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Yoga Sutra of Patanjali

The Yoga Sutra is also called the Yoga Sutras, plural. This text, like a kaleidoscope, brings together the yoga traditions of the early modern era. This thought is also supported by the structure of the text - the Yoga Sutras are not composed in a single style, their ideas do not unfold one from the other, but confuse the reader, bringing him back to the same subjects again and again. Thus, in the Sutras we see several definitions of Yoga and several definitions of Samadhi.

That is, not only "sutras" but also "yogis" in the plural in the title of the text, i.e. the Yoga Sutras is a collection of ideas from different yoga traditions. Therefore, the state to which the practitioner goes and the methodology for attaining it differs throughout the course of the text.

To form your own opinion about Yoga Sutras, you can use the various materials and researches we have collected on this page:


Table of nuances of the first five translations of the Yoga Sutras

The reasons for the complications in translating the definition of yoga in the Yoga Sutra:

Patanjali’s vritti (those “chitta-vritti-nirodha”) are cognitive distortions, and their control (nirodha) is the attainment of adequacy of perception. However, the term “cognitive distortions” itself is only 50 years old. Until then, there was no methodology that adequately described this range of phenomena. Accordingly, the first translators of the Yoga Sutras did not have the appropriate words and apparatus to translate the basic terms of yoga. This led to a number of distortions in the perception of the meanings of the Yoga Sutra, the consequences of which we see in popular ‘yoga’.Source.

 Ballentain 1852William Judge 1890 (Teosoph)Dvivedi 1890 (Teosoph)Ganganath 1907Jonson (Teosoph), 1912Woods, 1914
yogaConcentrationYoga or сoncentrationYogaYogaUnion, spiritual consciousnessYoga
drashtarIt (the Soul)Spectator without a spectacleSeerSpectatorSeerSeer
chittaInternal organ or thinking principle, mindthinking principlethinking principle, mindInternal organPsychic natureMind-stuff
kshipta, vikshiptaDistraction of mindAttain concentrationDistraction of mindDistractionInterior consciousnessRestless, distracted
ekagraIntentness on a single oneIntent upon singleMind…into unityConcentration of mindOne-pointednessSingle-in-intent
samadhiMeditationMeditationMeditation, full of light, TranceMeditationMeditation, spiritual or consciousnessConcentration
vairagyaDispassionDispassionNon-attachmentDispassion (consciousness)self indulgencePassionless
dharanaDharana (attention)AttentioncontemplationConcentrationWithdrawal AttentionFixed-attention

Blog 'The Yoga Sutra: A Commentary by a modern practitioner'

by Andrey Safronov

Translations of Yoga Sutras

Swami Vivekananda
баллентайн, вивекананда, йога, Йога-сутра

Essay on Patanjali's Philosophy

Dasgupta S.
баллентайн, вивекананда, йога, Йога-сутра
T. K. V. Desikachar