A Useful List Of Yoga Sutras Of Patanjali Translations And Commentaries
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (which is estimated to have been written between 200 BCE and 400 CE–but there is no definitive date on this) is probably the most important–and it is certainly one of the most influential–texts in the field of Yoga practice, art, and science that exists today.
Due to its importance to scholars, experts and teachers, and because of its personal significance in the lives of numerous practitioners throughout history, the text has been translated and commented on thousands of times, by thousands of people, and in thousands of ways in different parts of the world.
The oldest known commentary on the Yoga Sutras is the “Yoga-Bhashya” by Vyasa, which is believed to have been written around 400 CE (but, some have also claimed that the text may have been written between 650 and 850 AD).
This oldest known commentary provides a detailed analysis of each of the sutras and their philosophical implications, and is often considered to be one of the most authoritative commentaries on the Yoga Sutras overall.
It should be noted, however, that there may have been numerous earlier commentaries on the Yoga Sutras that did not survive to the present day (since India went through many different geopolitical and historical events, and faced numerous invasions that led to things like book-burning and the destruction of artifacts many times throughout history, and, as a result, a large number of historical texts and records have inevitably been lost over time).
Nevertheless, other than Vyasa’s commentaries, here is a short list of some of the most well-known modern translations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras that exist today, along with links to them:
- “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Sri Swami Satchidananda: This is a widely used and highly regarded translation of the Yoga Sutras. It includes commentary and practical guidance on how to apply the teachings in daily life. The book can be found at: https://amzn.to/3TcTBSc
- “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by Edwin Bryant: This translation and commentary is popular among scholars and academics. It provides detailed historical and philosophical context for the Yoga Sutras. The book can be found at: https://amzn.to/3Tgicpa
- “Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” by B.K.S. Iyengar: This translation and commentary is written by one of the most influential yoga teachers of the 20th century. It includes detailed explanations of each of the sutras and how they relate to yoga practice. The book can be found at: https://amzn.to/3yBBU5n
- “Patanjali Yoga Sutras” by Swami Vivekananda: This commentary is written by a popular and renowned Vedantic scholar and teacher. The text offers a “Vedantic perspective” on the Yoga aphorisms and elaborates on a related text titled “Raja Yoga,” which appears in a series of texts on different “styles,” of Yoga. You can download a copy of the book for educational purposes here: https://wp.me/a2uYWO-6tv
- “The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice” by T.K.V. Desikachar: This book includes a translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras, as well as practical advice on how to develop a personalized yoga practice. The book can be found at: https://amzn.to/3ZOz7lm
- “The Secret of the Yoga Sutra: Samadhi Pada” by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait: This commentary focuses specifically on the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras, which deals with the concept of Samadhi, and it includes practical guidance on how to achieve this state of deep concentration and meditation. The book can be found at: https://amzn.to/3JAzSc6
As stated before, there are thousands of other translations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras available.
The provided list is simply for educational purposes only, and serves as a way to quickly point you to a few different perspectives that are available on the Yoga Sutras in addition to the commentaries that you can find here in my work on the important aphorisms.