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