In this episode, we speak with Dr. Philipp Maas about his pioneering textual research on the Yogaśāstra of Patañjali and its commentarial tradition, the authorship and dating of the Yogasūtra and its commentary the Bhāṣya, the surviving Sanskrit manuscripts of the PYŚ, the relationship between Sāṅkhya and Yoga, the nature of Īśvara for Patañjali, Maas' critical edition on the PYŚ, and more.
Philipp Maas is a research associate at the Institute for Indology and Central Asian Studies, University of Leipzig in Germany, where he is currently working on a digital critical edition of the Nyāyabhāṣya, a Sanskrit work on spiritual liberation through proper reasoning. Previously he had served as an assistant professor and postdoc researcher at the Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies at the University of Vienna, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Bonn Germany. He received his M.A. (1997) and Dr. phil. (2004) degrees from the University of Bonn, where he had completed studies in Indology, Comparative Religious Studies, Tibetology and Philosophy.
His first book (originally his PhD thesis) is the first critical edition of the first chapter (Samādhipāda) of the Pātañjala Yogaśāstra, i.e. the Yoga Sūtra of Patañjali together with the commentary called Yoga Bhāṣya. He has published extensively on classical Yoga philosophy and meditation, Yoga and Āyurveda, the relationship of Pātañjalayoga to Buddhism as well as on the textual tradition of the Pātañjalayogaśāstra. He is a member of the “Historical Sourcebooks on Classical Indian Thought” project, convened by Prof. Sheldon Pollock, to which he contributes with a monograph on the development of Yoga-related ideas in pre-modern South Asian intellectual history.