The book you hold is a culmination of my efforts for the
last two decades to improve myself physically, mentally
and intellectually through the discipline of Yog, which is
one of the six schools of classical] Hindu philosophy.
These pages contain a tale based on the second chapter
of the Patanjali Yog Sutra titled Sadhana Pada, which
offers a sweeping overview of the philosophical as well
as practical aspects of Yog. The Yog Sutra of Patanjali is
widely accepted by tradition as a foundational text of the
philosophy of Yog, which is erroneously considered by
many to be a purely physical discipline involving body
Yog is a holistic approach to living, thinking and
responding. The physical aspect of Yog or asana (posture)
is but one of the eight limbs of classical Yog as explained
in the Patanjali Yog Sutra.
In the book you hold, the sutras or aphorisms of sage
Patanjali have been presented in the form of dialogues
among the characters in the story, who are traders from the
Kutch region of western India. Among these worldly folk
is Jagdusha Seth, the Jain trader from 12th Century Kutch
renowned for his charity, moral uprightness and wisdom.
I have deeply personal reasons for writing this book.
Before Yog found me, my life had been one of excess, had
been damaging my body and mind with my unregulated
eating, chain smoking, alcohol and all-night parties. The
lifestyle took a toll on my health, unsettled my mind and
strained my relationships.
It was after a long struggle to find my way out of the pit
Thad dug for myself that I zeroed in on the Patanjali Yog
Sutra. This scripture became the foundation of the new
life I built for my self. In the years that followed, I learned
at the feet of some of the best teachers of Yog in India, and
as the depths of the Patanjali Yog Sutra opened up before
my startled eyes, life began to change.
I became a student of bodybuilding, Pilates and Kalari
Payattu, the ancient Indian fighting system believed to be
the mother of all Oriental martial arts. ] explored music,
dance and traditional Indian breath work or Pranayama,
which is one of the eight limbs of eight-fold Yog. The
wonderful flowering I have experienced since then has
placed a debt of gratitude on my shoulders to the sage
Patanjali, the author of the Yog Sutra. The writing of this
book with my friend Satish Purohit is my attempt to repay
a small part of that debt.
I hope that the labour of love involved in writing this
book will inspire other seekers to undertake the journey
into their selves with the light of the Patanjali Yog Sutra
as their guide.
[have added my notes on each aphorism in the Sadhana
Pada section of the Patanjali Yog Sutra at the end of the
book. Kindly note that these jottings are personal attempts
on my part to make sense of the profundity of the Yog
Sutra. They should not be taken as the last word on the
intended import of the sutras.
I sincerely hope that this tale of Jagdusha, the first in
a four-part series, will inspire many spiritual seekers to
_ undertake an independent study of the Patanjali Yog Sutra
under the guidance of traditional Hindu yogis, swamis and
acharyas, whose unbroken lineages have preserved, taught
and lived the deeper truths of Yog for over 5,000 years.
Salutations to the One who has been called OM in the
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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