Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1

तपः स्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः ॥१॥

tapaḥ svādhyāya-īśvara-praṇidhānāni kriyā-yogaḥ ||1||

The activities of Yoga are self-discipline, self-study and dedication to the lord.

tapas - self-disciplinesvādhyāya - self-studyīśvara - lordpraṇidhāna - dedication; to place down; in front ofkriyā - activity; bodily activity; medical treatmentyoga - the act of yoking

Commentaries and Reflections

T Krishnamacharya:

“The whole system functions on the strength of mind.
Mind is affected by what we eat.
Our mind is like our food.
Tapaḥ is to discipline our eating habits.”

“Apart from right food other activities like travel to holy places, giving away gifts to the needy are also part of Tapaḥ.”

“The study that helps us to know where we are from and what progress we have achieved. In short, our journey to our roots is Svādhyāya.

There are many means. Vedic chant where the student repeats exactly how the teacher recites the text is one. The means should respect our culture.
It must help explore our own background, our strengths and weaknesses and our progress. Even a good teacher can be a mirror, a Svādhyāya.

Svādhyāya is an inquiry into one’s true nature.”

“With faith in Īśvara, the master of the whole universe, regularly offering prayers.
Whether it is Tapas, Svadhyaya or Īśvara Praṇidhāna, the power of Īśvara alone ensures success.”

 

TKV Desikachar:

“The order is important
– from gross to subtle,
we need one to appreciate the next.”

“It is not enough to clean a vessel,
you must put something in.”

“No medicine can reduce Duḥkha,
only Kriyā Yoga.”

“Kriyā Yoga means to have certain qualities in our actions.
e.g. listening to this lecture
Natural for people with a stable mind.
So something has to be done for others.
The order is important
– from gross to subtle,
we need one to appreciate the next.”

“Tapas is not the rejection of everything around us. Tapas means to be able to discipline oneself.”

“So if you are too fat eat less.
If you are too thin eat more.
Tapas which harms the mind should be rejected.”

Patañjali has proposed 3 approaches to verify the indications.
Tapas – Process of action
Food, ĀsanaPrāṇāyāma.
You will be doing something that you will not be habitually doing.
For example one day no salt, cigarettes, Prāṇāyāma.
Tapas is from the root to create thirst.
It means to deprive.
It will tell us about ourselves.
It will reveal our Saṃskāra and Pariṇāma or changes in ourselves.
From this Tapas we will start to get an indication of our individual nature.
For example active or lazy.
Tapas indicates the the beginning of the Bheda, through the Bhāva.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

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

Tapas
Recognising that changing certain things enables us to see.
So to create conditions so that you recognise yourself.

Svādhyāya
Working in the direction of rectification.
The means that will help us examine ourselves.

Īśvara Praṇidhānā
To accept certain realities.
We may fail, things may go wrong,
so to develop a certain sense of interested detachment.
To act to the best of your ability and don’t be attached to the results.”

“Īśvara Praṇidhānā –
What is our attitude towards our own action?”

“The relationship we have developed with the fruits of our actions is Īśvara Praṇidhānā.”

“In the Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1 Patañjali introduces the term Kriyā Yoga,
a Yoga that anyone can practice,
as distinct from the Yoga practiced by those who devote themselves totally to Yoga,
those whose only concern in life is too reach the highest.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras December 20th 1988

Paul Harvey:

“Tapas – the effort to reduce something.”

Svādhyāya – to look at that which helps me understand.”