“Nidrā or deep sleep is the state in which the
mind’s link with external stimuli is cut off.
In this state, Tamas is dominant.
Although in deep sleep the mind
has no link with anything external,
this does not exclude all links,
which is why we are often able to recall
whether our sleep was sound or disturbed.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 10
Question: What is the greatest obstacle to meditation?
“The biggest obstacle to meditation is Vikalpa,
the ability of the mind to fabricate in spite of reality.
Through Vikalpa, the mind fabricates thoughts of no essence,
no substance; and since meditation is, for most of us,
the play of the mind, Vikalpa is the greatest obstacle.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988
“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.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979
“What is the role of Dharma
in the face of survival?”
– TKV Desikachar speaking with his
senior Western students London 1998
“In Veda, Āyurveda and Yoga Sūtra,
various techniques are offered to aid in healing the sick.
In addition to herbs and medicines,
Patañjali suggests that Āsana, Prāṇāyāma and Vairāgya
are particularly beneficial and, as any medicine,
should be used with care and discipline.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34
“The ideal Dhyānam,
which becomes easier with practice,
requires certain preparations to reduce
the tendency of the mind to be distracted,
either by being jumpy and agitated, or dull and inert.
Chief among these preparations are proper diet and Prāṇāyāma.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
“I think, that all those who want to practise
Vedic Chanting must be able to do so,
provided there is no confusion
with Patañjali’s Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting
“The state of Dhyānam is possible in a seated posture.
If a person lies down, it may induce sleep.
If a person walks and moves about,
he may be distracted by the objects around him.
This posture must be in a place
where the mind will not be distracted.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2
“One’s own actions can develop or make one Guṇa prominent.
Thus we can plan or practice Āsana or Prāṇāyāma to promote one Guṇa.
The practice of Yoga can influence the Guṇa.
the room where you practice can affect the Guṇa
by photographs, colour of paint, smell.
Even Mantra are classified into Guṇa.
This needs to be considered when using Mantra for the individual.
Meditation can be related to the Guṇa.
The object of our inquiry must be related or,
in accordance with what we want to produce.”
– TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga