chapter  9
12 Pages

The Yoga Dars´ana

Anybody mildly familiar with the Indian culture is well aware that the practice of yoga is an integral part of it. There had been a very ancient tradition of the practice of yoga in India, as is evidenced by the R. g Veda and some of the early Upanis.ads, the epic Maha¯bha¯rata, Ca¯n.akya’s Arthas´a¯stra, and the early Buddhist writings. It is an important component of the spiritual practice of Indian ascetics of all brands and most schools of Indian philosophy recognize the importance of practicing yoga in some form or the other. Yoga, as a philosophical system, as a dars´ana along with other Indian dars´anas, however, goes back to Patañjali’s Yoga Su¯tras. It is difficult to ascertain precisely when Yoga became a school of Indian philosophy, however, there is no doubt that Patañjali’s Yoga Su¯tras is the first systematic work on the Yoga dars´ana. Vya¯sa’s commentary on Yoga Su¯tras entitled Yogabha¯s.ya, and Vijn¯a¯nabhiksu’s Yoga Va¯rtika and Yogasa¯ra San

.graha are also very useful sources of Yoga school.