Sage Patañjali

Sage Patañjali

Patañjali (500 to 200 B.C.), tradicionally considered to be an incarnation of Adisesa, Lord Vishnu´s bearer, became not only the celebrated author of the Yoga Sūtras, but also of treatises on both ayurveda and Sanscrit grammar. He was also an accomplished dancer to whom the schools of Indian classical dance pay tribute.
Together, Patañjali’s three works deal with the human being’s mental and spiritual development as a whole, in thought, speech and action. His treatise on yoga is called yoga darśana. Darśana means “vision of the soul”.

Patañjali’s works are followed by yogis to these days in their effort to develop a refined language, a cultured body and a civilized mind.

The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali are divided into four chapters or padas. The 196 sūtras or aphorisms are succinct, precise, profound, and devout in approach. The four padas are:

  1. Samadhi Pada (on contemplation)
  2. Sadhana Pada (on practice)
  3. Vibhuti Pada (on properties and powers)
  4. Kaivalya Pada (on emancipation and freedom)

The eight stages (aṣṭānga) of Yoga that Patañjali describes in his Yoga Sūtras are: