27 Apr Book Review: Celebration of a Yogic Life (A book about Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra)
Celebration of a Yogic Life, a very inspiring book, profiles the life of Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, the son of Shri Yogendra and his wife and partner Sita Devi. Shri Yogendra was the father of the modern yoga renaissance and Founder of the Yoga Institute, Santa Cruz (E.), Mumbai, the oldest Institute of its kind in the world, founded in 1918.
Born on April 27, 1929, the first born of two sons, Dr. Jayadeva has lived an extraordinary life. He grew up in the Institute; his environment and influences were steeped in yoga from the very beginning. He was totally surrounded by the yoga lifestyle. As a quiet, reflective boy, he spent considerable time pondering the principles and practices of yoga. He completed his Ph.D. in philosophy at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan under Mumbai University. In the early 1950s, he was asked by Shri Yogendra to organize various educational and training programs. He has contributed many innovations to yoga education. For example, he introduced “the methodology of teaching yoga to different groups with specially customized syllabi and programs.” Dr. Jayadeva has authored eight books and participated in numerous research studies and publications, beginning in 1951. He is the editor of the monthly journal of The Yoga Institute – ‘Yoga and Total Health’ for the past 51 years.
Like his father, he has lived his life as a householder. He married Hansaji Patni, who shared his outlook in life, in 1973; their son Patanjali was born in 1975. For the past 40 years they have been wonderful partners in the ongoing development of the institute and yoga in the world.
This inspiring book captures the essence of Dr. Jayadeva. It is partially autobiographical with additional statements—interviews and presentations—by others who have known him, such as Sadhakas and others. The photos show many significant events in his life and his world travels. To read this book is to experience his life: It takes you through the stages of his life through precious photos and quotes.
Dr. Jayadeva is a yoga and Sanskrit scholar as well as the exemplary leader of the Yoga Institute. He is enormously wise and knowledgeable, very focused, and aligned with his life purpose. He is serious and sincere, with a very disciplined mind. He is tall, and his presence is charismatic. He is a true, authentic Guru, a self-realized teacher. He also is an educator and attitude trainer. He has lived his life in the yoga lifestyle. “He represents a mind free of negativity and totally virtuous. Whoever comes in contact with him will only be blessed.” One feels a quiet peace in his presence.
He says that “the face of truth has been covered by a thin golden veil, the golden veil of materialism. We have to tear it aside to see the truth behind. This type of learning came very easily to me in my childhood and consequently my belief in God or a higher process continued to grow.” Further, he says, “Selfishness means thinking of one-self only. This will not work. We are all inter-related.”
In 2011, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra received the award given to The Yoga Institute by the International Association of Yoga Therapists for its pioneering role in yoga education, research, and therapeutics.
–Dr. Eleanor Criswell, Ed.D.
This book is currently available for sale at The Yoga Institute bookshop.