From the Jacket:
This new translation, drawing its inspiration from both careful scholarship and yogic practice, offers innovative features in that it:
- provides a full grammatical analysis of each term used by Patanjali, including an analysis of word compunds.
- Emphasizes the style and flow of the central author, rather than deferring to later commentaries.
- Includes a concise introduction, surveying earlier scholarship on the text and highlighting what the translators perceive to be its central theme: the process of subtilization.
- Uses consistent translation of Sanskrit terms such as artha (purpose) and visaya (condition), whereas prior translations have often given more than one translation for the same Sanskrit word.
- Selectively retains technical vocabulary in the original, thus challenging the reader to expand his or her linguistic horizons by assimilating Sanskrit terms such as purusa, prakrti, guna, and dharma.
A Sanskrit word index and Bibliography of prior translations are included.
About the Author:
Dr. Christopher Chapple is Associate Professor of Theology at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angles, California. He is author of Karma and Creativity (SUNY Press, 1986) and editor of Samkhya-Yoga Proceedings as well as Religious Experience and Scientific Paradigms both published by the institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions. Dr. Chapple has also edited and extended the grammatical analysis of Winthrop Sargeant's translation of the Bhagavad Gita (SUNY Press, 1984).
Yogi Ananda Viraj (Eugene P.Kelly, Jr) is Assistant Director of Yoga Anand Ashram in Amityville, New York. He is author of several articles and is on the Editorial Board of Moksha Journal.
TECHNICAL FEATURES OF THIS TRANSLATION
This translation of the Yoga Sutras is designed for those interested in making direct contact with the Sanskrit text attributed to Patanjali. Although the Yoga Sutras are perhaps 2000 years more recent than the earliest Sanskrit texts of India, they are in many ways more difficult to decipher than the Vedic hymns, owing to their epigrammatic form. Each sutra was designed as a mnemonic device to bring into focus specific and involved meditation practices and experiences. To explain the import of these, later scholars of yoga provided extensive written commen- taries on the text including Vyasa (fifth century C.E.), Vacaspati Misra (ninth century C.E.), and Vijnana Bhiksu (sixteenth cen- tury C.E.)
. The present work is devoted to a grammatical explication of Patanjali's text accompanied by a new translation. Vyasa and other commentators have been consulted, as well as the dozen or so English translations listed at the end.
The main contribution of this translation is to provide the reader with a comprehensive analysis of the words used by Pat- anjali and how they interrelate. One need know no Sanskrit in order to use this analysis. However, if one studies it carefully, a working knowledge of sutra Sanskrit will be gained. With few exceptions, no verbs are used by Patanjali, immensely simplifying the task. The Romanization is given for each sutra, of the text, with each word separated. Compounded words are connected with. a hyphen. Then. each word- is isolated and analyzed separately. Words within compounds are identified by gender; words at the end of compounds are identified by gender, gram- matical case, and number. Each word is then followed by various possible translations, references to other sutras, and/or a detailed analysis of prefixes and verb roots. The analysis (vigraha ) of com- pounds (samasa) is given in brackets at the end of the compound. Our translation of the sutra then follows, sometimes accompanied with additional comments.
The single feature that most distinguishes this translation from the prior ones is that we have also used a single English word to translate Sanskrit terms, and have left a handful of terms in the• Sanskrit, either because they are referring to specialized states for which there is no English equivalent (such as guna purusa, prakrti; parinama, samyama, kaivalyam) or because the usage of a term in Sanskrit is loaded with numerous meanings, some of which would be eliminated by translation with a single term. For' instance, dharma seems to refer to both a discrete nature and larger order of things.
In a couple of instances, we have employed terms in English that equal the Sanskrit in their elasticity. For instance, the term visaya, translated by others as "object," also is used in a more. .general, process-oriented sense. We have used the word "condi- tion," which conveys both meanings. Another term for which we offer a new translation is pratyaya, which refers to the significance or content of a vrtti or mental fluctuation. This has been rendered "presented ideas" by Woods and "knowledge" or "cause producing an effect" by Aranya. Drawing from the• phenomenological language of Husserl and others, we have used the single word "intention," capturing the directionality that is, evident in its verbal root i (go), prefixed with prati (against, toward).
The word citta is one of the most difficult terms to adequately translate in the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali offers no definition of the term within the text. Some scholars have equated the term with the inner organ (antahkarana), said in the Samkhya Karika to be comprised of the intellect (buddhi), I-maker (ahamkara), and mind organ (manas). These translators have used such terms as mind-stuff for citta. Others have chosen to translate the term as "consiousness." Although this may be correct etymologically (the root cit means "perceive"), consciousness in the India context generally refers to the pure consciousness or witnessing mode purusa. Interestingly, citta can go either way. It can bind one through consciousness of things as typified in the five forms of its fluctuations (1:5-11) or it can, through its onepointedness, bring one to sattva and kaivalyam (III:55). It is through the purification of the citta that the nonattached state that is the goal of yoga achieved. Because of the ambivalence of the term, the more neut ral word "mind" will be used for citte, with manas, which appears only thrice, translated as mind organ.
Artha we have translated uniformally as purpose. Originally following Vyasa and other translators, we thought that at least two meanings pertained: in some instances ertha seemed to refer meaning, in other instances to objects. However, keeping in mind that all objects, as manifestations of prakrti. are for the enjoyment of purusa, we have found that the word "purpose" fits consistently.
Throughout our translation we have attempted to be sensitive to various clues offered by Patanjali in the areas of style and flow that seemingly lend a greater coherence to the text than previously discerned. At variance with some earlier interpretations, we see the categorization of yogis in Sturas 1:22 as explicitly prescinding from the "types" described in the three prior-sutras; we do not impute that Patanjali's descriptions of Isvara (1:23-29) constitute a theistic stance; we interpret I:41 as providing a foundational definition for the states of Samadhi that are later described; we see a hierarchy of subtilization evident in the descriptions of powers (vibhuti), thus linking this section to Patanjali's central theme as described below; we suggest that the discernment of "two things” in Ill:53 might possibly refer to the perception of the distinction between the purest form of sattva and purusa: we see the theme of parinama as a logical extension of his earlier statements and not an appended afterthought, as some have surmised; and, finally, we see a complementarity (if not a continuity) evident in the various descriptions of yoga that Patanjali proposes.
PATANJALI'S CENTRAL THEME: SUBTILIZATION
There are three principal concerns in the Yoga Sutra: practice (sadhana), return to the origin or subtilization (pratiprasava), and samadhi. The three are interrelated and at times synchronic. The application of yogic practices causes a progressive subtilization of one's focus, which is directed away from the gross manifestations of citta-vrtti to the most sublime aspect of prakrti; the state of sattva. When this is achieved, the resulting equipoise is defined as a state where distinctions of grasped, grasping, and grasper dis- solve (see 1:41).
Procedurally and ultimately, yoga takes an array of approaches, offering myriad paths to the goal and several descrip- . tions of the goal once it has been achieved. Furthermore, mention of the goal is found in each of the four sections of the text. The descriptions of each are diverse, and one could possibly choose a "favorite" description of yogic attainment whether it be jewel-like, 'cloud of dharma, or seedless. However, despite the plurality of practices and culminations the significance of which will be dis- cussed later, there is one matter in yoga about which there is no 'choice: the necessity for the practitioner to recall the gunas back to a condition of equilibrium (pratiprasava), mentioned in II: 10 and IV: 34.
To understand this critical process, the link between Samkhya and yoga must be acknowledged. With a few exceptions the vocabulary of yoga and Samkhya is shared. Like Samkhya, yoga unequivocably asserts the reality of prakrti. Like Samkhya. yoga extols discriminative knowledge as the means to liberation. Yoga, however, prescribes several more disciplines to achieve this elevated state and describes the results in various ways. Nonethe- less, each of the disciplines of yoga serves a common purpose: to lessen attachment first to the gross world. and then to the subtle influences that shape one's perception of the gross. Ultimately when the final state is attained, all obscurations are burned away the citta is purified, and one dwells in a state of pure sattva that allows one to reflect pure consciousness. This kaivalyam or sama dhi is not a catatonic state nor does it require death; it is the power of higher awareness (citi sakti) through which one continues tc . observe the play of life.'
The technical procedure for the subtilization of the citta serves as a thread that binds together the Yoga Sutras. This general theme has been helpful to keep in mind when our translation group encountered difficult passages. In a sense. the entire yogs system is designed to accomplish and perfect this process. It is first hinted at in the opening definition of yoga: "Yoga is the res traint of fluctuations in the mind" (1:2). It is explicitly described it the section on dispassion (1:13-16). A hierarchy of accomplish ment seems to be described in I:19-22, with the mild ones ready to return to the manifestations of prakrti; the medium well established in skills that keep one from bondage. and the ardent close to the vision of purusa. The progressively subtle hierarchy 0f . . concentrations (samapatti and samadhi) given in 1:44-51 (which have been commented upon extensively elsewhere). further establish the nature of yoga as requiring the gathering back of the mind from its obfuscated involvements with the world.
The beginning of the second section (Sadhana-pada) of the text clearly outlines that which is to be overcome by the practice 0f yoga. The fluctuations of the mind, inextricably linked to karma and the afflictions. are to be avoided through meditation (Il.11)' which returns the practitioner to a state of equilibrium. The dis criminating one sees the dissatisfaction (duhkha) inherent in worldly involvement (11:15) and seeks to avoid the dissatisfaction of the future (II: 16) through understanding the world-generating process of the seen (II: 18). Once it is seen that all activity is only performed for the sake of the seer, then it is in fact called back to its origin. reminiscent of the Samkhya Karika when prakrto ceases her dance. At this point, the culmination of the subtiliza- tion process, a state of wisdom is achieved: "From following the limbs of yoga, on the destruction of impurity there is a light of knowledge, leading to discriminative discernment" (11:28).
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