“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
“We see what we need to see.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980
“Patañjali says that the only way to understand yourself
is to understand what is outside of yourself.
He also says that the more you talk about yourself
the less you know about yourself.”
– TKV Desikachar
“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
“What factors promote favourable Saṃskāra?”
– TKV Desikachar January 10th 1995
“Saṃskāra is so powerful,
it can lead you to act without thinking.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995
In the Yoga Sūtra, the pre-eminent text on Dhyānam within Yoga.
Book One is about the Process of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Two is about the Preparation for the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Three is about the Outcome of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Four is about the Goal of the practice of Dhyānam.
“The new is not as strong as the old.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 4 verse 27
“What the mind (Citta) accomplishes is of little consequence;
what is important is that the inner self should experience an accession of power,
that universal energy called Cit,
which is the life source of the individual.”
– ‘Land of a Thousand Buddhas’ Theos Barnard.
Mostly we come across the teachings of the Yoga Sūtra through a group class situation or by coming across a book.
This is fine as a starting point, however longer term the Yoga Sūtra needs to permeate from the inside rather than just be read and thought about from the outside.
A good starting point for initiating this psychic process is to learn how to chant as a process in itself and then how to chant the Yoga Sūtra specifically.
This post arose from a comment in a thread yesterday on my facebook page:
“I feel that by now you are surely off Yoga Sūtra 2.1?”
Its not something I think about often from that perspective so my thanks to Ivan for the following reflection:
“According to Patañjali (Yoga Sūtra C4 v17), comprehension is dependent upon two things:
1. Your interest
2. The proximity of the object.
Apekṣā is the interest of the Puruṣa for the object.
The success of Dhyāna depends on the force (Śakti) of the Puruṣa
that pushes the mind to direct itself towards an object.
Without interest, there is no question and no answer.
If you have the interest, you will discover the proximity.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988