The Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga

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Overview

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a classic Sanskrit treatise consisting of 195 “threads,” or aphorisms, describing the process of liberation through yoga. Although little is known about Patanjali (most scholars estimate that he lived in India circa 200–300 b.c.), his writings have long been recognized as a vital contribution to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This new, expert translation of the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali’s best-known work presents his seminal ideas ...
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Essential Yoga Sutra: Ancient Wisdom for Your Yoga

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Overview

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is a classic Sanskrit treatise consisting of 195 “threads,” or aphorisms, describing the process of liberation through yoga. Although little is known about Patanjali (most scholars estimate that he lived in India circa 200–300 b.c.), his writings have long been recognized as a vital contribution to the philosophy and practice of yoga. This new, expert translation of the original Sanskrit text of Patanjali’s best-known work presents his seminal ideas and methods in accessible, plain-language English.

Patanjali organized the sutra into four parts: Samadhi (absorption), Sadhana (practice), Vibhuti (supernatural powers), and Kaivalya (liberation). Each represents a step in breaking free of our limited definition of consciousness and training the mind to achieve oneness with the universe. Geshe Michael Roach, one of the most respected teachers of Tibetan Buddhism in America and a renowned scholar of Sanskrit, provides authoritative commentary on each of the sutras. His notes and clarification are straightforward and highly readable, untainted by obscure, academic terminology or New Age jargon. The first edition of the Yoga Sutra to present a Buddhist perspective, this paperback original will be welcomed by students and spiritual seekers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra is a foundational ancient text that examines the purpose and practice of yoga. Longtime American Buddhist teacher Roach, who holds the distinguished title of geshe (comparable to a Ph.D. in Buddhist religious studies), provides commentary to McNally's fresh translation of this aphoristic text from ca. 250 B.C.E. Yoga means union, and this interpretation unites the ways of Buddhism and yoga, making it useful for students of either practice. Roach's commentary reveals the text's logic and organization, unpacking its density in 108 short sections, each devoted to a few lines of the text. An index of important ideas in the sutra is helpful. Like any classic sacred text, this one is deceptively simple, inviting study, as Roach notes ("Now that you've read this book, you need to use it"). The text is dense and the commentary short, so this is not a book for beginners. The subtitle is misleading: as how-to books go, this is fairly abstract ("Everything we see around us is either at work or at rest"), lacking real anecdotes or examples to illustrate ideas. But for more experienced students and those interested in the intersection between yoga and Buddhism, this is a stimulating presentation of an influential text. (Aug. 16) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385515368
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/27/2005
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 346,276
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

GESHE MICHAEL ROACH is a fully ordained Buddhist monk and has been a teacher of Buddhism since 1981. He is also a scholar of Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Russian, and has translated many works in these languages into English. He founded the Asian Classics Institute and the Asian Classics Input Project and has been active in the restoration of the Sera Mey Tibetan Monastery, where he received his training. He lives in New York and Arizona.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2007

    A Yoga Classic.

    This is by far the most accessible translation of this classic yoga text ever published. Anyone, even those with no knowledge of yogic history or philosophy, can come to understand the meaning of this important ancient text. It is required reading for those practicing yoga asana as well as those interested in eastern philosophy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    Good Foundation

    This is a good start with basic information that is easy to understand. Anyone interested in yoga should explore this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 29, 2010

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    Posted April 28, 2010

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    Posted July 27, 2010

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