It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go……

sraddha

“It is not enough to realise that there is somewhere to go,
you must also be really interested in taking the step.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

Some people describe that Kuṇḍalinī  goes through the Suṣumṇā……

Question to T Krishnamacharya –
Q: Some people describe that Kuṇḍalinī
goes through the Suṣumṇā
to the Sahasrāra.
Is this correct?
A: No, it is the Prāṇa Vāyu that
moves through the Suṣumṇā.
– Śrī Krishnamacharya – The Pūrnācārya
– published by the KYM in 1997

A teacher who knows us very well might give us a Mantra……

“A teacher who knows us very well might give us a Mantra
which has a particular connotation because of the way it has been arranged.
It that Mantra is repeated in the way it has been instructed,
if we are aware of the meaning and if perhaps we want to use a particular image,
Mantra Yoga brings about the same effect as Jñāna Yoga or Bhakti Yoga.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 240

Jñāna Yoga is where we hear or read somebody’s words……

Jñāna Yoga is where we
hear or read somebody’s words,
delve into them deeply,
discuss them with people,
engage in reflection,
until finally all doubts are cleared.
We see the truth,
we merge with the truth,
and that is Jñāna.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 239

Meditation is not a technique, it is a journey.

‎”Meditation is not a technique,
it is a journey.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998

If you are using something more complex, say Gāyatrī Mantra……

Gāyatrī

“The number of times you say OM on inhalation, holding the breath,
and exhalation is influenced by the length of the breath.
We cannot fix the number of recitations on the basis of the Praṇava itself.
We can only fix it on the basis of a person’s capacity of breath.
If you are simply using OM, it can go with almost any ratio.
If you are using something more complex, say Gāyatrī Mantra,
it is very long and has different structures so there are regulations on
how many times you say it when you inhale, hold the breath, and exhale,
and in what part of the Mantra you can break, etc.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 238-239

Once you know how to recite the Praṇava orally you will be able to do it silently……

“I think once you know how to recite the Praṇava
orally you will be able to do it silently.
And perhaps each time you can add a little meaning
to it as well as find a little more meaning in it.
The best way is to begin orally and
then transfer it to a mental recitation.
Then you can easily use it in your Yoga practice.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 238

Don’t go on doing a lot of postures……

“Don’t go on doing a lot of postures; if you do,
I think the meaning in Yoga will be lost.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 238

Many people have this problem of maintaining attention during practice……

“Many people have this problem of maintaining attention during the practice.
You can place your attention on a particular part of the body
but there must be something happening, a movement.
Thats why the best movement is the breath.”
TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga
‘Various Approaches to Yoga’
Chapter Seventeen Page 237

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Sixteen Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter 16 Theory: A Session for Questions Pages 221-235

read more

Anubhūta is the change that occurs in one’s state of mind……

Anubhūta is the change that
occurs in one’s state of mind
when it is related to external objects
through the involvement of the senses.
This is also known as experience.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 11

Trying to escape from Saṃskāra only increases their power……

‎”Trying to escape from Saṃskāra only increases their power and,
in addition, leads to the acquisition of still more Saṃskāra.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 18

Śraddhā will give life to all the means……

Śraddhā will give life to all
the means that are in the Yoga Sūtra.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Is Yoga relevant to the West?

“Is Yoga relevant to the West?
Question which is relevant to India as well.  Because of the changes there.

The word Yoga is integrated into its language, religion rituals etc., so it is accepted in India. But in the West there are certain problems. The word is associated with physical gymnastics or mental gymnastics. This has complicated the job of the Yoga teacher. Even in India, if you know nothing else you can always teach Yoga

One is also asked to show your Yoga.  A Yogi for some people means Svāmī, for others Siddhi, for others exercise teacher. Even the image of the Yogi is seen as important. However nowhere do the texts insist on dress or beard as part of the Yogi.

So let us look at ideas behind Yoga……”
– TKV Desikachar 1987

It is through Praṇavo Japam that……

“It is through Praṇavo Japam that
the true nature of the Jīva is realised.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 29

Before launching on Antar Aṅga Sādhana……

“Before launching on Antar Aṅga Sādhana,
one should be a Niṣṭhāvān in Bāhya Aṅga Sādhana.
If this earlier stage is very well established,
then only a teacher may teach Dhyāna.”
– T Krishnamacharya 1984

Abhyāsa is the practice that leads to Viveka……

viveka

Abhyāsa is the practice that leads to Viveka,
the state which there are no external distractions to prevent clear perception.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

Abhyāsa, when performed with reverence, without interruption, over……

abhyasa

Abhyāsa, when performed with reverence,
without interruption, over a long period of time, will result
in a healthy body, acute senses and extraordinary alertness.
This kind of Abhyāsa is a solid foundation that nothing can disturb.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

Abhyāsa is the practice of reflecting on the difference between the nature of Jīva and the nature of Prakṛti……

abhyasa

Abhyāsa is the practice of reflecting on the difference
between the nature of Jīva and the nature of Prakṛti,
which brings momentary tranquillity to the mind and
eventually leads to complete and sustained mental tranquillity.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 13

Patañjali states that there are two ways to discipline the five types of mental activity……

“In this Sūtra Patañjali states that there are two ways
to discipline the five types of mental activity.
They are Abhyāsa and Vairāgya.
Abhyāsa is practice.
Vairāgya is to disconnect or sever the link
between the Citta and external objects.
These two, Abhyāsa and Vairāgya,
always go together as a pair.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

In order to discipline the mind we need to develop a mental practice……

“In order to discipline the mind,
we need to develop a mental practice
that clearly reveals the distinction
between the nature of Jīva and Prakṛti.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

Because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa……

“Similarly, because of the proximity of Citta and Puruṣa,
what is the quality of one is taken to be of the other.
In our convention they are often taken as one
and not two distinct entities with different natures.
This state is Asmitā.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

Citta and Puruṣa are distinct……

Citta and Puruṣa are distinct.
They are in association like heat and water.
Water which is cold becomes
warm in association with heat.
Then we use the term hot water.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6

What is the true nature of the Citta?

“What is the true nature of the Citta?”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to
Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6

Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days, he believes, they have no validity except for two of them

“Regarding Yama and Niyama, these days, he believes,
they have no validity except for two of them.

First, what is called Satya Niyama, or
what to speak, what not to speak, to whom to speak,
how to write, what not to write.
These are Satya Niyama.

Another Niyama that should be followed is Āhāra Niyama.
That is, how much to eat and what to eat,
according to age, profession, etc.
You see, the ancient people believed that
a young boy could eat as much as he liked.
But a Saṃnyāsi should only eat eight handfuls of rice,
no more, per day.”

TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.