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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda
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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Commentary on the Raja Yoga Sutras by Sri Swami Satchidananda

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  7,286 ratings  ·  216 reviews
This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. This new deluxe printing of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ...more
Kindle Edition, 263 pages
Published October 24th 2012 by Integral Yoga Publications (first published January 1st 1950)
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Chris Daniels I don't think there's any information whether Patanjali (scholars agree there was at least two authors who wrote the Yoga Sutras, not one) gave this…moreI don't think there's any information whether Patanjali (scholars agree there was at least two authors who wrote the Yoga Sutras, not one) gave this information for free. It is certainly possible they were commissioned to write this, we just don't know. The original Sanskrit seems pretty obscure and difficult to interpret, which is why there are so many commentaries. It would probably be very disappointing to learn the language and realize new insights were sparse.(less)

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Liz Rosenblum
I can't recall a time in my life where a "required" reading has changed my life immeasurably.

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali as explained by Swami Satchidnanda is a mandatory part of most yoga teacher trainings, and thankfully it was for mine. This is not a book that you read from cover to cover like a novel, but it is something that you pick up, read, absorb, think about, put into practice, and then read some more.

It has lessons about yoga, lessons about life and lessons about being a good
...more
Nicole
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga, philosophy, hinduism
Good introductory translation. Excellent for first-time readers of the Sutras. If you want to dive deeper in, though, I suggest Edwin Bryant's translation. If you'd like a Buddhist perspective, check out Chip Hartranft's.
Ebony
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yoga
I am a skeptic about all of the things. The Sutras start with “the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is Yoga” and I think, I like my mind. It’s a beautiful, creative, ever-expanding entity that has served me well until present day. The Sutras state that humans are Spirits inhabiting bodies with minds yet we are neither. I think, I like my body too. What’s with the self-deprecation? There’s redemptive suffering for days here. I’m still too close to how Christianity wielded that ...more
Daniel Prasetyo
Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the best translation of Patanjali's works that I found. It is because the author is living with the wisdom of The Yoga Sutras. This book contains the the translations of The Yoga Sutras, and the explanation about the meaning and the goal of each sutras, and Sri Swami Satchidananda's explanation is a very easy read, even if you never know the yoga philosophy before. Just read 1 sutra each day and practice it, you will see a dramatic changes in your life. If you just read 1 book about ...more
Victoria Klein
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are countless interpretations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras, originally compiled by Patanjali thousands of years ago. Personally, I've only read 2 others before reading this version, so my point of reference may be considered narrow.

I found Swami Satchidananda's version to be informative and somewhat blunt - and I mean that in a good way. He uses a few modern examples throughout the text to help improve the reader's understanding. This book was originally published in 1978 and the
...more
Abby
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The very first sutra sets up the book so well, “If the restraint of the mental modifications is achieved, one has reached the goal of yoga.” (pg. 3) I like this because it shows that even though a person may not be able to move through all the asanas perfectly, they can still perform yoga by controlling their mind. If we can learn that the entire outside world is our own projection, then we can control our attitude. “Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude towards them ...more
Monica Perez
This book showed me that coming to the end of external knowledge about God is actually the beginning of the journey to look inward and know His nature. Made me interested in the early Christian Gnostics who believed we could know God through his reflection in ourselves. Also introduced me to the concept that the question of the existence of God is unanswerable and irrelevant--you can't prove it or disprove it, and no matter what, the path to contentment in this life is the same as the path to ...more
Casey
I read one or two sutras before each yoga practice. After finally finishing it, I know I need to go back to it and study the sutras with some intensity. There is much wisdom bestowed in these pages, and there were many moments while reading, I gained clarity on the way I interact and respond with my environment.

Highly recommended for any devoted yoga practitioner, but also for those who are interested in asian philosophy. Although yoga is not defined by one religion, the influences of Hinduism
...more
Kate Lumsden
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
very accessible introduction to the yoga sutras
Sarah Thomas Gulden
Satchitananda's translation and commentary on Patanjali's Sutras is the best edition I've read. He makes these often pretty inscrutable ancient texts come alive with great clarity and even occasional humor. I treasure reading and meditating on these often.
Jen Schellhorn
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I cannot sit and read this book in full - I love that I can open to a page and that it makes so much helpful sense.
Sean Helvey
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Wrote a blog post with my notes here: http://www.seanhelvey.com/notes-on-th... Hope this helps.
Lui Debono
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yogis
A yoga classic that contains a lot of wisdom. Must be read carefully 'cause every verse has a very specific meaning and contains a beautiful yogic wisdom. Written 2,000 years ago Patanjali's yoga sutras are still applicable to all the yogis of the present day. A good commentary is a must. I also found that Sivananda Swami version of the book and the OSHO Rajneesh version is a valuable read for the good comparison and understanding of the sutras.
David
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyoneinterested n religions and the beginnings of religions.
Recommended to David by: Found it on my own.
Yoga means to ‘Yoke”. The Sutras are the method of yoking yourself to Yoga. The original Hellenistic Greek which was the ‘Lingua Franca” of pre Christian interpretations of the Bible had two definitions of Yoke. One was for Yoga and the other was to yoke two oxen together. Jesus said that his “yoke” was easy. I am convinced that this is a deliberate misinterpretation of the New Testament and the real meaning was that Jesus was referring to “Yoga” or “ My Yoga is easy” which makes more sense in ...more
Terri
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the must read for most new yoga teachers. The exploration of Patanjalis guidance for yogis is essential for anyone who wants to teach or deepen their practice. However, I do not personally think this is the only interpretation one should read. I'd recommend also looking at TKV Desikachar and modern thinkers like Matthew Remski to really dig deep into the sutras, and find a way to relate to them.
Sian Lile-Pastore
Ooo gosh, what to say about the sutras? And I guess I should 'review' the commentary rather than the sutras themselves.... The sutras are stuff like 'the restraint of the modifications of the mind-stuff is yoga' so they are kinda impenetrable and it's helpful to have the commentary.

This commentary is from 1978 I think, and it has a bit of a seventies feel to it in a slightly sexist gender binary way.
There are also some lovely bits and interpretations, also the cover is a delight.
Sydra Mallery
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The commentary was more accessible than that in the Iyengar version. I am glad to have read both.
Beth Honeycutt
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that I read pieces and parts of for my yoga teacher training this weekend. It is one of those books that I will come back to over and over again.
Christine
Sep 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who meditates
Recommended to Christine by: yoga
This is my bible. Hardly have completed reading it. And what I have read I need to re-read. Great book for meditation topics.
Sarah
This text is absolutely essential to the history of yoga. I read this for the first time outside of a yoga teacher training because it's a text I thought you were "supposed" to read if you do yoga. Honestly I've never been that into it. However, it's 1000x more refreshing the second time through, I think spending the past 5 months discussing/analyzing it in training has helped. I don't know what I'd do without our yoga philosophy instructor, she has gathered such DETAILED historical and lineage ...more
Elisabeth Webb
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book for my yoga teacher training, and it helped me deepen my understanding of yoga. I could relate the yoga philosophy and practice to my own life. The book fosters deep contemplation about the meaning behind the authors words. It is written beautifully and an eye opening book. (:
Cody
A foundational text for yoga practitioners or anyone seeking a closer bond between body, mind, and soul. The commentary is quite helpful, providing a jumping off point for further exploration. Which is exactly what Patanjali inspires: a lifetime of investigation.
Togo Jalika
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read seven different versions of commentaries on the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali often reading a few versions side by side to understand various perspectives. What made this version enjoyable to me is how Sri Swami Satchidananda offers so many practical, humorous, and accessible stories and insights to help you make sense of this ancient teaching on yoga (which is still so relevant today). The only reason it did not get five stars is the commentary pretty much drops off by Book Three (of ...more
Roxanne
Mar 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirituality, yoga
The Yoga Sutras, the key text in the study of yoga, is an ancient text dating back at least 2000 years. The sutras were compiled by the sage Patanjali (pah-TAN-ja-lee). Patanjali didn't invent the concept of yoga, but he made a system of it by bringing together all the existing teachings and traditions and giving them a structure for students to follow. The word "sutra" means "thread" - the text is a collection of almost 200 brief "threads" of wisdom. Patanjali used as few words as possible in ...more
Mary
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that might be perpetually in all three categories: "to read," "currently reading," and "read." I have yet to finish all of it, though I've gotten more than 3/4 through. There are parts I have read three times, parts I have read twice, and parts, I have read only once and am still processing. I find much of the "Portion on Contemplation" harder to understand - but easier to accept - than the "Portion of Practice," which has a few sutras I might choose to dismiss. The organization: ...more
Becky
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to review a text that's thousands of years old and that thousands of people have come to regard as a kind of scripture. I read this in preparation for a yoga teacher training, and it is so far the densest text I have read in that context. The experience of reading it felt like trying to see something through a very iced up window, in some places I could scratch through to really see/understand what was being said, whilst others, I read the words, but I felt the meaning was still opaque ...more
Nicole Lublin
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first encounter with The Yoga Sutras was the translation by Alistair Shearer, and it was eye-opening and wonderful, but in my quest to keep growing as both a teacher and a student, I felt it was time to revisit the Sutras from another's perspective.

I got a lot out of Satchidananda's translation and commentary. I particularly love how he incorporates stories and examples from not only Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other traditions as well. It's a
...more
JoAnna
Sep 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three-line review: I am not religious and have no spiritual text that guides my life, but the yoga sutras offer sound and sage advice on how to be a good person, live a fully life, and stay in the present moment. I don't believe every single sutra is an incredible nugget of wisdom that should be dissected and dwelt upon extensively as some people do, but there is a lot of food for thought in such a short text. The translation is done well, providing practical and readable interpretations of the ...more
geeta Dalal
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book makes undestanding this difficult subject easy and enjoyable. Simple life examples illustrate the point very effectively. I thoroughly enjoyed it and will continue to use as reference during practice! Anybody wants to practice yoga with understanding should this book.

It is an easy read with clear and powerful explanation using everyday life examples. Anybody wanting to do yoga should read this for full spiritual understanding. I highly recommend it!
Jayme
Sep 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


One of my favourite translations of the Yoga Sutras. It includes the Devanagari and transliteration along with practical and accessible commentary that resonates with the modern reader. My only complaint is that the later chapters did not include more commentary - they're the more difficult to understand!
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H. H. Sri Swami Satchidananda (Sri Gurudev) born C. K. Ramaswamy Gounderis respected worldwide as one of the major pioneers of the interfaith movement and as one of the most respected Yoga Masters of our time. Sri Gurudev's teachings and spirit guide us toward a life of peace and to religious harmony among all people. Invited to come to the West in 1966, Sri Gurudev was quickly embraced by young ...more
“We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing? (136-137)” 436 likes
“If you have done something meritorious, you experience pleasure and happiness; if wrong things, suffering. A happy or unhappy life is your own creation. Nobody else is responsible. If you remember this, you won’t find fault with anybody. You are your own best friend as well as your worst enemy. (99)” 88 likes
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