(3) His life

CONTENTS: (1) His parents and his birth; (2) His place of birth; (3) His life; (4) His portrayal and iconography; (5) His achievements; (6) His contribution

However and wherever he was born, Patañjali eventually appeared on earth to fulfill his self-appointed destiny. Unsurprisingly, given his lineage, he had no ordinary childhood. He could apparently communicate fully from the moment he was born. Not only that, but both the topics of his conversations and the intellect and vigour with which he discussed them were of the kind more usually associated with sages, rishis and seers. Patañjali not only acutely and accurately analysed and discussed things of the present, but revealed matters of both the ancient past and the immediate and distant futures with accuracy and incisive penetration. The cut and thrust of his eye, mind and mouth were of such intensity that on one occasion, when the inhabitants of Bhotabhandra chose to disturb him in the middle of his religious austerities and ridiculed him, he reduced them to ashes with nothing more than the fire of his mouth and speech. His marriage is also the stuff of legend. One day he seems to have discovered an exquisitely and enchantingly beautiful maiden, Lolupa, in the hollow of a tree on the north slope of Mount Sumeru—the top of the celestial mountain of enlightenment. He promptly married her, thus indissolubly joining himself to the fruits of his spiritual quest, and lived to a ripe and happy old age.