Sage Patanjali is known as the father of modern Yoga. He did NOT invent it, but he assimilated all aspects of Yoga into a specific format called—Yoga Sutra. Sutra literally means a thread, but in modern language, it is like a formula. It has tremendous science behind it. Not only Yoga Sutra, but Patanjali also author of two more brilliant works. One was on Sanskrit grammar; the second was a work on ancient Indian medicine, Ayurveda.
Whenever we study the Yoga Sutra or practice yoga, we begin with an invocation to Sage Patanjali. In this invocation, he is credited with three areas of knowledge – science of Ayurveda to purify the body, the commentary on Sanskrit grammar to purify the speech and the science of Yoga to purify the mind.
योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचा
मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन |
योऽपाकरोत्तम प्रवर मुनीनां
yogēna cittasya padēna vācām |
malam sarirasya ca vaidyakēna ||
yo’päkarōttamam pravaram munīnām |
patanjalim prañjalirānato’smi ||
“I respectfully bow down with folded hands and offer my salutations to Sage Patanjali, the highest among the sages, who has presented the remedies for removing the impurities of the body through his treatise on Ayurveda, of language through his treatise on grammar and the impurities of the Chitta (mind field) through his treatise on Yoga”