1st Edition

Understanding Yoga Psychology Indigenous Psychology with Global Relevance

By Anand C. Paranjpe Copyright 2023
    170 Pages
    by Routledge India

    170 Pages
    by Routledge India

    This book is an introduction to Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras and its core concepts about the self, suffering and consciousness. It highlights its relevance to contemporary theories and applications in the fields of psychology and health.

    The book adopts sociology of knowledge as a broad framework as it delves into the core concepts of yoga psychology in the Yoga Sūtras in the context of worldviews and frameworks present in the Upanisads and the Sāṁkhya system. It provides an interpretation of Kriya Yoga and its practice in pursuit of spiritual upliftment, and concept of Samādhi or the transformation of consciousness using the language and idiom of contemporary psychology. It draws parallels between yoga psychology and the ideas of Husserl, Jung and Piaget while reconciling the seemingly disparate cultural, religious, spiritual, and intellectual traditions of eastern spirituality and schools of modern psychology. The book also discusses yoga psychology in relation to psychoanalysis, radical behaviorism as well as mainstream, cognitive, humanistic, transpersonal and indigenous psychologies and provides a guide to both the theories of yoga psychology and its applications.

    This book will be of interest to students, teachers, researchers and practitioners of psychology, psychiatry, philosophy and yoga psychology as well as to psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, mental health professionals, clinical psychologists, and yoga enthusiasts.

    1. Introduction and Context of Inquiry 2. The Worldview and Basic Concepts of Yoga in The Veda and Upaniṣads 3. Sāṁkhya System: The Conceptual Framework of Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtras. 4. Patañjali’s Eight-Fold Path (Aṣṭāṅga Yoga): General Outline and Basic Concepts Beyond the Veda and Saṁkhya 5. The Concept of Afflictions (Kleśas) and Kriyā Yoga to Deal with them 6. The Transformation of Consciousness (I): An Account from Inside the Texts 7. The Transformation of Consciousness (II): Looking from Outside In 8. Yoga And Self-Realization 9. Back to the Context: Where Does Yoga Psychology Stand in Psychology and In The Prevailing Culture Today?


    Anand Paranjpe is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Humanities, at the Simon Fraser University, Canada.

    ‘This book is an essential read for any person interested in a deep understanding of Indic Psychology and Philosophy. Dr Anand Paranjpe’s work spans a width and a depth that is remarkable, and he brings in all his wisdom to bear in drawing out the essential insights critical to appreciating the convergences and divergences between Indic and Western ways of looking at the psyche in this book. It is simple, lucid, and profound.’

    Raghu Ananthanaraayanan, disciple of yoga gurus T. Krisnamacharya and T. K. V. Desikachar and Co-founder, Ritambhara Ashram, India

    The book will provide a rich learning experience for readers. The author has put in a great amount of work and thought into the work and I am sure that the book will be extremely valuable for many readers like me.

    Sudhir Kakar, Psychoanalyst and Author

    ‘Patañjali's Yoga Sūtras are the foundational text of the millennia-old meditative path of yoga, and of interest to millions of modern yoga teachers and their students worldwide. At last, Professor Paranjpe gives us a crisp and readable window into the psychology of the Yoga Sūtras from an eminent modern academic psychologist with deep familiarity and training both in modern psychology and in his native Indian traditions. Deftly placing the Yoga Sūtras in their Vedic, philosophical, and experiential context, he clearly delineates the nature and role of key Yoga concepts such as karma, saṁskāra, and the higher transformations of consciousness in samādhi, delineating the continuing relevance of this classic text to the modern university and to modern readers.’

    Doug Oman, University of California, Berkeley, USA

    ‘This brilliant and original work asks all the right questions about how the Yoga scholarship engages with modern psychology. For anyone who has struggled to understand the scheme of Yoga, the book will be a treasure; it captures the excitement of yoga concisely discussing the conceptual scheme with remarkable freshness and clarity.’

    Girishwar Misra, Former Vice Chancellor, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishvavidyalaya, Wardha and Ex Head, Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, Delhi, India