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

Meditation must elevate the mind.

dhyana

Meditation must elevate the mind.
That is its basic purpose, to be where I was not.
This involves an ascent of the individual’s mind.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

According to Patañjali even when you have something in front of you……

uparaga

“According to Patañjali,
even when you have something in front of you,
you may not see it.
Even when you don’t have something in front of you,
but you want to see it,
you will see it.
Everything depends on YOU.”
TKV Desikachar Madras 1988

All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga……

dhyana
“All models for meditation have a preliminary step, Pūrva Aṅga,
in which one does things which lead to a situation where Dhyāna may be possible.
Dhyāna, then, the ability to pursue and fix a question,
also requires Pūrva Aṅga, preparation.”

“Proper preparation can involve eliminating divisive forces and
making certain the person is ready for the work.”

“Not everyone needs Pūrva Aṅga.
Some extraordinary people, because of merits in the past,
do not need this preparation. Quite a few examples exist.
However, if we try to emulate them we are in trouble.”

“We must recognise the necessity of preparation,
the need to work so we can come to a level where we are able to fix the question.”

“Thus, the ability to fix the question is a requisite for Dhyāna.
One who cannot is not ready for meditation.”

“One need not fix the question first.
Instead, one must do the preliminary preparation.
If that is done properly, one does not have to decide: the question will come.
You just rise to the level where questioning is possible.”

“Sometimes, a question may arise when you are not ready.
How to reach the question requires preliminaries,
for there must be a freshness in your approach.
If the approach is habitual, the response will be wrong.”

“When we equip ourselves better,
we will know the right question.
Only then can we say,
‘It is MY question’.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have…..

dhyana

“Any model for Meditation presented in this Tradition will have:
1. Preliminaries.
2. Peak.
3. Descent.”

“The preliminaries are very important,
especially in isolating one object for meditation.”

“How ineffective one’s meditation will be if one thinks he or she can start at the peak.”

“In Meditation, one needs time for the preliminaries;
then the actual meditation may be short because the mind is ready.”

“From Pūrva Aṅga,
one goes into a state of Dhyāna,
and then must come out.
One must have the means to come out of that state.”

“The length of time for each step of the meditation model is variable.
However, the preparation is linked to the exact character and evolution of Dhyāna.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?

tapas devanagari

Question to TKV Desikachar:
How rigorous should we be in the practice of Tapas?
Tapas is not the rejection of everything around us.
In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1,
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.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988

Dhyāna is not simply to still the mind……

kedarnath11_jpg

Dhyāna is not simply to still the mind.
It involves our ability to reflect afresh,
to discover what we had not known before.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 27th 1988

Who in you linked breath to body movement?

Desikachar_France_1999

“A question:
Who in you linked breath to body movement?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

Who regulates your Yoga Practice?

Desikachar_France_1999

“I would like to put to you a question asked me by my teacher:
Who regulates your Yoga Practice?
Although I was given that question some twenty years ago, I still have no answer for it”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.

Āsana_25a

“The first step in the practice of Āsana is the linking of the mind to movement and breath.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 26th 1988

How can we slow down the ‘I’ when pursuing a question?

TKV Desikachar teaching at Gaunts House

Question to TKV Desikachar:
How can we slow down the ‘I’ when pursuing a question?

“Don’t attempt to do two things at the same time. You should not pursue the question if you are trying to slow down the ‘I’. If you can’t slow down the ‘I’ or pursue a single question, then come back and start again.
One needs also to ask whether the question is important: how can I not pursue it?
And if one still can’t pursue the question, then perhaps one needs to wait and spend some time preparing oneself.
So, if there is a problem in pursuing a question, either the question is not important or the ‘I’ is not ready for it.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988

When we look at things, memory always intrudes……

samadhi

“When we look at things, memory always intrudes.
To see clearly,
we need to be in that state described in the Yoga Sutra in Chapter One verse 43.
In such a state, memory dies, imagination vanishes,
then we can see the reality of the object.
This state is Samādhi.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 21st 1988

Is belief in God a must for the success of Dhyāna?

dhyana

“Is belief in God a must for the success of Dhyāna?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

The Hindu Veda classify Dhyāna into three major but not water-tight divisions……

garuda

“The Hindu Veda classify Dhyāna into three major but not water-tight divisions:

1. Karma – actions, the details, precise actions and results of rituals, such as the how and where you sit; considered most important for  Dhyāna.

2. Jñāna – inquiry, into anything from the lowest to the highest, such as God, myself, Prāṇa, Brahma, etc; recognising absolutely one object of inquiry, not many.

3. Bhakti – trying to connect myself with the highest force; to accept the absolute power of God – that he is Master and Teacher, the only reality.

Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra, the definitive text on Yoga, classifies Dhyāna in different yet similar terms.”

TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

Patañjali’s view is close to that of the Veda, but there are significant differences……

patanjali-1

Patañjali’s view is close to that of the Veda,
but there are significant differences such that the highest teaching of the Veda,
which is for this life and beyond this life,
cannot accept the teachings of Yoga which are for this life only.

So Hinduism rejects Yoga,
especially since Yoga does not insist on faith or belief in God.
But Hindus, so conditioned to being Hindu,
do Yoga as Hindus and therefore act in ways not consistent with Yoga teaching.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two Patañjali introduces the term Kriyā Yoga……

kriyayoga

“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.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna from infatuation……

d_paris_1999

Question by TKV:
“How can we distinguish the actual state of Dhyāna
from infatuation with an object that pleases and fills the mind?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 24th 1988

The Yoga Sūtra in Chapter Four verse One indicate five ways to reach the……

samadhi

The Yoga Sūtra in Chapter Four verse One indicate five ways to reach the highest.
The fifth is the most laboured because we must start from the bottom.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

In meditation, one must make the transition from the gross……

dhyana

“In meditation, one must make the transition from the gross,
that which has form and which can be seen by the mind,
to the subtle, the formless.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

The belief that the individual can be his or her own teacher is one point of view.

guru

“The belief that the individual can be his or her own teacher is one point of view.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Meditation also depends on the meditator.

dhyata

Meditation also depends on the meditator.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

Dhyāna, the Saṃskṛta word for Meditation, means the link between “I” and……

dhyana

Dhyāna, the Saṃskṛta word for Meditation,
means the link between “I” and a particular question,
and the absence of links in other directions.
It pre-supposes that the “I” is equipped to be linked,
is conscious enough that a link is possible.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

What happens to the “I” in Dhyāna?

dhyana

“What happens to the “I” in Dhyāna?”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

I do not believe it is possible to teach meditation in a group situation……

dhyana

“I do not believe it is possible to teach meditation in a group situation,
but I hope I am wrong.”
TKV Desikachar Madras December 19th 1988

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