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La misión de renacimiento del Yoga Tradicional 

Yoga is nowadays a very popular discipline. It has frequently come to our attention, in its divulgation process, that the public does not know the roots and bases of the Yoga they practice. Even more, the popularization of this discipline, although of great profit for present day societies, has produced a certain distortion or dilution of its original contents and purpose. We refer to this ancient and original knowledge as Traditional Yoga.


Traditional Yoga is named thus as it takes it roots in the most ancient traditions in India, place of birth of Yoga, as much through the uninterrupted string of masters that goes as far back as Gorakshanātha, XI Century, head of the lineage of Hatha Yoga; as through the testimony these masters left in the written form of manuscripts. Although some of these texts are of present diffusion -Haṭha Pradīpikā y el Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā- there exist other non-published texts that contain numerous original teachings that arise from the transcendental experiences the masters had.

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Therefore, Traditional Yoga is that knowledge of yoga based on the tradition´s sources. These are, on the one hand, oral tradition, transmitted directly to the disciple by the living masters that are another link in the transmission chain; and the aforementioned manuscripts, written testimonies on the other.

This movement is still alive in modern days through the publication of texts written in parchment, papyrus, fabric, or palm leaves, rescued from ancient libraries, monasteries and museums, so as to be edited, commented and thus become accessible to the reader, alongside with encyclopedias and glossaries. Also, by the presence of masters amongst us that have received direct instruction from other masters within the ancient tradition lineage.

As of the 1990s we are witnessing a process of revival of Traditional Yoga started by Dr. M. L. Gharote which main purpose is to restore, protect and divulge this knowledge. During his youth days, Dr. M. L. Gharote -deceased in 2005 and a direct disciple of Swami Kuvalayananda-, was part of the movement of opening Yoga to the modern western society. This movement was started by Swami Kuvalayananda through the research of the scientific bases of yoga and its divulgation as Applied Yoga.


Now on his maturity days, Dr. Gharote is devoted to the mission of restoring Traditional Yoga as much by his work on the manuscripts as by his own publications and travels around the world divulging his teachings.


In order to better understand the importance of this mission, it is convenient to know the great task of research and divulgation carried out by Swami Kuvalayananda (1883-1966). It was because of the tireless dedication of this contemporary yogi that Yoga stopped being an esoteric practice exclusive for the élite to become something accessible for any person.

Swami Kuvalayananda
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Ganesh Gune, such was his birth name, was born in a very humble family of the Brahmin cast in India. Thanks to a government scholarship he was able to receive excellent education and he veered professionally towards teaching, quickly becoming director of a school for boys.

Contemporary of Sri Aurobindo and Mahatma Gandhi, he took interest in politics and in the Indian Cultural Renaissance Movement which allowed for the later independence of his country. Within this movement of uplifting Indian culture, Gune devoted himself to the study of Indian traditional physical education. Soon, he found himself a little unfit for this discipline given the rigorous vegetarian diet he followed due to his cast and spiritual inclinations. His nature was not very compatible with the wrestling arts and his teacher suggested he studied the ancient discipline of Yoga. He starts thus a journey of study, spiritual work and absolute devotion to the path of Hatha Yoga, according to the guidance of Mādhavadās Maharaj, the greatest yogi of his time.

Gune was one of the main responsibles of divulging Yoga in Occident. In seeking to obtain this ancient discipline´s knowledge, he devotes himself to the yogic life in the ashram of Malsar in Gujarat, where he spends two intense and devoted years at the feet of his master, who, before leaving this plane of existence, transmitted all of his knowledge onto Gune.        

He then consecrates to a spiritual life and takes the name of Swami Kuvalayananda, starting here a long and hard task of integrating Traditional Yoga and western science with the purpose of validating and honoring this ancient discipline in modern times.

From a historic point of view, it is necessary to mention that the long-held British occupation caused the undermining of traditional Indian arts and sciences in its very country and amongst its own people. That, together with the esoteric notion of yogic practices gave place to disdain and misinformation regarding this spiritual discipline.

Swami Kuvalayananda considered that yoga had a message for all humankind, beyond the nation of India, and for all aspects of the humane: physical, mental, social and spiritual. His purpose consisted thus of providing a hierarchy for this discipline and validating it from the scientific point of view, developing a practical method of transmission and teaching so as to reach the common man by means of training teachers and recovering traditional texts.

Applied Yoga

Swami Kuvalayananda identified intermediate goals in the path of Yoga towards its ultimate goal: spiritual freedom. These intermediate goals, that constitute in themselves a means to acquiring the Ultimate Goal (Enlightment or Realization) have to do with health and psychophysics conditioning, emotional self-control, enhanced intellectual abilities, and inner peace. They all improve the life quality of present-day people.


He named these intermediate goals Applied Yoga. The concept extends from teaching in schools, improving sports performance, transcending psychological suffering, to treating numerous ailments or psychosomatic illnesses.

In order to carry out this task of development, divulgation and implementation of Applied Yoga, Swami Kuvalayananda founded the Hospital-School of Kaivalyadhama. There, he offered yogic treatment for different health disorders, and he established a laboratory with modern diagnostic equipment in order to assess the effects of yogic practices and validate these data with the scientific method, according to the scientific standards of that time.

It is necessary to bear in mind that while Swami Kuvalayananda developed this task in India, the concept of stress started to propagate in the West, with new discoveries of chemical transmitters, responsible for the fight-flight response. Our admired yogi held serious contact with scientists from Europe and the United States. North American and British young scientists visited Kaivalyadhama in order to catch up on the research being carried out there.

Faithful to his scientific and modern nature, Swami Kuvalayananda edited Yoga Mimamsa, a magazine for the divulgation of his discoveries, which was held during various years. The publication brought to the public the content of his advances in his research and explained the application of these advances for the understanding of yogic techniques with guidance for practitioners, instructors and therapists.

Later on, he founded the first School of Yoga and cultural Synthesis for training yoga teachers. Simultaneously, and contributing with these investigations, he dedicated himself to the recollection of ancient manuscripts that contained traditional teachings on Hatha Yoga. Swami Kuvalayananda took inspiration from the content of these manuscripts and the practices mentioned therein to develop his experiments and the baggage of techniques that constituted the heart of Applied Yoga. These manuscripts were not only protected and preserved properly, but also translated into everyday language, subject to critical edition and commentaries that made it easy for their conservation and correct reading in modern times.

In order to develop these multiple tasks, Swami Kuvalayananda surrounded himself with a team of young disciples, completely dedicated to yoga and complementary disciplines such as physiology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy and ancient languages from India. It is from this select group of disciples, that Dr. M. L. Gharote arises. After the passing of his master, he was left in charge of both Directing the Hospital-School of Kaivalyadhama, and continuing with his research, divulgation and teaching tasks. This went on until his retirement, after which, he moved on to found the Lonavla Yoga Institute, sole contemporary institution dedicated to the recollection, translation and critical edition of the ancient Yoga manuscripts. It is significant to mention Dr. Gharote, beyond the importance of having to continue Swami Kuvalayananda´s work, as he was responsible for divulging Traditional Yoga in Argentina. His divulgation of Applied Yoga to the western world brought him on numerous occasions to the city of Buenos Aires. There, he provided advice for the creation of the Superior Technical Degree in Yoga in the School or Eastern Studies of the University of Salvador, the only institution of Spanish speaking countries that issues an official title in Yoga.

In 1966, Swami Kuvalayananda leaves his physical body. After the traditional cremation ceremony, his remainings were put to rest in a Samādhi o funerary monument in Kaivalyadhama. His teachings have been depicted in numerous articles of his magazine Yoga Mimamsa and his books, which unfortunately still have not been translated into Spanish: “Āsana”, “Prānāyāma” and “Yogic Therapy”. He coined the term “yogatherapy” so frequently used nowadays.

Although other important and dedicated students carried his message throughout the world, we can only consider Dr. Gharote as a direct disciple. Dr. Bhole and Dr. Pratap participated as well in this process. The former also visited Argentina on numerous occasions, leaving his largest legacy in Italy, where books were published on his teachings relating physiology and yoga. The latter established himself in Philadelphia, USA, leading there the movement of scientific Yoga called “SKY”: Swami Kuvalayananda Yoga Foundation.

Even though the school is still functioning, we can consider that the spirit of Swami Kuvalayananda´s Yoga persists thanks to the Lonavla Yoga Institute, founded in 1966 by Dr. M. L. Gharote, who directed it until his passing in 2005, establishing affiliates in several countries.

At present, Dr. Manmath Gharote continues with his father´s legacy. He has published eight manuscripts with critical edition and commentaries. He has published as well, The Encyclopedia of Asana, Therapeutic Applications and inventories of existing manuscripts. His divulgation and education travels take him to different regions of the world, Argentina, Brasil, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, and Japan.

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