An initiative by the Research Department of KYM – Yoga-vaiśāradī (www.kymyogavaisharadi.org) is a web application that is developed with an objective to facilitate easy access to the classical commentaries of Yogasūtras of Sage Patañjali. Vaiśāradī means an expert. This web based tool is designed to facilitate expertise and scholarship in the field of Yoga Philosophy. The web application was launched on May 16, 2018 by Srimat Swami Gautamananda Ji Maharaj, Vice President of Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission and Prof S Padmanabhan, Head, Department Of Samskrit, University Of Madras, Chennai.

A SHORT VIDEO ON HOW TO USE THE TOOL
LAUNCH VIDEO OF YOGA-VAIŚĀRADĪ
COMMENTARIES

There are more than a dozen Sanskrit commentaries to the Yogasūtras. They can be classified into two types.

  • Vyāsa’s commentary and it sub-commentaries
  • Sanskrit commentaries that are independent of Vyāsa’s commentary.

The project is envisioned in two phases.

Phase one of the project focuses on Vyāsa’s commentary and its sub-commentaries (and their sub-commentaries). Yoga-vaiśāradī – Phase two focus is on classical Sanskrit commentaries of Patañjali Yogasūtras of the second type.

PHASE ONE

Vyāsa’s commentary to the text is considered the closest to the period of Yogasūtras and hence respected as primary commentary. Regarding the authorship of this primary commentary there are various views. While some scholars consider the author of the commentary as Vindhyāvāsa, misspelt in some traditional manuscripts as Vedavyāsa, others consider Yogasūtras and Vyāsabhāṣya to be composed by the same author – Patañjali himself. Vācaspati Miśra, the first known sub-commentator to the primary commentary, holds the commentator to be Vyāsa. Yoga-vaiśāradī toes the line of tradition by following Vācaspati Miśra, as the issue remains unsettled.

There are four known sub-commentaries to Vyāsa’s commentary to Yogasūtra.

  1. Tattvavaiśāradī of Vācaspati Miśra (9th or 10th century)
  2. Vivaraṇa of Śaṅkara (13th Century – not settled with finality)
  3. Vārttika of Vijñānabhikṣu (15th Century)
  4. Bhāsvatī of Hariharānanda Āraṇya (19th century)

The first three are in public domain and hence have been digitised in a searchable way. Bibliographical details of Bhāsvatī of Hariharānanda Āraṇya is provided in the translation page.

(There is a sub commentary to Tattvavaiśāradī also. It is – Pātañjalarahasya by Rāghavānanda sarasvatī (1550-1600) – this is currently being digitized.)

Along with these classical commentaries, the first chapter of Yogavallī, a Sanskrit commentary to the Yogasūtras by yogācārya Śrī T Krishnamacharya is provided.

The views of Sri TKV Desikachar, son and student of Sri T Krishnamacharya on the Yogasūtras is also presented.

Thus currently the first phase of Yoga-vaiśāradī has six commentaries of Yogasūtras.

Besides this, there are other commentaries of 20th century like

  1. Yogapradīpikā by Baladevamiśra
  2. Kiraṇa of kṛṣṇavallabhācārya
  3. Yogabhāṣya of Balarāma Udāsīna
  4. Vaidikavṛtti of Svāmin Hariprasāda
  5. Jñānānandabhāṣya of Jñānānanda

These are short summaries or explanatory notes on Vyāsabhāṣya and Tattvavaiśāradī. These will also be taken up in due course.

PHASE TWO

There are numerous direct commentaries to. They include

  1. Rājamārtāṇḍa by Bhojadeva (1000 CE)
  2. Maṇiprabhā by Rāmānanda yati (1550 – 1600 CE)
  3. Pradīpikā by Bhāvagaṇeśa (1600 – 1700 CE)
  4. Yogasiddhāntacandrikā & Sutrārthabodhinī by Nārāyaṇatīrtha (1700 – 1750 CE) (2)
  5. Bṛhad-vṛtti & Laghuvṛtti by Nāgojibhaṭṭa (1700 – 1750 CE) (2)
  6. yogasudhākara by sadaśivendra sarasvatī (1700 – 1800 CE)
  7. yogacandrikā anantadevapaṇḍita (1800 – 1900 CE)

(There may be many more unpublished commentaries of this category in manuscript repositories.)

The nine commentaries listed above are prominent published texts. These are being searchably digitized under the second phase of the project.

NOTE

Sanskrit commentaries are very detailed. Care has been taken to keep the content error free. But some inadvertent typographical errors might have crept in. We also seek the support of the readers to point out those mistakes so that we can perfect this in due course. You may write to – yoga-vaisaradi@kym.org

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