Karuna Yoga Vidya Peetham Bangalore


Gheranda Samhita is a systematically written text on yoga.  It is in the form of a dialogue between Gheranda the preceptor and Chandkapali the (pupil).  The yoga that has been discussed in Gheranda Samhita is called Ghathasta Yoga.  “Gatha” refers to the body.  Ghathasta Yoga means Yoga based approach through the body and the training of the body is the first step to the training of the mind.  Obviously Ghathastha Yoga or Ghathastha Yoga deals with the Hatha Yoga practices. It describes more than 100 Yogic practices of varied nature.  These practices can be classified as follows:

  • Kriyas        –           06
  • Dhautis      –           13
  • Bastis         –           12
  • Neti            –           01
  • Lauli            –           01
  • Kapalabhati –          03
  • Trataka        –           01
  • Asanas         –          32
  • Mudras        –          25
  • Pratyahara –           5
  • Pranayama    –       10
  • Dhyana          –        3
  • Samadhi        –          6

Total                                 102


In these Yogic practices there is gradual evolution of the process from Physical to Spiritual through Psychological process. Gheranda Samhita explains all the above practices in seven lessons.



On the training of the physical body

The training of the body is the first step to the training of the mind.  A healthy mind can exist only in a healthy body.  Hence the Hatha Yoga or training of the body is the first step to the training of the mind or Raja yoga. Lesson first start with the question of Chandkapali who wishes to know the physical discipline (Yoga) leads to the knowledge of truth (Tattava Jnana).  Gheranda explains   there is no fetters like those of illusion (maya) no strength like that which comes from discipline (Yoga).  There is no friend higher than knowledge (Jnana) and no greater enemy than egoism (Ahankara).  As by learning the alphabets, through practice one can master all the sciences, so by thoroughly practicing, first the (physical) training, one requires the knowledge of the truth.  By practice of yoga one can overcome maya.

There are seven exercises which pertain to the training of the body.  They are particularly strengthening, steadying, calming and those leading of lightness, perception and isolation.  The satkarmas are the six processes which include Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Laukiki, Trataka and kapalabhati.  The technique and importance of these are also given in details.

The sapta Sadhanas are,

  • Kriyas –           For cleansing
  • Asanas –           Gives Dridhata or strength
  • Mudras –           Gives Sithirata or Steadiness
  • Pratyahara –             Gives Dhairya or calmness
  • Pranayama –             Gives lightness or Laghima
  • Dhyana –           Gives perception or pratyakshatwa
  • Samadhi –           Gives Isolation, nirtipta which is the freedom



Asanas and Postures

There are 84, 00,000 asanas described by Lord Shiva, The postures are as many in the numbers of species of living creature in the universe.  Among them 84 are the best and among these 32 have been found useful for mankind in this world.

Sidhasana                                –           Perfect

Padmasana                              –           Lotus

Bhadrasana                             –           Gentle

Muktasana                               –           Free

Vajrasana                               –           Adamant

Swastikasana                           –           Prosperous

Simhasana                               –           Lion

Gomukhasanan                       –           Cow – mouth

Veerasana                                –           Heroic

Dhanurasana                           –           Bow

Maritasana                               –           Crops

Guptasana                               –           Hidden

Matsyasana                             –           Fish

Matsyendasana                       –           Sage

Gorakasana                            –           Sage

Paschimotanasana                  –           Fish

Utkatasana                              –           Hazardous

Sankatasana                            –           Dangerous

Mayurasana                            –           Peacock

Kukkutasana                           –           Cock

Kurmasana                             –           Tortoise

Uttanamandukasana               –           Frog

Uttanakurmasana                   –           Tortoise

Vrikshasana                             –           Tree

Mandukasana                          –           Frog

Garndasana                             –           Eagle

Vrishasana                              –           Bull

slabhasana                               –           Locust

  1. Makarasana – Crocodile
  2. Ustrasana – Camel
  3. Bhujangasana – Snake


The very first asana – namely siddhasana is described as mokkna-kavatabhedanka (which opens the doors of realization, Padmasana, Bhadrasana, Simhasana, Matsyasana, all these destroy all sorts of disease). Muktasana gives siddhis (perfection) Vajrasana gives psychic powers to the yogi.  Mritasana destroy fatigue and quiten the agitations of the mind. Gorakasana gives success to the yogis; Mayurasana destroys the effect of whole some food.  It produces heat in the stomach; it destroys the effect of deadly poisons.  If easily cures diseases like fever etc.  Makarasana increases the body heat, Bhujangasana (serpent) always increases the bodily heat, destroys all diseases and by the practice of this posture the Kundalini   force is awakened.




There are 25 Mudras the practice of which gives senses to the yogis, they are.

  • Mahamudra
  • Nabho
  • Uddiyana
  • Jalandhara
  • Mulabandha
  • Maha Bandha
  • Maha Bheda
  • Khecari
  • Viparita Karani
  • Vajroli
  • Sakticalana
  • Tadagi
  • Mandauki
  • Sambhavi

20 Panca Dharma (Five Dharma)

  1. Asvini
  2. Pasini
  3. Kaki
  4. Matangini
  5. Bhujanginini

These Mudras which gives happiness and emancipation.  These Mudras destroys all diseases.  There is nothing in the world like the Mudras for giving quick success.




By prathyahara all the passions like lust are destroyed.  Let one bring the chitta (thinking principle) under his control by  withdrawing it wherever it wanders away driven by the various  objects of right, praise or censer good or bad, speech, sweet or bad, smell or taste or what ever the mind may be distracted or attracted.




Four things are necessary for practicing Pranayama in Good place. Suitable time

Moderate food. Purification of the Nadis The purification of the Nadis is of two sorts.  Samanu and Nirmanu.  The Samanu is done by a mental process with Bijamantra.  The Nirmanu is performed by physical cleanings.  After purification of the Nadis one has to sit firmly in a posture and be in regular Pranayama.




The sixth sadhana deals with Dhyana, the three kinds of dhyana, Shale, Jyoti and Suksma are graded and raise one above the other, the last ending in Atma – Pratyaknam.  The main aim of dhyana yoga is the direct perception of the self.  By this dhyanaYoga Atma is revealed.  Having perceived the self by dhyana Yoga, the next step is of course the Samadhi by which one realizes ones identity with Brahman.




  • The seventh and most important sadhana is Samadhi. This is six folds.
  • Through Sambhavi Mudra leading to Dhyana and terminating in Samadhi.
  • Through Khecari Mudra leading to Rasananada and termination of Samadhi.
  • Through Bhramari leading to Nada and terminating in Samadhi.
  • Through yoni Mudra leading to laya and terminating in Samadhi.
  • Through Bhakti leading to Astika bhava and terminating in the Samadhi.
  • Through Mani Mudra leading to restraints of mind and terminating of Samadhi.

Through Samadhi the quality of Nirliplatva or detachment and therefore mukti is attained Samadhi is both a process as well as the result of that process.  As a process Samadhi means intense mental concentration free from all Samskaras and attachments to the world expressed in terms of Ahamta and Mamata.  As a result of soul process it is the union of Jiva with Paramtma.




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