Erudition from the Yogi Dr. Jayadeva – A small tribute


Erudition from the Yogi Dr. Jayadeva – A small tribute

Erudition from the Yogi Dr. Jayadeva – A small tribute

Dr. Jayadeva is no longer with us on the physical front, but he continues to live in our hearts forever through his kind words and teachings. He epitomised the Yoga way of life. He was a simple man and direct in his approach to things, people, places, events to everything and every moment.  Careful with his words and honesty reflected in all aspects of his life. His presence was enough to tell anyone in need or trouble that things are going to be okay.  A divine presence who helped and solved everything making life worthwhile for the living.

Our real education started with him—the real education, not the bookish education—it was educating the soul. It was like Upanishadic training at the feet of the Master.

— A Sadhaka

People in the neighbourhood of The Yoga Institute call it Yoga-ashram. A signboard in the Institute campus in Hindi says: ‘Yogashram’. A spiritual hermitage in India is called an ashram. What is the difference between an institution and an ashram? An Institute is a place where one receives education and training for a period and moves on. Also, education imparted is common to all students in an Institute. Education is also imparted in an ashram, but it is on a one-to-one basis. There is no common syllabus.

Shri Yogendra called the organization he founded to impart Yoga education an Institute. He expected English-educated Indians to take to Yoga. After completing prescribed courses, many moved on, but a few felt their education was incomplete and continued to come to the Institute. Dr. Jayadeva began a Sunday batch for such students who were interested in self-development. They received guidance in swadhyaya (self-study) and the Karma-Yoga way of living. Dr. Jayadeva called them sadhakas. A sadhaka is a spiritual aspirant who works for his spiritual progress.

Shaping the Sadhakas and transforming their lives (some heartfelt stories and excerpts from The Call of Yoga a book dedicated The Gurus –Dr. Jayadeva and Dr. Hansaji Yogendra)

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My first Lesson in self-awareness

“So, the mosquitoes are bothering you” I heard these soft words. Simultaneously, there was a tap on my shoulder. This happened around thirty years ago when I was struggling with my “Sukhasana”. It was one of my first earliest interactions with Dr.Jayadeva.

In one short but emphatic statement, he pointed out to me how easily I was getting disturbed. It was also my first lesson in self-awareness.

That has always been his style. Teaching a student with a minimum of instructions, but whatever is conveyed always stayed with you.

What made him a very effective teacher was simply that he practised all that he preached. There was never any inconsistency. This I reckon was the sole reason I brought about changes in my food and drinking habits, and followed closely a yogic lifestyle. Naturally, it led to the necessary benefits related to my physical and mental well-being.

He had that unique ability of ensuring that students obeyed his instructions. For example, I distinctly remember him advising two different students, telling one to keep a low profile, and urging the other to leave the last row and come to the front row!

 Following his advice and benefitting from it generated faith in him. Later, I realized the value of faith in general. Slowly, I started turning to God and began to feel that He did listen to me.

Hansaji was always available in the background, always willing to help. This did happen a few times when one was diffident in approaching Dr. Jayadeva for some reason.

— Sharad Wagmare

We must do our duty, only then faith works

I joined the TTC at The Yoga Institute on June 1, 1986.

Listening to Dr. Jayadeva’s talks, my faith became much stronger. Trusting God, I would not even lock the car! On this point, Dr. Jayadeva corrected me. “We have to do our duty, only then faith works,” he said.

Dr. Jayadeva said: “This shall also pass”. Thus, l developed the Anitya Bhavana attitude during challenging times.

In one of the thought-sharing sessions, I mentioned that I was sensitive and emotional and got hurt easily. Several views were expressed which gave me a new perspective—was I not egoistic, intolerant of criticism by claiming to be sensitive? Does this prevent me from thinking beyond my little self?

During a function on the Founder’s birthday, I was asked to welcome the guests. I had worn a white silk sari and must have looked very proud. Dr. Jayadeva came to me and very gently asked me to pick up some dry leaves. As I bent down, his message sank in.

I got clarification on the priority of duties. Taking care of myself is not a selfish attitude. I should also know when to “let go”. There was more clarity in dealing with others.

I learnt to live in the” Now”—let go of the past and stop worrying about the future. God has a plan for my life and that is all I need to know!

— Bubble Sahani

A bodybuilder discovered his soul

Harry Sequeira was a body-builder.  He worked on his body in a gym and was proud of his biceps. He loved to be physically fit. He loved to show that he was fit.

Harry and one of his friends became curious when they came across a Yoga pamphlet—a 21-day course for better living. To them, better living meant better biceps. So, they came to The Yoga Institute.

Dr. Jayadeva took Harry to the Yoga hall. The hall was empty. Harry looked around, he did not find what he was looking for, so he asked: “Where is the equipment?” Doctor pointed out a mat. It took quite some time for the aspiring Mr. India to realize that the instructor was not joking—mat, not for weightlifting; mat as a seat.

Dr. Jayadeva asked Harry to sit down. Harry sat. “Relax your body,” said Doctor. “Relax?” This vocabulary was new to the bodybuilder. He was more comfortable pumping the body. It took a while for him to sit comfortably, spine straight, eyes closed, then relax, paying attention to the breathing.

This was a new experience.

Next day, he was back at the Institute. And the next day too. Harry Sequeira tells, in his own words, how the body-builder discovered his soul.

I come from a religious family with strong faith in God. I had joined the Jesuit order and was doing my pre-novitiate training at the St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata, but typhus took its toll on me and I returned to Bombay, almost moribund. Years passed and there was an inner urge for self-improvement. However, it took a physical turn; I did bodybuilding, and with muscles like a Salman Khan, I came to The Yoga Institute, but my body was like an animal body, and soon, the lion-tamer, Dr. Jayadeva, had this task of taming me. I dare say he succeeded to a great extent; but it took years—almost 50 years.”

The Awakening: Like many of my classmates, I was in deep spiritual slumber, immersed in the worldly life.  He had a Master Plan for us, to awaken us; but the plan was hidden. We did not know his method for transforming us, step by step, towards the awakening of our spiritual nature. At the first stage, it was to make us clean since a lot of inner debris had to be cleaned; it took years, but he worked on us through patience.

Questioning: As we immersed ourselves in yoga, there was a questioning of the status quo. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions needed a makeover. Yoga provided the groundwork, and the sagacity of Dr. Jayadeva helped in this paradigm shift towards a more spiritual outlook towards life.

Learning continues apace: Our real education started with him—the real education, not the bookish education—it was educating the soul. It was like Upanishadic training at the feet of the Master.

Development: He aroused in us creativity such as writing, art, music, literature, and interest in these grew day-by-day.

Self-help: He taught us how to help ourselves, and taught us self-reliance; he taught us how to heal ourselves.

Thus, grooming at the hands of Dr. Jayadeva continued over the years with patience, and with the certainty that eventually we will seek our soul and the soul itself will guide us towards the Higher Reality.

Never he fails in his duty

Come rain or shine

And facing hurdles and obstacles with a serene eye

He performs his duty.

Once when there was only one student in the class,

Instead of the six who had signed up,

I asked him “Why a class for one person”

And he replied with one word,


This is the portrait of Dr. Jayadeva I carry in my heart—forever.

Mystic eyes, a 360 degrees view;

Quiet eyes, focussed on the Higher Reality;

Peaceful eyes brimming with peace and quiet;

Equanimous eyes, the balance of Samatvam;

A sage’s eyes…

Hansaji is Shakti, for her witnessing Shiva.

A meeting of souls.

You can change

When I first joined the Institute and asked for some work I could do, Doctor Sahib used to give me physical work like shifting bricks, cleaning windows, fan, etc. Later, I realised that this kind of work was given to me to keep me busy, to forget my worries and slowly increased my concentration; for that is what Dr. Jayadeva had observed in me—lack of concentration and a wayward mind.

At the sadhakas’ meeting on Sundays, we used to share personal activities. The others noted that I had serious problems with my father. Dr. Jayadeva told me that my father being old would not change; he paused and then said softly, “But you can change.” I asked him if I could use my prayers to develop love and understanding towards my father and he said “yes”. The change in me, I noticed, gave rise to a change in my father. My father now wanted me to sit with him and chat regularly. Once in a week, my father used to eat ice-cream. I noticed that he would insist that we eat it together, my dad, mum and me.

— Nayana Bhat

Get to know the life and work of Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Dr. Hansaji.  Gain peace and serenity, truly inspirational stories and a self-help guide for all those who seek freedom from suffering.

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