Yoga Sutra 1

Yoga Sutra 1 – The opening Stanza of Patanjalis Sutras is on the face of it a one-dimensional statement. However, if we take a closer look, we find there is far more to it than first appears.    

Now Then The Authoritative instruction in Yoga


The science of Yoga laid out in Patanjalis Sutras is founded on the knowledge of teachers with first-hand experience of their subject. Patanjali is not introducing a new science but adding to an already established system. Yoga is not based on mere logical thinking, but by empirical proof. The term Pratijina means knowledge by direct experience.   

Yoga Sutra 1
Yoga Sutra 1

Knowledge must be gained by direct experience; otherwise how do we recognise it as an authority. Other than direct experience we can turn to Valid Testimony.


Other than experiencing a fact directly or evidence through reasoning, we can look to Valid testimony. Valid Testimony can be relied upon if the teacher has first-hand experience. Patanjali is an example of someone who has first-hand experience.

A teacher who can attest to something will evidence these qualities:

A. someone who has studied
B. someone who has practiced
C. someone who has succeeded
D. someone who can communicate 


What does Patanjali mean by Yoga?   

Panini is the recognised authority on classical Sanskrit and is considered the father of linguistics, and It was Panini who gave us the definition of Yoga.

Panini is thought to have lived anywhere between 5th Century BCE or 600 BCE and is known among other things for his treatise on grammar, called the Ashtadyayi.

Yoga is defined by Panini in two ways:

1. Yujir Yoge is defined by Panini as union
2. Yujir Samadhua is defined by Panini as Samadhi, or contemplation. 

Patanjalis Yoga Sutras describes the liberation from the bondage of change (Prakriti) to the unchanging truth of Purusha. Patanjali sets the path for the isolation of Purusha from Prakriti.

Yujir Yoga, or union as defined by Panini, is describing the path of non-dualism, or Vedantic Yoga as defined in the Bhagavad Gita.      


As we can see, the opening stanza in Patanjalis Sutras is an incredibly powerful statement. It Makes clear which path of Yoga is laid out, and how to be successful.


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