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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Paperback – September 14, 2012
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About the Author
- Publisher : Integral Yoga Publications; Reprint edition (September 14, 2012)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1938477073
- ISBN-13 : 978-1938477072
- Item Weight : 0.035 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.69 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #16,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on May 26, 2022
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This is the 3rd or 4th translation and commentary I’ve read or heard. Each interpretation uses some of the same commentary. This probably should be expected, since it is coming from the same tradition. Satchidananda seems to include more stories to help us understand the sutras better than the others I’ve seen to date.
I will note that one of the interpretations I read was in Desikachar’s “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice.” I thought Satchidananda’s interpretation was much better. In too many places, it felt to me Desikachar was watering down what he was saying to make it more palatable for Western ears. I didn’t see that with Satchidananda. Like it or not, for the most part, he sticks with what the sutra says.
I will venture to say I’ll probably be reading this a few more times.
BUT the book could have been drastically improved if Satchitananda had bothered to edit his own words.
He could easily have done this. But he did not.
I am more impressed with: The Secret of the Yoga Sutra
by Tigunait PHD, Pandit Rajmani, / Himalayan Institute Press
In total, it comprises around 196 short "Threads" (Sutras) or verses or aphorisms. These were originally written in the language of the ancient yogis, Sanskrit.
These verses are divided into four chapters named Samadhi, Sadhana, Vibhuti, and Kaivalya. The author has diligently presented them in three ways. First is the verse in Sanskrit, written in ancient Indian characters. This is followed by the verse in English letters. This is followed by a word for word English translation. Lastly, the author elaborates on the verses.
Following is a synopsis of each chapter.
Samadhi. This refers to a state of pure bliss wherein one unites with the Supreme. Samadhi is the root to the Supreme. But the root to Samadhi is by quieting the mind. Hence, Patanjali begins with the definition of yoga: yogash-chitta-vrutti-nirodhaḥ which translates as "Yoga is the cessation of mental modifications." (Mental modifications refers to thoughts - explicit and subconscious.)
Sadhana. This word means "practice" or "training." Patanjali describes Ashtanga Yoga which is a yoga practice and lifestyle that consists of eight facets or "limbs." He outlines the various procedures and requisites.
Vibhuti. This word means "supernormal power" (or psi). Patanjali describes the extraordinary powers that arise through the disciplined practice of yoga and meditation. These powers include clairvoyance, telekinesis, and omniscience. He explains that they are not the real fruits of yoga, but only a byproduct. The real fruit is what follows.
Kaivalya. Literally translated, it means "oneness", but it refers to spiritual liberation and blissful union with the Supreme.
In short, here are the benefits of yoga and meditation: good health, supernormal powers, and blissful tranquility.
Medical science has already proven the healthy rewards for one's mind and body. However, do supernormal powers really arise? Where is the evidence? The topic is not covered in this book.
But new studies of several ancient yoga texts show that ancient yogis appeared to have extraordinary knowledge of our world. These findings comprise powerful evidence that the claims of Patanjali are not nonsense. Those who practice yoga and meditation certainly do achieve some powers of psi.
Full disclosure: I'm a peer-reviewed researcher on connections between ancient yoga and modern scientific discoveries, as well as between ancient yoga and the Bible. ~ Sanjay C Patel, SanjayCPatel.com
Top reviews from other countries
A must need if you're taking Yoga to the next level!
If you’re after something that sticks closely to the text, and free from personal anecdotes, then I’d recommend Nichola Sutton’s TheYoga Sutras.
The main purpose of reading this book was to go beyond the idea which already persisted within over the period of time.
Being Yoga Practitioner for several years and India Book of Records holder for holding Janusirsana (Yoga Pose) pose for longest duration, I thought I know everything about Yoga.
This book was an eye opener.
True form manisfests itself if one desires to and I am glad to know that I know nothing about Yoga and will soak more deeply to know and experience it in its purest form.
I recommend this book to everyone out there who believes Yoga is only about physical exercises and also to ones who do not truly knows what Yoga is all about.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 29, 2022