Hatharatnavali is an important treatise on Hathayoga and Tantra written by Srinivasa Bhatta Mahayogendra (1625-1695 A.D.) but not popular as Hatha Pradipika of Atmarama. (1534-1634 A.D.)
The Salient features of the text include clear concept of Yoga, description of Mahayoga, Astakarmas includes verities of Gajakarni, 84 Asanas, 9 Pramayamas, elaboration of Mudras and therapeutical effects etc. It was also described how different karmas/Kriyas purify specific chakaras is a specialty of this text.
While describing the Yogic and Tantric techniques, the author also refers to the old traditions like Vasistha, Yajnavlakya, Suta, Dattatreya, charpati, Matsyendra and Gorakha etc, and gives new information like sankete and techniques, which are not commonly know in Hatha Pradipika, Gherenda Samhita and Shiva Samshita.
It also contains philosophical discussion on the Pinda brahmanda, Panchikarana and number of Tattvas, which seem essential for the students of spiritual culture, which have been includes in the forth chapter.
In the light of the above discussion, it can be unhesitatingly said that this treatise boldly refuting the prevalent ideas and introduction of new thoughts in a lucid manner, gives a special place for Hatharantavali among the texts of Hatha Yoga.
I have great pleasure in introducing Sri. M. Venkata Reddy who is associated with me, since 1975. I am glad that he has been able to publish Hatharatnavali, one of the authoritative treatises on Hathayoga. Hatharatnavali by Srinivasabhattamahayogindra contains the essence of the science of Yoga. To edit such work needs a great deal of patient study, critical evaluation and deep insight into the principles and techniques of Yoga. He has, by doing so, rendered great service to the cause of Indian Yogic system.
Sri M. Venkata Reddy is the first Yoga Sadhaka to attempt a critical study of Hathayogic Philosophy discussing the different texts like Hathapradipika, Gherandasamhita and Sivasamhita with rare discrimination. Some of the unique techniques which were being followed from generations have disappeared from the present Yogic field due to various factors. For instances, Antaranauli which is not known to many is being practised by me, which can also be practised by the old people even by sitting in a chair.
One of the important aspects of Sri Reddy's study is Svatmarama, the well-known author of Hathapradipika as Atmarama. He concludes that both the names represent the same person; thus, making this study often most interesting and thought- provoking. Another speciality of Sri Reddy's work is the inclusion in his discussion of Ayurvedic thought in Hatharatnavali.
Some of the central concepts of the text have been thoroughly examined and an attempt is made to show how Hatharatnavali differs from other Hathayogic texts. The editor refers to several authors and works including rare manuscripts. In the process of editing, much new materials is brought to light. The work is, therefore, a valuable contribution to the literature on Yoga. The study is informative, factual and lucid.
After a pretty long gap the second edition of the "Hatharatnavali" is now in the hands of yoga lovers.
There is a great demand for the same, from within and outside the country. However, due to some circumstances, we were not able to meet this demand of our readers. I am now happy that, having overcome our handicaps, we have now been able to present to our readers the second edition of the publication.
While bringing out this edition, I have tried to remove some anomalies which came to our notice after the publication of the previous edition. Some of the noval items of the present edition are (I) A critical appraisal of the text (2) Transliteration (3) Figures of yogic practices (4) summary of the text (5) Hathapradipika - Hatharatnavali with reference to Yogarotna pradipika (MS) (6) List of health and diseases in HR (7) some more Asanas other sources and (8) Glossary etc.
A pure or real yoga is originated by "YOGA SASTR ". There is the frequently noticed diluted Yoga, adulterated Yoga or faulty Yoga techniques in daily T.V. in of English Hindi, Telugu Langnages of Electronic Media. Hence the yogasadhako's are warmed about such diluted Yoga in any form.
The present book will be an important contribution to the revival of authentic and traditional Yoga.
I have also carried out a few corrections, whenever necessary in the text presented in the precvious edition.
Our readers/practioners will kindly appreciate that M.S.R.Memorial Yoga series have all along endeavoured to adopt a rational and scientific approach in interpreting our traditional yoga texts in keeping with the guidelines given by our founders/traditional Yogis/Local traditions.
I now leave the present revised edition "Hatarathnavali" in the hands of our esteemed/learnedreaderslPractioners to study, and digest. I request readers to enlighten us with their valuable suggestions for bringing further improvements in the text.
There are books and books on Yoga. Some are written by Yogis from India. Others by authors from the Western countries who have emphasized mostly the applied aspects of Yoga and have deviated form the tradition as it originated in India. Atmarama's Hathapradipika which claims to have explained all yogic practices has left out many Tantric Techniques. The Gherandasamhita fares no better in this respect. The Hatharatnavali treatise sheds light on the tantric aspects of Yoga. Another special feature of this text is that it describes the largest number of Asanas so far published.
It is surprising that such an important treatise of Yoga still remains unpublished and is scattered in MS form all over the country. The present study is based on a collection of MSS from several parts of India which constitute the unpublished Hatharatnavali. For almost eight years I made a thorough research into all available manuscripts on Yoga and held discussions with many scholars on Yoga. The result is the present authoritative version of Hatharatnavali with the original text in Sanskrit along with an English translation and explanatory notes wherever necessary.
Incidentally, this research led me into another area of yogic studies. I am now compiling the contribution of Andhra to Yoga literature, which is a critical survey on the manuscripts, inscriptions and sculptures related to the temples of A.P. which includes the lives of more than 200 Yogins of Andhra.
There is great demand for classical Yogic treatises which alone can clear the confusion that still prevails amongst Yogasadhakas mainly in relation to classical Yoga as against applied Yoga.
A number of students from different disciplines are being attracted to Yogic studies. This study traces the origin, exposition, evolution and development of each aspect of Yoga up to Hatharatnavali keeping in view the demands, not only historical but also of doctrinal exposition. This treatise is intended to be a reference volume to diploma and degree students in Yoga. The elaborate introduction and critical notes are prepared keeping their requirements in view. Apart from implicit internal criticism, the reader will find here critical estimates of the subject. Each topic is allowed to speak for itself as best it can. It is open to the reader to draw his own conclusions.
After a brief account of the title of Hatharatnavali the detailed account of manuscript material, its date, nativity of Srinivasabhatta, his works, shortcomings, Yamas and Niyama are given in a concise manner. Then follows the expositions of Srinivasa's predecessors, contemporaries and successors which will ensure a historical perspective on Hatha Yogins. One of the highlights of this collection is the material on Atmarama, author of Hathapradipika, in relation to his works and followers. He was an Andhra Saivite.
This collection discusses historically the philosophy of Samkhya pre-Pathanjali Yoga, and the concept of Hatha. The next chapter is concerned with what may be called the living traditions in Yoga, the various standpoints of Tantra in relation to the Hatha Yogic concept in day-to-day life which are mostly misunderstood. The last chapter is concerned with Ayurvedic thought in Hatharatnavali. There is renewed interest about Yoga, it may recalled, in relation to Ayurveda all over the world.
The readers are warned that some of these techniques should not be practised on their own. If not done properly, these may affect their health adversely. I have come across a number of such cases. It is better to practise Yoga under a proper guide.
But for the infinite grace and inspiration of my most revered father who was the be all and end all of my life, it would not have been possible for this monograph of mine to see the light of the day. My father, late Sri M. Subbireddy was keenly interested in my work of editing this classic but I was not fortunate enough to finalize the manuscript during his lifetime. His death on 28.07.1979 left me alone but his memory unfailingly inspired me at all times. That is why this book is dedicated to the memory of my father. It is a humble offering.
The original text of the treatise is in Sanskrit. Its translation into English has been attempted here with the full consciousness of the present writer's own limitations in both these languages. Hence, scholars of these two languages will probably detect many errors committed in an overzealous but honest attempt to interpret ideas so punctiliously put in an ancient language and now translated into a modern one. There may be many shortcomings in it, such as numbering of slokas etc. Though I have made ready the Roman script of the entire text and photos of Asanas, I could not bring out the same in this edition. These will be included in the next edition.
For Srinivasa's special contribution the reader who is interested may refer to my article on "Hatharatnavali of Srinivasabhatta" in the Bulletin of the Indian Institute of History of Medicine, Hyderabad, Vol IX, 1979 pp-74-81. It is not included in the volume due to lack of space. The printing and production may not be of international standards which is due to my limited resources and for which I apologise. It is needless therefore to add that any omission or commission pointed out in this respect will be gratefully acknowledged and duly rectified in a subsequent edition.
The Kaivalyadhama authorities where I had my Yogic Education not only inspired but also encouraged me to publish this work and permitted me to utilize their published works as well rare collections of MSS which has enabled me to produce this work.
Tyagaraja, the great Telugu nadayogi says that a "number of divine souls have helped me, I have to acknowledge my debt to all these great people".
The present summary has been prepared on the basis of Reddy 1982, the edition.
From the second introductory verse it appears that the author was a versatile scholar. He was the son of Timmaya and Somamba. He composed works on Nyaya and Vedanta also. He was an inhabitant of Tirabhukti, in the Andhra State.
The present work is based on the work was composed some time in the seventeenth century. Hathayogapradipika and the like, it contains a few unique views. It enumerates two kinds of Niyamas, mental and bodily, which is not found in any other well-known work on yoga. In addition to the six purificatory acts (karman) usually prescribed in Hathayoga works, it prescribes two more, namely cakri and gajakarani.
I.l-4 (ET 1-2) After saluting Adinatha, the author says that Hathayoga, which is means to Rajayoga, was known to Matsyendra, Goraksa and others.
1.5-8 (ET 2-3) Several definitions of yoga are given and mahayoga is defined as the inhibition of the fluctuations of awareness with the remark that mahayoga has four stages - Mantrayoga, Layayoga, Rajayoga and Hathayoga.
1.9-24 (ET 3-8) Descriptions of the above - mentioned four yogas are given here, vies of other teachers are also quoted at a few places.
1.25-55 (ET 8-18) The eight purificatory acts, namely (i) cakri (process of cleaning the anus), (ii) nauli (rotating the abdomen), (iii) dhauti (swallowing a piece of cloth), (iv) neti (a means for cleansing the nose), (v) basti (a means for cleaning the abdomen), (vi) gajakarani (a process of vomiting), (vii) trotana or trataka '(a practice for strengthening the eye), and (viii) mastakabhati (also called kapalabhati) (a kind of breathing exercise) are described and the view of the Hathayogapradipika about the number of purificatory acts is criticized. Alternative process and subdivisions of some of these acts have also been shown.
1.56-66 (ET 18-20) The effects of all these acts, especially the purification of the vital centers by these process, are stated.
1.67-79 (ET 21-24) The proper residing places of a follower of Hathayoga, the food to be taken or avoided, the process of eating, factors that are helpful (e.g., steadiness, perseverance) and harmful (e.g., overeating, over-exertion) to yoga practice are stated here.
1.80-87 (ET 20-27) A list of the teachers of Hatha Yoga is given here and it is remarked that some teachers are not in favor of prescribing means other than breath - control for the eradication of impurities
II.I-32 (ET 28-36) A detailed description of the process of practising eight (or nine according to some) kinds of yogic breathing, namely bhastrika, bhatamari, suryabheda, ujjayi, sitali, murcha, sitkara, kevala and bhrangakarani (the ninth) has been given here mentioning the general as well as the specific results of each with the process of inhaling, exhaling, and retaining air.
11.33-148 (ET 37-66) A detailed description is given of the process of practising the ten bodily exercises. The view of Hathayogapradipika about the practice of vajroli mudra has been refuted. A few authoritative texts and the views of some teachers have been quoted. The author propounds his own view about the technique of the khecari mudra (11.126) at the time of dealing with the sakticalana mudra.
III. 1-3 (ET 67) The chapter deals with the eight auxiliaries to yoga. An enumeration of mental vows, namely serenity of mind, contentment, silence, etc. and of bodily observances, namely bathing, cleanliness, etc. is given here.
II1.4-40 (ET 68-76) Yogic postures, which bring about steadiness and lightness, and which are adopted by Vasistha, Matsyendra, and others, are said to be the first accessory to Hatha Yoga. Out of eighty - four postures (described by Siva), ten are important; the most important of theses are four, namely siddha, padma, simha and bhadra (described here) and among these siddha is regarded as the best.
III. 41-77 (ET 76-87) The process of practising twenty-six postures (namely mayura, etc.) is given here in detail.
1II.78-99 (ET 87-93) At first the general results of yogic breathing have been stated. The purification of the channels and the manifestation of the secret sound (nada) are the chief results of breath - control. The process of inhaling and exhaling, and the number and duration, etc. connected with the practice of breath -control are stated here.
IV.1-3 (ET 94-95) Concentration (samadhi) has been defined as the union of the self and the mind or the equilibrium of the embodied self and the supreme self.
IV. 4-16 (ET 95-98) Unstruck secret sound (anahata nada) and its absorption are said to be observed by yogins. Yogins having attained concentration through devotion to nada experience indescribable pleasure. Nada brings about the state called unnani (the state of transcending the act of thinking). Nada, which is heard inside the body, is of various kinds. The mind gets absorbed in nada. The dissolution of mind is the result of practicing Rajayoga.
IV.17 -30 (ET 98-102) The four stages of yoga, namely arambha, ghata, paricaya and nispatti are described here. In the first stage the anahata sound is heard inside the body; in the second the vital air runs through the middle path (i.e. the susumna channel); in the third particular kinds of anahata sound reach the place called mahasunya (the space between the eyebrows); in the fourth state the knot called rudra gets pierced and a particular kind of anahata sound is heard. The characterstics of a yogin in the fourth state is elaborately described in verses 25-30.
IV.31-43 (ET 103-106) Yogic description of a body (pind) is given here. A body is said to be of ninety - eight fingers (one's own) in length; there are thirty - two bones on both sides of the spine and 72,000 channels in the whole body. From the vital center of the channels (nadicakra) situated in the muladhara channel (perineum) proceed the other channels among which fourteen are principal. The chief of these are idipingala, and susumna. It is remarked that the description a microcosm (pinda) and macrocosm (anda = brahmanda, the cosmic egg) is to be known from the Vedas, the Agamas and the Puranas.
IV.44-51 (ET 106-109) The yogic process of transcending thought and of getting rid of maya (cosmic illusion) is described here.
IV.52-63 (ET 109-111) Various schools of philosophy are found to propound different views. It is remarked that the various schools - Saiva and so forth - uphold baseless doctrines and that they do not know the realities. That is why one should approach a wise spiritual teacher.
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