Story of Patanjali Yogasutra & the Gift of Knowledge- Part 2
Patanjali Yoga Sutras Knowledge Sheet 2
Another person became curious. ―What is the Master doing behind the curtain? I want to see.‖ He
got so curious that he lifted the curtain to see the Master. Just as he did so, all 999 disciples wereburnt to ashes. Now, Patanjali became very sad. There he was ready to impart knowledge to thewhole world and all of his disciples were burnt. At this moment, that one little boy returned. Patanjali asked him where he had gone. The boyexplained and asked his forgiveness. Patanjali was compassionate and felt that at least one of hisdisciples was saved.So he gave him the rest of the yoga sutras, the rest of the knowledge. But, the student had violated
the law and Patanjali was not willing to forget that. He said, ―Since you have violated the law, you
will become a
, a ghost and hang on the t
ree.‖ And the only way he could liberate
himself from the curse is to teach one student. Saying this, Patanjali disappeared.Now Brahmarakshasa, hanging on a tree, would ask everyone who passed by a question and whenthey could not give an answer, he would eat them. He had no choice. For a few thousand years,this was the story. He could not find a single person to whom he could teach the yoga sutras. So, heremained in the tree as a Brahmarakshasa. (The lesson here is that when one who has greatknowledge does something wrong, the state of Brahmarakshasa will come. An intelligent personbecoming a criminal is more dangerous than an innocent person becoming a criminal. If a person,who knows all knowledge and then turns a criminal, it is much more dangerous). Brahmarakshasawas hanging there and waiting for relief.Then out of compassion, Patanjali himself becomes a disciple and comes as a student toBrahmarakshasa who told him all the yoga sutras, which Patanjali wrote on palm leaves. The storygoes that to redeem one disciple, the Master became the disciple of a disciple.Patanjali wrote the yoga sutras sitting on the top of the tree as that was where Brahmarakshasasat. Brahmarakshasa worked only in the night. So, he dictated the sutras at night and Patanjaliwrote them on leaves. He plucked all the leaves and made a small scratch, drew blood and wrote.This went on for seven days. At the end of it, Patanjali was tired. He put everything he had writteninto a piece of cloth, set it down and went to bathe. When he returned, he found that a goat hadeaten most of the leaves. Patanjali then took the cloth bag and the rest of the leaves and walkedaway.In this story, there is a lot of depth. The puranas do not give an explanation. They just give a storyand it is for us to unlock the meaning. So, what do we have to find out?
(1) When the veil was lifted why did everybody burn down?(2) Why was one boy forgiven?(3) What is the significance of the goat?(4) What is the significance of this story?