EXPERIENCING THE YOGA APHORISMS Posted on 24 Aug 22:47 , 0 comments


Few books could be more effective than the classic “Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali” in stimulating a sense of duty to one’s own understanding of right living, and to one’s feeling that it is possible to live according to a high ideal of ethics and wisdom.

As the student considers a good version of Patanjali’s book [1], he sees there are many different measures to take and improvements to make at the physical, emotional and mental levels.

The mere act of contemplating its unequal axioms once and again is enough to silently strengthen his will. There is no need to pay too much attention to those axioms with which his natural interaction is weaker. The reader may dwell in those aphorisms that speak to his soul. Their “order” or sequence in the text is not necessarily the order of his needs with regard to self-training. It is right to follow one’s natural process of affinity.

The sense of sacred duty and the perception of one’s failings must be compensated by a detachment regarding mistakes, a “taming” of one’s dispersed will, and the concentration of the mind in the adopted goal and ideal.

A relaxed and contemplative view of those aphorisms that most resonate with us shows the meeting place between our duty and the unlimited possibilities present in our daily life.


[1] See “The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali”, an interpretation by William Q. Judge, Theosophy Company, 74 pp. The book is available online in  and its associated websites. One of the best among the many other versions of the work is “The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali”, Translation, Introduction, Appendix and Notes by Manilal Nabhubhai Dvivedi, published by Tookaram Tatya, Bombay Theosophical Publication Fund, 1890. Another classical version is “The Yoga Philosophy: Being the Text of Patanjali, with Bhoja Raja’s Commentary”, Tookaram Tatya and Dr. Ballantyne, Bombay Theosophical Publication Fund, India, 1885. There are useful versions by Swami Vivekananda, Rohit Mehta and I. K. Taimni.


The above article is reproduced from “The Aquarian Theosophist” August 2015 edition, pp. 8-9.


Click here to buy the book “The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali”, an interpretation by William Q. Judge