Human Dignity and Self-Esteem

Audrie hung herself on 12 September 2012. Her reputation was callously and irreparably ripped apart by photos of her sexual assault at a house party.

Audrie Pott

Audrie’s lack of guidance waves a warning message about the social injustice by double standards to human dignity.

What is human dignity?

Human dignity is the basic right of every individual of any gender, race, ethnicity, creed, nationality, disability, age, social class or sexual orientation.

Why is human dignity important in the authentic lineage of TKV Desikachar?

The authentic lineage of TKV Desikachar regards the dignity of the individual with utmost importance, because the human aspiration towards morals and values demonstrates the capacity for transcendence. Self-esteem or self-judgment represents the modus operandi by which humans perceive themselves among other people. Therefore, the teacher in the authentic tradition of Krishnamacharya must be able to restore and cultivate the student’s self-esteem in society, and prevent the spiralling circumstance of self-demoralization or self-mutilation by peer pressure (e.g. cyber bullying).


How to cultivate human dignity?

The teacher observes sāmatva (equanimity) by refraining from imposing any ideology or belief system, and develops challenges that emphasise the student’s capabilities.

The student establishes her own bhāvanā (intention) of the practice. Bhāvanā fills the emptiness (circle) and leads the path to transformation (triangle).


Self-affirming (self-loving) introspective practice reinforces self-esteem.

The security of community (saṃgha) reinforces belonging and openness.

The practice yields utsāham (empowerment through enthusiasm) that feeds back into the self-affirming (self-loving) practice.