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Hatha Yoga Pradeepika of Svatmarama

Hatha Yoga Pradeepika of Svatmarama

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it is one of the method of p[ractising yoga
it is one of the method of p[ractising yoga

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Published by: ven_bams5840 on Jan 11, 2009
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11/23/2012

 
Hatha Yoga Pradeepika of SvatmaramaCommentary by Hans Ulrich Rieker Translated by Elsy Becherer The Hathayoga Pradeepika is one of the highly rated texts on yoga. In Indian philosophyit is generally understood that hatha yoga is one distinct path to liberation and raja yogaanother. Hatha Yoga Pradipika shows a rare and fruitful combination of the two paths -hatha yoga and raja yoga.CONTENTSPart 1 The Fundamental Principles1. Prerequisites2. Yoga and the Art of Healing3. The Asanas4. The Way of Life of a YogiPart 2II The River of Life5. The Purification of the Nadis6. KumbhakaPart 3 Active Yoga7. The Mudras8. The Nectar 9. The Bandhas10. The ShaktiPart 4 Passive Yoga11.Samadhi12. Mind and Breath13. The Dissolution14. The Shambhavi Mudra and the Inner Light
 
15. Nada, the Inner SoundPART ONETHE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLESCHAPTER ITHE PREREQUISITES(1) Reverence to Siva the Lord of Yoga, who taught [his wife] Parvati hatha wisdom asthe first step to the pinnacle of raja yoga.It is a good practice to evoke a divine power before beginning serious work. We may callit Siva (the Benevolent) or God or Ganesa (gana == legions; isa = master), to whom infact the yogi author has dedicated his work.(2) Having thus solemnly saluted his master. Yogi Svatmarama now presents hatha vidya[vidya = wisdom] solely and exclusively for the attainment of raja yoga. Now it can begin--and it begins with an admonition. The classical commentary, at timesso tediously wordy, here has an important message: "solely for the attainment of rajayoga" indicates two delimitations. The lower level indicates that hatha yoga is not beingtaught for its own sake, for the achievement of physical fitness and worldly power, but isa method to prepare the student for the rigors of raja yoga.The upper delimitation needs a little more elucidation. As we will soon and often hear,the real goal of a yogi is to become a siddha. A siddha, a person in possession of siddhis,has developed powers that can readily be called supernatural. There are eight siddhis, thehighest of which is nirvana, the great liberation.If in India, even with great masters, one so seldom has a chance to witness the miraclesthat these siddhas have the powers to perform, it is simply because a siddha who does notwant to get the reputation of a black magician will keep his powers carefully concealedand refuse to use them for worldly purposes. If he does misuse a siddhi, the misusedsiddhi strikes back at him and causes him some kind of unpleasantness, usually of a physical nature.One does not necessarily have to believe such things. You may put this down to thefabulous imagination of the East, and say so. The yogi does not resent your doubts, andthey will not in any way impede the objective study of the wisdom of yoga. In fact, thetext gives warning against striving primarily for powers: "solely for the attainment of rajayoga."
 
The deeper purpose of the siddhis is something else. Through the developing forces thestudent recognizes what stage of evolution he has reached. Certain phenomena will tellhim that he should change his way of practice, and if after due practice these phenomenado not occur, he surely has made a mistake. The siddhis are signposts on his way to thefinal goal, liberation. To be a siddha means to be in possession of all the characteristics of the final yoga goal."Siddhis," my guru told me, "are not the aim of our work. We want to become siddhas inorder to enjoy the realization and perfection of a siddha, not to gain worldly position or evade responsibilities." And since he himself is a siddha, this sentence clearly indicateswhat is defined as the upper delimitation. Yoga is not for braggarts or egocentrics, nor isit for those who merely want to add method to their physical training.(3) For those who wander in the darkness of conflicting creeds [and philosophies], unableto reach to the heights of raja yoga [self-knowledge and cosmic consciousness] themerciful Yogi Svatmarama has lit the torch of hatha wisdom.Raja yoga, the royal yoga1 is a goal that many strive to reach without even being awareof it, without having the slightest inkling of yoga. What else is Faust aspiring to but perfect self-knowledge and cosmic consciousness, to "know that force which holds theuniverse together, to see creative power and the seed"?For the student of Indian wisdom this reference to Faust presents an especially interesting parallel. Goethe speaks here of creative power and of seed, in Sanskrit shakti and bindu,two of the most important terms in tantra yoga, as we will see later on. At the time of Goethe these teachings had not yet reached the West, and it speaks for his universalgenius that he recognized their supreme importance.(4-9) Gorafksha and Matsyendra were masters of hatha vidya, and by their grace YogiSvatmarama learned it. Siva, Matsyendra, Shabara, Anandabhairava, Chaurangi, andmany other great siddhas who have conquered time are still roaming through this world.A daring statement: after the enumeration of 33 masters of hatha vidya who haveilluminated the ages, to claim that they are still roaming through the world, for "they haveconquered time."We have already spoken of the siddhis, and here it is specifically stated that these masterswere siddhas. They reached what so many covet, "eternal youth." Many are the tales of yogis who are said to be several hundred years old and look like youths, but it is uselessto discuss this kind of doubtful rumor. A wandering1. The translation of the term "raja yoga" as "royal yoga" is exoteric. Esoterically it is"the yoga of radiating light," for "raja" can also mean "to shine." Thus we have anallusion to the "inner light," which is dealt with in the fourth part of this work.

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