible to all. Going beyond barriers and steeped in respect, it results from long experience in the field of human relationships through teaching. The openness with which it is shared, linked to a firm grounding in the authentic and living tradition from which it has sprung confers on this message an enormous value in today's complex society.
Desikachar, in a simple and direct manner, renders some of the deepest aspects of this ancient discipline and philosophy easily understandable and relevant to all. The ideas and reflections which the reader will discover here were exposed in numerous lectures which he gave to European audiences in 1995. My work has been to select them and arrange them in a readable form. Very few Sanskrit terms have been used. Some text references are given to enable those who feel inspired to further their research.
I would like to express my deepest thanks to all those who have helped me in this endeavour. In particular my wife, Christine, who was ever – ready to listen and contribute, to my children for their encouragement and guidance in "Computer-taming" especially Dan and Rachel for design research, and to my friends Claude Marechal, Frans Moors and Bernard Bouanchaud for their readiness to assist.
It has been an enriching and comforting experience for me to prepare this book. I hope that it will stimulate others in their quest.
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