HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is compiled by Yogi Swatmarama, an outstanding personality among many authorities of Hatha Yoga i.e. Goraknanath, Gheranda and Srinivasa Bhatta. Hatha Yoga is a very important science for man all the time. The beauty of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is that it solves a very great problem of every aspirant. The term Hatha is a combination of two big mantras, i.e. Ha & tha where Ha represents mind, the mental energy. That represents prana the vitral force. So Hatha yoga means the union between the pranic and mental force. This is the awakening of higher consciousness. In another description, Ha means moon; that means sun “This is a symbolic of the twin energy forces which exists in everything. It represents the forces of mind, prana or vitality. Which constitute body and mind? The term Pradipika actually means self illuminating or that which illumines. So it is a text which illumines a multitude of physical, mental and spiritual problems for the aspirants.
As in yoga, life and consciousness are known as Purusha and Prakriti and in Tantra they are called Shakti and Shiva, similarly in Hatha yoga they are known as Ida and Pingala.
In Hatha yoga it begin by saying the one should first purify the whole body the stomach, intestines, nervous system and other systems. By discipline the body the subtle elements, the energy channels (Nadis) within the body should be purified. The behaviour of the vital life force (Prana), the entire nervous system and the various secretions in the body should be properly maintained and harmonized. In this way it will be possible to develop deep meditation. These practices will induce pratyahara and leading dharana dhyana and Samadhi.
The main objective of Hatha Yoga is to create an absolute balance of the interacting activities and processes of the physical body, mind and energy. When this balance is created the impulses created give a call of awakening to the control force (Sushmana nadi) which is responsible for the evolution of human consciousness. Therefore it considers Hatha Yoga as the preliminary practice of Tantra, Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Kriya Yoga.
Totally there are four chapters,
Chapter I – Asana 67 verses
Chapter II – Pranayama and Kriya 78 verses
Chapter III – Mudras and Bandhas 130 verses
Chapter IV – Samadhi, Nadanusandhana 114 verses
Four major sources of Hatha yoga from 6th to 13th century AD.
- Hatha Yoga Pradipika – Svatmarama
- Goraksa Samitha – Gorakhnanth
- Gheranda Samitha – Gheranda
- Hatha Ratnavali – Srinivasa Bhatta
Purification and harmonization of Body, Prana and Mind – leading to Raja yoga.
Vedas & Upanisads – 5000 BC
Bhagavad Gita – 300 BC
Bhagavata – 1500 BC
Patanjali Yoga Sutra – 1800 BC
Buddha – 600 BC
Jain – 300 BC
Hatha Yoga Texts – From 1000 AD to 1600 AD
Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Four Chapters – Sadanga Yoga
1. On Asanas
Yamas & Niyamas – Do’s & Dont’s
Asanas – Postures
2. On Pranayamas
Shatkriyas – Cleansing techniques
Pranayamas – Mastery over prana
3. On Mudras
Bandhas – Locks
Mudras – Symbols
4. On Samadhi
Samadhi – Absorb
Yama & Niyama
1. Ahimsa – Non violence
2. Satya – Truthfulness
3. Asteya – Non stealing
4. Brahmacarya – Continence
5. Ksama – Forgiving
6. Dhrti – Endurance
7. Daya – Compassion
8. Arjavam – Straight forwardness
9. Mitahara – Sparing diet
10. Saucam – Cleanliness
1. Tapas – Penance
2. Santosa – Contentment
3. Sravana – Hearing the scriptures
4. Isvara pujanam – Worship of god
5. Astikyam – Belief in god
6. Danam – Charity
7. Hrih – Modesty
8. Matih – Analysis
9. Hutam – Yajna
10. Tapah – Offering
CHAPTER – 1
Asanas (67 Verses)
Yogi Swatamaram instructs that Hatha Yoga is only for the highest stage of Yoga
• Anima – The ability to become very small
• Laghima – The ability to become very light or weightless
• Mahima – The ability to become as large as possible
• Garima – The ability to become heavy
• Prapti – The ability to reach any place
• Prakamya – The ability to stay under the water and to maintain the body Youthful.
• Vasitva – The ability to control over all objects, Organic and inorganic
• Isitva – The ability to create and destroy at will
Place of Practice, the Hatha Yogi should live alone in a heritage and practice in a place where there is no hazard from rocks, fire, or water and which is in a well administered and virtuous kingdom (nation or town) where good alms can be easily attained.
There are six causes of failure in Sadhna
• Over eating
• Adhering to rules
• Company of Common people
Asana is the first part of Hatha Yoga Asana or specific body position opens the energy channels and psychic centers. The Hatha Yogis found that by developing control of the body through asana the mind is controlled.
According to Hatha Ratnavali Lord Shiva taught 84 asanas, taking the examples of 84, 00,000 creations. Ghraksha Satarka says – every one of the 8, 40,000 asanas had been told by Lord Shiva. Out of them 84 postures have been selected of all the Haöha Yoga exist, Gheranda Samhita described 32 asanas and Hatha Ratnavali names the 84 asanas.
Asanas presented in Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
• Swasthikasana – Auspicious pose
• Gomukhasana – Cow’s face pose
• Veerasana – Hero’s pose
• Koormasana – Tortoise pose
• Kukkutasana – Cocked pose
• Uthana Koormasana – Stretching Tortoise pose
• Dhanurasana – Bow pose
• Matseyendrasana – Spinal twist pose
• Paschimothanasana – Back stretching pose
• Mayurasana – Peacock pose
• Shavasana – Corpse pose
• Sidhasana – Adepts pose
• Padmasana – Lotus pose
• Simhasana – Lion’s pose
• Bhadrasana – Gracious pose
The food which are prohibited for the yogi are those which are bitter, sour, salty, heating, green vegetables, gruel, oil sesame and mustard alcohol, fish, flesh foods, curds, butter milk horse grain, fruits, or jujube oil cakes and garlic. The yogi should take mitahara is defined as agreeable and sweet food, leaving one fourth of the stomach free and eaten as on offerings to please Lord Shiva.
CHAPTER – II
Shat Karma and Pranayama (78 Verses)
Thus being established in Asana and having control (of the body) taking balanced diet, Pranayama should be practiced according to the instructions of the guru. The guru will advise the sadhaka of the appropriate Pranayama to practice according to individual need. Pranayama is the process by which the internal pranic store is increased. It is a technique through which the quandity of prana in the body is activated to a higher frequency.
Hatha Yoga says control of Prana, and the mind is automatically controlled. Were as Raja yoga says control the mind and prana becomes controlled. In the process of awakening Kundalini, the Sadhaka has to not only cleared the energy channels (Nadis) but also increases the quantity and quality of prana and store it. Prana is accumulated in six main centers along the spinal column. These centers are located in the subtle body and corresponds to the nerve plexus in the physical body. In the subtle body they are known as Chakra means a circling motion or wheel. Prana Shakti and manas Shakti collect in the Chakra and form swirling masses of energy. There are seven Chakras, i.e. Muladhara, Swadhisthana, Maëipura, Anahata, Visuddhi, Ajna and Sahasrara. It is best to practice Pranayama when sushmna is flowing. When the breath is flowing naturally through both nostril. (ida and pingala). It means susumna is active Pranayama presented in Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
• Nadi Suddhi (alternative nostril breathing)
Kumbhaka Pranayama is said to be of three types
3.Retention (Kumbhaka) Two types( Connected (Sahita) and Unconnected (Sahita)
There are six types of cleansing techniques called shatkarmas explained in Hatha Yoga
Shatkarmas are said to be secret practices as one must be personally instructed to do them by an experienced guru. The effects of Shatkarma can be summoned up in on word. Purification when the different systems of the body have been purified, the over all result in that energy can flow through the body freely. One’s capacity to work, think, digest, taste, feel, experience etc. increases and greater awareness is being developed.
CHAPTER – III
Mudras and Bandhas (130 Verses)
Mudra is a specific body position which channalises the energy produced by Äsanas and Pranayama into the various center and arouses particular state of mind. Bandha means lock. There are ten Mudras and Bandhas which destroys old age and death.
1. Maha Mudra – The great position (helps in removing five Kleshas)
2. Maha Bandha – Great lock (Bestower of great siddhis)
3. Mahabheda Mudra – Great Piercing position.
4. Khechare Mudra – Helps in dwelling supreme consciousness
5. Uddiyana Bandha – Abdominal detraction lock
6. Mula Bandha – Perennial/ curvix retraction lock
7. Jalandhara Bandha – Throat lock
8. Viparitakarani Mudra – Reversing position (gray hair and wrinkles become in conspicuous)
9. Vajroli Mudra – Thunder bolt position
Amroli – Helps in arousing immortality
Sahajoli – Helps in Yoga and Bhoga
1. Shaktichalana Mudra – Helps in moving energy.
CHAPTER – IV
Samadhi Pada (114 Verses)
The word Samadhi is made up of two roots “Sama” which means equal and “Dhi” which is reflection or to perceive. The Hatha Rathnavali still that when the mind becomes motionless as a result of (deep) concentrationthat is called Samadhi. The Geraëòa Saàhitä states that detaching the mind from the body one should make it one. One with the paramatma is called Samadhi. There are 3 stages or Avastha. The first stage is Arambhavastha, where the mind is relaxed and sensitive, Ghatavastha is the Second state – a stage of isolation and internalization and Parichayavastha is the stage where the expansion takes place. The fourth stage is evanmuktra stage where all actions are taking place, but breathing stops. It is here that a sadhaka acquire various types of siddhis and ultimately merge with consciousness.
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika also deals with Nadanusandhana where we works with sound variations using certain syllable called as Bijas and mantras. By protecting these one can assume a lot of spiritual significance and importance.