Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal…….

“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition,
teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal.

In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection,
is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity,
and still, it is a means among others!

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Each person possesses a body……

isvara

“Each person possesses a body.
Encased in the body, as it were, he goes through pain and pleasure.
The pain and pleasure through the body arises because of contact with the external world.
However such variations of pain and pleasure do not happen to one absorbed in Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 50

Patañjali lists the nine kinds of obstacles that are confronted……

antararya

“In this Sūtra,
Patañjali lists the nine kinds of obstacles that are confronted by those who,
though fit and able to meditate on Īśvara, neglect to do so.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

Patañjali does not mention this once…….

isvara

Patañjali does not mention this once.
He also says that if a person thinks about Īśvara and its presence and omnipotence
he will avoid problems and not get sick.
It sounds odd that such a practice will make you avoid sickness.
It means you will not suffer like others with the Antarāya.
You will reduce the obstacles, the suffering that accompany sickness.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

Yoga has no prerequisites except that one must have a teacher……

tkv_tk_3_1980

“Yoga has no prerequisites except that one must have a teacher
and have faith in Īśvara, the first teacher.”
T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

T Krishnamacharya on Kriyā Yoga from the Yogavallī

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters.

The first chapter called Samādhi Pādaḥ assumes the aspirant has progressed adequately to be in a state called Samāhita.

Such a person is not easily agitated.
They have a clearer perception to comprehend concepts such as Īśvara, Vairāgya.

What about others who are known as Vyutthita Citta,
a mind easily prone to agitations and distractions?

This second chapter known as Sādhana Pādaḥ caters to them.

Chapter Two verse 1 – Kriyā Yoga

“The activites of Yoga are
self discipline, self-inquiry and contemplation on the divine.”

The first step consists of:

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The three Upāya to take control of our inability to see things clearly…….

patanjali-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.

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

krishnamacharya4

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 Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters……

The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters

“The Yoga Sūtra is divided into four chapters.
The first chapter called Samādhi Pādaḥ assumes the aspirant
has progressed adequately to be in a state called Samāhita.
Such a person is not easily agitated.
They have a clearer perception to comprehend concepts such as Īśvara and Vairāgya.”
– T Krishnamacharya introduction to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One

Yoga is when the mind is completely absorbed in the great force within.

oga is when the mind is completely absorbed in the great force within

“Yoga is when the mind is completely absorbed in the great force within.”
– TKV Desikachar France August 1983

Bhakti is the mark of a certain unique relationship……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Serious practitioners of Yoga from Vedic times to the present day
emphasise that a clear mind is a prerequisite for Bhakti and
that it is only through Bhakti that the true nature of the Jīva is revealed.
Bhakti, singe minded and abiding, is the mark of a certain unique relationship
characterised by unshakeable faith, absolute trust and boundless devotion.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 30

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TKV Desikachar on Dhyānam in the Bhagavad Gītā……

srimad_bhagavad_gita

“In the Indian tradition, a Śāstra is always studied under a teacher.
It is the teacher who gives the text life and meaning
by presenting it in a manner that the student can relate to and apply in his life.
The Bhagavad Gītā offers help to those in trouble.
How its teachings can be related to our lives and taken advantage of,
is explained by TKV Desikachar in his introduction and answers to his students.”
Originally published by the KYM Darśanam May 1995

Download or view this article as a PDF

Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam……

svastikasana

”Another term for Citta Vṛtti Nirodha is Dhyānam,
the state of mind in which an individual focuses on,
visualises and remains with Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise……

svastikasana

Citta Vṛtti Nirodha, the state of mind in which no distractions arise from undesirable external stimuli and the individual is able to choose an object of focus, ideally Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 2

Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter Eight 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 Eight Theory:
Yama, Niyama and Āsana – The First Three Aṅga of Yoga
– Pages 107-115

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Different suggestions are available in our tradition to help the beginner……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Different suggestions are available in our tradition
to help the beginner arrive at the highest state of Samādhi.
For example, using the image or idol of Īśvara
in the form pleasant to the seeker or even a picture frame.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

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Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Whatever is the source of life is surely the source of freedom,
a source which knows us and cares for us.
It is everybody’s right, and is not beyond us, but within us.”
– TKV Desikachar from unedited manuscript for ‘What are We Seeking?’

When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.

IWYS_M1

“When something is understood differently from what it truly is, it is called Avidyā.
What is changing is taken to be non-changing. For example the mind.
What is subjected to decay is assumed to be pure. For example the body.
What is leading to suffering is taken to be the source of pleasure.
What is not conscious is assumed to be conscious.
All these errors in perceptions have many possibilities.
But the ultimate stage of Avidyā is to assume that we are the Masters, not Īśvara.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra C2 v5

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

All seekers of truth are therefore advised to focus, instead, only on object……

isvara

“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

There are two paths for Dhyānam Sādhana……

patanjali

According to Patañjali in the Samādhi Pādaḥ or Book One,
there are two paths for cultivating Dhyānam Sādhana.
Firstly that of Jñāna Dhyānam where the Prayatna is Viyoga.
Here the Bhāvana is to unlink from the activities of the Citta.

Secondly that of Bhakti Dhyānam where the Prayatna is Yoga.
Here the Bhāvana is to link to the stillness of the Cit.
Both Sādhana lead towards the same goal,
Kaivalya or freedom from the effects of the past.

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

svastikasana

”Yoga is a Saṃskāra in that it equips us to realise our greatest potential.
If we wish, it can prepare us for and lead us to the beatitude of the divine presence.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 1

The power of Īśvara alone ensures success……

isvara

“With faith in Īśvara, the master of the whole universe,
regularly offering prayers.
Whether it is Tapas, Svādhyāya or Īśvara Praṇidhānā,
the power of Īśvara alone ensures success.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

Through devotion and surrender to Īśvara……

Through devotion and surrender to Īśvara

“Through devotion and surrender to Īśvara
and by following the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga,
the benefits of Samādhi are realised with as little effort
as it takes to hold a pea in the palm of your hand.”
– T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 24

If you don’t know yourself how can you think of something which is……

“If you don’t know yourself how can you think of something which is more than you or higher than you?”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 29

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