Patanjali Yoga Sutras – Translation and Commentary in the Light of Vedanta Scriptures
by AK Aruna
Description of “Patanjali Yoga Sutras”
Composed over two millenniums ago, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali remains the philosophical thread that unites the ancient and current world of yoga. Yet, its many translations are underwhelming, lacking connection to reality and practicality.
Innumerable forms and sects of yoga have come and gone in between. Obsessed with gaining special powers over mind and body, yoga’s re-tellers have clouded its history in a mystical mist of fantastic claims. It is human nature to crave powers to radically change our lot in life. These layers of dazzle and glitter have over the centuries led us further away from yoga’s spiritual core. The sutras’ clear, logical, and practical path has been blurred and lost.
Radically breaking with this mystical tradition, A. K. Aruna seeks to reclaim for us this fountainhead of yoga by retying the understanding of these sutras to the even more ancient source of spiritual knowledge and yoga—the Upanishads.
Unlike the yoga tradition infected by desires for powers over the mind, body, and the world, the Upanishad tradition has remained essentially true to yoga’s spiritual core rejection of seeking any glory or power in the world. Glories and powers are time-bound. They fade and disappear with their seekers. They are not different from the gatherings of wealth and power of anyone in the countless generations of our ancestors. When the body dies, the temporal gains are lost. If there is an afterlife, the surviving gains are cashed out in equally time-bound heavenly rewards.
The Upanishads eschewed limited pursuits in order to seek an ultimate goal that was not time-bound. In this still pure form of the yoga of seeking ultimate, timeless truth, the words of Patanjali become crystal clear and practical. Yoga shines in timeless relevance.
A. K. Aruna’s Patanjali Yoga Sutras: Translation and Commentary in the Light of Vedanta Scripture has brilliantly refocused the light on the Yoga Sutras. This is a must read for those who wish to understand and to carry on yoga’s timeless tradition unclouded by the distractions of the past.