smṛtiDevanāgarī: स्मृति Translation: remembrance; memory; mindfulness; the whole body of sacred tradition or what is remembered by human teachers and constantly revised Opposite words:śruti, bhagavadgītā Related concepts:vāsanā, saṃskāra, vṛtti
Appears inYoga Sūtra: Sāṃkhya Kārikā: Bhagavad Gītā: Yoga Rahasya:
Chapter 1: 34
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“Given the at all other times in this verse,
we need to thwart the ploys of the mind to
conform to its unhelpful fluctuations by reducing:
1. The tendency of the mind to perceive in too many ways.
2. The tendency of the mind to distort what we see.
3. The tendency of the mind to fantasize.
4. The tendency of the mind to go to sleep at inappropriate moments.
5. The tendency of the mind to get lost in memory or impose memory on reality.
When these old or other tendencies take over you are not there.
So if you are not consistent with your efforts,
you will not change your state of mind.
Plus, the unhelpful aspects of the fluctuations reduce
the tendency of the mind to experience a clarity of being.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4
“In this Sūtra, Patañjali lists the five types of mental activities:
Pramāṇa Vṛtti, Viparyaya Vṛtti, Vikalpa Vṛtti, Nidrā Vṛtti, and Smṛti Vṛtti.
Vṛtti and Pariṇāma are synonymous, meaning “change of form”.
These five Vṛtti represent changes in the characteristics and functions of the mind.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6
“Although the activities of the mind are countless,
Patañjali categorizes all of them in one of five groups:
Pramāṇa, Viparyaya, Vikalpa, Nidrā, and Smṛti.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 6
“When this relationship becomes strong through repeated encounters,
a unique power develops in the mind which is linked to Jīva.
This power is Saṃskāra and from it arises memory or that aspect of understanding
where objects can be comprehended without being physically present.
Based on previous experiences of objects, Saṃskāra gives rise to understanding
and in order for this to happen, Jīva must be linked to the mind.
This ability to remember, known as Asaṃpramoṣa, stays with us for a very long time.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 11
“In Sūtra 1.11 Patañjali defines Smṛti as
the retention of the experience of an object.
How do we know whether Smṛti is Pramāṇa,
given the presence of Viparyaya and Vikalpa
within our parti pris shaping of an experience?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 11
“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 Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20
“If you remove the past from the present what is left?”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 43
“Knowledge from the past prevails and
influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my
memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and
wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or
question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
“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 knowing 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 insight, 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 potent and profligate children of Avidyā.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 54
“In Samādhi there is an understanding.
Something not based on your memories,
something that transcends your memories.
Prajña comes only in Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 3
“In observing, we must remember a few more things:
Because of our own memories, backgrounds, cultures, etc.
Each person looks at the same problem differently,
which may cause problems.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 15
“The first Śloka sets the saga on the field of Dharma.
Dharma is how we respond, whatever the situation,
presuming we can sustain our view within the present.
Karma is how we respond, having lost sight of our view,
because it’s become obscured by the force of our memories.
Then Karma is the force now driving us through our memories.
So, Arjuna’s Dharma becomes obscured because of his Karma.”
– Paul Harvey on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter One verse 1
“Remember the mind should follow
the exhale, inhale and retention.
Exhale, inhale and retention all support the vital force.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition the Yoga Rahasya Chapter One verse 34
“Strongest memory is of that which is introduced when one is young.”
– T Krishnamacharya
“Knowledge is not only memory.
Every day there must be something new.”
– T Krishnamacharya
“These problems in our observation are related to the mixing of:
– Vikalpa: Imagination is already there operating when we begin to observe. All the more that we are better and better informed about what we should see, etc.
– Viparyaya: Because of the past Saṃskāra, there is a sort of perversion in observation.
– Smṛti: Memory is, unfortunately, never factual.
Finally, we should never forget that all conclusions are wrong, because things change. Hence the importance of private lessons, which allow for more flexibility.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981
“To see clearly,
we need to be in that state described in
the Yoga Sutra in Chapter One verse 43.
In such a state, memory dies, imagination vanishes,
then we can see the reality of the object.
This state is Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988
“Your mind is a product of your food, memory is linked to food.
My stability, my confidence is linked to food.
All these facts are mentioned in the texts.
For these reasons I said that food is very important and becomes me.
Not just the muscles, but the whole me, the whole personality.”
– TKV Desikachar from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.
Voluntary Efforts and Involuntary Effects in an Āsana Practice
“Thus, this means these effects can also apply to our
attitudes whilst working habitually in a particular Āsana.
For example, an involuntary response as a result of memory.
So we can have a blindness, in that we are unaware of the
position of the arms, legs, or body, as well as in our attitude.
Thus, we need to at least apply movements voluntarily
in our efforts to influence the qualities of the Āsana.”
– 108 Yoga Planning Pointers
– The Viniyoga of Planning Principles Guidelines – Collected & Collated
“Yesterdays Smṛti can become Todays Saṃskāra,
without Tomorrows Saṃkalpa being re-affirmed,
through Todays Sādhana each and every day.”
– Reflection on Saṃkalpa – The Art of Volition
– 108 Study Path Pointers
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