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Who Was Patanjali?

Patanjali wrote Yoga Sutra

Patanjali was a sage in Ancient India who is supposed to have written several Sanskrit writings. The Yoga Sutras, a classical yoga treatise, are the most important of them. There is some debate over whether the sage Patanjali is the writer of all the writings credited to him because there are other historical authors with the same name. Over the last century, a significant amount of scholarship has been dedicated to the question of the historical evidence or identification of this writer or these writers.

Even though the exact date of Patanjali's birth is unknown, there are several tales around it. Some believe Patanjali came to Earth like a snake, as a formidable yogini named Gonika. Patanjali is also thought to be a manifestation of Ananta, or Shesha, the 1,000-headed snake ruler who is frequently represented as aiding Lord Vishnu.

Patanjali is said to have lived in Gonda, an area of Uttar Pradesh where Buddha also lived. This location was recognized as a Sanskrit study center.

Patanjali's Yoga Sutras teachings are part of the textual underpinning of yoga philosophy. The Yoga Sutras are assumed to have been assembled by Patanjali from previous yogic books, although they also include a lot of original information. Patanjali is revered for bringing clarity to yogic philosophy, and his work remains to motivate yoga education to this day.

The reality is that very little is known about Patanjali. We do not know how long the sage lasted. Some practitioners think he lived in the second century BCE and published important works on Ayurveda (the ancient Indian traditional systems of medicine) and Sanskrit language, making him a Renaissance figure.

Modern researchers, however, situate Patanjali in the 2nd or 3rd century CE based on their assessments of the vocabulary and the doctrine of the sutras, and attribute the medicinal essays and grammar to several other "Patanjalis."

The Yoga-sutras appear to span many centuries, with the first three volumes composed in the second century BCE and the final book published in the 5th century CE. As a result, authorities frequently attribute more than one author who wrote under this identity, however, opinions vary widely. Because it was used by the writers of a variety of different publications on subjects as disparate as medicine, metrics, music, and alchemy, it is possible that numerous persons used this term.

It seems strange to us that less is recognized about Patanjali in this day of superstar instructors with their titular schools of So-and-So Yoga.

However, anonymity was common among ancient India's renowned sages. They knew that their teachings were the result of a collaborative group effort spanning several decades, and they hesitated to claim credit for it, frequently crediting their work to another, older instructor.

Patanjali is also claimed to be self-born, "swayambhu," a highly developed spirit who personified in a human form of his own volition to benefit humanity. In several Puranas, his name appears as one of the 26 fabled heavenly serpents (ancient Hindu texts). His Yoga concepts are also represented by Ananta (the divine lord of Serpents)

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