December 7, 1944 – December 16, 2018
"I am not in my father's shadow, but in his light," Geetaji would say.
Many teachers at the Institute studied directly with Geetaji. While her passing is a deep loss, it is also a time for us to listen and heed her clarion call that the practice of yoga, our Sadhana, lies within each us.
Our senior teachers will share their transformative moments in appreciation for this humble woman who left an indelible mark on our community.
We hold the radiant light of her words, her work, and her worship in our hearts.
"Friends, this is what I want to give, a small message to you. Let us practice with that reverence, let us practice having faith in yoga, and let us practice with the method that Guruji has given. It's scientific and spiritual. We don't know how long it takes, but once you are firm about it, it will definitely take you to that destination. Have this in your mind, and please practice accordingly. We have to clear our path of obstacles, objective or subjective. Let us proceed on that path which is more auspicious, clearer.
So with this, I just want to express that we will be practicing until our last breath. Have that firmness in your mind. We'll offer our prayers to Patanjali."
- Geetaji; from Yatra, IYNAUS convention, 2007
Having paid homage to her Light in Yoga, her father and teacher, our Geetaji left her body in the early morning of December 15, 2018 in Pune, India. Geetaji was featured and taught in the Centennial celebrations honoring Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar that ended on December 14th.
Our hearts are filled with reverence and gratitude, hearts filled with the echo of her words and her prayers, hearts heavy with saying goodbye. All over the world people are lighting candles and honoring the memories and gifts that this extraordinary woman left behind.
.Dear family in yoga,
As yoga students worldwide collect their thoughts and prayers to honor Geetaji Iyengar, here at IYILA we began a formal period of grieving and remembering.
We held an intimate and impromptu ceremony at noon on Sunday. Keri Lee prepared the puja (ritual) and led a dozen students and teachers in two mantras. Lise Walford opened the sharing by reading slokas II.25 - 30 from the Bhagavad Gita.
Mantras are a traditional part of many teacher/student gatherings and are appropriate for us to chant during the next twelve days. If you feel so moved, it is suggested that you chant these two mantras twelve times each. If you prefer, recite them to yourself twelve times each day.
Imagine Geetaji surrounded by white light.
Shanti, shanti, shanti, Peace, peace, peace
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tat savitur vareṇyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt
Translation: Let us contemplate, meditate upon, that celestial splendor of the divine solar god (Sāvitrī), that he may inspire our vision and our prayers.
ॐ सह नाववतु । सह नौ भुनक्तु । सह वीर्यं करवावहै । तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै । ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om saha nāvavatu saha nau bhunaktu saha vīryam karavāvahai tejasvi nāvadhītamastu ma vidveṣāvahai Om śānti śānti śāntiḥ
Translation: Om. May we, guru and disciple, be protected together. May we enjoy the fruits of our action together. May we achieve strength together. May our knowledge be full of light. May we never have enmity for one another. Om, peace, peace, peace.