Fact Check: Is Kausthub Desikachar’s KHYF a Foundation or a For-Profit Partnership?

In 2006, Kausthub Desikachar created KHYF (a for-profit partnership firm based in India), blurring the lines between a private business venture and a non-profit entity.

The Deed of Partnership of Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation (KHYF) reveals that it is a for-profit partnership firm created under the Indian Partnership Act, deceptively using the name “foundation” in its name. Kausthub Desikachar was partner since inception and managing partner now.

According to Wikipedia:

A foundation (also a charitable foundation) is a legal category of nonprofit organization that will typically either donate funds and support to other organizations, or provide the source of funding for its own charitable purposes. Foundations incorporate private foundations and public foundations.”

Unlike the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) which is a non-profit charitable trust, KHYF is for-profit entity issuing KHYF certifications, overseeing the accreditation of yoga teacher training programs and providing yoga therapist and Vedic chanting teacher trainings.

Kausthub Desikachar owns 90% of the for-profit KHYF and is entitled to a salary of up to Rs. 3,00,000/- each month. The remaining 10% is owned by his mother, Menaka Desikachar. KHYF gives the appearance of a non-profit, claiming to be a “foundation,” while it is actually a family owned for-profit partnership firm controlled by Kausthub Desikachar.

KHYF’s legitimacy is so shaky that after the reports of extensive sexual abuse by Kausthub, a new organization called SKY was formed and it was announced in 2013 that KHYF would cease to exist. Once the allegations died down and it was safe for Kausthub to reemerge, KHYF was resurrected and became a vehicle for his for-profit teachings again.

Is this supposed to be the organization that TKV Desikachar wanted to represent his teachings?

KHYF on its website makes a self-serving claim that it was established because the KYM could not function abroad.   Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation (KHYF) states the following on its website:

“The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM), an Indian charitable Institution, founded by TKV Desikachar earlier, was primarily set up with legal and statutory provisions to operate only in India, barring it from any activity outside of India. This meant that the KYM was able to continue with its very different work as an Indian yoga therapy clinic.

Thus the Krishnamacharya Healing & Yoga Foundation (KHYF) is the worldwide headquarters and official umbrella organisation representing the complete and authentic Viniyoga® tradition of Professor T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar globally.”

But what makes KHYF India unique in being capable of functioning abroad? KYM, a public charitable trust established in 1976, has had only one major scandal – and that was because of Kausthub Desikachar, following which he was officially expelled. KHYF in contrast has a shaky and deceptive history with nothing to support its legitimacy except Kausthub Desikachar’s self-serving claims.

Why should KYM not offer all of the teachings of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar abroad?

Of course, then Kausthub Desikachar would not be able to take 90% of the profits. If profit is the motive, then KHYF labeling itself like a charitable foundation deceives the public.

In 2016, Kausthub Desikachar announced the creation of KHYF International – “an international non-profit” association based in Europe. KHYF International apparently will “offer certification to students graduating from the affiliated schools.” Little is known about KHYF International as no financial statements have been released to the public.

Is KHYF International in Europe a “non-profit” that simply funnels the profits to Kausthub Desikachar and the for-profit KHYF in India? That would be the natural and logical assumption. Would KHYF International show some transparency?

Deceptions surround Kausthub Desikachar at every step.

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