Appreciation of Pātañjalayogasūtras

Online Workshop Series August, September and October 2021

Yoga is a Science and Art of living life and going beyond it. Yoga is as old as human civilization. Yoga has been there in various forms. ‘Pātañjalayogasūtras’, ‘Pātañjalayogadarśana’ or ‘Yogadarśana’ was propounded by Sage Patañjali. Sage Patañjali is not the creator of Yoga, he collected the existing knowledge on Yoga, codified it and put it together in form of Sūtras. Sūtra-form was the most suitable form to systematize the entire knowledge in a super-brief fashion. Here’s definition of Sūtra:

अल्पाक्षरमसंदिग्धं सारवद्विश्वतो मुखम् ।
अस्तोभमनवद्यञ्च सूत्रं सूत्रविदो विदुः ।।
Alpākṣaramasandigdhaṁ sāravadviśvatomukham ।
Astobhamanavadyañca sūtraṁ sūtravidoviduḥ ।।

  • अल्पाक्षरम् Alpākṣaram: Made of few words
  • असंदिग्धं Andigdhaṁ: Clear and unambiguous
  • सारवत् Sāravat: Contains the essence of the topic
  • विश्वतो मुखम् viśvatomukham: Having multiple facets
  • अस्तोभम् Astobham: Devoid of redundant words
  • अनवद्यं Anavadyam: Devoid of errors in grammar etc.
  • सूत्रविदो Sūtravido: The knowers of Sūtra
  • विदुः Viduḥ: Know

Yoga is a spiritual experience, which aims at removing the impurities of the mind (the Citta). Sage Patañjali, who was the first to codify Yoga, drew up eight steps – Yama, Niyama, Āsana, Prāṇāyāma, Pratyāhāra, Dhāraṇā, Dhyāna and Samādhi, a wholistic discipline for silencing the mind. These eight steps systematically wash away the impurities of the mind, making it progressively pure and clean. It begins with Codes of conduct, for the world / social and personal, talks about having a fit body, conducive physiological functions, leading to withdrawal of engagements in the world and worldly things and sense gratifications, leading to the single pointedness of mind and ultimately absorption in the Supreme reality. ‘Each Soul is potentially Divine…’ the purpose of Human Birth is realization of that Supreme Reality.

In order to learn the ‘Yogadarśana’ one must learn the original Saṃskṛta Yogasūtras. Recitation of the Pātañjalayogasūtras as per the Śāstra is a must, which leads to their understanding. This will help a practitioner to come close to the original Saṃskṛta Śāstra and help in making friends with it. This will simplify the Pātañjalayogadarśana and help in grasping the essence of the Pātañjalayogadarśana in totality.

Kaivalyadhāma, one of world’s best-known institutes of Yoga, is presenting the Online workshop series Appreciation of Pātañjalayogasūtras’, designed by
Dr. Rajani Pradhan. It is a wonderful mix of wisdom and practice of ancient traditional knowledge of Yoga.

Who should Attend the Online Workshop Series ‘Appreciation of PYS’?

These workshop series are for those who would like to know the content of Patañjali’s Yogasūtras or Yogadarśana. There are 195 Sūtras divided in 4 chapters. If we know these Sūtras and their meaning we know the Yogadarśana. Here is an outline of the 3 series of workshop in the months of August, September and October 2021:

1. 6th, 7th & 8th August 2021:

  • Introduction to Yoga.
  • Discussion on selected concepts of Yoga; e.g. Citta, Cittavṛttis.
  • Introduction to Chanting of Pātañjalayogasūtras
  • A basic understanding of Sthāna (place) of the sound production of the Devanāgarī Akṣaras (Letters), Knowledge and Practice of Saṃskṛta grammar in relation to the Pātañjalayogasūtras

2. 3rd, 4th & 5th September 2021:

  • Introduction to Methods of Cittavṛttinirodha.
  • (Aṣṭāṅga Yoga, Kriya-Yoga, Abhyāsa-Vairagya)
  • Chanting of selected Pātañjalayogasūtras
  • A basic understanding, knowledge, and practice of selected Saṃskṛta grammar concepts relevant to the Pātañjalayogasūtras

3. 8th, 9th & 10th October 2021:

  • Discussion on Methods of Cittavṛttinirodha.
  • (Aṣṭāṅga Yoga, Kriya-Yoga, Abhyāsa-Vairagya)
  • Understanding of selected concept of Pātañjalayogadarśana.
  • Chanting of selected Pātañjalayogasūtras

This workshop will deal into chanting of few selected Yogasūtras as well as understanding of some of the concepts therein. Saṃskṛta is written in Devanāgarī Lipi (script), this workshop will have a basic understanding of Sthāna (place) of the sound production of the Devanāgarī Akṣaras (Letters). Knowledge and Practice of ‘Kaṇṭhaḥ’ / Guttural sounds, ‘Tālu’ / Palatal sounds, ‘Mūrdhā’ / Retroflexes, ‘Dantaḥ’ / Dentals, ‘Oṣṭhaḥ’ / Labials, Kaṇṭhatālu / Guttural Palatal sounds, Kaṇṭhoṣṭham / Guttural – Labial sounds, Dantoṣṭham / Dental – Labial sounds etc. Basic understanding of selected Pātañjalayogasūtras. Understanding of selected concept of Pātañjalayogadarśana (e.g., Citta, Citta-Prasādana, Īśvara, Īśvarapraṇidhāna, the three Adhikārīs – Uttama, Madhyama and Adhama or the Manda Adhikārīs and the Yoga-Sādhanās for them in the Pātañjalayogadarśana etc.)

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