The Zunray Spark October 2019

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Namaste yogins,

This month is dedicated to one of the most relevant figures in yoga: Patanjali.

The yoga tradition is thousands of years all, therefore, the ancient texts were transmitted orally from masters to disciples until they were written down. Authorship is, in many cases, collective rather than related to one single person. Even though there are different opinions among academia about who was our sage of the month, being a character dancing between legend and historical reality, there is a generalized agreement in the yoga world that talks about Patanjali as the person who compiled the Yoga Sutra, what is probably the most influential book in modern yoga.

He was a grammarian and author of medical and dance related texts, considered patron of yoga but of classical Indian dancers as well. Even though the dates vary quite a lot, we place him chronologically around the year zero of our era. Patanjali means “offering fallen from heaven” and the legend enveloping this character is really fascinating. It is said that god Vishnu was resting on the giant snake Adishesha when he entered a meditative trance while observing Shiva´s transcendental dance. Adishesha felt such fascination for the depth of his lord´s meditation, that prayed to the gods so he could dedicate his life one day to glorify the path of yoga. In order to accelerate the process, he started meditating about the way to incarnate on Earth and fulfilling his role. One day during contemplation, he saw an older yogini praying because she saw how she was getting to the end of her days and had not been able to conceive a child with whom she could have shared the wisdom and accomplishments of her practice. When she finished her prayers, she took some water in the cup of her hands as an offering to Surya, the god of the Sun, and as she opened her eyes she saw a tiny snake happily dancing in the water. The snake begun to grow and transformed itself into a beautiful boy who told the yogini that he had come as her son in order to gather her wisdom and share the light of yoga with the world. He was Patanjali, the most wonderful offering fallen from heaven to compile the Yoga Sutra.

Throughout October, we will talk more about the sutras, but I encourage you to start reading it on your own, it is a text that illuminates like few do.

See you on the mat!
Aham prema

Zaira