I. K. Taimni (Iqbal Kishen Taimni, 1898-1978) was a Professor of Chemistry at the Allahabad University in India, and an influential scholar in the fields of Yoga and Indian Philosophy. He was a leader of the Theosophical Society. Taimni authored a number of books on Eastern Philosophy, including a modern interpretation of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.
Taimni was born in 1898 in Kashmiri Mohalla, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. His parents Prem Kishen Taimni and Biraj (née Gurtu) later shifted to Hardoi and then on to Allahabad where Prem Kishen Taimni got employment as Secretary Municipal Corporation, Allahabad. When Taimni was 11 years old he lost his mother to tuberculosis. His father never married again. The children, Iqbal Kishen and his sister Chandra (2 years younger than him), were brought up by their grandmother Bishen (née Ugra). Taimni had a distinguished academic career throughout, and was First class First student and a Gold Medalist.
Taimni married Kunwar (née Nagu) in Indore in 1922. She held a B.A. degree (earned in Benares), which was unusual for women of that time. He was selected for the Central Excise service but he declined the offer as he preferred teaching as a career and joined Allahabad University as a lecturer. Meanwhile, Kunwar Taimni enrolled for M. A. classes in history at the same university. She went to the UK in 1926 on being offered a scholarship to do a Montessori teacher training course. Taimni accompanied her and got enrolled for a PhD in London University. They returned in 1928 after Mrs. Taimni completed her Montessori Diploma course and Taimni completed his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry.
On returning to India, Taimni resumed teaching at Allahabad University while his wife joined Krishna Ashram, Allahabad as a principal. It was a Montessori school for children sponsored by the Theosophical Society. Taimni retired in 1960 and thereafter worked for two years with the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Post retirement he took to writing commentaries on Theosophy and Hindu religious texts, for which he engaged a teacher to learn Sanskrit. All his books are published by the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai. Taimni also contributed occasionally to domestic and foreign journals on related matters, for example, meditation. He was awarded the Subba Row Gold Medal in 1975 for his contribution to theosophical literature.
Mr. and Mrs. Taimni were both vegetarians, and were lifelong members of Theosophical Society, Adyar, Chennai.