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Dr. H. Kumar Kaul - A Living Legend on Yoga

By Kuldeep Raina

Allama Iqbal once told Prem Bhatia, the veteran journalist", Had our ancestors not migrated from Kashmir, Pt. Moti Lal Nehru would have been a district-level pleader and I would have been a district-level poet". Kashmiris have risen to great eminence only when they decided to bid adieu to their homeland. This holds true of Dr. H. Kumar Kaul too. His contributions to the study and practice of Yoga have made him a sort of leg. A dynamic personality, Dr Kaul has distinguished himself as a fine educationist, seasoned administrator and a celebrated Yoga practitioner. Presently, he is Director of Gandhi Arya Sen Secondary School, Barnala (Punjab). His only lament is 'my own community does not know me'.

Kashmiri Pandits do not invest in property. They invest in education of their children. Dr Kaul's parents too gave him quality education. Born on 26th July, 1938 at Srinagar, Dr. H.Kumar Kaul had his early education at Kashmir's best school, Tyndal Biscoe School. Later, he joined Govt. Amar Singh College. It was here he distinguished himself as the Best Swimmer, Best Debator, Best Sportsman and Best Actor. He was adjudged 'All Round Best'. It was in 1959 that Dr Kaul, a college student then, caught the attention of veteran film actor, Prithvi Raj Kapoor. The doyen of Indian Cinema felt impressed with his role in stage play “Chattan”.

Dr. Kaul did his M.A. in English literature with distinction and B.Ed. from University of Kashmir. He had his diploma in journalism from Delhi University. He did his Doctorate from Punjabi University, Patiala. His dissertation was "Contribution of the Deras and Akharas of Punjab in Yoga and Sufism". He was the first scholar in northern India to venture in this particular field.

Early sixties were bad times for Kashmiri Pandit community. The policy of communal discrimination in state services made many brilliant Pandit boys leave Kashmir to seek living outside J&K. Dr. H.Kumar Kaul had also to move to Abohar (Punjab) in 1963. He headed Department of English for ten years at DAV College here. He made his mark not only as a gifted teacher but excelled in cultural and literary fields too. Dr. Kaul edited 'The Seemant Jyoti' for a decade. For a while he assumed Principleship of DAV College, Karnal.

1975 proved to be a challenge for him. SD College, Barnala had fallen out of reputation. Student indiscipline in the proceeding sessions had created a climate of insecurity and uncertainty. Dr. H. Kumar Kaul was asked to head this institution to steer it out of its troubles. His hardwork, tact and visionary ideas helped the institution to regain its reputation. The college once again became an institution of academic excellence. Dr Kaul continued to head this institution till his retirement in 1992, displaying his worth as an academician and administrator. During this period, he was a member of Punjab University Syndicate and Academic Council. After retirement, he has remained associated with the administration of SD Educational Institutions.

It is in the field of Yoga, that Dr. H.Kumar Kaul's name is taken with awe and respect. His deep knowledge of the practice of Yoga has made him a leg. Yoga is a way of life to him. He has written more than 220 research papers on Yoga, which have been published in reputed newspapers and magazines in India and abroad. As a practitioner of Yoga, he has authored 8 Text-books, besides 54 books. These have been widely-acclaimed. Inpeccable prose and remarkable communication skills have helped Dr. Kaul to make his message reach wider audience. The great scholar of Yoga has also given practical demonstration of nearly 100 yogasanas in different competitions. He has also given numerous Radio-talks over AIR and BBC on Yoga therapy.

The thrust and emphasis of his books is on bling the traditional and modern approachs in Yogic philosophy and science, keeping in view the existing socio-economic milieu. Presently, he is working on Yoga and Islam, besides Contribution of Punjab in Hathayoga. Dr Kaul was introduced to Yoga at the age of 11. He learnt Yoga through its great practitioners - Swami Neelkanth, Swami Laxman and Swami Krishnand, General Secretary of Divine Life Society. As an Indian, he feels proud of its great past and locates Yoga in Hindu Scriptures. In Ramayana, he finds Hanuman as a true Yogi. who could control his mind and senses by practice and Vairagya (renunciation). Dr. Kaul observes: "Hanuman practised Hathyoga (Yoga of Hand) and is a living symbol of Vairagya. That is why his aim was to attain perfection which he could not attain so much in Rama, but in Rama's citashakti i.e. Sita. Hanuman's search for Sita is nothing but his spiritual quest".

About Gita, Dr. Kaul remarks: "All the 18 chapters in the Gita are designated as the types of Yoga...All the eighteen Yogas contained in the 18 chapters may be reduced to four-the Karma Yoga (the Yoga of action), the raja yoga (the Yoga of super-consciousness), the bhakti yoga (the Yoga of devotion) and the jnana yoga (the Yoga of knowledge). Tradition holds that spiritual life begins with Karma Yoga and goes on evolving into the other three respectively".

For his great services to Yoga, Dr Kaul has been the recipient of many prestigious awards. He was honoured with the title of 'Yogacharya' in December, 1986, at the World Yoga Conference in New Delhi. In 1987 he received the title of 'Yoga purush'. The Vishav Unnayayan Sansad, bestowed upon him the prestigious 'Yoga Ratna' title in 1988. "Yoga Shiromani' was conferred upon him by the Mission International Faridabad in 2001. In 1998, he was selected as Senior Vice-President of the Indian Council for Research on Yoga, and a member of the Governing Council of the World Yoga Parishad. Many Yoga and social organisations deem it their proud privilege to associate him with their bodies to utilise his rich experience. Dr. Kaul was the convener of World Conference on 'Kundalini Yoga Sadhana', organised in November, 1988 at New Delhi. He has been honoured by many universities. University of Sagar (MP) has made him a life member of All India Yoga Society. Benaras Hindu University appointed him as a member of the All India Yoga Academy. In 1987 he served as National Minister of Spiritual and Yoga affairs.

He is also a Trustee of Chander Prakash Mehra International Centre for the study of Tantra, Yoga and Conservation of Cultural Property, New Delhi. In 1999 at an International Yoga Conference in Rajasthan, he was adjudged as the best speaker and honoured. His book 'Yoga for Health' received National Book Award in 1989 from Laxmi Bai College of Physical Education, Gwalior.

Dr. Kaul serves as an editorial advisor to 'Yoga Thara', a bio-monthly journal being published from Secundarbad. Besides this he is Founder-President of Yoga Institute, Chowgam; Founder-Director of Kundalini Yoga Research Centre; Member All India Yoga Association, Delhi;  Chairman (Yoga) Mission International, Faridabad; Founder-President of Swami Vrijanand Yoga Sadhna Kra, Barnala. He has also written 14 one Act plays in English and Urdu. Dr Kaul is a contributor to 14 volume 'Encyclopaedia of Sikhism', published by Punjabi University, Patiala. He has interpreted the meaning of Yoga in this.

Dr. Kaul has also deep commitment to society and takes up the lost causes. He is Founder-President of the Punjab Welfare Association of the Blind and convened All India Conference for the Blind in 1981. He has been actively associated with campaigns, aimed at eradicating drug addiction and other social evils. Dr. Kaul inspires others to take up the social work.

Books By Dr. H. Kumar Kaul

1.   Aaradhna.

2.   Cosmic Consciousness.

3.   Yoga for Health.

4.   Pranayama for Health.

5.   Aspects of Yoga.

6.   Perrenial Paths of Yoga.

7.   Yogasanas for Everyone.

8.   Yoga and Physical Education.

9.   Yoga in Punjab.

10.  Instant Yoga for Businessmen.

11.  The Secret Doctrine of Yoga.

12.  Yoga and World Peace.

13.  Yoga in Hindu Scriptures.

14.  National Integration through Yoga.

15.  Yoga For Common Diseases.

16.  Yoga and Drug-Addiction.

17.  Yoga and Heart Diseases.

18.  Yoga and Diabetes.

19.  Yoga and Asthma.

20.  Yoga and Backaches.

21.  Yoga and Arthritis.

22.  Yoga and Skin Diseases.

23.  Yoga and Hypertension.

24.  Yoga and Obesity.

25.  Yoga and Headaches.

26.  Yoga and Alpecia (Baldness).

27.  Yoga and Constipation.

28.  Yoga and Stress.

29.  Yoga and Depression.

30.  Yoga and Menopause.

31.  Yoga and Impotency.

32.  Yoga and Personality Disorders.

33.  Yoga and Stomach Diseases.

34.  Yoga and ENT Diseases.

35.  Yoga and Amnesia (loss of Memory).

36.  Yoga and HIV/AIDS.

37.  Yoga and Healthy Aging.

38.  Meditation - Theory and Practice.

39.  Yoga - Theory and Practice.

40.  The Healing Powers of Pranyama.

41.  Yoga in Hindu Scriptures

Source: Kashmir Sentinel



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