“Abhyāsa, when performed with reverence,
without interruption, over a long period of time, will result
in a healthy body, acute senses and extraordinary alertness.
This kind of Abhyāsa is a solid foundation that nothing can disturb.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14
“In this Sūtra Patañjali states that there are two ways
to discipline the five types of mental activity.
They are Abhyāsa and Vairāgya.
Abhyāsa is practice.
Vairāgya is to disconnect or sever the link
between the Citta and external objects.
These two, Abhyāsa and Vairāgya,
always go together as a pair.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“Similarly, because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa,
what is the quality of one is taken to be of the other.
In our convention they are often taken as one
and not two distinct entities with different natures.
This state is Asmitā.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama.
That is, how much to eat and what to eat,
according to age, profession, etc.
You see, the ancient people believed that
a young boy could eat as much as he liked.
But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice,
no more, per day.”
“When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.
What is changing is taken to be non-changing. For example the mind.
What is subjected to decay is assumed to be pure. For example the body.
What is leading to suffering is taken to be the source of pleasure.
What is not conscious is assumed to be conscious.
All these errors in perceptions have many possibilities.
But the ultimate stage of Avidyā is to assume that we are the Masters, not Īśvara.”
T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5
“The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired.
This is what Abhyāsa refers to. This is not exactly practice.
1. We first require an appreciation of what we want to do or learn.
2. We then find out how to travel or go in that direction.
3. We then learn the techniques by which we travel.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms, about their translation.
Many books or courses have been written about the treatise of Patañjali.
Some of them analyse the words one by one, trying to translate them separately,
dissecting the text. This way of proceeding may be interesting,
but unfortunately it can also confuse instead of helping understanding of the text.
Because literally translating the aphorisms is nothing but a series of words glued together,
in sentences that very often lack in consistency.
The ancient way of exposing was not translating them into a new language;
it was mainly making the student grasp the sense of the aphorism.
In this case, the Sanskrit text is just a reminder,
a mnemonic that the teacher is not going to translate textually.
They are going to use it to develop the idea or the sense of the aphorism.
They will explain these notions, sometimes even without referring to any word of the aphorism.
What is important is to give a teaching that is adapted to the level of understanding of the student.”
– TKV Desikachar on Learning from the Yoga Sūtra
– Extract from Viniyoga Europe No 1
“The worst obstacle of all occurs when,
somewhere in the back of our minds,
we think we have understood something and we haven’t.
That is, we fancy that we have seen the truth.
We think, because of a situation in which we feel
we have some sort of calmness, we have reached our zenith.
We say, ‘That is what I have been looking for; I have progressed.’
But in actual fact we have not progressed.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Chapter Fifteen Page 209