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Patañjali: The Most Distinguished Psychologist from India

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  1. 1.

    Cittanadī is an expression Vyāsa uses in his commentary on Yoga Sūtra 1.12.

  2. 2.

    The term “limb” is used here to translate the Sanskrit term aṅga because the eight “limbs” are not simply components or sequential steps (which they sometime appear to be), but rather they are integral and interdependent on each other like the limbs of a physical body.

  3. 3.

    Boring’s (1953) article on the history of introspection gives an excellent critical overview of the introspectionist studies which ended with Watson’s (1913) criticism of such studies and heralded the rise of behaviorism.

  4. 4.

    I am grateful to Dr. Kundan Singh (2003; 2011) for recognizing the relevance of Nāgārjuna’s logic for psychology and for the many discussions on the issue of binaries over past many years.


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This Essay is a Revised and Enlarged Version of a keynote address delivered at the 30th Convention of the National Academy of Psychology (NAoP), via Kanpur, India, March 21, 2021.

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Paranjpe, A.C. Patañjali: The Most Distinguished Psychologist from India. Psychol Stud (2021).

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