How can we evolve in order to change our relationship with suffering?

pratipaksa bhavana

“How can we evolve in order to change our relationship with suffering?

One important factor is replacement. The capacity to replace something within ourselves by something else will affect our relationship with suffering. If we are incapable of this then our relationship with suffering will not evolve.

For example, if we had a bad relationship with our mother in childhood this may dominate our feelings and thoughts concerning her. Every time we are reminded of this relationship the bad things come to the surface – the way she treated us, what we had to endure and so on. This is the way it happens naturally.

But we can also consider the positive things that must have come out of the relationship, the most important, for instance – the gift of life by the mother to the child. We cannot change the bad childhood experiences, but, if we can replace one way of looking at it by some new way, there may be a change in our suffering.”

– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

Attachment comes through pleasure……

panca klesa

“Attachment comes through pleasure. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure, but when we no longer have what gave us pleasure, or if there is some threat of losing it, attachment often appears.

            Negation is a tendency to resist or reject after something bad has happened. It could be a fact, an idea or whatever, but if we were not comfortable with it, we resist. There is a strong relationship between attachment and negation, like heads and tails of a coin. Strangely, the more we are attached to something the more there is a likelihood to reject it later – when what we were expecting is not forthcoming heads becomes tails!

            Fear is a very fundamental emotion which seems to have some special energy that can make it survive on its own. Fear exists independently of objects, they just give it something to fix on, like the wolf in Western fairy tales. There are two types of fear : fear of something, an earthquake, an illness, a wolf etc., and fear of losing something, a job, a loved one, prestige etc.

            Fear, negation, attachment and association either alone or together create the conditions for suffering to erupt again and again. Suffering appears, disappears and re-appears forcing us to admit that something is missing and this pushes us to seek how to find it.”

– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

We are all in the strong trap of association……

TKV_France_1999

“We are all in the strong trap of association,
where everything other than conformity is a disturbance.
It’s almost automatic.
We are unable to accept what is not consistent with the way we function
and we associate ourselves with things by projection.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

The first Saṃskāra we have is faith……

sraddha

“The first Saṃskāra we have is faith.
So even if we react against this later,
deep inside we have some faith.”
– TKV Desikachar

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Eleven 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 verse and word cross-references where possible to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter Eleven Theory: Antaraṅga Sādhana – An Introduction to the Last Four Aṅga
– Pages 145-162

read more

The first Viveka is that I lack something……

viveka

“The first Viveka is that I lack something.
If that urgency is not there then no technique will work.
There must be a very strong thirst.”
– TKV Desikachar

All (Yoga) techniques are for Viveka, as this is the means for freedom.

viveka

“All (Yoga) techniques are for Viveka,
as this is the means for freedom.”
– TKV Desikachar

Prāṇāyāma leads to this…..

Āsana_6

Prāṇāyāma leads to this.
Pratyāhāra, to see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind, and
Dhāraṇā, to see without the mind losing itself, because of colouring or expectations.
Dhyānam arises out of this.”
– TKV Desikachar

Dhāraṇā – To see without the mind losing itself

dharana

Dhāraṇā –
To see without the mind losing itself,
because of colouring or expectations.”
– TKV Desikachar

Pratyāhāra – To see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind.

pratyahara

Pratyāhāra –
To see without the senses distracting or pulling the mind.”
– TKV Desikachar

Where there is Duḥkha, there is Avidyā.

duhkha

‎”Where there is Duḥkha, there is Avidyā.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly…….

patanjali-1

तपः स्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः ॥१॥
tapaḥ svādhyāya-īśvara-praṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ |
“The activities of Yoga are self-discipline, self-study and contemplation on the divine.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

“The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly.

read more

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

kriyayoga

‎”It is not enough to clean a vessel,
you must put something in.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.

If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.

“If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

A text like the Yoga Sūtra is something so very special……

atha yoganusasanam web

“A text like the Yoga Sūtra is something so very special,
it becomes a life-companion.
It is so deep, if taken seriously,
but it can also be very shallow
if the depth of the study is not there
and if there is no application.”
– TKV Desikachar from an interview in the
Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.

Dhāraṇā is the contact, Dhyāna is the communication, further….

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Dhāraṇā is the contact.
Dhyāna is the communication. Further,
when we become so involved in an object that our mind completely merges with it,
that is called Samādhi.”
– TKV Desikachar Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Eleven Page 155