Maharishi Patanjali is a sage believed to have lived around 2nd century BCE. Known for his treatise on Yoga, entitled “Patanjali Yoga Sutra”, he was not only an authority on the Science of Yoga, but also a researcher and a specialist with astounding prowess.
His life remains a puzzle for modern day historians, but from whatever little is known about him, here is a list of the most interesting facts:
1. Patanjali’s life has many legends associated with it. One of them is about his birth.
It is believed that he fell (pata) into the hands (Anjali) of a lady, thereby earning the name, Patanjali.
2. Maharishi Patanjali was the avatar of Adi Shesha – the Infinite Cosmic Serpent upon whom Lord Vishnu rests.
It is believed that once, while watching Lord Shiva dance, Adi Shesha found it unbearable to support the heaviness of Master Vishnu. He asked Lord Vishnu, why this was so.
Lord Vishnu then explained to him that this was due to Lord Shiva’s energy, which he derived from yoga.
That is when Adi Shesha decided to take birth as human form ‘Patanjali,’ to show people the power of yoga.
3. He is generally considered to be the compiler of the small Sanskrit volume of Yoga Sutras from which the modern practice of yoga is derived.
The Sutras laid out a method of practice by which one can achieve immaculate state free of illusion.
4. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are rare and one of a kind. Such a book has never been reproduced so far.
5. Shockingly, the book was compiled in a matter that would never interest researchers. It is dry and blunt.
The purpose was to only interest people of certain awareness and experience to explore the book, ruling out the rest.
6. Patanjali examined and composed Panini’s book and took his work significantly forward by redefining the Sanskrit Grammar.
He was an extraordinary grammarian and his Mahabhashya or Incredible Critique on Panini’s syntax was authoritative. It is still perused and recognized today.
7. He is additionally believed to be an essayist, who wrote about the ancient Indian medicine system, Ayurveda.
8. Maharishi Patanjali, “The Father of Yoga”, gathered 195 sutras, which serve as a structure for incorporating yoga into our day to day lives.
The center of Patanjali’s teachings lies in the eight fold way of yoga. The path demonstrates the best approach to carry on with a superior life through yoga.
9. He simply comprehended humankind back to front, not as individuals but rather as an aggregate component of the human body, human personality, and human cognizance.
He didn’t leave anything for anybody to say about life.
10. His first accomplishment, which is not surprising given the stories of his parentage, is his acknowledgment as a genuinely incredible dancer.
Right up ’til the present time dancers in India working in the classical traditions summon him and pay him their regards.
11. He was also a gifted musician and singer. The veena was one of his most loved instruments and he formed numerous ragas.
12. He is symbolically depicted in the celebrated half-man, half-snake structure showing that he has transcended the quality of life and accomplished extreme unity, and seen as an inspiration for others to accomplish the same.
Half of his body has been typically made into snake, since he is not seen as a man any longer. He is seen as the very premise of the yogic framework.
13. The Jeeva Samadhi of Patanjali is believed to be situated in Tirupattur Brahmapureswara Temple.