Consisting of fewer than 200 verses written in an obscure if not impenetrable language and style, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is today extolled by the yoga establishment as a perennial classic and guide to yoga practice. As David Gordon White demonstrates in this groundbreaking study, both of these assumptions are incorrect. Virtually forgotten in India for hundreds of years and maligned when it was first discovered in the West, the Yoga Sutra has been elevated to its present iconic status - and translated into more than 40 languages - only in the course of the past 40 years.
White retraces the strange and circuitous journey of this confounding work from its ancient origins down through its heyday in the seventh through eleventh centuries, its gradual fall into obscurity, and its modern resurgence since the nineteenth century. First introduced to the West by the British Orientalist Henry Thomas Colebrooke, the Yoga Sutra was revived largely in Europe and America, and predominantly in English. White brings to life the improbable cast of characters whose interpretations - and misappropriations - of the Yoga Sutra led to its revered place in popular culture today. Tracing the remarkable trajectory of this enigmatic work, White’s exhaustively researched book also demonstrates why the yoga of India’s past bears little resemblance to the yoga practiced today.
©2014 Princeton University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.
the book is so cynical and sarcastic that no narrator could gloss over this
I was shocked at the depth of cynical sarcasm in the disguise of an academic work.
The lightly veiled racism and contempt for Indian culture, religion and beliefs was also supremely shocking. One would have thought that in this day and age that these type of books would go nowhere and disappear.
I really tried to continue listening, but simply had to stop, the narration was like some caustic drain cleaner that would get me into a cynical negative space.
This author, hides behind what seems to be a well researched academic work, but in reality has no respect for this subject, its people or spirituality.
In the end, why bother making such a negative book, whats the point, it benefits no one?
I am not sure what is wrong with Mr White, but this book and narration do a great disservice to humanity, hopefully one day he will be like Saul on the road to Damascus and be hit by a blinding bolt of light, who knows?
I cannot for the likes of me recommend this book, this is something I do very, very rarely.
I mistakenly purchased this thinking it was a translation and commentary. It is not. It is a "scholarly" work appropriate for the intellectual elitists. The author loves his intellect and spends much of his energy in a cynical and sarcastic tone. Great if you are writing a college paper, a waste of time if you are a practitioner.
"Biography but not much detail"
This audio spends much time on history around Patanjali but relatively little time on the sutra themselves.
Interesting if you wish to learn of historians
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