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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali [Paperback]

Edwin F. Bryant
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: £17.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

9 Oct 2013
Written almost two millennia ago, Patanjali's work focuses on how to attain the direct experience and realization of the purusa: the innermost individual self, or soul. As the classical treatise on the Hindu understanding of mind and consciousness and on the technique of meditation, it has exerted immense influence over the religious practices of Hinduism in India and, more recently, in the West. Edwin F. Bryant's translation is clear, direct, and exact. Each sutra is presented as Sanskrit text, transliteration, and precise English translation, and is followed by Bryant's authoritative commentary, which is grounded in the classical understanding of yoga and conveys the meaning and depth of the sutras in a user-friendly manner for a Western readership without compromising scholarly rigor or traditional authenticity. In addition, Bryant presents insights drawn from the primary traditional commentaries on the sutras written over the last millennium and a half.

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The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali + The Bhagavad Gita (Classic of Indian Spirituality) + The Upanishads (Classic of Indian Spirituality)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: North Point Press; 1 edition (9 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0865477361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865477360
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 5.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A superb contribution to the secondary literature on yoga. Critically grounded in the scholarship on yoga and the rich textual history of the tradition, Bryant nevertheless succeeds in transcending both the excessively technical approaches to yoga scholarship as well as much of the popular nonsense about yoga in the proliferating schools in the New Age marketplace. Bryant impressively communicates the essentials of yoga philosophy and practice to the thoughtful but non-specialist general reader. His translations from the Sanskrit are precise and well-grounded, and his interpretations are provocative and persuasive. His book will surely be welcomed by both serious scholars and responsible practitioners. --Gerald James Larson, Rabindranath Tagore Professor Emeritus of Indian Cultures and Civilizations, Indiana University, Bloomington, and Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Bryant's translation of and commentary on Patanjali's Yoga Sutras reveal the rich tapestry of schools and viewpoints that form the background for the yoga tradition. Dr. Bryant teaches us to delight in the diversity of ideas and commentaries that come along with the equally diverse practices of yoga. He helps us to look deeper into a universal pattern of all practices, taking us out of the fundamentalism and exclusivity of our own schools. Grounded in an unbiased sense of ancient history, he clears away any confusion about the meaning of and the connections between different yoga philosophies. His book is a well-rounded and inspiriting course on the real connections between ideas, practices, and direct experience. I enthusiastically recommend it. Richard Freeman, author of The Yoga Matrix Edwin Bryant has provided us with a sweeping, kaleidoscopic overview of this essential yoga text. His clear and engaging prose brings Patanjali's aphorisms to life, taking his reader on an amazing journey through the --Various

About the Author

EDWIN F. BRYANT received his PhD in Indology from Columbia University. He is a professor of Hindu religion and philosophy at Rutgers University, and also teaches workshops on the yoga su- tras and other Hindu texts in yoga communities around the world.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 20 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This translation and commentary on the classic text joins 6 others I already have, so I wondered if I would be failing to practise aparigraha (non-covetousness) by buying it! But it was recommended to me by Rolf Sovik of the Himalayan Institute and I am glad I did. The author, or more accurately translator and commentator, Edwin F Bryant is professor of Hindu religion and philosophy at Rutgers University. It is a substantial volume, with a fairly lengthy and annotated commentary on each sutra, but nevertheless very readable. The comments include scholarly references to historical writers on the Sutras including Vyasa, Sankara and other commentators of the premodern period. There is a useful summary of the history of yoga and of the whole subject matter of the Sutras. The four chapters are translated as
I Meditative Absorption; II Practice; III Mystic Powers; and IV Absolute Independence. A text for committed students of yoga, to cherish, read daily and ponder over.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best account in English 5 April 2012
This excellent edition is superior to other versions because of the references to the traditional commentators (Vyasa, Vijnanabhiksu, Vacaspati Misra, Sankara, Al Biruni, Bhoja Raja and the modern practitioner commentator Hariharananda Aranya) and the clarity of explanation.

If you only get one edition of the sutras this should be it.

Only criticism is that at the time of writing this you can only get it in a thick paperback (a hardback version would offer more protection/longevity). And its a pity that there isn't a Kindle version for searching the text, annotating with your thoughts and carrying around.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not fluffy, more literally translated 18 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Compared to my peers on my yoga teaching course, this version was much more literal and not poetically translated. I was very grateful for this as it offered clarity but on hearing others' translations, I will be buying more versions to use in class and for personal reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Bryant's Patanjali's Yoga Sutras 19 Jan 2013
By Joe Sen
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is the best book on Yoga in English. Edward Bryant has provided a very clear translation of Patanjali's text. His use of the commentators to illumine the text is also fascinating. The book iis excellent value for money as well. It sits well alongside Michel Angot's French work on the Yoga Sutra.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are possibly as many different translations and publications of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras around as there are individual verses in Patanjali's famous work, but this one is rather special because it offers not only the author's excellent translation of and commentary on the Sutras, it also gives you the principal insights on them by the big names from different traditions within Indian thought such as Vyasa, Shankara and Hariharananda, plus a very useful introduction on the history of Yoga from the Vedic period through the Upanishads, Mahabharata and Sankhya. If, like me, you are a Westerner with a more than superficial interest in Yoga Philosophy and Practise this book is hard to beat. Bryant is a dedicated yoga practitioner himself but has studied and written on Indian philosophy and sanskrit to the point of holding high academic positions, so he delivers his accounts sympathetically yet with rigour, authority and objectivity. He brings real accessibility and clarity to the whole subject without losing breadth or depth. All the sutras are given in sanskrit, romanised transliteration, and of course, clear English. The book includes a really useful Summary version of Patanjali's chapters (added as an appendix), a good bibliography and a more comprehensive word-glossary than you get in most publications. A connoisseur book for my top shelf of indian texts.
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