The Yoga Sūtra says so much about the mind……

“The Yoga Sūtra says so much about the mind,
but little about the self.
What can be shared can be expressed,
what cannot be shared cannot be expressed.”
– TKV Desikachar

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2 is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra…..

“Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra in that it
describes the characteristics of Yoga
as Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.”
– TKV Desikachar

This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step…..

viniyoga

“This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6 reflects this idea.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Lightness or Sattva is not always correct…..

sattva

“Lightness or Sattva is not always correct.
Sometimes it is necessary to create
heaviness and activity for memory, etc.”
– TKV Desikachar December 1st 1979

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind……

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind.
If it is left to itself things may not work out.
Why not?
Because the mind has accumulated certain things.
For instance, this could lead to prejudicing people or situations.
Therefore if we can locate that which acts in this way we will reduce problems.”
– TKV Desikachar

One should inquire onto one’s habits……

“One should inquire onto one’s habits.
Good or bad.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The process of Cikitsā has two parts…..

cikitsa

“The process of Cikitsā has two parts:
1. Rakṣaṇa Krama
I am healthy and don’t want to be sick.
By not doing anything there will be no Rakṣaṇam.
For example:
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 16
heyaṃ duḥkham anāgatam
I’m alright now,
but I must be careful so I don’t get sick tomorrow.
This is Rakṣaṇa Krama.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering…..

duhkha_5

“So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering.
We find ourselves in a situation that we don’t like.
Even if we can do 500 Āsana or recite the Yoga Sūtra this suffering can be there.
It is the absence of suffering that is the measure of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar

To define the word Yoga is very difficult…..

tkv_6a

“To define the word Yoga is very difficult, as the word is so adaptable.
A starting point would be Patañjali.
Patañjali removed all the complicated definitions and simplified it to:

‘Making the best out of the most difficult object, the mind.’

His idea was to create a situation,
where the mind becomes more faithful than it is.”
– TKV Desikachar

To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools….

Patanjali_B_and_W

“To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools.
These tools are based on the understanding that the human system is not
a set of distinct unrelated compartments but a very closely connected structure.
What happens in one part profoundly affects every area.
Therefore if we can bring some positive changes in one area,
positive changes ensue in other parts.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

Āsana_4

“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the main emphasis of Patañjali,
which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with
relatively few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.

siddhi

“The Siddhi depends on the Bhāvanam.”
– TKV Desikachar

The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning……

Patanjali_3

“The Yoga of Patañjali as a complete process of learning
provides the best instrument for helping the individual
know that he is more than a money making machine.”
– TKV Desikachar 1983
– Introduction to Learning through Yoga by TV Ananthanarayanan

For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand the movement of the mind……

citta

“For Yoga Teachers it is important to understand
the movement of the mind
as well as the body.”
– TKV Desikachar 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa….

nimitta

“Krishnamacharya’s teaching is a Nimitta Kāraṇa
– Where you discover your own way.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 3

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things, not a cessation of activity.

nirodha

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things,
not a cessation of activity.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna

dhyana

“There are certain things we do in Yoga which seem to aid Dhyāna
because they remove something which is blocking it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘The Antaraṅga Sādhana, Saṃyama and Kaivalya’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Thirteen Page 186

When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit……

cit devanagari

“When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit.
However we are not able to separate mind from Cit.
They are so close – mind and not mind.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

It is not the number of hours in Meditation…..

dhyanam

“It is not the number of hours in Meditation,
the type of Ratio in Prāṇāyāma,
the number of times you turn the Mālā,
it is the intensity of the attempt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

Looking beyond the superficial to the source, this is Abhyāsa.

Abhyāsa

“Looking beyond the superficial to the source,
this is Abhyāsa.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind….

abhyasa

“The starting point for Abhyāsa is not the mind,
it is other than the mind.
The moment the mind takes over you are in difficulty.”
– From 121 Sūtra lessons with Desikachar

The phenomenon called Yoga allows the mind……

abhyasa

“The phenomenon called Yoga
allows the mind and its functions to orientate in one direction
and receive something from that direction.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

The first Sūtra also acts as a key for the memory to link all the Yoga……

atha

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anu-śāsanam

“Now follow the teachings of Yoga.”

Atha – Now in the sense of nowness.
By convention let there be something auspicious.
The Sūtra are different in the sense of not having a prayer dedication in the first Sūtra.
Thus Atha fills this role.
Particularly the letter ‘A’ which is a dedication.

“Of sounds I am the first letter A.”
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 33

Now I am going to tell you something about Yoga.
A serious discussion as you, the students, are ready.
This also refers to the student’s previous attempts at learning, which will now be clarified.

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Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

TKV_France_1999

Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:

“The idea behind Yama and Niyama is the attitude we have to the inside and outside.
If I don’t know what is true there is no question of telling the truth.
However there is the intention, because one day it may become a reality.
Even though some of these things are not there in the beginning, if the intention is sincere then one day it will become an action if conditions and our psychological state change.
Yama as telling the truth also means discretion.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

In the Yoga Sūtra the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind…..

Āsana_6

“In the Yoga Sūtra,
the purpose of the different Sādhana is to clear the mind,
so the light can come out.”
– TKV Desikachar 1984

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