The Patanjali's Yog Sutra provide terse treatment to the complex subject of Yoga and seamlessly covers aspects such as types of yoga, practice of yoga, powers of yoga and the ultimate aim or result of yoga. In all, Yog Sutra comprises of 195 aphorisms divided into 4 chapters or Pada. In 55 sutras, the Sadhana Pada establishes the aim of yoga as being the control of the chitta vrittis (thought processes) to attain the highest union or 'yoga'. It prescribes the practice of Karma and Ashtanga Yoga as a means of achieving this union. This Pada identifies ignorance (avidya) and other obstacles to meditation as a major cause of our inability to naturally merge with the Absolute, and to this end it advices the eradication of all such kleshas by practicing the eight limbs of yoga and benefiting from their advantages.
Sadhana Pada, having 55 sutras (aphorisms) in Sanskrit, Sanskrit transliteration with English translation are explained here.
1. TAPAH SVAADHAYAAYA EESHWARA PRANIDHAANAANI KRIYAAYOGA | तपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि क्रियायोगः ।
TAPAH - asceticism; austerity SVAADHAYAAYA - self-study; study which leads to the knowledge of the self through Japa EESHVARAPRANIDHAANAANI - (and) self-surrender, or resignation to God KRIYAAYOGA - preliminary (practical) Yoga.
Austerity, self-study and resignation to Ishvara constitute preliminary Yoga.
SAMAADHI - trance BHAAVANAARTHAH - for bringing about KLESHA - afflictions TANOOKARANAARTHASH - for reducing; for making attenuated CHA - and.
(Kriyaa-Yoga) is practiced for attenuating Kleshas and bringing about Samaadhi.
AVIDYA - ignorance; lack of awareness; illusion ASMITA - I-am-ness egoism RAAGA - attraction; liking DVESHAA - repulsion; dislike ABHI-NIVESHAA -(and) clinging (to life); fear of death KLESHAAH - pains; afflictions; miseries; causes of pain.
The lack of awareness of reality, the sense of egoism or 'i-am-ness', attractions and repulsion to wards objects and the strong desire for life are the great afflictions or causes of all miseries in life.
4. AVIDYA KHSETRAM UTTRESHAAM PRASOOPTA VICHCHHINO UDAA-RAANAM| अविद्या क्षेत्रम् उत्तरेषां प्रसुप्ततनुविच्छिन्नोदाराणाम् ।
AVIDYA - ignorance or lack of awareness of reality KHSETRAM - fields; source UTTRESHAAM - of the following ones PRASOOPTA - (of) dormant; sleeping; TANU - attenuated; thin VICHCHHINNO - scattered; dispersed; alternating UDAA-RAANAAM - (and) expanded; fully operative.
Avidyaa is the source of those that are mentioned after it, whether they be in the dormant, attenuated, alternating or expanded condition.
5. ANITYA ASHUCHI DUHKHA ANAATMASU NITYA SHUCH SUKH AATMA KHYAATIR AVIDYAA | अनित्याशुचिदुःखानात्मसु नित्यशुचिसुखात्मख्यातिरविद्या ।
ANITYA - (of) non-eternal ASHUCHI - impure DUHKHA - misery; pain; evil ANAATMASU - (and) non-Aatman; not -self NITYA - eternal SHUCHI: pure SUKH: happiness; pleasure; good AATMA: (and) Self KHYAATIR: knowledge; consciousness, (taking) AVIDYAA - ignorance.
Avidyaa is taking the non-eternal, impure, evil and non-Aatman to be eternal, pure, good and Aatman respectively.
DRIG - (of) power of consciousness; seer; purusha DARSHANASHATYOR - (and) power of seeing; cognition; buddhi EKAATMATAA - identity; blending together EVA - as if ASMITAA: I-am-ness
Asmitaa is the identity or blending together, as it were, of the power of consciousness (Purusha) with the power of cognition (Buddhi).
SUKH - pleasure; happiness ANUSHAYEE - accompanying; resulting (from) RAAGAH - attraction; liking.
That attraction, which accompanies pleasure, is Raaga.
DUHKH - pain ANUSHAYEE - accompanying; resulting (from); DVESHAH - repulsion.
That repulsion which accompanies pain is Dvesha.
SVARASAVAAHEE -sustained by its own forces; flowing on automatically VIDUSHO - the learned (or wise) API - even TATHAA - in that way ROODHO - riding; dominating
ABHINIVESHAH - great fear of death; strong desire for life; thorough infiltration (of the mind); will-to-live.Abhinivesha is the strong desire for life which dominates even the learned (or the wise).
TE - they PRATIPRADAVA: - re-absorption; re-mergence; resolution into respective cause or origin HEYAAH - capable of being reduced or avoided or abolished SOOSHMAAH - subtle.
These, the subtle ones, can be reduced by resolving them backward into their origin.
DHYAANA - (by) meditation HEYAA - (kleshas which are) to avoided TADVRITTYAH - their modifications; ways of existing; activities.
Their active modifications are to be suppressed by meditation.
12. KLESHAMOOLAH KARMAASHAYO DRISTA ADRISTA JANMA VIDDNEEYAH | क्लेशमूलः कर्माशयो दृष्टादृष्टजन्मवेदनीयः ।
KLESHAMOOLAH - rooted in Kleshas KARMAASHAYO - reservoir of Karmas; the vehicle of the seeds of Karma DRISTA - seen; present ADRISTA - unseen; future JANMA - lives VDDNEEYAH - to be known; to be experienced.
The reservoir of Karmas which are rooted in Kleshas birngs all kinds of experiences in the present and future lives.
SATI MOOLE - there being the root TAD - (of) it (Karmaashaya) VIPAAKO - fruition; ripening JAATYA: class AYUR: (span of) life BHOGAAH: (and) experiences.
As long as the root is there it must ripen and result in lives of different class, length and experiences.
TE - they HLAADA: joy PARITAAPA - (and) sorrow PHALAAH - (having for their) fruit PUNYA - merit as opposed to sin or demerit APUNYA - demerit; sin (punya and apunya are the assets and liabilities super-physically registered in the soul)
HETUTVAAT - being caused by; on account of.They have joy or sorrow for their fruit according to their cause is virtue or vice.
15. PARINAAMA TAAP SANSKAAR DUHKHAIR GUNA VRITTI VIRODHACH DUHKHAM EVA VIVEKINAH| परिणामतापसंस्कारदुःखैर्गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच् च दुःखम् एव सर्वं विवेकिनः।
PARINAAMA - (on account of) change TAAP - acute anxiety; suffering SANSKAAR - impression; stamping with a tendency DUHKHAIR - pains (three causes mentioned above) GUNA - (between the three) Gunas VRITTI -(and) modification (of the mind) VIRODHACH - on account of opposition or conflict CHA and DUHKHAM - (is) pain; misery EVA - only
VIVEKINAH - to the enlightened; to the person who has developed discrimination.
To the people who have developed discrimination all is misery on account of the pains resulting from change, anxiety and tendencies, as also on account of the conflicts between the functioning of the Gunas and the Vrittis (of the mind).
HEYAM - to be avoided DUHKAM - misery ANAAGATAM - not yet come; in future.
The misery which is not yet come can and is to be avoided.
DRASHTRI - (of) Seer; (Purusha) TRISHYAYOH - (and) Seen; Prakriti) SAMYOGO - union; association HEYA - (of) that which is to be avoided HETUH - cause.
The cause of that which is to be avoided is the union of the Seer and the Seen.
18. PRAKASHA KRIYA STHITI SHEELAM BHOOT ENDRIYA ATMAKAM BHOGA APAVARGA ARTHAM DRISHYAM | प्रकाशक्रियास्थितिशीलं भूतेन्द्रियात्मकं भोगापवर्गार्थं दृश्यम् ।
PRAKASHA - (of) luminosity; light; cognition; consciousness of KRIYA - activity STHITI - stability SHEELAM - having properties or qualities BHOOT - elements ENDRIYA - sense-organs ATMAKAM - being of the nature BHOGA - experience APAVARGA - and liberation ARTHAM - for the sake of ; with the purpose of DRISHYAM - (is) the Seen (Prakriti).
The Seen (objective side of manifestation) consists of the elements and sense-organs, is of the nature of cognition, activity and stability (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) and has for its purpose ( providing the Purusha) experience and liberation.
19. VISHESHA AVISHESHA LINGAMAATRA ALINGAANI GUNA PARVAANI| विशेषाविशेषलिङ्गमात्रालिङ्गानि गुणपर्वाणि।
VISHESHA - particular; specific AVISHESHA - non--specific; archetypal; universal LINGAMAATRA - a mere mark ALINGAANI - (and) without mark or differentiating characteristic GUNA - (of) the Gunas PARVAANI: stages of development; states.
The stages of the Gunas are the particular, the universal, the differentiated and the undifferentiated.
20. DRASHTAA DRISHIMAATRAH SHUDDHO PRATYAYA ANUPASHAYAH | द्रष्टा दृशिमात्रः शुद्धोऽपि प्रत्ययानुपश्यः ।
DRASHTAA - Seer; Purusha DRISHIMAATRAH - pure consciousness only; pure awareness only SHUDDHO - pure API - though PRATYAYA - concept; content of the mind ANUPASHAYAH - appears to see along with.
The Seer is pure consciousness but though pure, appears to see through the mind.
TADARTHA - (intended) for the sake of that (the Seer) EVA - alone DRISHYASYA - of the seen (Prakriti) ATMAA - (being) nature.
The very being of the Seen is for his sake (i.e. Prakriti exists only of his sake).
22. KRITAARTHAM PRATI NASHTAM APY ANASHTAM TAD ANYA SAADHARANATVAAT |कृतार्थं प्रति नष्टम् अप्यनष्टं तदन्यसाधारणत्वात् ।
KRITAARTHAM - (one) whose purpose has been fulfilled PRATI - for; to NASHTAM - destroyed; non-existent APY - although ANASHTAM - not destroyed; existent TAD - (than) that ANYA - to others SAADHARANATVAAT - on account of being common.
Although it becomes non-existent for him whose purpose has been fulfilled it continues to exist for others on account of being common to others (besides him).
23. SVA SVAAMI SHAKTYOH SWAROOP APALABDHI HETUH SMAYOGAH | स्वस्वामिशक्त्योः स्वरूपोपलब्धिहेतुः संयोगः ।
SVA - (of) it (Prakriti) SVAAMI - (and) of the master (Purusha) SHAKTYOH - of the (two) powers SVAROOP - own form; real or essential nature APALABDHI - experiencing; knowledge HETUH - cause; reason; purpose SAMYOGAH - union; coming together.
The purpose of the coming together of the Pursha and Prakriti is gaining by the Purusha of the awareness of his true nature and the unfoldment of powers inherent in him and Prakriti.
TASYA - (of the union) HETUR - (effective) cause AVIDYAA - ignorance; lack of awareness of his Real Nature.
Its cause is the lack of awareness of his Real nature.
25. TAD ABHAAVAAT SAMYOGA ABHAAVO HAANAM TAD DRISHEH KAIVALYAM | तदभावात् संयोगाभावो हानं तद्दृशेः कैवल्यम् ।
TAD - (of) that (Avidya) ABHAAVAAT - from absence or elimination SAMYOGA - (of) union; association ABHAAVO --disappearance HAANAM - (is) avoiding; remedy: TAD - that DRISHEH: of the Seer KAIVALYAM - (is) isolation; separation from everything (Liberation).
The dissociation of Pursha and Prakriti brought about by the dispersion of Avidyaa is the real remedy and that is the Liberation of the Seer.
VIVEKA-KHYAATIR - discriminative cognition; awareness of the distinction between the Self and the Not-Self; awareness of Reality AVIPLAVAA - unbroken; unfluctuating; unfailing; incessant HAANOPAAYAH - the means of avoidance; the means of abolition; remedy the means of dispersion.
The uninterrupted practice of the awareness of the Real is the means of dispersion (of Avidyaa).
TASYA - (his) Purusha's) SAPTADHAA - sevenfold PRAANTA-BHOOMIH - a definite stage; step; layer; 'bordering' province PRAJYNAA - the cognitive consciousness.
In his case the highest stage of Enlightenment is reached by seven stages.
28. YOGAANGA ANUSHTHAANAAD ASHUDDHI KSAYE JYNAANA DEEPTIR AAVIVEKAKH YAATEH |योगाङ्गानुष्ठानाद् अशुद्धिक्षये ज्ञानदीप्तिरा विवेकख्यातेः ।
YOGAANGA - (of) component parts of Yoga; (exercise) or steps of Yoga ANUSHTHAANAAD - by practice or following ASHUDDHI: of impurity KSAYE: on the destruction (the idea is of gradual diminishing) JYNAANA - knowledge (spiritual knowledge) DEEPTIR: shining forth; radiance AAVIVEKAKHYAATEH - till awareness which develops into awareness of Reality or discriminative knowledge (arises).
From the practice of the component exercises of Yoga, on the destruction of impurity, arises spiritual illumination which develops into awareness of Reality.
29. YAMA NIYAM AASANA PRAANAAYAAMA PRATYAAHAARA DHAARANAA DHYAANA DHAARANAA DHYAANA DHAARANAA DHYAANA SAMAADHAYO ASHTAAV ANGAANI | यमनियमासनप्राणायामप्रत्याहारधारणाध्यानसमाधयोऽष्टाव अङ्गानि ।
YAMA - Self-restraints; vows of abstention NIYAM - fixed observances; binding rules which must be observed AASANA - posture PRAANAAYAAMA - regulation of breath PRATYAAHAARA - abstraction DHAARANAA - concentration; holding on to one idea or object in mind or by the mind DHYAANA - meditation; contemplation ('con-templa-tion' which means working out an area, a templum for observation fits in with the definition of DHAARANAA: in the text and con-centration which means confining to a centre fits in with the definition of DHYAANA: as given in the text. Yet, on the whole, considering the conventional uses of the two words it seems best to render DHAARANAA: by concentration and DHYAANA: by contemplation SAMAADHAYO - (and) trance ASHTAAV - (are) the eight ANGAANI - limbs; constituent parts.
Self-restraints, fixed observances, posture, regulation of breath, abstraction, concentration, contemplation, trance are the eight parts (of the self-discipline of Yoga)
30. AHIMSAA SATYA ASTEYA BRAHMACHARYA APARI-GRIHAA YAMAAH | अहिंसासत्यास्तेयब्रह्मचर्यापरिग्रहा यमाः ।
AHIMSAA - non-violence; harmlessness SATYA - truthfulness ASTEYA - honesty; non -misappropriativeness BRAHMACHARYA - sexual continence APARI-GRIHAA - (and) non-possessiveness; no-acquisitiveness YAMAAH - (are) self-restraints; vows of abstention.
Vows of self-restraint comprise abstention from violence, falsehood, theft, incontinence and acquisitiveness.
31. JAATI DESH KAALA ANAVACHCHHINNAAH SAARVABHAUMAAH MAHAA-ANAVACHCHHINNAH SAARVABHAUMAAH MAHAA-VRATAM |जातिदेशकालसमयानवच्छिन्नाः सार्वभौमा महाव्रतम् ।
JAATI - (by) class; birth-type DESH: place KAALA - time SAMAYA - (and) occasion; circumstance;condition ANAVACHCHHINNAAH - not-limited; qualified or conditioned SAARVABHAUMAAH - extending or applying to all stages MAHAA-VRATAM - the Great Vow.
These (the five vows), not conditioned by class, place, time or occasion and extending to all stages constitute the Great Vow.
32. SHOUCHA SAMTOSHA TAPAH SVAADHYAA YESHVARA PRANIDHAANAANI NIYAAMAAH | शौचसंतोषतपःस्वाध्यायेश्वरप्रणिधानानि नियमाः ।
SHOUCHA - cleanliness SAMTOSHA - contentment TAPAH: austerity SVAADHYAA: self-study; study which leads to knowledge of the Self YESHVARA PRANIDHAANAANI - (and) self-surrender; resignation to God NIYAAMAAH - (fixed) observances.
Purity, contentment austerity, self-study and self-surrender constitute observances.
VITARKA - evil thoughts; evil passions BAADHANE - on oppression by; on disturbance by PRATIPAKSA - the opposites BHAUVANAM - dwelling (in mind) on; (constant) pondering over.
When the mind is disturbed by improper thoughts constant pondering over the opposites (is the remedy).
34. VITARKA HIMSAADAYAH KRITA KAARITA ANUMODITAA LOBHA KRODA MOHA POORVAKAA MRIDU MADHYA ADHIMAATRAA DUHKHA AJYNAANA ANANTA PHALAA PRATIPAKSA BHAVANAM | वितर्का हिंसादयः कृतकारितानुमोदिता लोभक्रोधमोहपूर्वका मृदुमध्याधिमात्रा दुःखाज्ञानानन्तफला इति प्रतिपक्षभावनम् ।
VITARKA -Evil or improper thoughts and emotions HIMSAADAYAH - (of) violence, etc. KRITA - done by self KAARITA - done through others ANUMODITAA - (and) abetted; approved LOBHA: greed; avarice KRODA: anger MOHA: confusion; delusion POORVAKAA - preceded by; caused by MRIDU - mild MADHYA: medium ADHIMAATRAA - (and) intense DUHKHA - pain; misery AJYNAANA - ignorance ANANTA - endless PHALAA - fruit; result ITI - thus; so; in this way PRATIPAKSA - (on) the opposites BHAVANAM - dwelling in mind.
As improper thoughts, emotions (and actions) such as those of violence etc., whether they are done (indulged in), caused to be done or abetted, whether caused by greed, anger or delusion, whether present in mild, medium or intense degree, result in endless pain and ignorance; so there is the necessity of pondering over the opposites.
AHIMSAA - (in) non-violence PRATISHTHAMYAAM - on being firmly established TAT- SAMNIDHAU - in his (Yogi's) vicinity VAIRA: of hostility TYAAGAH - abandonment.
On being firmly established in non-violence there is abandonment of hostility in (his) presence.
SATYA - (in) truthfulness PRATISHTHAYAAM - on being firmly established KRIYAA - (of) action PHAL - fruit; result AASRAYAVATVAM - state of being a substratum.
On being firmly established in truthfulness fruit (of action) rests on action (of the Yogi) only.
ASTEYA -(in) honesty; non-mis-appropriativeness PRATISHTHAAYAAM - on being firmly established SARVA: (of) all RATNA - gems; precious things OPASTHAANAM - self-presentation; coming up.
On being firmly established in honesty all kinds of gems present themselves (before the Yogi).
38. BRAHMACHARYA PRATISHTHAAYAAM VEERYA LAABHAH-BRAHMACHARYA PRATISHTHAAYAAM VEERYA LAABHAH | ब्रह्मचर्यप्रतिष्ठायां वीर्यलाभः ।
BRAHMACHARYA - sexual continence PRATISHTHAAYAAM - on being firmly established VEERYA - (of) vigour; energy LAABHAH - gain.
On being firmly established in sexual continence vigour (is) good.
APARIGRAHA - (in) non-possessiveness STHAIRYE - on becoming steady or confirmed JANAM - (of) birth KATHAMTAA - (of) the 'how' and 'wherefore' SAMBODHAH - knowledge.
Non-possessiveness being confirmed there arises knowledge of the 'how' and 'wherefore' of existence.
SHOUCHAAT - from purity SVAANGA - (with) one's limbs, i.e. body JUGUPSAA - disgust PARAIR - with others ASAMSARGAH - non-contact; non-intercourse.
From physical purity (arises) disgust for one's own body and disinclination to come in physical contact with others.
41. SATTVASHUDDHI SAUMANASYA YAIKAAGRYE INDRAYAJAYA AATMADARSHANA YOGYATVAANI CHA | सत्त्वशुद्धिसौमनस्यैकाग्र्येन्द्रियजयात्मदर्शनयोग्यत्वानि च ।
SATTVASHUDDHI - purity of Sattva; purity of Antah-karana SAUMANASYA - cheerful-mindedness YAIKAAGRYE - one-pointedness; fixity of attention INDRAYAJAYA - control of the senses AATMADARSHANA - vision of the Self or Aatmaa YOGYATVAANI - (and) fitness for CHA - and; also (follow).
From mental purity (arises) purity of Sattva, cheerful-mindedness, one-pointedness, control of the senses and fitness for the vision of the Self.
SANTOSHAD - from contentment ANUTTAMAH - unexcelled; unsurpassed SUKH - (of) happiness LAABHAH - gain.
Superlative happiness from contentment.
KAAYA - The body ENDRIYA - sense-organs SIDDHIR - occult powers; perfection ASHUDDHI - impurity KSAYAAT - on (gradual) destruction TAPAH - from austerities.
Perfection of the sense-organs and body after destruction of impurity by austerities.
SVAADHYAAYAAD - from self-study (the study which leads to knowledge of the Self) ISHTADEVATAA - (with) the desired deity SAMPRAYOGAH - union or communion; coming in touch.
By (or from) self-study union with the desired deity.
SAMAADHI - trance SIDDHIR - success; accomplishment; perfection ISHVARA - (to) God PRANIDHAANAAT - from self-surrender; from resignation.
Accomplishment of Samaadhi from resignation to God.
STHIRA - steady SUKHAM - (and) comfortable AASANAM - posture.
Posture (should be) steady and comfortable.
PRAYAMA - (of) effort HAITHILYA - (by) relaxation ANANTA - (on) the 'Endless' SAMAAPATTIBHYAM - (and) by meditation
By relaxation of effort and meditation on the 'Endless' (posture is mastered).
TATO - from that (mastery of posture) DVANDVA - (from pairs) of opposites ANABHIGHAATAH - no assaults.
From that no assaults from the pairs of opposites.
49. TASMIN SATI SHVAASAPRASHVAASAYOR GATI VICHCHHEDAH PRAANAAYAAM | तस्मिन् सति श्वासप्रश्वासयोर्गतिविच्छेदः प्राणायामः ।
TASMIN - on this (perfection of Aasana) SATI - having been (accomplished) SHVAASAPRASHVAASAYOR - of in-breathing and out-breathing; of inspiration and expiration GATI - (of) movement VICHCHHEDAH - cessation or break PRAANAAYAAM - (is) regulation of breath (fourth constituent part of Yoga).
This having been (accomplished) Praanaayaama which is cessation of inspiration and expiration (follows).
50. BAAHY AABHYANTARA STABHAVRITTIR DESH SAMKHYAABHIH PARIDRISHTO DEERGHA SOOKHSMAH | बाह्याभ्यन्तरस्तम्भवृत्तिः देशकालसंख्याभिः परिदृष्टो दीर्घसूक्ष्मः ।
BAAHY - outer; external AABHYANTARA - internal STABHAVRITTIR - suppressed; paralyzed; (stopped suddenly) modification DESH - (by) place KAAL - time SAMKHYAABHIH - (and) number PARIDRISHTO - measured; regulated DEERGHA - prolonged SOOKHSMAH - (and) subtle; attenuated.
(It is in) external, internal or suppressed modification; is regulated by place, time and number, (and becomes progressively) prolonged and subtle.
BAAHYA - external ABHYANTAR - (and) internal VISHAY - range; sphere; domain AAKSEPEE - going beyond CHATURTHAH -(is) the fourth (variety of Praanaayaama).
That Praanaayaama which goes beyond the sphere of internal and external is the fourth (variety).
TATAH - then; from that KSEEYATE - dissolves; disappears PRAKAASH - (of) light AAVARANAM - covering.
From that is dissolved the covering of light.
DHAARANAASU - for (stages of) concentration CHA - and YOGYATAA - fitness MANASAH - of the mind.
And the fitness of the mind for concentration.
54. SVA VISHAYA ASAMPRAYOGE CHITT SWAROOP ANUKAARA EVA INDRIYAANAM PRATYAAHAARAH | स्वस्वविषयासंप्रयोगे चित्तस्य स्वरूपानुकार इवेन्द्रियाणां प्रत्याहारः ।
SVA - (with) their own; their respective VISHAYA - objects ASAMPRAYOGE - not coming into contact CHITT - (of) the individual mind's SVAROOP - own form; nature ANUKAARA - the imitating or functioning according to EVA - as if; like INDRIYAANAAM - by the senses PRATYAAHAARAH - abstraction (fifth constituent of Yoga).
Pratyahaara or abstraction is, as it were, the imitation by the senses of the mind by withdrawing themselves from their objects.
TATAH - then; from that PARMAA - the highest; the greatest VASHYAT - mastery ENDRIYAANAAM - over the senses.