Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

तपः स्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः ॥१॥

tapaḥ svādhyāya-īśvara-praṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ ||1||

The activities of Yoga are
self-discipline, self-study and dedication to the lord.

tapas - to heat; religious austerity; self-discipline; pain, sufferingsvādhyāya - to study; to read; sacred recitation; study of the selfīśvara - personal god; the supreme soul; the supreme being; special self; god; lord; master, prince, king, mistress, queen; ruler of choicespraṇidhāna - profound religious meditation, abstract contemplation of; dedication; respectful conduct; behaviour towards; attention; to place down; in front ofkriyā - doing, performing, performance, occupation with, business, act, action, undertaking, activity, work, labour; bodily action, exercise of the limbs; medical treatment or practice, applying a remedy; a religious rite or ceremony, sacrificial actyoga - the act of yoking, joining, attaching, harnessing; a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance; employment, use, application, performance; a means, expedient, device, way, manner, method

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“This Sūtra introduces
what Patañjali calls Kriyā Yoga.
Kriyā in the sense of action.
Take the first step.”

“The first step consists of:
TAPAḤ
The whole system functions on the strength of mind. Mind is affected by what we eat.
‘Our mind is like our food‘.
Tapas is to discipline our eating habits.
Apart from right food, other activities like travel to holy places, giving away gifts to the needy are also part of Tapas.
SVĀDHYĀYA
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.
ĪŚVARA PRAṆIDHĀNĀ
With faith in Īśvara, the master of the whole universe, regularly offering prayers.
Whether it is Tapas, Svādhyāya or Īśvara Praṇidhānā, the power of Īśvara alone ensures success.”

Svādhyāya implies what the tradition teaches
or a teacher has taught as studies.
Thus, it does not necessarily mean that
they should read and recite Veda.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

“The means by which we obtain the
Yoga of result is the Yoga of action,
Kriyā Yoga.
While only part of Yoga,
Kriyā Yoga is the practical aspect of
Yoga which can initiate a change for
the better in the quality of our lives.”

“It is not enough to clean a vessel,
you must put something in.”

“No medicine can reduce Duḥkha,
only Kriyā Yoga.”

Kriyā Yoga means to have certain qualities in our actions.
e.g. listening to this lecture
Natural for people with a stable mind.
So something has to be done for others.”

“The order is important
– from gross to subtle,
we need one to appreciate the next.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

“Tapas is not the rejection of everything around us.
Tapas means to be able to discipline oneself.”

“So if you are too fat eat less.
If you are too thin eat more.
Tapas which harms the mind should be rejected.”

Patañjali has proposed 3 approaches to verify the indications.
Tapas – Process of action
Food, ĀsanaPrāṇāyāma.
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.”

“The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly.
Tapas –
Recognising that changing certain things enables us to see.
So to create conditions so that you recognise yourself.
Svādhyāya –
Working in the direction of rectification.
The means that will help us examine ourselves.
Īśvara Praṇidhānā –
To accept certain realities.
We may fail, things may go wrong,
so to develop a certain sense of interested detachment.
To act to the best of your ability and don’t be attached to the results.”

“Īśvara Praṇidhānā –
What is our attitude towards our own action?”

“The relationship we have developed with the fruits of our actions is Īśvara Praṇidhānā.”

“In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1 Patañjali introduces the term Kriyā Yoga,
a Yoga that anyone can practice,
as distinct from the Yoga practiced by those who devote themselves totally to Yoga,
those whose only concern in life is too reach the highest.”

Kriyā Yoga
To do – Tapas.
To examine what we did – Svādhyāya.
To accept what we did – Īśvara Praṇidhānā.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

Activities that nurture a state of Yoga involve
self-Discipline, selfInquiry and SelfAwareness.”

Tapas – the effort to reduce something.”

Svādhyāya – to look at that which helps me understand.”

Sva – To look at that
Adhyāya – Which helps me understand
– What is outside myself.
– What is inside myself.
– What is beyond myself.”

Kriyā Yoga is about how to engage with our challenges,
especially whilst feeling disengaged by them.”

“In Yoga Sutra Chapter Two, the role for
Īśvara Praṇidhānā in the Kriyā Yoga section, can
be as an appropriate Upāya for a Cikitsā situation.
Here, as one of a triad in the cultivation of helpful
lifestyle habits, its purpose is in reducing agitation.”

“There are five different ways in which the fruits described in Chapter 3 can manifest:
1. Some people are born with this ability.
2. Through taking certain herbs in a special way.
3. Chanting Mantra can change one’s state of mind.
The chanting can be very complex.
4. Austerities can bring power and change perceptions.
This is why Tapas is mentioned as a tool in Chapter Two verse 1.
Tapas needs to be linked to a purpose, so that the heat can be redirected.
There has to be reflection as well as restraint;
you have to reflect on the effect of the restraint on yourself and on others.
5. The practice of Yoga.”
– Paul Harvey on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Four verse 1

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