Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोधः ॥२॥

yogaḥ citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ ||2||

Yoga is the containment of the fluctuations in the psyche.

yoga - the act of yokingcitta - psyche (the totality of the human mind, conscious and unconscious); mind; heartvṛtti - fluctuation; modification; turning; set in motion, course of action, behaviour, movement; activity, function; professionnirodha - to contain, enclose; cover; confine, restrain; quell, surpress; quiesce

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“What is Yoga?
Yoga is Nirodha of the different activities and fluctuations of the mind,
the leader of the senses.
Nirodha is to completely cover.
Thus this Sūtra implies the Nirodha of involvement of the mind in objects
that distract from a chosen direction of contemplation.”

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise from undesirable external stimuli and the individual is able to choose an object of focus, ideally Īśvara.”

”Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam,
the state of mind in which an individual focuses on,
visualises and remains with Īśvara.”

“In the second and third Sūtra the means to realise Samādhi
and the true nature of Jīva were explained.
The term used in those Sūtra is Draṣṭṛ
– that which perceives and aids in perception.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 23

“The ideal Dhyānam,
which becomes easier with practice,
requires certain preparations to reduce
the tendency of the mind to be distracted,
either by being jumpy and agitated, or dull and inert.
Chief among these preparations are proper diet and Prāṇāyāma.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra in that it
describes the characteristics of Yoga
as 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.”

“Yoga has many meanings in the Bhagavad GītāUpaniṣat, Saṃskṛta Grammar, etc.
It is defined again in the Sūtra. Yoga is the movement of the mind in one direction. It presumes:
1. There is something in each of us called mind.
2. This mind has many movements or activities.
3. It is possible to channelise these movements through certain actions.
4. When we accept movement we accept time and space – moving something from A to B. There are realities.
5. In accepting Vṛtti we also accept the idea of an object.
6. We can fix the mind so it confines itself to an object.”

Cit is always the same.
Nirodha always refers to Citta.
Thus Cit is a witness.
What changes is only Citta.”

“In Yoga it is said that everything that happens is from the mind.
Citta is the mindstuff, the perceptual mechanism.
That which makes us see and remember.
Vṛtti is the activity, transformation, motion, modification, that is caused in Citta.
The mind is the main function for seeing,
without it the senses are useless.
The mind can develop words or ideas.
The mind can remember.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 8th 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

“The mind is subject to change or Pariṇāma and as such can be channelised.
Certain movements can be emphasised or de-emphasised.”

“The mind is like a fluid,
which can modify into different things.
A sense of change.
Thus restraining modifications is cnannelising.”

“Yoga is stopping the mind from becoming involved,
in activities that distract one from a chosen direction.”

Mind is not the highest point in Yoga.”

“The mind depends on Cit.
It is like a stone,
it depends on Ātman or Cit to give it life.”

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

“When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit.”

“When we say our name we relate to our mind and not Cit.
However we are not able to separate mind from Cit.
They are so close – mind and not mind.”

Nirodha is a restraining of OTHER things,
not a cessation of activity.”

Restraint is in the sense of
if I am here I am not elsewhere.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

“Yoga arises from
the containment of,
our propensity to fluctuate.”

“To experience the spaciousness of Cit,
Yoga says practice enclosing the Citta.”

“Yoga is about refining the skill in
resting in the pure awareness of the Cit,
rather than nesting in the playful nature of the Citta.”

“One of the skilful illusions within the Citta
is its ability to dress in drag so as to appear as if Cit.”

“Yoga is the experience of stillness,
within the fluctuations of mind,
rather than the experience of stillness,
of the fluctuations of mind.”

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Inspirational Quote

“The present contains nothing more than the past, and what is found in the effect is already in the cause.” Henri Louis Bergson