Disciplic Succession


Image: Swami Sivananda (standing) and Swami Vishnudevananda in Rishikesh, India


Disciplic Succession (Guru Parampara)

Acharya Mani Chaitanya Mani Raman (Kerala, India – January 2012) is Jayna’s ‘living guru’ of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta disciplic succession. Once during a lesson, he was asked what the two most important qualities of a yoga teacher were, to which he famously replied “Sensitivity and humility.”

She was also a student of Acharya Prahlada K. Reddy, another senior yoga master of the same Guru Parampara (Madurai, India – January 2016). Acharya Prahlada is a direct disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda.

Image: Sukadeva Gosvami and Maharaja Pariksit on the banks of the Ganges (Srimad Bhagavatham)

“The guru–shishya tradition, or parampara (“lineage”), denotes a succession of teachers and disciples in traditional Indian culture and religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism (Tibetan and Zen tradition). It is the tradition of spiritual relationship and mentoring where teachings are transmitted from a guru (teacher) to a  shishya (disciple).  Such knowledge, whether it be Vedic, agamic, architectural, musical or spiritual, is imparted through the developing relationship between the guru and the disciple. It is considered that this relationship, based on the genuineness of the guru, and the respect, commitment, devotion and obedience of the student, is the best way for subtle or advanced knowledge to be conveyed. The student eventually masters the knowledge that the guru embodies.

In the early oral traditions of the Upanishads, the guru–shishya relationship had evolved into a fundamental component of Hinduism. The term “Upanishad” derives from the Sanskrit words “upa” (near), “ni” (down) and “şad” (to sit) — so it means “sitting down near” a spiritual teacher to receive instruction. The relationship between Krishna and Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita portion of the Mahabharata, and between Rama and Hanuman in the Ramayana, are examples. In the Upanishads, gurus and disciples appear in a variety of settings (e.g. a husband answering questions about immortality; a teenage boy being taught by Yama, Hinduism’s Lord of Death) Sometimes the sages are women, and the instructions may be sought by kings. In the Vedas, the knowledge of Brahman (brahmavidya) is communicated from guru to shishya by oral lore.” *

*Source: Wikipedia

Image: Swami Vishnudevananda teaching a class in Neyyar Dam, India

Jayna has more than one guru, as each teacher has significantly influenced her life in different ways. She considers herself a lifelong student and continues to learn from various masters through personal interaction, books and scripture.


Gurus: Yoga Acharyas

  • Swami Sivananda Saraswati
  • Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati
  • Acharya Mani Chaitanya Mani Raman (Kerala, India – January 2012)
  • Acharya Prahlada K. Reddy (Madurai, India – January 2016)
Image: Swami Vishnudevananda

Gurus: Spiritual Masters

  • Srila Prabhupada
  • Swami Sivananda Saraswati
  • Swami Vishnudevananda Saraswati
  • Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda
  • Adi Shankaracharya
  • Chaitanya Mahaprabhu
  • Sukadeva Gosvami
  • Adisesha Maharishi Patanjali
Image: Srila Prabhupada, founder of ISKCON and author of ‘Bhagavad Gita As It Is’

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