ancient Indian scholar(s) of grammar and linguistics, of yoga, of medical treatises
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A garlanded Patanjali statue

Patañjali (Devanāgarī पतञ्जलि) (fl. 2nd c. BCE) is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja Yoga.


  • The posture assumed must be steady and easy
    • Patanjali, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 133.
  • Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.
    • Patanjali, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 133.
  • Stirum sukham asanam. Meaning: Seated posture should be steady and comfortable.
    • Patanjali, in “The Little Red Book of Yoga Wisdom”, p. 134.
  • Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.
    • Patanjali, in "Being Consciousness Bliss: A Seeker's Guide", p. 205.

Yoga Sutras of PatañjaliEdit

  • Where the heart is full of kindness which seeks no injury to another, either in act or thought or wish, this full love creates an atmosphere of harmony, whose benign power touches with healing all who come within its influence. Peace in the heart radiates peace to other hearts, even more surely than contention breeds contention.
    • Translation by: Charles Johnston
  • Restraining the thought-streams natural to the mind, ... the seer dwells in his own nature. Otherwise he is of the same form as the thought-streams.
    • § 1.2
  • Desirelessness towards the seen and the unseen gives the consciousness of mastery.
    • § 1.15
  • By cultivating friendliness towards happiness and compassion towards misery, gladness towards virtue and indifference towards vice, the mind becomes pure.
    • § 1.33
  • Egoism is the identification of the power that knows with the instruments of knowing.
    • § 2.6
  • Liberation of the seer is the result of the dissassociation of the seer and the seen.
    • § 2.25
  • Supreme happiness is gained via contentment.
    • § 2.42
  • By study comes communion with the Lord in the Form most admired.
    • § 2.44
  • Realization is experienced by making the Lord the motive of all actions.
    • § 2.45
  • When the mind maintains awareness, yet does not mingle with the senses, nor the senses with sense impressions, then self-awareness blossoms.
    • § 2.54
  • For one who sees the distinction, there is no further confusing of the mind with the self.
    • § 4.25

The Light of the Soul: Its Science and Effect : a paraphrase of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with commentary by Alice A. Bailey, (1927)Edit

(Full text)

  • 27. The Word of Ishvara is AUM (or OM). This is the Pranava.
  • 28. Through the sounding of the Word and through reflection upon its meaning, the Way is found.
  • 29. From this comes the realisation of the Self (the soul) and the removal of all obstacles.
  • 30. The obstacles to soul cognition are bodily disability, mental inertia, wrong questioning, carelessness, laziness, lack of dispassion, erroneous perception, inability to achieve concentration, failure to hold the meditative attitude when achieved.
  • 31. Pain, despair, misplaced bodily activity and wrong direction (or control) of the life currents are the results of the obstacles in the lower psychic nature.
  • 32. To overcome the obstacles and their accompaniments, the intense application of the will to some one truth (or principle) is required.
  • 33. The peace of the chitta (or mind stuff) can be brought about through the practice of sympathy, tenderness, steadiness of purpose, and dispassion in regard to pleasure or pain, or towards all forms of good or evil.
  • 34. The peace of the chitta is also brought about by the regulation of the prana or life breath.
  • 35. The mind can be trained to steadiness through those forms of concentration which have relation to the sense perceptions.
  • 36. By meditation upon Light and upon Radiance, knowledge of the Spirit can be reached and thus peace can be achieved.
  • 37. The chitta is stabilized and rendered free from illusion as the lower nature is purified and no longer indulged.

The MahābhāṣyaEdit

  • In deep meditation the flow of concentration is continuous like the flow of oil.
  • Peace can be reached through meditation on the knowledge which dreams give. Peace can also be reached through concentration upon that which is dearest to the heart.
  • Progress in meditation comes swiftly for those who try their hardest.
  • When a gifted team dedicates itself to unselfish trust and combines instinct with boldness and effort, it is ready to climb.
  • When a man becomes steadfast in his abstention from harming others, then all living creatures will cease to feel enmity in his presence
  • When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Quotes about PatanjaliEdit

  • Patanjali was a compiler of teaching which, up to the time of his advent, had been given orally for many centuries... The Yoga Sutras are the basic teaching of the Trans Himalayan School to which many of the Masters of the Wisdom belong, and many students hold that the Essenes and other schools of mystical training and thought, closely connected with the founder of Christianity and the early Christians, are based upon the same system... the Sutras have been dictated and paraphrased by the Tibetan Brother and the commentary upon them has been written by myself, and subjected to revision and comment by the Tibetan.
    • Alice Bailey Introduction to ''The Light of the Soul: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Lucis Trust Publishing (1927)

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