TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Collated Quotes Chapter One verses 1-4

“The original essence of the Yoga Sūtra
was passed on by oral tradition.
First you learn the rhythm of the Sūtra.
This was in Saṃskṛta,
first learning the words or Sūtra, then the meanings.
By learning to recite the Sūtra perfectly it was clear
that you were earnest in wanting to learn their meanings.
The scheme would be to repeat it twice,
in exactly the same tone used by the teacher.
This would take many years.
Thus these days it’s difficult to expect to
understand the Sūtra from a book or a course.”

Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One – Samādhi Pādaḥ

“The beauty of the Sūtra is that they are only related to the mind.
Thus they stand above various religions
and can be studied and related to by
all types of persons from all types of religions.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

Annotated through Ten Themed Sections

1. Nirodha or Containment – verses 1-4

Atha – Now in the sense of nowness.
By convention let there be something auspicious.
The Sūtra are different in the sense of not
having a prayer dedication in the first Sūtra.
Thus Atha fills this role.
Particularly the letter ‘A’ which is a dedication.
“Of sounds I am the first letter A.”
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 33
Now I am going to tell you something about Yoga.
A serious discussion as you, the students, are ready.
This also refers to the student’s previous attempts at learning,
which will now be clarified.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“A student might have tried to study problems of the mind
to try to bring an understanding of equilibrium.
The teacher says ‘now I will teach you’.
The first Sūtra also acts as a key for the memory to link all the Yoga Sūtra.
So no confusion with the Brahma Sūtra, etc.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

AnuŚāsanam – Śāsanam text of authority.
Thus it was in the past and is continuous
and will be there in the future.
It is not new and will always be valid.
No reference is made to it being an inquiry into Yoga.
On the contrary it is given as an absolute teaching.
Emphasis is given to the use and choice of words.
They are placed and given in context very carefully.
Thus the meaning is very clear.
However the Sūtra require a great teacher to explain and give comments.
This presumes a great knowledge of Saṃskṛta as well.
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“The mind functions at five levels.
Mostly it functions in such a way that we hardly notice it.
So much happens, so many ideas, perceptions
come and go that very often we lose track.
It is like a monkey that is drunk and somebody is poking it.
It is distraught and cannot comprehend anything.
In Yoga this level of functioning is called Kṣipta.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“A slightly better condition than Kṣipta
is what is called Mūḍha.
Here the mind is like a dull, sleepy, heavy buffalo.
There is hardly any inclination to act, to respond, or to observe.
This could be a temporary situation or a more regular affair.
There are many reasons for this–”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“Another way the mind functions is called Vikṣipta.
We act but we have doubts;
distractions come about,
there are obstacles.
The set direction does not look right
and we don’t know what to do about it.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“The fourth way the mind functions is called Ekāgratā.
Here clarity has come about
and we have direction and are able to proceed.
What we want to do is much clearer
and distractions hardly matter.
This is also called Dhāraṇā which was explained earlier.
Yoga is actually the beginning of Ekāgratā.
Yoga suggest means to create conditions that gradually
move the Kṣipta level of mind towards Ekāgratā.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“The word Nirodha also means “restraint”.
It is not by restraining the mind that it will move and
become involved in a particular direction of choice.
It is the other way round; that is,
so strongly and intensely the mind has moved toward
one area and has become absorbed in one area
that there is no “infiltration”.
Therefore Nirodha meaning “restraint”,
is just an effect of Nirodha meaning “complete absorption”.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“Who does not seek a situation where he is able to
understand things clearly, discover new things,
and remove or clear away wrong perceptions?
If there is one thing that can be said about
what happens in the state of Nirodha it is this:
one sees and one knows.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra in that it
describes the characteristics of Yoga
as Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is not Yoga Sarva Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.
This is a relative Sūtra,
which allows for a gradual evolution.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“Yoga has many meanings in the Bhagavad GītāUpaniṣat, Saṃskṛta Grammar, etc.
It is defined again in the Sūtra.
Yoga is the movement of the mind in one direction. It presumes:
1. There is something in each of us called mind.
2. This mind has many movements or activities.
3. It is possible to channelise these movements through certain actions.
4. When we accept movement we accept time and space –
moving something from A to B. There are realities.
5. In accepting Vṛtti we also accept the idea of an object.
6. We can fix the mind so it confines itself to an object.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Cit is always the same.
Nirodha always refers to Citta.
Thus Cit is a witness.
What changes is only Citta.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“The mind is subject to change or Pariṇāma
and as such can be channelised.
Certain movements can be emphasised or de-emphasised.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“The mind is like a fluid,
which can modify into different things.
A sense of change.
Thus restraining modifications is channelising.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“Yoga is stopping the mind from becoming involved,
in activities that distract one from a chosen direction.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things,
not a cessation of activity.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Restraint is in the sense of
if I am here I am not elsewhere.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“Yoga directs the mind to what is happening now.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

“The Yoga Sūtra says so much about the mind,
but little about the self.
What can be shared can be expressed,
what cannot be shared cannot be expressed.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3

“In the Yoga state we experience
what is beyond the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3

“When the mind is very clear,
you get the message from deep inside.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3

“In Sūtra Three and Four the mind is operating.
In Sūtra Three the mind is the means.
In Sūtra Four the mind is the means and the boss.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

“Whatever perceives is always right,
it is the mind that colours what we see.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

“Yoga presumes for most people that mind is the same,
always planning ahead or basing itself on what has happened.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

“If there is not a strong link to that which is inside,
the stronger force becomes the outside,
and we are pulled by and to that.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

“When the mind is not very clear,
you only get the message from the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

To view or Download as a PDF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.