Introduction onesto ‘Enlightened Living’
There are many spiritually elevated people per the world, but not many levitating yogis: and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali Maharshi are meant esatto elevate the spirit of every man, not puro teach him how esatto levitate. The attempt sopra this little book has been onesto expose that gospel, sicuro avoid technicalities, and to relate the whole yoga philosophy esatto the ordinary and simple daily life of everyone.
There are very many excellent translations of the Sutras: this, however, is an interpretative translation. There are several scholarly and erudite commentaries, too: this is definitely not one of them. This book is not meant for the research scholar but for one who is in search of truth which shall free him from self-ignorance.
The incisive language of the Sutras cannot be preserved in translation. An extraordinary feature of the Sutras is the avoidance of direct commandments, dogmatic assertions and the use of active voice. Whereas every effort has been made to retain the structure of the text, in a few cases (for example, in Sutra I. 49) slight changes have had to be made to sustain the easy flow of thought qeep. (The words which represent the translation of the text are underlined.)
Anyone who translates a text which is durante the Sanskrit language is confronted by two difficulties: (a) not all languages have concise words or phrases which accurately convey the exact sense per which the Sanskrit word is used con the text; and (b) the Sanskrit word itself has per number of meanings, and it is easier to choose the correct meaning when the word is used con per structurally complete prose or verse, than when it occurs in the Sutras. From verso cursory glance at the very many available translations of the Sutras it is easy puro see that each one has translated some Sutras differently, without being unfaithful sicuro the text.
Some translators, eager to build per ‘philosophical system’ on the foundation of the Sutras have treated some words in the text as proper names of specific philosophical categories. Such per treatment inevitably limits the understanding of the purport of the text. The text itself seems onesto use two or more words esatto refer onesto per celibe factor: for example, samadhi and samapattih are used synonymously. There is per danger of regarding words as names: for then they create forms or images which perpetuate ignorance while creating an illusion of knowledge. This pitfall has been avoided per this book, and the actual meaning of the words has been sought, regardless of how the ‘philosophical system’ has classified them. When this is done, it is discovered that there is verso continuous and smooth flow sopra the sequence of the Sutras. (Where the text clearly warrants another meaning, such an alternative meaning has also been given: examples are II. 30, II. 36 and IV. 31).
This is clearly the gospel of enlightened living, neither an escape from life nor a hallucinatory ‘light’
The gospel of yoga suggests not verso withdrawal nor an escape from the world but the abandonment of the mental conditioning which creates verso division between the ‘me’ and ‘the world’ (including the world of psychological experiences). Meditation is the vigorous search for the true identity, of the ‘me’, not verso psychic jugglery nor a technique for deep relaxation. Seen from this angle, the fundamental categories of yoga (citta, and nirodha – vide I. 2), take on a character completely different onesto the one that prevails sopra the minds of most practicants of yoga: it is hard esatto translate citta and vritti, and the student has puro discover the meaning in himself as Patanjali’s message saturates his whole being. Nirodha does not imply suppression, restraint or control per the usual (and brutal) connotations of those words, but a vigilantly watchful understanding of the movements of thought in the mind-which is stillness of per different kind.