Puruṣa and Patañjali, Yoga and Union.

These are the concluding sutras of The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali, from book 4 – Freedom

These translated by Chip Hartranft. I like his terse style

Ponder on this last statement, it is ultra-profound.

From Wikipeadia

Purusha (puruṣa or Sanskrit: पुरुष) is a complex concept whose meaning evolved in Vedic and Upanishadic times. Depending on source and historical timeline, it means the cosmic being or self, consciousness, and universal principle.

In early Vedas, Purusha was a cosmic being whose sacrifice by the gods created all life. This was one of many creation myths discussed in the Vedas. In the Upanishads, the Purusha concept refers to the abstract essence of the Self, Spirit and the Universal Principle that is eternal, indestructible, without form, and is all-pervasive.

In Sankhya philosophy, Purusha is the plural immobile male (spiritual) cosmic principle, pure consciousness, unattached and unrelated to anything, which is “nonactive, unchanging, eternal, and pure”. Purusha uniting with Prakṛti (matter) gives rise to life.

In Kashmir Shaivism, Purusha is enveloped in five sheaths of time (Kāla), desire (Raga), restriction (Niyati), knowledge (Vidya) and portion of time (Kalā); it is the universal Self (Paramatman) under limitations as many individual Selfs (Jīvātman).

——-

Patañjali (Sanskrit: पतञ्जलि), also called Gonardiya, or Gonikaputra, was a sage in Ancient India. Very little is known about him, and no one knows exactly when he lived. It is estimated from analysis of his works that it was between the 4th and 5th centuries CE.

He is believed to be an author and compiler of a number of Sanskrit works. The greatest of these are the Yoga Sutras, a classical yoga text. There is speculation as to whether the sage Patañjali is the author of all the works attributed to him, as there are a number of known historical authors of the same name. A great deal of scholarship has been devoted over the last century as to the issue of the historicity or identity of this author or these authors.

Amongst the more important authors called Patañjali are:

 The author of the Mahābhāṣya, an ancient treatise on Sanskrit grammar and linguistics, based on the Aṣṭādhyāyī of Pāṇini. This Patañjali’s life is dated to mid 2nd century BCE by both Western and Indian scholars. This text was titled as a bhashya or “commentary” on Kātyāyana-Pāṇini’s work by Patanjali, but is so revered in the Indian traditions that it is widely known simply as Mahā-bhasya or “Great commentary”. As per Ganesh Sripad Huparikar, actually, Patanjali (2nd century BCE), the forerunner among ancient grammatical commentators, “adopted an etymological and dialectical method of explaining in the whole of his ‘Mahābhāshya’ (Great Commentary), and this has assumed, in the later commentary literature the definite form of ‘Khanda-anvaya’.” So vigorous, well reasoned and vast is his text, that this Patanjali has been the authority as the last grammarian of classical Sanskrit for more than 2,000 years, with Pāṇini and Kātyāyana preceding him. Their ideas on structure, grammar and philosophy of language have also influenced scholars of other Indian religions such as Buddhism and Jainism.

The compiler of the Yoga sūtras, a text on Yoga theory and practice, and a notable scholar of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy. He is variously estimated to have lived between 2nd century BCE to 4th century CE, with more scholars accepting dates between 2nd and 4th century CE.The Yogasutras is one of the most important texts in the Indian tradition and the foundation of classical Yoga. It is the Indian Yoga text that was most translated in its medieval era into forty Indian languages.

The author of a medical text called Patanjalatantra. He is cited and this text is quoted in many medieval health sciences-related texts, and Patanjali is called a medical authority in a number of Sanskrit texts such as Yogaratnakara, Yogaratnasamuccaya and Padarthavijnana. There is a fourth Hindu scholar also named Patanjali, who likely lived in 8th-century CE and wrote a commentary on Charaka Samhita and this text is called Carakavarttika. According to some modern era Indian scholars such as P.V. Sharma, the two medical scholars named Patanjali may be the same person, but completely different person from the Patanjali who wrote the Sanskrit grammar classic Mahābhashya.

Patanjali is one of the 18 siddhars in the Tamil siddha (Shaiva) tradition.

Patanjali continues to be honoured with invocations and shrines in some forms of modern postural yoga, such as Iyengar Yoga and Ashtānga Vinyāsa Yoga.

The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali is a collection of Sanskrit sutras (aphorisms) on the theory and practice of yoga – 195 sutras (according to Vyāsa and Krishnamacharya) and 196 sutras (according to other scholars including BKS Iyengar). The Yoga Sutras was compiled in the early centuries CE, by the sage Patanjali in India who synthesized and organized knowledge about yoga from much older traditions.

The Yoga Sutras are best known for its reference to ashtanga, eight elements of practice culminating in samadhi, concentration of the mind on an object of meditation, namely yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration of the mind), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption). However, its main aim is kaivalya, discernment of purusha, the witness-conscious, as separate from prakriti, the cognitive apparatus, and disentanglement of purusha from prakriti’s muddled defilements.

The Yoga Sutras built on Samkhya-notions of purusha and prakriti, and are often seen as complementary to it. It is closely related to Buddhism, incorporating some of its terminology. Yet, Samkhya, Yoga, Vedanta, as well as Jainism and Buddhism can be seen as representing different manifestations of a broad stream of ascetic traditions in ancient India, in contrast to the Bhakti traditions and Vedic ritualism which were prevalent at the time.

The contemporary Yoga tradition holds the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali to be one of the foundational texts of classical Yoga philosophy. However, the appropriation – and misappropriation – of the Yoga Sutras and its influence on later systematizations of yoga has been questioned by David Gordon White,who argues that the text fell into relative obscurity for nearly 700 years from the 12th to 19th century, and made a comeback in late 19th century due to the efforts of Swami Vivekananda, the Theosophical Society and others. It gained prominence as a classic in the 20th century.

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