vivekaDevanāgarī: विवेक Translation: discrimination, discernment; the faculty of distinguishing and classifying things according to their real properties; the power of separating the invisible Spirit from the visible world (or spirit from matter); truth from untruth Related concepts:aṣṭāṅga, kaivalya, kleśa, avidyā
Appears inYoga Sūtra:
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“In order to discipline the mind,
we need to develop a mental practice that clearly reveals the distinction
between the nature of spirit and matter.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 12
“The way to better oneself is not to ponder over the past but to look ahead.
Even Duḥkha is a great teacher.
In fact it is the first and important step in the ladder of Viveka or clarity.
The greatness of Patañjali is to look at Duḥkha as the stepping stone to success.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 16
“I know something and I am presented with something different.
How I react or choose not to react is Asmitā.
The wrong response brings Duḥkha.
The right response Viveka.
One is a hasty assessment and one is wanting to find out more.
One is ‘assuming I know I proceed’,
the other is ‘wishing to know I proceed’.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
“Some define their experience of life by seeking Duḥkha,
some by seeking Sukha.
The Yoga Practitioner sees both as Avidyā
and defines their experience of life by seeking
what lies beyond duality through unwavering Viveka.”
– Reflections around Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 26
“Viveka is to be able to understand and appreciate opposites.”
– TKV Desikachar 1980
“Śikṣaṇa Krama – do something perfectly or correctly.
Anything is taught to achieve perfection in the practice of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma.
In other words teaching children and healthy people where you can take risks with no problems.
Not a valid approach for groups.
We need to use intelligence and Viveka,
not follow the idea of no pain, no gain to become painless,
or to get to a point without suffering.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“Even if one’s Guru says a certain thing will happen and it happens,
that is still Vikalpa, as it has not gone through the necessary progression.
When you take the word of the Guru for authority,
unless you put it through the process of discriminative investigation,
the mere acceptance of it, even if true, because it suits your fancy
i.e. Vikalpa, will not make it valid for you.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988
“Clarity is the ability to see clearly three things and to understand them:
the cause, the effect and that which knows both the cause and the effect.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’
“The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components:
1. Duḥkha – What is it that I want to avoid?
2. Avidyā/Saṃyoga – Association or from where has this come?
3. Kaivalya/Viveka – Where should we be in order to be free from this association?
4. Viveka/Aṣṭāṅga– What is the way?
What is the discipline that will give Viveka, not just for a moment, but there all the time?
This is the place of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar January 9th 1999
“All (Yoga) techniques are for Viveka,
as this is the means for freedom.”
– TKV Desikachar
“The first Viveka is that I lack something.
If that urgency is not there then no technique will work.
There must be a very strong thirst.”
– TKV Desikachar
“Suffering is the starting point for the Yoga journey of four steps from:
the symptom (Duḥkha or suffering);
through to the cause (Avidyā or illusion);
to the path (Kaivalya or independence);
and the means (Aṣṭāṅga or 8 limbed path) for Viveka or discrimination.
This fourfold process is at the heart of Yoga, Āyurveda and Buddhism.”
“Yoga is about recognising change and
recognising that which recognises change.”
Krishnamacharya taught that a Samāhita Citta
was a prerequisite starting point for Meditation.
If so, how do we relate to the modern phenomenon
that a Vikṣepa Citta can be a starting point for Meditation?
Unless perhaps we discern that here it isn’t actually Meditation?
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