While reading Vyasabhashya of Yogasutras, I have just found that at the end of 2nd chapter, Vyasa mentioned Jaigīṣavya and took the opinion of him on the importance of Pratyahara, 5th component of Ashthanga Yoga:

।।2.55।। शब्दादिष्वव्यसनमिन्द्रियजय इति केचित्। सक्तिर्व्यसनं व्यस्यत्येनं श्रेयस इति। अविरुद्धा प्रतिपत्तिर्न्याय्या। शब्दादिसंप्रयोगः स्वेच्छयेत्यन्ये रागद्वेषाभावे सुखदुःखशून्यं शब्दादिज्ञानमिन्द्रियजय इति केचित्। चित्तैकाग्र्यादप्रतिपत्तिरेवेति जैगीषव्यः। ततश्च परमात्वियं वश्यता यच्चित्तनिरोधे निरुद्धानीन्द्रियाणि नेतरेन्द्रियजयवत्प्रयत्नकृतमुपायान्तरमपेक्षन्ते योगिन इति।

इति श्रीपातञ्जले सांख्यप्रवचने योगशास्त्रे श्रीमद्व्यासभाष्ये द्वितीयः साधनपादः।।2।।

English Translation:

Some one says that non-attachment towards sound, etc., is the conquest of the senses, because attachment is vice ; it causes the Yogi to deviate from beatitude (a).
Some others say that lawful enjoyment is proper; so the union with the round, etc., of one's own desire, is the conquest (b).
Others again say that in the absence of attraction and aversion, the sensation of sound, etc., devoid of pleasure and pain, is the conquest of the senses (c).
But Jaigīṣavya says that it (the conquest of the senses) is only the absence of cognition due to the one-pointedness of the mind. Also for this reason, this is, indeed, the highest subjection which is the subjugation of the senses by the restraint of the mind (d). The Yogis do not depend upon any other means caused by strong effort like the conquest of the other organs.

Here ends the Second Chapter known as The Subject of Demonstrating the Means of Practice with regards to The Science of Yoga composed by Patanjali in Excellent Teaching of the Sānkhya

After completing two chapters, I am reading 3rd chapter now but I never find Vyasa mentioning opinion of any other Rishi or Acharyas anywhere except this mention of Jaigīṣavya. So, I want to know who Jaigīṣavya is and what is the story of him?

1 Answer 1


He is mentioned in 18 chapter of harivamsha parva in Mahabharata. As per this, Jaigīṣavya is the foremost teacher of yoga. Story goes like this: The king of the mountains himavAn and his wife Mena had three daughters a-parNa, eka-parNa, and the third eka-pATala. The eldest one a-parNa(Uma) is given to Shiva in marriage. ekaparNa is given in marriage to the highsouled intellectual and yoga-AchArya, namely asita devala; ekapATala is given to another yoga-AchArya named jaigISha these two asita and jaigISha are the foremost teachers of yoga.

His story is found in detail in Mahābhārata Śalya Parva, Chapter 50

There is a story about how this hermit Jaigīṣavya attained the world of Brahmā. Once he reached the hermitage of Devala, who showed the necessary hospitalities. After a few days this hermit disappeared. After that he used to be seen only at the time of meals. Once Devala took his waterpot and went by air to the sea, to fetch water. When he reached the sea he saw Jaigīṣavya bathing there. Devala had gone when Jaigīṣavya was in the hermitage. How did he reach the sea before Devala? Devala filled the pot and returned thoughtful. When he reached the hermitage Jaigīṣavya was there. After this Devala travelled through the world of the inspired sages. Wherever he went, he saw Jaigīṣavya. He asked the inspired sages how it was possible. They praised the attainments, Jaigīṣavya had obtained, by his 'tapas' (penance). Finally in the sight of everybody, Jaigīṣavya flew to the world of Brahmā.

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