The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired….

“The idea is to bridge the gap that is between what exists and what is desired.
This is what Abhyāsa refers to. This is not exactly practice.
1. We first require an appreciation of what we want to do or learn.
2. We then find out how to travel or go in that direction.
3. We then learn the techniques by which we travel.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12

Abhyāsa means constant effort and attention in order to continue in one direction……

Abhyāsa means constant effort and attention
in order to continue in one direction.
We must never break this process because we
never really know in advance how things might change”
– TKV Desikachar ‘A Session for Questions’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Sixteen Page 223

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 44 – Yoga is about recognising change and……

Yoga is about recognising change and
recognising that which recognises change.
– Commentary around Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 16

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

In terms of Yoga, if we have Duḥkha, something is behind it……

“If we have a problem which persists,
It might be because we don’t know
what is the real basis or cause of the problem.
In terms of Yoga, if we have Duḥkha,
something is behind it.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘A Session for Questions’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Sixteen Page 221

I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms…….

“I am going to explain you something else about the aphorisms, about their translation.
Many books or courses have been written about the treatise of Patañjali.
Some of them analyse the words one by one, trying to translate them separately,
dissecting the text. This way of proceeding may be interesting,
but unfortunately it can also confuse instead of helping understanding of the text.

Why?
Because literally translating the aphorisms is nothing but a series of words glued together,
in sentences that very often lack in consistency.

The ancient way of exposing was not translating them into a new language;
it was mainly making the student grasp the sense of the aphorism.
In this case, the Sanskrit text is just a reminder,
a mnemonic that the teacher is not going to translate textually.
They are going to use it to develop the idea or the sense of the aphorism.
They will explain these notions, sometimes even without referring to any word of the aphorism.
What is important is to give a teaching that is adapted to the level of understanding of the student.”

– TKV Desikachar on Learning from the Yoga Sūtra
Extract from Viniyoga Europe No 1

The worst obstacle of all occurs when, somewhere in the back of our minds……

“The worst obstacle of all occurs when,
somewhere in the back of our minds,
we think we have understood something and we haven’t.
That is, we fancy that we have seen the truth.
We think, because of a situation in which we feel
we have some sort of calmness, we have reached our zenith.
We say, ‘That is what I have been looking for; I have progressed.’
But in actual fact we have not progressed.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 209

Another obstacle is when our senses seem to take over……

“Another obstacle is when our senses seem to take over.
They reassert themselves as masters,
sometimes without our knowing it.
This is not surprising since we are trained from birth to
look here, see there, hear this, touch that, etc.
So sometimes, because of their habitual action of always looking for things, etc.,
The senses take over and our direction slowly shifts in the wrong way.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 209

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 38 – If you remove the past from the present what is left?

If you remove the past from the present what is left?
– Reflection on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 43

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

There is also an obstacle that is from the nature of the mind itself……

“There is also an obstacle that is from the nature of the mind itself.
We get moods — sometimes we are all right, we can go on,
but sometimes we feel heavy, we feel dull, we don’t feel like proceeding.
This mental heaviness could be due to food, it could be due to cold weather,
it could be just the nature of the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 208

Doubts always arise. There is no doubt about that!

Doubts always arise.
There is no doubt about that!”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Antarāyāḥ, Obstacles to progress, Techniques to Overcome them’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Fifteen Page 208

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 36 – Viparyaya is seeing what we want to see……

Viparyaya is seeing what we want to see.
or not seeing what we need to see.
Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 8

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

Three types of Śiṣya……

Three types of Śiṣya:
1. The student doesn’t get started i.e. doesn’t get beyond Saṃkalpa
2. The student starts, but when there is an obstacle, stops.
3. The student starts, but when there is an obstacle, takes it as a challenge
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 33 – The Yoga Sūtra is also very helpful in guiding us around the notion of……

The Yoga Sūtra is also very helpful in guiding us around
the notion of surrendering to that which we don’t know,
through that which we do know.
– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 23

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

108 Sūtra Study Pointers – 31 – Yoga is the experience of stillness……

Yoga is the experience of stillness,
within the fluctuations of mind,
rather than the experience of stillness,
of the fluctuations of mind.
– Commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 2-3

Link to Series: 108 Sutra Study Pointers

There is no style to the Yoga Sūtra……

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

“There is no style to the Yoga Sūtra.
The only style is your style.
We can see this from the number of alternatives Patañjali
proposes to give us strength of mind,
or allow us to do something we cannot do before.”
– TKV Desikachar

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind……

“The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind.
It examines the different functions of the mind
and provides means to modify these functions
so that it serves the person in a very constructive way.
The means by which certain qualitative changes in the mind
are brought about is called Sādhanā.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end……

“Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end
and if we hold firm to this Śraddhā we always have the Smṛti,
the memory of our original goal.
This is very important as with progress on the path to the goal,
we get distracted by or satisfied with some of the gains made
that were previously not within our capacity.
It is through Śraddhā that we have the Smṛti,
the memory of the original goal, that prevents us from being satisfied
with anything less than what we started out for.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

The perception that something is desirable is Sukha….

“The perception that something is desirable is Sukha.
This perception sets in motion an urge to possess it.
This is Rāga.
Whether what is desired will give a lasting happiness is a different matter.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 7

Any Abhyāsa is only for the mind, you cannot go beyond that point.

Abhyāsa

“Any Abhyāsa is only for the mind,
you cannot go beyond that point.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

The mind is like a fluid, which can modify into different things……

“The mind is like a fluid,
which can modify into different things.
A sense of change.
Thus restraining modifications is channelising.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2 is not Yoga Sarva Citta Vṛtti Nirodha……

“Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is not Yoga Sarva Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.
This is a relative Sūtra,
which allows for a gradual evolution.”
– TKV Desikachar