a handbook for practice
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are a handbook for practice.
"Patanjali's book (the Yoga Sutras) contains practical instructions to follow and reach perfection in the training.
The Bhagavadgita offers us the path to externalize the higher self through the lower vehicles of man, and to live a life of those higher values.
...So we find the Bhagavadgita supplements the information given in the Book of Patanjali.
But as far as practical instructions are concerned Patanjali gives us a clearer, more magnified and more practical procedure since it is exclusively a textbook for Yoga Practice.
About this path, the Bhagavadgita is sometimes concise."
Master E. K.
a method of study
Master E.K., who provided us with the above quote has authored a number of texts that offer the student of Yoga a perspective on the Yoga Sutras that is unique (imho :-).
Master E.K.'s method was to select Sutras from each of the four chapters according to the following scheme.
Chapter 1: 18 Sutras from 51 available
Chapter 2: 12 Sutras from 55 available
Chapter 3: 7 Sutras from 55 available
Chapter 4: 16 Sutras from 34 available
Sutras selected: Chapter I
Sutras selected: Chapter II
Sutras selected: Chapter III
Sutras selected: Chapter IV
Master E.K.outlines the reasoning behind his choice of aphorisms.
"This new edition of the book* covers the scope of the entire practice.
It presents to the fresh mind the outline of the whole subject without complicating it with the detail of an advanced study.
The advanced portions contain mainly a thorough analysis of the nature of obstacles in the way of Yoga practice, of the defects of the lower nature and the methods of overcoming them.
By keeping these analysis outside the introductory study the fresh mind is enabled to receive the cream of the science without fear of getting into complications and confusion arising from unfamiliarity.
The nature of the science
requires proper assimilation
and not memorisation at all
on the part of the student.
Our method of arrangement encourages this."
*Master E.K.; "The Yoga of Patanjali", Kulapathi Book Trust; ISBN 81-85943-05-2
Samadhi Pada (Chapter I -practical analysis)
(the process of) stopping the behavior of the mind (formed consciousness). I-2
Then the perceiver (in us) settles down in his own form (nature). I-3
Otherwise (he undergoes) identification with behavior. I-4--
That (stopping the behavior of mind) is through constant repetition and non-attachment. I-12
Repetition (of the idea) is to remain in that state (of stoppage) of behavior towards impressions. I-13
When the repetition is applied to good deeds continuously without any gap for a long time it gains deep ground. I-14
Non-attachment is that quality which shows signs of transcendence in a person who is away from the thirst for something seen or heard through aptitude. I-15