“I wish to make clear that the sexual scandal around Kausthub has no implication, at all, on Krishnamacharya’s life work and dedication to Hatha Yoga. Although lineage held in family is a historic way of preserving teachings, the lineage is not dependent on this arrangement. Krishnamacharya himself communicated to me, all who represent their teachers work with a clear heart and honest intention are lineage holders.” (Mark Whitwell, from his Facebook page.)
Mark is a former student of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, so I am glad that he weighs in on the matter and I agree with what he says. One of the things Mark speaks to is the cultural (patriarchy) aspect of this and as I said in my own first post , there are various layers to the situation and that is one of them.
In an ongoing discussion of the Kausthub mess, a friend and I cyber-chatted about one of the latest writings about it in the yoga blogosphere and he gave me permission to quote him. We have a bit different perspective on the matter having both studied at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. Many commenting on this in the yoga blogosphere have not.
“Lots of people are viewing this issue from their misconceptions about India and yoga. If guru culture (whatever the hell that means) has burned them (or they have never experienced a guru and essentially see them from a strictly xenophobic, American individualism is the highest virtue point of view), they’ll bitch and moan about it. If large Westernized organizations (whatever the hell that means) have burned them, they’ll bitch and moan about that.
So many comments on blogs have centered on how “organizations” should behave. It’s bullshit. Americans are so quick to absolve individuals of responsibility by talking about a “culture” that enables. Some cultures enable and even promote either good behaviors or bad, useful ones or detrimental ones… usually some mix of all.
But this shit could’ve been staved off easily if people at an individual level had done the right thing. They all acted in their own self interest… or mostly in their self interest (some acted in the interest of their teacher/friend/colleague).
Nobody acted in the best interest of the student. And here’s the really awful part because as teachers we are always supposed to act in the best interest of the student. You don’t give techniques to students just because you know them or are eager to teach them… or even because the student is begging for them. You give them to a student only if it is in the best interest of the student (and this takes appropriateness into account).
It’s a much uglier thing to come to terms with. But I can’t imagine that anyone who had taken this situation, regardless of what point of view they were looking at it from, and sat with it in meditation or even just considering it with some common sense to determine the right action would’ve come to any different conclusion than that it had to stop.
And yet it didn’t.”