Śraddhā in the Yoga Sūtra

“Śraddhā is essential for progress, whether in Yoga or any other endeavour.
It is a feeling that cannot be expressed or intellectually discussed.

It, however, is a feeling that is not always uncovered in every person.
When absent or weak, it is evident through the lack of stability and focus in a person.

Where present and strong, it is evident through the commitment, perseverance and enthusiasm the person exhibits. For such a person, life is meaningful.”

TKV_5

TKV Desikachar talks on Śraddhā in the light of the Yoga Sūtra at the KYM and responds to questions.

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Religiousness in Yoga Study Guide: Chapter One 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.

A chapter by chapter Study guide is offered below with added Yoga Sūtra verse and word cross-references to support a a deeper linking with the teachings within these lectures and Q & A sessions.

Chapter One Theory: The Meaning and Purpose of Yoga Pages 1-12

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Until a person has reached a state of Nirvicārā Samādhi life……

samadhi

“Until a person has reached a state of Nirvicārā Samādhi life continues to be a mystery.
Whatever he may achieve or know of the world or even of the cosmos, we are ignorant of our own self.
How little we can predict about ourselves, our future, our moods.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 47

There are two types of Yogis…….

sraddha

“There are two types of Yogis.
The first, Bubhukṣu, are Yogis who seek material benefits through Samādhi.
This Sūtra speaks about the second type, the Mumukṣu,
who do not seek material benefits.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 20

They will, at the proper time of day and in an appropriate place….

garuda

“They will, at the proper time of day and in an appropriate place,
sit and watch the idol until they can completely recall the image without having to look at it.
This ability will help the person overcome the distractions from different sources
when they sit for contemplation on Īśvara.”
T Krishnamacharya commentary on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 42

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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Dhāraṇā is about ‘finding yourself’……

Dhāraṇā is about ‘finding’ yourself.
Dhyānā is about ‘staying’ yourself.
Samādhi is about ‘losing’ yourself.
Reflection on Yoga Sūtra C3 v1-3

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

Explain and develop the context of Rṭaṃbhara in Yoga Sūtra C1 v48.

Yoga Sūtra Study Question 5.

patanjali-1

Explain and develop the context of Ṛtaṃ Bhara in Yoga Sūtra C1 verse 48.
To Download or View this Question as a PDF Study Sheet

Let us examine the Yoga Sūtra……

samyama

“Let us examine the Yoga Sūtra……
In the 3rd chapter there is the idea of Saṃyama (C3 v4) or the Sādhana of regularly involving the attention of the person towards a specific object or idea.
There are certain Sūtra which tell us of certain powers or clarity developed through Saṃyama.
When a person has reached a certain level of attention he can pursue one examination within his individual capability for a certain period of time.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

From Meditation (Dhyānam), arises Integration (Samādhi), merging the……

dhyana

From Meditation (Dhyānam),
arises Integration (Samādhi),
merging the experience of,
Moments of Containment (Nirodha Kṣana)
without Transformation (Pariṇāma).

Let us go into Siddhi, here the important word is Samādhi……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“Let us go into Siddhi, here the important word is Samādhi.
Unless we are born like that, then it’s a Siddhi, Samādhi is a Siddhi.
When we are in a state of absorption in something we are in Samādhi.
After which we appreciate the object in question and understand it more clearly.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

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