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Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Summary

Chapter One Of The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: Samadhi Pada

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

This chapter in fact answer the most basic question “What is Yoga?” Since Samadhi is the culmination of Yoga it occupies an important place in this ancient text. Yet it is rather bewildering for most serious students of Yoga who struggle with this text that the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras begins with what seems the most esoteric state in Yoga. The first sutra gives us a hint.

Atha: Now

Yoganushasanam: the study, Yoga teachings, Yoga exposition

Atha Yogah anushasanam: Now the study of Yoga begins. Sutra I.1


The first word “now” of this first sutra seems to suggest that the student or the seeker must have already experienced through practice or spontaneously some higher states of spirituality. Through a spontaneous spiritual experience the sadhaka begins to seek and search for guidance. The sadhaka, who plunges spontaneously in to a mystical state seeks an explanation of all that he has experienced. Only such a student will find the analysis of the nature of the mind and thoughts of interest and the serious study of Yoga may then begin.The first chapter explains in the different stages of Samadhi.

It is highly unlikely that any unprepared student will undertake the study of this text. If so, it will remain an intellectual and academic exercise. Clearly only those with burning intensity coupled with sadhana will be able to decipher this text.

Dharana Dhyana & Samadhi #6 7 And 8 Of 8 Rungs

3.1 Concentration is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place, and is the sixth of the eight rungs.

3.2 The repeated continuation, or uninterrupted stream of that one point of focus is called absorption in meditation , and is the seventh of the eight steps.

3.3 When only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in the mind, as if devoid even of its own form, that state of deep absorption is called deep concentration or samadhi, which is the eighth rung.


Who Is The Founder Of Yoga

The founding father of yoga is credited to a man named Patanjali. It was his belief system and ability to take an acceptable, scientific thought process and turn it into a philosophical and spiritual guide towards understanding oneself better.

He took the ancient Indian philosophies of Sankhya , and he used it to conclude that only by controlling your prana could you be in complete control over the body, mind, and soul. From all of this, he wrote the 196 Yoga Sutras.

According to Chopra, the mythology behind Patanjali is that he came about as a reincarnation of Anantha, a multi-headed serpent that Vishnu sleeps upon in between creations. Once Vishnu woke up again, Anantha asked him to make him a great teacher Vishnu allowed him this in the form of Patanjali.

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Laya Yoga And Kundalini Yoga

Laya and kundalini yoga are closely associated with Hatha yoga but are often presented as being independent approaches.


According to Georg Feuerstein, laya yoga “makes meditative absorption its focus. The laya-yogin seeks to transcend all memory traces and sensory experiences by dissolving the microcosm, the mind, in the transcendental Self-Consciousness.” There are various forms and techniques of Laya yoga, including listening to the “inner sound” , practicing various mudras like Khechari mudra and Shambhavi mudra as well as techniques meant to awaken a spiritual energy in the body .

The practice of awakening the coiled energy in the body is sometimes specifically called Kundalini yoga. It is based on Indian theories of the subtle body and uses various pranayamas and mudras to awaken the energy known as kundalini or shakti. In various Shaiva and Shakta traditions of yoga and tantra, yogic techniques or yuktis are used to unite kundalini-shakti, the divine conscious force or energy, with Shiva, universal consciousness. A common way of teaching this method is to awaken the kundalini residing at the lowest chakra and to guide it through the central channel to unite with the absolute consciousness at the highest chakra .

Book Three: Vibhuti Pada Accomplishments

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Buy The Yoga Sutras of ...

This book outlines all of the accomplishments which can be achieved through the practice of yoga. These accomplishments are The Siddhis which can be cultivated by practicing the final three limbs of Raja Yoga: Dharana , Dhyana and Samadhi .

Combining all three in the practice of Samyama can guide us towards the light of knowledge by steadying the continuous input of new information to the mind. Observing or being a witness to ones Self through Samyama can lead to knowledge, insight and a powerful sense of Self. With more practice, the need to focus on external or mind object becomes unnecessary.

The final state of Samadhi is reached where nothing is needed. Observe the Self to know the Self and then ultimately to see the true light of the Self after the veil of external influence is lifted. Kaivalya is the ultimate goal of Raja yoga and is achieved when the seed of attachment is gone. Of course, in life there are many necessary distractions and attachments and so we just visit the practice to come inward as a means to manage our connection with our Self.


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History Of The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali

As far as the origin of the teachings that the sutras are based on, that remains a bit of a mystery. The assumption is that Patanjali collected all the thoughts, mantras, and teachings of yoga from generations before him.

From these understandings, he organized the knowledge and applied his interpretation of the lessons he wished to instill in his students. It was from this gathering of knowledge that the Yoga Sutras were written by Patanjali around 400 BCE in India.

Once the texts were complete, and people began following their guidance, it quickly became the most influential teaching of yoga and self-discovery. In the medieval era, it was translated into 42 languages, including Old Javanese and Arabic.

Unfortunately, the teachings fell out of popularity for about 700 years. It wasnt until the 19th century that the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali gained fame once more thanks to the efforts of Swami Vivekananda, the Theosophical Society, and others. In the 20th century, along with the growing popularity of yoga as a practice of meditation and stress relief, it gained popularity once more and is now available to the general public. .


What Are The First 4 Yoga Sutras

Inside the Yoga Sutras is a collection of 196 verses organized into four chapters. Upon opening the first chapter, known as Samadhi pada, you will be greeted by four sutras that begin to explain what yoga truly is.

  • Sutra 1.1 Atha Yoga anushasanam This sutra is the opening to the book. It is translated to Now and discipline, essentially saying that you will now learn the discipline of yoga .
  • Sutra 1.2 Yogaha chitta vritti nirodhah The definition of these words are mind, modifications, and control. This describes yoga perfectly, as it is the way to control and modify the mind. That said, sutra 1.2 describes the meaning of yoga itself.
  • Sutra 1.3 Tada drashtuh swarupe awasthanam Piggybacking off of sutra 1.2, sutra 1.3 essentially explains what happens when a yogi controls their mind they achieve a true state of being.
  • Sutra 1.4 Vritti sarupyam itaratra In the fourth sutra, Patanjali explains that when you are not in control of your mind, your thoughts can overtake you, which is why it is so important to meditate.

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Internal Is Seen To Be External

3.7 These three practices of concentration , meditation , and samadhi are more intimate or internal than the previous five practices.

3.8 However, these three practices are external, and not intimate compared to nirbija samadhi, which is samadhi that has no object, nor even a seed object on which there is concentration.

The Four Chapters Of Patanjali Sutras

Yoga Sutras with Alexander Medin – Summary Chapter 1 & 2

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are divided into the following four chapters:


1. Samadhi pada: Defines yoga but is intended to help individuals who are near to achieving samadhi, or self-realization.

2, Sadhana pada: Describes the eight stages that must be followed to progress spiritually. This chapter is written for the average individual.

Most yogis utilize the eightfold path as a guide for yogic life therefore, its arguably the most essential of all the chapters. This encompasses ethical, moral behavior, asana, pranayama, sensory mastery, concentration, meditation, and self-realization, all of which are completed in this order.

3. Vibhuti Pada The eight siddhis or supernatural powers that a yogi can obtain in the highest degrees of spiritual development are described and warned against in Vibhuti pada.

4. Kaivalya pada: Defines how to exist in the world without being influenced by the three gunas or energy qualities.


These four chapters, taken together, look at a persons total development in action, thought, and speech. Patanjalis Yoga Sutras are one of the most widely cited sources of yogic wisdom since they give the ultimate instruction manual for yoga and spiritual development.

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Content Of Yoga Sutras

The work is divided into four chapters , Chapter. I known as Samadhi, Chapter II known as Sadhana, Chapter III known as Vibhuti, Chapter IV known as Kaivalya, as shall be explained below.

In the first chapter Yoga is defined and some of obstacles to achieve Yoga are enumerated. A couple of classifications are brought into attention and various kinds of samadhi are briefly explained. The classical Sanskrit definition of Yoga as Yogacittavrittinirodha is translated by Swami Satyananda Saraswati as: “To block the patterns/ modifications of consciousness is yoga”. Swami Vishnu-Devananda translates the same sutra as: “Yoga is restraining the activities of the mind”. The above definitions are quite similar for the fact that cittavritti means both pattern of consciousness and activity of the mind. Furthermore, YS enumerates the five-fold kinds of vrittis/ cittavrittis, namely pramana, viparyaya, vikalpa, nidra and smriti, giving their definitions in following sutras as correct knowledge, incorrect knowledge, imagination, sleep and memory respectively. The two essential qualities for success in Yoga are mentioned to be abhyasa, constant practice and vairagya, detachment from the material experience seen more in its inner aspect. The issue of cittavrittis becomes fundamental for the fact that by controlling, blocking or restraining the cittavrittis the state of yoga is achieved through samadhi in its various aspects as experience of awareness.

An Overview Of The Yoga Sutras

In this article Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani gives us an overview of the four chapters of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjalithe foundational text for the classical Yoga system. This system is neatly unpacked by Dr. Ananda, who gives us key points to guide our understanding of this seminal text of Yoga philosophy and practice.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali must have been composed and then transmitted by the oral tradition since, at least, 1500-1000 BC but came into the written form much later, in around 500 BC300 AD. The sutras were always kept short, as they were intended to be learned, memorized and chanted with reverence and understanding in order to facilitate the development of a deep sense of quiet, inner contemplation. There are 195 or 196 sutras, depending on the version. Two versions are available today that differ on the addition of a sutra at 3.22, which is actually an expansion of the idea presented in the previous sutra. They are arranged in a logical form and placed into four chapters.

Chapter 1: Samadhi Pada

Sutras 1.1-1.4 deal with the definition of Yoga as a process of mental purification. The classical definition of Yoga as a discipline to control the whirlpools of the subconscious or unconscious mind is given along with the understanding of the process of oneness with the vrittis, which occurs in the absence of the control.

Chapter 2: Sadhana Pada

Chapter 3: Vibhuti Pada

Chapter 4: Kaivalya Pada

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The Four Books Of The Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Explained

The four books originate from the teachings of the sage Patanjali. Around 400 BCE, he wrote a collection of texts that consisted of 196 sutras . These 196 sutras were further categorized into the four books, now referred to as the Four Books of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

As a side note, these are great references for anyone who is diving into the Yogic Lifestyle but especially for those pursuing their Online Yoga Teacher Training, these are great resources to help you understand what is behind the asanas.

According to Yogapedia, the four books of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are:

  • Samadhi pada
  • Sadhana pada
  • Vibhuti pada
  • Kaivalya pada
  • Each book works together to create a teaching guide towards a spiritual journey into understanding oneself better.

    A Brief Introduction To Patanjalis Yoga Sutra

    Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: Buy Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali ...
    What is Yoga Philosophy?

    Philosophy can sound so dry and unrelated to the dilemmas and decisions we face everyday. In reality though philosophy can help us to understand our place in the world. Yoga philosophy is deeply woven into ancient Indian thought and Yoga is in fact, the name of an ancient Indian school of philosophy. Patanjalis Yoga Sutra is made up of 196 aphorisms or pithy phrases about yoga. In fact the word sutra is related to our word for suture and these are short pithy phrases without verbs. The sutras in short summarise the theory and practice of yoga.

    What are Patanjalis Yoga Sutras?

    The sutras are 1600 1700 years old . They explore how to deal with the process of suffering. The sutras are both a manual for practice but also offer a theoretical understanding. The exact purpose of the compilation of the sutras has been lost, but they date from an oral tradition, so there is certainly material that may be lost to us and traditionally, the sutras would have been passed from teacher to student.

    The Sutras are attributed to a sage called Patanjali. There are in fact, three Patanjalis who compiled significant manuals to emerge from ancient India. Someone called Patanjali was also a grammarian responsible for compiling a dictionary of Sanskrit and wrote significant works around Ayurveda.

    What is the best way to understand the sutras?
    Whats in the sutras

    There are four chapters in the sutras.

    A Metaphysical understanding
    Is the Yoga Sutra a religious text?

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    Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali: The 8 Limbs Of Yoga Explained

    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are one of contemporary yogas favourite sources of inspiration and guidance on how to live a balanced and ethical life both on and off the mat. While the complete Yoga Sutras consists of 195 aphorisms that yoga scholar David Gordon White calls a Theory of Everything, most of modern yogas attention is focused on the 31 verses that describe the eight limbs of yoga, which form a practical guide on the subject of how to attain liberation from suffering. A study of the history of the Yoga Sutras reveals that much of our understanding of this ancient work has been filtered through numerous commentaries on the original verses. Our version of the eight limbs acknowledges the context of their creation and then finds ways to apply them in contemporary life.

    Barbara Stoler Millers Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali is the translation and commentary upon which our interpretations are based.

    Definition In Classic Indian Texts

    The term Yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions.

    Yogabija, a Hatha yoga work14th century CE“The union of apana and prana, one’s own rajas and semen, the sun and moon, the individual Self and the supreme Self, and in the same way the union of all dualities, is called yoga. ”

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    What Are The Chapters Of The Yoga Sutras

    The goal of the Yoga Sutras is to help yogis on their spiritual journey and encourage self-realization and wisdom. Inside the book, there are 196 sutras that are up for original interpretation. That said, the yoga sutras can have many meanings, depending on whos reading them.

    As a basis, though, the yoga sutras are divided into four chapters with specific meanings:

    Higher Discrimination Through Samyama

    5 Types of Dreams – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

    3.53 By samyama over the moments and their succession, there comes the higher knowledge that is born from discrimination.

    3.54 From that discriminative knowledge comes awareness of the difference or distinction between two similar objects, which are not normally distinguishable by category, characteristics, or position in space.

    3.55 That higher knowledge is intuitive and transcendent, and is born of discrimination it includes all objects within its field, all conditions related to those objects, and is beyond any succession.

    3.56 With the attainment of equality between the purest aspect of sattvic buddhi and the pure consciousness of purusha, there comes absolute liberation, and that is the end.Patanjali

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    A Beginners Guide To Patanjalis Yoga Sutras

    By Sarah Di Ganci for Yoga Medicine®.

    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offer a succinct reference outline for the practitioner of yoga to mark their progress in their unique spiritual experience. Its a really comprehensive list of aims with which we can discover our Self in this world. If we see the world and all beings in it as one with our Self, then we can potentially be free from suffering and find even more freedom in remembering who we are really.

    You could think of the Yoga Sutras as a reference book to pick up and find whichever Sutra may be more relevant in our lives at that moment. Sometimes we can read a whole book and remember a fraction of the content or misread something over and over again, but the information only reveals itself when were actively seeking knowledge in the context of lifes demands.

    One of the beautiful things about Patanjalis writings is that they provide a unified multifaceted container of principles for the many schools of yoga and can be an encouragement to the enlightened or to the diamond in the spiritual rough. The text is always there to help us polish our practice of yoga, and this is my humble summary of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.

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