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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sacred Teachings) by [Shearer, Alistair]
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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Sacred Teachings) Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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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.

Review

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 256 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (March 17, 2010)
  • Publication Date: 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #822,385 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAME on October 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A group I am in is studying the book - The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda. For some reason I was not connecting with this translation. I looked for a different one on Amazon and saw this free version for the Kindle. This one is great. My subconscious can see the truth of what is being conveyed through this translator's words. When you want to read any of the great books - The Gita, Vedas, Tao... - remember to try different versions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The typos drive me nuts. As an occasional Distributed Proofreader myself, the low quality of this effort is irksome.

It's too bad we can't use kindle highlights to feed errors back to publishers.
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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
From my perspective, there is a lot to like about this book. First off, the Kindle version is available for free, so there is no financial risk in checking it out. (Note: even if you don’t have a Kindle reader, you can download free PC software from Amazon, and read it on your computer.) Secondly, because I have an affinity for Christian mysticism, I particularly vibe with Theosophist author Charles Johnston’s (1867-1931) Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)- like commentary on the Yoga Sutras. In other words, just as Cliff Hartranft puts a pop-Buddhist spin on Patanjali (see my two-star review of his “The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali”), Johnston opts for a Christianized approach. And unlike Hartranft, he provides commentary in addition to his translation.

I initially read this book forty-plus years ago, but I didn’t appreciate it then, because I was into self-willed meditation rather than obedience to (or communion with) the Divine Will, which is what Johnston emphasizes.

As I re-read it, I copied down some of Johnston’s writing I found particularly to my liking. These samples from the book will make clear his orientation:

“Union, here as always in the Scriptures of India, means union of the individual soul with the Oversoul; of the personal consciousness with the Divine Consciousness, whereby the mortal becomes immortal, and enters the Eternal. Therefore, salvation is, first, freedom from sin and the sorrow which comes from sin, and then a divine and eternal well-being, wherein the soul partakes of the being, the wisdom and glory of God.

“But the power to know and feel is immortal. What is needed is to raise it from psychical to spiritual.

“The right use of the will is the steady effort to stand in the spiritual Deity.
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