Maintains that the Yoga-Sutras do not advocate abandonment of the world, but rather support a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification.
The Integrity of the Yoga Darśana centers on the thought of Patañjali, the great exponent of the authoritative and Classical Yoga school of Hinduism and the reputed author of the Yoga-Sutras. In this textual, historical, and interpretive study, Whicher offers a plausible and innovative reading of the "intention" of the Yoga-Sutras, namely that Yoga does not advocate the abandonment or condemnation of the world, but rather supports a stance that enables one to live more fully in the world without being enslaved by worldly identification. Challenging and correcting misperceptions about Yoga drawn by traditional and modern interpretations of the Yoga-Sutras, the author argues for a fresh vision of the spiritual potential present in this seminal text, thereby contributing to our understanding of the meaning and practical relevance of Yoga and its reception today.
Ian Whicher is Deputy-Director of the Dharam Hinduja Institute of Indic Research at the University of Cambridge.
"A superb piece of work, this book provides an original, constructive, and insightful interpretation of the Yoga system. Whicher provides a helpful hermeneutic for understanding this key philosophical and practical tradition. By suggesting that Yoga upholds both consciousness and activity, Whicher corrects the mistaken notion that Yoga condemns the world, suggesting that Yoga seeks to purify and improve the individual and his or her relationship with the world."-- Christopher Key Chapple, Loyola Marymount University
"Recently there has been a great deal of interest in the Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali. Scholars and general readers have been looking for a clearer presentation of the material, and this work fulfills this need." --Ashok Malhotra, State University of New York, Oneonta