The Yoga Sutras were cast in their present form in India around the third century b.c. Yoga is from the Sanskrit root meaning “union,” and a sutra is a thread or aphoristic verse. The basic questions “Who am I?” “Where am I going?” “What is the purpose of life?” are asked by each new generation, and Patanjali’s answers form one of the oldest and most vibrant spiritual texts in the world. He explains what yoga is, how it works, and exactly how to purify the mind and let it settle into absolute stillness. This stillness is our own Self. It is the indispensable ground for Enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal of all our aspirations.
Alistair Shearer’s lucid introduction and superb translation, fully preserving Patanjali’s jewel-like style, bring these ancient but vital teachings to those who seek the path of self-knowledge today.
Bell Tower’s series, Sacred Teachings, offers essential spiritual classics from all traditions. May each book become a trusted companion on the way of truth, encouraging readers to study the wisdom of the ages and put it into practice each day.