108 Names of Sage Patanjali


Translated by Shri Siddhartha Krishna


On the 31st October 2004, the world's first temple dedicated to Lord Patanjali was inaugurated by His Holiness Shri Shri Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar (Guruji) in his holy birthplace of Bellur, a village in Karnataka, South India. Lord Patanjali was the son of the Divine Yogini Gonikaa and is the Divine Expounder of Yoga as taught by Lord Kapila (the primordial Holy Incarnation of Lord Vishnu, the Omnipresent Supreme Godhead)

Bellur is soon to become a place of pilgrimage for all Iyengar Yoga students, because the place is of immense importance to our beloved Guruji. Its tranquil and serene environment, enchanted with the grace of Lord Patanjali and his divine philosophy of Yoga, provides one of the most perfect spiritual settings for Yoga Sadhana (ardent practice of Yoga).

While performing Aaraadhanaa (divine worship) to the Lord, the traditional priests recite the "Ashtottara-shata-naamaavalih" (the 108 Names) of Lord Patanjali regularly in the holy sanctum of this temple. As explicitly mentioned in the last verse of this text, a devotee, who ardently recites these 108 names of Lord Patanjali, reaches the highest abode of consciousness by his blessings. Indeed, devotional recitation of the text leads to physical perfection, inner purification, mental peace, spiritual development, deep meditation and divine grace, which are the prerequisites to the attainment of Yoga, the highest goal of human existence

Yoga is the quintessence of all religions, ideologies, philosophies, ethics and nationalities. Thus, Yoga provides a better understanding of our own ideology, philosophy, religion and nation. Yoga bestows upon us firm determination, stamina and great willpower, which are essential for reaching the highest pinnacles in any field. Yoga welcomes all races, religious and ethnic groups, and renders them into one single bouquet consisting of a vast range of flowers.

Yoga unites the world in its soul. Yoga is unity, in which all conflicts and hatred tend to dissolve and only unconditional pure love for the whole of creation prevails. Thus, Yoga truly has the ability to convert this earth into heaven. This is the divine vision (Darshana) of the great saint and sage of yore, Lord Patanjali, the author of the Yoga-Darshanam, the most authoritative text available on the philosophy of Yoga, and who is the spiritual successor of an extremely ancient Vedic tradition whose foundations are deeply rooted within the holy texts of the four Vedas (Rig-veda, Saama-veda, Yajur-veda and Atharva-veda) and was promulgated for the first time by Lord Kapila to his beloved mother Devahuti and further exalted and embellished by Yogeshvara (the Lord of Yoga) Lord Shri Krishna in the Yoga-Shaastra (the scripture on Yoga) more commonly known as the Shrimad-Bhagavad-Gita.

 Finally I would like to express my special thanks and regards to Gitaji (Gita S. Iyengar) for clearing all my doubts and answering all my questions. May Lord Patanjali's blessings dawn upon us all!

Siddhartha Krishna

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