The Yoga-Sutra is a significant landmark in the protracted evolution of the yogic tradition. It formed the foundation text for an extensive commentarial literature stretching from the Yoga-Bhasya of Vyasa (c. 450 C.E.) to modern traditionalist interpretations in Hindi and other Indic vernaculars as well as various European languages, Notably English.
The present volume by Swami Veda Bharati provides a learned commentary on the second chapter of the Yoga Sutra i.e., Sadhana Pada. This contains the core of Patanjali's philosophical and meta-psychological framework, and it also defines both the components of kriya-yoga and the first five components of eight-limbedastanga-yoga. This chapter demonstrates very clearly that in Yoga, theory and practice form a homogenous whole. The theoretical concepts were largely distilled from practical experience and, in turn, informed further experimentation on the path. How could we hope to travel the path mapped out by Patanjali without recourse to such pregnant concepts as citta, vrtti, pratyaya, samskara, vasana, asaya, nirodha, parinama, guna, pratiprasava? All these ideas were shaped in the intense practice environment of Yoga over many generations.
Swami Veda Bharati brings to his exegesis a singular sensitivity and wonderful comprehension of yogic concepts, which are rooted in his extensive traditional training as a Sanskrit scholar and also his personal yogic practice. This latest contribution to our comprehension of Patanjali's teachings takes us a lot further than other similar endeavors.
About the Author(s)
Born in a Sanskrit-speaking family in 1933, Swami Veda Bharati started teaching the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali from 1942, at the age of nine. In 1946 a number of article appeared in the Hindi press proclaiming this child prodigy's exceptional knowledge of the Vedas. He then began to be invited to address crowds of thousand as well as colleges and universities throughout north India.
From February 1947 he travelled worldwide giving discourses and establishing meditation centres. He has, to his credit, 4,000 hours of recorded lectures on history, philosophy and practices of meditation and has written eighteen books including a 1,500 page commentary on the first two padas of the Yoga-Sutras, a highly scholarly and meticulous work.