The Yoga-Sutra is a significant landmark in the protracted evolution of the yogic tradition. It formed the foundation text for an extensive commentary literature stretching from the Yoga-Bhasya of Vyasa (c. 450 C.E.) to modern traditionalist interpretations in Hindi and other Indic vernaculars as well various European languages, notably English.
The present volume by Swami Veda Bharati provides a learned commentary on the second chapter of the Yoga Sutra i.e., Sadhana Pada. This contains the core of Patanjali's philosophical and meta-psychological framework, and it also defines both the components of kriya-yoga and the first five components of eight-limbedastanga-yoga. This chapter demonstrates very clearly that in Yoga, theory and practice form a homogenous whole. The theoretical concepts were largely distilled from practical experience and, in turn, informed further experimentation on the path. How could we hope to travel the path mapped out by Patanjali without recourse to such pregnant concepts as citta, vrtti, pratyaya, samskara, vasana, asaya, nirodha, parinama, guna, pratiprasava? All these ideas were shaped in the intense practice environment of Yoga over many generations.
Swami Veda Bharati brings to his exegesis a singular sensitivity and wonderful comprehension of yogic concepts, which are rooted in his extensive traditional training as a Sanskrit scholar and also his personal yogic practice. This latest contribution to our comprehension of Patanjali's teachings takes us a lot further than other similar endeavours.