You are on page 1of 12



November 2012 - February 2013

Paper on the


Dates: 26 November to 7 December 2012 By Mr. Jan Jelle Keppler
Theme: The Science of Yoga Student of Ancient Wisdom
Director: Mr. P.K. Jayaswal Presented 7 December 2012

Year 2012 - 2013



In this paper on the subject The Yogatattvopanishadone of the Yoga Upanishads is studied in
the context of the textbook The Science of Yoga, which was the theme of the first week of the
School of the Wisdom from 26 November to 7 December 2012.

A limited number of books and other sources with studies on this subject were consulted, The
Yoga Upanishads revised edition by G. Srinivasa Murti, The Science of Yoga by I. K.
Taimni, The Bahagavad Gita, text and translation by A. BesantThe voice of the silence,
Theosophical Glossary and The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky.

Further information was found on a number of Internet sites.

The students were told that the presentation of their paper,which should have a length of about
fifteen to thirty minutes, could be done during one of the afternoon sessions of the second week
(from 3 to 7 December 2012).



Preface ........................................................................................................................................................ 2
Index ........................................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 4
Chapter 1: General introduction of the Yogatattvopanishad (St. 1 St. 18) ............................... 5
Chapter 2 : Structure of the Yogatattvopanishad (St. 19 St. 27) .............................................. 6
Chapter 3 : Arhambha or initial stage (St. 21 St. 64) ............................................................ 7
Chapter 4 : Ghata or effort stage (St. 65 St. 81) ................................................................... 8
Chapter : 5 Paricaya or familiarity stage and Nispatti or final stage St. (81 St. 142) .............................. 9
Chapter : 6 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 11
Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................. 12




In this paper a short essay will be presentedon the Yogatattvopanishad in the light of the
teachings given by the Director of the School of the Wisdom 2012 2013 on The Science
of Yoga.


First the textbook Science of Yoga by I. K. Taimni was studied during one week under the
guidance of the Director. Then one of the twenty Yoga Upanishads was selected by the
author of this paper. This Upanishad was read several times attentively, until the author had
grasped the scheme on which it was constructed. Finally a number of conclusions are
presented, which could be drawn from this study.


Chapter 1 General introduction tothe Yogatattvopanishad (St. 1 St. 18)
Chapter 2 Structure of the Yogatattvopanishad(St. 19 St. 27)
Chapter 3 Arhambha or initial stage(St. 21 St. 64)
Chapter 4 Ghata or effort stage (St. 65 St. 81)
Chapter 5 Paricaya or familiarity stageand Nispatti or final stage (St. 81 St. 142)
Chapter 6Conclusions of the study


Books :

The Yoga Upanishads
The Science of Yoga
An Introduction to Indian Philosophy
Yogic Practice Yama and Niyama
The Theosophical Glossary
The Secret Doctrine
Glimpses into the Psychology of Yoga
The Voice of the Silence
The Bahagavat Gita

Internet sources :,+Mysore+
(12012012); (12022012); (12042012); (12042012); (12052012).


Chapter 1: General introduction of theYogatattvopanishad
(St. 1 St. 18)

1. Yoga is one of the six traditional Indian Philosophies, which are based on the Vedas
the earliest available records of Indian literature. Yoga means the making of the
connection with the One, or the supreme consciousness. Tattva means 'thatness',
'principle', 'reality' or 'truth'. Upanishad means sitting humbly together near the teacher
in the woods. Yogatattvopanishad can thus be translated as The teachings about how to
make connection with the ultimate reality.

2. The Yogatattvopanishad is number 41amongst the 108 Upanishads, which have
survived out of the original number of 1,008 Upanishads. This number of more than one
thousand, which is traditionally given, seems a rather symbolical figure, indicating that
in ancient times there were a great number of many more Upanishads. It is a relatively
short Upanishad with only 142 sutras and belongs to the Krishna Yajurveda.

3. In the beginning the writer, or the one who speaks or recites the sutras of this
Upanishad,gives as his motive the desire to do good to the yogis, who wish to know the
Eight-fold Yoga Path, by which one becomes freed from all sins. The statement is
further made that the information given is coming directly from the Great Yogin,
Vishnu Hrsikesa speaking to Pitamaha, the Creator.
The definition of Yoga given in the first sutra of Patanjali, which states that Yoga is
The putting to a standstill of the movements of the mind is not given in this
Upanishad, which is rather concentrated on the practice and gives many detailed
instructions for the yogi.

4. Then it is explained, that all souls are imprisoned in Maya and can be liberated by their
knowledge of Brahman, thus putting an end to samsara. This is the way to reach the
Supreme stateof Kaivalya or Love.The text is ambiguous about the question if this is, or
is not, the only way, saying reached by diverse paths, which is Kaivalya, the
Supreme state, for attaining which there is no other path,...
About Brahman it says, that That by which all is manifested, cannot be manifested by
the Sastras, because That alone is capable of self-manifestation and beyond
expression by sentence or word.

5. In the following sutras it is explained, that the jiva or soul is nothing else but the state of
Paramatman and therefore eternal. In its essence it is knowledge, in which Ahamkara or
Self-knowledge is manifested, also to be seen as Mulaprakriti characterized by the three
Gunas : Sattva Rhythm, Rajas Mobility, and Tamas Inertia.
The five elements originate from this and further the Pinda or Egg, which is formed by
the seven humours, integument, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen and
conditioned by the three gunas.

See An Introduction to Indian Philosophyby Satischandra Chatterjee and Dhirendramohan Datta.

6. In the state of Paramatman, the jiva is freed from lust, anger, fear, delusion, greed,
infatuation, passion, birth, niggardness, sorrow, sloth, hunger, thirst, covetousness,
shame, trepidation, misery, depression, and joy.

7. Before the different kinds of main stream yoga are treated, it lays great emphasis on the
necessity to combine jnana and yoga and practice these two disciplines simultaneously
(sutra 15)
.Knowledge, which is not accompanied by Yoga, cannot give Liberation and
neither can Yoga without Knowledge lead to Liberation.Sutras 16 to 18 explain that
worldly existence results from ignorance and that alone by true knowledge or jnana one
can be liberated. How true knowledge of the real form of Brahman, also Kaivalya, Love
or undifferentiated knowledge in the absolute, has to be attained trough Yoga, is told in
this Upanishad.

Chapter 2 :Structure of the Yogatattvopanishad
(St. 19 St. 27)

1 There exist four kinds of Yoga, says sutra 19. These are the mantra-, laya-, hatha- and

2 Also four are theAvasthas or stages which have to be gone through, says sutra 20,
before the yogin arrives at Kaivalya andfinalLiberation.
These Avasthas are :
Arhambha or initial stage (St. 21 St. 64)
Ghata or effort stage (St. 65 St. 81)
Paricaya or familiarity stage (St. 81 St. 128)
Nispatti or final stage (St. 129 St. 142).

3 During the first three stages, Mantra- , Laya-, and Hatha Yoga are practiced.
The separation of these different disciplines does not seem to coincide with the
separation into the stages.According to sutra 129, Raja Yoga
appears to belong
exclusively to the fourth and last stage.

4 About Mantra Yoga it is statedin sutra 21 that if one says for twelve years as japa
Mantras made up of the letters of the Devanagri alphabet, one shall attain knowledge of
the special powers connected to Anima
or attenuation.

5 In Laya Yoga one should meditate on the non-divided or digit-lessIsvara at any time of
the day and night, while walking, standing, eating, or sleeping. Thus the knower, the

Jhana or jnana meaning occult wisdom,Theosophy is said to be the practice of jnana yoga.
Also called Kundalini Yoga.
Japa is the repeating of mantras; it can be tantric, silent or written.
Anima is the siddhi, by which the yogi reaches a minute state.

known end the knowing become one in the so-called Laya Centre, which resides in the
region of the heart.

6 There exist twenty subdivisions or stages in Hatha Yoga, which are enumerated in
sutras 24-27. To be distinguished are eight divisions and twelve subdivisions.

The eight divisions in Hatha Yoga are thefollowing:

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranasamyama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana
, and Samadhi
They are exactly the same as the Astangas in the Yogasutras of Patanjali.

The twelve subdivisions in Hatha Yoga are:

Mahamudra, Mahabhanda, Mahavedha, and Khecari;
Jalamdhara, Uddiyana, and Mulabandha;
Dirghapranavasamdhana, and Siddhantasravana; and
Vajiroli, Amaroli and Sahajoli.

Chapter 3 : Arhambha or initial stage
(St. 21 St. 64)

1. During the first or initial stage of Arhambha, the fundamentals of Yama, Niyama,
Asana, and Pranasamyama have to be mastered.
In sutra 28 there is a reference to ten Yamas and ten Niyamas, of which Non-violence is
classified under the Niyamas, of which it is considered to be the most important one. Of
the ten Yamas light food is mentioned as being important, while it is said, that the
others are not important. Normally Ahimsa comes under the Yamas, while the number
of Yamas and Niyamas is five of each.

2. The five Yamas then are Ahimsa or Non-violence, Satya or Truthfulness, Asteya or
Not-taking what not belongs to him, Brahmacharya or Moving in Brahman with control
of desires and freedom from sensuality, and Aparigraha or Non-accumulativeness.
The five Niyamas usually are Saucha or Purity, Samtosha or Contentment including
uparati or tolerance and titiksha or endurance, Tapas (literally heat) or austerity, self-
discipline and purification, Svadhyaya or Self-study, and Isvarapranidhana or
resignation to God or Isvara.

Dhyana of Hari in the middle of the eyebrows.
The equipoised condition.
See Yogic Practice - Yama and Niyama by S. S. Varma TPH 1991; ISBN 81-7059-180-5

3. Of the innumerable asanas or postures eighty are importantand only four out of them are
really important for the beginner. These are the Siddha, the Padma (lotus), the Simha
(lion) and the Badhra

4. Obstacles arising during the first phases of yoga practice are described as laziness,
bragging, bad company, practising necromancy, dabbling with minerals, and longing
for women and others, which are like mirages, illusions. The religious merit of the yogi
should help him to avoid this kind of hindrances on his path.

5. He should avoid food, which can be harmful to Yoga, like salt, mustard, acid, hot,
astringent and spicy dishes, avoid proximity to fire, avoid sexual intercourse and travel.
He also has to avoid fasting, morning baths and physical exercises. Cooked wheat,
green gram and rice are themost favourable diet for developing Yoga.

6. Before taking the Padmasana or lotus-positionfor practicing the Pranayama or
breathcontrol he should have organised himself a small room with small entrance and
no windows, neat and clean with an incense smell and a cloth, deerskin or grass on the
floor. Then he can begin the exercises to clean the Nadis of Ida and Pingala in his subtle
body. He will learn to hold his breath as long as desired by accomplishing the Kevala

7. The phenomena treated in sutras 51 to 62 and describing all sorts of siddhi phenomenon
like elevation above the earth and moving about in the padmasana position can be
considered as metaphors for the powers attained at the more subtle and higher levels of
consciousness. The yogi is not supposed to show his powers to anybody. If he
doesshow them, he will not arrive at the end goal of merging his consciousness with the
Divine Consciousness.

8. Before phase two can be commenced, the yogi has to destroy all sins, which he has
accumulated. While sitting in a secluded place, he utters the Pranava-mantra as a Japa,
raising his voice to the Pluta or highest pitch of three Matras. This practice removes all
obstacles and eliminates all defects. It is considered to be the first step to the final
achievement of Yoga.

Chapter 4 : Ghata or effort stage
(St. 65 St. 81)

1. In this stage an effort to regulate the breath has to be made in order to unify Prana,
, Manas and Budhi as well as the Jivatman and the Parabrahman.
The effort should be limited in the beginning of this stage to one fourth of the extent of

Apana is one of the five vital airs in the subtle bodies.

the prescribed exercises and should be done only once a day. Also once a day the yogi
has to practice Kevala Kumbhaka, i.e. holding of the breath as long as he can.
2. In this phase the Pratyahara is practiced, which means, that the attention is turned inside
and away from objects of pleasure. There is withdrawal from the organs of perception
and activity. This withdrawal should mainly be arrived at by the practice of Kevala
Kumbhaka. All he senses he should perceive as being the Atman or the innermost
3. During the Gata stage the exercises will be extended to three hours a day and then the
yogi will develop wisdom, clairvoyance, and other siddhis. When practiced for
sufficient time, he will be able to travel in ethereal space or Akasa. All these powers are
to be considered as obstacles to the development of the Great Siddhi of Yoga. He
should therefore not make a show of himself, but hide his powers to everyone.
A serious yogi should isolate himself and concentrate his activity day and night to his
sole aim of Yoga. This is the only way he can attain the end of the Ghata stage. And it
is through frequent practice, that he will enter the third or Paricaya stage.

Chapter : 5 Paricaya or familiarity stage and Nispatti or
final stage St. (81 St. 142)

1. In these stages the kundalini or serpent fire from the root chakra will enter the nadis or
vessels of prana energy, and go to the Susumna Nadi or central vessel of fire. The yogi
enters with his mind along with the stream of prana or vital fiery air into the Susumna
and thus attains the particular state of ecstasy called Paricayavastha.
In this phase for the first time there is mention Dharana, or concentration, andof how it
works. In sutras 84 to 104 the Dharanas are linked to the five Brahmans in the five
regions of the five elements in the human body. These are Earth, Water, Fire, Air and

2. The Earth region is from the feet to the knees. By concentrating on the square and
yellow coloured Earth region, using the syllable Lam, meditating on the four faced
Brahma with four arms and the colour of gold, and holding the vital air for five
Ghatikas(two hours)the yogi will conquer death.
After in similar manner conquering the element Water, which is in the region from the
knees to the anus, he will be freed from all sins. He will not die from or by water.
Upwards till the heart is the region of Fire. When this element is also conquered, he will
be immune to fire.
From the heart to the middle of the eyebrows is the region of Air symbolized by the two
interlaced triangles. After conquering this element using the syllable Yam and forcing
the fiery, vital air through the aerial region, while meditating on the all-knowing god
Isvara, the yogi will move through ethereal space like through the air. He will not die
from the air element or fear it.
Ether is the element in the region from the middle of the eyebrows till the crown of the

head. Here the word Ham is used and the yogi meditates on the God Samkara and
many other pratyayas (objects of meditation). Mentioned i.a. are the form of the
Bindhu, the form of the Ether, the Sadasiva of colour of clear crystal holding a crescent
over his head, with five faces, pleasing feature, ten arms, five sets of three eyes,
equipped with all weapons and covered with jewels etc. Then the yogi, wherever he is
remains in high state of bliss.

3. This Darhana appears not to be exactly the same the Darhana as in Patanjalis
Yogasutras. There Dharana is concentration, which is the first stage of Samyama. The
other two are Dhyana, contemplation, and Samadhi, meditation or trance. It seems that
these terms which are used in different publications have different meanings in the
different texts. This is also the case when we looked at Yama and Niyama and saw that
Ahimsa was coming under the Niyamas of the Yogatattvopanishad, while it was
amongst the Yamas of Patanjali.

4. Still,following the logical Patanjali sequence, sutra 105 107 of the Yogatattva
Upanishadspeakafter the Dharanas about the next item on our list, which is Dhyana or
meditation/contemplation. It appears that first there is meditation of the qualified kind
and afterwards meditation of the unqualified kind, respectively Saguna Dhyana and
Nirguna Dhyana. The one as well as the other lets the yogi arrive at Samadhi. He should
practice the concentration or Dharanas on the five regions, for sixty
Ghatikas. The
qualified exercise evokes the Yogic powers like Anima. The unqualified, if pursued
during ten days will bring the yogi into Samadhi state, which is samata or the
equipoised state of the Jivatman and the Paramatman.

5. It comes to the mind, that the Saguna and Nirguna Dhyana make similar division as
Patanjali makes in Samadhi. There the division is made between Samprajnata

Samadhi with object and Asamprajnata Samadhi without object or Pratyaya
. Inn
Patanjali there is much more refined classification of the different stages of meditation.
Not the five elements are distinguished, but the different planes of existence, like lower
mental, causal, budhic and atmic. The distinction by Patanjali between Sabija
on the one side and Nirbija Samadhi and Nirbija Megha Samadhi on the otherare
similarto the distinction by the Yogatattva Upanishad between the state of Saguna
Dhyana and Nirguna Dhyana.

6. The accomplished siddhi yogi can stay in his body or renounce his body at will. He can
roam about the worlds, become a celestial being of high esteem and turn himself into a
demi-god or arrive atthe Divine State Mahesvara. In all cases he will taste the fruit of

In another publication of the same Yogatattvopanishad there are mentioned only six Ghaticas, which is two
hours and 24 minutes. Sixty Ghaticas would be 24 hours.
Samprajnata is with a distinguished object (pratyaya) and Asamprajnata is without a distinguished object.
Pratyaya is an object of meditatiopn, like given in Diagram of Meditation by H. P. Blavatsky in the Secret
Doctrine Part III, Esoteric Essays and Instructions. One pratyaya in the abstract mind can represent a whole book
in the concrete mind.So one pratyaya in the budhic and atmic world can represent all the libraries in the world or
all the books that are or will ever be written, thus explaining omniscience.
Sabija is with seed and Nirbija is without seed.

Kaivalya (Divine Love in a selfconscious relation to everyone and everything, but also
aloneness), if he does not long for the lower siddhis, which are of transient nature.

7. In these final stages twelve great postures are described, which all appear to be linked to
highly developed kundalini practices. In all cases the position is related to the genitals
in one way or another. Sometimes the description becomes so absurd and surrealistic
that one cannot escape the impression that all these instructions are in the form of
metaphors. The consciousness is obviously not any more remaining in the physical
world, but also awakened on the more subtle planes of Budhi and Atma.

8. For instance in sutras 134 140 the metaphor of a lotus standing upside down in the
heart is used to explain the state of consciousness. Akasha is in the stem and in the
middle is Manas. With Akara (from the abundant source)the lotus moves up, with the
flower upwards.

Chapter : 6 Conclusion

The Yogatattvopanishad is a relatively short text with secret knowledge and instructions
for the yogi, who is already accustomed with a number of ideas and practices of the
yoga philosophy.
It does not give the detailed explanations, which are normally given to those who are
not familiar with yoga. Little is said on the subjects of Yama, Niyama, or on most of the
many asanas like the Padmasana.
Even meditation is not explained in a comprehensive way, contrary to Patanjali
Yogasutras, where there iselaborate explaining on the precise techniques of meditation.
Sambija and Nirbija are briefly mentioned as Saguna and NirgunaDhyana at the end of
the Upanishad, but the different phases of samprajnata and asamprajnata samadhi are
not mentioned at all.
This Upanishad is an age old text, which appears to have been aimed at divulging the
secret knowledge to those priests, who wanted to become more advanced as yoga
practitioner, but who should give up all worldly life and concentrate on yoga alone, so
they could not remain priests any more.

5 December 2012,
St. Nicholas,

Jan Jelle Keppler



- The Yoga Upanishads,Tanslated into English on the basis of the commentary of Sri
Upanishadbrahmayogin by T. R. Shrinavasa Ayyangar, First Edition in 1938 by Adyar Library
and Research Centre, revised edition 1952 by G. Srinivasa Murti, reprinted in 2008 by Vasanta
Press, Theosophical Publishing House, The Theosophical Society, Chennai, ISBN: 81-85141-
- An Introduction to Indian Philosophy, by Satischandra Chatterjee and Dhirendramohan
Datta, First published in 2007 by Rupa Publications India Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi 110002, Eighth
impression 2012;
- Yogic Practice - Yama and Niyama, by S. S. Varma TPH 1991; ISBN 81-7059-180-5;
- The Science of Yoga, by I. K. Taimni, First Edition 1973, third reprint 2007, by The
Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai, ISBN(10): 81-7059-211-9;
- Glimpses into the Science of Yoga, by I. K. Taimni, First Edition, twelfth reprint 2010, by
The Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Chennai, ISBN(10): 81-7059-098-X;
- The Theosophical Glossary, by H. P. Blavatsky, Published 1978 by Theosophy Company
(Mysore) Private Ltd, Bangalore;
- The Bahagavad Gita, text and translation, by A. Besant, TPH 2007, ISBN 81-7059-1740-0;
- The Voice of the Silence, by H. P. Blavatsky, TPH 1889, Adyar Centenary Edition 1982;
- The Secret Doctrine, by H. P. Blavatsky.