Kkishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram (KYM) was found by TKV Desikachar in 1976 to propagate the teachings of his father Yogi T Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), who was one of the greatest exponents of Yoga in the last millennium. KYM is today a multi – department Yoga institute, recognized by the Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of Tamilnadu. KYM functions as a non – profit Public Charitable Trust, which is certified as ISO 9001 : 2008 organization. Yoga therapy constitutes the vital part of KYM's work. Apart from this , yoga certificate programs, research & publication, outreach program for corporate and underprivileged people also form part of KYM' s work.
I salute with folded hands, the greatest among the seers, Patanjali who removed the impurities of the mind, speech and the body by composing texts on yoga grammar and medicine respectively.
This is the traditional invocatory verse addressed to Sage Patanjali. Practitioners world over revere Patanjali, the author of Yoga – sutra – s, for his peerless contribution towards the welfare of humanity.
Yoga – sutra-s are studied, interpreted and discussed widely. But very little is known about the author, Patanjali. Patanjali is believed to be the incarnation of Sesa, the great mythological serpent who supports the whole world on his thousand hoods. Mythology also has it that it is up on Sesa that Lord Visnu reclines Beyond this very little is known about Patanjali.
Ramabhadra Diksita, a great grammarian and poet, who belonged to Tamilnadau, wrote in the 17th century, a text on the life of Patanjali, called Patanjalicaritam.' The text contains 8 chapters and approximately six hundred verses. The Sanskrit verses were published by Nirnaya Sagar Press, Bombay, in 1895. This is a poetic work. The story presented by Ramabhadra is an admixture of traditionally known ideas and poet's imagination.
The current Sanskrit prose adaptation with English translation of the poetic work of Ramabhadra was attempted because the poetic version is replete with many incidental elaborate romantic description and such other things which are inconsequential to the flow of the story. Ramabhadra might have included them for the sake of poetic imagery.
The objective of this publication is to bring to light the only available narrative on the life of Patanjali.
It was felt that a pruned poetic version would not be appropriate. So, a Sanskrit prose adaptation based on the story line of Ramabhadra is attempted here. Effort has been made with respect to the usage of the words to sustain the fervor of few Ramabhadra's work in describing the life of Patanjali. Also a few hymns that were believed to have been composed by Patanjali are also presented at the end. A brief description of the characters and also the Sanskrit works that are mentioned in the work is presented at the end.
It is hoped that this work will be of use to all seekers of Yoga as well as to those who are interested in Indian tradition and culture.
I offer my humble Pranam-s to Yoga Cikitsa Visarada, Shri T.K.V. Desijkachar, the founder of Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. I also place on record my deep gratitude to Dr. Latha Satish, Managing Trustee, KYM, for encouraging me to take up this work. A also thank all the trustees of KYM and Dr. Kausthub Desikachar, Senior Yoga Therapy Consultant, KYM. I thank Ms. Nrithya Jagannathan for streamlining the English translation. I gratefully appreciate the support provided by all fellow employees of KYM. Finally, I thank Ms. Madhava Mudhra for their fine printing job.
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