[INDOLOGY] Patanjali in the Puranas?

David and Nancy Reigle dnreigle at gmail.com
Sun May 14 22:29:11 UTC 2017

Dear Måns,

The paragraph originally comes from a book by Rev. William Ward, *A View of
the History, Literature, and Mythology, of the Hindoos*, second edition,
volume 1, p. 228 (Serampore: Mission Press, 1818). This fact indicates the
early and tentative nature of this information. One of the leading Sāṃkhya-Yoga
scholars of our time, the late Ram Shankar Bhattacharya, wrote a brief article
in which he reported his meager findings about Patañjali in the purāṇa
literature: "Patanjali, The Author of the Yogasutra," (*Journal of the Yoga
Institute*, Santa Cruz, India, vol. 27, no. 1, August 1981, pp. 178-180).
He makes no mention of the things found in the above-quoted paragraph. (Of
course, the Rudra-yāmala is a tantra rather than a purāṇa.)

This paragraph entered William Judge's book in the following way. In 1889,
when Judge's book was published, there were only two complete English
translations of the *Yoga-sutra*. James Ballantyne had translated the first
two of its four books, published at Allahabad in 1852 and 1853. Govindadeva
Sastri translated the last two of its four books, published in *The Pandit*,
1868-1872. Tookaram Tatya then gathered these together and published them
for the Bombay Branch of the Theosophical Society in *The Yoga Philosophy*,
1882, with a 2nd revised edition in 1885. I have not seen the 1st ed., but
the 2nd ed. has an Introduction by Col. Olcott in which he writes, p. ii:

"A short sketch of the life of Patanjali is reproduced from 'A View of the
History, Literature, and Mythology of the Hindus,' by the late Rev. William
Ward of Serampore."

The paragraph in question is then found on p. xxxvii. William Judge
specifically says at the beginning of his Preface that his book is adapted
from the 1885 edition.

The other complete English translation of the *Yoga-sutra* then existing,
by the way, is that of Rajendralala Mitra, *The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali
with the Commentary of Bhoja Raja*, 1883.

Best regards,

David Reigle
Colorado, U.S.A.

On Sun, May 14, 2017 at 1:04 PM, Måns Broo via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> Dear Colleagues,
> In the preface to his interpretation of the Yoga-sutra (1889), the
> theosophist W.Q. Judge writes,
> "About Patanjali's life very little, if anything, can be said. In the
> Rudra Jamala, the Vrihannandikes'wara and the Padma-Purana are some meager
> statements, more or less legendary, relating to his birth. Ilavrita-Varsha
> is said to have been his birthplace, his mother being Sati the wife of
> Angiras. The tradition runs that upon his birth he made known things past,
> present and future, showing the intellect and penetration of a sage while
> yet an infant. He is said to have married one Lolupa, whom he found in the
> hollow of a tree on the north of Sumeru, and thereafter to have lived to a
> great age. On one occasion, being insulted by the inhabitants of
> Bhotabhandra while he was engaged in religious austerities, he reduced them
> to ashes by fire from his mouth."
> Has anyone located these or other similar stories of Patanjali?
> Sincerely,
> Måns Broo
> --
> Dr. Måns Broo
> Senior Lecturer of Comparative Religion
> Editor of Temenos, Nordic Journal of Comparative Religion
> Åbo Akademi University
> Fabriksgatan 2
> FI-20500 Åbo, Finland
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