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Re: Patanjali's Road Map to Liberation

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  • texasbg2000
    ... Hi Freyja: This is a really good introduction to Yoga Sutra. It may also be noted that Patanjali wrote books on medicine and language and was considered
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 5, 2003
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, freyjartist@a...
      > For those interested, this came across
      > my path.   It's a short interview
      > with Chip Hartranft, translator of
      > the Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali.
      > Freyja

      Hi Freyja:

      This is a really good introduction to Yoga Sutra.
      It may also be noted that Patanjali wrote books on medicine and
      language and was considered the greatest dancer in India in his time.

      Bobby G.

      > The Yoga Sutra is one of those classic texts
      > that many people have heard of but that almost
      > nobody has actually read.  Chip Hartranft's aim,
      > through his new translation of the work, with
      > commentary, is to make it possible for more
      > people to dip into the Yoga-Sutra and to really
      > understand what it's about.  Chip was gracious enough
      > to answer a few of our (Shambhala Publications  www.shambhala.com)
      > about the great work
      > for us in this interview.
      > SB:  What is the Yoga-Sutra?
      > Chip Hartranft:  One of the most remarkable and enlightening
      > spiritual documents of all time.  It was composed by the Indian sage
      > Patanjali during the second or third century as an attempt to weave
      > together all the strands of yogic wisdom that had been developing
      > over a period of several millenia.
      > SP:  It's not very long.
      > CH:  No, only 196 lines, but each line or grouping  presents
      > ideas of enormous depth and importance, terate, could
      > memorize and reflect on a vast body of knowledge.  In fact,
      > sutra means thread.
      > SP:  Why should a person be interested in the Yoga-Sutra
      > especially if they have no particular interest in yoga?
      > CH:  Patanjali and his yogic forebears like the Buddha
      > were intent on awakening to the nature of reality and achieving
      > freedom from suffering.   They took introspection to heroic
      > new levels, blazing a trail for the rest of us. So, most of
      > their findings about the mind and heart are universal
      > and give each of us a path to insight and happiness that we
      > can explore in our own lives.
      > SB:  You've called the Yoga-Sutra a "road map to consciousness."
      > CH:  Patanjali takes us from here to there by providing a step-by-
      > guide to the process of enlightenment.  He explains how our everyday
      > consciousness is too turbulent and conditioned by experience to
      > render the present moment accurately.  This causes us to lose sight
      > of the fact that knowing, or pure awareness, is acutally not the
      > as the experience unfolding before it on the screen of
      > He then describes with great precision how this confusion--and the
      > suffering it entails--dissolves little by little in the unique
      blend of
      > mastery and surrender he calls yoga.
      > SB:  Is the yoga of Patanjali different from the yoga with which
      > we're all familiar with today?
      > CH:  Yes and no.  If Patanjali walked into a modern yoga class
      > he wouldnt recognize most of the movements--and certainly
      > not the leotards!  He actually might feel more at home in a
      > meditation hall.  What he would relate to, i think, is the spirit
      > of self-awareness and exploration that continue to inform and
      > revitalize yoga.   His approach was simple, direct, meditative
      > and much less concerned with energy flow than the later
      > tantric practices we think of as yoga today.
      > Patanjali's path was based primarily on non-doing, on the
      > naturalness with which illumination occurs when we are willing
      > to let it.
      > SB:  So in a sense, one doesn't actually "do" yoga?
      > CH:  Like the Buddha, Patanjali is careful to distinguish right
      > effort from the conventional way we go about chasing what
      > we want, which is sure to produce suffering.  For Patanjali,
      > insight and freedom are already at hand. We may look
      > outside ourselves for the precious, he says, but the jewel
      > is within.
      > In order to enhance the reader's appreciation of the astounding
      > subtlety of Patanjali's language and thought, scholarly materials
      > are available at www.arlingtoncenter.org.   These include:
      > the Sanskrit text of the Yoga-Sutra, in both devanagari and roman
      > with diacritical markings; a pronounciation guide; a word-by-word
      > Sanskrit-English translation; a cross-referenced glossary; and,
      > a bibliography including on-line resources.   Designed for serious
      > students and scholars of yoga and Buddhist meditation, but
      > accessible to the general reader, the Yoga-Sutra shows how precious
      > the timeless teachings of Patanjali are:  direct, profound and
      > utterly relevant.
      > -end-
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