Demystifying Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras (Aphorisms)

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Winner of the 2014 International Book Award for the "Spirituality: General" category

What happens as we grow spiritually? Is there a step-by-step process that everyone goes through—all spiritual seekers, including those of any or no religious persuasion—as they gradually work their way upward, until they achieve the highest state of Self-realization?

About 2200 years ago, a great spiritual master of India named Patanjali described this process, and presented humanity with a clear-cut, step-by-step outline of how all truth seekers and saints achieve divine union. He called this universal inner experience and process “yoga” or “union.” His collection of profound aphorisms—a true world scripture—has been dubbed Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Unfortunately, since that time many scholarly translators with little or no spiritual realization have written commentaries on Patanjali’s writings that have succeeded only in burying his pithy insights in convoluted phrases like “becomes assimilated with transformations” and “the object alone shines without deliberation.” How can any reader understand Patanjali’s original meaning when he or she has to wade through such bewildering terminology?

Thankfully, a great modern yoga master—Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi—has cut through the scholarly debris and resurrected Patanjali’s original teachings and revelations. Now, in Demystifying Patanjali, Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Yogananda, shares his guru’s crystal clear and easy-to-grasp explanations of Patanjali’s aphorisms.

As Kriyananda writes in his introduction, “My Guru personally shared with me some of his most important insights into these sutras. During the three and a half years I lived with him, he also went with me at great length into the basic teachings of yoga.

“I was able, moreover, to ask my Guru personally about many of the subjects covered by Patanjali. His explanations have lingered with me, and have been a priceless help in the [writing of this book].”

Demystifying Patanjali: Paperback

About the Author

Swami Kriyananda

In 1948 at the age of twenty-two, Swami Kriyananda (J. Donald Walters) became a disciple of the Indian yoga master, Paramhansa Yogananda. At Yogananda’s request, Swami Kriyananda devoted his life to lecturing and writing, helping others to experience the living presence of God within. He taught on four continents in seven languages over the course of 65 years.

His talks, his music, and his many books have touched the lives of millions. His books and teachings on spiritualizing nearly every field of human endeavor include business life, leadership, education, the arts, community, and science.

Inspired by Yogananda’s dream of establishing spiritual communities, in 1969 he founded the first of what are now 9 Ananda communities worldwide. They provide a supportive environment of “simple living and high thinking” where over 1,000 full-time residents live, work, and worship together.

Customer Reviews

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Marie Carling
Haven’t finished it yet but

I haven’t even finished reading this book yet, but I am already impressed and very happy that I bought it. I have studied the sutra before and was looking for better ways to teach about them. I think this is gonna become part of my YTT required reading list. Thanks.

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George Hutchby
The title is succinct!! Well done.

I suspect I will have to read this book several times to get a fuller grasp of the intended messages.

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