The Yoga Sūtra says so much about the mind……

“The Yoga Sūtra says so much about the mind,
but little about the self.
What can be shared can be expressed,
what cannot be shared cannot be expressed.”
– TKV Desikachar

The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind……

“The Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali deals with the mind.
It examines the different functions of the mind
and provides means to modify these functions
so that it serves the person in a very constructive way.
The means by which certain qualitative changes in the mind
are brought about is called Sādhanā.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end……

“Through Śraddhā we get the Vīrya to pursue to the end
and if we hold firm to this Śraddhā we always have the Smṛti,
the memory of our original goal.
This is very important as with progress on the path to the goal,
we get distracted by or satisfied with some of the gains made
that were previously not within our capacity.
It is through Śraddhā that we have the Smṛti,
the memory of the original goal, that prevents us from being satisfied
with anything less than what we started out for.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Where does Śraddhā sit in a human being?

sraddha

“Where does Śraddhā sit in a human being?
Is it a part of the mind?
No. It is beyond the mind.
It is Śraddhā which instructs the mind.
It comes from the hidden depths of the Saṃskāra and Vāsana
to influence one’s actions.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

Our action has two foundations……

“Our action has two foundations.
One, Vidyā never leads us into trouble.
Two, Avidyā leads us into trouble
because of something we did into the past
influencing our present action.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

Often Dhyāna fails because one is not able to reach the first stage……

“Often Dhyāna fails because one is not able to reach the first stage,
the Pūrva Aṅga.
Often one wants to go to the second stage
without going through the first one,
and that is not possible.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

What is the most important aspect of Pūrva Aṅga?

Question:
What is the most important aspect of Pūrva Aṅga?
Response:
Pūrva Aṅga is essentially a process of elimination
in which we eliminate those thoughts that are not relevant.
In fact Yoga is the process of eliminating the undesirable
so we can be linked with the desirable.
It is the movement from Saṃyoga to Viyoga,
from Saguṇa to Nirguṇa.
But we must be careful how we define desirable or undesirable.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

If you are not in a hurry you will enjoy the process.

“If you are not in a hurry
you will enjoy the process.”
– TKV Desikachar

In Sūtra Three and Four the mind is operating……

“In Sūtra Three and Four the mind is operating.
In Sūtra Three the mind is the means.
In Sūtra Four the mind is the means and the boss.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

The mind depends on Cit……

“The mind depends on Cit.
It is like a stone,
it depends on Ātman or Cit to give it life.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

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

Abhyāsa

“Any Abhyāsa is only for the mind,
you cannot go beyond that point.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Satkāra – To feel better about things than in the past.

Satkāra
To feel better about things than in the past.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 14

The mind is like a fluid, which can modify into different things……

“The mind is like a fluid,
which can modify into different things.
A sense of change.
Thus restraining modifications is channelising.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2 is not Yoga Sarva 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.”
– TKV Desikachar

Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal…….

“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition,
teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal.

In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection,
is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity,
and still, it is a means among others!

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Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2 is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra…..

“Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2
is a Lakṣaṇa Sūtra in that it
describes the characteristics of Yoga
as Citta Vṛtti Nirodha.”
– TKV Desikachar

This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step…..

viniyoga

“This is what Patañjali says in that everything must be given step by step.
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6 reflects this idea.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Lightness or Sattva is not always correct…..

sattva

“Lightness or Sattva is not always correct.
Sometimes it is necessary to create
heaviness and activity for memory, etc.”
– TKV Desikachar December 1st 1979

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind……

Patañjali says that it is possible to influence the mind.
If it is left to itself things may not work out.
Why not?
Because the mind has accumulated certain things.
For instance, this could lead to prejudicing people or situations.
Therefore if we can locate that which acts in this way we will reduce problems.”
– TKV Desikachar

One should inquire onto one’s habits……

“One should inquire onto one’s habits.
Good or bad.”
TKV Desikachar Switzerland 1978

The process of Cikitsā has two parts…..

cikitsa

“The process of Cikitsā has two parts:
1. Rakṣaṇa Krama
I am healthy and don’t want to be sick.
By not doing anything there will be no Rakṣaṇam.
For example:
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 16
heyaṃ duḥkham anāgatam
I’m alright now,
but I must be careful so I don’t get sick tomorrow.
This is Rakṣaṇa Krama.”
TKV Desikachar France 1983

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So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering…..

duhkha_5

“So in many Yoga schools the beginning of change is suffering.
We find ourselves in a situation that we don’t like.
Even if we can do 500 Āsana or recite the Yoga Sūtra this suffering can be there.
It is the absence of suffering that is the measure of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar

To define the word Yoga is very difficult…..

tkv_6a

“To define the word Yoga is very difficult, as the word is so adaptable.
A starting point would be Patañjali.
Patañjali removed all the complicated definitions and simplified it to:

‘Making the best out of the most difficult object, the mind.’

His idea was to create a situation,
where the mind becomes more faithful than it is.”
– TKV Desikachar

To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools….

Patanjali_B_and_W

“To understand and refine the mind Patañjali offers some specific tools.
These tools are based on the understanding that the human system is not
a set of distinct unrelated compartments but a very closely connected structure.
What happens in one part profoundly affects every area.
Therefore if we can bring some positive changes in one area,
positive changes ensue in other parts.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold….

Āsana_4

“The purpose of Āsana and Prāṇāyāma are twofold,
to reduce symptoms of ill-health or,
to prepare the mind towards fulfilling the main emphasis of Patañjali,
which is Meditation.
However according to the teaching I have received,
both of these roles can be fulfilled with
relatively few Āsana postures and Prāṇāyāma techniques.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1996

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