T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 1-4 Study Quotes Collated

T Krishnamacharya & TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra
Chapter One verses 1-4 Study Quotes Collated

“I am going to explain to 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.
Why?
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 introducing the Yoga Sūtra

“There is no style to the Yoga Sūtra.
The only style is your style.
We can see this from the number of alternatives Patañjali
proposes to give us strength of mind,
or allow us to do something we cannot do before.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Yoga Sūtra

“The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning
provides the best instrument for helping the individual
know that he is more than a money making machine.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Yoga Sūtra

“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.
A Sūtra Class began with a dedication.
It had the effect of orienting the mind to the class and subject
and could also be a dedication to a god, if accepted,
to remove obstacles, or if none, not to put any i.e. Gaṇeśa.
It is also a dedication to all one’s teachers or all the teachers
and the author of the text himself. Patañjali as in
– Pata that which falls and Añjali a position of offering as in Añjali Mudrā.
Something fell from above and became Patañjali.
The roots are in Indian mythology.
A god reclining on a bed of serpents was beseeched by the sages of old.
They had problems with Saṃskṛta grammar, Knowledge of disease and Peace of mind.
Thus in order to find a balance of body mind and speech they prayed to God.
Ānanta answered them and threw down something which was
half-man up to the shoulders and above a head of many cobras.
This became the man Patañjali.
From this myth, three works are often attributed to him.
One of Grammar for speech, one of medicine for the body, one of Yoga for the mind.
Patañjali was regarded as an incarnation of the great Ānanta
and the prayer salutes him and his work.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Yoga Sūtra

“To define the word Yoga is very difficult, as the word is so adaptable.
A starting point would be Patañjali.
Patañjali removed all the complicated definitions and simplified it to:
‘Making the best out of the most difficult object, the mind.’
His idea was to create a situation,
where the mind becomes more faithful than it is.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Yoga Sūtra

Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One – Samādhi Pādaḥ

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A Sūtra Class began with a dedication, it had the effect of orienting…

“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.

A Sūtra Class began with a dedication. It had the effect of orienting the mind to the class and subject and could also be a dedication to a god, if accepted, to remove obstacles, or if none, not to put any i.e. Gaṇeśa.

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When there is Śraddhā the person is not disappointed…

sraddha

“When there is Śraddhā, the person is not
disappointed on failing to get immediate benefits.
They are sure that it is only a question of time
and so the failures on the path do not
reduce their enthusiasm or their efforts.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Śraddhā is the source of motivation.

sraddha

Śraddhā is the source of motivation.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Collated Quotes Chapter One verses 1-4

“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.”

Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One – Samādhi Pādaḥ

“The beauty of the Sūtra is that they are only related to the mind.
Thus they stand above various religions
and can be studied and related to by
all types of persons from all types of religions.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

Annotated through Ten Themed Sections

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When we act unconsciously we go back into the past.

“When we act unconsciously
we go back into the past.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 27

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

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

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

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

The word Nirodha also means “restraint”……

“The word Nirodha also means “restraint”.
It is not by restraining the mind that it will move and
become involved in a particular direction of choice.
It is the other way round; that is,
so strongly and intensely the mind has moved toward
one area and has become absorbed in one area
that there is no “infiltration”.
Therefore Nirodha meaning “restraint”,
is just an effect of Nirodha meaning “complete absorption”.
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 252

The fourth way the mind functions is called Ekāgratā……

“The fourth way the mind functions is called Ekāgratā.
Here clarity has come about
and we have direction and are able to proceed.
What we want to do is much clearer
and distractions hardly matter.
This is also called Dhāraṇā which was explained earlier.
Yoga is actually the beginning of Ekāgratā.
Yoga suggest means to create conditions that gradually
move the Kṣipta level of mind towards Ekāgratā.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 251

Another way the mind functions is called Vikṣipta……

“Another way the mind functions is called Vikṣipta.
We act but we have doubts;
distractions come about,
there are obstacles.
The set direction does not look right
and we don’t know what to do about it.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 251

A slightly better condition than Kṣipta is what is called Mūḍha……

“A slightly better condition than Kṣipta
is what is called Mūḍha.
Here the mind is like a dull, sleepy, heavy buffalo.
There is hardly any inclination to act, to respond, or to observe.
This could be a temporary situation or a more regular affair.
There are many reasons for this–”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 251

The mind functions at five levels……

“The mind functions at five levels.
Mostly it functions in such a way that we hardly notice it.
So much happens, so many ideas, perceptions
come and go that very often we lose track.
It is like a monkey that is drunk and somebody is poking it.
It is distraught and cannot comprehend anything.
In Yoga this level of functioning is called Kṣipta.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’
Chapter Eighteen Page 251

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

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