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BKS Iyengar cremated amid Vedic chants

Last updated on: August 20, 2014 17:31 IST

BKS Iyengar cremated amid Vedic chants

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Devidas Deshpande in Pune

The cremation was done according to traditional Iyengar rituals and without any state honours, reports Devidas Deshpande.

Internationally renowned yoga guru B K S Iyengar, who passed into the ages in the wee hours of Wednesday, was cremated in the afternoon in Pune amid traditional rituals and chanting of Vedic hymns.

Iyengar’s son, Prashant, lit the pyre at the Vaikunth crematorium at about 3 pm in the presence of around a hundred people, mostly the guru’s foreign disciples.

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Image: Family, friends, admirers and disciples of yoga guru B K S Iyengar gathered at the Vaikunth crematorium.
Photographs: Devidas Deshpande

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BKS Iyengar cremated amid Vedic chants

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Devidas Deshpande

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who was in Pune to attend a local legislator’s daughter’s wedding in the morning, did not turn up to pay his last respects. Only a handful of politicians, including MLC Mohan Joshi, MLA Ramesh Bagwe and Pune’s mayor, were present.

The body of Guruji, as he was fondly called, was brought from his institute to the crematorium in an ambulance. Since he was a Padma Vibhushan recipient, it was expected that he would be cremated with state honours. However, the cremation was done according to traditional Iyengar rituals and without any honours.

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Image: Iyengar's son, Prashant, lit the pyre at the Vaikunth crematorium at about 3 pm
Photographs: Devidas Deshpande

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BKS Iyengar cremated amid Vedic chants

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Devidas Deshpande

Many of his disciples were teary-eyed. Most of them said they were too overcome by grief and unable to say anything. They even refused to be photographed.

Chow Tuck Keong from Singapore, in his 30s, said, “I have been in Guruji’s institute for about three weeks. When I was here for the first time I saw him seated but he did not say anything. Now I am witnessing this.”

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Image: The yogacharya's disciples pay their last respects at the crematorium in Pune


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Devidas Deshpande

Sanskrit exponent and Iyengar’s old friend, Pandit Vasant Gadgil, made the gathered people chant Vedic mantras and pray for the departed soul. He and other pundits asked the people to pray that the guru be born again as another yoga expert.


Image: Many of BKS Iyengar's foreign disciples came to bid farewell to their 'Guruji'
Photographs: Devidas Deshpande

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