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Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali
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About the Book

Patanjali's Yoga-sutra, one of the most well-known works in the Indian classical tradition, is recognized as the primary text of Yoga philosophy. Here, Dr. Bhaduri adopts a simple but unique approach in his study of the text to make it more suitable to the needs of the students.

This English translation of the Yoga-sutra by Dr. Bhaduri under the guidance of Prof. Kapil Kapoor in Sastra Group of Centre of Linguistic and English at Jawaharlal Nehru University retains many Sanskrit terms, adding the English equivalents in footnotes and the glossary to avoid making inadequate renderings of Sanskrit technical terms. It translates only what is stated in the concerned sutras without elaborate commentaries in order not to confuse the reader and to allow him to draw independent conclusions. Presenting the sutras in original Sanskrit form along with their Roman transcription, it examines the Yoga philosophy in relation to the other five orthodox systems of classical Indian philosophy and analyses the manner in which it deals with issues of cognition and signification.

About the Author

A Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. Bhaduri specializes in Indian and Western philosophy. With years of teaching experience, he is presently a lecturer at the Department of English and Modern European Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

 

Foreword

UNDER the guidance of Prof. Kapil Kapoor at the Centre of Linguistics and English, JNU, in 1995, a group of scholars was assigned to take up the primary text of anyone of the nine schools of classical Indian philosophy and translate it keeping in mind the needs of Indian students, who are familiar with many of the concepts dealt with in these texts through their mother tongues but not comfortable enough with Sanskrit grammar to peruse the same in the original. The enthusiasm we showed for this project made Prof. Kapoor informally constitute a group called the Sastra Group, whose avowed purpose was to fulfil in the years to come the onerous task that we wilfully took upon our young, weak and rather too ambitious shoulders. It is quite heartening to present this book in its current form and relive some of the enthusiasm we shared in those days of the past when not the worry about how to keep our hearths burning but the burning desire to do something meaningful with our rich cultural past fuelled us on.

Nostalgia apart, what would be worthwhile to mention in this 'Foreword' is how this translation is different from the numerous English versions of Patanjali's Yoga-sutra that are already available. Three features mark these existing translations and make them unsuitable for the intended reader that this volume presupposes - the Indian student. First, all these translations try to find one-word English equivalents for virtually untranslatable Sanskrit technical terms, leading to extremely inadequate renderings of pregnant words. This work, on the contrary, retains many Sanskrit terms in the translation, assuming that the Indian reader will be more familiar with the concepts dealt with in these terms through his or her mother tongue than some approximate English equivalent. It, however, does not shirk from the responsibility of translation, adding English equivalents in footnotes accompanying the text and a 'Glossary and Index' at its end. Secondly, most of the available translations attempt a free adaptation from the aphoristic Sanskrit original, creating their own syntax, thereby violating one of the basic requirements of a good translation - that of sticking as closely as possible to the original textual structure. This work, on the other hand, sticks rigorously to the original, translating only what is stated in the concerned siUra-s. When, for the sake of syntactic coherence, any extra word has been used in the translation, it has been put in brackets, to distinguish it from the words that actually occur in the original. Finally, most of the existing translations, be they of orientalist or revivalist dispositions, have one agenda - that of making an otherwise strictly technical manualistic philosophical treatise appear mystical, quasi-religious and obscure. This is achieved primarily through elaborate commentaries, which deviate immensely from the precision of the original text. Accordingly, this translation does away with any commentary providing for the student reader the original text and nothing more, from which he or she can draw independent conclusions. However, to set a perspective, the volume does include two' essays - a prefatory one by Prof. Kapoor, where Yoga philosophy is set in relation to the other five orthodox systems of classical Indian philosophy, and an appendical one by me, which looks into how this philosophy deals with the important issues of cognition and signification - but one may notice how the emphasis in both is to demystify Yoga and make it the subject of serious academic studies.

Finally, after having stated the purpose of this book, I would like to thank those without whose inspiration, co-operation and support this volume would have never been possible, irrespective of its noble aims. I thank Prof. Kapoor for inspiring me and many of my likes to develop a keen interest in classical Indian philosophy, and also for having contributed a most illuminating essay as the curtain-raiser to this book. I thank D.K. Printworld for choosing to publish this manuscript, as without their support it would have been relegated to the ever-increasing heap of stillborn dreams. I thank all my friends, without whose co- operation this translation would not have taken shape, it being primarily a product of group activity. Finally, I thank my dearest Simi for having kindled and kept alive the fire in me in whose flames only I could re-forge a project five years too old.

 

Introduction

YOGA philosophy is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy and it is closely associated with Samkhya. The first thing one should look into, to understand what the philosophy is all about, is the etymological meaning of the word yoga. The word is normally used to mean 'conjunction' but Vacaspatimisra commenting on 1.1. of Yoga-sutra in his Tattvavaisaradi says that yoga, in the sense it is used in this philosophy, comes from vyuj-a (Dhatupatha, IV.68) meaning 'concentration' (as seen in words like yukti), and not from vyuj-i (Dhatupatha, VII.7) meaning 'conjunction'. In connection with the Western languages, it can be shown how yoga in this sense has more to do with the English 'yoke', whereby one gains power and control over something, and less with the Greek zygon or the Latin jugum and their English derivatives like 'conjugation'. Yoga philosophy is thus about gaining control over oneself, and his or her surroundings, in order to gain 'liberation'.

Yoga can be of various types - raja-yoga, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, and even hatha-yoga which deals with physical exercises. The tradition of philosophical texts of the system deals, however, with dhyana-yoga, or the achievement of yoga through dhyana, 1 alone. Our discussion will accordingly be restricted to this only.

As we have already said, Yoga is closely related to Samkhya. It accepts the Samkhya epistemology whereby the citta, because of cognition (mostly through perception), develops vrtti-e whose nirodha is imperative for attaining viveka-jnana (discriminating knowledge), which is essential to liberation. Yoga, as a system, provides the means to this attainment. It says that among the five types of citta shown by Samkhya, it is not possible to perform yoga in the first three of ksipta (excited), mudha (unintelligent) and viksipta (fragmented) kinds, but the fourth type of ehagra- citta (singly intent) sets yoga in motion and the fifth - niruddha- citta - is that state which the means are to achieve.

Yoga accepts the Samkhya ontology of 25 principles also, but adds one more category of isvara to them, forming a major difference with the latter. The Yoga system gives two prime reasons for its becoming sesvara or theistic. First, anything which has degrees must have a limit too, and thus knowledge, which proceeds in degrees, has to have an ultimate omniscience to it - which is isvara. Secondly, neither prakrti nor purusa having the properties of association or dissociation, the evolution of this world from their association, and its dissolution from their dissociation, must have an agency behind them, namely isvara.

Apart from the concept of isvara, the Yoga system, adding nothing new to Samkhya philosophy, it is less of a sastra and more of, as Yoga-sutra itself acknowledges in I.1, an anusasana or discipline. The system teaches how through the observance of the eight anga-e of yama, niyama, asana, prarnayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, one can perform yoga. This may be either samprajnata (conscious of objects) or asamprajnata, The former being achievable through vitarka, vicara, ananda and asmita also, it is the latter which is more conducive to the liberative end. The final stage of samadhi is primarily sabija (with seeds for producing samskara-e) leaving behind one final samskara. A nirodha of this also leads to the ultimate stage of nirbija or 'seedless' samadhi, Here, all citta- urtti-s having dwindled away, the purusa and sattva are no longer confused to be one and the same, and the atma gets ready for kaivalya or liberation.

The primary text of Yoga philosophy is Patanjali's Yoga- sutra which has four books and a total of 195 sutra-s, and a translation of this follows. Other important texts in the tradition are Vyasa's commentary Yoga-bhasya, Vacaspatimisra's sub- commentary Tattva-vaisaradi, Bhojaraja's simple and popular expositions - Vitti and Yoga-maniprabha, and Vijnanabhiksu's manuals - Yoga-varttika and Yogasara-samgraha, which have often been consulted to understand the philosophy, but have not been included in the translation.

Contents

 

  Foreword V
  The Sastra Group at Jawaharlal Nehru University: An Introduction XI
  Introduction 1
1 Prefatory Essay: Six Indian Philosophical Systems and Patanjali's Yoga-sutras 5
2 The Yoga-sutra-s 25
3 Appendix: Cognition and Signification in the Yoga System of Philosophy 63
  Glossary & Index 79
Sample Pages







Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali

Item Code:
IDD214
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
2006
ISBN:
81-246-0157-7
Language:
English
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8.5" x 5.5"
Pages:
86
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Weight of the Book: 160 gms
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About the Book

Patanjali's Yoga-sutra, one of the most well-known works in the Indian classical tradition, is recognized as the primary text of Yoga philosophy. Here, Dr. Bhaduri adopts a simple but unique approach in his study of the text to make it more suitable to the needs of the students.

This English translation of the Yoga-sutra by Dr. Bhaduri under the guidance of Prof. Kapil Kapoor in Sastra Group of Centre of Linguistic and English at Jawaharlal Nehru University retains many Sanskrit terms, adding the English equivalents in footnotes and the glossary to avoid making inadequate renderings of Sanskrit technical terms. It translates only what is stated in the concerned sutras without elaborate commentaries in order not to confuse the reader and to allow him to draw independent conclusions. Presenting the sutras in original Sanskrit form along with their Roman transcription, it examines the Yoga philosophy in relation to the other five orthodox systems of classical Indian philosophy and analyses the manner in which it deals with issues of cognition and signification.

About the Author

A Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. Bhaduri specializes in Indian and Western philosophy. With years of teaching experience, he is presently a lecturer at the Department of English and Modern European Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

 

Foreword

UNDER the guidance of Prof. Kapil Kapoor at the Centre of Linguistics and English, JNU, in 1995, a group of scholars was assigned to take up the primary text of anyone of the nine schools of classical Indian philosophy and translate it keeping in mind the needs of Indian students, who are familiar with many of the concepts dealt with in these texts through their mother tongues but not comfortable enough with Sanskrit grammar to peruse the same in the original. The enthusiasm we showed for this project made Prof. Kapoor informally constitute a group called the Sastra Group, whose avowed purpose was to fulfil in the years to come the onerous task that we wilfully took upon our young, weak and rather too ambitious shoulders. It is quite heartening to present this book in its current form and relive some of the enthusiasm we shared in those days of the past when not the worry about how to keep our hearths burning but the burning desire to do something meaningful with our rich cultural past fuelled us on.

Nostalgia apart, what would be worthwhile to mention in this 'Foreword' is how this translation is different from the numerous English versions of Patanjali's Yoga-sutra that are already available. Three features mark these existing translations and make them unsuitable for the intended reader that this volume presupposes - the Indian student. First, all these translations try to find one-word English equivalents for virtually untranslatable Sanskrit technical terms, leading to extremely inadequate renderings of pregnant words. This work, on the contrary, retains many Sanskrit terms in the translation, assuming that the Indian reader will be more familiar with the concepts dealt with in these terms through his or her mother tongue than some approximate English equivalent. It, however, does not shirk from the responsibility of translation, adding English equivalents in footnotes accompanying the text and a 'Glossary and Index' at its end. Secondly, most of the available translations attempt a free adaptation from the aphoristic Sanskrit original, creating their own syntax, thereby violating one of the basic requirements of a good translation - that of sticking as closely as possible to the original textual structure. This work, on the other hand, sticks rigorously to the original, translating only what is stated in the concerned siUra-s. When, for the sake of syntactic coherence, any extra word has been used in the translation, it has been put in brackets, to distinguish it from the words that actually occur in the original. Finally, most of the existing translations, be they of orientalist or revivalist dispositions, have one agenda - that of making an otherwise strictly technical manualistic philosophical treatise appear mystical, quasi-religious and obscure. This is achieved primarily through elaborate commentaries, which deviate immensely from the precision of the original text. Accordingly, this translation does away with any commentary providing for the student reader the original text and nothing more, from which he or she can draw independent conclusions. However, to set a perspective, the volume does include two' essays - a prefatory one by Prof. Kapoor, where Yoga philosophy is set in relation to the other five orthodox systems of classical Indian philosophy, and an appendical one by me, which looks into how this philosophy deals with the important issues of cognition and signification - but one may notice how the emphasis in both is to demystify Yoga and make it the subject of serious academic studies.

Finally, after having stated the purpose of this book, I would like to thank those without whose inspiration, co-operation and support this volume would have never been possible, irrespective of its noble aims. I thank Prof. Kapoor for inspiring me and many of my likes to develop a keen interest in classical Indian philosophy, and also for having contributed a most illuminating essay as the curtain-raiser to this book. I thank D.K. Printworld for choosing to publish this manuscript, as without their support it would have been relegated to the ever-increasing heap of stillborn dreams. I thank all my friends, without whose co- operation this translation would not have taken shape, it being primarily a product of group activity. Finally, I thank my dearest Simi for having kindled and kept alive the fire in me in whose flames only I could re-forge a project five years too old.

 

Introduction

YOGA philosophy is one of the six orthodox schools of Indian philosophy and it is closely associated with Samkhya. The first thing one should look into, to understand what the philosophy is all about, is the etymological meaning of the word yoga. The word is normally used to mean 'conjunction' but Vacaspatimisra commenting on 1.1. of Yoga-sutra in his Tattvavaisaradi says that yoga, in the sense it is used in this philosophy, comes from vyuj-a (Dhatupatha, IV.68) meaning 'concentration' (as seen in words like yukti), and not from vyuj-i (Dhatupatha, VII.7) meaning 'conjunction'. In connection with the Western languages, it can be shown how yoga in this sense has more to do with the English 'yoke', whereby one gains power and control over something, and less with the Greek zygon or the Latin jugum and their English derivatives like 'conjugation'. Yoga philosophy is thus about gaining control over oneself, and his or her surroundings, in order to gain 'liberation'.

Yoga can be of various types - raja-yoga, karma-yoga, jnana-yoga, dhyana-yoga, and even hatha-yoga which deals with physical exercises. The tradition of philosophical texts of the system deals, however, with dhyana-yoga, or the achievement of yoga through dhyana, 1 alone. Our discussion will accordingly be restricted to this only.

As we have already said, Yoga is closely related to Samkhya. It accepts the Samkhya epistemology whereby the citta, because of cognition (mostly through perception), develops vrtti-e whose nirodha is imperative for attaining viveka-jnana (discriminating knowledge), which is essential to liberation. Yoga, as a system, provides the means to this attainment. It says that among the five types of citta shown by Samkhya, it is not possible to perform yoga in the first three of ksipta (excited), mudha (unintelligent) and viksipta (fragmented) kinds, but the fourth type of ehagra- citta (singly intent) sets yoga in motion and the fifth - niruddha- citta - is that state which the means are to achieve.

Yoga accepts the Samkhya ontology of 25 principles also, but adds one more category of isvara to them, forming a major difference with the latter. The Yoga system gives two prime reasons for its becoming sesvara or theistic. First, anything which has degrees must have a limit too, and thus knowledge, which proceeds in degrees, has to have an ultimate omniscience to it - which is isvara. Secondly, neither prakrti nor purusa having the properties of association or dissociation, the evolution of this world from their association, and its dissolution from their dissociation, must have an agency behind them, namely isvara.

Apart from the concept of isvara, the Yoga system, adding nothing new to Samkhya philosophy, it is less of a sastra and more of, as Yoga-sutra itself acknowledges in I.1, an anusasana or discipline. The system teaches how through the observance of the eight anga-e of yama, niyama, asana, prarnayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, one can perform yoga. This may be either samprajnata (conscious of objects) or asamprajnata, The former being achievable through vitarka, vicara, ananda and asmita also, it is the latter which is more conducive to the liberative end. The final stage of samadhi is primarily sabija (with seeds for producing samskara-e) leaving behind one final samskara. A nirodha of this also leads to the ultimate stage of nirbija or 'seedless' samadhi, Here, all citta- urtti-s having dwindled away, the purusa and sattva are no longer confused to be one and the same, and the atma gets ready for kaivalya or liberation.

The primary text of Yoga philosophy is Patanjali's Yoga- sutra which has four books and a total of 195 sutra-s, and a translation of this follows. Other important texts in the tradition are Vyasa's commentary Yoga-bhasya, Vacaspatimisra's sub- commentary Tattva-vaisaradi, Bhojaraja's simple and popular expositions - Vitti and Yoga-maniprabha, and Vijnanabhiksu's manuals - Yoga-varttika and Yogasara-samgraha, which have often been consulted to understand the philosophy, but have not been included in the translation.

Contents

 

  Foreword V
  The Sastra Group at Jawaharlal Nehru University: An Introduction XI
  Introduction 1
1 Prefatory Essay: Six Indian Philosophical Systems and Patanjali's Yoga-sutras 5
2 The Yoga-sutra-s 25
3 Appendix: Cognition and Signification in the Yoga System of Philosophy 63
  Glossary & Index 79
Sample Pages







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