“Similarly, because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa,
what is the quality of one is taken to be of the other.
In our convention they are often taken as one
and not two distinct entities with different natures.
This state is Asmitā.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
“Similarly, because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa,
Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama.
That is, how much to eat and what to eat,
according to age, profession, etc.
You see, the ancient people believed that
a young boy could eat as much as he liked.
But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice,
no more, per day.”
“When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.
What is changing is taken to be non-changing. For example the mind.
What is subjected to decay is assumed to be pure. For example the body.
What is leading to suffering is taken to be the source of pleasure.
What is not conscious is assumed to be conscious.
All these errors in perceptions have many possibilities.
But the ultimate stage of Avidyā is to assume that we are the Masters, not Īśvara.”
T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5
“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
“The way to better oneself is not to ponder over the past but to look ahead.
Even Duḥkha is a great teacher.
In fact it is the first and important step in the ladder of Viveka or clarity.
The greatness of Patañjali is to look at Duḥkha as the stepping stone to success.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 16
“What are the effects of Kriyā Yoga?
Samādhi Bhāvana –
The ability to pursue the right practice that brings one closer to Īśvara.
Kleśa Tanū Karaṇa –
Reduction of those obstacles that we have somehow acquired through wrong actions,
leading to undesirable and bitter experiences.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 2
“When Kleśa are on the move, time should not be lost.
Reflection is a must.
Reduction of all the factors that increase Rajas and Tamas,
including right food, company, study and Niyama is a must.
reflection leading to a reduction of the power of Kleśa will not work.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 11
“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.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra
“To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools.
These tools are based on the understanding that the human system is not
a set of distinct unrelated compartments but a very closely connected structure.
What happens in one part profoundly affects every area.
Therefore if we can bring some positive changes in one area,
positive changes ensue in other parts.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996
Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:
“The idea behind Yama and Niyama is the attitude we have to the inside and outside.
If I don’t know what is true there is no question of telling the truth.
However there is the intention, because one day it may become a reality.
Even though some of these things are not there in the beginning,
if the intention is sincere then one day it will become an action
if conditions and our psychological state change.
Yama as telling the truth also means discretion.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“What is unpleasant is not desired.
The response of the mind is then to move away from it.
Whether in fact such a step did prevent Duḥkha is not immediately evident.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 8
“Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
There is always Rāga, it just depends where we are in ourselves in terms of a spectrum of being.
Thus Rāga can express itself within the spectrum of being as either a state of Jñāna Rāga
or a state of Kleśa Rāga or, as happens mostly, somewhere twixt the extremes of the two.
Either way according to TKV Desikachar’s teaching, progress is not possible without the drive of the emotional forces, they are the horses that pull the chariot.
As to which of the two paths (Jñāna Rāga or Kleśa Rāga) we find ourselves veering towards depends on our skill as a charioteer, coupled with our understanding of the nature of the forces/horses,
as well as the essential nature of the ‘food’ we ‘choose’ to feed them on.
Hence Desikachar’s quote:
“Each person has two forces Rāga and Dveṣa.
They are there to serve you, not you them.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 34
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”
“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”