Into to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Around the year 250AD an author name Pantanjali took it upon himself to write down a list of verses into a grouping know as the Yoga Sutras.  In Sanskrit, sutra means thread, so think of these groupings of verses like threads woven into a tapestry to create a greater whole.  The whole text has less than 200 verses, making it very short from a reading perspective.  Each verse is shortened to deliver the most information with the least amount of wording possible.  Before the Yoga Sutras were written, they were passed down from teacher to student via the oral tradition.  This way, each guru would be able to teach the student their own perception of the sutras, being conveyed from their understanding and experience.

I my opinion, something is lost when a spiritual teacher dies and their thoughts are put into written format.  We lose a lot of the context of the delivery when this happens.  What was the teacher thinking at the time?  What sort of verbal inflections were being used as the words were spoken? Think about the United States Constitution and how much it has been amended by jurice prudence over the last 200 years.  What was the intent of the founders?  The one thing that the Yoga Sutras has is that the text, taken as a whole, was not meant as a one size fits all for the masses.  I like to call it a guidebook on the science of conciseness.

The content of the Yoga Sutras is divided into four chapters and lays out the Vedic perception of how consciousness interrelates with matter, how the atman or soul can become one with the whole and what the results of this are.  There are no direct instructions on what meditation technique to use, what positions to preform or instructions on how to still the mind and breath.  That is up to each individual to develop as they move down the path toward enlightenment.  I have been trained in the Kriya tradition of Yoga, which has it's own techniques which I will share as I do more commentary.  I will also share my experience on the path and what has worked and not worked for me.  Take what you find useful and throw the rest out.  The journey is for you and you alone to experience as you see fit, and no one can tell you otherwise.  What worked for me may not work for you and therefore keeps the tradition of self exploration intact.