TTY 2016 Yoga sutras 2

Yoga Sutras: week 2

“The basis of spiritual liberation in the Yoga school is a profound experience of the evolutionary process whereby spirit becomes enmeshed in material nature.”

-Barbara Stoler Miller

“Without recognizing the actual goal of yoga, the realization of the true self as other than the body, mind, and sensual apparatus, modernity may not have progressed in attitude and presupposition concerning life’s goals from those lusty performers of Vedic sacrifice.”

-Edwin Bryant

“Freedom is a reversal of the evolutionary course of material things, which are empty of meaning for the spirit; it is also the power of consciousness in a state of true identity.”

-Yogasutra 4.34

This week we continue studying the Yogasutras. To study Yoga in terms of the Yogasutras is to understand Yoga as a practice aimed at steadying or stilling the mind (1.2) and ultimately finding a state of sublime detachment. What might this look like? How does it happen? Our readings and lectures this week will focus on these questions.

Assignment: Read through the sutras (which are set apart in the body of Miller’s text and marked with numbers in parentheses). There are 195 sutras, roughly one sentence each. In the Miller book these sutras are presented in groups and commentary is provided to explain the meaning of the sutras. As you read through the sutras, choose sections that are of particular interest to you or that raise questions for you and read the commentary for those sections. BE SURE TO NOTE DOWN SECTIONS THAT YOU READ THE COMMENTARY FROM WITH SUTRA NUMBER AND PAGE NUMBERS. In your notes, briefly write down what you learn from the commentary and be prepared to share this in class.

Give special attention to the following concepts:

***Note down at least one section from the text for each and be prepared to share this in class.

-practice

-dispassion/detachment/renunciation;

-achievement/power/rewards/goals;

-“cessation of thought” or “pure contemplation” and/or “powers of perfection” –which is how Miller translates “samadhi.”

-kaivalya (or liberation) is translated as “freedom.”

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