Yogasutras of Patanjali Web Series – Video 7

Yogasutras of Patanjali Web Series – Video 7 – Samadhi Pada – Sutra 1.1

Patanjalis Yogasutras

Samadhi Pada: Sutra 1.1

In accordance with the tradition Sage Patañjali is regarded as:

  • Compiler of the Yoga Sūtras.
  • The author of Mahābhāṣya, commentary on (Pāṇinī’s Aṣṭādhyāyī)
  • The author of a treatise connected with Ayurveda. (Charak Samhita)

This can be probably accepted on the evidence of the verse quoted in Rājamārtaṇḍa of Bhojadeva and also in Vāsavadattaṭīkā by Śivarāma written by the famous Sanskrit poet Bhartuhari.

Sage Patanjali

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां 

मलं शरीरस्य  वैद्यकेन 

योऽपाकरोत्तं  प्रवरं मुनीनां 

पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि 

I bow down with folded hands to sage Patañjali who dispersed the

  • impurities of mind with a treatise on Yoga,
  • impurities of speech with a treatise on grammar and
  • impurities of body with a treatise on medicine.

Patañjali Caritam has more lines to this poem (The Patañjali Charita, Ramabhadra Dikshita, 2nd edition, 1934, Nirnaya Sagar press, Bombay).

In spite of the Yoga Sūtra being by far the most perfect text on the philosophy of classical Yoga, very little is known about Patañjali himself. In fact, the identity of this sage scholar is still being debated in academic circles. All that one might say about him is that he was a great philosopher and grammarian. Some also believe him to have been a physician and attribute a medical work to him. But even if such a medical treatise did exist at one time in the past, it has been lost to us through the passage of time. Scholars tentatively put his time somewhere around four centuries to six centuries before Christ and though the date of the Yoga Sūtra`s composition is also a debatable issue, it is placed within that broad time frame.

Patañjali’s Treatise

The text of Yoga Sūtras comprises 195 Sūtras spread over four Pādas / chapters. They are:

  • Samādhi Pāda (51 Sūtras)
  • Sādhana Pāda (55 Sūtras)
  • Vibhūti Pāda (55 Sūtras)
  • Kaivalya Pāda (34 Sūtras).

अथ समाधिपादः

Atha SamādhiPādaḥ

अथ योगानुशासनम् ॥१.१॥

1.1 Atha Yogānuśāsanam

॥1.1॥ Now the discipline of Yoga (concentration) is explained.

  • atha = now
  • yoga = concentration
  • anu = subsequent
  • shaasanam = discipline

Practical Application of this Sutra:

Be aware of your minds contents. It helps us to keep it in the NOW. That way it always remains concentrated on the task at hand. Also Patanjali says that these concepts of Yoga existed during his time in pockets of various texts. He is thus not the founder of yoga but compiler of the Yogasutras. So the lesson we get here is do your work with a detached attitude and give it your best shot.