Ātma – That which nourishes.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Ātma – That which nourishes.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 20

If there is not a strong link to that which is inside……

drastr

“If there is not a strong link to that which is inside,
the stronger force becomes the outside,
and we are pulled by and to that.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

Yoga Mālā – Introducing a Thread of Pearls on Yoga from Patañjali

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

 This post introduces a verse by verse interpretation of Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra.

I see this presentation as a Yoga Mālā or a thread of pearls on Yoga from Patañjali’s Sūtra eventually arranged over four chapters. I am endeavouring to stay close to my studies, but allow a little more freedom of expression in terms of choice of rendering to facilitate a more cohesive teachings thread for the reader.

For a fuller word by word Saṃskṛta study of the Yoga Sūtra readers are advised to follow the full online edition of the Yoga Sūtra wherein every word is translated and cross-linked along with a verse translation. This online Yoga Sūtra resource is also gradually accumulating commentaries from Krishnamacharya, Desikachar, Ramaswami from my own study notes along with personal reflections.

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In India the Purohita has the authority to say……

purohita

“In India the Purohita (person appointed to be in charge of the teaching)
has the authority to say:
Anuloma – What goes with what the person wants.
Viloma – What goes against what the person wants.
Pratiloma – What is different from what the person wants.
In the West too much Anuloma.
In India more Viloma and Pratiloma.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1998

In the student-teacher relationship, is the ball in the teachers court?……

TKV_France_1999

“In the student-teacher relationship, is the ball in the teachers court?
The student must also take responsibility for his or her learning, as an adult.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Some factors which a Sādhaka and a living master will take……

sadhaka

“Some factors which a Sādhaka (efficient or skilful person) and
a living master will take into consideration when giving a transmission:
The teacher must recognise whether the student is Bhāva Sādhaka or Abhāva Sādhaka.
Bhāva (move towards) Sādhaka is where a person comes to Yoga with a direct positive attitude. An interest.
Abhāva (move away) Sādhaka is one who is running away from something,
is a vacuum and is looking for something to fill it.
Appears to be strongly positive because they are running away from something.
A person who does not know what to do in life.
They want to do something to keep themselves occupied.
Or running away from something and are looking for something during a transit in life.
Very frustrating for a teacher who spends a lot of time with Abhāva Sādhaka until they find something better.
The teacher may test the student to see the difference. For example cancelling lessons.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Links to Related Posts:

The concept of Bhāva and Abhāva in Yoga Practice……

To give the right thing to the right person at the right time is Sat viniyoga……

tkv_6a

“To give the right thing to the right person at the right time is Sat viniyoga.
Don’t look at the file, look at the student!”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

According to Patañjali an object which can be understood by the mind

pramana

“So how do you find out these important facts?
According to Patañjali an object which can be understood by the mind
can be perceived in three ways PratyakṣaAnumānaĀgamā:
Pratyakṣa (through the senses) – Direct perception
In other words the object placed in front of you.
The senses help us in comprehending the object.
Anumāna (inference) – We don’t have all the information.
We have certain indications that allow us to complete the picture.
Anu – to follow.
From the part you can get the whole.
From the effect you get to the cause.
Āgamā (authentic teachings) – No information directly.
Only information is from words
Some truth that has already existed.
We take the words and believe them as if we had seen it for ourselves.
For example God.
Patañjali has proposed three approaches or systems to verify the indications.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

We must respect the practice involving the body…….

bheda

“We must respect the practice involving the body.

 

  • Deśa Bheda
    Latitude, longtitude, or place at which a person is practicing or thinking.
    Deśa means climate, food.
  • Liṅga Bheda
    The body of a man or a woman. Masculine or feminine.
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One important thing is food……

annam

“One important thing is food.
Different combinations have different effects on the body.
When we work with Āsana and Prāṇāyāma we need to consider which foods to take.
Your mind is according to your food.
The type of food you take influences your mind.
The subject is vast.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

One must give food according to the stomach.

viniyoga

“One must give food according to the stomach.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The Ācārya has to examine the Sat viniyoga or Asat viniyoga……

sat

“The Ācārya has to examine the Sat viniyoga or Asat viniyoga,
the right offering or the wrong offering.
If the teacher is able to solve this problem
and establish that the students are serious,
then this is Sat viniyoga.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

People come to study Yoga for many reasons……

TKV_France_1999

“People come to study Yoga for many reasons,
however it comes into two groups.
1. They come to learn or study (Śikṣaṇa).
2. They come to us for support rather than to study (Rakṣaṇa).
So the Yoga we offer to the person who is inquiring
is not the Yoga we offer to the person seeking protection.
Therefore one can give the wrong advice (Asat viniyoga) to the right person
and vice versa (Asat viniyoga).
This can do more harm than if the person had not come.
The intention must be right as must be the execution.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The more one teaches, the less time……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“The more one teaches,
the less time you have for yourself,
the more mistakes you make.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

It is not possible for everyone to reach the same level of meditation……

dhyanam

“It is not possible for everyone to reach the same level of meditation (Dhyānam),
even meditation should be taught or presented in stages (viniyoga).
It should be used at a level suitable to the student and gradually increased,
start simply and increase in complexity.
This is dependant on the growth of the student and according to the purpose.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

It dissolves defects like the Mahā Kleśa…….

maha_mudra_UB

mahākleśādayo doṣaḥ kṣīyante maraṇādayaḥ |
mahāmudrāṃ ca tenaiva vadanti vibudhottamāḥ ||

“It dissolves defects like the Mahā Kleśa such as the fear of Death.
For this reason the wise call it the Mahā Mudrā
– Commentary on Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 3 verse 14

108 Mudrā Practice Pointers – 3 – Mahā Mudrā is a rock on which to take a seat…..

maha_mudra

Mahāmudrā is a rock on which to take a seat,
amidst the swirling waves in the ocean that is the Citta.

Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers

There are many postures to suit a variety of different body types…..

“There are many postures to suit a variety of different body types.
Āsana practice is to prepare the body, to sit for Prāṇāyāma.
Āsana also helps to get rid of impurities
so that it is possible to do something deeper, inside the mind.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

108 Chanting Practice Pointers – 9 – To be within the presence of the Mantra……..

tat_tvam_asi

To be within the presence of the Mantra
is to be within the presence of Grace.
– Personal Commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 28

Link to Series: 108 Chanting Practice Pointers

Āsana practice should take into account……

Āsana practice should take into account:
– Where we are – Where am I?
– Where are we going – What is my goal?
– What happens afterwards – How do I continue with my life?
There needs to be steps in the sequence to lead to the goal and counter postures
to prepare for life after the Yoga practice, a Vinyāsa.
The postures need to be visualised prior to being executed, Bhāva.
It is important to prepare for life after a Yoga practice
so that a student is fully prepared for life outside the Yoga room.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar in England 1992