Postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama within Kriyā Yoga…… 

A postscript to yesterdays post around the three Niyama
within Kriyā Yoga on the uses of the terms ‘self’ or ‘Self’ within
the legs in the tripod supporting our efforts at nurturing a state of Yoga.

“Activities that nurture a state of Yoga involve
self-discipline, Self-inquiry and Self-awareness.”

The first leg supporting the tripod refers to Citta
as the self in terms of nurturing self-discipline.

Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The second leg supporting the tripod refers to Cit
as the Self in terms of nurturing Self-inquiry.

Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The final leg supporting the tripod refers to Cit
as the Self in terms of nurturing Self-awareness.

“Yoga is awareness, a type of knowing.”
– T Krishnamacharya

The Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa – Personal Study Workbooks

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The Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa

The first of my thirty plus journeys to India to study Yoga with Desikachar was in 1979, to what was then known as Madras. As it was to be a two year stay and my first visit, we talked about how my studies could be shaped during this time and towards the future. In this discussion it became apparent for me that there were a number of threads to be woven together into a rope that became known as the viniyoga of Yoga.

These were broadly grouped into personal practice development, personal practice theory and textual study. Regarding the latter I asked him where do I start within this vast array of textual options. Without hesitation he said textual study must start with Sāṃkhya as it is a foundation for much of what follows in terms of other texts ranging from the Yoga Sūtra, even to root Āyurveda texts.

Although I had spent a week in Switzerland in 1978 studying Sāṃkhya and Prāṇāyāma with Desikachar and his brother, Sribhashyam, I really had little idea what it meant to study a Yoga related text within the intensity and focus a one to one situation offers. Nor did I have any real grasp of even basic Saṃskṛta. Thus my three decade odyssey into textual studies within the school of Krishnamacharya began with a word by word, verse by verse study of the Sāṃkhya Kārikā.

Now here I am nearly four decades later, within memories of handwriting many, many textual verses, offering workbooks as a support for students interested in textual studies. I have already offered Yoga Sūtra PDF Workbooks and Gītā Chapters PDF Workbooks and now offer a support for those students interested in a study in the foundational philosophy known as Sāṃkhya. Here a Romanised Saṃskṛta Āryā by Āryā personal study support workbook for the Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa is offered via the links below.

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I find myself reflecting on the notion of ‘authentic lineage’……

I find myself reflecting on the notion of ‘authentic lineage’, often taught within the statement of Paramparā or ‘from one to another’ as in a succession from teacher to student et al. Both from questions asked of me and questions I have around what I see, generally within the world of ‘Modern’ Yoga and more specifically emerging around the claims on facets in the evolution of TKV Desikachar’s teaching over four decades.

Currently I see various representational phrases being used in modern organisational setups around pupils or students of TKV Desikachar such as ‘Influenced by the Teaching of…..’ or ‘The Living Tradition of…..’ or ‘The Lineage of……’ as if a provenance of authority alluding to authenticity, studentship and tradition.

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Reflect the essence of each of the first eleven Sūtra in Chapter One…

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Yoga Sūtra Study Question:

Identify and list one key word that reflects the essence of each
of the first eleven Sūtra in Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Prāṇa – Its origin, function and malfunction

PRANA

Prāṇa – Its origin, function and malfunction

The phenomena of body energies and their emanating energy field are found recorded within most Asiatic traditions. Both Chinese and Indian thought have a rich textual history of bio-energy, its function and effects of its malfunction.

In each of these traditions a system of medicine evolved aimed at enhancing and sustaining the flow of Ch’i or Prāṇa within the individual and much interest is now being shown in the West in Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.

The previous article on the presence and actions of Prāṇa Śakti established links between the mind, breath, and Prāṇa but posed the problem of both Yoga and Āyurveda texts presuming knowledge of what Prāṇa is, how it functions within the individual, and what is the role of Yoga and Āyurveda in relation to sustaining the intensity of Prāṇa within an individual’s health, harmony and mental stability

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The presence and actions of Prāṇa Śakti……..

The presence and actions of Prāṇa Śakti

Generally the purpose of Yoga is to bring about a change within the prominence of awareness and its subsequent impact on the attitude and function of the individual.

Whether this change is explored as a yoking of two opposites, as in Prāṇa and Apāna, or an unyoking of two seemingly inseparable aspects, as in Puruṣa and Prakṛti, time and a process are involved. Also this notion of change may be initiated within an individual’s physical body, energetic processes, mental attitude and emotional responses.

However, within Indian thought there is a concept that is common to the different philosophies and to the different aspects of the individual. This concept is the presence, power and actions of Prāṇa.

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List five of the key concepts for Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra in order of appearance

Patanjali_3

Yoga Sūtra Study Question:

List five of the key concepts for Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra in order of appearance.

To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the minds identification with the senses……

pratyahara

Pratyāhāra is not feeding the tendency of the Citta to automatically form a positive, negative, or neutral identification with whatever stimuli the senses present to it. From that we can begin to understand how their external gathering activities stimulate our conscious and especially, unconscious choices.

From this we can begin to understand how the impact of this sensory process can lead us to travel in different directions and trigger different levels of response, often without us being really conscious of how deeply their input stimulates our psychic activities.

From these responses there will be the inevitable re-actions, again quite possibly unconscious and multilevelled, according to our psychic history in terms of our memory, habit patternings and deeper memory processes.

From those initial insights we can begin to understand and interact in how we can resist unconsciously slipping into the trance states that can so often culminate with the Kleśa manifesting fully in the entrancing dance of Udārā Rāga, or Udārā Dveṣa, or Udārā Abhiniveśa, the profligate children of Avidyā.

– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54

Yoga Sūtra Chapters One to Four Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapters One to Four

Samādhi Sādhana Vibhūti Kaivalya Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for all four chapters of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks are available for each individual chapter as well as this combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a personal study guide then exploring the online Yoga Sūtra verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Four Kaivalya Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter four of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapter as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter four verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Three Vibhūti Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter three of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapter as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter three verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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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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It dissolves defects like the Mahā Kleśa…….

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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

Sāṃkhya Kārikā joins online searchable Yoga Texts Database.

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The Sāṃkhya Kārikā is now going online and linking to the Yoga Sūtra and the Bhagavad Gītā

Sāṃkhya is said to be a relative of Yoga. In fact they are often linked together when presenting models around the six major schools of inquiry within the Indian tradition.

“Sāṃkhya has been fundamental in its influence on the philosophical
foundations underpinning such as Yoga, Buddhism and Āyurveda.”

The first text that I was privileged to be able to study word by word, Śloka by Śloka along with the commentaries of Krishnamacharya and then Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons, was the Sāṃkhya Kārikā of Īśvara Kṛṣṇa.

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Bhagavad Gītā and Gītārtha Saṃgraha join online searchable Yoga Texts Database

The Bhagavad Gītā is now going online and linking to the Yoga Sūtra

Another important text allied to my inquiry into and around Yoga that I was privileged to be able to study word by word, Śloka by Śloka along with the commentaries of Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, within the intimacy and vitality of private lessons over 4 years of visits to Chennai, was the Bhagavad Gītā.

The first stage of the Bhagavad Gītā online resource project is complete with the entire text transcribed into a document with ‘proper’ Saṃskṛta notations. Now the second stage is under way with the setting up of the text as a live online and searchable chapter by chapter, word by word online resource in the same way as with the online Yoga Sūtra project with commentaries around each verse from study with my teacher on and around this particular text.

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Musings on the Student’s Relationship with the Teacher

Memories from my early days, over 40 years ago now, of going to teachers to teach me Yoga were generally around the notion, replete with conscious and unconscious expectations, that the teacher was there to bring out the best in me.

For example I feel that many of us if group class teachers are used to working with the Lazarus factor (raising folks from the dead each week). Here we can get caught or even need the expectation, both in you and/or in the student, that you will be or are ‘the one’ to revitalise the students tired and/or wired bodies as well as restoring confident dispositions.

However my experiences arising from working with TKV Desikachar stood that notion on its head. This was not through anything he said or did but from my own slowly acquired realisation that my way of looking at the relationship was confused.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Sādhana Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter two of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapters as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter two verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One Study Workbook

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Samādhi Pādaḥ

A Romanised Saṃskṛta verse by verse word by word personal study support workbook for chapter one of the Yoga Sūtra. Further workbooks will be available for the remaining chapters as well as a combined version.

For those wishing to use this workbook as a self study guide exploring the online chapter one verse by verse translation with its added individual word by word translation and cross verse reference index links may be helpful. These translations are also accumulating online verse by verse commentaries from T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

With appreciation for many years of personal teaching in India with my root Yoga teacher TKV Desikachar, along with further word by word studies of the Yoga Sūtra through personal lessons with S Ramaswami.

This Sūtra study Workbook is offered in the spirit of Paramparā. It is not © and is available online, as a PDF in both A4 and US Letter versions, in the spirit of open source community commons.

May it support those who use it in their journey towards Viveka and Svatantra.

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Workbook A4 version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter Two Workbook US Letter version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Workbook A4 version

View or Download Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali Chapter One Workbook US letter version

Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter 1 verse 17 on Āsana

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kuryāttad āsanaṃ sthairyam ārogyaṃ ca aṅga lāghavan |
“Āsana Practice brings steadiness, reduced illness and a lightness of limb.”
Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā of Svāmi Svātmārāma Chapter One verse 17

This verse is commenting on the development of Āsana
as a foundation or accessory for more subtle practices.
Better not to confuse the vehicle with the direction.

I am reminded of a quote from Srivatsa Ramaswami:
“I studied with Śrī Krishnamacharya for a number of years.
I do not remember a single Yogāsana class which did not have
a decent dose of Prāṇāyāma and Ṣanmukhi Mudrā in it
and short prayers to begin and end the session.”

Learning from Life – The Wisdom of the Yoga Sūtra Part 1 of 2

The Wisdom of the Yoga Sūtra in guiding the journey of the psyche.

Buried within the rich traditions of “on the mat” Yoga practice are many teachings with advice and reflections on how to live more creatively whilst off the mat so to speak.

According to the teachings of Yoga, the postural practices of Āsana, the seated breathing practices of Prāṇāyāma, and other seated practices of meditation, or Dhyānam on such as reflecting on subtle aspects of attitudes or natural phenomena, or seated practices such as Chanting, or Japam or repetition of Mantra, all sit within a framework of daily living and its constant dynamic of helpful choices and positive responses or unhelpful choices and negative re-actions.

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