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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sacred Teachings) [Kindle Edition]

Alistair Shearer
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $5.90
Kindle Price: $5.04
You Save: $0.86 (15%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Kindle Edition, March 24, 2010 $5.04  
Hardcover $13.61  
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Book Description

“A wonderful translation, full of contemporary insight yet luminous with eternal truth.”—Jacob Needleman

The Yoga Sutras were cast in their present form in India around the third century b.c. Yoga is from the Sanskrit root meaning “union,” and a sutra is a thread or aphoristic verse. The basic questions “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” “What is the purpose of life?” are asked by each new generation, and Patanjali’s answers form one of the oldest and most vibrant spiritual texts in the world. He explains what yoga is, how it works, and exactly how to purify the mind and let it settle into absolute stillness. This stillness is our own Self. It is the indispensable ground for Enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal of all our aspirations.

Alistair Shearer’s lucid introduction and superb translation, fully preserving Patanjali’s jewel-like style, bring these ancient but vital teachings to those who seek the path of self-knowledge today.

Bell Tower’s series, Sacred Teachings, offers essential spiritual classics from all traditions. May each book become a trusted companion on the way of truth, encouraging readers to study the wisdom of the ages and put it into practice each day.

From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third installment in Bell Tower's attractively packaged Sacred Teachings series, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offers a modern translation of a 2,300-year-old Indian meditation text. Translator Alistair Shearer gives a somewhat ethereal introduction ("Yoga is the transformation into the Divine, and of the Divine into everything") that is too long-winded at 80-odd pages. Still, the sutras are beautifully rendered.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Shearer's luminous rendering sings with timeless beauty and force." -- Parabola, Summer 2002

Product Details

  • File Size: 166 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (March 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003CNQ4N4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,314 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 127 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging translation but not the best commentary October 17, 2003
This book was first published in London in 1982 as Effortless Being: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I assume the translation of the sutras is the same while Shearer, who is a disciple of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, has updated his Introduction. The text is presented in a sky blue color that is easy on the eyes and does not distract from the meaning of the words. The design by Barbara Sturman is indeed very attractive while the small size of the book (4.75 by 6.25 by 0.75 inches) makes for easy portability.

The translation itself takes up about one-third of the book while Shearer's commentary takes up most of the rest. The translation is strikingly original and interpretative. Patanjali's famous first line, which I recall most agreeably as "Now, instruction in yoga" (which I have from Ernest Egerton Wood's Practical Yoga, 1948) is presented as "And now the teaching on yoga begins." B.K.S. Iyengar, in his Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1993), which I highly recommend in addition to this book, has "With prayers for divine blessings, now begins an exposition of the sacred art of yoga."

Clearly the differences with this first line are mainly stylistic with Iyengar emphasizing a spiritual and religious tone while Wood's aim was to reflect Patanjali's succinct style, with Shearer looking for lucidity and an affinity with the modern English expression. But let's look at the second sutra. Shearer's "Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence" is very pretty, and when one realizes that "silence" to Shearer is akin to godliness (he quotes Meister Eckhart on page 24: "Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence"), it works in a symbolic sense as well. Professor Wood's "Yoga is the control of the ideas in the mind" places a very different emphasis.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!! January 27, 2003
An excellent translation and commentary. This book should be ranked with commentaries of yoga masters such as McAfee's "Beyond the Siddhis" and Satchidananda's "Yoga Sutras", as one of the best books available on Patanjali's sutras. It is well written, focused, easily understood and goes to the core of the sutras - self understanding, with great insight. Shearer has done a great job.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By Henry T
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an enlightening translation of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

This book is easy to read and contemplate on. The English word choices are

thoughtful and consistent. Mr. Shearer also writes a wonderful introduction

to the translated text. I once attended a philosophy lecture on Yoga by a college professor who claimed mastery of Tantric Yoga and the Sanskrit language. During lecture, he commented that the Sutras of Patanjali were difficult and "certainly not bed time reading material." I couldn't have disagreed more with the Professor knowing that Mr. Shearer's translation is easy to read, assimilate, and makes wonderful reading anytime night or day, as I have done many, many times.

I recommend this translation to my Yoga students and I also give it as gifts. Enjoy!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eastern Wisdom April 22, 2006
Great translation of the timeless and pricelss wisdom of the Yoga Sutra. Yoga seems to be very popular in the physical senses of society today, however the Yoga Sutras speak of the holism of yoga and not just the posture and breathing that yoga is thought of in the popular circles. Great book and application of it will allow you to find peace and tranquility by detaching from the chaotic mind(ego).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous March 23, 2008
By Shauna
You can tell from the very beginning that this translation was done by someone who personally understands the meaning of the sutras. And the introduction itself is worth the price of the book -- it's a perfect primer for anyone wanting to learn more about the mysterious path to the Divine.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wrong reviews July 29, 2013
Most of the reviews listed under this book are for another book - the Yoga Sutras as translated by Alistair Shearer. I'm surprised that Amazon has not noticed this and corrected it already.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alistair's Yoga Sutras February 4, 2009
This little gem is a great beginning for a newcomer to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. It is easy to read, and organized in a nice way. It can aide the study of the sutras when studied along with other more detailed Sutra translations (such as BKS Iyengar's Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.) My husband, a non-yogi, picked this book up from the bed, whereas he never picked up Iyengar's version. It is easy to read, accessible to a novice, and a more poetic and simple to understand translation. For those diehards who are studying every translation on the sutras possible, I suggest Prof. Edwin Bryants'new translation on the Sutras.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect translation for my Teacher Training Program March 3, 2009
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali can be heavy material for the new yogi/yogini. When I came across this version, I found it to be the perfect translation of the sacred teachings for the students of my teacher training program. Succinct and easy to read, Shearer's trasnlation is the perfect compliment to any student's further yoga studies. Tracey L. Ulshafer, author "Butterfly"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good translation and great price.
Published 4 days ago by snowcat777
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting commentary
Wish it included the original Sanskrit pronunciation of the sutra. Otherwise nice reference for adding to my library of yoga books.
Published 18 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome book. ♡♥
Published 4 months ago by Olga Isela Perez Pena
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing book
This book opened horizons for me and freed my soul about 20 years ago. I was raised Catholic and there are many principles in common in this book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. V. Atencio
5.0 out of 5 stars Searching for your inner, deeper self
I am yoga teacher and during my training, "Yoga Sutras" by Patanjali were my required reading. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Eugenia
5.0 out of 5 stars Spirtual Guidance
It should be required reading, it is plain and simple. If you comprehend spirtual intuition it makes good sense. It teaches how to truly see.
Published 6 months ago by D.W.Dillberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential text
Anyone serious about yoga must go beyond the poses and integrate this wisdom into their practice. Even try several different translations. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sandra Conn
4.0 out of 5 stars The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is a book my yoga teacher uses to give understandable insight to these ancient sutras.
I enjoyed it so much, I had to have a copy of my own. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Charlotte Sego
1.0 out of 5 stars Not very close at all to Patanjali
I ordered this as a different perspective to Patanjali but it's really generic and not even close to the meaning?
Published 11 months ago by Dan Walters
5.0 out of 5 stars Always happy with Amazon orders!
Arrived quickly, perfect condition, very pleased!
I ordered this book for a yoga teacher training I will be attending next week.
Published 15 months ago by Kimberly
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