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As he passes from this earthly realm, let us offer thanks for the work Pattabhi Jois in spreading yoga to the masses.

Some of the many tribute articles:

And, his official website – the Astanga Yoga Institute.

Interestingly, my next post (before I heard of Pattabhi Jois’ passing) was going to be part 4 of my ‘Why I have a Guru‘ series. It’s still on the way, very soon in fact (just tidying up a few things).

I don’t know a great deal about Pattabhi Jois. I’ve never studied Astanga in-depth, although I’ve done Astanga-style classes and I’m aware of Sri Pattabhi’s contributions to yoga. But without doubt, he has been a Guru for many people.

Many times, I’ve contemplated with gratitude the presence of my own Guru in my life. Which of course, also means I’ve contemplated the inevitable time when that will no longer be the case. This might be due to his passing, or perhaps in the latter part of his life he’ll decide to renounce teaching in favour of solo practice. However it happens, eventually he won’t be around.

I’ve thought a lot about what that’d be like. Undoubtedly, it would be sad, but I couldn’t be unhappy, I think. It’d be difficult to feel anything except gratitude.

In my life to date, not counting any further exchanges I might share with him, my Guru has given me more than any other person I know – meditation and yoga instruction (second to none), love, compassion, generosity, new thought paradigms, understanding of sacred texts, a second home (in Thailand), an interest in permaculture, and most importantly a vivid depiction of someone who lives and breathes everything he teaches.

Additionally, he’s shown me how to be a serious yogi without taking myself or my path too seriously.

While it’s not something everyone would choose (and certainly, this path seemed to choose me more than anything), finding myself with a Guru has been one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. And I say that in the face of having my delusions painfully stripped away at every turn. In fact, I’m grateful for the view of the world I’ve been given, no matter what else may come my way.

The following is a small prayer I offer at the end of my meditation/yoga practices and today I dedicate it to Pattabhi Jois:

Salutations and blessings to the Gurus and Wisdom Masters

May they continue their work to benefit all beings

Shining their light as always, without preference

Hari Om Tat Sat!

~Svasti

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