The Yoga-System of Patanjali, Journal of Philosophy


The Yoga-System of Patañjali, or the Ancient Hindu Doctrine of Concentration of Mind, Embracing the Mnemonic Rules, Called Yoga-Sūtras, of Patañjali, and the Comment, Called Yoga-Bhāshya, Attributed to Veda-Vyāsa, and the Explanation, Called Tattva-Vāiçāradī of Vāchaspati-Miçra by James Haughton Woods; Charles Rockwell Lanman.

Perhaps it is fortunate that the form of the Yoga Sultras and their commentaries restricts their perusal to serious students and that hotheaded faddists will effectually be repelled.

In the opinion of this reviewer at least, mysticism-especially that selfish mysticism which, like Yoga, is its own end-has ever been the bane of religion, and its engrossment of attention is largely to blame for toleration of cruelty in the world to-day. Duty is not served by intoxications which make the mind forget reality, but by keeping it clear for truth and sympathetic projection.

But however dubiously we may praise the work of Patanijali and his interpreters, it is no reproach to Dr. Woods nor a detraction from the applause to which he is entitled for the achievement of his heroic task. Notable is the restraint with which he has held himself to the work of a translator and refrained from annotations other than brief technical ones. His comparative citations indeed show a wide range of study. Doubtless he holds in reserve many valuable opinions as to the meaning of the Yoga which he may disclose upon a suitable occasion. Students of philosophy and psychology, after exercising with the analyses of mental conditions now laid before them, will not feel ....

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Published by: Journal of Philosophy, Inc.
Vol. 13, No. 26, Dec. 21, 1916
Formats Available in JSTOR: Page Scan, PDF