Astanga Yoga in Patanjali and the Gita

The Gita defines yoga very differently from Patanjali, given the text’s emphasis on action in the world. But it does accept and outline a version of Patanjali’s citta-vritti-nirodhah type of yoga, which it calls dhyana (and the commentaries call astanga), in its 5th and 6th chapters. There were two types of Yoga, Krishna tells Arjuna: the generic dhyana type, but also an action in the world type. This latter, Krishna says, became lost in time, and He presents himself as reestablishing this lost action yoga, encouraging Arjuna to follow this. But the Gita nonetheless honors the Patanjalian type. This lecture will focus on the verses in chapter 5 and 6 of the Gita that express an astanga type practice, and compare these with verses in Patanjali. Comparative attention will also be paid to the action in the world yoga, which the Gita favors, and which culminates in bhakti.

*disclaimer this video has audio quality issues

Cast

Edwin Bryant
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