upāyaDevanāgarī: उपाय Translation: approach, coming near; that by which one reaches one's aim, a means, way, stratagem, craft Related concepts:hāna, sādhana, kauśala
Appears inYoga Sūtra:
Chapter 2: 26Sāṃkhya Kārikā: Yoga Rahasya:
Chapter 4: 31
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“The Veda speak eloquently of the lotus in one’s heart, where Īśvara resides.
It is only when the mind is quiet, clear, and steady that we can
reach into and visualise this most intimate part of ourselves.
Yoga as a Saṃskāra leads to Yoga as a means to experience this.
The experience of Dhyānam, in this ideal sense,
eventually evolves into Samādhi – total absorption in Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
“In introducing the various Upāya offered within
verses 20 to 39 in Yoga Sūtra Chapter One,
Krishnamacharya talks about Das Upāya,
of which two are Śodhanam Sādhana
and eight are Śamanam Sādhana.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verses 20-39
“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
“The study that helps us to know where we are from and what progress we have achieved.
In short, our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya.
There are many means. Vedic chant where the student
repeats exactly how the teacher recites the text is one.
The means should respect our culture.
It must help explore our own background,
our strengths and weaknesses and our progress.
Even a good teacher can be a mirror, a Svādhyāya.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1
“When the body is disordered,
make use of the body to reduce.
When thought is agitated,
make use of Prāṇāyāma to reduce.”
– From T Krishnamacharya’s composition,
The Yoga Rahasya Chapter Four verse 31
“The fourth way the mind functions is called Ekāgratā.
Here clarity has come about
and we have direction and are able to proceed.
What we want to do is much clearer
and distractions hardly matter.
This is also called Dhāraṇā which was explained earlier.
Yoga is actually the beginning of Ekāgratā.
Yoga suggest means to create conditions that gradually
move the Kṣipta level of mind towards Ekāgratā.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yogan ‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’ Chapter Eighteen Page 251
“What we try to do in Yoga is simply to create conditions so
that the mind becomes a most useful instrument for action.
And this can only be done gradually.
Any “short-cut method” is an illusion.
This gradual procedure may involve a number of intelligent means,
all of which come within the realm of Yoga Sādhana.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga ‘The Way the Mind Functions and the Concept of Nirodha’ Chapter Eighteen Page 253
“We cannot escape the need for adaptation.
Adaptation is the application of certain principles,
to achieve certain results.
– Knowing where the person is now.
– Knowing where we want them to go.
Adaptation is the means used to bridge this gap.”
– TKV Desikachar 1981
“Then he has certain ideas also about Kuṇḍalinī.
The force is Prāṇa,
the force called Śakti or Kuṇḍalinī is indeed Prāṇa.
The only means that can have any effect is the use of Prāṇāyāma,
with emphasis on exhalation and the Bandha,
aided by devotional chantings.
And the evolution of Kuṇḍalinī is very much linked to the person’s state of mind and Vairāgya.”
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’,
given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.
“Patañjali has proposed 3 approaches to verify the indications.
Tapas – Process of action
Food, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma.
You will be doing something that you will not be habitually doing.
For example one day no salt, cigarettes, Prāṇāyāma.
Tapas is from the root to create thirst.
It means to deprive.
It will tell us about ourselves.
It will reveal our Saṃskāra and Pariṇāma or changes in ourselves.
From this Tapas we will start to get an indication of our individual nature.
For example active or lazy.
Tapas indicates the the beginning of the Bheda, through the Bhāva.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“The means to knowledge
i.e. our method of knowing (Pramāṇa – right perception), involves a progression,
a movement from Āgama (authentic teachings),
what we hear or perceive or learn from authoritative sources;
to Pratyakṣa (through the senses) to see the fire, itself, the fact, the truth, the reality.
Such a means to know is a movement from the gross to the subtle.
In Vikalpa, we don’t have this progression.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988
“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition,
teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal.
In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection,
is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity,
and still, it is a means among others!
Things are very different in the Vedic culture, for which God only matters.
The Brahma Sūtra understood it perfectly,
since they exclude Yoga from the ways of salvation,
because it does not give the Lord the first priority.
One must be aware of the image conveyed by Yoga,
when it is confused with Vedic chanting,
and of the image of the Veda,
when Vedic chanting is confused with Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting
“Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Morning,
– Can be a Means to Hone the Mind.
Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Afternoon,
– Can be a Means to Refresh the Mind.
Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Evening,
– Can be a Means to Clear the Mind.
Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Night,
– Can be a Means to Settle the Mind.”
– 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers
“Prāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Sādhana,
whether working with the Prāṇa Śodhana of Haṭha Yoga,
where you were taught to practice it at each
of four transitional points through the day,
or with the Citta Śodhana of Patañjali,
where it is the pivotal Bahya Aṅga,
Prāṇāyāma is seen as the primary means to engage
the Élan Vital, the vital force or creative principle.”
– 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers
“When considering what, why and how to practice,
it can be helpful to consider our starting point.
For example, are we looking for the role of an Āsana
practice to help in recovering from a situation
where we are as if personally overdrawn.
Also, what is the nature of our ‘overdraft’?
Is its impact or origin physical, energetic, psychological
or emotional, or even a combination of more than one?
Here the concepts of too little, too much, or wrong
can also be helpful as a reference in that, as well as
considering the nature of the ‘overdraft’, we need to
consider the means we undertake to remedy this
aspect of the situation. In other words our first
priority is to choose to plan practice steps that
will initially reduce the negative aspect at least.
However, sometimes we can try something that is
as if a short term loan and at a high rate of interest
in terms of time, effort, energy and commitment.
Thus whilst finding our situation temporarily
improving a further depletion can possibly arise as
we find ourselves unable to as if ‘keep up with the
extra payments’ given the nature of the original
depletion and its current impact on our potentials.
So having a clear reference point in terms of
identifying the nature of our starting point, and
the short term or longer term potentials of a
choice of an appropriate remedy, is as important
as our personal determination to clear the deficit
that has knowingly or unknowingly emerged within us.”
– 108 Yoga Practice Pointers
Links to Related Posts:
- The breadth, depth and potential of Desikachar’s teachings on practice……
- The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly…….
- The Viniyoga of Inversion as an Āsana or as a Mudrā……
- TKV Desikachar talks on Śraddhā in the light of the Yoga Sūtra……
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