“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
Question to TKV Desikachar on Yama and Niyama:
“The idea behind Yama and Niyama is the attitude we have to the inside and outside.
If I don’t know what is true there is no question of telling the truth.
However there is the intention, because one day it may become a reality.
Even though some of these things are not there in the beginning, if the intention is sincere then one day it will become an action if conditions and our psychological state change.
Yama as telling the truth also means discretion.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
“What is unpleasant is not desired.
The response of the mind is then to move away from it.
Whether in fact such a step did prevent Duḥkha is not immediately evident.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 8
“Knowledge from the past prevails and influences me to either judge or inquire.
Assuming my knowledge and my memory and I proceed is Asmitā Kleśa.
Assuming that I may be wrong and wishing to find out more is Asmitā Jñāna.
However to hesitate completely or question everything is Asmitā Kleśa.”
– TKV Desikachar commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 6
There is always Rāga, it just depends where we are in ourselves in terms of a spectrum of being.
Thus Rāga can express itself within the spectrum of being as either a state of Jñāna Rāga
or a state of Kleśa Rāga or, as happens mostly, somewhere twixt the extremes of the two.
Either way according to TKV Desikachar’s teaching, progress is not possible without the drive of the emotional forces, they are the horses that pull the chariot.
As to which of the two paths (Jñāna Rāga or Kleśa Rāga) we find ourselves veering towards depends on our skill as a charioteer, coupled with our understanding of the nature of the forces/horses,
as well as the essential nature of the ‘food’ we ‘choose’ to feed them on.
Hence Desikachar’s quote:
“Each person has two forces Rāga and Dveṣa.
They are there to serve you, not you them.”
– TKV Desikachar on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Three verse 34
“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’.”
“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
”Nothing destroys Vāsanā,
only they become ineffective.”
– TKV Desikachar January 11th 1995
In the Yoga Sūtra, the pre-eminent text on Dhyānam within Yoga.
Book One is about the Process of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Two is about the Preparation for the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Three is about the Outcome of the practice of Dhyānam;
Book Four is about the Goal of the practice of Dhyānam.
“Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 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.
”It is not enough to clean a vessel,
you must put something in.”
– TKV Desikachar 1998 on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1
“All these Kleśa are variable in their potency.
They can be so weak, that they hardly matter.
Sometime they take a feeble form, when they can be easily contained.
If not they rise to dominance. When in domination, only one takes over.
For example in the most evolved stage when Rāga is dominant,
other Kleśa such as Dveṣa are not apparent.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 4
“If we start from Kleśa our action will be faulty.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983
There are some who are ruled by how they perceive the world as treating them.
There are others who reflect on how they are treating the world.
– Reflections on Yoga Sūtra Chapter 2 verse 15