Yoga-sutras (Ancient and Modern Interpretations)

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

Yoga-sutras 1.9, 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 1.9:

शब्दज्ञानानुपाती वस्तुशून्यो विकल्पः ॥ १.९ ॥

śabdajñānānupātī vastuśūnyo vikalpaḥ || 1.9 ||

(9) The modification called vikalpa is based on verbal cognition in regard to a thing which does not exist.

Ancient and Modern interpretation:

A kind of useful knowledge arising out of the meaning of a wordbut having no corresponding reality. Classical example of vikalpa are ‘hare’s horns’, ‘sky-flower’. Many a times dream experiences fall under vikalpa.

Though there is no reality behind vikalpa, it has its use through the power of verbal cognition. The term is used to indicate an idea which has no existence beyond the word.

Osho defines,[1]

‘An image conjured up by words without any substance behind it is vikalpa, imagination.’

Mind has a beautiful faculty to imagine. All that is beautiful such as art, paintings, dance, music, poetry etc. has come through this faculty of imagination. If this power of imagination is used in a wrong way, then it will destroy you. Imagination can function as a hell or as a heaven. In support of this interpretation Osho gives the example of Hitler,[2] using his imagination in a wrong way to destroy millions of so called weaker race.

Footnotes and references:


Osho, op.cit., p.258


Ibid., p.222

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: