A sub-commentary on the Yogasūtra and its authoritative commentary Yogabhāsya, the Pātañjalayogaśāstravivarana (YVi) was first published in 1952 in Madras. The editors of the then little known text attributed the text to the famous Hindu philosopher Śankara. Since the YVi was not traditionally known as a work of Śankara, the ascription of it to the famous Śankara by the editors of the editio princeps has intrigued scholars. The major interest in the YVi continues to be the authorship problem. Various scholars have argued for or against Śankara's authorship of the text.

Another importance of the text, regardless of who wrote it, is that it is most likely the oldest surviving commentary on the Pātañjalayogaśāstra, viz., the combination of the Yogasūtra and the Yogabhāsya.

In whichever direction one may wish to study the YVi, having a reliable text is essential. The edition from Madras was prepared on the basis of one Devanāgarī manuscript and left much to be desired. The primary goal of this project is to prepare a critical edition of the first chapter of the YVi, using manuscript material most of which were not available to the editors of the 1952 edition.

In this project I will also deal with the authorship problem. First, I will present a summary of the debate on the authorship problem chronologically. Then I will apply the criteria that Hacker and Mayeda have proposed to determine the authorship of a text ascribed to Śankara. Next I examine the theory that this Śankara, the author of the YVi, was a member of the Payyur family from Kerala, who possibly lived around the 14th century. Lastly, I approach the authorship problem through writings of Mandana Miśra, who is thought to have been a contemporary to Śankara.