T Krishnamacharya on Kriyā Yoga from the Yogavallī

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters.

The first chapter called Samādhi Pādaḥ
assumes the aspirant has progressed
adequately to be in a state called Samāhita.

Such a person is not easily agitated.
They have a clearer perception to comprehend
concepts such as Īśvara, Vairāgya.

What about others who are known as Vyutthita Citta,
a mind easily prone to agitations and distractions?

This second chapter known as Sādhana Pādaḥ caters to them.

The first step consists of:


The whole system functions on the strength of mind.
Mind is affected by what we eat.
‘Our mind is like our food‘.

Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.
Apart from right food, other activities like travel to holy places,
giving away gifts to the needy are also part of Tapas.


The study that helps us to know where we are from and what progress we have achieved.
In short, our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya.

There are many means. Vedic chant where the student
repeats exactly how the teacher recites the text is one.
The means should respect our culture.

It must help explore our own background,
our strengths and weaknesses and our progress.
Even a good teacher can be a mirror, a Svādhyāya.


With faith in Īśvara,
the master of the whole universe,
regularly offering prayers.

Whether it is Tapas, Svādhyāya or Īśvara Praṇidhānā,
the power of Īśvara alone ensures success.

– From T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra known as Yogavallī

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