Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter One Theory

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House
‘Religiousness in Yoga: Lectures on Theory and Practice’ by the University Press of America,
a transcript of recordings of a one month Yoga Programme in Colgate University in 1976, published in 1980.

Unlike the later redacted edition, re-published in 1995 as the ‘Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice’, it captures the evolution of the retreat with the days lectures and Q & A dialogues as they alternated between ‘lectures on the principles and purposes of Yoga and discussions related to the practice of Yoga with special reference to the postures and the breathing techniques’.

TKV Desikachar, in his forward to the original version wrote:

“These lectures and discussions, printed words put before persons I might never meet,
are but reflections of that deeper result that grew out of a living face-to-face encounter.
Coming to learn of Yoga only through reading leaves much to be desired.
Yet, something worthwhile about Yoga might be shared through the medium of the printed word.”

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added Yoga Sūtra verse and word cross-references to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter One Theory: The Meaning and Purpose of Yoga – Pages 1-12

 1. Origin of Yoga – Page 1

  • View
  • Source
  • Authority

2. Definition of Yoga – Pages 1-3

3. Common Points – Page 3

  • Direction
  • Goal is a personal matter

4. Prerequisites – Page 3

  • No beliefs
  • Universal concept

5. How to Start – Pages 3-4

  • Through Text/Āsana/Breath
  • Changes are effects
  • Practice must become holistic
  • Yoga Sūtra deals with all aspects

6. Why Practice – Pages 4-5

  • Desire to be better

7. Definition of Avidyā – Pages 5-6

8. How Avidyā Manifests – Pages 6-7

9. Question on Inherence of Avidyā – Page 7-8

10. Question on how to Reduce Avidyā – Page 8

11. Question on Vidyā – Pages 8-10

12. Question on Seer or Puruṣa – Page 10

13. Question on Starting Point – Pages 10-12

Follow this link for a Downloadable PDF version of  the Chapter One Study Guide.

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