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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The ‘Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali’ are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Ashtanga Yoga, also called Raja Yoga. In medieval times, Ashtanga Yoga was cast as one of the six orthodox āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. In this book you will find • Illustrated The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • Free audio recording of Th Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The ‘Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali’ are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Ashtanga Yoga, also called Raja Yoga. In medieval times, Ashtanga Yoga was cast as one of the six orthodox āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. In this book you will find • Illustrated The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • Free audio recording of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Five unique bonus works: • An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Besant: Lectures that are intended to give an outline of Yoga • The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga BY SWAMI MUKERJI YOGI OF THE SOUTH INDIA ORDER: Including the Practices and Exercises of Concentration, both Objective and Subjective, and Active and Passive Mentation, an Elucidation of Maya, Guru Worship, and the Worship of the Terrible, also the Mystery of Will-Force THE HINDU-YOGI Science of Breath By YOGI RAMACHARAKA: A Complete Manual of THE ORIENTAL BREATHING PHILOSOPHY of Physical, Mental, Psychic and Spiritual Development. Lessons in Gnani Yoga (The Yoga of Wisdom.) BY YOGI RAMACHARAKA : THIS BOOK GIVES THE HIGHEST YOGI TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ABSOLUTE AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS. A SERIES OF LESSONS IN RAJA YOGA By YOGI RAMACHARAKA : "When the soul sees itself as a Center surrounded by its circumference—when the Sun knows that it is a Sun, surrounded by its whirling planets-then is it ready for the Wisdom and Power of the Masters."


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Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The ‘Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali’ are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Ashtanga Yoga, also called Raja Yoga. In medieval times, Ashtanga Yoga was cast as one of the six orthodox āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. In this book you will find • Illustrated The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • Free audio recording of Th Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The ‘Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali’ are 196 Indian sūtras (aphorisms) that constitute the foundational text of Ashtanga Yoga, also called Raja Yoga. In medieval times, Ashtanga Yoga was cast as one of the six orthodox āstika schools of Hindu philosophy. In this book you will find • Illustrated The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali • Free audio recording of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Five unique bonus works: • An Introduction to Yoga by Annie Besant: Lectures that are intended to give an outline of Yoga • The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga BY SWAMI MUKERJI YOGI OF THE SOUTH INDIA ORDER: Including the Practices and Exercises of Concentration, both Objective and Subjective, and Active and Passive Mentation, an Elucidation of Maya, Guru Worship, and the Worship of the Terrible, also the Mystery of Will-Force THE HINDU-YOGI Science of Breath By YOGI RAMACHARAKA: A Complete Manual of THE ORIENTAL BREATHING PHILOSOPHY of Physical, Mental, Psychic and Spiritual Development. Lessons in Gnani Yoga (The Yoga of Wisdom.) BY YOGI RAMACHARAKA : THIS BOOK GIVES THE HIGHEST YOGI TEACHINGS REGARDING THE ABSOLUTE AND ITS MANIFESTATIONS. A SERIES OF LESSONS IN RAJA YOGA By YOGI RAMACHARAKA : "When the soul sees itself as a Center surrounded by its circumference—when the Sun knows that it is a Sun, surrounded by its whirling planets-then is it ready for the Wisdom and Power of the Masters."

30 review for The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: By Patanjali & Illustrated (Five Bonus works & an Audiobook FREE are included)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    My Penguin Classic edition of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra begins with a long introduction, by translator Shyam Ranganathan, about the many challenges faced when translating philosophical texts, especially when you are trying to make them clear and accurate to an audience that comes for a completely different cultural background as the person who wrote the original text, many centuries later. While that 60 odd pages can seem boring at first glance, as a bilingual person (and as someone interested in v My Penguin Classic edition of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra begins with a long introduction, by translator Shyam Ranganathan, about the many challenges faced when translating philosophical texts, especially when you are trying to make them clear and accurate to an audience that comes for a completely different cultural background as the person who wrote the original text, many centuries later. While that 60 odd pages can seem boring at first glance, as a bilingual person (and as someone interested in very old Asian philosophy), I find this sort of thing fascinating, because the choice of words can affect the reader’s interpretation to an incredible level. It is, therefore, an incredibly daunting and nuanced task to try to bring the meaning to life in a way that will be understood by an audience that might as well be from a different planet as the person who came up with the original words. The translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutra I had read before this one were Desikachar’s, in “The Heart of Yoga” (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...). His version was concise, but it also was simply meant as an introduction, and not a deep dive into the text. Ranganathan’s version, on the other hand, is much more fleshed out. And while a bit long and scholarly, his introduction is actually not be skipped, as it serves as a reading guide for the rest of the text. For each line of the Sutra, he offers the Sanskrit, the phonetic pronunciation, then several potentially correct English equivalencies for the Sanskrit words used in the original, followed by his rephrasing – and finally, his commentary and interpretation of the Sutra. Whew! His commentary is obviously the bulk of the book, and they are extremely informative, as he uses them to give the reader plenty of context (historical, social, philosophical) and to de-mystify the short sentences that make up the Sutra. But his tone and style is very academic, so while I found it clear and straightforward, I can see how it might be a bit ponderous to some readers. I was not surprized to find a fair amount of overlap between the philosophical and moral aspect of the Sutra and the Buddhist Precepts and Zen philosophy: the systems obviously run along very similar lines, though they are not identical. While I am not sure reading the Yoga Sutra is necessary for everyone interested in practicing yoga (I mean here the physical exercise version of yoga, which the Sutra actually refers to as tapa), they are a very interesting text of Indian philosophy, and for people looking to deepen their tapa/asana practice and approach yoga a holistic way, this translation is clear, accessible and the commentary informative and inspiring. I do plan on reading a few different translations and commentaries: I think this is the sort of text that definitely deserves multiple readings and perspectives.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Littrell

    Engaging translation but not the best commentary This book was first published in London in 1982 as Effortless Being: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I assume the translation of the sutras is the same while Shearer, who is a disciple of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, has updated his Introduction. The text is presented in a sky blue color that is easy on the eyes and does not distract from the meaning of the words. The design by Barbara Sturman is indeed very attractive while the small size of the book Engaging translation but not the best commentary This book was first published in London in 1982 as Effortless Being: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. I assume the translation of the sutras is the same while Shearer, who is a disciple of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, has updated his Introduction. The text is presented in a sky blue color that is easy on the eyes and does not distract from the meaning of the words. The design by Barbara Sturman is indeed very attractive while the small size of the book (4.75 by 6.25 by 0.75 inches) makes for easy portability. The translation itself takes up about one-third of the book while Shearer's commentary takes up most of the rest. The translation is strikingly original and interpretative. Patanjali's famous first line, which I recall most agreeably as "Now, instruction in yoga" (which I have from Ernest Egerton Wood's Practical Yoga, 1948) is presented as "And now the teaching on yoga begins." B.K.S. Iyengar, in his Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (1993), which I highly recommend in addition to this book, has "With prayers for divine blessings, now begins an exposition of the sacred art of yoga." Clearly the differences with this first line are mainly stylistic with Iyengar emphasizing a spiritual and religious tone while Wood's aim was to reflect Patanjali's succinct style, with Shearer looking for lucidity and an affinity with the modern English expression. But let's look at the second sutra. Shearer's "Yoga is the settling of the mind into silence" is very pretty, and when one realizes that "silence" to Shearer is akin to godliness (he quotes Meister Eckhart on page 24: "Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence"), it works in a symbolic sense as well. Professor Wood's "Yoga is the control of the ideas in the mind" places a very different emphasis. But in Shearer's understanding, the idea of "control" is inappropriate. He sees instead that "Once pointed in the right direction, the mind will begin to settle down of its own accord. It needs no control or forcible restraint." (p. 68) From my experience (I began my practice of yoga in 1974) both of these ideas are correct; and indeed it is a synthesis of conscious control of the ideas of the mind along with a sense of falling away that leads to meditation and samadhi. It is a mistake to imagine that one makes no effort, since it is the very essence of yoga that one does indeed make an effort and uses technique in order to find liberation (rather than, say, faith or knowledge). Yoga is above all a practice and nothing in it can be fully appreciated without practice. But it is also a mistake to think that one can through force of will achieve samadhi. What is required is a controlled practice in which one leads the reluctant mind and body to a place of relaxed concentration in which meditation is allowed to take place. But let's now look at how Iyengar translates this famous second aphorism: "Yoga is the cessation of movements in the consciousness." He adds, "This vital sutra contains the definition of yoga: the control or restraint of the movement of consciousness, leading to their complete cessation." (Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, p. 46) While I think Shearer's translation is very much worthwhile, I am less enthusiastic about his interpretation. He devotes the last part of his Introduction to the famous "siddhas" (psychic powers). He attempts to justify and explain them in terms of quantum mechanics, averring that "the subatomic universe...reveals a reality that is every bit as strange as Patanjali's." (p. 79) He even compares the superfluidity of helium near absolute zero to what is possible in the "least excited state of awareness" (i.e., the self in samadhi). This sophistic suggestion, which has largely been discredited, at least in the scientific community, relies on the false belief that the human mind (a macro object all the way down to the molecular level) can in some way operate on the quantum level. This is "New Age" babble of the most annoying sort and does not in any way explain the so-called psychic powers. Anyone who has practiced yoga long enough and has become adept at meditation has experienced these psychic powers, but realizes that they are phenomena of the mind and have nothing to do with ordinary consciousness or ordinary experience. They are--and this is why they are valuable and why Patanjali mentions them--signposts on the way to samadhi. When one experiences a siddha, it is an indication that one has stilled the ordinary mind and is making progress. I don't think Shearer really understands this. I could also take exception to his interpretation of some of the limbs of Patanjali's yoga, or express my appreciation of some of his insights. For example, I think his translation of shaucha (sauca) as "simplicity" instead of the usual "cleanliness" or "purity" is very agreeable. On the other hand, I could disagree with his interpretation of brahmacharya as something more than celibacy. I think brahmacharya means exactly that, celibacy. Or I could find his idea that pratyahara is akin to William Blake's "closing the doors of perception" (p. 68) interesting and worth adding to the regular meaning of "withdrawal of the senses." But these fine distinctions would be beside the point. Note well that the sole purpose of Patanjali's yoga is liberation from the pair of opposites (pleasure and pain) that dominate our lives. The word "samadhi" (the goal of yoga) means both the highest level of meditation and something akin to the Buddhist "satori," or enlightenment. All of yoga is a means to this end. For anyone beginning their yoga practice this book can help, but it should be understood that reading this or any other translation and interpretation of Patanjali's yoga sutras is only the beginning and is actually worthless without the concomitant practice of yoga. --Dennis Littrell, author of “Yoga: Sacred and Profane (Beyond Hatha Yoga)”

  3. 4 out of 5

    David Haberlah

    If there would be only one single book that I could recommend to aspiring Yoginis and Yogis, it would be this peerless translation of and commentary on the classic text on Yoga! This is simply the most comprehensive and readable translation and concordance of 15 centuries of commentaries on the Yoga Sûtra by Patanjali. It is an exceptionally well researched work, full of insight and interesting references. I find it particularly valuable in providing the historical context of interpretations and If there would be only one single book that I could recommend to aspiring Yoginis and Yogis, it would be this peerless translation of and commentary on the classic text on Yoga! This is simply the most comprehensive and readable translation and concordance of 15 centuries of commentaries on the Yoga Sûtra by Patanjali. It is an exceptionally well researched work, full of insight and interesting references. I find it particularly valuable in providing the historical context of interpretations and commentators over the centuries. While very much a scientific monograph of 500+ pages on the 197 aphorisms, I find it impossible to put down because it's so well written and thought provoking.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Gourley

    There are about a billion editions of Patanjali’s The Yoga Sutras. The one I got was a free or very cheap on Kindle, and is, therefore, probably not the best edition. I don’t know that the Kindle version I got still exists because it included a supplemental essay by Swami Vivekananda that the version I linked to on Amazon doesn’t. However, the translation is the same, and is by Charles Johnston. For many old works, the edition might not matter too much, but for Patanjali’s Sutras it matters a gr There are about a billion editions of Patanjali’s The Yoga Sutras. The one I got was a free or very cheap on Kindle, and is, therefore, probably not the best edition. I don’t know that the Kindle version I got still exists because it included a supplemental essay by Swami Vivekananda that the version I linked to on Amazon doesn’t. However, the translation is the same, and is by Charles Johnston. For many old works, the edition might not matter too much, but for Patanjali’s Sutras it matters a great deal. First, there’s the issue of the quality of the translation. Beyond that, however, is the question of the analysis. The Yoga Sutras are extremely brief, consisting of only 196 aphorisms. Owing to the terse brevity of the Sanskrit language, many of these aphorisms are only a few words long. That means that there isn’t a high degree of precision in the language of the Sutras, and, consequently, there’s a great deal of room for misunderstanding and misinterpretation. It’s for good reason, therefore, that most editions are 90% or greater commentary on Patanjali’s words. The Sutras are typically divided into 4 chapters (this convention apparently came well after Patanjali wrote them.) The first section lays out the objective of yoga. The central notion is the need for Chitta Vrtta Nirodha, which basically means to transcend the fluctuations of the mind. Patanjali’s point is that the problem faced by mankind is that people’s minds are run amok. There is a need for some system to facilitate correction of all this monkey-mindedness. That’s where Chapter 2 comes in. The second chapter lays down an outline of Ashtanga Yoga, which is the eight-fold path of Raja Yoga (i.e. Royal Yoga). While modern-day people tend to think of yoga only as pretzel-like physical postures, that’s just one of the eight limbs of yoga. The eight limbs are: commandments (yama), rules (niyama), postures (asana), control of breath (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), concentration (dhanara), meditation (dhyana), and liberation (samadhi.) It’s interesting to note that the limb that many think of as yoga, i.e. the postures, is one of the most briefly covered. Most famously, Patanjali says in Ch.2, Sutra #46, “Sukham Sthiram Asanam” (i.e. postures should be stable and effortless.) The massive body of asana that developed in Hatha Yoga were initially just a means to give one the ability to sit still for a long periods of time comfortably enough to get one’s mind in order. The third chapter talks a little bit about the last three of the eight limbs (i.e. concentration, meditation, and liberation.) However, the bulk of this chapter is devoted to the supposed magic powers that yogis claimed to have had as a result of their work on improving their minds. For skeptics and scientifically-minded individuals (e.g. yours truly), this is where the Sutras take a silly turn. The translation in question came out in 1912, and it’s clear that rationalism was already gaining hold and magic was getting to be a harder sell. I suspect that was the reason for the inclusion of Swami Vivekananda’s essay entitled “The Powers of the Mind”—to capitalize on the gravitas of the renowned yogi to convince people that chapter 3 isn’t bunk. The fourth chapter wraps up the book neatly--discussing karma and the liberation of the karmic cycle achieved through the state of higher consciousness called samadhi. If one has more than a superficial interest in yoga, it’s pretty much obligatory to read some edition of Patanjali’s The Yoga Sutras. I didn’t find this edition to be devastatingly poor, but there seems to be a consensus among reviewers that it’s not among the best translations / commentaries. I would recommend that one read some version of these sutras, be it BKS Iyengar’s Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Swami Vivekananda’s edition, or Swami Satchidananda’s version. I don’t have any experience with these other editions, though I have read works by BKS Iyengar and Swami Vivekananda, and found works by both to be well-written and clear. Notwithstanding the parts about magical superpowers, the book does provide a lot of food for thought, and in nice bite-sized pieces.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Adams

    A wonderful book to be read over and over again. Stiles includes a section providing word-by-word breakdown of the Sanskrit to accompany a translation meant to capture true meaning. A valuable addition to the bookshelf of any yogi.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Saiisha

    Until Patanjali wrote his original yoga sutras about 4000 years ago, there was no written record about yoga, even though it was already being practiced for centuries. Sutra in Sanksrit means a thread that holds things together. Each of Patanjali's short, sharp and succinct sutras is like a little knot in the thread, to be teased apart for its wisdom. So there are several translations and interpretations of his work, and I've read quite a few. All of them have something to say - with a different Until Patanjali wrote his original yoga sutras about 4000 years ago, there was no written record about yoga, even though it was already being practiced for centuries. Sutra in Sanksrit means a thread that holds things together. Each of Patanjali's short, sharp and succinct sutras is like a little knot in the thread, to be teased apart for its wisdom. So there are several translations and interpretations of his work, and I've read quite a few. All of them have something to say - with a different angle, for a different audience. I recommend Alistair Shearer's version, not just for his translation, but for the wonderful introduction to the Sutras that is almost necessary to understand the Sutras themselves. If you're interested in spirituality, philosophy, yoga, etc., join my Old Souls Book Club (https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...) for other recommendations and thought-provoking conversations!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

    I’m going to wait to rate this book until the translation is translated for me in class. Woah.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott Bischke

    From my blog post about this book; see http://www.emountainworks.com/scottbi... I spent some time looking for a book about Patañjali's Yoga Sutras. I've got some idea now just what sutra's are, but I want better insight into the content of Patañjali's take on the sutras as they relate to yoga, and more broadly to life. So I started where I often start, looking for a book on the topic. I found no shortage of versions of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras, as well as no shortage of opinions on those books. Oft From my blog post about this book; see http://www.emountainworks.com/scottbi... I spent some time looking for a book about Patañjali's Yoga Sutras. I've got some idea now just what sutra's are, but I want better insight into the content of Patañjali's take on the sutras as they relate to yoga, and more broadly to life. So I started where I often start, looking for a book on the topic. I found no shortage of versions of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras, as well as no shortage of opinions on those books. Often I found reviewers deriding authors for inserting too much of their own interpretation into a book that may be 5000 years old. How can you, dear author, know what Patañjali meant? That thought resonated with me, so I eventually settled on two versions of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras: one straight translation with no interpretation put forward (other than that from the translation); and another translation released in 1912 by an author named Charles Johnson. Not sure why, it just seems comforting that Johnson was around "way back when". The first thing I wanted to do was pick up some simple logistical structure of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras. Here's what I learned: * Patañjali prescribed or recorded almost 200 sutras--one author says 196, another 195, Johnson calls out 194. But I'm not going to quibble. Whoever's right, it's still way more wisdom than I am likely to be able to cram into my meager brain. * The yoga sutras are broken into four well-recognized books, each with a recognized theme. I want to talk about the four books, but first here's the thing that I struggle with--the translation comes from Sanskrit, so much of the trying to get through the yoga sutras is endless time stumbling over language without ever getting to the soul of the book, that wisdom, those aphorisms I really want to delve into. To boot, here's some bits and pieces pulled (sometimes verbatim) and blended from several references: * Samadhi Pada (51 sutras).--Samadhi is the main technique the yogin learns by which to dive into the depths of the mind to achieve Kaivalya. * Sadhana Pada (55 sutras).--Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for "practice" or "discipline". In this book Patañjali outlines two forms of Yoga, Kriya and Ashtanga. * Vibhuti Pada (54 sutras, per Johnson).--Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for "power". 'Supra-normal powers', siddhi are acquired by the practice of yoga. * Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras).--Kaivalya stands for emancipation or liberation and is used interchangeably with moksha, the goal of yoga. I'm sorry folks, but my eyes quickly glaze over when the words look and sound like gibberish. So let me try describing the four books of Patañjali's Yoga Sutras again, and with the help of more research try to pull those descriptions back into language I as least have half a chance to understand: * Concentration.--Book 1 is about improving concentration and gaining control of the mind. * Practice.--Book 2 is about how we practice yoga, and how that practice sets the foundation for spiritual growth. * Growth.--Book 3 is about growing our practice in the spiritual realm. * Freedom.--Book 4 is about freeing our soul, or gaining salvation. Ok, that helps...at least me...at least a little bit, anyway. Next up, I want to begin to tackle the sutras themselves. Thus far I am in Book One and Johnson has taken me through the first 38 sutras. I admit to great excitement as I "read ahead" and see that Book Two includes instruction or declaration of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, something I have long wanted to learn about. (And there, dear reader, is when my eyes really glazed over. I got lost in the what seemed like too much giberish. Perhaps I am just not that smart, but though I skimmed and pushed and tried to decipher the rest of the way, I cannot in honesty tell you I came away with more than that already described.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Lloyd-Billington

    I will try to expand this review later when I have more time, but for the moment I need to be brief, so I will start by saying I can comfortably call Edwin Bryant's version the least-helpful translation and commentary I've read (out of about 30 at this point). The reasons for this require and deserve more time, especially as the work itself represents a vast degree of effort on the author's behalf, but for now there are four primary points I will make: 1. First and foremost, Bryant's style and d I will try to expand this review later when I have more time, but for the moment I need to be brief, so I will start by saying I can comfortably call Edwin Bryant's version the least-helpful translation and commentary I've read (out of about 30 at this point). The reasons for this require and deserve more time, especially as the work itself represents a vast degree of effort on the author's behalf, but for now there are four primary points I will make: 1. First and foremost, Bryant's style and discursive voice are almost mind-bogglingly inconsistent -- one minute heaping up highly-padded academic abstractions, the next jarring the reader with an all-too-worldly analogy. This is by no means a cardinal sin, but I think it's fair to suggest that, the more abstract and demanding we know our content to be, the more important it is to maintain a consistent style. By jumping without warning or cause from one to the other, with many moments in between, I think Bryant's approach is likely to be profoundly off-putting to novice & expert alike. 2. The lack of clear structure or methodology behind Bryant's encyclopedic and non-linear incorporation of the (many) various commentaries on each sutra is also, in my opinion, a double failure, as it makes both the commentaries themselves as well as the original sutras they are designed to explicate far harder to follow than any or all of them are when approached independently. In simple terms, while I greatly respect the scope of what he is trying to do, by apparently failing to have a clear and consistent framework for integrating exegesis, I think he makes both original and commentary far more prolix than they are or need to be. 3. Perhaps closer to the heart of the matter (although arguably a vary small portion of the actual text), Bryant's translation of individual sutras is also, in my opinion, both philosophically and linguistically uneven -- one minute capturing the meaning reasonably well, the next choosing specific terms that, I believe, stylistically or ideologically clash with one another, or carry very direct implications in English that, in my view, are absent in the Sanskrit. Even if you were to skip the commentary, the text alone would be one of the less-helpful and, in my opinion, less philosophically-coherent versions out there, which is a bit of a statement given the range of translations available. 4. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, in my opinion the work as a whole does not seem to lead the reader toward a grounded & clear understanding of either the Sutras themselves or the core principles of Yoga, essentially taking a challenging but profound work and making it far more obscure than it needs to be. If this were simply a work of scholarship, that would be perfectly valid, but I don't believe the work is offered in that form, and even if it were, I think it would need much greater consistency & philosophical uniformity to be able to assert that the loss of the former is made up for by the latter. All this said, please know that none of the above is meant to disparage in the least Bryant's **clearly** extensive scholarship & **unquestionably** Herculean efforts, but the end results are, in my opinion, one of the least-helpful renditions available, either for novice or scholar....

  10. 4 out of 5

    Polly Trout

    The amount of time I've spent rereading Asian scriptures in the past month is embarrassing, but its an obsession that always helps me pull myself together when I'm crazy and heartbroken. I spent a few weeks reading this one every single morning (don't panic - it's short and only takes about 20 minutes if you skip the commentary), and it cheered me up enormously. Shearer's translation is accessible, clean, and elegant -- but not particularly accurate. It is a good gateway translation to the text, The amount of time I've spent rereading Asian scriptures in the past month is embarrassing, but its an obsession that always helps me pull myself together when I'm crazy and heartbroken. I spent a few weeks reading this one every single morning (don't panic - it's short and only takes about 20 minutes if you skip the commentary), and it cheered me up enormously. Shearer's translation is accessible, clean, and elegant -- but not particularly accurate. It is a good gateway translation to the text, or a good mnemonic device if you already know a great deal about Indian philosophy and just want a quick review/kick in the pants. Now I'm working through Barbara Stoller Miller's translation, which is considerably more scholarly. It's always fun to compare different translations of scripture if you don't know the original languages, which I don't. Here's some great quotes from Shearer's translation: "The mind becomes clear and serene when the qualities of the heart are cultivated: friendliness toward the joyful, compassion toward the suffering, happiness toward the pure, and impartiality toward the impure." "When we are firmly established in nonviolence, all beings around us cease to feel hostility. When we are firmly established in truthfulness, action accomplishes its desired end. When we are firmly established in integrity, all riches present themselves freely. When we are firmly established in chastity, subtle potency is generated. When we are established in nonattachment, the nature and purpose of existence is understood."

  11. 4 out of 5

    AJ Dreadfulwater

    "That which unites is called Yoga." -Patanjali A simple, yet brilliant foundational text of yogic philosophy. Patanjali writes the on the eight limbs of yoga and progression of the yogi via the limbs of "the organic process" of enlightenment. A non religious, but spiritual and philosophic text for all!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ying Zhao

    This book is one which you constantly go back to.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Rewards many rereadings....

  14. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    This is the most understandable translation I have read. I enjoyed it! Now I feel lead to study this side by side with another version and see what I can decipher from between the lines.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sherri

    This has become one of my favorite translations of the Yoga Sutras, having read a few different versions during my years of study and practice.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Neeraj Shukla

    This is a great book. Patanjali would be someone I would like to converse with in 2017. He was way way ahead of his time. The intellectual depth of this book is astounding.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tomme Fent

    I find this interpretation much more accessible than Swami Satchidananda's interpretation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    JoAnne

    It took me 7 months to get through Edwin Bryant's mammoth translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras. Mind you, it is completely possible to plow through the epic text in less time than that, but I approached it slowly and deliberately - underlining, re-reading, and cluttering it's pages with my own comments in the margins and on post-it notes. This version of the sutras is not for the faint of heart, as it is truly a text book. For those looking for philosophical inspiration that you can rel It took me 7 months to get through Edwin Bryant's mammoth translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras. Mind you, it is completely possible to plow through the epic text in less time than that, but I approached it slowly and deliberately - underlining, re-reading, and cluttering it's pages with my own comments in the margins and on post-it notes. This version of the sutras is not for the faint of heart, as it is truly a text book. For those looking for philosophical inspiration that you can relate to your daily practice, this might not be the version for you. Bryant is an academic in every sense of the word and as such, he really enjoys the sound of his own voice (or the look of his own words on paper). The text is dense and sometimes repetitive and Bryant freely utilizes Sanskrit terms and references to other Vedic texts such as the Samkyha Karika, the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, etc.. If you are not familiar with Indian philosophy you might find this a bit daunting. I definitely would not recommend this for those reading the sutras for the first time and would advise those readers to start with a more direct, readable version such as Swami Vivekenanda's timeless Raja Yoga or Swami Satchidananda's super engaging, lively and often humorous commentary. In addition to his own interpretation, Bryant weaves in the insights of commentaries on Vyasa's bhasya by several others who have interpreted the sutras through the ages. It's a lot of information to digest and that is why I approached it so slowly. Having said all that, I learned an incredible amount from delving into this colossal tome! Bryant knows his stuff and did a great job at unpacking the sutras in detail and expounding on each one. Reading this book was an epic task, but one I'm glad I undertook.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie MacDonald

    Many excellent examples of ways to liberate oneself, however as all the "old systems of beLIEf" it teaches "selflessness" and "surrender to outside sources"... This absurd programming of "ego is bad" and do EVERYTHING for others and "God" and not yourself. None of the old systems are truly liberating, they are just more subtle forms of control to keep the masses disempowered, "less than", and in need of some God or Guru to offer yourself to. This strange idea of "find someone else to blame or fi Many excellent examples of ways to liberate oneself, however as all the "old systems of beLIEf" it teaches "selflessness" and "surrender to outside sources"... This absurd programming of "ego is bad" and do EVERYTHING for others and "God" and not yourself. None of the old systems are truly liberating, they are just more subtle forms of control to keep the masses disempowered, "less than", and in need of some God or Guru to offer yourself to. This strange idea of "find someone else to blame or find someone else to give credit to" instead of taking FULL responsibility for themselves, is the number one reason why people stay asleep. Such doctrines that say "THIS" is the way, "THIS" is the seating posture and ritual to perform, etc... All nonsense. All is already within you. There is no path, YOU are the path of YOURSELF. This is a great book to gain greater perspective, but don't fall for the traps that convince you to ultimately give your power away. We are gods of ourselves. We as "the parts" contain the whole, but the Whole contains all us parts... There is no separation. There is none above or below you, just various manifestations of Source at different levels of awareness and vibration. No need to bow and worship that which you are the literal expression of... We simply nod to our elders in respect. I am sovereign unto myself. We are the angel and the demon, the light and the dark and it is ultimately our personal choice that which we choose to manifest while we are here wearing these temporary meatsuits.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carl

    I really liked the long introduction by Mr Shearer. I understand that there are other translations of the Sutras, but without having read them, not being a bodhisattva, and not reading Sanskrit, I'm willing to go with this one for now. Mr Shearer quotes from the Vishnu Purana: "Society reaches a stage where property confers rank, wealth becomes the only source of virtue, passion the sole bond of union between husband and wife, falsehood the source of success in life, sex the only means of enjoymen I really liked the long introduction by Mr Shearer. I understand that there are other translations of the Sutras, but without having read them, not being a bodhisattva, and not reading Sanskrit, I'm willing to go with this one for now. Mr Shearer quotes from the Vishnu Purana: "Society reaches a stage where property confers rank, wealth becomes the only source of virtue, passion the sole bond of union between husband and wife, falsehood the source of success in life, sex the only means of enjoyment, and outer trappings are mistaken for inner religion." Considering the Puranas date to around the first century common era, modified through the 16th century -- let's call it at least hundreds of years old -- this is a remarkable comment. (The punchline is, of course, that yoga is a path out of this mess, where yoga is inclusive of the physical we think of a yoga studio for, the mental exercise we think of as meditation, and the behavioral for which we might look to Buddha's eightfold path, etc.) The sutras themselves are brief and terse (at least in this translation, apparently not so much so in others!), and with meaning deeper than the few words might imply; I can't absorb them in a single reading. This is the sort of thing one must study repeatedly, over many years, and presumably while doing the broad concepts, while working on the eight limbs of yoga. (These are quite similar to the guidance of Buddhism: rules for living including nonviolence, integrity, contentment and the like, also focus on posture, breathing, and meditation.)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Prashanth Nuggehalli Srinivas

    Enjoyed this gentle and quick introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga sutras. About half the book is the initial discourse about the sutras, following which is the translation of the sutras. I appreciated the authors purposeful humanist interpretation of Patanjali, framing the entire learning as an achievement of collective human consciousness. The only somewhat disappointment is the exposition on the concept of “sanyama” which tends to invoke lot of quantum physics and ventures into territories of sci Enjoyed this gentle and quick introduction to Patanjali’s Yoga sutras. About half the book is the initial discourse about the sutras, following which is the translation of the sutras. I appreciated the authors purposeful humanist interpretation of Patanjali, framing the entire learning as an achievement of collective human consciousness. The only somewhat disappointment is the exposition on the concept of “sanyama” which tends to invoke lot of quantum physics and ventures into territories of science that is not fully understood even if spiritual masters have dwelt upon these. A pleasant, quick and an enlightening read also on the idea of Yoga much beyond Asana (postures); something that needs heady reinforcement in current age when yoga suffers the need for canning and packaging, which sadly the asanas are much more amenable to than the rest.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: I need to reread this. It's a teeny tiny book that is so dense with information and stuff to think about. I learned a TON about yoga (which is 1000000x more than just the exercise class) from the analysis chapters that preceded the sutras themselves, and I'm glad to have read all of that before reading the sutras, but still need to read them again. Would def recommend this translation and explanation to Americans; it was easy enough to understand without being conde The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: I need to reread this. It's a teeny tiny book that is so dense with information and stuff to think about. I learned a TON about yoga (which is 1000000x more than just the exercise class) from the analysis chapters that preceded the sutras themselves, and I'm glad to have read all of that before reading the sutras, but still need to read them again. Would def recommend this translation and explanation to Americans; it was easy enough to understand without being condescending. I plan to come back to this (or another translation of it) later in the year as I continue on my yoga journey.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Madi

    This book is an eye opener for anyone who is into yoga. It is amazing how old all this knowledge is and how apropriate for us to apply it today. The good part is that it says nothing about asanas - yoga postures - so you can apply its wisdom in your everyday life, activities, meditation routine and so on, even if you do not practice the classical yoga asanas. Although it might seem like a quick read, one should try and meditate on each sutra and try to see if they can apply it in real life, if it This book is an eye opener for anyone who is into yoga. It is amazing how old all this knowledge is and how apropriate for us to apply it today. The good part is that it says nothing about asanas - yoga postures - so you can apply its wisdom in your everyday life, activities, meditation routine and so on, even if you do not practice the classical yoga asanas. Although it might seem like a quick read, one should try and meditate on each sutra and try to see if they can apply it in real life, if it resembles aspects on one’s life. This is for sure one of those books that you keep on reading a couple of times in your life time to get the real glimpse of what it really says.

  24. 5 out of 5

    THT Steph

    With the original text being written between the first and third centuries, it might appear that there is little to be offered by reading another edition at this point, especially since I have personally read the text a dozen times, give or take. Edition matters though...greatly. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is required reading for yoga certification training, and it has become a book of great importance, and this edition delivers the text very nicely with quality translation. I checked the text With the original text being written between the first and third centuries, it might appear that there is little to be offered by reading another edition at this point, especially since I have personally read the text a dozen times, give or take. Edition matters though...greatly. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is required reading for yoga certification training, and it has become a book of great importance, and this edition delivers the text very nicely with quality translation. I checked the text across a number of devices and the formatting was of consistent good quality.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lizzy

    I’m not someone who does very well with rules. However, I have learned that some guidance in ethics can help steer you towards living a better life. This short book has given me more spiritual nourishment than any lofty text ever has. The more you read, the more you absorb. You can read it at so many levels from the superficial to the heavily metaphysic. It is so applicable to many walks of life. I suppose that is why it has influenced many religions. It has certainly influenced my mind for the I’m not someone who does very well with rules. However, I have learned that some guidance in ethics can help steer you towards living a better life. This short book has given me more spiritual nourishment than any lofty text ever has. The more you read, the more you absorb. You can read it at so many levels from the superficial to the heavily metaphysic. It is so applicable to many walks of life. I suppose that is why it has influenced many religions. It has certainly influenced my mind for the better.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Bryant's commentary is fascinating, clear and unparalleled in depth of analysis and accessibility. I would highly recommend this commentary for those who are new to the Sutras, as despite the length of the book, it is much more accessible and comprehensible than other commentaries. It took me a significant length of time to methodically work through! But it was absolutely worth it for the understanding it gave.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    (3.5 stars) The sutras are a minimalist text, and Mukunda Stiles's translation reflects and honors that simplicity. He lays out the aphorisms in the style of a long poem with (lovely) short verses, and doesn't weigh things down with commentary. The lack of elaboration makes this version best suited for someone who's read the sutras before and just wants a poetic reminder of the knowledge therein. I think a beginner would be confused by it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    I've read a few other commentaries of the sutras now, and I'm glad that I did. When I first approached this text it felt inaccessible, but upon returning to it after reading some of the other commentaries, I appreciate its depth and am more equipped to engage with the material. The front matter is outstanding and is tremendously helpful in tracking the origins of yoga. Primarily drawing on the traditional commentators, this text also honors the original intent of Pantanjali.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Reed

    Amazing :-) Best read with 2 bookmarks - 1 for the main text, and 1 for the notes to the text in the back of the book. Of particular note is just how well the similarities and differences between Yogic and Buddhist ideas are examined and explained.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sandy L Jones

    An interesting look at. the Mind I do not agree with reincarnation. But many things he describes as the mind are excellent. Things I have used in my life and more. An interesting read

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