I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms…….

“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.

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 on Learning from the Yoga Sūtra
Extract from Viniyoga Europe No 1

We always have the potential for the state of Samādhi but……

“We always have the potential for the state of Samādhi
but somehow something comes between us and that state.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Chapter Thirteen Page 181

We should never forget what Patañjali has said……

viniyoga

Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6 – “tasya bhūmiṣu viniyogaḥ”.
“We should never forget what Patañjali has said –
Teach according to the strength, resources and weakness of the individual”.
TKV Desikachar

The practice which is Śodhana for the Antar Aṅga……

“The practice which is Śodhana for the Antar Aṅga
is Antaraṅga Sādhana.”
– T Krishnamacharya introduction to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three

Dhyāna is an activity of a mind dominated by Sattva linked to Ātma…….

dhyana

Dhyānam is an activity of a mind
dominated by Sattva linked to Ātma.
So Ātma and Sattva required for Dhyānam to occur.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 2

This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step…..

viniyoga

“This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6 reflects this idea.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Meditation must elevate the mind.

dhyana

Meditation must elevate the mind.
That is its basic purpose, to be where I was not.
This involves an ascent of the individual’s mind.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

Unless there is a shift from Manas to Citta it is not possible to do Dhāraṇā……

dharana

“Unless there is a shift from Manas to Citta,
it is not possible to do Dhāraṇā.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

The evolution of Samādhi is……

samapatti

“The evolution of Samādhi is Sthūla Savitarkā to Sthūla Nirvitarkā.
This is Viniyoga Krama, then Sūkṣma Savicārā to Sūkṣma Nirvicārā.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 4
cross referencing to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42-44.

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

Diet has a great effect on Maitrī Bhāvana.

maitri

“Diet has a great effect on Maitrī Bhāvana.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 23
cross referencing to Chapter One verse 33

Letting go of the desire to hold onto a moment of awareness allows……

cit devanagari

Trying to hold onto the fleeting presence of awareness can be likened to a bird choosing to land in the open palm of your hand. We desire to hold onto it because of our attraction towards continuing to enjoy the experience of its delicacy, beauty and gift of presence.

Thus when the bird of awareness alights in your palm the temptation is to close the fingers around the experience, however gently, in order to hold on to it, albeit to protect it or to continue to experience this unique moment of relationship with something that is usually elusive, or out of sight or reach.

read more

How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna from infatuation……

d_paris_1999

Question by TKV:
“How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna
from infatuation with an object that pleases and fills the mind?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 24th 1988

In meditation, one must make the transition from the gross……

dhyana

“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

Meditation also depends on the meditator.

dhyata

Meditation also depends on the meditator.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Dhyāna, the Saṃskṛta word for Meditation, means the link between “I” and……

dhyana

Dhyāna, the Saṃskṛta word for Meditation,
means the link between “I” and a particular question,
and the absence of links in other directions.
It pre-supposes that the “I” is equipped to be linked,
is conscious enough that a link is possible.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

What happens to the “I” in Dhyāna?

dhyana

“What happens to the “I” in Dhyāna?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

I do not believe it is possible to teach meditation in a group situation……

dhyana

“I do not believe it is possible to teach meditation in a group situation,
but I hope I am wrong.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

I do feel that verses 10 and 11 Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two offer……


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:

“I do feel that verses 10 and 11 Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two offer an inspiration for the transition from Kriyā Yoga towards Aṣṭāṅga Yoga.

read more

Saṃyama can be on……

samyama

Saṃyama can be on the physical, as in Hasta on the strength of an elephant.
Or Saṃyama on Saṃskāra,
an investigation of mental tendencies leading to an understanding of past traits.
Or on Grahaṇa,
going into the idea of how the senses hold objects,
what is the basis inside for sense perceptions.
This leads to Indriya Jaya.
Patañjali is giving indications that these practices are possible.
Īśvara Praṇidhāna is quoted more than once, through investigation of this idea he tells us that it is this that makes a person aware of their true self
– Tataḥ Pratyak Cetanā Adhigamaḥ (YS Chapter One verse 29).
Sādhana can be physical, senses, mental, spiritual.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Does the object of meditation affect the ‘I’?

dhyeya

Question: Does the object of meditation affect the ‘I’?
“The characteristics of the object go into the meditator.
The Dhyeya (object or question) is very important,
it influences the meditator,
for whatever one is linked to,
its through the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

How does the ‘I’ influence Dhyāna?

dhyana

Question: How does the ‘I’ influence Dhyāna?
“Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, which describes every aspect of mental activity,
provides an answer to this question…….”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Since Dhyāna cannot occur without an object of concentration……

dhyana

“Since Dhyāna cannot occur without an object of concentration,
there must be an area (Deśa) where you fix your mind.
So, first you have to fix or bind (Bandha) your mind on a particular place (Deśa), a chosen object; this is known as (Deśa Bandha as in YS C3 v1).
And second, the mind should establish a relationship with this object which should last, at least, for a moment.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Perhaps the best explanation of Dhyāna is given by Patañjali in……

dhyana

“Perhaps the best explanation of Dhyāna is given by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verses One and Two, where he states that one must first fix the question (Dhāraṇā) and then link to it (Dhyāna).
One who is not able to fix the question is not able to succeed in Dhyāna.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

We need to begin with a definition of Dhyāna……

dhyana

“We need to begin with a definition of Dhyāna.
Dhyāna involves an individual and a question or object.
On a simplest level, what happens between the individual and that question or object is the beginning of Dhyāna.
It can be any question, but it must be one question.
There must only be one channel between the “I” and the question, not multi-channels.
The “I” must temporarily drop the other interests and there must be a question.
There is no Dhyāna if there is no question or object.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988