Swami Kuvalayananda

Kuvalayananda

After the Mahasamadhi of Paramahamsa Madhavadas Maharaj, Swami Kuvalayananda received a ‘Call from above’ to undertake the task of propagation of Yoga in the light of modern sciences for the benefits of the mankind in modern times. The message received was so strong and inviting that he began to be restless over the matter. When he was being trained in advanced practices by his Guru, he began to have experiences which were quite uncommon and extra-ordinary. They excited curiosity in him.

He wanted to get scientific explanation of his experiences. He met scientists and Yogis for such explanation but was disappointed in his efforts. Thus the idea of scientific research in the field of Yoga kept haunting him.After receiving the ‘Call from above’ he decided to start Research Institute of Yoga on the name of Kaivalyadhama at Lonavla which was founded on 7th Oct.1924. Even before the foundation of the Institute some researches were done by him with the help of friends and experts.

The first scientific experiments were tried on the digestive tube. The Yogic practices like Uddiyana, Nauli were studied under X-ray. The barometer was used to explain certain Yogic phenomena. These threw new light on number of physiological facts which were not known then.Swami Kuvalayananda’s first scientific investigation showing partial vacuum in the colon during Nauli was named by him Madhavadas Vaccum after his spiritual master.

This was the first planned and controlled experiment conducted in the field of Yoga and the renaissance of scientific Yoga started as a result of which Swami Kuvalayananda became the Pioneer of Scientific Yoga. Later he collaborated with Western Scientists for scientific researches in Yoga. Besides scientific research, he initiated projects of Textual Research in Yoga such as Encyclopaedia of Yoga, Dictionary of Yoga, Yogic Concordance, Catalogue of Yoga Manuscripts, Critical editions of ancient Yogic texts and reconstruction of extinct Yoga texts. He was the first person to conduct Therapeutical Research in Yogic Treatment for asthma in 1963. The purpose was to scientifically investigate the efficacy of Yogic treatment for asthma and to study the mechanism of its channels of action.

His Yogic Therapeutical work became conspicuously successful and its utility was freely acknowledged. He modernised Yogic Therapy in the light of scientific investigations of the Yogic practices conducted by him. Several persons of light and leading took therapeutical consultations including Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi etc. and received treatment under his supervision.

In the field of Yoga Education he prepared Teacher Training Courses in Yoga as early as in 1932. He organised practice of Yoga on a mass level. He established the first Yoga College in 1950 to fulfil the needs of preparing Yoga Teachers. He was also one of the pioneers of Physical Education in India. He was the Chairman of the three consecutive Physical Education Committees of 1937, 1945-46 and 1952 appointed by the Govt. which was responsible for shaping the movement of Physical Education of India.