Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Sixteen 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 verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter 16 Theory: A Session for Questions Pages 221-235

1. Question on when there is difficulty P221

  • In Yoga terms if we have Duḥkha, something is behind it – Yoga Sūtra II 15
  • I do something that will make the mind a little clearer
  • Something that was acute might become less acute

2. Question on being hardest to sit or be quiet when in the grip of a problem P222

  • In the beginning this is true
  • We need both incidental solutions and continual progress
  • From the perspective of Pariṇāma Vāda, of Yoga, the mind is always changing

3. Question on what it means to trace Avidyā back to its origin P223-224

4. Question around obstacles that get in the way P224

  • What we need is greater effort to go in a particular direction – Yoga Sūtra I 14
  • That’s why, once is a while, its good to go to our teachers
  • Another solution is just to fully accept what happens
  • I feel the first one is better than the second

5. Question on Īśvara and truth P224-225

6. Question on Īśvara and control P225-226

7. Question on creation as having three parts P226

8. Question on Detachment P226-227

9. Question on Dhāraṇā on Īśvara P227-228

10. Question on relationship of Dhāraṇā and Dhyāna P228-229

11. Question on Dhāraṇā and Asmitā P229

12. Question on Dhyāna and Asmitā P229

13. Question on choosing an object of Meditation which doesn’t have mystery P229-231

  • Mystery is always present
  • It can be found in anything provided we seek it

14. Question on Dhāraṇā and Dhyāna just happening P231

  • “Happens” does not infer that we simply do nothing
  • We have to try. We must try

15. Question on scriptures saying sef-denial is good for us P231-233

  • If we don’t eat meat and we don’t worry about it, it is alright
  • But if we say I didn’t eat meat and it causes an even stronger feeling about the self
  • Is it alright to follow a practice where we combine different convictions, principles and concepts?
  • If a person has the capacity and means to integrate these things

16. Question on self-inquiry and “false self” P233-234

  • The point of self-inquiry is to lead ourselves beyond the “I”
  • How can we discriminate between the real and the non-real – Yoga Sūtra II 5

17. Question on what happens to the Puruṣa when the body dies P234

  • We don’t have the answer in the Yoga Sūtra
  • It does mention fear is present because man has died – Yoga Sūtra II 9
  • I don’t know because I am answering your question without direct experience

18. Question on Dreams as a means of overcoming obstacles P234

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

Follow this Link for Downloadable PDF’s of all the Previous Chapters

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