The School of Philosophy & Culture (SoPC) of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University (SMVDU), Katra, organized the 2nd Indian Council of Philosophical Research (ICPR) New Delhi’s Study Circle Meeting online on 2nd July 2021.
On this occasion, a discussion on Prof. Pradeep P. Gokhale’s book “THE YOGASŪTRA OF PATAÑJALI: A New Introduction to the Buddhist Roots of the Yoga System” (London & NY: Routledge, 2020) was organized. The program began with a welcome address by Sh. Sumanta Sarathi Sharma, I/C Head, SoPC..The discussion was held in the gracious presence of the author Prof. Pradeep Gokhale, who is an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Pali, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra.
The main discussants were Dr. Anil Kumar Tewari & Dr. Madhu Mangal Chaturvedi, Asst. Profs., SoPC.The book is an account of the perceived influences of the meditational practices (Samatha & Vipassyana) of the Abhidhamma and Early Yogacara Buddhism on the Yogasutra of Patanjali. Dr. Anil Tewari observed that the Yoga tradition is an age-old tradition of Indian culture that is believed to have its origin in the concept of Hiranyagarbha of Vedic literature. Buddhism has presented it in a way accessible to common people. It is therefore plausible to say that Patanjali was familiar with the Buddhist terminologies. However, it seems more plausible to claim that Patanjali and Buddhism were inspired by their common cultural heritage. Dr. Madhu Mangal Chaturvedi also made his observations regarding the concept of Citta and its various modifications and the way they are seen in both traditions.
In the book under discussion, Prof. Gokhale very meticulously pointed out the common terminologies between the Yogasutra and Buddhism while commenting on all 195 aphorisms of Patanjali’s Yogasutra. He has also observed that the popular belief about this text is often misleading. He claims that the influence of the metaphysical thinking of the Sankhya philosophy and the empirical-psychological thinking of Buddhism is obvious on the Yogasutra. The event was attended by more than 30 participants across the country. It concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Chaturvedi. He expressed his gratitude to ICPR, New Delhi for sponsoring the event and to the speakers and audience for their active participation.