Approximately two thousand years old, The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali is the land-mark scripture on classical yoga. The translation and commentary provided here by Georg Feuerstein are outstanding for their accessibility and their insight into the essential meaning of this ancient and complex text. A,scholar of international renown who has studied and practiced yoga since the age of fourteen, Feuerstein also brings to The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali his experience as a professional indologist. His faithful and informed rendering of the aphorisms (sutras) is based on extensive personal research into the Sanskrit sources. Each word is explained so that the entire text becomes readily available to the Western reader and student of yoga.
Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D., was born in Germany shortly after World War H and conducted his postgraduate research in Indian philosophy at the University of Durham in England. He is one of the leading voices of the East/West dialogue and since the late 1960s has made many significant contributions to our understanding of India's spiritual heritage, notably Hindu Yoga. He has authored more than 40 books, including The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga, The Yoga Tradition, The Deeper Dimension of Yoga, Lucid Waking, Wholeness or Transcendence?, and Tantra: Path of Ecstasy. His most recent works include Yoga Morality and Green Yoga (coauthored with his wife, Brenda). His forthcoming works include a new translation and commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita. Although he no longer teaches in public, he offers several distance-learning courses on Yoga philosophy and history of Yoga through the Traditional Yoga Studies organization (www.traditionalyogastudies.com). For many years he has been a practitioner of Vajrayana Buddhist Yoga, and since 2004 has lived in semiretirement in Canada.
Yoga comprises so many different approaches and schools that one is justified in calling it the most versatile spiritual tradition in the world. This is not really surprising considering that it has a history of possibly more than 4,000 years. I have outlined the fascinating evolution of yogic ideas and practices in some detail in my book Yoga: The Technology of Ecstasy.
The present volume focuses on one specific branch of the tree of Yoga-the philosophical school of Patanjali, known as the "Royal Yoga" (raja-yoga) or "Yoga system" (yoga-darsana). In particular, I am offering here a word-by-word rendering of Patanjali's aphorisms on Yoga, the Yoga-Sidra. I have been pondering this short Sanskrit work for the past twenty-five years, and I am convinced it contains enough enigmas to continue to intrigue me for the next quarter of a century.
I believe that every student of Yoga should not only read but actually study the Yoga-Sutra. It is an excellent way of delving into the metaphysics and the spiritual practice of Yoga. All too often, West-ern students want to bypass the philosophical aspects of Yoga and get on with its practice. But it is impossible to practice Yoga authentically without first having grasped its metaphysics. Conversely, Yoga metaphysics will not reveal its full depth to someone who stays aloof from the practical disciplines. There is another side to this, and that is the fact that study (svadhyaya) is an excellent way of disciplining the mind and of deepening one's self-knowledge. It is no accident that many yogic schools insist that the student should enrich his or her spiritual life through careful study of the sacred scriptures.
The Yoga-Sutra offers a wonderful opportunity to expose one-self to the condensed wisdom of centuries of spiritual experimentation and to allow one of the great adepts of that tradition to inspire one's personal practice of Yoga.
I am grateful to Ehud C. Sperling, president of Inner Traditions International, for making this translation of the Yoga-Sutra available again to spiritual practitioners around the world. It seems only fit-ting to dedicate this book to the one person who has inspired me the most during my long sojourn through yogic territory-Maharsi Patafijali
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend