Yoga Sutras

Who is Patanjali? The Compiler of the Yoga Sutras from the Vedas

  • Pat’ = fall + ‘anjali = mudra of open hands ready to receive Ādi Śeṣa (Visnu’s snake bed). Has a human body with 1000 snakes above shoulders – teaches each student separately
  • When was the Yoga Sutras compiled? – Highly disputed dates between 100 BCE and 500 CE or later – perhaps he was influenced by Buddhist thought – “Eightfold Path”?
  • Patanjali divided his Yoga Sutras into 4 chapters or books (Sanskrit pada), containing in all 195 (according to Vyāsa and Krishnamacharya) and 196 aphorisms (according to other scholars including BKS Iyengar).

Chapter 1 - Samadhi Pada (51 Sutras) – The Goal of Yoga Chapter 2 - Sadhana Pada (55 sutras) – The Practice of Yoga Chapter 3 - Vibhuti Pada (55-56?? Sutras) – The Powers Chapter 4 - Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras) – The Freedom

  • Yoga Sutras was compiled from the Yoga teachings found in the 4 Vedas: Rg Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda, and Atharva Veda
  • Śruti (Vedas) that which is heard vs. Smrti (Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, etc.) that which is memorized
Healing Body (Ayurveda), Mind (Patanjali’s Yoga), Speech (Sanskrit)

  • Patanjali is said to have compiled definitive texts on Ayurveda, Sanskrit, and Yoga for healing of (or removing suffering from) the Body, Speech, and Mind
  • His commentary on the Caraka Samhita (Ayurveda for healing the body), his “Great Commentary” (Mahābhāṣya) on Pāṇini and Kātyayana (Sanskrit grammar for healing the speech), and the compiler of the Yoga Sutras (Yoga for healing the mind)
  • Yoga focuses on Healing the Mind

Citta = Buddhi (discriminator/intellect), Ahamkara (ego), Manas (mental processor) + the 5 Indriyas (senses)

Image from the Katha Upaniad (III.3-4)

The owner/passenger is the Atman, Purusa or Cit; the Buddhi is the charioteer; the Manas is the reins on the horses; the body is the chariot; the horses are the 5 senses (indriyas); the path upon which it drives, are the sense objects (viṣayām)

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