Yoga poses names and pictures on 42 If Eliade is correct, however, why do most translators of the Yoga Sutras render sutra 1.23 as or by devotion to the lord rather than or by contemplating the lord ? The answer seems to lie in the commentaries. In explaining this sutra, Vyasa tells us that because of the yogin s special kind of devotion (bhakti visesa) the lsvara inclines towards (avarjita) and favours (anugrhnati) the yogin. This implies that the lsvara is an active self who can move and affect the yogin s situation in a favourable way. Vacaspatimisra goes a step further. In his explanation of the next sutra he informs us that lsvara possesses pre-eminence in richness of knowledge and of action and of power,43 thereby suggesting that the lsvara, if not exactly omnipotent, comes pretty close to it. What we have to decide is whether the attribution of omnipotence to lsvara is in line with Patanjali s understanding or whether it represents a development of the classical yoga tradition away from a Samkhya-like cosmology where, in essence, the lsvara is the same as other purusas in favour of a view more akin to that found in the Bhagavad Gita, where the supreme purusa (purusottama) creates and destroys the cosmos when he wishes and where the events in this world are determined by him (see BG ch. Yoga poses names and pictures 2016.
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