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 Haṭhayogapradīpikā (Hatha Yoga Pradipika): Section 1

Āsana


 Introduction

Hi, Gabriel Pradīpaka once again. This is the first section of Haṭhayogapradīpikā. The subject to be dealt with is "Āsana" or "Posture". Read carefully the warnings and tips I give you below.

Warning: All methods and techniques taught in this scripture MUST be practiced under the proper guidance of a qualified teacher. To practice them by oneself is generally DANGEROUS. Act wisely then. Of course, this site takes no responsibility in case you decide to ignore the present warning.

Important: All that is in brackets and italicized within the translation has been added by me in order to complete the sense of a particular phrase or sentence. In turn, all that is between double hyphen (--...--) constitutes clarifying further information also added by me.

When reading this scripture, remember the place and time in which it was written, that is,
India during the medieval age. If you forget that, you will not understand some advises, practices and the like recommended by Svātmārāma (the author).

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 Section 1: Āsana

अथ हठयोगप्रदीपिका।
श्रीआदिनाथाय नमोऽस्तु तस्मै येनोपदिष्टा हठयोगविद्या।
विभ्राजते प्रोन्नतराजयोगमारोढुमिच्छोरधिरोहिणीव॥१॥

Atha haṭhayogapradīpikā|
Śrīādināthāya namo'stu tasmai yenopadiṣṭā haṭhayogavidyā|
Vibhrājate pronnatarājayogamāroḍhumicchoradhirohiṇīva||1||

And now (atha), (the scripture) shedding light (pradīpikā) on Haṭhayoga (haṭhayoga) (begins): Let there be (astu) a salutation (namas) to that (tasmai) venerable (śrī) Primordial (ādi) Lord (nāthāya) by whom (yena) has been taught (upadiṣṭā) the Haṭhayoga science (haṭhayoga-vidyā) which shines forth (vibhrājate) in the form (iva) of a stairway (adhirohiṇī) for that person who wishes (icchoḥ) to ascend (āroḍhum) to the superior (pronnata) Rājayoga --lit. "Royal Yoga"-- (rājayogam)||1||


प्रणम्य श्रीगुरुं नाथं स्वात्मारामेण योगिना।
केवलं राजयोगाय हठविद्योपदिश्यते॥२॥

Praṇamya śrīguruṁ nāthaṁ svātmārāmeṇa yoginā|
Kevalaṁ rājayogāya haṭhavidyopadiśyate||2||

After having (firstly) bowed (praṇamya) to the venerable (śrī) Guru (gurum), (who is) the Lord (Himself) (nātham), the Haṭhayoga (haṭha) science (vidyā) is taught (upadiśyate) by Yogī (yoginā) Svātmārāma (svātmārāmeṇa) only (kevalam) for the sake of Rājayoga (rājayogāya)||2||


भ्रान्त्या बहुमतध्वान्ते राजयोगमजानताम्।
हठप्रदीपिकां धत्ते स्वात्मारामः कृपाकरः॥३॥

Bhrāntyā bahumatadhvānte rājayogamajānatām|
Haṭhapradīpikāṁ dhatte svātmārāmaḥ kṛpākaraḥ||3||

Svātmārāma (svātmārāmaḥ), sprinkling (ākaraḥ) compassion (kṛpā) (over the world), gives (dhatte) Haṭhayogapradīpikā (haṭhapradīpikām) to those who do not know (ajānatām) Rājayoga (rājayogam) due to a misconception or confusion (bhrāntyā) (arisen) in the darkness (dhvānte) (created by too) many (bahu) ideas (mata)||3||


हठविद्या हि मत्स्येन्द्रगोरक्षाद्या विजानते।
स्वात्मारामोऽथवा योगी जानीते तत्प्रसादतः॥४॥

Haṭhavidyā hi matsyendragorakṣādyā vijānate|
Svātmārāmo'thavā yogī jānīte tatprasādataḥ||4||

Matsyendranātha (matsyendra), Gorakṣanātha (gorakṣa), etc. (ādyāḥ) undoubtedly (hi) know (vijānate) the Haṭhayoga (haṭha) science (vidyā). And (athavā) by their (tad) favor (prasādataḥ), Yogī (yogī) Svātmārāma (svātmārāmaḥ) (also) knows (it) (jānīte)||4||


श्रीआदिनाथमत्स्येन्द्रशाबरानन्दभैरवाः।
चौरङ्गीमीनगोरक्षविरूपाक्षबिलेशयाः॥५॥

मन्थानो भैरवो योगी सिद्धिर्बुद्धश्च कन्थडिः।
कोरण्टकः सुरानन्दः सिद्धपादश्च चर्पटिः॥६॥

कानेरी पूज्यपादश्च नित्यनाथो निरञ्जनः।
कपाली बिन्दुनाथश्च काकचण्डीश्वराह्वयः॥७॥

अल्लामः प्रभुदेवश्च घोडा चोली च टिण्टिणिः।
भानुकी नारदेवश्च खण्डः कापालिकस्तथा॥८॥

इत्यदयो महासिद्धा हठयोगप्रभावतः।
खण्डयित्वा कालदण्डं ब्रह्माण्डे विचरन्ति ते॥९॥

Śrīādināthamatsyendraśābarānandabhairavāḥ|
Cauraṅgīmīnagorakṣavirūpākṣabileśayāḥ||5||

Manthāno bhairavo yogī siddhirbuddhaśca kanthaḍiḥ|
Koraṇṭakaḥ surānandaḥ siddhapādaśca carpaṭiḥ||6||

Kānerī pūjyapādaśca nityanātho nirañjanaḥ|
Kapālī bindunāthaśca kākacaṇḍīśvarāhvayaḥ||7||

Allāmaḥ prabhudevaśca ghoḍā colī ca ṭiṇṭiṇiḥ|
Bhānukī nāradevaśca khaṇḍaḥ kāpālikastathā||8||

Ityadayo mahāsiddhā haṭhayogaprabhāvataḥ|
Khaṇḍayitvā kāladaṇḍaṁ brahmāṇḍe vicaranti te||9||

Śrīādinātha --Venerable Primordial Lord-- (śrī-ādinātha), Matsyendra (matsyendra), Śābara (śābara), Ānandabhairava (ānandabhairavāḥ), Cauraṅgī (cauraṅgī), Mīna (mīna), Gorakṣa (gorakṣa), Virūpākṣa (virūpākṣa), Bileśaya (bileśayāḥ), Manthāna (manthānaḥ), Yogī (yogī) Bhairava (bhairavaḥ), Siddhi (siddhiḥ), Buddha (buddhaḥ) and (ca) Kanthaḍi (kanthaḍiḥ); Koraṇṭaka (koraṇṭakaḥ), Surānanda (surānandaḥ), Siddhapāda (siddhapādaḥ) and (ca) Carpaṭi (carpaṭiḥ); Kānerī (kānerī), Pūjyapāda (pūjyapādaḥ) and (ca) Nityanātha (nityanāthaḥ); Nirañjana (nirañjanaḥ), Kapālī (kapālī), Bindunātha (bindunāthaḥ) and (ca) that (Yogī) known as (āhvayaḥ) Kākacaṇḍīśvara (kākacaṇḍīśvara); Allāma (allāmaḥ), Prabhudeva (prabhudevaḥ) and (ca) Ghoḍā Colī (ghoḍā colī), and Ṭiṇṭiṇi (ṭiṇṭiṇiḥ) too (ca); Bhānukī (bhānukī), Nāradeva (nāradevaḥ) and (ca) Khaṇḍa (khaṇḍaḥ), as well as (tathā) Kāpālika (kāpālikaḥ), etc. (iti-ādayaḥ) are the Great (mahā) Siddha-s --Perfected Beings-- (siddhāḥ) who, having shattered (khaṇḍayitvā) the staff (daṇḍam) of Time --as Death destroying all things-- (kāla) through (prabhāvataḥ) Haṭhayoga (haṭhayoga), roam (vicaranti te) about the universe (brahmāṇḍe)||5-9||


अशेषतापतप्तानां समाश्रयमठो हठः।
अशेषयोगयुक्तानामाधारकमठो हठः॥१०॥

Aśeṣatāpataptānāṁ samāśrayamaṭho haṭhaḥ|
Aśeṣayogayuktānāmādhārakamaṭho haṭhaḥ||10||

For those who are completely (aśeṣa) tempered (taptānām) by Tāpa (tāpa), Haṭhayoga (haṭhaḥ) is the hermitage (maṭhaḥ) giving refuge (samāśraya); and for those who are completely (aśeṣa) occupied with (or united in) (yuktānām) Yoga (yoga), Haṭhayoga (haṭhaḥ) is a tortoise (kamaṭhaḥ) giving support (ādhāra)||10||


 हठविद्या परं गोप्या योगिना सिद्धिमिच्छता।
भवेद्वीर्यवती गुप्ता निर्वीर्य तु प्रकाशिता॥११॥

Haṭhavidyā paraṁ gopyā yoginā siddhimicchatā|
Bhavedvīryavatī guptā nirvīryā tu prakāśitā||11||

A yogī (yoginā) wishing (to attain) (icchatā) Perfection (siddhim) (must keep) Haṭhayoga (haṭha) science (vidyā) top (param) secret (gopyā). (When) concealed (so) (guptā), it becomes (bhavet) powerful (vīryavatī). However (tu), (when) revealed (prakāśitā), (it becomes) powerless (nirvīryā)||11||


सुराज्ये धार्मिके देशे सुभिक्षे निरूपद्रवे।
धनुः प्रमाणपर्यन्तं शिलाग्निजलवर्जिते।
एकान्ते मठिकामध्ये स्थातव्यं हठयोगिना॥१२॥

Surājye dhārmike deśe subhikṣe nirūpadrave|
Dhanuḥ pramāṇaparyantaṁ śilāgnijalavarjite|
Ekānte maṭhikāmadhye sthātavyaṁ haṭhayoginā||12||

The haṭhayogī (haṭhayoginā) must stay (sthātavyam) in (madhye) a hermitage (maṭhikā), in a solitary, remote and secret place (ekānte). (His abode) must be a bow (dhanus) long (pramāṇa-paryantam) --i.e. approximately 5 feet--, (and it must be situated) in (an area) where there is no (varjite) (hazard) from rocks (śilā), fire (agni) (or) water (jala); in a virtuous (dhārmike) (and) good realm (surājye); in a region (deśe) that is free from any affliction and danger (nirūpadrave) (and) where plenty of alms may be gotten (subhikṣe)||12||


अल्पाद्वारमरन्ध्रगर्तविवरं नात्युच्चनीचायतं सम्यग्गोमयसान्द्रलिप्तममलं निःशेषजन्तूज्झितम्।
बाह्ये मण्डपवेदिकूपरुचिरं प्राकारसंवेष्टितं प्रोक्तं योगमठस्य लक्षणमिदं सिद्धैर्हठाभ्यासिभिः॥१३॥

Alpādvāramarandhragartavivaraṁ nātyuccanīcāyataṁ samyaggomayasāndraliptamamalaṁ niḥśeṣajantūjjhitam|
Bāhye maṇḍapavedikūparuciraṁ prākārasaṁveṣṭitaṁ proktaṁ yogamaṭhasya lakṣaṇamidaṁ siddhairhaṭhābhyāsibhiḥ||13||

"With a small (alpa) door (ādvāram), without openings --i.e. windows-- (arandhra), holes (garta) (or) fissures (vivaram) (and) being (āyatam) neither (na) too (ati) high (ucca) (nor) too (ati) low (nīca). (It should be) immaculate (amalam), completely (samyak) smeared (liptam) with a thick (layer) (sāndra) (of) cow dung (gomaya) (and) totally (niḥśeṣa) free (ujjhitam) from animals and insects (jantu). Outside (bāhye), it is pleasant (ruciram) (due to) a well (kūpa) (and) an altar (vedi) in a kind of hall with thatched roof (maṇḍapa), (and) it is surrounded (saṁveṣṭitam) by a wall (prākāra)". This (idam) precise description (lakṣaṇam) of the hermitage (maṭhasya) for (the practice) of Yoga (yoga), has been declared (proktam) by the perfected (siddhaiḥ) Haṭhayoga (haṭha) practitioners (abhyāsibhiḥ)||13||


एवंविधे मठे स्थित्वा सर्वचिन्ताविवर्जितः।
गुरूपदिष्टमार्गेण योगमेव समभ्यसेत्॥१४॥

Evaṁvidhe maṭhe sthitvā sarvacintāvivarjitaḥ|
Gurūpadiṣṭamārgeṇa yogameva samabhyaset||14||

Thus (evaṁvidhe), dwelling (sthitvā) in the hermitage (maṭhe) (and) being devoid (vivarjitaḥ) of all (sarva) thought (cintā), Yoga (yogam) should be certainly practiced (eva samabhyaset) by means (mārgeṇa) of what is taught (upadiṣṭa) by the guru or spiritual preceptor (guru)||14||


अत्याहारः प्रयासश्च प्रजल्पो नियमग्रहः।
जनसङ्गश्च लौल्यं च षड्भिर्योगो विनश्यति॥१५॥

Atyāhāraḥ prayāsaśca prajalpo niyamagrahaḥ|
Janasaṅgaśca laulyaṁ ca ṣaḍbhiryogo vinaśyati||15||

Overeating (atyāhāraḥ), strenuous exertion or work (prayāsaḥ), gossiping or frivolous conversations (prajalpaḥ), adhering (grahaḥ) to rules or observances (niyama), being in the company (saṅgaḥ) of (common) people (jana) and (ca... ca... ca) (mental) restlessness (laulyam) are the six (obstacles) through which (ṣaḍbhiḥ) Yoga (yoga) is completely lost, destroyed and eliminated (vinaśyati)||15||


उत्साहात्साहसाद्धैर्यात्तत्त्वज्ञानाच्च निश्चयात्।
जनसङ्गपरित्यागात्षड्भिर्योगः प्रसिद्ध्यति॥१६॥

Utsāhātsāhasāddhairyāttattvajñānācca niścayāt|
Janasaṅgaparityāgātṣaḍbhiryogaḥ prasiddhyati||16||

Yoga (yogaḥ) is attained or accomplished (prasiddhyati) through six things (ṣaḍbhiḥ): by means of the enthusiasm --strength of will and seriousness-- (utsāhāt), fearlessness or courage (sāhasāt), perseverance (dhairyāt), (discrimination or) knowledge (jñānāt) of the Truth (tattva) and (ca) firm faith, conviction and resolution (niścayāt); (as well as) by abandoning (parityāgāt) the company (saṅga) of (common) people (jana)||16||

Two extra aphorisms dealing with Yama and Niyama in Haṭhayoga are appended to the present sūtra. They should be considered as two complementary sūtra-s and not as two independent ones:

अथ यमनियमाः।
अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं ब्रह्मचर्यं क्षमा धृतिः।
दयार्जवं मिताहारः शौचं चैव यमा दशा॥

तपः सन्तोष आस्तिक्यं दानमीश्वरपूजनम्।
सिद्धान्तवाक्यश्रवणं ह्रीमती च जपो हुतम्।
नियमा दश सम्प्रोक्ता योगशास्त्रविशारदैः॥

Atha yamaniyamāḥ|
Ahiṁsā satyamasteyaṁ brahmacaryaṁ kṣamā dhṛtiḥ|
Dayārjavaṁ mitāhāraḥ śaucaṁ caiva yamā daśa||

Tapaḥ santoa āstikyaṁ dānamīśvarapūjanam|
Siddhāntavākyaśravaṇaṁ hrīmatī ca japo hutam|
Niyamā daśa samproktā yogaśāstraviśāradaiḥ||

And now (atha), the rules of behavior (yama) and the observances (niyamāḥ): The ten (daśa) rules of behavior (yamāḥ) (are): "non-violence (ahiṁsā), truthfulness (satyam), non-stealing (asteyam), continence --lit. moving in the Absolute-- (brahmacarya), forgiveness (kṣamā), steadiness and tolerance (dhṛtiḥ), compassion (dayā), honesty (humbleness) (ārjavam), moderate diet (mitāhāraḥ) and (ca eva) cleanliness (śaucam)".

The ten (daśa) observances (niyamāḥ) established (samproktāḥ) by those who are conversant (viśāradaiḥ) with the scriptures (śāstra) (dealing with) Yoga (yoga) (are): "penance --i.e. austerity-- (tapas), contentment (santoṣaḥ), belief in God (āstikyam), charity (dānam), worship (pūjanam) of the Lord (īśvara), the act of listening (śravaṇam) to what is said (vākya) in the scriptures (siddhānta), modesty (hrī), a discerning intellect (matī), muttering of a Mantra (japa) and (ca) sacrifice or oblation (hutam)".


अथ आसनम्।
हठस्य प्रथमाङ्गत्वादासनं पूर्वमुच्यते।
कुर्यात्तदासनं स्थैर्यमारोग्यं चाङ्गलाघवम्॥१७॥

Atha āsanam|
Haṭhasya prathamāṅgatvādāsanaṁ pūrvamucyate|
Kuryāttadāsanaṁ sthairyamārogyaṁ cāṅgalāghavam||17||

And now (atha), Āsana or Posture (āsanam):

Āsana or Posture (āsanam) is described (ucyate) in the first place (pūrvam) inasmuch as it is the first (prathama) limb or step (of the stairway for that person who wishes to ascend to the superior Rājayoga --see 1st aphorism of this section--) (aṅgatvāt). Therefore (tad), Āsana (āsana), which gives steadiness and firmness (sthairyam), health (ārogyam) and (ca) bodily (aṅga) lightness (lāghavam), should be performed (kuryāt)||17||


वसिष्ठाद्यैश्च मुनिभिर्मत्स्येन्द्राद्यैश्च योगिभिः।
अङ्गीकृतान्यासनानि कथ्यन्ते कानिचिन्मया॥१८॥

Vasiṣṭhādyaiśca munibhirmatsyendrādyaiśca yogibhiḥ|
Aṅgīkṛtānyāsanāni kathyante kānicinmayā||18||

I am going to describe (kathyante... mayā) some (kānicid) of the postures (āsanāni) accepted (aṅgīkṛtāni) by (such) Sages (munibhiḥ) (as) Vasiṣṭha (vasiṣṭha), etc. (ādyaiḥ), and (ca.. ca) by Yogī-s (yogibhiḥ) (such as) Matsyendra (matsyendra), etc. (ādyaiḥ)||18||


जानूर्वोरन्तरे सम्यक्कृत्वा पादतले उभे।
ऋजुकायः समासीनः स्वस्तिकं तत्प्रचक्षते॥१९॥

Jānūrvorantare samyakkṛtvā pādatale ubhe|
Ṛjukāyaḥ samāsīnaḥ svastikaṁ tatpracakṣate||19||

Sitting (samāsīnaḥ) with a straight (ṛju) body (kāyaḥ), after having duly placed (samyak kṛtvā) both (ubhe) soles (tale) of the feet (pāda) on the inner side (antare) of thighs (ūrvoḥ) (and) kneels (jānu). (The Great Yogī-s) call (pracakṣate) that (posture) (tad) Svastika or Auspicious (svastikam)||19||


सव्ये दक्षिणगुल्फं तु पृष्ठपार्श्वे नियोजयेत्।
दक्षिणेऽपि तथा सव्यं गोमुखं गोमुखाकृतिः॥२०॥

Savye dakṣiṇagulphaṁ tu pṛṣṭhapārśve niyojayet|
Dakṣiṇe'pi tathā savyaṁ gomukhaṁ gomukhākṛtiḥ||20||

The right (dakṣiṇa) ankle (gulpham) should be placed (tu... niyojayet) at the side (pārśve) of the left (savye) buttock (pṛṣṭha); and likewise (api tathā), the left (ankle) (savyam) (should be placed) next to the right (buttock) (dakṣiṇe). (This is known as) Gomukhāsana (gomukham) (as) it looks (ākṛtiḥ) like a cow's face (go-mukha)||20||


 एकं पादं तथैकस्मिन्वन्यसेदूरुणि स्थिरम्।
इतरस्मिंस्तथा चोरुं वीरासनमितीरितम्॥२१॥

Ekaṁ pādaṁ tathaikasminvanyasedūruṇi sthiram|
Itarasmiṁstathā coruṁ vīrāsanamitīritam||21||

Thus (tathā), one (ekam) foot (pādam) should be placed (vinyaset) firmly (sthiram) next to one (ekasmin) thigh (ūruṇi); and (ca) likewise (tathā), the (other) thigh (ūrum) (should be situated) by the other (foot) (itarasmin). It is said (īritam) (that this posture) is Vīrāsana (vīrāsanam iti) --i.e. "the hero (vīra) posture (āsanam)"--||21||


गुदं निरुध्य गुल्फाभ्यां व्युत्क्रमेण समाहितः।
कूर्मासनं भवेदेतदिति योगविदो विदुः॥२२॥

Gudaṁ nirudhya gulphābhyāṁ vyutkrameṇa samāhitaḥ|
Kūrmāsanaṁ bhavedetaditi yogavido viduḥ||22||

Pressing (nirudhya) the anus (gudam) with the ankles (gulphābhyām), (both of them placed) in opposite direction to each other (vyutkrameṇa), while one is firm and concentrated (samāhitaḥ). The knowers (vidaḥ) of Yoga (yoga) say that (iti... viduḥ) this (etad) (posture) is (bhavet) Kūrmāsana (kūrmāsanam) --i.e. "the tortoise (kūrma) posture (āsanam)"--||22||


पद्मासनं तु संस्थाप्य जानूर्वोरन्तरे करौ।
निवेश्य भूमौ संस्थाप्य व्योमस्थं कुक्कुटासनं॥२३॥

Padmāsanaṁ tu saṁsthāpya jānūrvorantare karau|
Niveśya bhūmau saṁsthāpya vyomasthaṁ kukkuṭāsanam||23||

Having assumed (tu saṁsthāpya) the lotus (padma) posture (āsanam), inserting (niveśya) both of hands (karau) between (antare) thighs (ūrvoḥ) (and) knees (jānu); (and) firmly resting them --i.e. the hands-- (saṁsthāpya) on the ground (bhūmau), (let your body lift and) stay (stham) in the air (vyoma). (This is known as) Kukkuṭāsana (kukkuṭāsanam) --i.e. "the cock (kukkuṭa) posture (āsanam)"--||23||


कुक्कुटासनबन्धस्थो दोर्भ्यां सम्बध्य कन्धराम्।
भवेत्कूर्मवदुत्तान एतदुत्तानकूर्मक्रम्॥२४॥

Kukkuṭāsanabandhastho dorbhyāṁ sambadhya kandharām|
Bhavetkūrmavaduttāna etaduttānakūrmakram||24||

Knotted --as it were-- (bandhasthaḥ) in the cock (kukkuṭa) posture (āsana), (and) holding (sambadhya) (his) neck (kandharām) with the forearms (dorbhyām), one should remain (bhavet) supinely --i.e. lying on his back-- (uttānaḥ), like (vat) a tortoise (kūrma). This (etad) (is) Uttānakūrmāsana (uttānakūrmakram) --i.e. "the tortoise (kūrma) posture (āsana) in a supine position (uttāna)"--||24||


पादाङ्गुष्ठौ तु पाणिभ्यां गृहीत्वा श्रवणावधि।
धनुराकर्षणं कुर्याद्धनुरासनमुच्यते॥२५॥

Pādāṅguṣṭhau tu pāṇibhyāṁ gṛhītvā śravaṇāvadhi|
Dhanurākarṣaṇaṁ kuryāddhanurāsanamucyate||25||

Holding (tu gṛhītvā) the big toes (pādāṅguṣṭhau) with the hands (pāṇibhyām), one should perform (kuryāt) the bending (ākarṣaṇam) of a bow (dhanus) up to (avadhi) the ear(s) (śravaṇa) --i.e. one should pull his big toes up to the ears--. (This) is known as (ucyate) Dhanurāsana (dhanurāsanam) --i.e. "the bow (dhanus) posture (āsanam)"--||25||


वामोरुमूलार्पितदक्षपादं जानोर्बहिर्वेष्टितवामपादम्।
प्रगृह्य तिष्ठेत्परिवर्तिताङ्गः श्रीमत्स्यनाथोदितमासनं स्यात्॥२६॥

Vāmorumūlārpitadakṣapādaṁ jānorbahirveṣṭitavāmapādam|
Pragṛhya tiṣṭhetparivartitāṅgaḥ śrīmatsyanāthoditamāsanaṁ syāt||26||

The right (dakṣa) foot (pādam) is placed (arpita) at the base (mūla) of the left (vāma) thigh (ūru); (in turn,) the left (vāma) foot (pādam) encompasses or encircles (veṣṭita) (till it is placed) by the outside (bahis) of the (right) knee (janoḥ). Having taken hold (pragṛhya) (of the left foot with the right hand,) one should remain (tiṣṭhet) (in the posture, passing the left arm behind his waist,) with the body (aṅgaḥ) turned (parivartita). (This) is (syāt) the posture (āsanam) described (uditam) by venerable (śrī) Matsyanātha --also called Matsyendra or Matsyendranātha-- (matsyanātha)||26||


मत्स्येन्द्रपीठं जठरप्रदीप्तिं प्रचण्डरुग्मण्डलखण्डनास्त्रम्।
अभ्यासतः कुण्डलिनीप्रबोधं चन्द्रस्थिरत्वं च ददाति पुंसाम्॥२७॥

Matsyendrapīṭhaṁ jaṭharapradīptiṁ pracaṇḍarugmaṇḍalakhaṇḍanāstram|
Abhyāsataḥ kuṇḍalinīprabodhaṁ candrasthiratvaṁ ca dadāti puṁsām||27||

The posture (pīṭham) of Matsyendranātha (matsyendra) kindles (pradīptim) the stomach --i.e. the digestive fire-- (jaṭhara) (and) is a weapon --as it were-- (astram) to remove (khaṇḍana) a multitude (maṇḍala) of terrible (pracaṇḍa) diseases (ruk). By practicing (Matsyendrāsana) (abhyāsataḥ), (it) bestows (dadāti) the awakening (prabodham) of Kuṇḍalinī (kuṇḍalinī) and (ca) firmness or steadiness (sthiratvam) of the moon --i.e. Bindu -- (candra) on men (puṁsām)||27||


प्रसार्य पादौ भुवि दण्डरूपौ दोर्भ्यां पदाग्रद्वितयं गृहीत्वा।
जानूपरिन्यस्तललाटदेशो वसेदिदं पश्चिमतानमाहुः॥२८॥

Prasārya pādau bhuvi daṇḍarūpau dorbhyāṁ padāgradvitayaṁ gṛhītvā|
Jānūparinyastalalāṭadeśo vasedidaṁ paścimatānamāhuḥ||28||

Having stretched (prasarya) the legs (pādau) on the ground (bhuvi), like (rūpau) a stick (daṇḍa), (bent forward and) held (gṛhītvā) both (dvitayam) tips (agra) of the feet (pada) with the hands --lit. forearms-- (dorbhyām), one should remain (vaset) with the region (deśaḥ) of the forehead (lalāṭa) placed (nyasta) on (upari) the knees (jānu). (The great Yogī-s) say (āhuḥ) that this (idam) is Paścimatānāsana --or Paścimottānāsana, if I use "uttāna" instead of "tāna"-- (paścimatānam) --i.e. "the posture (āsana) that stretches (tāna or uttāna) the rear part of the body (paścima)"--||28||


इति पश्चिमतानमासनाग्र्यं पवनं पश्चिमवाहिनम् करोति।
उदयं जठरानलस्य कुर्यादुदरे कार्श्यमरोगतां च पुंसाम्॥२९॥

Iti paścimatānamāsanāgryaṁ pavanaṁ paścimavāhinaṁ karoti|
Udayaṁ jaṭharānalasya kuryādudare kārśyamarogatāṁ ca puṁsām||29||

Thus (iti), Paścimatānāsana or Paścimottānāsana (paścimatānam), the primordial one (āgryam) among the postures (āsana), makes (karoti) the vital air (pavanam) flow (vāhinam) through the rear part of the body (paścima); produces (kuryāt) for men (puṁsām) an increase (udayam) of the digestive (jaṭhara) fire (analasya), flatness (kārśyam) in the abdomen (udare) and (ca) a state free from diseases (arogatām)||29||


धरामवष्टभ्यः करद्वयेन तत्कूर्परस्थापितनाभिपार्श्वः।
उच्चासनो दण्डवदुत्थितः खे मायूरमेतत्प्रवदन्ति पीठम्॥३०॥

Dharāmavaṣṭabhyaḥ karadvayena tatkūrparasthāpitanābhipārśvaḥ|
Uccāsano daṇḍavadutthitaḥ khe māyūrametatpravadanti pīṭham||30||

Resting oneself (avaṣṭabhya) on the ground (dharām) with the two (dvayena) hands (kara) (and) with its --i.e. body's-- (tad) elbows (kūrpara) placed (sthāpita) at the sides (pārśvaḥ) of the navel (nābhi), (the body must) remain (āsanaḥ) lifted (ucca or uccā) (or) raised (utthitaḥ) like (vat) a stick (daṇḍa) in the air (khe). (The great Yogī-s) call (pravadanti) this (etad) posture (pīṭham) Mayūrāsana (māyūram) --i.e. "the peacock (mayūra) posture (āsana)"--||30||


 हरति सकलरोगानाशु गुल्मोदरादीनभिभवति च दोषानासनं श्रीमयूरम्।
बहु कदशनभुक्तं भस्म कुर्यादशेषं जनयति जठराग्निं जारयेत्कालकूटम्॥३१॥

Harati sakalarogānāśu gulmodarādīnabhibhavati ca doṣānāsanaṁ śrīmayūram|
Bahu kadaśanabhuktaṁ bhasma kuryādaśeṣaṁ janayati jaṭharāgniṁ jārayetkālakūṭam||31||

Venerable (śrī) Mayūrāsana --the peacock posture-- (āsanaṁ... mayūram) quickly (āśu) destroys (harati) all (sakala) diseases (rogān), (and) is victorious (abhibhavati) over enlargement of the glands (gulma), enlargement of the abdomen due to dropsy or flatulence (udara), etc. (ādīn), as well as (ca) over imbalance of the bodily humors --i.e air or vāta, bile or pitta and phlegm or kapha-- (doṣān). In a high degree (bahu), it reduces (kuryāt) to ashes (bhasma) all (aśeṣam) ingestion (bhuktam) of inadequate (kad) food (aśana). It generates (janayati) digestive (jaṭhara) fire (agnim) (to such extent, that it even renders possible) that the (frightening) Kālakūṭa poison (kālakūṭam) to be digested (jārayet)||31||


उत्तानं शववद्भूमौ शयनं तच्छवासनम्।
शवासनं श्रान्तिहरं चित्तविश्रान्तिकारकम्॥३२॥

Uttānaṁ śavavadbhūmau śayanaṁ tacchavāsanaṁ|
Śavāsanaṁ śrāntiharaṁ cittaviśrāntikārakam||32||

Lying on the back --i.e supinely-- (uttānam), resting (śayanam) like (vat) a corpse (śava) on the ground (bhūmau); that (tad) (is) Śavāsana (śavāsanam) --i.e. "the corpse (śava) posture (āsanam)"--. Śavāsana (śavāsanam) removes (haram) fatigue (śrānti) (and) brings about (kārakam) mental (citta) rest or repose (viśrānti)||32||


चतुरशीत्यासनानि शिवेन कथितानि च।
तेभ्यश्चतुष्कमादाय सारभूतं ब्रवीम्यहम्॥३३॥

Caturaśītyāsanāni śivena kathitāni ca|
Tebhyaścatuṣkamādāya sārabhūtaṁ bravīmyaham||33||

Eighty four (caturaśīti) postures (āsanāni) (have been) certainly (ca) stated (kathitāni) by Śiva (śivena). Having extracted (ādāya) four (catuṣkam) out of those (tebhyaḥ) as being the main ones (sārabhūtam), (now) I (aham) (proceed to) describe (them) (bravīmi)||33||


सिद्धं पद्मं तथा सिंहं भद्रं वेति चतुष्टयम्।
श्रेष्थं तत्रापि च सुखे तिष्ठेत्सिद्धासने सदा॥३४॥

Siddhaṁ padmaṁ tathā siṁhaṁ bhadraṁ veti catuṣṭayam|
Śreṣṭhaṁ tatrāpi ca sukhe tiṣṭhetsiddhāsane sadā||34||

"Siddhāsana (siddham) --i.e. the posture of the Siddha-s or Perfected Beings--, Padmāsana (padmam) --i.e. the lotus posture-- as well as (tathā) Siṁhāsana (siṁham) --i.e. the lion posture--, and also (vā iti) Bhadrāsana (bhadram) --i.e. the propitious posture--", (constitute) the group of four (catuṣṭayam) main or best (postures) (śreṣṭham). (Out of them, one should choose Siddhāsana) indeed (api ca), which is easy and comfortable --sukha-- (sukhe), and remain (tiṣṭhet) in that (tatra) posture (āsane) of the Perfected Beings (siddha) always (sadā)||34||


तत्र सिद्धासनम्।
योनिस्थानकमङ्घ्रिमूलघटितं कृत्वा दृढं विन्यसेन्मेण्ढ्रे पादमथैकमेव हृदये कृत्वा हनुं सुस्थिरम्।
स्थानुः संयमितेन्द्रियोऽचलदृशा पश्येद्भ्रुवोरन्तरं ह्येतन्मोक्षकपाटभेदजनकं सिद्धासनं प्रोच्यते॥३५॥

Tatra siddhāsanam|
Yonisthānakamaṅghrimūlaghaṭitaṁ kṛtvā dṛḍhaṁ vinyasenmeṇḍḥre pādamathaikameva hṛdaye kṛtvā hanuṁ susthiram|
Sthānuḥ saṁyamitendriyo'caladṛśā paśyedbhruvorantaraṁ hyetanmokṣakapāṭabhedajanakaṁ siddhāsanaṁ procyate||35||

Therefore (tatra), Siddhāsana (siddhāsanam) (is now explained): Having made (kṛtvā) that the region (sthānakam) of the perineum (yoni) firmly (dṛḍham) get in close contact (ghaṭitam) with one of the heels (aṅghrimūla) --i.e. having firmly pressed the perineal region with one of the heels--, one should place (vinyaset) the (other) foot (pādam) on top of the penis (meṇḍḥre)1. After this (atha), one should place (kṛtvā) the chin (hanum), the only one not forming pairs (ekam eva), very firmly (susthiram) on the heart --i.e. chest-- (hṛdaye). Remaining still and firm (sthānuḥ), with one's own senses (indriyaḥ) restrained --i.e. under complete control-- (saṁyamita) and the eye(s) (dṛśā) immovable (acala), one should gaze (paśyet) at the space between (antaram) the eyebrows (bhruvoḥ). Because (hi) this (posture) (etad) breaks open (bhedajanakam) the door (kapāṭa) to Liberation (mokṣa), it is known (procyate) as Siddhāsana (siddhāsanam) --i.e. "the posture (āsanam) of the Perfected Beings (siddha)"--||35||

1 Siddhāsana is exclusively intended for men. Women should practice a variant posture called Siddhayonyāsana.


मेण्ढ्रादुपरि विन्यस्य सव्यं गुल्फं तथोपरि।
गुल्फान्तरं च निक्षिप्य सिद्धासनमिदं भवेत्॥३६॥

Meṇḍhrādupari vinyasya savyaṁ gulphaṁ tathopari|
Gulphāntaraṁ ca nikṣipya siddhāsanamidaṁ bhavet||36||

Placing (vinyasya) the left (savyam) ankle (gulpham) on top (upari) of the penis (meṇḍhrāt), and (ca) likewise (tathā), putting (nikṣipya) the other (antaram) ankle (gulpha) on top (upari) --i.e. on top of the foot placed on the penis--, this (posture so formed) (idam) would be (bhavet) Siddhāsana (siddhāsanam) (according to others)||36||


एतत्सिद्धासनं प्राहुरन्ये वज्रासनं विदुः।
मुक्तासनं वदन्त्येके प्राहुर्गुप्तासनं परे॥३७॥

Etatsiddhāsanaṁ prāhuranye vajrāsanaṁ viduḥ|
Muktāsanaṁ vadantyeke prāhurguptāsanaṁ pare||37||

They call (prāhuḥ) this (posture) (etad) Siddhāsana (siddhāsanam); others (anye) know (it) (viduḥ) as Vajrāsana (vajrāsanam) --i.e. "the thunderbolt or diamond (vajra) posture (āsanam)"--; some (eke) name (it) (vadanti) Muktāsana (muktāsanam) --i.e. "the posture (āsanam) of the Liberated Beings (mukta)"--; (and even) others (pare) call (it) (prāhuḥ) Guptāsana (guptāsanam) --i.e. "the secret (gupta) posture (āsanam)"--||37||


यमेष्विव मिताहारमहिंसां नियमेष्विव।
मुख्यं सर्वासनेष्वेकं सिद्धाः सिद्धासनं विदुः॥३८॥

Yameṣviva mitāhāramahiṁsāṁ niyameṣviva|
Mukhyaṁ sarvāsaneṣvekaṁ siddhāḥ siddhāsanaṁ viduḥ||38||

The Perfected Beings (siddhāḥ) know (viduḥ) that Siddhāsana (siddhāsanam) is the principal (ekam) (and) the most important (mukhyam) among all (sarva) postures (āsaneṣu), just as (iva) the moderate (mita) diet (āhāram) (is the most important) among the Yama-s --i.e. Restrictions-- (yameṣu) (and) exactly as (iva) non-violence (ahiṁsām) (is the most important) of the Niyama-s --i.e. Observances-- (niyameṣu)||38||


चतुरशीतिपीठेषु सिद्धमेव सदाभ्यसेत्।
द्वासप्ततिसहस्राणां नाडीनां मलशोधनम्॥३९॥

Caturaśītipīṭheṣu siddhameva sadābhyaset|
Dvāsaptatisahasrāṇāṁ nāḍīnāṁ malaśodhanam||39||

Out of the eighty four (caturaśīti) postures --pīṭha-s-- (pīṭheṣu), one should practice (abhyaset) always (sadā) Siddhāsana (siddham) indeed (eva), (since) it cleans (śodhanam) the impurities (mala) (contained) in the 72 (dvāsaptati) thousand (sahasrāṇām) subtle channels (nāḍīnām)||39||


आत्मध्यायी मिताहारी यावद्द्वादशवत्सरम्।
सदा सिद्धासनाभ्यासाद्योगी निष्पत्तिमाप्नुयात्॥४०॥

Ātmadhyāyī mitāhārī yāvaddvādaśavatsaram|
Sadā siddhāsanābhyāsādyogī niṣpattimāpnuyāt||40||

The yogī (yogī) who meditates (dhyāyī) on the Self (ātma) (and) observes a moderate diet (mitāhārī) during (yāvat) twelve (dvādaśa) years (vatsaram), practicing (abhyāsāt) always (sadā) Siddhāsana (siddhāsana), attains (āpnuyāt) Accomplishment or Liberation (niṣpattim)||40||


 किमन्यैर्बहुभिः पीठैः सिद्धे सिद्धासने सति।
प्राणानिले सावधाने बद्धे केवलकुम्भके।
उत्पद्यते निरायासात्स्वयमेवोन्मनी कला॥४१॥

Kimanyairbahubhiḥ pīṭhaiḥ siddhe siddhāsane sati|
Prāṇānile sāvadhāne baddhe kevalakumbhake|
Utpadyate nirāyāsātsvayamevonmanī kalā||41||

When Siddhāsana is perfected (siddhe siddhāsane sati), what is the point (kim) (of practicing) many (bahubhiḥ) other (anyaiḥ) postures --pīṭha-s-- (pīṭhaiḥ)? When the flow (anile) of vital energy --i.e. breath-- (prāṇa) is channeled or stabilized (sāvadhāne), (that breath) is stopped or restrained (baddhe), (and thus,) a pure (and spontaneous) (kevala) Kumbhaka --i.e. stoppage and retention of breath within or without-- (khumbhake) (occurs. Then,) the Power (kalā) that is devoid of mind (unmanī) arises (utpadyate) spontaneously --effortless-- (nirāyāsāt), by itself (svayam) certainly (eva)||41||


तथैकस्मिन्नेव दृढे सिद्धे सिद्धासने सति।
बन्धत्रयमनायासात्स्वयमेवोपजायते॥४२॥

Tathaikasminneva dṛḍhe siddhe siddhāsane sati|
Bandhatrayamanāyāsātsvayamevopajāyate||42||

So (tathā), when Siddhāsana (siddhāsane), the only one (ekasmin eva)1, becomes (sati) firm (dṛḍhe) (and) perfected (siddhe), the three (trayam) Locks or Bandha-s (bandha) --i.e. Jālandhara, Mūla and Uḍḍīyāna-- are easily (anāyāsāt) produced (eva upayāyate), by themselves (svayam)||42||

1 Final "n" in "ekasmin" must be doubled in the text as it is preceded by a short vowel ("i") and followed by a vowel ("e" in "eva"). However, the words are shown as they originally are in the translation. See the 2nd sub-rule of the 15th Rule of Consonant Sandhi for more information.


नासनं सिद्धसदृशं न कुम्भः केवलोपमः।
न खेचरीसमा मुद्रा न नादसदृशो लयः॥४३॥

Nāsanaṁ siddhasadṛśaṁ na kumbhaḥ kevalopamaḥ|
Na khecarīsamā mudrā na nādasadṛśo layaḥ||43||

There is no (na) posture (āsanam) similar (sadṛśam) to Siddhāsana (siddha), no (na) stoppage and retention of breath --i.e. Kumbhaka-- (kumbhaḥ) like (upamaḥ) Kevala --i.e. Kevalakumbhaka, the pure and spontaneous Kumbhaka-- (kevala), no (na) Seal or Mudrā (mudrā) equal (samā) to Khecarī (khecarī), no (na) dissolution (layaḥ) similar (sadṛśaḥ) to Nāda (nāda)||43||


अथ पद्मासनम्।
वामोरूपरि दक्षिणं च चरणं संस्थाप्य वामं तथा दक्षोरूपरि पश्चिमेन विधिना धृत्वा कराभ्यां दृढम्।
अङ्गुष्ठौ हृदये निधाय चिबुकं नासाग्रमालोकयेदेतद्व्याधिविनाशकारि यमिनां पद्मासनं प्रोच्यते॥४४॥

Atha padmāsanam|
Vāmorūpari dakṣiṇaṁ ca caraṇaṁ saṁsthāpya vāmaṁ tathā dakṣorūpari paścimena vidhinā dhṛtvā karābhyāṁ dṛḍham|
Aṅguṣṭhau hṛdaye nidhāya cibukaṁ nāsāgramālokayedetadvyādhivināśakāri yamināṁ padmāsanaṁ procyate||44||

And now (atha), the lotus (padma) posture (āsanam): Having placed (saṁsthāpya) the right (dakṣiṇam) foot (caraṇam) on (upari) the left (vāma) thigh (ūru), and (ca) likewise (tathā), (having put) the left (foot) (vāmam) on top (upari) of the right (dakṣa) thigh (ūru); having crossed (dhṛtvā) the hands (karābhyām) behind the back (paścimena vidhinā) (until they) firmly (dṛḍham) (hold) the big toes (aṅguṣṭhau); (and finally,) having made the chin rest (nidhāya cibukam) on the heart --i.e. chest-- (hṛdaye), one should gaze (ālokayet) at the tip (agram) of the nose (nāsā). This (posture) (etad) is known (procyate) as Padmāsana (padmāsanam) --i.e. "the lotus (padma) posture (āsanam)"--, and brings about (kāri) the destruction (vināśa) of the diseases (vyādhi) for the ones who restrain themselves --i.e. for the self-controlled beings-- (yaminām)||44||


उत्तानौ चरणौ कृत्वा ऊरुसंस्थौ प्रयत्नतः।
ऊरुमध्ये तथोत्तानौ पाणी कृत्वा ततो दृशौ॥४५॥

Uttānau caraṇau kṛtvā ūrusaṁsthau prayatnataḥ|
Ūrumadhye tathottānau pāṇī kṛtvā tato dṛśau||45||

Having put (kṛtvā) diligently (prayatnataḥ) the feet (caraṇau), with the soles upward (uttānau), upon (saṁsthau) the thighs (ūru), (and) placed (kṛtvā) the hands (pāṇī), palms upward (uttānau) likewise (tathā), between (madhye) the thighs (ūru) --forming a kind of bowl, as it were--, one should fix (kṛtvā) the eyes (dṛśau) on there (tatas) --i.e. one should gaze at the hollowness formed by the hands between the thighs--||45||


नासाग्रे विन्यसेद्राजदन्तमूले तु जिह्वया।
उत्तम्भ्य चिबुकं वक्षस्युत्थाप्य पवनं शनैः॥४६॥

Nāsāgre vinyasedrājadantamūle tu jihvayā|
Uttambhya cibukaṁ vakṣasyutthāpya pavanaṁ śanaiḥ||46||

After pressing (uttambhya) with the tongue (tu jihvayā) on the root or base (mūle) of the front teeth (rājadanta) --i.e. incisive--, having brought (uttambhya) the chin (cibukam) against the chest (vakṣasi) (and) gradually (śanaiḥ) raised (utthāpya) the vital air (pavanam), one should fasten (the eyes) (vinyaset) on the tip (agre) of (his) nose (nāsā)||46||


इदं पद्मासनं प्रोक्तं सर्वव्याधिविनाशनम्।
दुर्लभं येन केनापि धीमता लभ्यते भुवि॥४७॥

Idaṁ padmāsanaṁ proktaṁ sarvavyādhivināśanam|
Durlabhaṁ yena kenāpi dhīmatā labhyate bhuvi||47||

This (posture) (idam) is called (proktam) Padmāsana (padmāsanam) --i.e. "the lotus (padma) posture (āsanam)"--, which destroys (vināśanam) all (sarva) diseases (vyādhi). It is difficult (duḥ) to be attained (labham) by whosoever (yena kenāpi) --i.e. a mere ordinary person cannot attain it--, (but) it is attained (labhyate) by the person who is wise (dhīmatā) on this earth (bhuvi)||47||


कृत्वा सम्पुटितौ करौ दृढतरं बद्ध्वातु पद्मासनं गाढं वक्षसि सन्निधाय चिबुकं ध्यायंश्च तच्चेतसि।
वारंवारमपानमूर्ध्वमनिलं प्रोत्सारयन्पूरितं न्यञ्चन्प्राणमुपैति बोधमतुलं शक्तिप्रभावान्नरः॥४८॥

Kṛtvā sampuṭitau karau dṛḍhataraṁ baddhvātu padmāsanaṁ gāḍhaṁ vakṣasi sannidhāya cibukaṁ dhyāyaṁśca taccetasi|
Vāraṁvāramapānamūrdhvamanilaṁ protsārayanpūritaṁ nyañcanprāṇamupaiti bodhamatulaṁ śaktiprabhāvānnaraḥ||48||

Placing (kṛtvā) the hands (karau) (one above the other so that they) form a kind of bowl (sampuṭitau), let (the Yogī) assume (baddhvātu) the lotus (padma) posture (āsanam) steadily (dṛḍhataram); putting (sannidhāya) the chin (cibukam) firmly (gāḍham) upon the chest (vakṣasi) and (ca) making the mind (cetasi) be concentrated (dhyāyan) on That --i.e. the Self-- (tad). (Should) a man (naraḥ) repeatedly (vāraṁvāram) lead (protsārayan) (his) Apāna (apānam) (or) inhaled (pūritam) vital air (anilam) upward (ūrdhvam), (and make his) Prāṇa (or exhaled vital air) (prāṇam) go down (nyañcan), he obtains (upaiti), unparalleled (atulam) wisdom (bodham) through (prabhāvāt) the Supreme Power (śakti)||48||


पद्मासने स्थितो योगी नाडीद्वारेण पूरितम्।
मारुतं धारयेद्यस्तु स मुक्तो नात्र संशयः॥४९॥

Padmāsane sthito yogī nāḍīdvāreṇa pūritam|
Mārutaṁ dhārayedyastu sa mukto nātra saṁśayaḥ||49||

Certainly (tu), the Yogī (yogī) who (yaḥ), while remaining (sthitaḥ) (seated) in the lotus (padma) posture (āsane), keep (within the subtle channels or nāḍī-s) (dhārayet) (his) vital air (mārutam) which has been inhaled (pūritam) --i.e. Apāna-- through the entrances (dvāreṇa) of (those) subtle channels (nāḍī), is (saḥ) a Liberated Being (muktaḥ). There is no (na) doubt (saṁśayaḥ) about this (atra)||49||


अथ सिंहासनम्।
गुल्फौ च वृषणस्याधः सीवन्याः पार्श्वयोः क्षिपेत्।
दक्षिणे सव्यगुल्फं तु दक्षगुल्फं तु सव्यके॥५०॥

Atha siṁhāsanam|
Gulphau ca vṛṣaṇasyādhaḥ sīvanyāḥ pārśvayoḥ kṣipet|
Dakṣiṇe savyagulphaṁ tu dakṣagulphaṁ tu savyake||50||

And now (atha), the lion (siṁha) posture (āsanam): One should place (kṣipet) the two ankles (gulphau ca) below (adhaḥ) the scrotum (vṛṣaṇasya), at both sides (pārśavyoḥ) of the perineum (sīvanyāḥ); (being situated) the left (savya) ankle (gulpham) on the right side (dakṣiṇe), certainly (tu), while (tu) the right (dakṣa) ankle (gulpham) (is) on the left side (savyake) (of the aforesaid perineum)||50||


 हस्तौ तु जान्वोः संस्थाप्य स्वाङ्गुलीः सम्प्रसार्य च।
व्यात्तवक्त्रो निरीक्षेत नासाग्रं सुसमाहितः॥५१॥

Hastau tu jānvoḥ saṁsthāpya svāṅgulīḥ samprasārya ca|
Vyāttavaktro nirīkṣeta nāsāgraṁ susamāhitaḥ||51||

Having placed (saṁsthāpya) now (tu) the hands (hastau) on the kneels (jānvoḥ) and (ca) spread out or apart (samprasārya) his (sva) fingers (aṅgulīḥ); one should look (nirīkṣeta), with the mouth (vaktraḥ) open (vyātta), at the tip (agram) of (his) nose (nāsā), with a concentrated mind (susamāhitaḥ)||51||


सिंहासनं भवेदेतत्पूजितं योगिपुङ्गवैः।
बन्धत्रितयसन्धानं कुरुते चासनोत्तमम्॥५२॥

Siṁhāsanaṁ bhavedetatpūjitaṁ yogipuṅgavaiḥ|
Bandhatritayasandhānaṁ kurute cāsanottamam||52||

This (etad) is (bhavet) the lion (siṁha) posture (āsanam), which is worshipped (pūjitam) by the most eminent ones (puṅgavaiḥ) among the Yogī-s (yogi). (It is) the best (uttamam) of the postures (āsanam) and (ca) brings about (kurute) the union (sandhānam) of the three (tritaya) Locks or Bandha-s (bandha) --i.e. Jālandhara, Mūla and Uḍḍīyāna--||52||


अथ भद्रासनम्।
गुल्फौ च वृषणस्याधः सीवन्याः पार्श्वयोः क्षिपेत्।
सव्यगुल्फं तथा सव्ये दक्षगुल्फं तु दक्षिणे॥५३॥

Atha bhadrāsanam|
Gulphau ca vṛṣaṇasyādhaḥ sīvanyāḥ pārśvayoḥ kṣipet|
Savyagulphaṁ tathā savye dakṣagulphaṁ tu dakṣiṇe||53||

And now (atha), the propitious or auspicious (bhadra) posture (āsanam): One should place (kṣipet) the two ankles (gulphau ca) below (adhaḥ) the scrotum (vṛṣaṇasya), at both sides (pārśavyoḥ) of the perineum (sīvanyāḥ). Thus (tathā), the left (savya) ankle (gulpham) (is situated) on the left side (savye), while (tu) the right (dakṣa) ankle (gulpham) (is) on the right side (dakṣiṇe) (of the abovementioned perineum)||53||


पार्श्वपादौ च पाणिभ्यां दृढं बद्ध्वा सुनिश्चलम्।
भद्रासनं भवेदेतत्सर्वव्याधिविनाशनम्।
गोरक्षासनमित्याहुरिदं वै सिद्धयोगिनः॥५४॥

Pārśvapādau ca pāṇibhyāṁ dṛḍhaṁ baddhvā suniścalam|
Bhadrāsanaṁ bhavedetatsarvavyādhivināśanam|
Gorakṣāsanamityāhuridaṁ vai siddhayoginaḥ||54||

Holding (baddhvā) firmly (dṛḍham) the feet (pādau ca), which are on their sides (pārśva), with both hands (pāṇibhyām), (and remaining) completely immobile (suniścalam); this (etad) is (bhavet) Bhadrāsana (bhadrāsanam) --i.e. "the propitious or auspicious (bhadra) posture (āsanam)"--, which destroys (vināśanam) all (sarva) diseases (vyādhi). The Perfected (siddha) Yogī-s (yoginaḥ) say (āhuḥ) that this (Āsana) (idam) (is) certainly (vai) "the Gorakṣa's (gorakṣa) posture (āsanam iti)" --"iti" stands for the inverted commas--||54||


एवमासनबन्धेषु योगीन्द्रो विगतश्रमः।
अभ्यसेन्नाडिकाशुद्धिं मुद्रादिपवनक्रियाम्॥५५॥

Evamāsanabandheṣu yogīndro vigataśramaḥ|
Abhyasennāḍikāśuddhiṁ mudrādipavanakriyām||55||

In this way (evam), the best (indraḥ) of the Yogī-s (yogi), whose fatigue (śramaḥ) has ceased or is gone (vigata) during (the practice) of postures (āsana) (and) locks --bandha-s-- (bandheṣu), should practice (abhyaset) purification (śuddhim) of the subtle channels or nāḍī-s (nāḍikā), Mudrā-s (mudrā), Prāṇāyāma (pavanakriyām), etc. (ādi)1||55||

1 Another possible translation might be: "... should practice (abhyaset)... Kriyā-s or active exercises (kriyām) (affecting or operating upon) the vital air (pavana) (such as) Mudrā-s (mudrā), etc. (ādi)". Both translations are valid.


आसनं कुम्भकं चित्रं मुद्राख्यं करणं तथा।
अथ नादानुसन्धानमभ्यासानुक्रमो हठे॥५६॥

Āsanaṁ kumbhakaṁ citraṁ mudrākhyaṁ karaṇaṁ tathā|
Atha nādānusandhānamabhyāsānukramo haṭhe||56||

Āsana --i.e. Postures-- (āsanam), the different varieties (citram) of Kumbhaka --i.e. stoppage and retention of breath-- (kumbhakam), as well as (tathā) the practices (karaṇam) known as (ākhyam) Mudrā-s --i.e. Seals-- (mudrā), apart from (atha) the intense concentration (anusandhānam) on Nāda --i.e. the subtle inner sound-- (nāda), (constitute, as a whole,) the succession, arrangement or sequence (anukramaḥ) of practices (abhyāsa) in Haṭhayoga (haṭhe)||56||


ब्रह्मचारी मिताहारी त्यागी योगपरायणः।
अब्दादूर्ध्वं भवेत्सिद्धो नात्र कार्या विचारणा॥५७॥

Brahmacārī mitāhārī tyāgī yogaparāyaṇaḥ|
Abdādūrdhvaṁ bhavetsiddho nātra kāryā vicāraṇā||57||

The brahmacārī --i.e. a person dwelling in Brahma or God1-- (brahmacārī) who is (also) a Mitāhārī --i.e. someone being on a moderate diet-- (mitāhārī), who has attained renunciation (tyāgī) (and) who is wholly devoted (parāyaṇaḥ) to Yoga (yoga); he2 becomes (bhavet) a Perfected Sage (siddhaḥ) after (ūrdhvam) a year (abdāt). There is no (na) reason (kāryā) to doubt (vicāraṇā) about this (atra) --i.e. there is no room for doubt about this--||57||

1 The given translation is correct in all respects. However, the "common" meaning of the word "brahmacarya" is "celibacy". A person who practices celibacy is also called a "brahmacārī".

2 Although "bhavet" might also mean "she becomes" (or even "it becomes"), the proper translation is "he becomes" as the term "brahmacārī" (the subject of the sentence) is a masculine noun.


सुस्निग्धमधुराहारश्चतुर्थांशविवर्जितः।
भुज्यते शिवसम्प्रीत्यै मिताहारः स उच्यते॥५८॥

Susnigdhamadhurāhāraścaturthāṁśavivarjitaḥ|
Bhujyate śivasamprītyai mitāhāraḥ sa ucyate||58||

This (saḥ) is called (ucyate) Mitāhāra (mitāhāraḥ): "Smooth --i.e. agreeable-- (susnigdha) (and) sweet (madhura) food (āhāraḥ), which is eaten (bhujyate) for thoroughly pleasing (samprītyai) Śiva (śiva), (leaving) a fourth (caturtha) part (aṁśa) (of the stomach) free (vivarjitaḥ)"||58||


कट्वम्लतीक्ष्णलवणोष्णहारितशाकसौवीरतैलतिलसर्षपमद्यमत्स्यान्।
आजादिमांसदधितक्रकुलत्थकोलपिण्याकहिङ्गुलशुनाद्यमपथ्यमाहुः॥५९॥

Kaṭvamlatīkṣṇalavaṇoṣṇahāritaśākasauvīratailatilasarṣapamadyamatsyān|
Ājādimāṁsadadhitakrakulatthakolapiṇyākahiṅgulaśunādyamapathyamāhuḥ||59||

(The sages) say (that the following foods) (āhuḥ) (are) inadequate (for someone practicing Yoga) (apathyam): (Those which are) bitter (kaṭu), sour (amla), pungent (tīkṣṇa), salty (lavaṇa) (and) hot (uṣṇa), the green (hārita) vegetables (śāka) (aside from those which have been prescribed and recommended, obviously), sour gruel (sauvīra), oil (taila), sesame (tila), mustard (sarṣapa), intoxicating drinks (madya) (and) fish --matsya-- (matsyān); goat-meat (āja... māṁsa) (and meat of) other animals (ādi), coagulated milk --i.e. curds plus whey-- (dadhi), buttermilk mixed with (a third part of) water (takra), horse gram --Dolichos uniflorus-- (kulattha), jujube (berry) --i.e. the fruit of jujube-- (kola), oil-cake --i.e. residue left after extracting oil from olive pips-- (piṇyāka), asafetida (hiṅgu), garlic (laśunā), etc. (ādyam)||59||


भोजनमहितं विद्यात्पुनरस्योष्णीकृतं रूक्षम्।
अतिलवणमम्लयुक्तं कदशनशाकोत्कटं वर्ज्यम्॥६०॥

Bhojanamahitaṁ vidyātpunarasyoṣṇīkṛtaṁ rūkṣam|
Atilavaṇamamlayuktaṁ kadaśanaśākotkaṭaṁ varjyam||60||

One should consider (vidyāt) to be inadequate (ahitam) food (bhojanam) that one (asya) which has been heated (uṣṇīkṛtam) again (punar) --i.e. reheated--, (and/or is) dry --i.e. completely devoid of its original oil-- (rūkṣam). (In turn, the food which is either) exceedingly (ati) salty (lavaṇam), (or) full (yuktam) of sourness (amla), (or) stale (kadaśana), is to be avoided (varjyam). (Moreover,) too many (utkaṭam) (mixed) vegetables (śāka) (should not be eaten either)1||60||

1 Another possible translation would be: "... of sourness (amla), is to be avoided (varjyam). (Moreover,) too many (utkaṭam) stale (kadaśana) vegetables (śāka) (should not be eaten either)", but I chose the other translation because I thought that "any" stale food is inadequate, no only vegetables.


 वह्निस्त्रीपथिसेवानामादौ वर्जनमाचरेत्।
तथा हि गोरक्षवचनम् - वर्जयेद्दुर्जनप्रान्तं वह्निस्त्रीपथिसेवनम्।
प्रातःस्नानोपवासादि कायक्लेशविधिं तथा॥६१॥

Vahnistrīpathisevānāmādau varjanamācaret|
Tathā hi gorakṣavacanam - Varjayeddurjanaprāntaṁ vahnistrīpathisevanam|
Prātaḥsnānopavāsādi kāyakleśavidhiṁ tathā||61||

After avoiding (varjanam) fire (vahni), women (strī), going --sevā-- (sevānām) along the roads (pathi) (in long pilgrimages), etc. (ādau); one should apply to the practice (ācaret), because (hi) (it is) thus (tathā) (prescribed by) the word(s) (vacanam) of Gorakṣanātha (gorakṣa): "One should avoid (varjayet) the proximity (prāntam) of bad (duḥ) company (jana), fire (vahni), (and) women (strī); going (sevanam) along the roads (pathi) (in pilgrimages); ablutions (snāna) in the morning (prātaḥ); fasting(s) (upavāsa), etc. (ādi), as well as (tathā) (all) activitie(s) (vidhim) causing affliction (kleśa) to the body (kāya)"||61||


गोधूमशालियवषाष्टिकशोभनान्नं क्षीराज्यखण्डनवनीतसितामधूनि।
शुण्ठीपटोलकफलादिकपञ्चशाकं मुद्गादि दिव्यमुदकञ्च यमीन्द्रपथ्यम्॥६२॥

Godhūmaśāliyavaṣāṣṭikaśobhanānnaṁ kṣīrājyakhaṇḍanavanītasitāmadhūni|
Śuṇṭhīpaṭolakaphalādikapañcaśākaṁ mudgādi divyamudakañca yamīndrapathyam||62||

The adequate (foods) (pathyam) for the best (indra) among the self-controlled beings (yami) (are): Good and agreeable (śobhana) food (annam) (consisting of) wheat (godhūma), rice (śāli) (and) barley (yava); (all of them) belonging to the category of grains which ripen in 60 days (ṣāṣṭika). (In addition,) milk (kṣīra), clarified butter (ājya), crystallized sugar (khaṇḍa), butter (navanīta), white sugar --i.e. refined sugar-- (sitā) (and) honey --madhu-- (madhūni). (Also,) dry ginger (śuṇṭhī), the five (pañca) vegetables (śākam), the fruit (phala) of paṭola --i.e. a kind of cucumber whose scientific name is "Trichosanthes Dioeca"-- (paṭolaka), etc. (ādika); (as well as) mung soy (mudga), etc. (ādi), and (ca) rain-water --lit. divine water-- (divyam udakam)||62||


पुष्टं सुमधुरं स्निग्धं गव्यं धातुप्रपोषणम्।
मनोऽभिलषितं योग्यं योगी भोजनमाचरेत्॥६३॥

Puṣṭaṁ sumadhuraṁ snigdhaṁ gavyaṁ dhātuprapoṣaṇam|
Mano'bhilaṣitaṁ yogyaṁ yogī bhojanamācaret||63||

The yogī (yogī) should take (ācaret) nourishing (puṣṭam) (and) very sweet (sumadhuram) food (bhojanam), (mixed with) smooth and unctuous (snigdham) dairy products (gavyam). (That food should) nourish (prapoṣaṇam) the Dhātu-s or bodily constituents1 (dhātu). (It should also be) appropriate or suitable (yogyam) (and) heart's wished (manaḥ abhilaṣitam)||63||

1 Chyle, blood, flesh, fat, bone, marrow and semen.


युवा वृद्धोऽतिवृद्धो वा व्याधितो दुर्बलोऽपि वा।
अभ्यासात्सिद्धिमाप्नोति सर्वयोगेष्वतन्द्रितः॥६४॥

Yuvā vṛddho'tivṛddho vā vyādhito durbalo'pi vā|
Abhyāsātsiddhimāpnoti sarvayogeṣvatandritaḥ||64||

(Whether) young (yuvā), old (vṛddhaḥ) or (vā) very old (ativṛddhaḥ); sick (vyādhitaḥ) or (vā) even (api) weak (durbalaḥ); (if) one is on the alert --i.e. free from lassitude-- (atandritaḥ), he achieves (āpnoti) Perfection (siddhim) in all (sarva) Yoga-s (yogeṣu) by practicing (abhyāsāt)||64||


क्रियायुक्तस्य सिद्धिः स्यादक्रियस्य कथं भवेत्।
न शास्त्रपाठमात्रेण योगसिद्धिः प्रजायते॥६५॥

Kriyāyuktasya siddhiḥ syādakriyasya kathaṁ bhavet|
Na śāstrapāṭhamātreṇa yogasiddhiḥ prajāyate||65||

Perfection (siddhiḥ) ensues (syāt) to the person who is occupied (yuktasya) in the action or practice (kriyā). How (katham) might (that Perfection) ensue (bhavet) to someone who does not do so --i.e. who does not practice-- (akriyasya)? Perfection (siddhiḥ) in Yoga (yoga) does not (na) arise (prajāyate) by merely (mātreṇa) studying (pāṭha) the scriptures (śāstra)||65||


न वेषधारणं सिद्धेः कारणं न च तत्कथा।
क्रियैव कारणं सिद्धेः सत्यमेतन्न संशयः॥६६॥

Na veṣadhāraṇaṁ siddheḥ kāraṇaṁ na ca tatkathā|
Kriyaiva kāraṇaṁ siddheḥ satyametanna saṁśayaḥ||66||

Neither (na) wearing (dhāraṇam) (certain) garments (veṣa), nor (na ca) talking (kathā) about that (tad), are cause (kāraṇam) of Perfection (siddheḥ). The action or practice (kriyā) alone (eva) is the cause (kāraṇam) of Perfection (siddheḥ). This (etad) (is) the truth (satyam), undoubtedly (na saṁśayaḥ)||66||


पीठानि कुम्भकाश्चित्रा दिव्यानि करणानि च।
सर्वाण्यपि हठाभ्यासे राजयोगफलावधि॥६७॥

Pīṭhāni kumbhakāścitrā divyāni karaṇāni ca|
Sarvāṇyapi haṭhābhyāse rājayogaphalāvadhi||67||

Āsana-s (pīṭhāni), various types (citrāḥ) of Kumbhaka --i.e. stoppage and retention of breath-- (kumbhakāḥ), and (ca) (the remaining) divine (divyāni) means (karaṇāni); all of them (sarvāṇi) certainly (api) (should be used) in the practice (abhyāse) of Haṭhayoga (haṭha) until (avadhi) the fruit (phala) of Rājayoga (rājayoga) (is obtained)||67||


इति हठप्रदीपिकायां प्रथमोपदेशः।
Iti haṭhapradīpikāyāṁ prathamopadeśaḥ|

(Thus,) the first (prathama) teaching (upadeśaḥ) in Haṭhayogapradīpikā (haṭhapradīpikāyāṁ) is finished (iti)|

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 Concluding remarks

It has been a long way, my God!, but the first chapter of Haṭhayogapradīpikā is now completely finished. This section deals with Āsana or Posture. It is interesting to read how such celebrated postures as Padmāsana (lotus posture), Siddhāsana (posture of the Perfected Beings), etc. were described in the good old times, hehe. Also note how little the group of postures that Svātmārāma has described is... nowhere near the traditional number, that is, 84. Very interesting, isn't it? But we have now hundreds of modern postures, some of them are good while others are a complete non-sense. Still, the real problem with Haṭhayoga at present is that dangerous tendency to turn it into mere gymnastics to reduce rolls in the abdomen, be in good shape and the like. Okay, it is really cool to have a healthy (not necessarily handsome) body and live a long life... but for what? If the spiritual goal is not in your life, you are wasting it indeed. We did not come here just to enjoy objects and people, gossip all the time, procreate children and so on; but to attain Perfection in the form of a "solid and constant" I-consciousness.

If the events occurring outside keep affecting you, and your "self" is changing and changing every time a new event happens, then you are not spiritually mature. You are half-cooked. Most people believe that they own a solid I-consciousness, which is able to remain unchangeable despite the continuous changes happening in the world... but this is pure illusion. Of course, they are not willing to make long efforts on the path of Yoga to obtain that which they "imagine" to already have. The truth is that most people change according to how all around changes. This is a dangerous position, as their happiness is dependent on the external circumstances although they "imagine" it is not. On the contrary, the wise people devote themselves to the practice of some spiritual discipline (e.g. Yoga) and attain "real" freedom, "real" strength, "real" stability and "real" perfection in the long run. And about that there is no doubt at all. See you on the next section, which deals with Ṣaṭkarma and Prāṇāyāma!

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 Further Information

Gabriel Pradīpaka

This document was conceived by Gabriel Pradīpaka, one of the two founders of this site, and spiritual guru conversant with Sanskrit language and Trika philosophy.

For further information about Sanskrit, Yoga and Indian Philosophy; or if you simply want to comment, ask a question or correct a mistake, feel free to contact us: This is our e-mail address.



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