108 Study Path Pointers – 3 – When seeking the light better to verify that it is the power of the light……

cit devanagari

When seeking the light better to verify
that it is the power of the light
rather than the light of power.

Link to Series: 108 Study Path Pointers

Talking about the alternative healing system……

Claude Paris 1999
Claude Marachel:
Talking about the alternative healing system, I think we have to be very careful. Sometimes in Western countries, we see that everything is mixed. In the field of alternative systems, a lot of Viveka or discernment is needed.

TKV Desikachar:
What has happened to some of these alternative systems of therapy, including Yoga, is that things have become a bit shallow. It happens that in one week someone can become an expert in massage. With the help of postal courses you become an Āyurveda expert. The intentions are good, some people may want to learn fast, but what happens is that this state of things brings disrepute to some of the great ancient traditions like Āyurveda. It has taken me three years to convince an Indian to go to an Āyurveda doctor. This is because of the bad reputation the tradition now has.

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My concern now is how I can behave with people……

Matsendrasana2

“My concern now is how I can behave with people.
It took such little time to twist the body into Pūrna Matsyendrāsana.
But what of it? I was so lean, and I was working hard.
But now it is so painful if I make a mistake with somebody.
This is the hard part, this is the Yoga part.”
TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

I am very impressed by what you said about your father giving some……

Desikachar_France_1999

Viniyoga in Italia:
I am very impressed by what you said about your father giving some students an oil bath. Do you think that sometimes a Yoga teacher needs to give a massage or has to touch the student?
TKV Desikachar:
Well, if a person comes with a backache, you have to examine him or her. You have to touch the person and feel the person. As a part of observation, we need to do that. Sometimes as a part of encouragement we can do that. At times, I take the pulse, so they feel that I care. But I have not and I don’t like to massage our students. I always ask the family to do that.
Viniyoga in Italia:
It could also create a dependence.
TKV Desikachar:
Not only that, but if you do it for one, you will have to do it for others. I want the students to be on their own. It is an education in Svastha.
TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

Do you think it is important for Yoga teachers to mention diet and……

TKV_5

Question to TKV Desikachar:
Do you think it is important for Yoga teachers to mention diet and lifestyle to students?

TKV Desikachar Response: 
As you know, here in Madras, when people come to the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram or to me personally, they come because they have some problem. Every day they come, every day with some problem. If we have a problem, especially if it is a chronic problem, it is both in the body and in the mind, whether it manifests as asthma, diabetes, headache, or blood pressure. Thus we cannot help but talk about everything. That is why we, here in Madras, need to know something about Āyurveda, Yoga and western medical science. For these reasons our teachers are taught physiology, anatomy, Āyurveda and Yoga.

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In this context what about Āyurveda?

TKV_5

Viniyoga in Italia: In this context what about Āyurveda?

TKV Desikachar: Āyurveda, is, in my opinion, the most complete system of life God ever created, because it encompasses everything in nature. And it is a positive system of health. It is called Āyurveda, or knowledge of life. I have no hesitation to say that this system takes into account every aspect, it is not only medicine, not only food, not only life-style, but it is also the philosophy, the religion and the mantra-recitation. I have never come across a system that is so complete for the health of the body as Āyurveda. Unfortunately, it is nearly dead. We don’t have many people. Because Āyurveda is so complete and vast that a doctor would need an enormous experience.

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Today in Europe there is a going back to what is called alternative……

TKV_5

Viniyoga in Italia: Today in Europe there is a going back to what is called alternative medicines, like herbal treatment and the traditional dietary laws, thermal baths and other traditional treatments. Do you think these traditional approaches have a relevance in today’s world?

TKV Desikachar: Today these are even more relevant than before. Because we are becoming like machines. My mother used to give baths to my children. The love and care of the grandmother was there for the child. My father used to give baths to some of his students. He was giving oil-baths to his students, that is how he knew exactly what was happening to their body. He would massage and thus know. Today everything is mechanized. Today, when people take a bath, they have the phone, the radio, the television. Are they really bathing? Mostly it is just the bathtub that is having a bath.

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Do you think that a Yoga teacher in the West should go through some……

Desikachar_France_1999

Question : Do you think that a Yoga teacher in the West should go through some therapy or analysis in order to be aware of the developments in this field and to meet the growing demand for psychological help?

Desikachar : The term “Yoga teacher in the West” seems to suggest that everyone has the same way of teaching. This is not so.

There are those who only give instructions about techniques, like explaining how to use a computer to someone. There is not a lot happening in this teaching situation and the awareness of psychological questions would seem relatively unimportant.

But there is another situation where techniques are not the only element involved. These Yoga teachers are personally concerned by the evolution of their students. They cannot be ignorant, otherwise it would be like the blind leading the blind.

In this second case, and I know many teachers in the West who do this, they look to have as comprehensive a knowledge as possible in many fields, including psychology. The way they go about it is up to them.

Interview with TKV Desikachar May 1999 during seminar on Yoga and the 21st Century.

Ante Natal Yoga Part 3

Article on Yoga and Pregnancy Part 3 by S Ramaswami – Published in the Indian Review January 1981 whilst he was trustee of the KYM

Ante Natal Yoga Part 2

Article on Yoga and Pregnancy Part 2 by S Ramaswami – Published in the Indian Review December 1980 whilst he was trustee of the KYM

Ante Natal Yoga Part 1

Article on Yoga and Pregnancy Part 1 by S Ramaswami – Published in the Indian Review November 1980 whilst he was trustee of the KYM

Yoga and Contraception

Article on Yoga and Contraception by S Ramaswami – Published in the Indian Review February 1981 whilst he was trustee of the KYM.

If you have learned something really well……

If you have learned something really well

“If you have learned something really well,
then the way you express it will not be the same way you learned it.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Mahā Mudrā – the great gesture, is a seated asymmetrical posture……

Mahā Mudrā – the great gesture, is a seated asymmetrical posture combining forward flexion of the trunk with straightening of the back. At the forefront of the boundary between the main types of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma, this Mudrā is the central pillar of his teaching of technique.”
Claude Marachel was a long serving and senior student of TKV Desikachar over 33 years from 1969-2002. This is an extract from Claude talking about what Desikachar told him about his father, Krishnamacharya.

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In 1970, TKV Desikachar asked his father and guru, Shri T. Krishnamacharya……

tkv_tk_1980

In 1970, TKV Desikachar asked his father and Guru, Śrī T Krishnamacharya ten fundamental questions about Yoga. The following is an extract of one of the questions in the interview, which took place in the Kanada language.

“5A. Why are there so many different methods to hand down the teachings of a master? What are the reasons for this?
This situation comes from the absence of loyalty to only one master. The traditional method of teaching and of handing down the teaching is the Guru Paramparā. For a disciple, it consists of receiving the instructions of a master day after day, until there is enough knowledge. At the end of an assiduous study with the Teacher, the student progressively becomes a teacher himself and he starts teaching other disciples. This continuity, from teacher to student, in the same tradition, constitutes the Guru Paramparā. The high number of present methods is due to interruptions in the traditional system of handing down the teaching. It can also be due to the weakness of certain teachers.

5B. What are the consequences of these different methods?
The lowering of the average level and the weakening of the knowledge of the students of Yoga.

5C. What solutions can be proposed to mitigate this situation?
Nowadays, there is no solution to this problem.”

Photograph of T Krishnamacharya taken by Paul Brunton……

Photograph of T Krishnamacharya taken by Paul Brunton during his travels in India
whilst staying as a guest of the Maharajah in Mysore, South India.

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108 Chanting Practice Pointers – 1 – The practice of Bhakti Dhyānam outlined in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One……

mantra

The practice of Bhakti Dhyānam outlined in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One
can utilise either Veda Mantra or Tantra Mantra.
The Veda focus is one of external harmony with the forces of nature (Tri Guṇa) and
the Tantra focus is one of internal empowerment within the forces of nature (Tri Guṇa).

Link to Series: 108 Chanting Practice Pointers

It is necessary to have a competent and accessible teacher.

tkv_tk_3_1980

“It is necessary to have a competent and accessible teacher.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Prārthanā Ślokam – Patañjali Opening Dhyānaṃ Ślokam with Translation

This is a translation of part of the Opening Prayers as taught to TKV Desikachar by T Krishnamacharya and taught by TKV Desikachar to his personal students.

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam relative to Patañjali.

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन ।
योऽपाकरोत् तं प्रवरं मुनीनां पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि ॥

yogena cittasya padena vācāṃ malaṃ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena |
yo’pākarot taṃ pravaraṃ munīnāṃ patañjaliṃ prāñjalirānato’smi ||

  ‘Yoga for the psyche,
 grammar for speech and medicine for impurities of the body.
Coming from the lineage of teachers, to Patañjali I salute.’

आबाहु पुरुषाकारं शङ्खचक्रासि धारिणम् ।
सहस्र शिरसं श्वेतं प्रणमामि पतञ्जलिम् ॥

ābāhu puruṣākāraṃ śaṅkhacakrāsi dhāriṇam |
sahasra śirasaṃ śvetaṃ praṇamāmi patañjalim ||

 ‘Up to the shoulders human form, holding conch, disc, sword.
One thousand heads white to Patañjali I salute.’

श्रीमते अनन्ताय नागराय नमो नमः ॥

śrīmate anantāya nāgarājāya namo namaḥ ||

 ‘To venerable, eternal serpent king, Nāga, my reverences.’

It was learnt by heart as a Bhāvanam for Dhyānaṃ, to create a meditational mood linked to Patañjali prior to commencing either chanting practice or textual study of the Yoga Sūtra.

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam for Patañjali with translation.

View or Download the Yoga Sūtra Full Opening Prayers with Chant Notations (without translation)

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Śuklām Opening Verse with Translation

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Gurubhyastad Opening Verse with Translation

Listen or Download the Yoga Sūtra Full Dhyānaṃ Ślokam for Patañjali by TKV Desikachar as a sound file.

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 1 – Tapas – the effort to reduce something.

Tapas – the effort to reduce something.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers