The first Sūtra also acts as a key for the memory to link all the Yoga……

atha

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥

atha yoga-anu-śāsanam

“Now follow the teachings of Yoga.”

Atha – Now in the sense of nowness.
By convention let there be something auspicious.
The Sūtra are different in the sense of not having a prayer dedication in the first Sūtra.
Thus Atha fills this role.
Particularly the letter ‘A’ which is a dedication.

“Of sounds I am the first letter A.”
Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Ten verse 33

Now I am going to tell you something about Yoga.
A serious discussion as you, the students, are ready.
This also refers to the student’s previous attempts at learning, which will now be clarified.

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Yoga directs the mind to what is happening now.

atha

“Yoga directs the mind to what is happening now.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 4

The study of Yoga is a vast undertaking that requires sustained effort……

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Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१॥
atha yogānuśāsanam
Now follow the teachings of Yoga.
– Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

“The study of Yoga is a vast undertaking that requires sustained effort and guidance. The term Atha signifies auspicious beginning, uninterrupted continuity, and an appropriate end.

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The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“The Saṃskāra of Yoga prepares one for Ātma Vidyā and is open to everyone.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

The students learned and experienced the teachings in their own lives

tkv_tk_1980

“The students in turn, learned and experienced the teachings in their own lives,
and thus became competent to teach.
In this way the lineage of teachers is established.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.

tk5_1980

‎”Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

The term Atha signifies auspicious beginning, uninterrupted continuity and an appropriate end.

tk2_chanting_1980

T Krishnamacharya Chanting aged 92

‎”The term Atha signifies auspicious beginning, uninterrupted continuity and an appropriate end.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

Another aspect of Atha is Saṃkalpa……

tk_pb_web
‎”Another aspect of Atha is Saṃkalpa, which in the Vedic Tradition is the decision to initiate something important and to ensure that it is completed at any cost, without distraction or deviation.”
– T Krishnamacharya commenting on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

Extract from Module One Yoga Sūtra Study Workshop

Yoga Teachings on Emotions, Mind, Body and Energy

Chapter One has 51 Sūtra and is called SAMĀDHI PĀDAḤ or the Path to Integrating the Psyche.

This first chapter introduces the psyche, its activities, practices required for change and the possibilities for practice according to the inherent abilities of the practitioner. This chapter is for a student who already has a quality of a Samāhīta Citta or a stable psyche.

– Primary concepts in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

Theme One verses 1-11 – Cit and Citta

  • v1-4 – Definition and Purpose of Yoga
  • v5 – 11 – Activities of the Citta or Psyche

Theme Two verses 12-22 – Jñāna and Śraddhā

  • v12 – 19 – Meditation or Dhyānam as Jñāna Yoga
  • v20 – 22 – The role of Śraddhā

Theme Three verses 23-39 – Bhakti and Eka Tattva

  • v23 – 31 – Meditation or Dhyānam as Bhakti Yoga
  • v32 – 39 – Short Term Meditational Strategies

Theme Four verses 40-51 – Sabīja and Nirbīja Samādhi

  • v40 – 46 – Refinement of Dhyānam
  • v47 – 51 – Final Steps
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Summarise the first four verses of Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra……

Yoga Sūtra Study Question 1.

patanjali-1

The first four verses of Chapter One of the Yoga Sūtra are said to encapsulate the essence of the whole chapter.
Summarise them in a way so as to interest someone who knows little about Yoga.
To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

The first four verses in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One are very significant……

The first four verses in the Yoga Sūtra Chapter One are very significant.

If what is offered here interests then proceed.

Also the first four Sūtra summarise the whole thrust of the teaching.

  • Verse 1. Starting Point.
  • Now follow the teachings of Yoga.
  • Verse 2. Goal and Means.
  • Yoga is the containment of fluctuations in the psyche.
  • Verse 3. Outcome.
  • Then the seer abides in its own character.
  • Verse 4. Obstacles.
  • At other times there is identification with the fluctuations.

Yogena Yogo – Opening Yoga Prayer for Yoga Practice with Translation

CHANT IN PRAISE OF YOGA

Chant from Vyāsa’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6.

yogena yogo jñātavyo

yogo yogāt pravartate  |

yo’prama tastu yogena

sa yoge ramate ciram  | |

“Only through Yoga Yoga is known,

Only through Yoga Yoga arises.

One who is diligent with Yoga,

Enjoys Yoga for a long time.”

 View or download this post as a PDF with chant notations.

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam relative to Patañjali.

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