Patanjali is the author of
the “Yoga Sutras.” He is also
thought by many scholars to be the author of various ancient texts on Ayurveda
and Sanskrit grammar. Others think
that the name Patanjali represents a group of people who came up with these
writings. Sutra in Sanskrit
translates to “stitch” as in a thread of knowledge. The Sutras provide a thorough and consistent philosophical
basis for yoga, and they also clarify many important concepts in Indian
thought. Patanjali divided his Yoga
Sutras into four chapters or books (“pada” in Sanskrit).
-Samadhi Pada (51 sutras):
Sanadhi refers to a blissful state of Oneness. This book contains the famous verse “Yogas citta vritti
nirodhah” which translates to “Yoga is the restraint of mental modifications.”
-Sadhana Pada (55 sutras):
Sadhana is the Sanskrit word for practice or discipline. In this book, Patanjali talks about
Kriya Yoga (also called Karma Yoga) and Ashtanga Yoga (Eightfold Yoga). Ashtanga Yoga describes the eight limbs
that together constitute Raja Yoga.
-Vibhuti Pada (56 sutras):
Vibhuti is the Sanskrit word for power or manifestation. The sutras explain that the focus
should be on liberation, and not on the attainment of power.
-Kaivalya Pada (34 sutras):
Kaivalya as used in the sutras means emancipation and liberation, which is the
goal of Yoga. This book describes
the nature of liberation and the reality of the transcendental self.