Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Three Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added Yoga Sūtra verse and word cross-references to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter Three Theory: The Concepts of Avidyā and Duḥkha – Pages 31-44

1. Review of Chapter One P31-32

  • Veda as source
  • Definition of Yoga
  • Individual starting points
  • Common to all is movement (Sādhana) and Result (Siddhi) – Yoga Sūtra CII/III
  • Yoga systemised by Patañjali
  • Reasons to be involved in Yoga
  • Yoga is non-Hindu and areligious
  • Avidyā – Yoga Sūtra II 5
  • Reality as Sat-Vāda
  • Reality as Pariṇāma- Vāda
  • Beyond experience is Puruṣa
  • Pañca Kleśa – Yoga Sūtra II 3-9
  • Beyond the Kleśa – Yoga Sūtra I 3
  • Puruṣa appears differently in each of us – Yoga Sūtra II 20

2. Question on Detachment P33

3. Question on Āsana P33-34

4. Question on Rāga P33-34

 5. Avidyā P35-36

6. Dhyāna P36-37

 7. Question on Action P37-38

8. Question on considering alternatives P38

  • Pratipakṣa and actions

9. Question on source of action P38

  • How do we know if action is Avidyā or Puruṣa?

 10. Duḥkha P38-40

11. Question on Duḥkha P40-42

  • Better to try to have Duḥkha?

12. Question on Duḥkha and wisdom P42

13. Question on impermanence as source of Duḥkha P42

14. Question on recognition of Duḥkha P42-43

15. Question on what causes Duḥkha P43-44

Follow this link for a Downloadable PDF version of the Chapter Three Study Guide

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