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

Without Rajas Guṇa there can be no Pariṇāma.

“Without Rajas Guṇa
there can be no Pariṇāma.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 16

The three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine whether the mind is……

“Working together with and directed by past impressions,
the three Guṇa, Sattva, Rajas and Tamas determine
whether the mind is calm, agitated or dull.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

Good habits can be as enslaving as bad ones……

“Good habits can be as enslaving as bad ones
and can also lead to Duḥkha.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 15

During such a moment, the power of the source of perception……

“During such a moment, without distractions,
the power of the source of perception,
full of clarity and completeness, shines forth.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 3

This Sūtra introduces what Patañjali calls Kriyā Yoga……

“This Sūtra introduces
what Patañjali calls Kriyā Yoga.
Kriyā in the sense of action.
Take the first step.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

The mind acts in countless ways and all of them stem from……

“The mind acts in countless ways and all of them
stem from the power of past Karma Vāsanā.
This is why individuals differ from one another.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

Nidrā or deep sleep is the state in which the mind’s link with……

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

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed……

nadi_sodana

Prāṇāyāma must be properly instructed.
The posture used, seated erect for example,
is also important.
The duration and regularity in terms of time
is also as important as proper instructions.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

Question: What is the greatest obstacle to meditation?

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……

yoga_sutra_cover

“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

Abhiniveśā is the extra-ordinairy instinctive urge to survive at any cost……

abhinivesa

Abhiniveśā is the extra-ordinairy
instinctive urge to survive at any cost.
No one is spared. In a way,
it is a dislike about one’s death.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 9

In Veda, Āyurveda and Yoga Sūtra, various techniques are offered……

“In VedaĀyurveda and Yoga Sūtra,
various techniques are offered to aid in healing the sick.
In addition to herbs and medicines,
Patañjali suggests that ĀsanaPrāṇāyāma 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……

dhyana

“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……

“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……

“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

In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step, Dhāraṇā……

Dhyānam is the seventh Aṅga of the Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.
In order to experience Dhyānam, the sixth step,
Dhāraṇā, should have been practiced thoroughly.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 1

A person who is physically fit and who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam……

“A person who is physically fit and
who has been cleansed by the Agni of Dhyānam
has no fear of sickness, disease, age or death.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2

The whole system functions on the strength of mind……

“The whole system functions on the strength of mind.
Mind is affected by what we eat.
‘Our mind is like our food‘.
Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Mano Bandha is Dhāraṇā……

“Just as Mūla BandhaUḍḍīyāna Bandha,
Jālandhara Bandha and Jivha Bandha
are very important for Prāṇāyāma,
Mano Bandha is very important for Dhyānam.
Mano Bandha is Dhāraṇā.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 1

Who does not seek a situation where he is able to understand things clearly……

“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 Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 254

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 19th 1988

What we try to do in Yoga is simply to create conditions so that the mind……

“What we try to do in Yoga is simply to create conditions so
that the mind becomes a most useful instrument for action.
And this can only be done gradually.
Any “short-cut method” is an illusion.
This gradual procedure may involve a number of intelligent means,
all of which come within the realm of Yoga Sādhana.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 253

Prāṇāyāma practice of at least 24 breaths should be done….

nadi_shodana

“For curing an illness,
Prāṇāyāma practice of at least 24 breaths
should be done several times each day
– ideally eight times.
All other unnecessary physical activities should be curtailed.
Food should be limited to liquids – primarily milk;
and hot, dry foods avoided.
Breathing practice should be done without the aid of any tools or instruments.”
–  T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 34

It should not be inferred that all of  these faculties of the mind……

“It should not be inferred that all of
these faculties of the mind, such as
observations, inference, memory, imagination,
inactivity, hyperactivity, are detrimental.
They are necessary to life, but left to itself
the mind develops its own way of movement and we
end up unable to take full advantage of these faculties.
That is why the Yoga Sūtra says that all activities
of the mind could be favourable or unfavourable.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 253