The Meaning of Prakṛti in the Yogasūtra and Vyāsabhāṣya

Asian Philosophy 17 (1):1-16 (2007)
Abstract
It is a common mistake, especially, perhaps, among students of the religions and philosophies of India, to assume that the word prak?ti, best known as the ultimate material principle in the S??khya and Yoga systems of religious thought, the material cause of the world in Hindu theologies and, as such, an epithet of the goddesses in Hinduism, always refers to an ultimate principle. Even in S??khya and Yoga texts the word prak?ti is used in various ways. Prak?ti does not always refer to the ultimate principle. Translators often leave the word prak?ti untranslated and mislead the reader to assume that the ultimate principle is referred to, when it is not. This article discusses the use of prak?ti in the S??khya-Yoga texts the Yogas?tra and the Vy?sabh??ya and criticises some translation practices
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