Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I……

sraddha

“In the Yogavallī, T Krishnamacharya’s commentary on the Yoga Sūtra,
Śraddhā has been seen in a different, very interesting way.
In it, he has said that Śraddhā is a symbol for a special meditation
and he calls this meditation, Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.
Aham is the I, Graha is to grasp and Upāsana is to stay near.
Where a person wants to grasp the true nature of the I,
it is called Ahaṃ Graha Upāsana.”
– TKV Desikachar on Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

The aim in Yoga is to train ourselves so that we can modify inhalation or exhalation……

seated_pranayama_2

“The aim in Yoga is to train ourselves so that we can modify
inhalation or exhalation and hold the breath to meet a demand.
That is why we develop different ratios.
If these things can be done,
and if we need a particular ratio,
it is in our pocket.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 173

The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components….

Patanjali_3

“The arrangement of Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two involves four components:
1. Duḥkha
What is it that I want to avoid?
2. Avidyā/Saṃyoga
Association or from where has this come?
3. Kaivalya/Viveka
Where should we be in order to be free from this association?
4. Viveka/Aṣṭāṅga
What is the way?
What is the discipline that will give Viveka,
not just for a moment, but there all the time?
This is the place of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar January 9th 1999

A quiet mind can be told where to go……

TKV_5

‎”A busy mind is always telling you where to go.
A quiet mind can be told where to go.”
– TKV Desikachar January 2nd 1998

The movement of life is a pilgrimage of the body……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“The movement of life is a pilgrimage of the body
and cannot be accomplished without action.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 8

Nothing destroys Vāsanā, only they become ineffective.

vasana

‎”Nothing destroys Vāsanā,
only they become ineffective.”
– TKV Desikachar January 11th 1995

Everything we do has an origin.

vasana

“Everything we do has an origin.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

But Saṃskāra can be fed by Vāsanā.

vasana

“But Saṃskāra can be fed by Vāsanā.”
– TKV Desikachar January 12th 1995

What factors promote favourable Saṃskāra?

samskara

“What factors promote favourable Saṃskāra?”
– TKV Desikachar January 10th 1995

We can have two opposite Saṃskāra, but only one can act at any one time.

samskara

“We can have two opposite Saṃskāra,
but only one can act at any one time.”
– TKV Desikachar January 12th 1995

Saṃskāra is so powerful, it can lead you to act without thinking.

samskara

Saṃskāra is so powerful,
it can lead you to act without thinking.”
– TKV Desikachar 1995

Karma is the means to know oneself.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Karma is the means to know oneself.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Four verse 17

Before I inquire into who am I, I must first look at who I am.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“Before I inquire into who am I,
I must first look at who I am.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 20

Jñānam is the wisdom of ‘I am that’……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Jñānam is the wisdom of ‘I am that’.
Vijñānam is the discernment that ‘I am not this’ ‘I am not that’.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Seven verse 2

We may have intellectual Vidyā, but in reality we follow……

avidya

“We may have intellectual Vidyā,
but in reality we follow some deeper force of Avidyā.”
Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 3
– TKV Desikachar January 1997

Sometimes our ideas about the object are so strong that we give up……

samkirna

“Sometimes our ideas about the object are so strong that,
we give up trying to see the object and just look at our ideas.”
– TKV Desikachar Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

There are three responses to suffering……

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

“There are three responses to suffering:
– to pacify
– to resolve
– to dissolve
It is the level of suffering that will determine the response.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

A good deal of suffering stems from the fact that we often take one moment for the whole story……

duhkha_5

“A good deal of suffering stems from the fact that we often take one moment for the whole story. A particular action done by someone at a particular moment should not be confused with the whole person. The person may have made a mistake and done some wrong, but there were surely other moments, other actions which brought some good.

We should never try to ignore suffering, but we can try to relativize it, see it in a wider context. If the shoe pinches, we should try to find out where it pinches, but also look at the good points. We don’t have to throw it away….”

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

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?’

We need to evolve……

TKV_France_1999

“We need to evolve.
Evolution is like a river.
When we see the river at the source the water is so clean, so pure, almost blue.
As it comes closer and closer to the ocean it becomes a different river,
we don’t want to go near it because it is so dirty.
This is the natural flow, from up to down.
But where does this river get its water from?
It comes from the snow up in the mountains.
Where does the snow come from?
From the clouds. Where do these clouds come from?
From the ocean where all the dirty water goes.
There is some magic which is done in the ocean.
It can absorb all this dirt and gives such fresh water.
In our tradition, they say that when things get too dirty,
when disorder comes to a limit, when suffering is too widespread,
something will happen.”
– 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?’

Our goals are not always to strive for what we cannot do.

seated_pranayama_2

“Our goals are not always to strive for what we cannot do.”
– TKV Desikachar ‘Choosing a Ratio and the proper technique for Prāṇāyāma’
Religiousness in Yoga Chapter Twelve Page 171

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

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