A Source of Inspiration

16 May

He was known to us as Chayanna. For those of us who were in Engineering during the 80’s, he was a legend. His free classes in 9th Block Jayanagar was the only one of its kind and that too during a time when people made more money teaching private lessons than their regular jobs.

I first met him as my Physics teacher at RVCE. His first comment to me: “Yenappa National College huduga naa? Yella Tarale hudugru kanro neevu”.

He was gentle but firm and knew his subject in and out. He would go on to become an inspiration to a lot of us. Ask anyone who lived in Jayanagar 9th Block or 4th T Block about Chayanna in the 80’s and 90’s and you are liable to get an answer bordering on reverence.

The story behind his free classes is legendary. College teaching in several of the engineering subjects was not great those days. Taking to Chayanna one day, a group of us mentioned it. He immediately said, he’d teach us. So he would read the engineering books at night and teach us the next day. His clarity of teaching of Engineering subjects was phenomenal (even though he was a Physics teacher). All for free. We would use someones shed and a few benches for classrooms.

As we moved on in Engineering college he became more of a friend and advisor. Always willing to buy us a Dose and Kaapi. Helping us with our goals and even helping a lot of guys with jobs, encouraging people to study further.

As I came to my third year, he helped me pick out the Colleges in the US to attend. In fact he wanted to go to the USA to pursue his PhD as well. So, we’d do the searches together. But somehow he decided not to. I think that was because he had a higher calling.

Where is Chayanna today? He is one of the top people at the Art of Living Foundation . From what I hear he handles their education programmes. I haven’t seen him in years (my fault entirely), but looking back at what he did for hundreds of students, I think he’s happiest doing what he is now.

57 Responses to “A Source of Inspiration”

  1. Nags May 16, 2007 at 7:17 pm #

    I always heard good things from my friends and relatives who lived in and around Jayanagar about chayanna. When I joined RVCE I was able to attend his classed and talk to him. He is such a simple and approachable person. Thanks for writing about chayanna.

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm #

      Chayanna is a phenomenon. As AoL devotees we often get an opportunity to attend his Satsangs and knowledge sessions. We consider ourselves blessed

  2. decemberstud May 16, 2007 at 7:41 pm #

    This is what makes a complete human being. The reverence, the respect and the memory of a common man. The tocuh, the help and the priceless moments. He must be a great guy if he has touched several hearts. That’s someone I call an inspiration.

    And, we learn every day. Very nice post Vijay.

  3. decemberstud May 16, 2007 at 7:42 pm #

    Agggh….my comment says “That’s someone I call an inspiration”…and you already have that in the title…shucks, I should read better ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. bachodi May 17, 2007 at 2:01 am #

    “top people at the Art of Living Foundation” . ???? is it not “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar” foundations. ?
    PhD and “Art of Living” is loss to engineering world isn’t it ?

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

      You are right it is the ‘H H Sri Sri Ravishankar’ foundation. Chayanna was more needed for the AoL. Through the Engineering World he would have served a segment of the society. But now he is serving mankind at large.

  5. praneshachar May 17, 2007 at 2:34 am #

    These are the people who do relentless service and are just want to help
    people. CHAYANNA is a great human being as I went thro this writeup on him and
    also reading the comment of Nags. Blessed were the Engineeriang students in and around jayanagar during that time. Definitely his service to other students of physics etc., must be a great and I am sure his student community who have learnt from him
    without any expectations (in this world where everyone counts on wealth money) is something phenomenal. Yes such people are there though in small no.
    great post vijay before starting RVCE chronicles a geat tribute from whom you learnt during your RVCE days. Long Live Chayanna

    you are right Art of Living foundation is one which is of Ravishnakar and its HO is somewhere on Kanakapura Road if I am right

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

      You could know a lot about the AoL by visiting http://www.aol.org/ or ask Googledeva

  6. Vijay May 17, 2007 at 3:59 am #

    @DS: Repitition is ok.. ๐Ÿ™‚
    @Bach: One and the same… he didnt pursue his PhD.. and yes its a loss.. but think of the number of underprivileged kids he is helping now..
    @Pranesh: He is indeed a special person..

  7. Ramesh NR May 17, 2007 at 5:54 am #


    You have done it again…..you have picked the perfect person to describe…well, our scriptures define ‘Guru’ as one who dispels darkness(ignorance) and leads you to light(knowledge)….., i always consider Chayanna as our ideal Guru……he taught us much more than Physics.Such people make this world a better place to live in.

  8. vinay May 17, 2007 at 5:55 am #

    I am from that area ..tho I did my engg outtside bangalore , he was a much talked about person and also sort of revered. In fact , both ravishankar and chayanna were neighbours I think.
    Altho after some years there were some rumours and stuff like that, but I was out of the scene and hence can’t shed more light.

  9. Veena May 17, 2007 at 9:59 am #

    when I read such posts on your blog.. I always wonder may be I will choose to write about you when I cross my forties & think about my good old days! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Veena May 17, 2007 at 10:15 am #

    and congrats for reaching 40 thousand hits on BB!

  11. Vijay May 17, 2007 at 11:50 am #

    @Ramesh: Very true

    @Vinay: I dont know about the neighbours part…

    @Veena: That will be an honor.. thank you

  12. Dheerendragopal May 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    Yaava year appa neevu RVCE nalli is it between 90-94 ??

  13. Chitra May 18, 2007 at 1:08 am #

    Nice post!

  14. Vijay May 18, 2007 at 2:41 am #

    @DG: ’81-’85

    @Chitra: Thanks

  15. MP May 18, 2007 at 4:47 am #

    Keep writing. Not many can write as well as you do. Sure, all of us have stories. But not all of us can TELL those stories in as real and earthy a manner as you do. Thank you sir.

    “great post vijay before starting RVCE chronicles a geat tribute from whom you learnt during your RVCE days”
    I probably am putting this disclaimer on behalf of Chayanna – Having read BB for a while now, I think there will be a lot of “fun” RVCE episodes which would not have the remotest of influence of Chayanna. Right Vijay?

  16. travelsaga May 22, 2007 at 7:09 pm #

    Vijay, Great post. I’ve been gone for a while. Just busy getting ready for my India trip. But I had to stop and comment about Chayana. I am from the same area and though I did not attend his classes, I heard a lot about him and respect him for the kind of person he is. He is what a teacher should be-selfless and willing to help his students achieve every success they dream of. Thanks so much for reminding me about Chayana.

  17. Vijay May 23, 2007 at 10:04 am #

    MP: You are on the spot on that one…

    TS: Hope your preparations to visit India are going well…

  18. sabapathy August 23, 2007 at 12:22 pm #

    Dear All,

    Thanks for this information. The other day i was fortunate to attend his Satsang in Mumbai and I was moved by his simple presentation of the Sanskrit composition and the Kannada composition he renderedwas outstanding and know I know why. He is really selfless and a great man doing a Great service.

  19. avinash December 12, 2008 at 9:37 am #

    hi everyone!! thanks for such a nice post about chayanna!! i am really one of the blessed to be in constant contact with him!! sorry i am from art of living(i forgot to tell about it)!! sir ur 100 % right!! here also he is a source of inspiration for all of us from karnataka. If chayanna Satsang is happening anywhere in bangalore , ppl will flood to that venue, no mattter how much pain it takes to go there!! everybody cant stop from being attracted to him and its such fun to be with him . really i feel jealous for all of u who are taught by him, i miss that , i should have been his student..u know , the best part atleast i am in constant touch with him, considering his busy and tight calender. I am eagerly waiting for any post about his classroom stories or ur experiences with him which u cherish till date!! plz do share. Thanks agaim mr. vijay for such a nice post about chayanna!!

    avinash ramasubhramanya

  20. Vijay December 12, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    @avinash: Thanks for commenting… I spoke with him on the phone a couple of years ago… the last time I saw him was in Frankfurt where both he and I were on the same flight.. that was ages ago… tell Chayanna M.R Vijay said hello

    I really should meet up with him.. think he stays near Ragi Gudda

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      Yes he stays very close to Ragi Gudda.

  21. Chidananda December 15, 2008 at 4:55 am #

    People of Chayanna’s intellectual cadre going into Art of Living means that Art of Living is so special. He didnt persue his Phd, a loss to a few involved in that subject, may be a few hundred! but if he had persued his Phd and not into Art of Living, it would have been a loos to millions around the world. He is a source of inspiration to whoever comes to know about him! Now he says its the need of the hour that all youth take to spirituality to build a better nation and better world, of course keeping their career growth equal importance!

  22. avinash December 16, 2008 at 7:02 am #

    Yes very much, he is in the same place ๐Ÿ™‚ and plz do meet him!! yes definitely will let him know and will ask him dose and kaapi for sure ๐Ÿ™‚ and mr vijay if chayanna is in art of living !! definitely something beneficial is there so why dont u do art of living course with chayanna???as u have a rich exp with him!! try this too it will be fun!! ppl are fighting to attend his courses ๐Ÿ™‚

    thanks and regards

  23. Vijay December 16, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    @Chidananda: You have hit the nail right on the head…
    @Avinash : ๐Ÿ˜€ Good thought..

  24. Abhay December 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm #

    very inspiring to me, as I am also a research scholar in Physics. I have been in Chayanna’s satsangs, and its simply great to be in his presence!

  25. Gurudath December 18, 2008 at 1:34 pm #

    Vijay ….
    Thanks for the article about Chayanna …..
    It is so great hear about his “teaching” days …
    keep more stories coming about him … I can’t wait to hear about them ….
    As you said He’s always ready to help people ….. patiently hearing out their questions and giving appropriate solutions …. He was just meant to be in no where else but The Art of Living foundation …..

    Thanks again …

  26. Rajini January 27, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Well it was great to read about the beloved guru ‘Chayanna’. He is one of the most itellectual person I have met. I have been very lucky to attend two of his advanced courses. never wanted to return from there. The knowledge he dessipates is soul lifting. He is a very important part of Art of Living community delivering knowledge to millions and not to forget his singing!! U will reach the heavens if you sit in his satsangs, have attended quiet a few of them.

    Long live the guru ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Seshaya February 9, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    In searching for sites related to web hosting and specifically comparison hosting linux plan web, your site came up.

  28. Bhuvana February 10, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Mr.Vijay,

    Its really awesome to see that you still remember him as a Physics teacher, even though its a loss for engineering Industry, its not a loss fr this world, instead of helping few engineering students to score better,he is now an Inspiration to millions of people, taking them to the Ultimate Peace through his Soul Stirring Songs & Knowledge, social projects which provides education to the Needful Future Generations.For me & for many he is a Guru(The GOD ) in human form. I am one among the blessed soul to have met Chayanna in Art of Living whose has come here to make this World a better place to live.
    Bhuvana( Art of Living Team )

  29. Pratiksha February 10, 2009 at 10:53 am #

    Commitment to the humanity is above the commitment to engineering world. There are so many engineers in the world, but has the world really become a happier place to live? But one person Chhayanna and his commitment to humanity has really made so many lives happier.

  30. Vijay February 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

    To all the AOL people. I am glad you people are taking the time to read this. You are lucky to have Chayanna amongst you…
    But.. we had him first ๐Ÿ˜€
    I would love to see him in action sometime…

  31. Bhuvana February 11, 2009 at 5:07 am #

    Hi Vijay,

    U can see Chayanna programmes at any of our Art of Living Centres in Bangalore when he is in town

    To know about his schedule u can contact on 26645106/26080204.

  32. vijay February 11, 2009 at 5:40 am #

    Thanks Bhuvana… I have a long pending visit to his house as well..but hes always travelling

  33. avinash February 20, 2009 at 9:30 am #

    hi vijay
    some time back i met chayanna in one of his satsangs ,i mentioned ur name and ur blog post!! he recognised u and just smiled when i mentioned about the blog post!! after that day every time i meet him i ask for one masala dosa and kaapi !!

  34. Vijay February 20, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    @avinash: I am truly honored that he remembers me..but then with the number of times we hit upon him for Dose, its not easy to forget..

  35. avinash March 17, 2009 at 9:19 am #

    hi vijay!!
    yes ur right ๐Ÿ™‚ !! when ur visiting down here u can meet him!! it will be better if u could take up the AOL part 1 or sudarshan kriya course !! u can relate much better to him !! as per the prevailing circumstances now!!and more over sudarshan kriya is mind blowing and aol course is fun!! if its happening near to ur place sign up for it with out delay ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

      Vijayji thanks for this blog about the one and only Chayanna. We would love to welcome you to the AoL family. At the earliest when you get the opportunity do the ‘WAVES OF HAPPINESS’/PART1 COURSE.

  36. Vishnu Sharma August 13, 2009 at 6:12 pm #

    Chayyana ! His classes bring back a flood of Memories
    and a flood of tears !

    The way he explained the Schrodinger Wave equation and other subjects in Material science was phenomenal.

    I will be attending his Satsangs in Bangalore this time.
    He used to call me Sandeep. Because I reminded him of his friend “Sandeep”. I met him at my aunt’s place in 4th T Block last time. Just to be in his presence is very special.

    He used to pick on my friend who used to ride his bike. It was a bike where you had to arch yourself forward to hold the handles which were low and curved.

    He would ask my friend tenderly: Beennovu baralvenappa ? and he nicknamed him Bennovski !

    I have many-many memories of his classes.

  37. avinash October 9, 2009 at 11:58 am #


    hi vishnu plz do share ur memories with all of us. its fun to hear about chayanna u know .


  38. Chethan February 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm #

    Chayanna! – Was truly lucky to be a part (as a benefactor) of his tuition movement at Ragi Gudda. Back then itself it was not too hard to miss his stirrings for sanyasa. He stopped teaching at Ragi gudda when a nominal fee was introduced in 93. I cleared Material Science well past the passing marks thanks to him. Wonderful human being! With some of the things I’m hearing abt AOL these days I’m a tad disappointed he is with them.

  39. amar June 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    indeed chayannas satsangs are too good. His spiritual knowledge and songs are a delight to hear. dear chethan if chayanna ( whom u so admire as ur benefcator) has dedicated his time and energy to AOL you can be rest assured that it is not what u have heard ( presumably negative from whoever). Pls trust his judgement in this matter also. His contributions to Humanity and particularly AOL members ar invaluable and we really feel lucky now to be associated with him

  40. aarati September 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm #

    Chayanna(Swami Suryapad)avaru saddyakke USA alli Art of Living mukhanthara halavu karyakramagalanna nadisi kodtaidare, nimma urina hatra nu barbhahudu betti aago avakasha madikolli.

  41. Sunil September 17, 2010 at 4:10 am #


    Nice Post about Chayanna. Though i did my engineering in RVCE(2007), i was not so blessed to be his student there during my time. But now being in AOL i feel much more blessed to part of him.

    Well, Chayanna is just too good and Sri Sri Ravishankar…? Just beyond Words ๐Ÿ™‚

    Nice …

  42. Vinay Subrahmanya September 17, 2010 at 7:27 am #

    I am a big big big fan of chayanna… I was very fortunate to do the basic course and sahaj samadhi course with him… He is the most down to earth person i ve come across in life.. Even though he is a very popular person in art of living, i ve made numerous visits to his residence in jayanagar for silly reasons, and i never see a grin on his face.. We are all lucky to have come across such a person.. Thank you for posting this, please keep more stories of chayanna coming. Thank you..

    • Vinay Subrahmanya September 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

      i ve made numerous visits to his residence in jayanagar for silly reasons, and i never seen him frown and i always see a grin on his face…(oops sorry for the silly mistake which changes the context of my comment, wrote it with some idea in mind)

  43. Shailendra Rana September 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Lovely post!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Chayanna was, is and will always be an inspiration and his fan following is growing exponentially by the day. I remember the first time i met him was during Ganesh Chaturthi. He performed puja n satsang and later explained the scientific rationale behind the rituals. I was really impressed by the deep knowledge and the simplicity of his persona. Really blessed to have him as my spiritual teacher!

    • Dr. Harsha N. Biliangady July 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

      Agree with you Shailendraji

  44. chandrika.n. September 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

    I am a very very big fan of chayanna..since school days though i was not a science student took up commerce all my friends and cousins were his students.. i used to stand silently outside the sheds in 9 th block or 4 th “T” block and listen to his class.. he was a great source of inspiration.. had i known him in my class 10 i would have opted science.. my favorite subject.Though i am with AOL still not able to personally share this with him…. very lucky are the ones who get in touch with him…:)

  45. Summer Camps October 30, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    Maybe you should make changes to the post name A Source of Inspiration Bangalore Blues to something more catching for your webpage you create. I liked the blog post even sononetheless.

  46. Aravinda Rao July 4, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    Chayapatti Sir or Chayanna as we fondly remember him was a great guide. Very simple and friendly by nature…he handled our first year common subject (Physics) at RVCE. I still treasure his notes and simply admire him, for the way he taught us. His commitment to his students was phenomenal. As students of RVCE we adored him as if he was a personal treasure. Hard to find a person of this stature

    • Vijay July 6, 2015 at 6:40 am #

      We all have great memories of Chayanna from RVCE..we were really lucky to have him influence us…he continues to inspire thousands even today

      On Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 10:46 AM, Bangalore Blues wrote:


  47. Me September 3, 2015 at 7:04 am #

    Coolest blog about coolest Guru..thanks for sharing sir!

  48. Priya Pai August 3, 2016 at 6:29 am #

    Chayanna is a Divine Soul down to earth. He is a legend and inspiration for all of us. His kindness, generosity , Satsang and his vast knowldege in most fields of profession will attract everyone towards him. He is simply superb. We all love uuuuu chayanna


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