One of yoga's most important and influential works, The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali forms a keystone of Indian philosophical and religious thought. Written by a sage in the second century B.C., the sutras have been translated many times. This interpretation by Professor James Haughton Woods, originally published under the aegis of the highly esteemed Harvard Oriental Series, ranks among the most acclaimed translations.
Patañjali's path is that of Raja Yoga, the royal yoga, or the yoga of the eight steps: restraint, observances, posture, breath control, sublimation (or withdrawal from the senses), attention, concentration, and meditation. The complete sutras appear here, encompassing a four-part analytical study intended to purify the practitioner's mind, body, and soul. Additional features include a commentary by Veda-Vyāsa and explanations by Vāchaspati-Miҫra that are crucial to developing an understanding of Patañjali's intent, along with invaluable background information provided by the translator's introduction and appendixes.
This outstanding English edition of a profound work of spiritual enlightenment is essential reading for all scholars and practitioners of yoga.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali thoroughly translate the ancient Sanskrit language of the traditions of yoga and meditation into something everyone can relate and connect to. For me, this book was read for ethnography, which is the scientific description of the customs of individual peoples and cultures. While reading the philosophical topics of the sutras, they were a glimpse into the past while remaining relevant to today. Patanjali states, “The sense of true life comes only with the coming of the soul, and the soul comes only in silence” (Patanjali 13). He explains that the true meaning of life is not through material possession, but rather the connection of the soul, the mind and the body. To gain a strong connection among the body, soul, and the mind Patanjali believes this is obtained through meditation. “The active turnings, the strident vibrations, of selfishness, lust and hate are to be stilled by meditation, by letting the heart and the mind dwell in spiritual life, by lifting up the heart to the strong silent life above, which rests in stillness” (Pantajali 42). The Sutras describe the essentials of why and how to attain stillness for a deep sense of well being. This masterpiece was deeply spiritual and powerful and a must read for everyone, I highly suggest this read!