Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
yogaḥ citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ ||2||
Yoga is the containment of the fluctuations in the psyche.yoga - the act of yoking, joining, attaching, harnessing; a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance; employment, use, application, performance; a means, expedient, device, way, manner, methodcitta - 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; profession, mode of life or conduct, course of action, behaviournirodha - 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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 23
Commentary by TKV Desikachar:
“Yoga has many meanings in the Bhagavad Gītā, Upaniṣat, 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.”
“Yoga is stopping the mind from becoming involved,
in activities that distract one from a chosen direction.”
“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.”