Welcome to Edwin’s svādhyāya-śālā
On the ongoing request of those outside the academic community, especially yoga practitioners, non-specialists interested in Indian philosophy, general spiritual seekers, and the intellectually curious, Edwin conducts periodic, online studies of primary yoga philosophy texts (svādhyāya), in the mood of making Sanskrit knowledge systems accessible to anyone interested. The courses are free, and all are welcome to avail of them, but those who have the means and the inclination are welcome in accordance with dharma to voluntarily give an honorarium or donation of their choice, as per tradition (guru dakṣiṇā), half of which will go to Edwin’s charity in India.
Next Svādhyāya session: Yoga Sūtras
Jan – Mar 2024
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The link for the workshop is:
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The next svādhyāya beginning Jan 26th 2024 will be on the Yoga Sūtras. Some of you have requested that we complete the study of all of the so-called 6 schools of Hindu Philosophy before immersing ourselves in bhakti, and we’ve done Vedānta, Sāṅkhya and Nyāya. In an attempt to approximate the traditional curriculum of intellectual training, we need to make all six schools available for students interested in gaining a broader sense of ancient Indian philosophy.
Covering all six schools will give students a much broader sense of the intellectual landscape of ancient India, and the context from which yoga and bhakti emerge. Besides, studying these six schools will help students catch so many references which may otherwise slip by readers unschooled in Indian thought – references which also pervade the de facto ‘canonical’ texts of Western Yoga: the Gītā and the Yoga Sūtras.
I know many students have some familiarity with the Yoga Sūtras, but I suggest that we should never feel we’ve ‘done’ the sūtras (or any sacred text). That would be like saying one is ‘done with’ downward dog, just because of practicing it a few times. Any serious āsana practitioner knows one repeats poses for life; each time is different, and the repetition takes us deeper and deeper (let us recall Patañjali’s dīrgha kāla & nairantarya, “for a long time, repeatedly” of I.14). So is the case with the svādhyāya of a sacred text – it is an eternal font of inspiration each time and one only goes deeper.
Note: One difference between this svādhyāya and all the others is that while I will post the recordings of the sessions under the video link of the website for those of you in different time zones or not able to attend live, for this svādhyāya they will not remain there forever like the other svādhyāyas. This is because yoga studios request workshops on the the Gītā and the Yoga Sūtras and it would interfere with their offerings and needs if the workshops are recorded and available for free on my website. So for this series (and any future one on the Gītā) only, each video will be available for one week after each respective session, then removed. The 6 sessions will be Fri 6-8.00 pm EST.
As always, the svādhyāya is by voluntary donation – everyone is requested to give something according to means and inclination (no one is monitoring) – half of which goes to the gōśālā charity outlined on the website (if anyone wishes to see my receipts contact me privately).
Schedule (all times are in EST):
(Note: since we cannot cover the entire text, I have left space at the end for important miscellaneous verses from elsewhere in the text, or for engaging specific verses students may request for discussion):
Fri Jan 26th, 6-8 PM Session 1
Yoga Sūtras I: 1.1-4, Definition of Yoga. Pre-Patañjali Yoga in the Upaniṣads and Gītā. References to Yoga in Vedānta and Nyāya.
Fri Feb 2nd, 6-8 PM Session 2
Yoga Sūtras I: 1.6-16.
Fri Feb 9th, 6-8 PM Session 3
Yoga Sūtras I: 1.17-33.
Fri Feb 16th, 6-8 PM Session 4
Yoga Sūtras I: 1.34-51
Fri Feb 23rd, 8-10 PM Session 5 POSTPONED !
Mo Feb 26th, 8-10PM Session 5
Yoga Sūtras II
Fri Mar 1st, 6-8 PM Session 6
Yoga Sūtras II
Fri Mar 8th, 4-6 PM Session 7 (time change !)
Yoga Sūtras II
Fri Mar 15th, 4-6 PM Session 8 ONLY IF IT IS NEEDED
to complete Chapter II.-
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For information about future yoga svādhyāya sessions please provide your name and email address here. (only if you are NOT on the mailing list, already)
(For information about workshops organized by yoga studios, see:
Workshops on study of Yoga texts organized by Yoga Studios.)
For previous svādhyāya courses uploaded online, click here.