The origin of our contemporary practice of yoga can be traced back to one of the most venerated wisdom books of India: the Yoga Sutras. Comprised of 195 aphorisms, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is a fundamental work that defines the , system. Over the centuries, many important commentaries have been written seeking to explain and extrapolate on the full meaning of the sutras, and to this day, the text continues to be appreciated for the deep psychological insights it contains.
This new translation and guide-produced by the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, a recognized independent centre of the University of Oxford-offers an accessible reading experience for modern audiences without sacrificing any of the profound wisdom of the original Sanskrit.
Featuring the full text of the sutras coupled with insightful commentary, The Yoga Sutras: A New Translation and Study Guide is an essential new edition that will help readers of all types-from yoga students and practitioners to teachers and scholars-develop a deeper understanding of one of the principal and most vital writings ever assembled on the subject yoga.
Nicholas Sutton is a professor and director at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, an academy for the study of Hindu cultures, societies, philosophies, religions, and languages. He received his PhD from Lancaster University, writing his doctoral thesis on the Mahabharata, and he currently writes and tutors online courses on Hindu religious traditions. He is the author of Religious in the Mahabharata and The Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation and Study Guide.
This short book provides a detailed consideration of what is I perhaps the best known, but least well understood, of all the texts of Indian philosophy, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This is not a particularly easy text to study, nor one where the meaning can be easily understood. The Yoga Sutras exists within the con-text of early Indian philosophy, which is in itself a highly complex and at times obscure area of study, and the comprehension of its principal tenets becomes even more problematic without some knowledge of that wider context.
I would certainly not try to discourage anyone from taking up such a study, however, and I do believe that an understanding of Patanjali's work at any level is a prerequisite for acquiring a proper insight into the philosophy of Yoga. I do feel, however, that too much is written and said about the Yoga Sutras that is not based on a thorough reading of the text, and as a result tends to be misleading. Hence, in writing a study guide to the Yoga Sutras, one inevitably encounters a tension between on the one hand making the ideas accessible to as many readers as possible and, on the other, doing full justice to the complexity of the ideas encountered. Whether or not I have the balance right is for others to judge, but I do hope the reader will appreciate the difficulties involved in introducing this text as an area of study.
Taking a more positive note, I would certainly say that anyone who goes through this study guide will emerge both enriched and enlightened, and with a much deeper understanding of the Yoga tradition.
That is not to say that I expect everyone to immediately understand every part of the Sutras, as that would be highly unlikely, merely that even a partial or imperfect comprehension will be of enormous benefit in gaining an understanding of the philosophy of Yoga.
DATE AND AUTHORSHIP OF THE YOGA SUTRAS
Although he does not name himself in the text, the identity of a certain Patanjali as the author of the Yoga Sutras is well attested. The Despite legends about his birth and identity, we can say little for as the mo certain about who he was or, indeed, about when he lived. Accord- to popular accounts, Patanjali is supposed to be a manifest purports of the divine serpent Ananta who acts as the bed of Visriu. are write. Ananta appeared on earth to disseminate knowledge of Yoga and require a c because he fell (pata) into the hands of his mother whilst they become were formed into the position of prayer (anjali), he was given the With name of Patanjali.
In more historical terms, the debate over the dating of the text for this rests substantially on whether the author of the Yoga Sutras is to be regard; identified as the grammarian named Patanjali, who probably lived the in the 2nd century BC. Indian traditions seem to take this identity work for granted, but most modern scholars are more, and a number that our Patanjali probably lived some time in the 2nd or 3rd seek to allies AD. It is virtually impossible to be certain on this matter, but earliest of it does appear that the Yoga Sutras has an awareness of the identified Bhagavadgita, and on this basis alone the later date is perhaps more of the likely. I would also tentatively suggest that the Yoga Sutras should scholars su be regarded as being later than the passages from the Mahabharata AD. Other which focus on Yoga practice and the philosophy of Yoga.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAT622 Author: Dr. Nicholas Sutton Cover: HARDCOVER Edition: 144 Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ISBN: 9781683837329 Language: ENGLISH Size: 9.50 X 6.50 inch Pages: 2019 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.51 Kg