“To the best of my memory, we met first in 1939. He used to give me Yoga lessons. He had great reverence for his Guru who, he said, had given him the task of spreading Yoga in western countries. During our meetings, we used to discuss how Yoga could help people live a healthier and happier life, a life of fulfilment and freedom. (It was Dada Vaswani who inaugurated the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute on January 19, 1975).
On a personal level, he came across as a serious person than jovial. One thing that made our friendship grow over the years was mutual respect. Though we were good friends, we rarely met or spoke over phone. It was not felt necessary to speak over the phone. The last letter I wrote to him was when he was conferred with Padma Vibhushan. In the letter, I wrote, ‘Sometimes as I have thought of all that you have done to spread India’s culture among the nations, I have felt that one like you should be weighed in gold and the gold spent in service of Yoga. I have not forgotten the days when you were my teacher and I was a student. How close we felt to each other. I have fond memories of those days.
In addition to the letter, I sent him a few of my books.
The letter got a warm reply. It stated, ‘I remember the days when I was coming to meet Sadhu Vaswaniji who asked me to help you to learn a bit of Yoga, I still consider that those days were my happiest days.’
He was a yogi par excellence. His body appeared to be made of rubber. He could mould it as he liked. His faith in the Guru was great. He was the first to carry the message of Yoga to Europe. In the last couple of days, I started getting news of his illness. I wished to visit him at the hospital, but my health did not permit me.
It is my faith that in this endless adventure of existence, we shall meet again, somewhere, some day.
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