Yoga-sutras (Ancient and Modern Interpretations)

by Makarand Gopal Newalkar | 2017 | 82,851 words | ISBN-13: 9780893890926

Yoga-sutras 1.7, English translation with modern and ancient interpretation. The Patanjali Yogasutras describe an ancient Indian tradition spanning over 5000 years old dealing with Yoga:—Meditating the mind on the Atma leading to the realization of self. This study interprets the Yogasutras in light of both ancient and modern commentaries (e.g., Vyasa and Osho) while supporting both Sankhya and Vedanta philosophies.

Sanskrit text, Unicode transliteration and English translation of sūtra 1.7:

प्रत्यक्षानुमानागमाः प्रमाणानि ॥ १.७ ॥

pratyakṣānumānāgamāḥ pramāṇāni || 1.7 ||

(7) Of these perception, inference and testimony constitute the pramāṇas.

Ancient and Modern interpretation:

Perception is that modification of the mind which is caused by its contact with an external object through the sense channel and which is concerned with the special as well as general features of the object. The outcome of this modification is the self’s awareness of this modification undistinguished from the Self.

Inference is that kind of mental modification which is based on the general characteristics of a knowable and is concerned with the entity that is present in the instances where the probandum occurs and is absent from the instances where probandum does not occur. Vyāsa gives an example[1] , the moon and the stars have motion as caitra has, for they like him, change their position; the Vindhya hills do not change its location and so it has no motion. The classical example of Inference is wherever there is smoke there is fire, this is because of eternal concomitance between smoke and fire.

The mental modifications arising from hearing the words of a reliable person who desires to convey his cognition to the hearer is āgama pramāṇa, i.e. authoritative testimony to the hearer. That testimony may be false i.e. cannot at all be a pramāṇa, if the person communicating the knowledge is not trustworthy or is deceitful or is the one who neither has seen nor experienced what he seeks to communicate. That transferred cognition which has its basis in the direct experience of the first authoritative exponent or in his correct inference is genuine and perfectly valid.

Osho says,[2]

‘Right knowledge has three sources: direct cognition, inference and the words of the awakened ones.’

Footnotes and references:


Āraṇya, op.cit., p.21


Osho, op.cit., p.258

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