Almost everything about Patanjali(sometime between 2nd century B.C. and 5th century A.D.) is unknown; and his life had been distorted by myth and numerous legends. He is also called Gonardiya or Gonkaputra.According to one legend he was the son of Angiras, one of the ten sons of Brahma, the Creator; and of Sati, the consort of Siva. If so, this would make him not only the grandson of the Creator of the universe, but also the brother of Brhaspati, god of wisdom and eloquence and chief offeror of sacrifices. As for where exactly he was born is also not clear. Nor is clear exactly where he lived. His marriage is also legendary. One day he discovered an exquisitely and enchantingly beautiful woman, Lolupa, in the hollow of a tree on the north slope of Mount Sumeru-the top of the celestial mountain of enlightenment. He promptly married her, thus indissolubly joining himself to the fruits of spiritual quest, and lived happy old age.
He authored various books. Among them, he is famous as an author or one of the authors of two great Hindu classics: the first, Yoga Sutras (also known as Yoga Darshana), a categorization of Yogic thought arranged in four volumes; and the second, the Mahabhashya ("Great Commentary").
The Yoga Sutra seems to span several centuries, the first three volumes apparently written in the 2nd century B.C. and the last book in the 5th century A.D. Authorities therefore tend to credit more than one author writing under this name, although there is wide variance in opinion. There is a possibility that many persons used this name, because it was used by the authors of a number of other works on such diverse subjects as medicine, metrics, music, and alchemy. The name itself is obviously a pseudonym, since it denotes no caste and implies divine descent from the Great Serpent, Shesha.In addition to our lack of definite knowledge about Patanjali's life, confusion arises from contrasting appraisals of the Yoga Sutras itself. There is a strong consensus that the Yoga Sutras represents a masterly compendium of various Yoga practices which can be traced back through the Upanishads to the Vedas. Many forms of Yoga existed by the time this treatise was written, and Patanjali came at the end of a long and ancient line of yogis.
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To promote the yogic way of life.
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To help those in need.
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