memories of a master continued from page 67
reveling in her might, the Ganges swept past the hermitage of the great sage Agas-tya, causing havoc in the surrounding area. Seeing that his disciples and other living beings were distressed, Agastya drank the entire Ganges in one sip, as he would do with a handful of water in his daily ritual. Yet again, Bhagirata meditated and prayed, requesting Agastya to release the Ganges. Agastya granted his wish. At last, the Ganges flowed over the ashes of Bhagirata's forefathers. In all, Bhagirata spent thousands of years in austerities and meditation with unwavering concentration, never discouraged by the numerous obstacles he faced.
What does this story have to do with Bhagiratasana? Bhagirata was supposed to have meditated for all those years standing on one leg!
Krishnamaeharya called the Tree Pose Bhagiratasana because of the values in this story. He said, "When doing Bhagiratasana, keep the great Bhagirata in mind. Bring tireless perseverance and steadfast concentration to your practice."
Once, Krishnamaeharya asked me, half seriously, "Do you know Dhruvasana?" The story of Dhruva is well known in Vedic mythology —that of ayoungprince who undertakes rigorous meditation — but I had never heard of the pose. He smiled and continued, "It is like Bhagiratasana, but you must not stand on the whole foot—you must stand only on the great toe!"
nonacquisitiveness and contentment
In the effort of accumulating material possessions and wealth, in protecting the acquired, in their decline, in the latent impressions they leave on the mind, and in the unavoidable harm caused to other living beings—in all these there lies unhappiness. Thus the yogi practices nonacquisitiveness.
from vyasa's commentary ON YOGA SUTRA 11.30 continued on page 102
Jan. 21 • 24, 2010, / Manhattan Baach, CA Fab. IS - 21, 2010, / Ration, VA March 25 - 28, 2010 / Beton, MA April 22 - 25, 2010 / Dollo», TX
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