Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 23

ईश्वरप्रणिधानाद्वा ॥२३॥

īśvara-praṇidhānāt-vā ||23||

Or, from dedication to the Lord.

īśvara - personal god; the supreme soul; the supreme being; special self; god; lord; master, prince, king, mistress, queen; ruler of choicespraṇidhāna - profound religious meditation, abstract contemplation of; dedication; respectful conduct; behaviour towards; attention; to place down; in front of - or

Commentaries and Reflections

Commentary by T Krishnamacharya:

“In the second and third Sūtra the means to realise Samādhi
and the true nature of Jīva were explained.
The term used in those Sūtra is Draṣṭṛ
– that which perceives and aids in perception.”

Yogavalli divides this first chapter into two sections:
the first is made up of 1.1 to 1.22;
and the second begins with 1.23
īśvara-praṇidhānāt-vā
and goes to the end of the chapter.
It is the latter section that describes
what can be achieved in the present age.”

Commentary by TKV Desikachar:

Īśvara Praṇidhānā
is not just Īśvara,
it is something we have
to do in relation to Īśvara.”

Īśvara Praṇidhānā is extraordinary devotion to Īśvara.
It is not mechanical, it is both devotion
as a force and an inquiry into this force.
It is a combination of Bhakti and Dhyānam.”

Bhakti is a part of friendship which makes
a person look towards, or follow a person.
Dhyānam is to remember something,
as if it is right in front of me.”

Praṇidhānā has both the two qualities.
It is both devotion and an inquiry into what it is.
To seek and to know is Praṇidhānā.”

“When Patañjali offers Īśvara Praṇidhānā in Chapter One,
he is not insisting on it, hence the word .
He has other alternatives for our practice.”

Īśvara is defined in the next Sūtra.
It is an extraordinary intelligence,
or a supreme intelligence.”

Commentary by Paul Harvey:

Or, from devotional meditation,
to link to the highest self.”

“The Yoga Sūtra is also very helpful in guiding us around
the notion of surrendering to that which we don’t know,
through that which we do know.”

“In Yoga Sutra Chapter One, the role for
Īśvara Praṇidhānā in the  Samādhi Yoga section can
be as an appropriate Upāya for a Śikṣaṇa situation.
Here, its purpose is in turning inwards. as in
realising what is consciousness, through a Japam
Mantra practice within an Antar Aṅga Sādhana.”

Or, from a respectful attitude
when mediating between the
immutability of awareness and
the mutability of the psyche.”

Links to Related Resources & Longer Articles:

Inspirational Quote

“I know the price of success: dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen....” Frank Lloyd Wright