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orlando
23 November 2012, 01:31 PM
Namaste!

Could someone please tell me the name of author of best commentary on Yoga-sutra according to you?

Amrut
24 November 2012, 04:18 AM
Swami Vivekananda's commentary on Raj Yog :)

read online

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_1/raja-yoga/preface_frame.htm

pdfs

http://www.holybooks.com/raja-yoga-by-swami-vivekananda/

http://www.shardsofconsciousness.com/user/sites/shardsofconsciousness.com/files/ebooks/RajaYoga_Vivekananda.pdf

Giza
24 November 2012, 10:53 AM
I've only read two translations; I recommend the second, entitled, "Four Chapters on Freedom" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar Yoga School. In general I highly recommend his books and the books of his teacher Sivananda. :D

Giza
24 November 2012, 10:54 AM
Swami Vivekananda's commentary on Raj Yog :)

read online

http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_1/raja-yoga/preface_frame.htm

pdfs

http://www.holybooks.com/raja-yoga-by-swami-vivekananda/

http://www.shardsofconsciousness.com/user/sites/shardsofconsciousness.com/files/ebooks/RajaYoga_Vivekananda.pdf
Thank's for the link, I'm going to have to look into that myself. :)

Sahasranama
24 November 2012, 01:02 PM
The commentary by vyasa is the foremost commentary on the yoga sutras. All other acharyas have based their understanding on vyasa's commentary.

Other acharyas who have commented on the sutras are Vacaspati Mishra, Bhoja Raja, Vijnabhikshu and Swami Hariharananda Aranya, of course there are many more, but these are the main ones.

There is one book in English that is based on the above Sanskrit commentaries written by a professor of Hinduism, Edwin Bryant who is actually sympathetic towards Hinduism and also a devotee of Krishna. He elucidates the view of the above acharyas and also quotes extensively from the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and puranas to show how the ideas in the yoga sutras are part of the larger context of Hinduism and not just ideas from some isolated sect like most other western academics try to do.

orlando
24 November 2012, 01:10 PM
The most important commentary is that of Vyasa, without vyasa's commentary a lot of the sutras are unintelligible.

If that commentary was really written by Srila Vyasadeva(the same author of Srimad Bhagavata Purana) then I want really to read it!

Sahasranama
24 November 2012, 01:30 PM
If that commentary was really written by Srila Vyasadeva(the same author of Srimad Bhagavata Purana) then I want really to read it!
I can't say for sure, most think it was a different vyasa, but you never know. Regardless of which vyasa wrote it, it is considered the standard commentary and some say that it is hard to distinguish where the sutras of Patanjali stop and the commentary of Vyasa begins.

On a side note, Patanjali is also the author of the famous commentary on Panini's grammar (the Mahabhashya) and he also authored the Charaka Samhita, an ayurvedic text which was later rewritten by Buddhists scholars. Patanjali is considered an incarnation of Adi Shesha and appeared around the same time when Vishnu incarnated as Buddha.

orlando
24 November 2012, 01:40 PM
My point as gaudiya-vaishnava is that if he is the same Vyasa who wrote Vedanta-Sutra and Bhagavata Purana,then for me that commentary would the only one who really explains the meaning of the sutras.

I hope you understand my point of view.

Sahasranama
24 November 2012, 01:45 PM
My point as gaudiya-vaishnava is that if he is the same Vyasa who wrote Vedanta-Sutra and Bhagavata Purana,then for me that commentary would the only one who really explains the meaning of the sutras.

I hope you understand my point of view.I understand your POV, but most likely it is not the same vyasa and regardless of sampradaya, every acharya has based their own commentary on this Vyasa's work. The yoga sutras are not accepted in Vedanta traditions, including Gaudiya Vaishnavism. Advaita vedantins have studied it extensively, but with some provisions. The only Vedantin who accepted the yoga sutras was Vijnana Bhikshu, a very broad minded Hindu who tried to show the synthesis of various philosophical schools.

orlando
24 November 2012, 02:04 PM
The yoga sutras are not accepted in Vedanta traditions, including Gaudiya Vaishnavism.

Actually Swami Prabhupada(who is a gaudiya-vaishnava guru) says that Astanta-yoga's Patanjali is an authentic method of spiritual realization but it is not suitable in Kali-yuga,when the most effective mean is the chanting of Hare Krishna maha-mantra,

Sahasranama
24 November 2012, 02:21 PM
Ashtanga yoga is not necessarily Patanjali yoga. Ashtanga yoga is more ancient than Patanjali and goes back to Hiranyagarbha who is the original expounder of the yoga school. This is explained in the Mahabharata. Kapila Muni also explains Ashtanga yoga to his mother Devahuti in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Patanjali is only one teacher who elaborated on this system. Actually Patanjali expounded on two systems of yoga, Ashtanga yoga (yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi) and Kriya yoga (tapah, svadhyAya and Ishvara praNidhAna) which is a subset of the niyamas, but on its own it is a complete system as well. Furthermore, Patanjali says that Ishvara praNidhAna on its own can lead to samAdhi. It is the most potent element of yoga. Note that the Valmiki Ramayana starts with the words tapaH and svadhyAya and that the topic of the Ramayana is Ishvara praNidhAna. Some sources also speak of a six limbed yoga. Modern people are too quick to equate Ashtanga yoga with Patanjali, while Ashtanga yoga itself is much older.

Amrut
25 November 2012, 03:41 AM
Namaste All,

@Giza

No problem.

@Sahasranama and @Orlando

@orlando, your question about bhakti marg bests suits needs some background. It will be a long reply, as you need to understand 3 paths to compare and say which is the best.

Thanks for detailed info and explaining Patanjali Yog and Ashtanga Yog.

Advaitins do not give importance to chakras, energy bodies or to kundalini.

Yog is mastery over mind and senses. Advaitin will ignore anything that is not brahman.

The difference is in the main statements (maha vakyas)

Yog means union of what -- of Incarnated soul with supreme soul

Advaita says I am Brahman. Advaita means there is no second. So there is no question of an incarnated soul.

Yog is more of extrovert in the beginning and service to humanity is also given importance. In advaita it's not much important. You are only told to do if you cannot meditate. Once you can stay in isolation, it's just you and God i.e. just meditate on Brahman or OM and disconnect from society.

In later stages both path have common approaches.

In Yog, you experience shakti is everywhere and then you experience nirvikalp samadhi
In Advaita you first experience nirvikalp samadhi and then you realise that everything else is also Brahman

You need to realize both to be free Jivan Mukta. Then you do not need to meditate anymore as you already live in or as SELF / Brahman

In yog, as I know, there are processes or raising kundalini. In advaita you calm down mind. In bhakti you are filled in ecstasy when you chant your beloved Gods name.

@Orlando

Just like Adi Shankaracharya compiled all shastras and put them in books, so did Patanjali did the same to Yog and put it in his way.

The ancient original commentaries like the ones by Sri Vyasa or Ved Vyasa may be lost, as it happens over a period of time and new scholars and writers add their thoughts into it.

Only 1 % of authentic vedas are left, which authentic way of chanting still carried out by Rev. Shankaracharyas.

Regarding the view of Srila Prabhupada, even Sri Ramakrishna said the same thing that Bhakti is the best that suits Kaliyuga. This is a general statement.

However, Swami Vivekananda and some other brother monks and direct disciples were practicing Yog, Advaita and even bhakti. So it all depends upon your nature and merits of past life.

Sri Ramana Maharshi came after Sri Ramakrishna and taught Advaita or some say resurrected Advaita the updesha given by Lord Dakshinamurti as a young boy to some great old Yogis who thought that everything includng Atman can be achieved by efforts and karma. He gave updesha through maun (silence)

Sri Anandmoyi Maa also preached bhakti. When Swami Rama (of Himalayas) (who was once a Shankarasharya) visited Anandmayi Maa's ashram, her devotees where singing bhajans and clapping. Swami Rama just sat silently. Devotees got angry after their repeated requested Swami Rama did not join them in singing. They expected him to atleast clap with them. 'Swami Rama said it's not my path'. Argument continued. When Sri Ananamayi (also spelled Anandmoyi) Maa intervened and she simply said that Bhakti is not the only path. This is not the path for Swami Rama (these are not exact words but mean same thing)

There was also Shirdi Sai Baba who preached path or action (karma).

All of them where present in nearly same time.

But in general, in todays age, bhakti generally suits, specially to the beginners. It is easier than other paths.

--

In simple words of Sri Ramakrishna

Bhakti is like a kitten who just says 'meou meou' if it wants anything. It is the duty of mother to bring food or protect her child. Mother carefully grabs her child and takes her to a safe place. Al kitten has to do is call her and surrender to mother.

Jnana is like infact monkey. mother monkey jumps from one tree branch to another. Baby monkey clings to her mother by own strength and has to be alert when mother is jumping, else the grip could loosen and baby can fall and get hurt.

--

But if baby tenaciously clings to mother and remains alert, then it can reach to top most branch in tree in no time. So an adavaitin has to Cling to truth or Brahman or stay surrender and be alert not to slip to this world and the progress is fast. It is a straight path.

Bhakti has an advantage. In bhakti one worships a personal god and sings glories. The approach is easier where you see God in shape and form and can even vent out frustration and anger. In advaita, 'I ma Brahman' So to whom should I vent out frustration.

Bhakti gives one an opportunity for emotional outlet, which is very important in the beginning as spiritual path is like poison in the beginning and then it's like nectar in the end.

In bhakti, one progresses while enjoying worldly things and even sense enjoyments. So the shift is easy. In advaita you have to simply avoid them form the beginning. Even in Yog it's the same thing. Sooner you quit enjoying worldly thing, better for you.

In both Advaita and Yog there is a chance to slip and one develops Ego upon success. In yog you hav mastery over mind and even have some psychic powers like reading mind, or super natural powers to controls 5 elements.

In advaita one has to detach from 5 bodies and on Yog one has to integrate all 5 bodies. There is nothing as such in bakti. Simply surrender and keep chanting beloved God's name.

Sri Ramakrishna says, In bhakti the ego that 'I am Bhakta' (devotee) is a ripe one and does not harm one. Finally God reveals himself to the devotee.

God will remove all bondages and take this devotee to nirvakalp samadhi. Devotee has already experienced God in everything. Devotee becomes a Jivan Mukta.

So it's said bhakti is the best that one suits in kali yoga. This is general statement applicable to majority. Still to some Karma, Yog and Advaita suits.

There were saints who preached all paths

Sri Ramakrishna and Sri Ananamoyi Maa - Bhakti
Sri Ramana Maharshi - Advaita
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba - Karma
Sri Lahiri Mahashaya / Sri Yukteshwar / Paramhansa Ygananda and the whole lineage of Kriya Yog reintroduced by deathless saint Mahavatar Babaji - Kriya Yog

I do not know anyone practising pure Raj Yog i.e. Patangali's Yog sutras.

Please I mean traditional yog and not the new age phenomenon, theosophy and Brahmakumaris and the ones who claim to be the only ones to know true Yog.

In general, it depends upon the nature of person, mental state and even merits of past life.

In this post (http://indiaspirituality.blogspot.in/2009/09/different-paths-of-self-realisation.html#FourPaths) , I have summarized as

Karma Yog: : For active people – only for chittashuddhi.

Bhakti Yog: : Emotional nature

Jnana Yog: : Introvert personalities. Likes to remain Alone (not lonely).

Raj Yog: : For Logical reasoning mind. One who tries to find scientific answer / solution and logical explanation.

Aum

Sahasranama
25 November 2012, 03:46 AM
Thanks for detailed info and explaining Patanjali Yog and Ashtanga Yog.
Advaitins do not give importance to chakras, energy bodies or to kundalini.
Yog is mastery over mind and senses. Advaitin will ignore anything that is not brahman.
The difference is in the main statements (maha vakyas)
Yog means union of what -- of Incarnated soul with supreme soul
Advaita says I am Brahman. Advaita means there is no second. So there is no question of an incarnated soul.
Advaitins did give importance to kundalini and chakras as is evident from Shankaracharya's Saundarya Lahiri and the Sri Vidya practiced in some Advaita mutts. What we are talking about here is Ashtanga yoga which is not about rising the kundalini, but about having direct experience of the true self or Purusha. You are confusing too many things.



The ancient original commentaries like the ones by Sri Vyasa or Ved Vyasa may be lost, as it happens over a period of time and new scholars and writers add their thoughts into it.Vyasa's commentary on the yoga sutra is still available, but this vyasa may not be the same as Veda Vyasa.

orlando
25 November 2012, 04:48 AM
This is a useless compartmentalisation of Hinduism which was brought to life by Vivekananda. Yoga has nothing to do with your psychological profile.

Then would you kindly explain?:)

Sahasranama
25 November 2012, 05:24 AM
It is a myth that bhakti yoga is for the emotional, jnana yoga or raja yoga for the introvert or logical minded and karma yoga for the extrovert. You do not need to take a Myers Briggs personality test before practising Hinduism. ;)

Amrut
25 November 2012, 10:58 AM
The last part about categorization is not said by Swami Vivekananda. In earlier post, I have mentioned that it's my understanding (I have summarized ...) and I am not an authority.

Regarding accepting saints, it is up to you. I have great respect for the ones whom I have mentioned.

Well I did not say bhakti yog is the only path that suits emotional characters. All I meant is that emotional characters will find it easy to follow bhakti yog. This has to be experienced and cannot be merely concluded from philosophical discussions.

Nature of a person has to be accounted to progress in spirituality.

A person may be intelligent, but lives through his mind. Even intelligent person takes wrong decisions because of attachment with person or anything.

People say if you have ability you should get knowledge.

Then even terrorists should be given nuclear technology. They are intelligent, organized, have definite planning, some of them highly qualified and have good management.

Just compare abilities of Ram and Ravan

Ravan had everything: knowledge of vedas, dharam, viman shastra, ayurveda, niti shastra, he was tapasvi, and an ardent devotee of lord Shiva. Ravan Samhita still exists. Shiv Tandav Stotra is still song with reverence and devotion. Still Ravan is called Demon. Why? because ego was his driving force, which was not in Ram. Thats one of the main difference.

So it's ability and nature. Spiritual path is direct dealing with mind, surrender, faith are all spiritual emotions which are there in mind and not intellect.

It is not just intellect, if you understand, then you can progress. Spirituality is not just based on logic, there is transformation within oneself. Just like some foods suits a particular person and may not suit another person, so does different paths. There is nothing wrong in paths. not one is superior than other, but selection of path, as per my understanding and experience, depends upon nature. Teachings should be digested and not mugged up or just intellectually understood.

Why did Sri Krishna after praising Jnana instructed Arjuna to follow karma Yog.

Is not taking sanyas a good thing. Is ahinsa a bad thing? Then why? because karma is the best that suited Arjuna. One should not run away from situation but face it but surrender karma to God and do not be atteached to fruits of karam or results of actions. Accept them as prasad of God.

Talk about raja Janak from Ashtavakra Gita and almost entire Ashtacakra Gita is said from the grave of karma. It is based upon ajat vaad.

Entire Gita and Ashtavakragita is said from adhikara bheda. Even Prakarana Granth like Vivekchudamani and tatva bodh requires adhikara (qualifications).

There are people of different nature. To cover them all, Hindu Dharma has many paths and many approaches. Else it would be like other religions which have just one way for all.

An extrovert person cannot peacefully meditate, while an introvert person cannot or rather will not do any extra work. Introvert person, with high % of sattva guna) is not socially active does does work only which is compulsory.

Anyways it is left to you to interpret things. Views represented by me are my personal and where they are said by saints, I give their references and credits.

Rest depends upon you. Before things get nasty, I will avoid commenting on controversial statements.

Namaste

Aum

Sahasranama
25 November 2012, 11:48 AM
Why did Sri Krishna after praising Jnana instructed Arjuna to follow karma Yog.


Krishna was teaching Arjuna an integral form of yoga which would eventually culminate in Arjuna doing his karma with the mentality of a jnani and as a sacrifice for the greater good while remembering Krishna in devotion. Krishna did not persuade Arjuna to fight because Arjuna had an extroverted personality.

Let's say your family is in danger, some mullah is trying to rape and kill your wife. You have a knife with you and can defend her from the mullah. But suddenly, you start thinking "violence is not in my nature, I should throw away this knife and start meditating."

There is one psychologist standing next to you and she says. "Indeed, fighting is not in your nature, you are introverted. You will be the happiest if you have some alone time right now and come back later to answer some deep rooted childhood issues." There is also a Jaina standing next to you and he explains to you the value of ahimsa. An Indian politician walks by and warns you about saffron terrorism and an academic from Harvard reminds you to respect pluralism. So you throw away your knife and your wife gets raped and killed by the mullah.

I hope you can see that Krishna recommending Arjuna to fight has nothing to do with Arjuna's personality. It was his duty and nothing but his duty to pick his bow and arrow and fight against adharma.

Amrut
26 November 2012, 12:39 AM
Namaste,

As per discourse I have heard by Swami Tadrupanand Saraswati, it was because of nature.

Vidura did not take part in this war. He was a jnani.

Krishna himself could have taken active part along with Balram.

Arjuna did not immediately start the war, but came in later days.

Arjuna committed in last verse that now I do not have any moha and he said I will do what you say i.e. fight or not to fight. Arjuna was neutral.

there are instances like kings and princes renouncing their family kingdom, renounce duty and live in forests. Barthruhari, Buddha, Mahavir, etc. Dont their kingdoms need a king and a heir?

What if something like you said someone comes to your home and rapes someone after you have renounced.

Positively speaking,

There is difference between necessity and initiating new things. Your first instinct generally tells your nature

What you talk is a compulsion to protect family. Whereas initiating a new optional karma is upto you. e.g. watching TV. If mind cannot stay calm, then one needs an activity and mind forces you to do something take up any job and activity. Such a mind cannot meditate. This is what I mean by an extrovert and an introvert person.

In extrovert person, there are lots of dis-satisfied desires and still he wants more. Such a person cannot meditate, while an introvert person can meditate as he has lesser desires and can live on bare necessities.

I am meditating since 13 years. I am telling from my personal experience.

Anyways thanks for your thoughts.

Let us peacefully agree to disagree :)

Good luck

Aum

Indiaspirituality

Amrut
26 November 2012, 03:15 AM
Let's say your family is in danger, some mullah is trying to rape and kill your wife. You have a knife with you and can defend her from the mullah. But suddenly, you start thinking "violence is not in my nature, I should throw away this knife and start meditating."

There is one psychologist standing next to you and she says. "Indeed, fighting is not in your nature, you are introverted. You will be the happiest if you have some alone time right now and come back later to answer some deep rooted childhood issues." There is also a Jaina standing next to you and he explains to you the value of ahimsa. An Indian politician walks by and warns you about saffron terrorism and an academic from Harvard reminds you to respect pluralism. So you throw away your knife and your wife gets raped and killed by the mullah.

I hope you can see that Krishna recommending Arjuna to fight has nothing to do with Arjuna's personality. It was his duty and nothing but his duty to pick his bow and arrow and fight against adharma.

I was thinking on your statement and just after lunch, an e.g. came to my mind.

some people are natural fighters. It is in their blood. they are Khatriyas. Arjuna was such a born fighter with unparalleled fighting skill specializing in an art of bow and arrow. Vidura on the other hand was peace loving and so did not take part in the war.

So suppose if somebody's sister is being raped, most people will do is feel pity, because they re not born fighters and are trained in combat skills. While a true fighter will not think anything and will jump to save lady upon his instinct. Only if it's your sister, you are emotionally attached to her and so will make every attempt to save her even at the cost of hurting yourself.

this is the difference. It is the nature and prukriti. If it's not your prakruti, and still you do some work, there is no grace in your work and work may become a burden. some are core researchers, while some cannot do any kind of research, all they are interested is in selling the products and gaining profit. Marketing is natural quality which is absent in a core researcher. If at all you wish to sell your developed product you will have to make an extra effort to sell it and talk in a way that you are not used to. though this can be done and a researcher can develop marketing skills, Comparatively it takes more effort to mould then a natural talkative :D marking guy.

some people are hardcore programmers while some take up this job job they see more money. This is what I am telling about.

It is not that one cannot take any other path, to to some path, the nature, prakruti, circumstances has to be taken into account.

same is with the chanting name of god. All Gods and goddesses are equally potent, but chanting one particular name will easily calm your mind. This is prakruti. If you keep chanting that particular deity's name, when you can with less pain. e.g. Shiva's name suits you netter. This does not mean disrespect to all other deities. It's just that Shiva is enough and suits you.

I hope you are getting my point. it is this natural prakruti that is important. Some people are emotional. Their emotions drive them, highly influence their decisions, while some are of intellectual class. Mind or emotions cannot generally change the decision of intellect. Some develop immediate faith in others while some think thousand times and are skeptical before developing faith on others.

I have given this reply because I do not represent things well and it is possible that there is misunderstanding, and sometimes, I am not give a proper, precise word. This is one reason why my replies are looong :) It's my limitation. Just an average guy.

Good luck

Aum

Sahasranama
26 November 2012, 05:14 AM
.

Let us peacefully agree to disagree :)


Okay, let's do that.

I disagree with many ideas from Vivekananda.

orlando
09 December 2012, 12:00 PM
Namaste Sahasranama.



There is one book in English that is based on the above Sanskrit commentaries written by a professor of Hinduism, Edwin Bryant who is actually sympathetic towards Hinduism and also a devotee of Krishna.

I am purchasing his commentary that you kindly suggested me to read.
Although not translated in italian,I found it in an italian book shop:
http://www.ibs.it/libro+inglese/bryant-edwin-f/yoga-sutras-of-patanjali-ey--ter-erent-es-ing-s-ke-n--s-teachings-s-ies-applicums/9780865477360.html

I should have the book this week.

I have a question: are you sure that Bryant is really a devote of Krishna or is he just sympathetic toward "Krishnaism"?
Does he really practice Krishna-bhakti or is he just academically expert on it?

Regards,
Orlando.

Sahasranama
09 December 2012, 01:30 PM
I have read somewhere that he is both an academic and a devotee. And also a practitioner of yoga. His writings are primarily from an academic perspective. But I wouldn't really worry about it. In his commentary on the yoga sutras he is merely representing traditional views and draws from traditional scriptures to explain the concepts. In this work, he is not making any judgement on these views based on modernist notions. What he personally believes as an academic or "intellectual" is not really important, because he has done a great job in writing this commentary from the perspective of the commentarial tradition itself and the larger context of Hinduism in general.

philosoraptor
09 December 2012, 02:47 PM
Edwin Bryant is either himself a former ISKCON devotee, or married to a former ISKCON devotee (I'm not sure which, maybe both). I've read some of his writings regarding the Aryan Invasion, but not enough to really get a sense of his scholarship or its quality.

Sahasranama
09 December 2012, 03:07 PM
His other books are available on scribd.com. I can't say much about them either, because the subject matter is quite boring (history) and I haven't read them. ;) He is not the author of all these books, of some books he was only the editor and other scholars contributed their essays to the book. Even the notorious Witzel contributed an essay in one of his books.

http://www.scribd.com/search?query=edwin+bryant

philosoraptor
09 December 2012, 05:01 PM
Oh, and I forgot to add that Bryant's wife/girlfriend/significant other is a militant feminist. She is or used to be in ISKCON and has said some nasty things not just about ISKCON politics but also about Vedic culture and even Rama, Krishna, etc. You have to wonder about the values of someone who can live with a person like that...

Sahasranama
09 December 2012, 05:22 PM
Do you have a link about that?

I still think his book on the yoga sutras is a very informative work to learn about the commentarial tradition of the yoga sutras, but of course I do not share all of Edwin Bryant's "academic" opinions. I have to take wundermunk's position here that academic sources can be useful for learning about philosophy, while the historical extrapolations and cultural statements made by them are generally problematic.

Here he is speaking about the take yoga back campaign. It is clear that he has changed his position, because he has been making money from workshops patronised by western yoga practitioners. In the past he used to criticize western adaptations of yoga which he admits in an earlier part of the debate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mE0JTDsbsmQ

Edwin Bryant calls the HAF campaign about the Hinduness of yoga rooted in asmita, maya, but he also speaks of satya (truth) and the importance of recognising the lineage.

My response to that is that classifying something is not necessarily an ego based activity. The Indian philosophers including Patanjali classify countless concepts and categories, so why would the classification of the Hinduness be any different and rooted in maya? Would he make the same objection to calling something dharmic or adharmic, nitya or anitya? Yoga definitely is not Christian, Muslim or post Enlightenment rationalistic. Yoga is Hindu. In fact, the strong resistance towards accepting the simple fact that yoga is a practice rooted in the culture, religion and philosophy of Hinduism shows attachment to ego and falsehood.

philosoraptor
09 December 2012, 07:58 PM
Do you have a link about that?

I still think his book on the yoga sutras is a very informative work to learn about the commentarial tradition of the yoga sutras, but of course I do not share all his "academic" opinions.

I don't have a quote handy. This was years ago when I was better connected with people in ISKCON and I was privy to debates they were having between conservative and more liberal elements, the latter being Western feminists of which Bryant's girlfriend was one. Some of the comments she made back then were truly offensive, things like calling Rama a misogynist for "ordering" Sita into fire and so on. But again, this was years ago and I don't have the quotes on me. And, Bryant himself seems to have found a niche in academia, so he has learned to speak the language of academics, and may even have turned out some well-researched publications. But I suspect he is a closet liberal-progressive based on his association, so read anything he writes with a huge grain of salt.

Sahasranama
10 December 2012, 03:08 AM
That is indeed offensive, are you sure his girlfriend isn't called Nina Paley? ;)

Even though you can't blame an academic for associating with such people, it certainly does put a question mark to his sincerity as a devotee or a practitioner of any Hindu sadhana.


And, Bryant himself seems to have found a niche in academia, so he has learned to speak the language of academics, and may even have turned out some well-researched publications. But I suspect he is a closet liberal-progressive based on his association, so read anything he writes with a huge grain of salt.It's no doubt that some of his publications are well researched and worth reading, but I am glad I learned this background from you. You can't really expect perfection everwhere, especially not from an indologist. My grandmother always says: shaile shaile na mANikyam mauktikam na gaje gaje | sadhavo na hi sarvatra chandanam na vane vane

orlando
10 December 2012, 05:42 AM
http://harmonist.us/2009/08/review-the-yoga-sutras-of-patanjali-by-edwin-bryant/

grames
10 December 2012, 09:21 AM
When we are not clear, we introduce new theories and so many different understandings with out any justification. This is the very reason, you have to resort to a Guru!

One good thing noticed in your post is, everyone is different and everyone has their own way of getting their goal! :) This is the very important point and if you start to mediate to figure out your :Own: destiny and path to it, then you will be successful.

Knowing your "self" nature is not going to produce same result for all!
Knowing then the higher "Self" is going to be same for all, if not, there is a biggest confusion and confused practice and knowledge in SD!
Means to attain is somehow called a "path", (Prapti) and unlike the infamous saying, All roads leads to Rome, SD's paths have their own destinations! Not all lead to the same goal! The crux here is, not all consider and want to reach the same goal. A Gnani's goal is different from a Karmi;s goal or Bhakta's. The difference in having different goals as their final attainment and achievement drives ones nature ( what you roughly called as prakriti)

Understanding the minute details of all of these is a gift! By nature, by the Supreme and by the grace of Guru etc. What suites you alone can be practiced and that is your Destiny!

philosoraptor
10 December 2012, 10:52 AM
http://harmonist.us/2009/08/review-the-yoga-sutras-of-patanjali-by-edwin-bryant/

Well-written review. Makes me want to get a copy for my own reference. I am curious about one thing though - the reviewer notes that Bryant does not attempt to superimpose any other theology onto Patanjali, and yet notes that Bryant mentions Prabhupada and the Maha-mantras twice... am I missing something here?

Twilightdance
10 December 2012, 10:59 AM
am I missing something here?

...the book?

orlando
12 December 2012, 12:43 PM
Namaste grames!


When we are not clear, we introduce new theories and so many different understandings with out any justification. This is the very reason, you have to resort to a Guru!

I am already looking for a gaudiya-vaishnava guru:)


One good thing noticed in your post is, everyone is different and everyone has their own way of getting their goal! :) This is the very important point and if you start to mediate to figure out your :Own: destiny and path to it, then you will be successful.

I already know which is my path: bhakti-yoga as teached in Gaudiya-vaishnvaism:)


Means to attain is somehow called a "path", (Prapti) and unlike the infamous saying, All roads leads to Rome, SD's paths have their own destinations! Not all lead to the same goal! The crux here is, not all consider and want to reach the same goal. A Gnani's goal is different from a Karmi;s goal or Bhakta's.

My goal in present life is Krishna-prema(love for Krishna).
My goal about afterlife is to reach the spiritual world and live eternally with Krishna and His direct associates.

However practing yama,niyama,asana and pranayama(the first four limbs of Raja-yoga) is not ante-thetical or compatible with my path.
On contrary it will help me to have a more controlled mind.

Regards,
Orlando.

orlando
17 March 2013, 12:20 PM
Namaste all.


Well-written review. Makes me want to get a copy for my own reference. I am curious about one thing though - the reviewer notes that Bryant does not attempt to superimpose any other theology onto Patanjali, and yet notes that Bryant mentions Prabhupada and the Maha-mantras twice... am I missing something here?

Yes,you are missing the fact the he mentions(more than one time) also the mantra Om Namo Narayana and the mantra Om Namah Sivaya(which is not a vaishnava mantra but a shaivite one;) ).

In conclusion,Bryant is not dogmatic toward Vaishnavism in his commentary to Yoga-sutra:)

Pranama,
Orlando.

G.S. Iyer
14 August 2014, 07:49 AM
Dear Mr. Orlando,

The best commentaries on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are, in my opinion:

(1) ‘Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms’ by Swami Vivekananda, as part of ‘The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda’, Volume 1, and is downloadable from the site: http://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_1/raja-yoga/introduction.htm. The commentary is not only authoritative but is lucid and in the Swami’s fluent yet simple English.

(2) ‘Yoga Sutras’ (Index of Articles) by Swami Jnanesvar Bharati, who hails from the hallowed traditions of the Himalayan Masters and a direct disciple of Swami Rama, the great Himalayan Master. The interpretation of the Yoga Sutras is exhaustive and the translation from Sanskrit to English is faithful. These articles are downloadable from the site: http://www.swamij.com/index-yoga-meditation-yoga-sutras.htm

(3) A dissertation of the Patanjali Yoga Sutras by Edwin Bryant, Rutgers University, USA, as part of a thesis on Yoga and Sankhya philosophy. In his study, Bryant seems to have been completely unbiased and dispassionate. The dissertation is superb.