According to Sri Swami Satchidananda, an expert on the Yoga Sutras,
Within the space of these 200 short Sutras, the entire science of Yoga is clearly delineated: its aim, the necessary practices, the obstacles you may meet along the path, their removal, and the precise descriptions of the results that will be obtained from such practices.
Although Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is one of the most highly respected and well read texts on yoga today, very little is known about the man himself. Patanjali is thought to have lived somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd century C.E. Historians have been unable to agree on his birthplace and the only stories we have of his birth are surrounded in legends and myths.
The Philosophy of The Sutras
The Yoga Sutras are an important part of Yoga Philosophy. The 196 sutras, or threads, are divided into four sections:
- Samadhi Pada or Contemplation – explains the aim of yoga in a theoretical way, this aim being to attain a constant state of Samadhi or enlightenment.
- Sadhana Pada or Spiritual Practice – explains methods of practice to attain the yogic goal of Samadhi. Here, Pantenjali outlines the eight limbs of yoga discussed below.
- Vibhuti Pada or Accomplishments – explains the 6th, 7th and 8th limbs of yoga
- Kaivalya Pada or Absoluteness – explains mind construction and how it masks the inner self.
> More Information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pata%C3%B1jali
[ From the Introduction ] “The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali ~by Shri Yogacharya
“Hinduism is based on the original Yoga with its 8 steps. After Yoga, the Sankhya philosophy came into being. The book “Science of Soul” with Manas, Buddhi, Citta, Ahamkara and Antahkarana has been largely inspired by it. The Sankhya philosophy tries to explain al the phenomena that we come across in Yoga. After that 4 more philosophical trends followed, making it all increasingly difficult to understand. In the end the cat cannot find its kittens anymore.
That is what happened to Hinduism. The Hindus walk around, but have lost their way completely. I mean, the way to heaven. They have so much information, and so many gods, and so many rituals, and so many different insights that they don’t see it themselves anymore. You can compare their
Pandits or scribes with the scribes with whom Jesus had so much trouble.
What we are trying to do, and what we can do – because we are totally independent from the Hindu culture – is to go back to the roots, without outside influences. We feel much freer. It is like a re-discovery trip by an independent third person.
You may by now realize that it is very difficult in the Yoga-world to find a version of the Yoga
Sutra’s with some value. Fortunately there is the Theosophical Society, for which I have a lot of respect. Already for more than 100 years this organization tries to translate the original scripts and spread them among the people.
Theosophy means “Love for the Divine”. Theo – sophy.”