The Yoga Sutras are a collection of aphorisms, which is said to be the essence of yoga. They present a philosophical and spiritual path for self-realization and liberation through meditation and introspection.
The yoga sutras of patanjali pdf are a set of Sanskrit texts that form the foundation of classical yoga practice. They contain philosophical and spiritual teachings, which describe the nature of the universe, its constituents, and how it is structured.
Yoga is mentioned in many ancient sacred texts, including the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. But no other sacred text of antiquity was as specialized in the philosophy of yoga as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Lord Shiva, Adiyoga, or the first yogi, shared yoga with the Sapta Rishi, seven sages, who then created the seven great schools of yoga. These schools have spread into hundreds of forms of yoga.
Patanjali brought back the pieces and joined them together to shine the true meaning of yoga, channeling his talent in Sanskrit and creating the Yoga Sutras. Although the Sutras are often associated with classical Raja, or royal, yoga, the philosophy and teachings are inspiring and uplifting for all yogis.
atha yogā ‘nuśāsanaṃ – well, the teaching of yoga ~ Yoga Sutras 1.1.
The Story of Patanjali
Although he is considered the father of modern yoga, Patanjali seems to have preferred anonymity. The story surrounding his life is largely speculative.
Patanjali may have lived in the first century BC. Chr., or perhaps in the 100s and 200s AD. Chr. There is an ongoing debate as to whether the Yoga Sutras are the joint work of different authors of Patanjali. However, Patanjali was most likely a yogi who lived in the mountains of northern India about two thousand years ago. (It is interesting to note that Patanjali was revered as a Hindu saint in the age of bhakti, or piety, in India, about 1000 years after his birth and writing of the Yoga Sutras).
According to legend, while meditating, Lord Adizes (Lord of the Snakes) received a vision from Gonika, a devoted yogini who prayed for a son worthy to pass on his knowledge and wisdom. At that moment Honika, thinking his life was over, took a handful of water and prayed to the sun god for his son. When she opened her eyes, there was a small snake in her palms that had taken on a human form. She called the little man Patanjali; Pata means falling and Anjali means joining hands in prayer.
Patanjali has represented the snake because it is the symbol of unspoken energy; for as long as the snake does not move, one is unaware of what it is.
The sutras, meaning threads, are elegant and concise threads of knowledge that allow you to explore the fundamental meaning of yoga. There is an ongoing debate as to whether yogis can benefit equally from English translations of the sutras, or whether they should read them in their original Sanskrit versions. There is also disagreement about whether the third chapter, sutras 21/22, are redundant, and whether there should be 195 or 196 sutras.
The sutras are divided into four chapters or pads: samadhi, sadhana, vibhuti and kaivalya.
The first chapter deals with enlightenment, focusing on concentration and meditation.
Sutra 51 is about the process of becoming one. The sutras give a definition of yoga, the obstacles to the realization of yoga, the goal of yoga, the meaning of abhyasa (continuous practice) and vairagya (detachment from material experience).
The second chapter is devoted to practice. The pits and the eight-legged yoga system are introduced.
The 54/55 sutras describe karma, kriya yoga, ashtanga yoga and the first six parts of the eight limbs of yoga.
The third chapter deals with the results, the power and the manifestation after the union has been established.
The 56 sutras explain the last two limbs, dhyana and samahdi, and introduce the power to activate the last three limbs simultaneously. The beginning of the chapter emphasizes the ability of yoga to strengthen the mind.
The last chapter deals with liberation, or moksha. The 34 sutras explain liberation and what can be achieved with the mind. The last chapter deals with total, unconditional and absolute liberation.
Although it is recommended to read all the sutras, it is sufficient to read and do one sutra in your life. The sutras are tools for developing inner experience and elevating the mind. The practice leads to wisdom and the ability to allow the present moment to be guided by the inner light, or Atha.
What are your favorite sutras? What do the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teach? Share it with us below!
The yoga sutras text is an ancient Indian scripture that was written by Patanjali. It contains the essence of all yoga practices and has been translated into over 200 languages.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 Yoga Sutras?
The Yoga Sutras are a collection of aphorisms on yoga, its goals, and how to achieve them. They were compiled by the Hindu sage Patanjali in the 2nd century CE.
What are the first four yoga sutras?
The first four yoga sutras are as follows: 1. Yamas – non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing 2. Niyamas – cleanliness, contentment, self-study 3. Asanas – postures 4. Pranayama – breath control
What are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and what is their purpose?
Patanjali is a Sanskrit word that means one who has taken the path of truth or a person who has realized the highest truth. The Yoga Sutras are a collection of aphorisms from Patanjali. They were compiled in the 2nd century CE and have been influential in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism.
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