Yoga and the GÈtå: Èśvara-Praṇidhåna and Bhakti

How to Cite

Christopher Key Chapple. (2022). Yoga and the GÈtå: Èśvara-Praṇidhåna and Bhakti: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 14(1), 33–46. Retrieved from


The classical Yoga tradition of Patañjali, generally known for its nontheistic foundation in classical Såµkhya, includes a series of statements that discuss the nature of “the Lord” or IΩvara. Surendranath Dasgupta notes that “of all the points of difference between Yoga and Såµkhya the admission of IΩvara . . . [is] the most important . . .” In the Yoga Sütra, Patañjali outlines practices within his passages on IΩvarapra∫idhåna that are also known within Bhakti Yoga, including the recitation of mantra. This study will analyze the Yoga Sütra passages on IΩvara in light of the Bhagavad Gîtå’s discussion of Bhakti Yoga, which begins in chapter seven, culminates in chapter eleven, and is further explained in chapter twelve. By juxtaposing the technical theory of IΩvara with the narrative explication of divinity or avatåra in the Bhagavad Gîtå, comparisons and contrasts will arise between the Raja Yoga of Patañjali and the Bhakti Yoga of the Bhagavad Gîtå.

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