Home/Main Menu     Site Map

EEs/EHEs in General ,Techniques
Record Type: Review   ID: 322

Aphorisms on Spiritual Method: The "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali" in the Light of Mystical Experience

Whiteman, J.H.M.

 Professor Whiteman, a physicist, a musician, and before all, a mystic, here gives us a greatly augmented version of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. In this scholarly work, Whiteman tries to provide what existing commentaries lack: the connection of the sutras with mystical evidence; explication of the many references to Buddhist teachings, technical terms, and the influence of Buddhist Hybrid sanskrit; references in the sutras to teachings of the Vedas and the Upanishads, which have not been considered heretofore. For the interpretation of difficult aphorisms, commentators have fallen back on the nonmystical Sankhya philosophy (Whiteman likens this to depending on Marx’s writings to interpret St. Paul); and where there are alternative interpretations of an aphorism, Whiteman assists those who are not familiar with sanskrit and its ancient literature to seek the correct interpretation. He also tried to find ways of "expressing the psychological and mystical truths effectively in English, without departing from the basic etymology and syntax of the original Sanskrit" (p. viii). Perhaps most importantly, the interpretations and commentaries throughout are informed by Whiteman’s own firsthand mystical experience and of some of the siddhis described as well. Specifically, he states his hope that in this version the "idiomatic style and a natural suggestiveness of the language may lead to a wider recognition of the Yoga Sutras as a great classic of systematic and practical mysticism, so that more people will be able to profit from the spiritual guidance it offers" (p. ix). After a helpful Introduction, there are 12 chapters comprising Part I: Preparatory Studies, Five provide guidance to the reader as to the Mystical Background, four the historical background, and three are on problems of interpretation. Summaries are provided for each chapter. Part II consists of the text in idiomatic English translation. Part III provides the Sanskrit text with interlinear translation and textual and interpretive commentaries. Several supplements provide further guidance about the translation. This work deserves to be the standard text of the famed Yoga Sutras.
Publisher Information:Gerrards Cross, England: Colin Smythe: 1993. 340p. Chap. notes: 318-327; 1 fig; Glossary: 308-317; Name Index: 328-329; Subject Index: 330-339; 1 table
Previous Record Previous
in this

List All Titles in This Category (39)

Book Reviews Menu
in this

Click a section below to move around the EHEN website.
Home/Menu       About EHEs      EHE Autobiographies      EHE Book Reviews      EHE FAQ      EHE Network      Email Talk      Experiences Library      Info/Contact      Join Us!      Living EHEs      Parapsychology      Rhea White      Web Links      Web Talk      What's New     

All website graphics, materials and content copyright © 1997-2003
by EHE Network. All rights reserved. For permissions
please contact EHEN's Executive Director, Rhea A. White.

Web Media Management by Palyne Gaenir of ScienceHorizon.

Exceptional Human Experience Network
Exceptional Human Experience Network