Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is one of the six darsanas of Ancient Indian Philosophy. This edition comes with a commentary of Vyasa and the gloss of Vachaspati Misra.
The book explores the fact that Yoga is an ancient Indian art which has a greater relevance in today's lifestyle. Apart from a holistic exercise for toned body muscles which also relieves physical pain, Yoga means to bind, reducing mental stress and centring mind and body. The main motive of the book is to guide the reader to self realization. This English translation is invaluable because it retains the original Sanskrit text. This present edition has been freshly recomposed with the main objective to provide a better printed text to the readers.
The aphorisms of Patanjali on the Yoga Sutras are contained in four chapters and are nearly two hundred in number. The author of the aphorisms is said to be the same Patanjali who wrote the famous commentary on Panini's aphorisms, under the name of the Mahabhasya or the Great Commentary. Another work is also attributed to him—the great work on Medicine. If so, he was not only a great Grammarian and a great Philosopher, but a Great Physician. He prescribed for the body, mind and spirit all three. The age of Patanjali is now generally fixed at three centuries before Christ.'
The Word Yoga comes from an Sanskrit root which means "to go to trance, to meditate." Others however derive it from a root which means to join; and Yoke in English is said to be the same word as Yoga. Both roots are feasible—in the case of the root to join, Yoga would mean the science that teaches the method of joining the human soul with God.
The philosophy of Patanjali is essentially Dualistic. The Jivas or Purusas or human egos are separate individual entities and exist from eternity; so is also Prakriti, and so also Prakriti or God. It that believes in three Eternal co-existent principles, the God, the Man and the Matter. But man is found to be involved in matter, to have fallen from its pristine state of purity. The aim of Yoga is to free (viyoga) man from the meshes of matter.
But the highest form of matter is mind-the C itta (a term which would include that which is technically known as mans, as Ahamkara and as Buddhi). The students of Sankhya need not be told that the first product of Prakriti or the root-matter is Mahat or the Great Principle—the Buddhi, then comes the Ahamkara or I-principle—the matter through which can function the I-ness: and then the Manas or the matter which is the vehicle of thought. These three vehicles--the thought-vehicle (Mamas), the I-vehicle (Ahamkara), the Pure-Reason-vehicle (Buddhi)—constitute Chitta or the subtlest form of Matter. To free man from the fetters of this Chitta is thus the problem of Yoga.
The man when freed from all vehicles, remains in his own form called Svarupa. It is not made of Prakritic matter. It is the body which belongs to man—is part of man from eternity—the body in which he dwells in Mukti in super-celestial worlds. It is the body in which the Triune God is directly active-Isvara, Prana and Sri—or the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. This svarupa—deha, is the body of Prana—the body of Christ of the Gnostics. This is the incorruptible undecaying body, the spiritual body.
But when man is not in his Own-Form (Svarupa), he functions naturally in the lower vehicles, and his form is there the form of his vehicles—whether it be of Buddhic, Ahamkaric or Manasic matter. In fact the man of Psychology is this triad—Ahamkara, Buddhi and Manas.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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