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

Yukta Abhyāsa (skilful practice) is how much a person practices……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Yukta Abhyāsa is how much a person practices what he is given.
To see if he has learnt, understood and practiced.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

The teacher should find out how much the person remembers……

The teacher should find out how much the person remembers

“The teacher should find out how much the person remembers what they have understood or Yukta Smaraṇa (skilful remembering).”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Grahaṇa Śikṣaṇa – Also able to absorb correctly what you have understood……

siksana

Grahaṇa Śikṣaṇa (grasping instruction) –
Also able to absorb correctly what you have understood.
You must test them, confuse them to see if they have.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Even in the case of Śikṣaṇa Krama the ancient had cautions……

siksana

“Even in the case of Śikṣaṇa Krama the ancient had cautions.
The teaching must be appropriate to the intelligence of the individual or Yukta Śikṣaṇa.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Some views say don’t teach children……

siksana

“Some views say don’t teach children.
However Śikṣaṇa Krama is only suitable for children.
Not adults who have become brittle.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

In Mīmāṃsā there is a word called Prayoga (connection)……

mantra

“In Mīmāṃsā (a philosophical system to interpret the Veda, especially the Brāhmaṇa and Mantra, with the object of correctly performing the Veda rituals) there is a word called Prayoga (connection).
The same Mantra has to be recited differently for different rituals.
Or different Mantra in the same ritual.
So even here different applications are needed, the ancients recognised this.
There is a verse which says that if the Mantra is not used correctly it has the opposite effect and destroys or boomerangs.
Instead of doing good it will harm.
This is Mithyā Prayoga (wrong connection) with an opposite effect.
Having spoken of viniyoga (appropriate application), now looking at important points the old teachers used to convey these ideas.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

The role of ritual is the engaging of the psyche……

The role of ritual is the engaging of the psyche,
within the personal unconscious/subconscious,
by the conscious ego,
through the use of techniques such as gestures, symbols, visualisations and sound.
They are ‘chosen’ because of their potent links with archetypes,
in order to raise up archetypes,
especially the ‘Self’ archetype,
from the collective unconscious.
This process engages the power of an archetype from which the conscious ego pales by comparison.
From this arises the experience of a shifting centre of gravity from the ego to the ‘Self’
and the numinous becomes increasingly immanent.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 1-4 epitomise our Yoga Journey in……


Link to download this post as a PDF

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Also he (Patañjali) doesn’t standardise the steps……

vinyasa

“Also he (Patañjali) doesn’t standardise the steps.
Depending on the individual the practice varies.
Nothing is gross or subtle.
For example Āsana is gross to one person and subtle to another.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

That’s how the idea of Darśana came into being……

darsana

“That’s how the idea of Darśana came into being.
We needed a mirror to see exactly how we are.
The important characteristic is that it should reflect faithfully what is in me.
This is what is called an Ācārya or teacher.
A good mirror should be clear.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

What you have already are Siddhi, but you can lose them if you don’t sustain them.

siddhi

“What you have already are Siddhi,
but you can lose them if you don’t sustain them.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Now to examine the question of putting Sādhana and Siddhi together……

sadhana

“Now to examine the question of putting Sādhana and Siddhi together.
In brief there are different levels of Siddhi and different possibilities of Sādhana.
How to develop the Sādhana and how to get the best out of the Sādhana and the Siddhi?
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Movement from one high state of distraction to a lesser state……

“Movement from one high state of distraction to
a lesser state of distraction is also a Siddhi.
First state I am disturbed and don’t know anything.
Second state still disturbed but know why I am disturbed.
However I want to go further to a state where no disturbances.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Another important point is that these Sādhana have steps……

sadhana

“Another important point is that these Sādhana have steps.
One can go from one Siddhi to another Siddhi.
Each step of Sādhana is also a Siddhi.
On that premise Yoga Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is at every step a Sādhana and a Siddhi.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Union of Jīvātman and Paramātman is a Siddhi not a Sādhana……

TKV_USA

“Union of Jīva Ātman and Parama Ātman is a Siddhi not a Sādhana when it is felt or realised.
If this is clear then Rāja Yoga is a Siddhi.
However one has to work for it in Sādhana.
Anything that takes you in this direction is a Sādhana.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983