The Logic of Yoga Sutras Composition

The composition of Yoga Sutras is quite organic. Neither of sections of this work can be deleted without causing detriment to the whole work since they are interlinked not only by sequence of presentation but also by means of numerous cross-references.

The YS sections are arranged in compliance with linear-hierarchical principle, i.e. on the one hand each section comes as logical continuation of the previous one, and on the other hand it draws the details and specifies the concepts set in the previous section.

Each section is arranged according to fractal-hierarchical style of presentation. The section starts with definition of a basic category with its further detailed elaboration and explanation. Each new category is accompanied by explanation of practices deriving out of it. Each section is crowned by a “motivational” block which mission is to inspire the reader and stimulate his performance of the practice described in the section.

Each section consists of semantic blocks containing an average of 5 shlokas. The blocks are set according to hierarchical principle: the first shloka introduces a new category that is further explained. Rather often the block is finished with a shloka that somehow dramatizes the things said in scope of the semantic section.

Some semantic blocks fall out of the general rhythm of the work. The majority of such blocks are shorter and they contain some philosophical generalizations that do not follow from the main text. Most probably these generalizations have been borrowed, mainly from Buddhism. It is difficult to understand whether these shlokas initially came as a part of YS, but their removal would not affect the general meaning and contents of the text. Moreover, sometimes such generalizations come into collision with practices proposed by the author.

YS contains some elements of mentoring. The text repeats some ideas in different words for two or more times.