HDS 3931: The Yoga Sutras: Text, Meaning, Purpose






The brief Yoga Sutras (only 195 sutras) of Patanjali (c 100 BCE-100 CE) is a vastly influential and fundamental text of yoga. It is the focus of the course, along with its primary commentary (Vyasa’s Bhasya), notes on other commentaries, and with some attention to BKS Iyengar’s famous Light on the Yoga Sutras. What was Patanjali up to? What are the Sutras for? What do the Sutras tell us about the meaning and purpose of yoga then and now? Though not a course about the practice of yoga or yoga in the modern world, it is always attentive to the implications for practice. Thus potentially of great use for practitioners and teachers today. Apt comparisons will be made with ancient Hindu and Buddhist parallels, Al-Biruni’s 11th c. Arabic translation, and modern Christian interpretations of the Sutras. Given our stressful situation, possibly some optional yoga practice together at start or end of class. Weekly written responses, plus two twelve-page course papers. Jointly offered in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences as Religion 1661.