The purpose of Vedānta is to become God…..
At an ideological level, Vedānta rejects Yoga’s idea of God as something potentially helpful,
beside that point it likewise rejects whatever is said in Yoga that does not take one toward God.
However, the Vedānta Sūtra does emphasise the importance of sitting properly for meditation
and the Bhagavad Gītā speaks of the need for proper breathing.
All the Śāstra, in fact, accept the physical discipline of Yoga.”
– TKV Desikachar Chennai July 1981
The aim is to reflect the fundamentals of Śrī Krishnamacharya’s teaching, namely, transmission occurs through the direct experience of the teacher with the students personal textual study Sādhana.
Online Modular Textual Study Programmes
Over time my online support work with Yoga practice or supervision has evolved following requests from students for online ongoing textual study, exploring specific topics or themes such as Sūtra Psychology, Haṭha Energetics, Gītā Scripture, Upaniṣat Mysticism, Sāṃkhya Philosophy and Āyurveda Lifestyle.
After much reflection as to the place of this medium as a means of Paramparā I chose to accept to work online individually with students in this area. With the support of the extensive study workbooks from my textual study group courses, this has become a means of working online 121 to facilitate access to studying texts accumulated from my decades long apprenticeship with TKV Desikachar.
Current Online Modular Textual Study Programmes on offer are:
“Holding the body steady, with the three (upper parts, chest, neck, head) erect,
causing the senses and the mind to enter the heart,
the wise person should cross by the boat of Mantra,
all the fear bringing streams of the mind.”
– Śvetāśvatara Upaniṣad Chapter 2 verse 8
A lesser known facet of the Yoga Texts and Freenotes section of the Yoga Studies Website is the Yoga Texts Saṃskṛta Word Index. It started life as word by word linked index for the online Yoga Sūtra verses offering a meaning for each word and a cross Sūtra reference resource when exploring related contexts.
However as more Yoga Related Texts were added to the online Database it was obvious that the glossary needed to expand beyond the Yoga Sūtra to include Yoga related terms from other textual sources that matched or correlated with those in the Yoga Sūtra. So the glossary has expanded to include terms from Yoga related sources such as the Sāṃkhya Kārikā, the Bhagavad Gītā, the Gītārtha Saṃgraha and Haṭha Yoga Texts, though inevitably these will expand further over time.
“na iti na iti – not this, not this”
Defining our relationship with awareness,
is an inquiry into re-defining our relationship with matter.
– Bṛhad Āraṇyaka Upaniṣat II.3.6
“In observation, try to go from Annamaya to the deeper levels.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras 1987
Veda Chanting Short Closing Prayer
In this lineage this particular dedication is a vital part of the closing process within a chant practice or textual study context and was important to and constantly used by Krishnamacharya throughout his life.
He also taught it to those of his direct students who studied chanting or the chant practices inherent in the study of associated Yoga texts with him within a traditional learning setting.
It is also called a Sāttvika Tyāga. This relates to the concept of not giving up the action, just changing your relationship with your expectations around the fruits of the action. This Bhāvana is inherent in the meaning of the chant and is linked to the teachings around the surrender of the self.
Further reflections on Krishnamacharya’s teachings on the concept of Sāttvika Tyāga within the Bhagavad Gītā will be offered within a future post.
kāyena vācā manasendriyairvā
budhyātmanā vā prakṛteḥ svabhāvāt |
karomi yadyatsakalaṃ parasmai
nārāyaṇāyeti samarpayāmi ||
sarvaṃ śrī kṛṣṇārpaṇamastu ||
” My body, speech, mind, senses,
intellect, essence, or outer and inner tendencies,
All that I will do over and over,
to the supreme Nārāyaṇa I offer.”
“All to the esteemed Kṛṣṇa I consign,
let it be so.”
Question to TKV Desikachar:
What is the relationship between diet and health?
TKV Desikachar Response:
It is a big subject. Our system has to be nourished. Food or Annam is needed. There is the Annamaya, we have a body which has to be nourished. The food we need and eat is Annam.
“Annam is that which will nourish you or that which will eat you.”
This Annam is a very interesting Saṃskṛta word. Annam is that which will nourish you or that which will eat you. The Annam or food must nourish me, it should not consume me. For this reason there is given so much importance to Annam that nourishes and Annam that will consume.
– Extract from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.
Learning Support for Chanting the Durgā Gāyatrī
– From the Taittirīya Upaniṣad Chapter 4 verse 1 Sakha Gāyatrī
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Notations
śrī kṛṣṇavāgīśa yatīśvarābhyām saṃprāpta cakrāṅkaṇa bhyāṣyasāram |
śrī nūtnaraṅgendra yatau samarpitsvam śrī kṛṣṇamāryaṃ guruvaryamīḍe |
virodhe kārtike māse śatatārā kṛtodayam yogācāryaṃ kṛṣṇamāryaṃ guruvaryamahaṃ bhaje ||
“I offer praise to one who is disciplined, Guru Śrī Krishnamacharya, whose great teachers were
Śrī Kṛṣṇa who taught him mantra and initiated him into Cakrāṅkaṇam
(the ritual of prostrating and receiving Śaṅkha, right side and Cakra left side, on the shoulders).
Śrī Vāgīśa who taught him the essence of Śrī Bhyāṣyam (Vedānta) and
Śrī Raṅganātha (Raṅgendra) who initiated him into Bharaṇyāsam
(to place at the Lord’s feet or how to surrender to God).
Born in the year Virodha, during the month of Kṛtika, under the star Śatatāra,
this teacher of Yoga, Guru Krishnamacharya I salute.”
The convention is to speak about the guruparamparā and not describe or or speak about the teacher’s contributions.
“It is not the request but where it is coming from.”
– TKV Desikachar
– TKV Desikachar from lectures on ‘The Yoga of T Krishnamacharya’, given at Zinal, Switzerland 1981.
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.
“According to my teacher,
trying to calm the agitations of the mind by reflecting on external objects
is like trying to get milk from the wattles hanging from the neck of a goat.
All seekers of truth are therefore advised to focus,
instead, only on objects that are in the realm of the divine.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 35
The word Mantra means something that we will ponder, that we will reflect upon.
That is, you go to a teacher,
they say something and I go back home and reflect upon that.
मननात् त्रायते इति मन्त्रः॥
mananāt trāyate iti mantraḥ ||
“Who reflects on this, will cross the obstacle”.
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting
Until we see through the illusion of life,
we will be unable to see,
through the illusion of life.
parāñci khāni vyatṛṇat svayambhūs
tasmāt parāṅ paśyati nāntarātman |
kaś cid dhīrah pratyagātmānam aikṣad
āvṛttacakṣur amṛtattvam icchan ||
The self born creator bored the sense openings outwards,
so the self looks out at the world rather than inwards.
A wise person, wanting to taste the state of immortality,
stops the senses from moving outwards and turns within to the essence.
Kaṭha Upaniṣaṭ 2.1.1.
Currently I have been classifying my personal collection of private recordings of Veda and Yoga Chanting made over nearly 20 years with TKV Desikachar or his senior chant student Sujaya Sridhar.
They were previously all archived on some twenty ageing and fragile cassette tapes and, with many thanks to the stalwart and painstaking sound engineer work by Christina, are now digitalised and individually itemised.
Now they have been both digitalised and cut into individual tracks I am astonished to see that there are over 200 recordings from the Veda and associated Indian and Yoga texts, along with some recordings around the Yoga Sūtra. The Veda and associated Indian textual resources draw from the textual sources listed below: