Āsana is offered as a means not an end…

Āsana is offered as a means not an end.
This is important because in current use,
there is no difference between Yoga and Āsana.
People say doing Yoga when in fact doing Āsana.
Yet they don’t say I am doing Yoga when
they are doing Prāṇāyāma or Meditation.”
– TKV Desikachar 1991

Where do Āsana lead us?……

Where do Āsana lead us?

“Where do Āsana lead us?
1. For seated practices
To stay in a stable posture with the spine erect,
for Dhyāna or preparation for Dhyāna.
2.  For health
They do something for the energy flow of the body.
3. Ability to master the body
Not necessarily to promote health,
but to show that we can master the body.
Often these are good for health,
though many are only useful as challenges.”
– TKV Desikachar

Further Reading – What is the Yoga of Krishnamacharya?

In the Yogavallī, T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra…

sraddha

“In the Yogavallī, T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra,
Śraddhā has been seen in a different, very interesting way.
In it, he has said that Śraddhā is a symbol for a special meditation
and he calls this meditation, Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.
Ahaṃ is the I, Graha is to grasp and Upāsana is to stay near.
Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I,
it is called Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

T Krishnamacharya Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated
TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Study Quotes Collected and Collated

Meditation can’t be taught, but can be learnt.

dhyanam

Meditation can’t be taught,
but can be learnt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2

To raise the awareness of the pupil to Dhyāna, the teacher must instruct the pupil during Āsana practice.

“To raise the awareness of the pupil to Dhyāna,
the teacher must instruct the pupil during Āsana practice.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

Just because a person is not practicing Dhyāna, but only Āsana……

“Just because a person is not practicing Dhyāna,
but only Āsana,
we cannot say he is not practicing Yoga.
In a body, each limb belongs to the body.
Similarly, practice of Āsana is indeed
practice of Yoga to that extent.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

Āsana offers a purpose more than just physical……

Āsana offers a purpose more than just physical.
Āsana offers a link of the mind to the physical.
Āsana introduces the concept of Dhyāna as a practice.
Āsana seeks to minimise the Saṃskāra
or habitual patterns which dull the mind.
In doing so it seeks to increase our sensitivity to ourselves,
what is around us and its corresponding influences,
and to what sustains us.”
– TKV Desikachar

There are simple postures for Prāṇāyāma and Dhyāna……

“There are simple postures for Prāṇāyāma and Dhyāna,
so that we can relax in the body and not be distracted by it.
There are challenging postures,
to enable us to master our bodies and for young people who
will be engaged by the performance aspect of the posture.
There are also corrective postures.”
– TKV Desikachar England 1992

In meditation, one must make the transition from the gross……

“In meditation,
one must make the transition
from the gross, that which has form
and which can be seen by the mind,
to the subtle, the formless.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 1988

Before launching on Antar Aṅga Sādhana……

“Before launching on Antar Aṅga Sādhana,
one should be a Niṣṭhāvān in Bāhya Aṅga Sādhana.
If this earlier stage is very well established,
then only a teacher may teach Dhyāna.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

One could say that I have taught Yoga to hundreds of people……

“One could say, of course,
that I have taught Yoga to hundreds of people,
of different ages, states, origins,
but by Yoga I mean only postures and breath control,
and do not count meditation or interpretation of the texts.

These I have only taught to a few people and
only to those I deemed worthy after several interviews,
designed to give me an idea of their personality
and the firmness of their intentions.

I discouraged those who appeared to have superficial reasons for learning Yoga,
but never those who came to find me because of health problems and
who had frequently been turned away by the medical profession.”

– From interviews with T Krishnamacharya by Sarah Dars,
published in Viniyoga Review no 24, December 1989

The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the
main emphasis of Patañjali, which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with relatively
few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 28

Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation….

“Some people say they practice Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Meditation.
Among these things which is close to Sādhana and which is not close to Sādhana?”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna

dhyana

“There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna
because they remove something which is blocking it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 186

All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga……

dhyana
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”

“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”

“Not everyone needs Pūrva Aṅga.
Some extraordinary people, because of merits in the past,
do not need this preparation. Quite a few examples exist.
However, if we try to emulate them we are in trouble.”

“We must recognise the necessity of preparation,
the need to work so we can come to a level where we are able to fix the question.”

“Thus, the ability to fix the question is a requisite for Dhyāna.
One who cannot is not ready for meditation.”

“One need not fix the question first.
Instead, one must do the preliminary preparation.
If that is done properly, one does not have to decide: the question will come.
You just rise to the level where questioning is possible.”

“Sometimes, a question may arise when you are not ready.
How to reach the question requires preliminaries,
for there must be a freshness in your approach.
If the approach is habitual, the response will be wrong.”

“When we equip ourselves better,
we will know the right question.
Only then can we say,
‘It is MY question’.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have…..

dhyana

“Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have:
1. Preliminaries.
2. Peak.
3. Descent.”

“The preliminaries are very important,
especially in isolating one object for meditation.”

“How ineffective one’s meditation will be if one thinks he or she can start at the peak.”

“In Meditation, one needs time for the preliminaries;
then the actual meditation may be short because the mind is ready.”

“From Pūrva Aṅga,
one goes into a state of Dhyāna,
and then must come out.
One must have the means to come out of that state.”

“The length of time for each step of the meditation model is variable.
However, the preparation is linked to the exact character and evolution of Dhyāna.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

In India the Purohita has the authority to say……

purohita

“In India the Purohita (person appointed to be in charge of the teaching)
has the authority to say:
Anuloma – What goes with what the person wants.
Viloma – What goes against what the person wants.
Pratiloma – What is different from what the person wants.
In the West too much Anuloma.
In India more Viloma and Pratiloma.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1998

It is not possible for everyone to reach the same level of meditation……

dhyanam

“It is not possible for everyone to reach the same level of meditation (Dhyānam),
even meditation should be taught or presented in stages (viniyoga).
It should be used at a level suitable to the student and gradually increased,
start simply and increase in complexity.
This is dependant on the growth of the student and according to the purpose.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

In the case of a person whose mind is calm……

“In the case of a person whose mind
is calm and free from disturbances,
there is the integration of the person who meditates,
the mind which is utilised for meditation
and the object that is meditated upon.
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 41