Patanjali refers to his yoga as "Kriya Yoga": the "yoga of action with awareness." His Yoga-Sutras are universally considered to be among the two or three most important texts in the field of yoga. Until now, commentators have treated it as a philosophical reference, and have largely ignored its implications for yogic practice. They have also ignored the fact that it is also an esoteric work, and that only initiates, with sufficient prior experience, can grasp its deeper meaning.
This new translation and commentary provides a practical guide to Self-realization or enlightenment. It clearly explains how to apply Patanjali's profound philosophical teachings in everyday life, in any situation. When one practices the techniques of Kriya Yoga, it is like driving a powerful automobile. But without a roadmap, most students are "stuck in traffic" or at "dead ends." Now for the first time, there is a clear roadmap to guide the student to remarkable destinations.
In Tamil Nadu and other southern states of India, there is a tradition of yogic adepts known as Siddhas, who are renowned for their longevity, miraculous powers, and remarkable contributions to an enduring culture. They have left a large body of literature, including Thirumandiram by the Siddha Thirumoolar, who was by many indications, a brother disciple of Patanjali.
- From the Foreword by Dr. Georg Feuerstein, Ph D. author of "The Sutras of Patanjali" and the "Encyclopedia of Yoga.":
"Study (svadhyaya) has always been an integral aspect of Yoga. Western students, in my opinion, need to take this yogic practice more seriously. Because of its succinctness and focus on essentials, the Yoga-Sutra is ideally suited for in-depth study. Its approach is rational, systematic, and philosophical. By contrast, the Thirumandiram is ecstatic and poetic and filled with precious nuggets of yogic experience and wisdom. Both texts complement each other beautifully, and their combined study will be found illuminating and elevating.
Govindan's book provides an excellent platform for such a study. He writes from his own long experience of Kriya Yoga and a deep love and respect for the heritage of Yoga. Marshall Govindan's Kriya Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Siddhars is a valuable addition to the study of Yoga in general and the Yoga-Sutra in particular. I can wholeheartedly recommend it. In particular, the growing number of students of Kriya Yoga throughout the world will find his treatment indispensable, but others will benefit from it."
About the Author:
Marshall Govindan has practiced Babaji's Kriya Yoga intensively since 1969.In October 1999 he was blessed with the darshan of Babaji Nagaraj near his ashram in Badrinath, Himalayas. He is currently co-ordinating a team of scholars in a large scale research project encompassing the whole of literature related to the Yoga of the Tamil Siddhas.
"A significant contribution to the sadhana of every serious yoga student, this copious (nearly 300 pages) new work, the result of a 10-year effort, includes detailed translation, tips for integrating the lessons into one's practice, references to other commentaries, and indexes to both Sanskrit and English keywords in the text." - Yoga Journal - November 2001
"Marshall Govindan has produced an excellent and easily readable commentary on the often arcane Yoga Sutras, the main text of classical Yoga compiled by Patanjali from older perennial yogic teachings of India. Notably, Govindan has provided a unique perspective on this profound work from the Kriya Yoga and South Indian Shaivite traditions that gives his rendering a special value for disciples on these paths. He takes the Yoga Sutras out of academic confusion and into the realm of deeper yoga practice. He reveals the many sides of the true yogic science of consciousness that go far beyond asana or popular Yoga today." - David Frawley (Vamadeva Shastri), author "Yoga and Ayurveda", Director of American Institute of Vedic Studies.
"Marshall, your book on the sutras is terrific. A few months ago I asked Swami Nityananda what was the one thing I could do for the 200 or so people I see each week as I teach yoga and he said, "teach them Patanjali's sutras". I really like the way you have organized and presented the translation. Plus, your commentary is so understandable to a western mind that I have been using readings from it to my classes at the beginning of class as we center. They seem to be 'catching on' over time if they come to class consistently. This is a great book for us western yoga practitioners, all levels, male or female." -Martin Berson, Yoga Instructor, Hartford, Connecticut, USA