Yogic philosophy was systematized in one of the most classic books, in the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, a great sage who structured and compiled all his knowledge of yoga in this text. We virtually know nothing about the Patanjalis life. The date of composition of the text is also unknown, it is believed to have been written between 200 BC. And 300 AD. The Sanskrit word "sutra" means aphorism and the four chapters or books (Sanskrit = padas) of the Yoga-Sutras consist a total of 195 aphorisms.
Samadhi refers to a blissful state where the yogi is absorbed into complete self-realization. The chapter describes yoga and then the nature and the means to attain Samadhi.
Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for "practice" or "discipline". This chapter outlines two forms of Yoga: Kriya Yoga (Action Yoga) and Ashtanga Yoga (Eightfold or Eightlimbed Yoga).
Kriya yoga, sometimes called Karma Yoga, is also expounded in Chapter 3 of the Bhagavad Gita. It is the yoga of selfless action and service.
Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for "power" or "manifestation". Special powers are acquired by the practice of yoga. The temptation of these powers should be avoided and the attention should be fixed only on liberation.
Kaivalya literally means "isolation" or “insignificant”, but as used in the Sutras it stands for emancipation and can be used interchangeably with moksha (= “liberation” see Bhagavad Gita). The Kaivalya Pada describes the nature of liberation and the reality of the transcendental self.
The book is written in the form of sutras. That means "thread" and is a reference to the thread of a Japa mala (Hindu prayer beads), upon which the aphorisms that make up the work are strung like beads. One sutra leads to the other, but being written in Sanskrit and in short and economic form they leave room for interpretation. Some things are only understandable anymore because we have commentaries like the one of Vyasa.
The Sanskrit word sutra can be translate with aphorisms and has six characteristics:
On the following pages you find my translation of the Yoga Sutras. The work is not complete. It contains the relevant Sutras of my teaching material for Ashtanga Yoga, coming mainly from the 1. and 2. chapter and some from chapter 3.
Any kind of feedback, correction and remarks are welcome to improve this work. Please notify me if you use my work. It is free for private and non-profit use.