1. Salutation to adinatha (Siva) who expounded the knowledge
of Hatha Yoga, which like a staircase leads the aspirant to the
high pinnacled Raja Yoga.
2. Yogin Swatmarama, after saluting his Guru Srinatha
explains Hatha Yoga for the attainment of Raja Yoga.
3. Owing to the darkness arising from the multiplicity of
opinions people are unable to know the Raja Yoga. Compassionate
Swatmarama composes the Hatha Yoga Pradipika like a torch to
4. Matsyendra, Goraksa, etc., knew Hatha Vidya, and by their
favor Yogi Swatmarama also learnt it from them.
5. The following Siddhas (masters) are said to have existed in
Sri Adinatha (Siva), Matsyendra, Natha, Sabar, Anand,
Bhairava, Chaurangi, Mina Natha, Goraksanatha, Virupaksa,
6. Manthana, Bhairava, Siddhi Buddha, Kanthadi, Karantaka,
Surananda, Siddhipada, Charapati.
7. Kaneri, Pujyapada, Nityanatha, Niranjana, Kapali,
Vindunatha, Kaka Chandiswara.
8. Allama, Prabhudeva, Ghoda, Choli, Tintini, Bhanuki,
Nardeva, Khanda Kapalika, etc.
9. These Mahasiddhas (great masters), breaking the sceptre of
death, are roaming in the universe.
10. Like a house protecting one from the heat of the sun,
Hatha Yoga protects its practisers from the burning heat of the
three Tapas; and, similarly, it is the supporting tortoise, as
it were, for those who are constantly devoted to the practice of
11. A yogi desirous of success should keep the knowledge of
Hatha Yoga secret; for it becomes potent by concealing, and
impotent by exposing.
12. The Yogi should practice Hatha Yoga in a small room,
situated in a solitary place, being 4 cubits square, and free
from stones, fire, water, disturbances of all kinds, and in a
country where justice is properly administered, where good people
live, and food can be obtained easily and plentifully.
13. The room should have a small door, be free from holes,
hollows, neither too high nor too low, well plastered with
cow-dung and free from dirt, filth and insects. On its outside
there should be bowers, raised platform (chabootra), a well, and
a compound. These characteristics of a room for Hatha Yogis have
been described by adepts in the practice of Hatha.
14. Having seated in such a room and free from all anxieties,
he should practice Yoga, as instructed by his guru .
15. Yoga is destroyed by the following six causes:--
Over-eating, exertion, talkativeness, adhering to rules, i.e.,
cold bath in the morning, eating at night, or eating fruits only,
company of men, and unsteadiness.
16. The following six bring speedy success:-- Courage, daring,
perseverance, discriminative knowledge, faith, aloofness from
17. The ten rules of conduct are: ahimsa (non-injuring),
truth, non-stealing, continence, forgiveness, endurance,
compassion, meekness, sparing diet, and cleanliness.
18. The ten niyamas mentioned by those proficient in the
knowledge of Yoga are: Tapa, patience, belief in God, charity,
adoration of God, hearing discourses on the principles of
religion, shame, intellect, Tapa and Yajna.
19. Being the first accessory of Hatha Yoga, asana is
described first. It should be practiced for gaining steady
posture, health and lightness of body.
20. I am going to describe certain asanas which have been
adopted by Munis like Vasistha, etc., and Yogis like Matsyendra,
21. Having kept both the hands under both the thighs, with the
body straight, when one sits calmly in this posture, it is called
22. Placing the right ankle on the left side and the left
ankle on the right side, makes Gomukha-asana, having the
appearance of a cow.
23. One foot is to be placed on the thigh of the opposite
side; and so also the other foot on the opposite thigh. This is
24. Placing the right ankle on the left side of the anus, and
the left ankle on the right side of it, makes what the Yogis call
25. Taking the posture of Padma-asana and carrying the hands
under the thighs, when the Yogi raises himself above the ground,
with his palms resting on the ground, it becomes Kukkuta-asana.
26. Having assumed the Kukkuta-asana, when one grasps his
neck by crossing his hands behind his head, and lies in this
posture with his back touching the ground, it becomes Uttana
Kurma-asana, from its appearance like that of a tortoise.
27. Having caught the toes of the foot with both hands and
carried them to the ears by drawing the body like a bow, it
becomes Dhanura asana.
28-29. Having placed with the right foot at the root of the
left thigh, let the toe be grasped with the right hand passing
over the back, and having placed the left foot on the right thigh
at its root, let it be grasped with the left hand passing behind
the back. This is the asana, as explained by Sri Matsyanatha.
It increases appetite and is an instrument for destroying the
group of the most deadly diseases. Its practice awakens the
Kundalini, stops the nectar shedding from the moon in people.
30. Having stretched the feet on the ground, like a stick, and
having grasped the toes of both feet with both hands, when one
sits with his forehead resting on the thighs, it is called
31. This Paschima Tana carries the air from the front to the
back part of the body (i.e., to the susumna). It kindles
gastric fire, reduces obesity and cures all diseases of men.
32. Place the palms of both hands on the ground, and place the
navel on both the elbows and balancing thus, the body should be
stretched backwards like a stick. This is called Mayura-asana.
33. This asana soon destroyed all diseases, and removes
abdominal disorders, and also those arising from irregularities
of phlegm, bile and wind, digests unwholesome food taken in
excess, increases appetite and destroys the most deadly poison.
34. Laying down on the ground, like a corpse, is called
Sava-asana. It removes fatigue and gives rest to the mind.
35. Siva taught 84 asanas. Of these the first four being
essential ones, I am going to explain them here.
36. These four are:-- The Siddha, Padma, Sinha and Bhadra.
Even of these, the Siddha-asana, being very comfortable, one
should always practice it.
37. Press firmly the heel of the left foot against the
perineum, and the right heel above the lingha. With the chin
pressing on the chest, one
should sit calmly, having restrained the senses, and gaze
steadily at the space between the eyebrows. This is called the
Siddha asana, the opener of the door of salvation.
38. This Siddhasana is performed also by placing the left
heel on the Medhra (above the penis), and placing the right one
next to it.
39. Some call this Siddhasana, some Vajrasana. Others call
it Mukta asana or Gupta asana.
40. Just as sparing food is among Yamas, and Ahimsa among the
Niyamas, so is Siddhasana called by adepts the chief of all the
41. Out of the 84 asanas Siddhasana should always be
practiced, because it cleanses the impurities of 72,000 nadis.
42. By contemplating on oneself, by eating sparingly, and by
practicing Siddhasana for 12 years, the Yogi obtains success.
43. Other postures are of no use, when success has been
achieved in Siddhasana, and Prana Vayu becomes calm and
restrained by Kevala Kumbhaka.
44. Success in one Siddhasana alone becoming firmly
established, one gets Unmani at once, and the three bonds
(Bandhas) are accomplished of themselves.
45. There is no asana like the Siddhasana and no Kumbhaka
like the Kevala. There is no mudra like the Khechari and no laya
like the Nada (Anahata Nada).
46. Place the right foot on the left thigh and the left foot
on the right thigh, and grasp the toes with the hands crossed
over the back. Press the chin against the chest and gaze on the
tip of the nose. This is called the Padmasana, the destroyer of
the diseases of the Yamis.
47. Place the feet on the thighs, with the soles upward, and
place the hands on the thighs, with the palms upwards.
48. Gaze on the tip of the nose, keeping the tongue pressed
against the root of the teeth of the upper jaw, and the chin
against the chest, and raise the air up slowly, i.e., pull
the apana-vayu gently upwards.
49. This is called the Padmasana, the destroyer of all
diseases. It is difficult of attainment by everybody, but can be
learnt by intelligent people in this world.
50. Having kept both hands together in the lap, performing the
Padmasana firmly, keeping the chin fixed to the chest and
contemplating on Him in the mind, by drawing the apana-vayu up
(performing Mula Bandha) and pushing down the air after inhaling
it, joining thus the prana and apana in the navel, one gets the
highest intelligence by awakening the sakti (kundalini) thus.
N.B.-- When Apana Vayu is drawn gently
up and after filling the lungs with the air from outside, the
prana is forced down by and by so as to join both of them in the
navel, they both enter then the Kundalini and, reaching the
Brahma randra (the great hole), they make the mind calm. Then the
mind can contemplate on the nature of the atmana and can enjoy
the highest bliss.)
51. The Yogi who, sitting with Padmasana, can control
breathing, there is no doubt, is free from bondage.
52. Press the heels on both sides of the seam of the Perineum,
in such a way that the left heel touches the right side and the
right heel touches the left side of it.
53. Place the hands on the thighs, with stretched fingers, and
keeping the mouth open and the mind collected, gaze on the tip of
54. This is Simhasana, held sacred by the best Yogis. This
excellent asana effects the completion of the three Bandhas (the
Mulabandha, Kantha or Jalandhar Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha).
55 and 56. Place the heels on either side of the seam of the
Perineum, keeping the left heel on the left side and the right
one on the right side, holding the feet firmly joined to one
another with both the hands. This Bhadrasana is the destroyer of
57. The expert Yogis call this Goraksa asana. By sitting with
this asana, the Yogi gets rid of fatigue.
58. The Nadis should be cleansed of their impurities by
performing the mudras, etc., (which are the practices relating
to the air) asanas, Kumbhakas and various curious mudras.
59. By regular and close attention to Nada (anahata nada)
in Hatha Yoga, a Brahmachari, sparing in diet, unattached to
objects of enjoyment, and devoted to Yoga, gains success, no
doubt, within a year.
60. Abstemious feeding is that in which 3/4 of hunger is
satisfied with food, well cooked with ghee and sweets, and eaten
with the offering of it to Siva.
Foods injurious to a Yogi.
61. Bitter, sour, saltish, green vegetables, fermented, oily,
mixed with til seed, rape seed, intoxicating liquors, fish, meat,
curds, chhaasa pulses, plums, oil-cake, asafoetida (hinga),
garlic, onion, etc., should not be eaten.
62. Food heated again, dry, having too much salt, sour, minor
grains, and vegetables that cause burning sensation, should not
be eaten. Fire, women, travelling, etc., should be avoided.
63. As said by Goraksa, one should keep aloof from the society
of the evil-minded, fire, women, travelling, early morning bath,
fasting, and all kinds of bodily exertion.
64. Wheat, rice, barley, shastik (a kind of rice), good
corns, milk, ghee, sugar, butter, sugarcandy, honey, dried
ginger, Parwal (a vegetable), the five vegetables, moong, pure
water, these are very beneficial to those who practice Yoga.
65. A yogi should eat tonics (things giving strength), well
sweetened, greasy (made with ghee), milk butter, etc., which may
increase humors of the body, according to his desire.
66. Whether young, old or too old, sick or lean, one who
discards laziness, gets success if he practices Yoga.
67. Success comes to him who is engaged in the practice. How
can one get success without practice; for by merely reading books
on Yoga, one can never get success.
68. Success cannot be attained by adopting a particular dress
(Vesa). It cannot be gained by telling tales. Practice alone is
the means to success. This is true, there is no doubt.
69. asanas, various Kumbhakas, and other divine means, all
should be practiced in the practice of Hatha Yoga, till the
fruit of Raja Yoga is obtained.