Yaugika Manas: Know and Realize the Yogic Mind

Written by B.K.S. Iyengar. Mumbai, India: Yog Press, 2010. ISBN 81-87603-14-3. 125 pages. $10.00.

Reviewed by Chris Beach

B.K.S. Iyengar's newest book, entitled Yaugika Manas (Yogic Mind), is a fascinating articulation of his thoughts—informed by his reading of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras—about the workings of the mind as it relates to yoga. The mind is a more mysterious subject than the physical body (Guruji calls it a "subject of wonder"), and the book is an excellent and much-needed primer on the various aspects of the yogic mind. One of the most extraordinary and useful sections of the book is the list of 15 different facets of the mind, in which Guruji provides a complete dissection of the different ways of understanding the mind. Guruji compares the mind to a diamond with several facets, each of which throws light in a different direction. Similarly, the "mind-body composite" has a number of different facets, each of which can make or mar our intellectual and spiritual development.

In the fourth and fifth chapters—which constitute the bulk of the book—Guruji reaches his central thesis: how the practice of yoga transforms the external, pleasure-seeking mind into the yogic mind. Yoga sadhana can transform the mind, so that it can "reside in its unalloyed state of spiritual blessedness." Guruji then takes us through the eight-fold path from yama to samadhi, showing how at each stage the state of the practitioner's mind is changed. In the final state, all divisions between knower, knowable, and knowledge come to an end as the seer reaches the "real pure state of the mind."

This latest addition to Guruji's canon of essential books takes us a step further in his journey in yoga, one he has shared with us through Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama, Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Tree of Yoga, and Light on Life. Now, in his 92nd year, he has further enlightened us with his book on the mind.

Guruji presents his latest book, Yaugika Manas, at a gathering at R.I.M.Y.I. last summer. Photo by Gloria Goldberg.

Chris Beach is the President of IYNAUS. Yaugika Manas is available through the IYNAUS Store.