Yoga and the 21st Century – Interview with TKV Desikachar May 1999

Desikachar_France_1999

YOGA AND THE 21st CENTURY

TKV Desikachar was in Narbonne, in the South of France, for a symposium on “Yoga and the XXIst Century” during May 1999. The purpose of the symposium was to consider the role of yoga for the coming century in the three fields of Health, Psychology and Spirituality.

The following interview is an introductory presentation.

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Relationships 
are
 going 
to
 be 
very 
important……

Desikachar_France_1999

“Relationships 
are
 going 
to
 be 
very 
important.
This
 means 
that
 a 
teacher 
has 
to 
be 
very
 careful,
because 
the 
moment 
a 
student 
likes 
a teacher,
there
 is 
a 
risk 
that 
the 
teacher 
will
 be 
considered 
as
their 
husband, 
or 
wife, 
or
 father, 
or 
guru, 
or
 whatever.
”
TKV Desikachar France May 1999

Download PDF of Interview with TKV Desikachar on Yoga in 
the
 
fields 
of 
Health,
 Psychology 
and
 Spirituality.

Patañjali
 was 
very 
prophetic, 
because 
he spoke
 not 
only
 of……

Patañjali
 was 
very 
prophetic,
because 
he spoke
 not 
only
 of 
yesterday’s 
mind,
but 
also
 of
 tomorrow’s.
His 
message 
concerns 
clarity,
and it 
will 
become 
more 
and 
more 
pertinent
 as
 time 
goes 
by,
because 
people 
are 
now
 questioning 
much 
more 
than
 before.”
TKV Desikachar France May 1999

The Press tells us that over 20 million Americans ‘practice’ Yoga……

The Press tells us that over 20 million Americans ‘practice’ Yoga (and in the process spend 10.3 billion $ annually!). I wonder what that statistic, oft promoted as a success statement for Yoga, really means?

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108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 4 – The Yoga Sūtra become as if metaphysical Mantra when……

The Yoga Sūtra become as if metaphysical Mantra,
when they can be an internal intonation,
as well as an external edification.
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 28

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 3 – Avidyā is the illusion of recognising the……

avidya

Avidyā is the illusion of recognising:
the ephemeral as the eternal,
the profane as the profound,
pain as pleasure and
the silhouette as the source.
– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Once again, let me remind you that Dhyāna is……

dhyana

“Once again, let me remind you that Dhyāna is:
1. The ability to establish a contact with an object.
2. The ability to prolong this contact so as to create a link both ways.”
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

In the Vedic tradition, meditation – the need to reflect on something in……

dhyana

“In the Vedic tradition, meditation
– the need to reflect on something in order to understand it better
– is necessary for happiness.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Dhyāna means ‘to look for something new on a specific subject’.

dhyana

Dhyāna means ‘to look for something new on a specific subject’.
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Roots, Verb Forms and Primary Derivatives of the Saṃskṛta Language.

Roots, Verb Forms and Primary Derivatives of the Saṃskṛta Language
– W D Whitney – Saṃskṛta Professor Yale University 1895
From Archive.Org Online Resources

Let us examine the Yoga Sūtra……

samyama

“Let us examine the Yoga Sūtra……
In the 3rd chapter there is the idea of Saṃyama (C3 v4) or the Sādhana of regularly involving the attention of the person towards a specific object or idea.
There are certain Sūtra which tell us of certain powers or clarity developed through Saṃyama.
When a person has reached a certain level of attention he can pursue one examination within his individual capability for a certain period of time.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 2 – Patañjali reminds us of the pitfalls of the illusion……

avidya

Patañjali reminds us of the pitfalls of the illusion
of recognising psyche as awareness.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 5

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Yoga and modern medicine – Dr Uma Krishnaswamy talks to TKV Desikachar.

Yoga and modern medicine – A Dialogue:
Dr Uma Krishnaswamy talks to TKV Desikachar.
Special issue with the Sunday Magazine from the publishers of THE HINDU Well-being : March 12, 2000

Legend of Patañjali – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam for Yoga Sūtra

patanjali-1

It was learnt by heart as a Bhāvanam for Dhyānam,
to create a meditational mood linked to Patañjali prior to commencing,
either chanting practice or textual study of the Yoga Sūtra.
As taught to TKV Desikachar by T Krishnamacharya.
From Paul’s chant study recordings of TKV Desikachar
– Link to page with Downloadable Translation or with Chanting notations and sound file of Opening Prayers

The transmission shows the Siddhi of the Sādhana……

The transmission shows the Siddhi of the Sādhana

“The transmission shows the Siddhi of the Sādhana.
This is viniyoga.
These outlines are valid whether Śikṣaṇa or Rakṣaṇa Krama.
If what is given is mechanical it is not viniyoga.
That is why the viniyoga spirit is very important these days.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Finally, Yukta Pracāram (skilful spreading), you ask the person to……

Yukta Pracāram

“Finally, Yukta Pracāram (skilful spreading),
you ask the person to transmit what they have received.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Even practice can be mechanical even if it is regular……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“Even practice can be mechanical even if it is regular.
So Yukta Anubhāva (skilful becoming) is how much you have learnt from the practice.
What it has taught you.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983