This 8-part course will undertake a comparative study of these two canonical texts of Yoga: the Sāṁkhyakārikā & the Yoga Sūtras. In the earlier tradition, Yoga is in fact an expression of Sāṁkhya rather than a distinct school, the former focusing more on meditational practice and the latter on metaphysics. Using the Kārikās as our primary text, along with its principle commentary by Gauḍapāda, we will consider where the two texts overlap, and where the Kārikās engage material not touched upon in the Yoga Sūtras. We will read all of the Kārikās, and cast comparative glances at the sections of the Sūtras that express the same concepts albeit sometimes in different terminologies.
Each group of students is different, and the teacher, too, is in a different mental place each time he or she teaches, so the schedule below will give preliminary structure to our intentions, but we will allow the course to flow organically. Mainkar’s translation of the Kārikās and Gauḍapāda’s bhāṣya will be provided; students are requested to bring any copy of the Yoga Sūtras with the Sanskrit text.
Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D in Indic languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years, and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published six books and authored a number of articles on Vedic history, yoga, and the Krishna tradition. In addition to his academic work for the scholarly community, Edwin's Penguin World Classics translation of the Srimad Bhagavata Purana, the traditional source for the story of Krishna's incarnation, is both for Indology specialists as well as students and those interested in Hinduism from the general reading public and the yoga community.As a personal practitioner of yoga for 35 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with sensitivity towards traditional knowledge systems. In addition to his academic course load, Edwin currently teaches workshopson the Yoga Sutras, Bhagavad Gita, and Hindu Philosophy at yoga studios and teacher training courses throughout the country. His translation of and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (North Point Press, a division of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009) is specifically dedicated to contributing to the growing body of literature on yoga by providing insights from the major pre-modern commentaries on the text with a view to grounding the teachings in their traditional context.