SAGE PATANJALI – An Introduction
Sage Patanjali – Hey friends. Today’s topic is Introducing Sage Patanjali. My first brush with Yoga was with its third limb i.e. Asanas. My migraine was making life difficult for me and hence I decided to go the Yoga way not knowing that Yoga was more preventive than a curative therapy. Few Asanas and Kriyas especially the Jal Neti kriya helped me immensely. In no time I was feeling better to let go of all the allopathy medicines. This was amazing and so I set out to learn the basics of Asana and Pranayama from a proper educational institute. Asanas and Pranayama were the definition of Yoga to me then. I joined a college in Mumbai and started my Bachelor’s degree to understand the therapy part of it so that I can cure my physical ailments. I was just thinking of the Annamaya kosha, because that was important and the only thing that mattered to me.
In the course of the first lecture at the institute, we were introduced to Indian Philosophy. I was like “Oh no, not theory again”. I tossed and turned in my seat for few days trying to make sense. Then came the session on Yoga philosophy and I was like “No way, I didn’t sign for this. This is not even remotely Yoga.” I revolted, asked stupid questions and tried my level best to disrupt the class. But my teacher was the best and perhaps he was used to nasty students like me in his class. He didn’t mind one bit. He answered all my questions with a smile which I adore of. He introduced Sage Patanjali to us in our fourth class.
Sage Patanjali existed during 350- 450 BC (scholars say so). Sage Patanjali realised that the knowledge of Yoga was scattered in various texts that was prevalent in that era. He realised that it stated many ways and means to better one’s life and hence out of compassion he compiled all the available information into 195 verses. He divided them into 4 chapters. This is known today as the 195 Yogasutras of sage Patanjali. Unfortunately, only few scholars know it in its totality.
The reason why only a handful of people know about this text is because it is written in Sanskrit, it is Philosophy and it is in Sutra format. When I started studying this text I did it purely to score good marks for my exams. I was like “once my exams are over I am not going to this text ever”. Fast forward 14 years – – Today I submitted my thesis for my Ph.D and guess what is the topic of my PhD? ” Appreciation of and insight into Patanjali’s Yogasutras through structures and games”.
I look at life and its challenges in a different way after understanding the Yogasutras. I have by hearted all the 195 Yogasutras to help me calm my wavering mind. I am low on ego and open to learning this text in its various dimensions. Internal and external obstacles are known to me and I am working on it. Karma theory and how to make my subliminal impressions feeble is now known. I am continuously working on reducing my number of thoughts, which is the main goal of Yoga, ‘Yogaha chitta vritti nirodhaha’. This is one text that is my saviour. Which is yours?
P.S.: Let me know which topics of the Yogasutras you want to read about. I would then align my writings accordingly. Stay blessed.
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