Pain and suffering are linked……

duhkha_5

“Pain and suffering are linked,
but no more pain does not necessarily mean no more suffering.
There are people who have a little pain and a lot of suffering.
However, there are others who, despite a lot of pain, suffer very little.
What is it that can do this? ”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Whether Yoga is Sādhana or Siddhi?

sadhana

“Whether Yoga is Sādhana or Siddhi?
Sādhana is the means to achieve something.
Siddhi is where something has happened.
For Siddhi to happen there has to be Sādhana, some preparation, some effort.
So how is it possible for something to be both Sādhana and Siddhi?
Each gain we make is a Siddhi.
Each Siddhi helps us to go further with Sādhana.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

The mind is subject to change or Pariṇāma and as such can be channelised.

TKV_France_1999

“The mind is subject to change or Pariṇāma and as such can be channelised.
Certain movements can be emphasised or de-emphasised.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Any technique that can help to pacify suffering is wonderful……

“Any technique that can help to pacify suffering is wonderful,
but unfortunately only temporary.
Any technique that will develop clarity is precious,
since it contributes to resolving the cause of suffering .”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Clarity is the ability to see clearly three things and to understand them….

Clarity is the ability to see clearly three things and to understand them:
the cause, the effect and that which knows both the cause and the effect.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Recognising AND accepting one’s Duḥkham is the first……

prajna

“Recognising AND accepting one’s Duḥkha is the first Prajñā.
Once you have accepted this you are free to find out where it is coming from.”
– TKV Desikachar January 9th 1999

Patañjali says that the problem is fed by internal elements……

TKV_France_1999

“Patañjali says that the problem is fed by internal elements,
by the search for immediate benefits in life,
by external elements and
by the psychic nature of the person.”
– TKV Desikachar

Duḥkha is the expression of a problem……

duhkha_5

Duḥkha is the expression of a problem.
Duḥkha is an emotion,
it could be an illusion.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I……

sraddha

“In the Yogavallī, T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra,
Śraddhā has been seen in a different, very interesting way.
In it, he has said that Śraddhā is a symbol for a special meditation
and he calls this meditation, Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.
Aham is the I, Graha is to grasp and Upāsana is to stay near.
Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I,
it is called Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components….

Patanjali_3

“The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components:
1. Duḥkha
What is it that I want to avoid?
2. Avidyā/Saṃyoga
Association or from where has this come?
3. Kaivalya/Viveka
Where should we be in order to be free from this association?
4. Viveka/Aṣṭāṅga
What is the way?
What is the discipline that will give Viveka,
not just for a moment, but there all the time?
This is the place of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar January 9th 1999

A quiet mind can be told where to go……

TKV_5

‎”A busy mind is always telling you where to go.
A quiet mind can be told where to go.”
– TKV Desikachar January 2nd 1998

Nothing destroys Vāsanā, only they become ineffective.

vasana

‎”Nothing destroys Vāsanā,
only they become ineffective.”
– TKV Desikachar January 11th 1995

Everything we do has an origin.

vasana

“Everything we do has an origin.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

But Saṃskāra can be fed by Vāsanā.

vasana

“But Saṃskāra can be fed by Vāsanā.”
– TKV Desikachar January 12th 1995

What factors promote favourable Saṃskāra?

samskara

“What factors promote favourable Saṃskāra?”
– TKV Desikachar January 10th 1995

We can have two opposite Saṃskāra, but only one can act at any one time.

samskara

“We can have two opposite Saṃskāra,
but only one can act at any one time.”
– TKV Desikachar January 12th 1995

Saṃskāra is so powerful, it can lead you to act without thinking.

samskara

Saṃskāra is so powerful,
it can lead you to act without thinking.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

We may have intellectual Vidyā, but in reality we follow……

avidya

“We may have intellectual Vidyā,
but in reality we follow some deeper force of Avidyā.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3
– TKV Desikachar January 1997

Sometimes our ideas about the object are so strong that we give up……

samkirna

“Sometimes our ideas about the object are so strong that,
we give up trying to see the object and just look at our ideas.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

There are three responses to suffering……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“There are three responses to suffering:
– to pacify
– to resolve
– to dissolve
It is the level of suffering that will determine the response.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

A good deal of suffering stems from the fact that we often take one moment for the whole story……

duhkha_5

“A good deal of suffering stems from the fact that we often take one moment for the whole story. A particular action done by someone at a particular moment should not be confused with the whole person. The person may have made a mistake and done some wrong, but there were surely other moments, other actions which brought some good.

We should never try to ignore suffering, but we can try to relativize it, see it in a wider context. If the shoe pinches, we should try to find out where it pinches, but also look at the good points. We don’t have to throw it away….”

– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

How can we evolve in order to change our relationship with suffering?

pratipaksa bhavana

“How can we evolve in order to change our relationship with suffering?

One important factor is replacement. The capacity to replace something within ourselves by something else will affect our relationship with suffering. If we are incapable of this then our relationship with suffering will not evolve.

For example, if we had a bad relationship with our mother in childhood this may dominate our feelings and thoughts concerning her. Every time we are reminded of this relationship the bad things come to the surface – the way she treated us, what we had to endure and so on. This is the way it happens naturally.

But we can also consider the positive things that must have come out of the relationship, the most important, for instance – the gift of life by the mother to the child. We cannot change the bad childhood experiences, but, if we can replace one way of looking at it by some new way, there may be a change in our suffering.”

– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Attachment comes through pleasure……

panca klesa

Attachment comes through pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure, but when we no longer have what gave us pleasure, or if there is some threat of losing it, attachment often appears.

            Negation is a tendency to resist or reject after something bad has happened. It could be a fact, an idea or whatever, but if we were not comfortable with it, we resist. There is a strong relationship between attachment and negation, like heads and tails of a coin. Strangely, the more we are attached to something the more there is a likelihood to reject it later – when what we were expecting is not forthcoming heads becomes tails!

            Fear is a very fundamental emotion which seems to have some special energy that can make it survive on its own. Fear exists independently of objects, they just give it something to fix on, like the wolf in Western fairy tales. There are two types of fear : fear of something, an earthquake, an illness, a wolf etc., and fear of losing something, a job, a loved one, prestige etc.

            Fear, negation, attachment and association either alone or together create the conditions for suffering to erupt again and again. Suffering appears, disappears and re-appears forcing us to admit that something is missing and this pushes us to seek how to find it.”

– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

We are all in the strong trap of association……

TKV_France_1999

“We are all in the strong trap of association,
where everything other than conformity is a disturbance.
It’s almost automatic.
We are unable to accept what is not consistent with the way we function
and we associate ourselves with things by projection.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The first Saṃskāra we have is faith……

sraddha

“The first Saṃskāra we have is faith.
So even if we react against this later,
deep inside we have some faith.”
– TKV Desikachar