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Patañjali is the compiler of the Yoga Sutras, an important collection of aphorisms on Yoga practice. From the tenth century CE onwards, the legend grew that the same Patañjali was also the author of the Mahābhāṣya, a commentary on Kātyāyana's vārttikas (short comments) on Pāṇini's Aṣṭādhyāyī as well as on an unspecified work of medicine [...]

There are many translations and commentaries on the Yoga Sutras. The character of each can perhaps be seen by the translation of the one sentence that gets repeated and quoted each time anybody talks about the book: Patanjali's definition of Yoga. Yoga is establishing the mind (chitta) in stillness. (Ravi Ravindra, The Wisdom of Patanjali’s [...]

The foundational text of the yoga philosophy is the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It's part of the Mauryan sutra corpus, that is: the earliest part of the text was composed somewhere between 321B and 185BC. The Yoga Sutras are a very short text of concentrated verses. Because it's so concentrated, the Sanskrit is extremely hard [...]


The oldest literature in the world... Well, not quite. The Vedas are however some of the oldest texts to have survived as living literature till our time.In India these texts have the status of the Bible - though there is more of them, and the service paid to them is perhaps lip service... Anyhow, without [...]


What is an ashram? Why go on a spiritual retreat? This article explains the way of life on an ashram and has links to ashrams and pictures of ashrams in India and outside it. An ashram is a place of spiritual retreat. Usually there are permanent residents as well as visitors who come for retreats. [...]


After the Vedas the Upanishads are the most revered texts in Hinduism. The Upanishads are texts which contain the basis of the later philosophy of the Hindus. Vedanta especially is based on the Upanishads. On this blogpost I illustrate the basic thought in the Upanishads with quotes from the principle Upanishads. The Upanishads were said to [...]

Hindu Religious Books for Children


The Guru Shishya Parampara/Tradition is a very important part of the Hindu culture and religion. The oral transmission of sacred knowledge, from the teacher to the student, continues till today. There have been numerous instances of one or both the parents taking on the role of Guru for their child/children and imparting Religious and Secular [...]

My Review This is a fascinating book. I'm constantly finding things that are different or the same as Blavatsky's theosophy. Her teachings are my spiritual home base, which doesn't mean I'm not open to other paths - or blind to Blavatsky's defects. The reason though that this book constantly brings me back to her is [...]

India is, to me, one of the most fascinating countries in the world. The variety of peoples there, the variety of religions and philosophical perspectives, the continuity of it's culture that spans at least 2000 years... and not least the smile on a beggar's child's face. I'm probably being a bit romantic about this, but [...]

Auroville, Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu

One of the options for my trip was starting at the Theosophical compound in Adyar, Madras. However, I have good reason to think I'm not welcome there. Instead a theosophical friend suggested they might be able to get me a volunteer position in Auroville. Despite it not being in North India - where my intuition [...]