Yoga-suutra reading

aklujkar at aklujkar at
Tue Nov 1 02:29:35 UTC 1994

On 28 October, Gary R. Thrapp, <thrapp at> or <thrapp at
(.)> wrote: 
"I have noticed a discrepancy between versions of the Yoga Sutras in
chapter 1, verse 35.  The last word of the verse in some versions is
'sthitinibandhanii' and and in others it is 'sthitinibandhinii'. #
'nibandhanii' appears to the nominative singular of a feminine noun meaning
'bond'.  'nibandhinii' seems to be the nominative singular, feminine form
of the adjective 'nibandhin' meaning 'producing'.  The entire verse is
"vi.sayavatii vaa prav.rttirutpannaa manasa.h sthitinibandh[a|i]nii." #  I
am a beginning student of Sanskrit and there are many things about the
grammar of this verse that confuses [confuse] me.  In some ways
'nibandhinii' seems to fit making the last part of the verse "producing
steadiness of mind" but then I wonder if the adjective of 'sthiti' would
appear at the end of the compound and if the compound would be in the
nominative.  The alternative with 'nibandhanii' seems to be "the bond of
steadiness of mind." Perhaps this could be an equivalence with the first
part of the verse meaning "<first part> is the bond of steadiness of mind"
which would explain the nominative case. # I would greatly appreciate your
thoughts on which version is accurate, and any comments on the whole

The context of suutra 1.35 consists in listing the various ways in which
the yogin could hold on to, that is, be able to extend states of
concentration. The word nibandhanii/-dhinii is not an adjective of sthiti. 
The whole compound sthiti-nibandhanii/-dhinii is a predicate adjective or
complementation of prav.rtti.h. As the sentence contained in the suutra is
an identification statement ('x is y' type of sentence), there is nothing
unusual about sthiti-nibandhanii/-dhinii being in the nominative case, in
agreement with prav.rtti.h. As for the precise reading, -nibandhanii must
be preferred (although there would be no significant difference of meaning
even if -nibandhinii were read). It is, as Mr. Thrapp guessed, the feminine
of nibandhana 'point of tying, bond, a kind of stem on which something else
hangs.  Works closer in time to the Yoga-suutra employ it as well as
similarly formed words like upabandhanii. For example, see Bhart.r-hari,
Vaakyapadiiya 1.110 ' evaa'sritaa 'saktir vi'svasyaasya
nibandhanii, and 1.117 saa sarva-vidyaa-'silpaanaa.m kalaanaa.m

Incidentally, a suutra should not be referred to as verse as if it were a
text selected for a church sermon.

Ashok Aklujkar, Professor, Department of Asian Studies, University of B.C.,
Vancouver, B.C., Canada V6T 1Z2. Tel: O: (604) 822-5185, R: (604) 274-5353.
 Fax O:
822-8937. E-mail: aklujkar at


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