• " The classical definition of Yoga as a discipline to control the whirlpools of the subconscious, The Patanjala Yoga Sutra consists of short succinct Sutras that run together as if they were making up a garland of pearls on a string.

    The Sutras were always kept short as they were intended to be learnt, memorized. Patanjali has arranged all the Sutras in a deductive and logical manner with numerous cross references to various important concepts such as the Kleshas, Karma, Antaraaya, Siddhis and Gunas etc.
    Patanjali deals with the concept of Samadhi classifying it into numerous levels and sublevels. The lower state of Samprajnata (that which is obtained through cognitive thought) is sub-classified into four levels in 1.17 as:
    • Vitarka - obtained with deep contemplation on gross thought
    • Vichara - obtained with deep contemplation on subtle thought
    • Ananda - obtained with deep contemplation on inner eternal bliss
    • Asmita - obtained with deep contemplation on ‘that’ which defines one’s individuality from the universality.

    Yoga, is as old as antiquity. It is NOT 2300 year old Patanjali stuff as Historians makes it out to be.
    The Mahabharata (Shanti Parva 349.65), - Bhagavad Gita of Sri Krishna occurs, states: “Hiranyagarbha is the original knower of Yoga”
    Brihadyogi Yajnavalkya Smriti XII.5 portrays Hiranyagarbha as the original teacher of yoga
    Bhishma in the 6000 year old Mahabharata (Shanti Parva 300.57) speaks of a Yoga teaching “established in many Yoga Shastras.”
    Hiranyagabha ( golden embryo ) Yoga tradition is a Vedic tradition.
    Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras is only referred to as a compiler, not as an inventor of the Yoga teachings. He himself states, “Thus is the teaching of Yoga” (Yoga Sutras I.1)
    Patanjali lived in 5000 bc and NOT 2200 years ago as written by the Historians.
    Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, is composed of a total of 196 sutras or aphorisms ( wisdom packed words ) .

    These sutras are structured around four padas or chapters:
    Samadhi Pada,
    Sadhana Pada,
    Vibhuti Pada and
    Kaivalya Pada.

    The Yoga Sutras are not a philosophy but a step by step method to become aware of one own being.
    Each Sutra is compact and needs a great deal explanation as it's nature and depth of psychological content.

    Patanjalis Yoga is concerned with liberation through meditation.
    The first chapter is "Samadhi Pada" a state of evenness where one is total and centered in one self without distractions. In this chapter the Yoga, the modifications of the mind, "Samadhi" and the concept of "Isvarah" God are explained.

    The second chapter "Sadhana Pada" is the practice of a Yogi.
    The chapter starts with a the base conditions to start Yoga " Tapah Svahdyaya Ishvarpranidhanani Kriyayogah" Austerity, selfstudy and surrender of the ego is Yoga of action. Patanjalis definition of Yoga of action is Kriya Yoga. Patanjali Yoga is even known as Raja Yoga, the Yoga of understanding and transcending the mind, consciousness is Raja or the king. "Ashtanga Yoga" Eight limbs of yoga is the heart of Patanjalis Yoga system. There are five major afflictions of the mind of which "Avidya" ignorance of ones own being is the root cause of all afflictions. These are explained in the second chapter "Samadhi Pada".

    Ashtanga Yoga:
    Yama (personal discipline)
    Niyama (social discipline)
    Asana (discipline of body posture)
    Pranayama ( rhythmic breathing exercises)
    Pratyahara (inward withdrawal of the senses)
    Dharana (concentration)
    Dhyana (meditation)
    Samadhi (total awareness and evenness"Sama" of ones true self without conflicts)

    The third chapter, "Vibhuti Pada" is concerned with Yogic Powers.

    The fourth chapter " Kaivalya Pada" is the last in the Yoga Sutras . The difference between the mind, consciousness and witnessing and the soul are explained. "

Guide To Sanskrit Pronunciation

To facilitate correct pronunciation we have used the International System of transliteration for the Sūtras, as well as for the words in the glossary. When used within the text of the commentary, Sanskrit words have been given a more phonetic spelling for ease in reading.

The Sanskrit letters are arranged in sequence according to their origin when spoken: throat, palate, roof of mouth, teeth and lips. The letters and diacritical marks used to represent their sounds in this book and some examples of those sounds in English.

  • अ = a = as in up, soda
  • आ = -a = as in father
  • इ = i = as in fll, pin
  • ई = -i = as in feed
  • उ = u = as in full, bush
  • ऊ = -u = as in fool, rule
  • ऋ = r. = as in bring (but not pronouncing the “i”)
  • ॠ = -r. = as r., (but held twice as long)
  • ऌ = l. = as in slur (but not pronouncing the “l”)
  • Please note: the letters ṛ, ṝ and ḷ are vowels, and are not to be confused with the consonants r and l.
  • ए = e = as in they, pray (always long)
  • ऐ = ai = as in aisle
  • ओ = o = as in go
  • औ = au = as in how
  • अं = .m = as in hum
  • ः = h. = is a fnal sound pronounced with a stronger puf of air and the suggestion of the vowel preceding it. For example, a h. sounds like aha; ih. like ihi.

  • क = k = as in seek
  • ख = kh = as in back-hand
  • ग = g = as in good
  • घ = gh = as in dig-hard
  • ङ = .n = as in sing, monkey
  • च = c = as in pitch
  • छ = ch = as in Churn
  • ज = j = as in joy
  • झ = jh = as in hedge-hog
  • ञ = ñ = as in canyon
  • ट = t. = as in tub
  • ठ = t.h = as in hit-hard
  • ड = d. = as in deer
  • ढ = d.h = as in red-hot
  • ण = n. = as in not
  • त = t = as in pat (with the tongue touching the back of the teeth)
  • थ = th = as in hit-hard (with the tongue touching the back of the teeth)
  • द = d = as in dense (with the tongue touching the back of the teeth)
  • ध = dh = as in red-hot (with the tongue touching the back of the teeth)
  • न = n = as in nut
  • प = p = as in pin
  • फ = ph = as in fin
  • ब = b = as in bird
  • भ = bh = as in abhor
  • म = m = as in mud
  • य = y = as in yes
  • र = r = as in ladder (when said quickly)
  • ल = l = as in light
  • व = v = as in voice
  • स = s = as in sun
  • श = s’ = as in shun (with the top of the tongue against the palate)
  • ष = s. = as in sure (with the tongue pulled back and the tip touching the ridge of the back of teeth)
  • ह = h = as in honey
  • The syllable jña commonly occurs in Sanskrit. It sounds more or less like gnya.
  • The vowels and consonants are pronounced the same whenever they appear in a word. Each syllable of a word is stressed equally, with the long vowels held twice as long as the short. Because each short and long vowel is a different letter in Sanskrit, it is important to pronounce them correctly. Mispronunciation changes the Sanskrit spelling, making another word with another meaning. For example, rājā (long “a”) means king, while raja (short “a”) means dust.

Glossary of Sanskrit Terms
  • abhiniveśa — clinging to bodily life
  • ābhyantara vṛtti — internal retention of breath
  • abhyāsa — spiritual practice
  • Adiśeṣa — the thousand-headed cobra upon which the world rests according to Hindu mythology
  • āgami karma — karma being performed in the present
  • Agni — fire; the deva (god) or ruling power of fire
  • aham — I
  • ahaṁkāra — ego feeling
  • ahiṁsā — non-injury (one of the yamas)
  • ajapa — unrepeated
  • akartā — non-doer
  • ākāśa — the ether
  • amṛta — nectar; immortality
  • ānapānasati — meditation technique involving watching the incoming and outgoing breath
  • anāgata — not yet come (refers to the silence beyond the OM vibration, the unpronounced praṇava); the heart cakra
  • ānanda — bliss
  • antaraṅga — internal part
  • aṇu — atom
  • anuśāsanam — exposition, instruction
  • apāna — energy descending from the navel pit within the human body
  • aparigrahā — non-greed, non-hoarding, non-acceptance of gifts (one of the yamas)
  • apuṇya — non-virtuous; wicked
  • artha — meaning; wealth
  • asaṁprajñata — undistinguished samādhi (see Book One, sūtra 18)
  • āsana — pose (the 3rd of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga); seat
  • āsana siddhi — accomplishment of an asāna
  • asmita — egoity, ego sense, egoism, I-ness
  • āśrama — a spiritual community where seekers practice and study under the guidance of a spiritual master; every stage of life, such as brahmacarya, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and sannyāsa
  • aṣṭāṅga — eight-limbed
  • Aṣṭāṅga Yoga — the Yoga of eight limbs; another name for Rāja Yoga (see Book Two, sūtra 29)
  • asteya — non-stealing (one of the yamas)
  • Ātma, Ātman — the Self
  • avyakta — unmanifested
  • āyu — life
  • Āyurveda — (lit. scripture of life) one of the Indian systems of medicine
  • bāhya — external
  • bāhya vṛtti — external retention of breath
  • bandha — bondage; lock
  • Bhagavad Gītā — Hindu scripture in which Lord Kṛṣṇa instructs his disciple Arjuna in the various aspects of Yoga
  • bhāvana — thought, feeling; attitude
  • bhoga — enjoyment
  • bhuvana — universe
  • bījam — seed
  • brahmacarya — (lit. relating to Brahman) continence, sense control, celibacy (one of the yamas); the stage in life of the celibate student
  • brahmamuhūrta — two-hour period before sunrise (between four and six a.m.), especially conducive to meditation
  • Brahman — the unmanifest supreme consciousness or God;
  • buddhi — intellect; discriminative faculty of the mind
  • cakra — (lit. wheel) one of the subtle nerve centers along the spine which, when concentrated upon, yields experiences of various levels of consciousness
  • cit — the principle of universal intelligence or consciousness
  • citta-nāśa — (lit. death of the mind) dissolution of mind in meditation
  • cittam — mind-stuff
D, E
  • Dakṣiṇāmūrti — (lit. south-faced deity) an aspect of Lord Śiva in which he instructs through silence
  • darśana — vision or experience of a divine form or being
  • deśa — space; place of concentration during Yoga practice
  • deva — celestial being; controller of an aspect of nature
  • deva loka — the plane where the gods abide
  • dhāraṇā — concentration (the sixth of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga)
  • dharma — duty, righteousness, moral
  • dharmamegha samādhi — cloud of virtue” samādhi (see Book Four, sūtra 29)
  • dhyāna — meditation (the 7th of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga)
  • divya — divine
  • duḥkha — suffering
  • dveṣa — dislike
  • ekāgrata pariṇāma — mental modification of one-pointedness
G, H
  • gṛhastha — householder stage of life
  • guṇa — one of the qualities of nature (sattva, rajas and tamas or balance, activity and inertia)
  • guru — (lit. remover of darkness) spiritual guide, teacher
  • hāna — removal
  • hāno-pāya — method for the removal of sorrow
  • hatha — (lit. ha — sun; tha — moon)
  • Hatha Yoga — the physical aspect of Yoga practice, including postures (āsanas), breathing techniques (prāṇāyāma), seals (mudras), locks (bandhas) and cleansing practices (kriyas)
  • hiṁsā — injury or pain; violence
I, J
  • Indra — the king of the gods or ruling powers of nature
  • indriya — sense organ
  • Iṣta devatā — one’s chosen deity
  • Īśvara — the supreme cosmic soul; God
  • Īśvara praṇidhāna — worship of God or self-surrender (one of the yamas)
  • japa — repetition of a mantra
  • Japa Yoga — science of mantra repetition
  • jaya — victory, mastery
  • jīva(tman) — individual soul
  • jīvanmukta — liberated living soul
  • jñāna — wisdom of the Self; knowledge, idea
  • Jñāna Yoga — Yoga of Self-inquiry
  • jyotiḥ — illumination, effulgence, light
  • kaivalya — experience of absoluteness; non-qualified experience
  • kāla — time
  • karma — action and reaction
  • Karma Yoga — performing actions as selfless service without attachment to the results
  • karmāśaya — womb, or bag, of karmas
  • karunā — mercy, compassion
  • kāya-kalpa — a tonic for physical rejuvenation
  • kevala — without qualities or conditions
  • kevala kuṁbhaka — natural, automatic breath retention during deep meditation
  • kleśa — obstruction or obstacle
  • kriyā — action, practice; (Hatha Yoga) cleansing practice
  • Kriyā Yoga — according to Patañjali: the three preliminary steps in Yoga (tapas, svadhyaya and Īśvara praṇidhāna or austerity, study and self-surrender)
  • kuṁbhaka — breath retention
  • kuṇḍalinī — (lit. coiled energy) the energy stored at the base of every individual’s spine
L, M
  • loka — a world of names and forms
  • mahat — great
  • mahaṛṣi — great sage
  • mahāvrata — (lit. great vows) refers to the yamas
  • maitrī — friendliness
  • manas — the desiring faculty of the mind-stuff
  • Māṇḍukya Upaniṣad — the Upanishadic treatise of OM, considered the crest jewel of all the Upaniṣads
  • mano-nāśa — death or dissolution of the mind
  • mantra — (lit. that makes the mind steady) a sound formula for meditation
  • mara — (Tamil) tree
  • māyā — illusion
  • mayūrāsana — (Hatha Yoga) the peacock pose
  • mokṣa — liberation
  • mudrā — sign, seal or symbol
  • mukta — set free, released, liberated
  • mukti — liberation, freedom
  • musu-musu-kkai — (Tamil) herb used for Ayurvedic healing; it also means “hand of monkey” and “monkey”
N, O
  • nāḍī suddhi — (Hatha Yoga) nerve-cleansing prāṇāyāma in which one breathes alternately through left and right nostrils
  • Nārada — a sage and celestial singer of divine names
  • nauli — (Hatha Yoga) stomach kriyā where one isolates and then churns the abdominal recti muscles
  • nirbīja — without seed, seedless
  • nirodha — cessation, restraint
  • nirodha parināma — the moment of conjunction of a thought and one’s effort to restrain it
  • nirvāna — (lit. nakedness) in the Buddhist teachings, the state of liberation
  • nirvicāra — without reflection (see Book One, sūtra 44)
  • nirvikalpa — without thought or imagination
  • nirvitarka — without reasoning (see Book One, sūtra 43)
  • nitya — eternal, permanent
  • niyama — observance (the second of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga; see Book Two, sūtra 32)
  • OM — the cosmic sound vibration which includes all other sounds and vibrations, the basic mantra, the absolute Brahman as sound
  • ojas — the ultimate energy reserve of the body derived from kapha (water)
  • pāda — portion
  • pādārtha — a thing; the substance and its meaning
  • pāñca indriya — the five senses
  • Pāñca Tantra — (lit.) five attitudes or approaches
  • Parabrahman — the supreme unmanifest consciousness or God
  • parama — highest, supreme
  • paścimotanāsana — (Hatha Yoga) the full-forward bending pose
  • Patāñjali Mahārṣi — Yogi and sage who compiled the Yoga Sūtras; considered to be the “Father of Yoga”
  • phalam — fruit; effect
  • prakāśa — illumination; sattva
  • Prakṛti — the Nature
  • prāṇa — the vital energy
  • prāṇa-apāna — the ascending and descending energy within the human body
  • praṇava — OM, the basic hum of the universe
  • prāṇāyāma — the practice of controlling the vital force, usually through control of the breath (the fourth of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga)
  • praṇidhāna — total dedication
  • prārabdha karma — the karma which has caused one’s present birth
  • prasādam — consecrated food offering; grace
  • pratipakṣa bhāvana — practice of substituting opposite thought forms in the mind
  • pratyāhāra — sense control; withdrawal of the senses from their objects (the 5th of the eight limbs of AṣṭāṅgaYoga)
  • pūjā — worship service
  • puṇya — virtuous
  • Puruṣa — the divine Self which abides in all beings
R, ṛ
  • rāga — liking, desire; tune
  • rājā — king
  • Rāja Yoga — the “Royal Yoga;” the system of concentration and meditation based on ethical discipline
  • rajas — activity; restlessness (one of the three guṇas)
  • Rām(a) — a name of God; a powerful seed mantra
  • Rāmāyana — epic telling the story of Lord Rāma as a dutiful son, brother, husband, warrior and king
  • ṛtaṁbharā prajñā — absolute true consciousness
  • rūpa — appearance; form
  • sa-ānanda — samādhi on the sattvic mind (see Book One, sūtra 17)
  • sa-asmita — samādhi on the egoity alone (see Book One, sūtra 17)
  • śabda — sound, word or name
  • sabīja — with seed
  • sādhana — spiritual practice
  • sadhu — a spiritual person, often a wandering mendicant
  • sahasrāra (cakra) — thousand-petaled lotus; the subtle center at the crown of the head, where the consciousness and energy go in the higher samādhis
  • Śaiva Siddhānta — a philosophy which leads to the worship of the Absolute as Lord Śiva
  • Śaivism — sect of Hinduism which worships the Absolute as Lord Śiva
  • sākṣī — witness
  • śakti, Śakti — energy; the Divine Mother
  • samādhi — contemplation, superconscious state, absorption (the eighth and final limb or culmination of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga)
  • samādhi pariṇāma — development in samādhi
  • saṁkyā — count in prāṇāyāma
  • saṁprajñāta — distinguished samādhi (see Book One, sūtra 17)
  • saṁsāra — round of births and deaths; family
  • saṁskāra — mental impression
  • saṁtoṣa — contentment
  • saṁyama — practice of dhārāṇa, dhyāna and samādhi upon one object, usually for the attainment of a particular power
  • saṁyoga — perfect union
  • sanjita karma — karma awaiting another lifetime to bear fruit
  • śānti — peace
  • sannyāsa — renunciation
  • sannyāsi — a renunciate; member of the Holy Order of Sannyās, having taken formal initiation from another sannyāsi
  • saptadhā bhūmi — the seven planes of understanding
  • Sat — existence or Truth
  • Sat-cid-ānanda — existence-knowledge-bliss absolute
  • sattva — purity; balanced state (one of the three guṇas)
  • satya — truth; truthfulness (one of the yamas)
  • śauca — purity (one of the niyamas)
  • savāsana — (Hatha Yoga) the corpse pose
  • savicāra — samādhi with reflection (see Book One, sūtra 17)
  • savikalpa — samādhi with thought or imagination
  • savitarka — samādhi with reasoning (see Book One, sūtras 17 & 42)
  • siddha — an accomplished one, often with supernatural powers
  • siddhi — accomplishment
  • Śiva — God as auspiciousness
  • smṛti — memory; code of law
  • śraddhā — faith
  • Śri — Goddess of Divine Wealth; eminent or illustrious; used in names to show respect or reverence
  • staṁbha vṛtti — breath retention
  • sthala siddhi — mastery over staying in one place (usually for at least twelve years)
  • sthiti — inertia; tamas
  • sukha — happiness
  • sukha pūrvaka — (lit. easy, comfortable breathing) alternate nostril breathing with retention
  • sūtra — (lit. thread) aphorism
  • svādhyāya — spiritual study (one of the niyamas)
  • svarūpa — essential nature
  • swāmī — renunciate; member of the Holy Order of Sannyās
T, U
  • tamas — inertia, dullness (one of the three guṇas)
  • tanmātram — subtle element
  • Tantra Yoga — a practice using yantra and mantra to experience the union of Śiva and Śakti (or the masculine and feminine, positive and negative forces) within the individual
  • tapas(yā) — (lit. to burn) spiritual austerity; accepting but not causing pain (one of the niyamas)
  • Tat — That; the unlimited, unmanifested Absolute
  • tattva — principle
  • tejas — illumination; aura
  • trādaka — gazing, concentration practice
  • tyāga — dedication
  • uḍḍyana bandha — (Hatha Yoga) stomach lift
  • Upaniṣads — the final portion of each of the Vedas which gives the nondualistic Vedānta philosophy
  • vairāgyam — dispassion, detachment or non-attachment
  • Vālmīki — legendary Indian sage and poet who wrote the Rāmāyana, the epic story of the life of Śri Rāma
  • vānaprastha — recluse or pilgrim who has finished family responsibilities and taken to the spiritual life; the stage prior to sannyāsa or formal renunciation
  • Varuṇa — the deva (god) or ruling power of water
  • vāsanā — (lit. smell) the impression of actions that remains unconsciously in the mind and induces a person to repeat the action (example: the smell of perfume is the vāsanā of perfume)
  • Vedānta — final experience of the study of the Vedas
  • Vedas — the wisdom scriptures of Hinduism (Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva)
  • vibhūti — blessing or power
  • videha — bodiless
  • vidyā — knowledge, learning
  • vikalpa — thought or imagination; verbal delusion
  • viparyaya — misconception
  • vīrya — vital energy, strength; semen
  • viveka — discrimination of the real from the unreal
  • vṛtti — modification
  • yama — abstinence (the 1st of the eight limbs of Aṣṭāṅga Yoga; see Book Two, sūtra 30)
  • yantra — a sacred geometrical figure representing a particular aspect of the Divine
  • Yoga — (lit. union) union of the individual with the Absolute; any course that makes for such union; unruffled state of mind under all conditions
  • Yoga mudrā — (Hatha Yoga) the symbol of Yoga; a posture which awakens the spiritual force within the individual

  • Grateful to Captain Ajit Vadakayil for taking time to write this enlightening commentary on Patanjali yoga sutras.
    all the introduction, literal meaning of sutras and Commentary content are directly taken from the blogs of Captain Ajit vadakayil, this site/application, do not own these content, Captain Ajit Vadakayil holds all the rights, the purpose of creating this application is to make the content more accessible, organizing and user friendly for studying yoga sutras.

    NOTE: digression and comments are not taken from the blogposts, please refer to the original posts if you wish to read them.

    References :
    intro :

    commentary :
    part 52:
    part 65:

    Invocation :
    'Invocation to Sage Patanjali'

    Audio :
    'Patanjali's Yoga Sutras - An Introduction & Complete Chanting' -
    Youtube Channel - Manovinyaasa -
    Audio for sutra 3.22 -
    Guide To Sanskrit Pronunciation & Glossary of Sanskrit Terms :
    'The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali' Translation and Commentary by Sri Swami Satchidananda

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