The Yogasutra of Patanjali : A New Introduction to the Buddhist Roots of the Yoga System
This book offers a systematic and radical introduction to the Buddhist roots of Patanjala-yoga, or the Yoga system of Patanjali.
By examining each of 195 aphorisms (sutras) of the Yogasutra and discussing the Yogabhasya, it shows that traditional and popular views on Patanjala-yoga obscure its true nature.
The book argues that Patanjali's Yoga contains elements rooted in both orthodox and heterodox philosophical traditions, including Sankhya, Jaina and Buddhist thought. With a fresh translation and a detailed commentary on the Yogasutra, the author unearths how several of the terms, concepts and doctrines in Patanjali's Yoga can be traced to Buddhism, particularly the Abhidharma Buddhism of Vasubandhu and the early Yogacara of Asanga.
The work presents the Yogasutra of Patanjali as a synthesis of two perspectives: the metaphysical perspective of Sankhya and the empirical-psychological perspective of Buddhism.
Based on a holistic understanding of Yoga, the study explores key themes of the text, such as meditative absorption, means, supernormal powers, isolation, Buddhist conceptions of meditation and the interplay between Sankhya and Buddhist approaches to suffering and emancipation.
It further highlights several new findings and clarifications on textual interpretation and discrepancies.
An important intervention in Indian and Buddhist philosophy, this book opens up a new way of looking at the Yoga of Patanjali in the light of Buddhism beyond standard approaches and will greatly interest scholars and researchers of Buddhist studies, Yoga studies, Indian philosophy, philosophy in general, literature, religion and comparative studies, Indian and South Asian Studies and the history of ideas.