Patanjali, aka: Patañjali; 11 Definition(s)


Patanjali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Yoga (school of philosophy)

[Patanjali in Yoga glossaries]

A two-thousand-year-old collection of the oral teachings on yogic philosophy.

Also see: Ashtanga (eight limbs);

(Source): Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga book cover
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Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).

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[Patanjali in Purana glossaries]

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि).—A celebrated commentator in Sanskrit. Patañjali is one of the best commentators of Pāṇini’s Vyākarṇasūtras. Pandits are of opinion that he got his name Patañjali to mean that people should worship (añjali) at his foot (pāda). He was such an adorable person. Pandits believe that Patañjali is the author of Yogasūtra and Carakasaṃhitā. A few believe that Patañjali was the incarnation of Ādiśeṣa. But modern scholars are of opinion that Patañjali, the commentator and Patañjali the author of Yogasūtras are two different persons. (See full article at Story of Patañjali from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)

(Source): Puranic Encyclopaedia

1) Patañjali (पतञ्जलि).—A Siddha.*

  • * Bhāgavata-purāṇa VI. 15. 14; Matsya-purāṇa 196. 25.

2) Patanjali (पतन्जलि).—A pupil of Parāśarya Kauthuma.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 35. 46; Vāyu-purāṇa 61. 41.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Vastushastra (architecture)

[Patanjali in Vastushastra glossaries]

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि).—He is considered an ardent devotee of Śiva, for whom Śiva had performed one variety of his Tāṇḍava. This sage is usually associated with another sage Vyāghrapāda.

Patañjali is depicted as half human and half serpent. Sometimes, even the hood of the serpent is shown behind his head. A sculpture of Patañjali carved attached to the shaft of the bhadraka pillar of the prākāramaṇḍapa is noticed at the Kailasanatha temple at Taramangalam. He is shown as wearing a long kirīṭa and is in añjalimudra. He is two handed and his body is of a serpent below his waist. This is a sculpture of 16th century. The height is about five feet. This sculpture is carved on a high pedestal.

(Source): Shodhganga: Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

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Kavya (poetry)

[Patanjali in Kavya glossaries]

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि) is the name of an important person (viz., an Ācārya or Kavi) mentioned in Rājaśekhara’s 10th-century Kāvyamīmāṃsā.—RS think that Patañjali and Gonardīya are the same person, but it is also a matter of dispute. He is the author of famous grammatical work Mahābhāṣya.

(Source): Shodhganga: The Kavyamimamsa of Rajasekhara
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Kavya (काव्य, kavya) refers to Sanskrit poetry, a popular ancient Indian tradition of literature. There have been many Sanskrit poets over the ages, hailing from ancient India and beyond. This topic includes mahakavya, or ‘epic poetry’ and natya, or ‘dramatic poetry’.

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Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

[Patanjali in Vyakarana glossaries]

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि) (2nd century BCE) is the name of an author of grammatical works, following in succession of Pāṇini (7th century BCE): author of the Aṣṭādhyāyī dealing with vyākaraṇa (grammar): the science of analysis of sentences and words. After Pāini, there was a succession of thinkers of language, grammar and philosophy of language, viz., Patañjali, who composed Mahābhāṣya (literally, ‘the grand commentary’), a commentary on Aṣṭādhyāyī.

(Source): Knowledge Traditions & Practices of India: Language and Grammar (vyakarana)
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Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

[Patanjali in Hinduism glossaries]

Patanjali (200-150 B.C.) Maharishi’s great contribution to human civilization is his magnum opus “The Yoga Sutraxs” comprising 196 sutras or maxims, dealing with the “Science of the mind”. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are of the foundation of Raja Yoga, or the path of meditation for God realization. The system of Yoga, taught by Patanjali, is the key to the realm of divinity inside man and can be termed the high technology of the science of spirituality.

(Source): Google Books: 101 Mystics of India

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि).—A great authority and propounder on the aṣṭāṅga mystic yoga system and author of the Yoga-sūtra. He imagined the form of the Absolute Truth in everything.

(Source): ISKCON Press: Glossary

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[Patanjali in Buddhism glossaries]

Bhartrihari I clearly indicates the existence of a grammar of Patanjali. Most probably, Patanjali I was the author of Yogasutras, Ayurveda and Vyakarana. Patanjali II was the author of Mahabhashya on Panini Sutras and Katyayana Vartikas. Therefore, Patanjali I, the author of Vyakarana sutras might have lived before 2000 BCE whereas Patanjali II was the contemporary of Pushyamitra Sunga (1472-1412 BCE).

(Source): The Chronological History of Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Patanjali in Sanskrit glossaries]

Patañjali (पतञ्जलि).—Name of the celebrated author of the Mahābhāṣya, the great commentary on Pāṇini's Sūtras; also of a philosopher, the propounder of the Yoga philosophy.

Derivable forms: patañjaliḥ (पतञ्जलिः).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
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Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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