TKV Desikachar talks on Śraddhā in the light of the Yoga Sūtra……

TKV Desikachar talks on Śraddhā in the light of the Yoga Sūtra
at the KYM and responds to questions.

“Śraddhā is essential for progress,
whether in Yoga or any other endeavour.
It is a feeling that cannot be expressed or intellectually discussed.

It, however, is a feeling that is not always uncovered in every person.
When absent or weak,
it is evident through the lack of stability and focus in a person.

Where present and strong,
it is evident through the commitment, perseverance
and enthusiasm the person exhibits.
For such a person, life is meaningful.”

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind. It examines the different functions of the mind and provides means to modify these functions so that it serves the person in a very constructive way.

The means by which certain qualitative changes in the mind are brought about is called Sādhanā. There is also the possibility that certain individuals may develop such a mind without effort. That is, the qualities are inherent in that individual and mature on their own to manifest one day in the form of some extraordinary capacities. However, such persons are few. For the rest of us, the same changes are possible but it is a question of time and practice. The end result is the same, it is only the time taken to achieve it that will differ.

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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

What is the role of Dharma in the face of survival?

“What is the role of Dharma
in the face of survival?”
– TKV Desikachar speaking with his
senior Western students London 1998

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

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 on Dhyānam

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

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

As teachers we can only confine ourselves to diseases……

“As teachers we can only confine ourselves
to diseases where we have a role to play.
These are diseases where the mind is involved.
We work with diseases where a relationship
exists between body and mind.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

In observing, we must remember a few more things……

“In observing, we must remember a few more things:

When we are not able to see something,
It is either because something else is more obvious,
or because it is too close to us.
(Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa Āryā Seven)

We can only observe when there is an inclination to do so.
(Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 17)

Because of our own memories, backgrounds, cultures, etc.
Each person looks at the same problem differently,
which may cause problems.
(Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 15)

We must respect time and change,
although the tendency nowadays is otherwise.
We must wait and observe more than once
so as not to be trapped by the fact
that things appear like this one day
and like that another day.”

TKV Desikachar on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna……

“Sometimes Yoga is called Darśana Vijñāna.
Vijñāna means ‘to know things in detail,
which involves also the techniques, the process of knowing, etc’.
It mean that not only we see things, we also know how to apply.

Darśana means ‘mirror, view, projection;
showing something that we cannot normally see.’
For instance, the Six Darśana in Indian philosophy
are six ways of seeing things.

Darśana in Yoga is divided into two classes:

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In Samādhi there is an understanding……

samadhi

“In Samādhi there is an understanding.
Something not based on your memories,
something that transcends your memories.
Prajña comes only in Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Samādhi is a state of mind and an understanding that arises from it.

samadhi

Samādhi is a state of mind and an
understanding that arises from it.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18

It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go……

sraddha

“It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go,
you must also be really interested in taking the step.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Anubhūta is the change that occurs in one’s state of mind……

Anubhūta is the change that
occurs in one’s state of mind
when it is related to external objects
through the involvement of the senses.
This is also known as experience.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 11

Trying to escape from Saṃskāra only increases their power……

‎”Trying to escape from Saṃskāra only increases their power and,
in addition, leads to the acquisition of still more Saṃskāra.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18

Śraddhā will give life to all the means……

Śraddhā will give life to all
the means that are in the Yoga Sūtra.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

It is through Praṇavo Japam that……

“It is through Praṇavo Japam that
the true nature of the Jīva is realised.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 29