rāgaDevanāgarī: राग Translation: colour; attraction; passion, delight in; vehement desire of; attachment; a musical note, harmony, melody Similar words:uparāga, kāma Opposite words:dveṣa, vairāgya Related concepts:kleśa, avidyā, asmitā, abhiniveśa, sukha
Appears inYoga Sūtra: Bhagavad Gītā:
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“All these Kleśa are variable in their potency.
They can be so weak, that they hardly matter.
Sometimes they take a feeble form,
when they can be easily contained.
If not they rise to dominance.
When in domination, only one takes over.
For example in the most evolved stage
when Rāga is dominant, other Kleśa
such as Dveṣa are not apparent.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 4
“The mind is like a glass through which we perceive.
When it is painted there is Rāga.
Often the painting colours what we see.
It is the colour of the mind that decides the quality of perception.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
“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 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 7
“Better not to mistake the feelings
arising from the movement away from
something undesirable, for the
feelings arising from the movement
towards something desirable.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verses 7-8
“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.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54
“There is always Kleśa, it just depends where we are
in ourselves in terms of a spectrum of being and doing.
Thus Kleśa can express itself within the spectrum of being
as either a state of Rāga Kleśa or a state of Dveṣa Kleśa or,
as happens mostly, somewhere twixt the extremes of the two.
Either way according to TKV Desikachar’s teaching,
progress is not possible without the power of these drives,
they are the horses that pull the chariot.
As to which of the two extremes we find ourselves
veering towards depends on our skill as a charioteer,
coupled with our understanding of the nature of the horses,
as well as the nature of the ‘food’ we ‘choose’ to feed them on.”
– Paul Harvey on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 34
“Attachment comes through pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure, but when we no longer have what gave us pleasure, or if there is some threat of losing it, attachment often appears.
Negation is a tendency to resist or reject after something bad has happened. It could be a fact, an idea or whatever, but if we were not comfortable with it, we resist. There is a strong relationship between attachment and negation, like heads and tails of a coin. Strangely, the more we are attached to something the more there is a likelihood to reject it later – when what we were expecting is not forthcoming heads becomes tails!
Fear is a very fundamental emotion which seems to have some special energy that can make it survive on its own. Fear exists independently of objects, they just give it something to fix on, like the wolf in Western fairy tales. There are two types of fear : fear of something, an earthquake, an illness, a wolf etc., and fear of losing something, a job, a loved one, prestige etc.
Fear, negation, attachment and association either alone or together create the conditions for suffering to erupt again and again. Suffering appears, disappears and re-appears forcing us to admit that something is missing and this pushes us to seek how to find it.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’
“The more they (the student) like you,
the more they become attached.”
– TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998
Links to Related Posts:
- Reflections on TKV Desikachar’s Teaching and Svatantra……
- The pursuit of ‘Yoga happiness’ can be so demanding or intense……
- TKV Desikachar talks on Śraddhā in the light of the Yoga Sūtra……
- Trying to hold onto the fleeting presence of awareness can be likened to a bird…
- Yoga Sūtra on Stress – An interview with TKV Desikachar
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