1.1 Atha yogānuśāsanam

BKS Iyengar Light on the Yoga Sutras:

“With prayers for divine blessings, now begins an exposition of the sacred art of yoga”

I.K.Tatami The Science of Yoga:

“Now, an exposition of Yoga (is to be made).”

Edwin Bryant, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali:

“Now, the teachings of yoga [are presented].”

Reverend Jaganath Carrera, Inside the Yoga Sutras:

“Now the exposition of yoga”

All the translations and commentaries emphasize the word “now”.  BKS Iyengar says that “the disciplines of integration are here expounded through experience and are given to humanity for the exploration and recognition of that hidden part of man which is beyond the awareness of the senses”.  Tatami says  that the writer is not the discoverer of this yoga but the expounder writing the essentially knowledge in a few condensed sutras.  He points out that the Sutras are hard for westerners to understand but fortunately there has been a continuous chain of teachers who can teach and discuss the sutras with us.  Edwin Bryant says that the function of the Sutras is a “manual for the practitioner” since the teachings of yoga point to the truth of the soul which is beyond intellect.  Carerra imagined Pantajali teaching his students about this sutra saying “Be alert, stay focused, for any doubts you have concerning the timeless teaching of Yoga will now be erased”.

This sutra is the start of my blog and my first study of Pada I – Samadhi Pada.  For my next level of Iyengar Certification which is Junior Intermediate I, I must know all the sutras in this pada, as well as Pada 2 and part of Pada 3.

On Friday nights in Patricia Walden’s Iyengar class, we start by discussing the yoga sutras.  She asked us recently how we absorb the sutras.  I absorb them by studying different commentaries and writing about them.

This particular sutra has meaning for me because it is the start of my blog on Yoga Sutras.  As Carerra says “Not later, not soon, now” in his commentary for Sutra 1.1.

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