Bishnu Charan Ghosh and Bikram Choudhury, 1965.
Bishnu Charan Ghosh was one of the greatest and most influential yoga masters of the past century. Ghosh, born in Lahore, India in 1903, was a celebrated physical culturalist and the first to scientifically document Yoga’s ability to cure chronic physical ailments and heal the body. Beginning in the 1920’s, he developed a school of Yoga that provided a unique blend of spiritual inspiration and a highly disciplined physical regimen.
Ghosh came from an extraordinary family. He was initiated into the field of yogic exercise and physical education by his guru and older brother, Paramahansa Yogananda, the world renowned Yogi and spiritual master. Yogananda founded the Self Realization Fellowship Center and his book, “Autobiography of a Yogi”, continues to be one of the best known and influential works of our time.
In 1923, at the young age of 20, he founded the first Ghosh College of Physical Education in Calcutta and his fame quickly spread throughout India. Other schools were opened, first in India, and then in locations around the world.
In 1939, Ghosh came to the United States to educate people on the subject of yoga by giving demonstrations. He lectured at Columbia University in New York, generating a great deal of interest in the field, and was widely acknowledged and respected in the academic community. In 1968 he went to Japan with his troupe and traveled all over the country giving lectures and yogic demonstrations. Ghosh’s were the first yoga exhibitions to be televised outside of India, and were seen and loved by millions of Japanese.
Ghosh's yoga was heavily influenced by the Yogoda system, taught at the Ranchi School by his older brother Paramahansa Yogananda and by the physical education taught by Professor Thakurta at Calcutta University.
Ghosh had many followers and his legacy of hot yoga passed into many hands, including Buddha Bose, Dr. Gouri Shankar Mukerji, Montosh Roy, the Das family, his son Biswanath and Bikram Choudhury. We will talk about all of these students in the next history segment.
He passed away in 1970. His legacy is being continued by his granddaughter, Muktamala Mitra, the current director of the Ghosh College in Calcutta. (Source: http://www.ghoshyoga.com/)