YOGA SŪTRA ON STRESS
– An Interview with TKV Desikachar by AV Balasubramanian and Paul Harvey
The Yoga Sūtra presents the potentials of the human mind, the means to its refinement, control and clarity and the obstacles that can come in the way of one’s progress. An understanding of stress in the light of the Yoga Sūtra is presented in the interview below.
In addition to covering the many techniques in Yoga to help persons under stress, TKV Desikachar constantly emphasises the importance of the attitude to our actions. He singles out the cultivation of the twin qualities of Śraddhā and Īśvara Praṇidhānā as the only sure means for being free from stress permanently.
What is the Indian tradition’s view on stress?
In the Indian tradition, stress would be the situation where a person exhibits the Udvega, attitudes or behavior which take over a person and control him. The origin of the Udvega lies in the Ṣad Ūrmi, the six enemies. These six are:
- Kāma: desire
- Krodha: anger
- Lobha: possessiveness, greed
- Moha: darkness; though not actually dark it is as if darkness exists because the person is so sure of himself and his opinions that he is unable to see.
- Mada: arrogance, the refusal to accept or give in.
- Mātsarya: jealousy, to resent the success of others and to be happy at their failures.
These are Āyurveda‘s Mano Roga (diseases of the mind). If any one of these six is dominant in a person, that person is sure to experience Udvega in one form or the other.