Excerpts from “Guruji”
Guruji : The portrait of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of Tomas Zorzo
You had not been exposed to Guruji’s teaching?
I didn’t know anthing. Suryanamaskara A. Nothing.
Do you remember arriving in Mysore and meeting Guruji?
The first time I went to India I got very sick with amoebic hepatitis. A doctor told me I had to leave the country, so I had a lot of fear. I had been close to death. On my second trip I was afraid to fall sick again. No mineral water, toilet paper, etc.-it was difficult to travel in India. First, I went to vipassana (meditation) in Bombay and then to Mysore. But on the way to the vipassana course I got dysentery, so I could not sit the course. I was very sick with a high fever and I was thinking it was amoebic hepatitis again. Thanks to God, a Spanish Christian priest helped me and I spent a few days recovering there. Then I went to Mysore, but I was still very sick. I met Guruji and told him how sick I was. He said, “ Oh, you remove all these medicines.” I had all these medicines which the hospital had given to me, about fifty tablets of different colors. “You just throw these out and just practice, practice, practice. This will clean the liver and other internal organs and you will be just fine.” So I went to practice and I remember the first class was tough because I was very weak. He took me as far as janu shirshanasa the first class and I came out with more energy than I entered with. That started to hook me. It was very powerful and I could feel therapeutic effect immediately. Each week I got better. It took me one month to recover completely from the sickness.
Did you have any doubts when you first met Guruji, or did he give you confidence immediately?
I remember writing in my diary, sitting on the bench in front of the Lakshmipuram police station waiting for class. He had told me to come 6 a.m. I wrote, “This man, he is going to kill me, he is adjusting me so strongly.” I was afraid I was going to be broken from his strong adjustments. He was on top of me in every asana and I was feeling, “Oh my God, he’s going to kill me,” but instead of that he was healing me. His adjustments were  very good. He treated me with such love and care on that first trip. It was superb.
When I went to India, I had fear of getting sick again. India felt very big and I felt very small. I had fear of food, fear of touching anything, everything was dirty, India was just huge. And when I came out after those first two months with Guruji, I had the feeling that I was huge and India was small. I had the feeling that the prana was huge and I was not afraid of getting sick again.