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Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali Paperback – March 2, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)

From the Inside Flap

Dating from about the third century A.D., the "Yoga Sutra distills the essence of the physical and spiritual discipline of yoga into fewer than two hundred brief aphorisms. It is the core text for any study of meditative practice, revered for centuries for its brilliant analysis of mental states and of the process by which inner liberation is achieved. Yet its difficulties are legendary, and until now, no translation has made it fully accessible.


This new translation, hailed by "Yoga Journal for its "unsurpassed readability," is by one of the leading Sanskrit scholars of our time, whose "Bhagavad Gita has become a recognized classic. It includes an introduction to the philosophy and psychology underlying the "Yoga Sutra, the full text with explanatory commentary, and a glossary of key terms in Sanskrit and English.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 2, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553374281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553374285
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The main strength of this book is in the late Professor Miller's Introduction which is lucid and insightful in identifying and placing Patanjali's Yoga Sutras for the general reader. The weakness is in Miller's use of certain non-yogic and sometimes misleading terms in her translation, usage which stems from her position as an academic of yoga and not a practitioner. Sometimes she translates words that probably should not be translated since there are no real English equivalents--for example, "samadhi" itself. And sometimes she uses what I would consider not the most agreeable English equivalent.

Her use of the word "spirit" in the third aphorism is an example: "When thought ceases, the spirit stands in its true identity as observer to the world." The Sanskrit word she is translating is "drashtri" which is usually "seer" although it can also mean "soul," according to B.K.S. Iyengar. When one reads the next aphorism, "Otherwise, the observer [seer] identifies with the turnings of thought" it becomes clear that the seer is not spirit; indeed "spirit" is a confusing word in this context since it has no clear cognate in the dualistic yoga philosophy. The closest equivalent would be "purusha" but that would be inappropriate since that refers to the entire non-material consciousness (as opposed to "prakriti," which is what is manifested). Perhaps I should simply say that "soul" in yogic philosophy is not the same thing as "spirit."

Another example would be her translation of vairagya in I.15 as "dispassion" which is technically correct but misses the larger meaning of the non-attachment that comes from renunciation, which is the point of the aphorism.

I could also quibble with her use of the word "contemplation" as the equivalent of the Sanskrit "samadhi.
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Format: Paperback
The *Yoga Sutras* is an ancient Indian text attributed to the sage Patanjali. They discuss "yoga" in the deep spiritual sense-- not the physical exercises of Hatha Yoga, but the essential techniques of stilling the mind and achieving spiritual illumination. The objective, almost scientific, treatment of *Yoga Sutras* presents the reader with an anatomy of consciousness itself, as well as an atlas of the highest human possibilities. Prof. Miller's translations make this esoteric text readily available to the modern reader. Her translation is lucid and easy to read, without sacrificing any of the wisdom or precision of the text itself. I would recommend this book to any one who takes seriously the idea of spiritual work and the goal of spiritual transformation.
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In a time when we should recognize the whispers of past genius in order to make our journey into the future, tis book is one of many helping me to make my way to Divinity!
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I think this would be a wonderful starting point for anyone who is just starting to explore the Yoga Sutras. The writing is clear and concise. Without Sanskrit and organized for simplicity , this might be a good jumping off point for a beginner or just another point of view to add to an ever increasing number of commentaries on this age old wisdom tradition
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Yoga Discipline of Freedom is a great book to learn about the Yoga Sutras. It is easy to read and understand. I recommend!
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It will enhacwe my understanding of the mind and body psychology. What a wonderful material at my disposable? It was well handled and delivered.
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I got this book for a class I was taking. This book is very small and doesn't have much in it, but it is rather informative.
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Yoga is a great way to relax. This was ordered for a religion class. This is a good book about Yoga.
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