T Krishnamacharya at 91
“Although Krishnamacharya came from a strict Indian tradition,
he liberated the restrictions.
He segregated his personal beliefs from his teaching
and his interest in the different texts on Yoga and Vedānta.
It isn’t necessary to be a Hindu to practice Yoga,
the Hindu text, the Brahma Sūtra refute Yoga.
In the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali God is not emphasised.
Hindus have taken advantage of Yoga,
Brahmin rituals use Yoga breathing,
even if it is only symbolic and they use Mantra.
Krishnamacharya didn’t mix the different teachings,
he didn’t start a class with prayers when he worked with foreigners.”
– From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992
TKV Desikachar taught the viniyoga of Yoga,
or application of Yoga according
to state of life, place, time and circumstance
to optimise the student’s potential within
that situation as seen from his
own, forever evolving, innovating and
maturing, developmental teaching thread.
Link to Series: 108 Teaching Path Pointers
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
“All food is medicine, all medicine is food.”
Āyurveda was the one of the first medical systems to realise the crucial importance of the kind of food we eat and to appreciate the interaction between health and disease, disease and food, and food and health. It will be from this point that this article will explore the question of diet by examining the concepts of elements and taste in food.
”Sahavāsam (Dwelling Together)
– What you associate with becomes part of you.”
– TKV Desikachar January 15th 2000
“You should only take that food which you would offer to the person you revere most.”
Notes from my studies of the Dhyānamālika verse 11 with TKV Desikachar in Chennai 23rd December 2000
“The Bhagavad Gītā is about confusion OF Dharma and
the Yoga Sūtra is about confusion AND Dharma.”
– TKV Desikachar
tat savitur vareṇiyaṃ
That sun most excellent
bhargo devasya dhīmahi |
on the radiance of the Divine I meditate |
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt ||
wisdom may (that radiance) our impel |
“I meditate on the divine radiance
of the most excellent sun.
May it impel my wisdom.”
Gāyatrī is a particular ancient metre or rhythmic pattern of twenty-four syllables generally composed as a triplet of three lines with eight syllables in each line.
Hence T Krishnamacharya’s view that Om is not a component part of this Mantra, though it may be added as an accompaniment if appropriate, according to the students background, interest and understanding.
View or Download this post in Romanised Saṃskṛta with a translation and traditional chanting notations.
“So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture we must consider whether this symbol (Om) has a place with people who don’t understand it.”
TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland (Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)
Duḥkha is the starting point for the
Yoga journey of four junctures from:
the symptom, as in Duḥkha or suffering,
to the cause, as in Avidyā or illusion,
to the goal, as in Kaivalya or independence;
via the tools, as in Aṣṭāṅga or 8 limbed path,
for the means, as in Viveka or discernment.
This ancient fourfold process is at the heart of
the teachings in Yoga, Āyurveda & Buddhism.
Link to Series: 108 Study Path Pointers
This mantra is asking for health and long life to link body, senses, energy, mind and awareness.
Learning Support for Chanting the Laghu Nyāsa – Agnir Me
– From the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa 3.10.8
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
View or download this post as a PDF with chanting notations without translation.
To Download or Listen to a recording by TKV Desikachar
To Download the Chant Sheet as a PDF with Romanised Saṃskṛta, Chant Notations and English Translation
CHANT IN PRAISE OF YOGA
Chant from Vyāsa’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6.
yogena yogo jñātavyo
yogo yogāt pravartate |
sa yoge ramate ciram | |
“Only through Yoga Yoga is known,
Only through Yoga Yoga arises.
One who is diligent with Yoga,
Enjoys Yoga for a long time.”
View or download this post as a PDF with chant notations.
View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam relative to Patañjali.
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
Previous articles have presented some ideas of Prāṇa so we can now move towards presenting a more complete picture of how Āyurveda sees the human body. This article looks at how Ayurveda sees the types of bodily tissues and waste products as vital to the effective construction and working of the body.
YOGA AND INDIAN THOUGHT
Yoga is a word that has, within Indian thought, many meanings. To define the word Yoga is very difficult as the word is so adaptable.
“Yoga – To Link to myself.
Hinduism – To Link to God.”
– TKV Desikachar introducing the Taittirīya Upaniṣad 2001
Rāmānuja, was a disciple of Śrī Yāmunācarya. Śrī Yāmunācarya, composer of texts such as the Gītārtha Saṃgraha, Siddhi Traya and Stotra Ratna, was the grandson of the 9th century sage Śrī Nāthamuni and a forebear of T Krishnamacharya.
Krishnamacharya’s personal devotional philosophy and practices were grounded in the teachings that arose from these great sages and evolved into what became known as Viśiṣṭādvaita or qualified non-dualism (One of the three primary schools of Vedānta).
“Rāmānuja agrees with the Advaitin that the scripture
teaches the non-twoness (Advaita) of reality.
But, he denies the Advaitan’s conclusion
that this oneness is attributeless,
pure being or consciousness and that plurality
with regard to soul and material world is falsely
imposed on this one Being due to ignorance.”
Rāmānuja on the Yoga – Dr. Robert C Lester 1976.
“Unfortunately, many people are not able to differentiate between Yoga and Hinduism.
This is the biggest blunder I have seen in many institutions.”
Excerpt from an interview with TKV Desikachar by Fit Yoga Magazine April 2008
Mudrā Pointer 1 – Appreciating the subtlety of Yoga Sūtra C2 v46……
Cit Mudrā –
A means to appreciate the subtlety of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 46 –
the integration of the qualities of steady attentiveness and spacious clarity.
Link to Series: 108 Mudrā Practice Pointers
Mantra on tapāṣtāṅga or the eight limbs of tapas.
– Tapas is an activity of mind, body or speech which demands a keen concentration of thought or requiring unusual and continuous physical effort.
View or download this Mantra complete with Chant notations as a PDF
View or download other Mantra from this Upaniṣad complete with Chant notations as PDF files
What is important is the refinement of one’s
practice and study repertoire, rather than
just the enlargement of one’s repertoire,
whether it’s more Āsana, Chants or Texts.
Plus, the more time you spend on enlarging,
the less time you have to spend on refining.
Link to Series: 108 Yoga Study Path Pointers
ĀYURVEDA & YOGA
This article intended to introduce Prāṇa, its origin, function and malfunction. However, Prāṇa is such an important part of Yoga and Āyurveda that I have concentrated on presenting some basic ideas on its relationship to the individual, to Yoga and to the understanding of life known as Āyurveda.
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was 50 when the film was made in 1938. He is now seen as one of the the most influential teachers in establishing what Yoga is identified as in today’s society. His students included Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar, Indra Devi, and his son TKV Desikachar.