The Shiva Samhita

by trueayurveda



Existence one only.

1. The jnana alone is eternal; it is without beginning or end; there exists no other real substance. Diversities which we see in the world are results of sense-conditions; when the latter cease, then this Jnana alone, and nothing else, remains.

2-3. I, Ishvara, the lover of my devotees, and Giver of spiritual emancipation to all creatures, thus declare the science of yoganasasana (the exposition of Yoga). In it are discarded all those doctrines of disputants, which lead to false knowledge. It is for the spiritual disenthralment of persons whose minds are undistracted and fully turned towards Me.

Differences of opinion.

4. Some praise truth, others purification and asceticism; some praise forgiveness, others equality and sincerity.

5. Some praise alms-giving, others laud sacrifices made in honor of one’s ancestors; some praise action (karma), others think dispassion (vairagya) to be the best.

6. Some wise persons praise the performance of the duties of the householder; other authorities hold up fire sacrifice as the highest.

7. Some praise mantrayoga, others the frequenting of places of pilgrimage. Thus are the ways which people declare emancipation.

8. Being thus diversely engaged in this world, even those who still know what actions are good and what are evil, though free from sin, become subject to bewilderment.

9. Persons who follow these doctrines, having committed good and bad actions, constantly wander in the worlds, in the cycle of births and deaths, bound by dire necessity.

10. Others, wiser among many, and eagerly devoted to the investigation of the occult, declare that the souls are many and eternal, and omnipresent.

11. Others say, “Only those things can be said to exist which are perceived by the senses and nothing besides them; where is heaven or hell?” Such is their firm belief.

12. Others believe the world to be a current of consciousness and no material entity; some call the void as the greatest. Others believe in two essences – Matter (prakriti) and Spirit (purusa).

13-14. Thus believing in widely different doctrines, with faces turned away from the supreme goal, they think, according to their understanding and education, that this universe is without God; others believe there is a God, basing their assertions on various irrefutable arguments, founded on texts declaring difference between soul and God, and anxious to establish the existence of God.

15-16. These and many other sages with various different denominations, have been declared in the Shastras as leaders of the human mind into delusion. It is not possible to describe fully the doctrines of these persons so fond of quarrel and contention; people thus wander in this universe, being driven away from the path of emancipation.

Yoga the only true method

17. Having studied all the Shastras and having pondered over them well, again and again, this Yoga Sastra has been found to be the only true and firm doctrine.

18. Since by Yoga all this verily is known as a certainty, all exertion should be made to acquire it. What is the necessity then of any other doctrines?

19. This Yoga Shastra, now being declared by us, is a very secret doctrine, only to be revealed to a high-souled pious devotee throughout the three worlds.


20. There are two systems (as found in the Vedas). Karmakanda (ritualism) and jnanakanda (wisdom).

Jnanakanda and karmakanda are again each subdivided into two parts.

21. The karmakanda is twofold – consisting of injunctions and prohibitions.

22. Prohibited acts when done, will certainly bring forth sin; from performance of enjoined acts there certainly results merit.

23. The injunctions are threefold – nitya (regular), naimittika (occasional), and kamya (optional). By the nonperformance of nitya or daily rites there accrues sin; but by their performance no merit is gained. On the other hand, the occasional and optional duties, if done or left undone, produce merit or demerit.

24. Fruits of actions are twofold – heaven or hell. The heavens are of various kinds and so also hells are diverse.

25. The good actions are verily heaven, and sinful deeds are verily hell; the creation is the natural outcome of karma and nothing else.

26. Creatures enjoy many pleasures in heaven; many intolerable pains are suffered in hell.

27. From sinful acts pain, from good acts happiness, results. For the sake of happiness, men constantly perform good actions.

28. When the sufferings for evil actions are gone through, then there take place re-births certainly; when the fruits of good actions have been exhausted, then also, verily, the result is the same.

29. Even in heaven there is experiencing of pain by seeing the higher enjoyment of others; verily, there is no doubt of it that this whole universe is full of sorrow.

30. The classifiers of karma have divided it into two parts; good and bad actions; they are the veritable bondage of embodied souls each in its turn.

31. Those who are not desirous of enjoying the fruits of their actions in this or the next world, should renounce all actions which are done with an eye to their fruits, and having similarly discarded the attachment for the daily and the naimittika acts, should employ themselves in the practice of Yoga.


32. The wise Yogi, having realized the truth of karmakanda (works), should renounce them; and having left both virtue and vice, he must engage in jnanakanda (knowledge).

33. The Vedic texts, – “The spirit ought to be seen,” – “About it one must hear” are the real saviors and givers of true knowledge. They must be studied with great care.

34. That Intelligence, which incites the functions into the paths of virtue or vice, am I. All this universe, moveable and immovable, is from me; all things are preserved by me; all are absorbed into me (at the time of pralaya; because there exists nothing but the spirit and I am that spirit – there exists nothing else.

35. As in innumerable cups full of water, many reflections of the sun are seen, but the substance is the same; similarly individuals, like cups are innumerable, but the vivifying spirit, like the sun, is one.

36. As in a dream the one soul creates many objects by mere willing; but on awaking everything vanishes but the one soul; so is this universe.

37. As through illusion a rope appears like a snake, or a pearl-shell like silver; similarly, all this universe is superimposed in the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit).

38. As, when the knowledge of the rope is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being a snake does not remain; so, by the arising of the knowledge of self, vanishes this universe based on illusion.

39. As, when the knowledge of the mother-of-pearl is obtained, the erroneous notion of its being silver does not remain; so, through the knowledge of spirit, the world always appears a delusion.

40. As, when a man besmears his eyelids with the collyrium prepared from the fat of frogs, a bamboo appears like a serpent, so the world appears in the Paramatma, owing to the delusive pigment of habit and imagination.

41. As through knowledge of rope the serpent appears a delusion; similarly, through spiritual knowledge, the world. As through jaundiced eyes white appears yellow; similarly, through the disease of ignorance, this world appears in the spirit – an error very difficult to be removed.

42. As when the jaundice is removed the patient sees the colour as it is, so when delusive ignorance is destroyed, the true nature of the spirit is made manifest.

43. As a rope can never become a snake, in the past, present or future; so the spirit which is beyond all gunas and which is pure, never becomes the universe.

44. Some wise men, well-versed in Scriptures, receiving the knowledge of spirit, have declared that even Devas like Indra, etc., are non-eternal, subject to birth and death, and liable to destruction.

45. Like a bubble in the sea rising through the agitation of the wind, this transitory world arises from the Spirit.

46. The Unity exists always; the Diversity does not exist always; there comes a time when it ceases: two-fold, three-fold, and manifold distinctions arise only through illusion.

47. Whatever was, is or will be, either formed or formless, in short, all this universe is superimposed on the Supreme Spirit.

48. Suggested by the Lords of suggestion comes out avidya. It is born of untruth, and its very essence is unreal. How can this world with such antecedents (foundations) be true?

The Spirit.

49. All this universe, moveable or unmovable, has come out of Intelligence. Renouncing everything else, take shelter in it.

50. As space pervades a jar both inside and out, similarly within and beyond this ever-changing universe, there exists one Universal Spirit.

51. As the space pervading the five false states of matter does not mix with them, so the Spirit does not mix with this ever-changing universe.

52. From Devas down to this material universe all are pervaded by one Spirit. There is one satchitananda (Being, Consciousness, and Bliss) all-pervading and secondless.

53. Since it is not illuminated by another, therefore it is self-luminous; and for that self-luminosity, the very nature of Spirit is Light.

54. Since the Spirit in its nature is not limited by time, or space, it is therefore infinite, all-pervading and entirety itself.

55. Since the Spirit is unlike this world, which is composed of five states of matter, that are false and subject to destruction, therefore, it is eternal. It is never destroyed.

56. Save and beyond it, there is no other substance, therefore, it is one; without it everything else is false; therefore, it is True Existence.

57. Since in this world created by ignorance, the destruction of sorrow means the gaining of bliss; and, through jnana, immunity from all sorrow ensues; therefore, the Spirit is Bliss.

58. Since by jnana the Ignorance is destroyed, which is the cause of the universe; therefore, the Spirit is jnana; and this jnana is consequently eternal.

59. Since in time this manifold universe takes its origin, therefore, there is One who is verily the Self, unchanging through all times. Who is one, and unthinkable.

60. All these external substances will perish in the course of time; (but) that Spirit which is indestructable by word (will exist) without a second.

61. Neither ether, air, fire, water, earth, nor their combinations, nor the Devas, are perfect; the Spirit alone is so.

Yoga and Maya.

62. Having renounced all false desires and abandoned all false worldly chains, the Yogi sees certainly in his own spirit the Universal Spirit by the self.

63. Having seen the Spirit, that brings forth bliss, in his own spirit by the help of the self, he forgets this universe, and enjoys the ineffable bliss of Samadhi (profound meditation.)

64. Maya (illusion) is the mother of the universe. Not from any other principle has the universe been created; when this maya is destroyed, the world certainly does not exist.

65. He, to whom this world is but the pleasure-ground of maya, therefore, contemptible and worthless, cannot find any happiness in riches, body, etc., nor in pleasures.

66. This world appears in three different aspects to men – either friendly, inimical, or indifferent; such is always found in worldly dealing; there is distinction also in substances, as they are good, bad or indifferent.

67. That one Spirit, through differentiation, verily becomes a son, a father, etc. The Sacred Scriptures have demonstrated the universe to be the freak of maya (illusion). The Yogi destroys this phenomenal universe by realizing that it is but the result of adhyaropa (superimposition) and by means of aparada (refutation of a wrong belief).

Definition of a Paramahamsa.

68. When a person is free from the infinite distinctions and states of existence as caste, individuality etc., then he can say that he is indivisible intelligence, and pure Unit.

Emanation or Evolution.

69. The Lord willed to create his creatures; from His will came out avidya (Ignorance), the mother of this false universe.

70. There takes place the conjunction between the Pure Brahma and avidya, from which arises Brahma, from which comes out the akasa.

71. From the akasa emanated the air; from the air came the fire; from fire – water; and from water came the earth. This is the order of subtle emanation.

72. From ether, air; from the air and ether combined came fire; from the triple compound of ether, air and fire came water; from the combination of ether, air, fire and water was produced the (gross) earth.

73. The quality of ether is sound; of air motion and touch. Form is the quality of fire, and taste of water. And smell is the quality of earth. There is no gainsaying this.

74. Akasa has one quality; air two, fire three, water four, and earth five qualities, viz, sound, touch, taste, form and smell. This has been declared by the wise.

75-76. Form is perceived through he eyes, smell through the nose, taste through the tongue, touch through the skin and sound through the ear. These are verily the organs of perception.

77. From Intelligence has come out all this universe, movable and immovable; whether or not its existence can be inferred, the “All Intelligence” One does exist.

Absorption or Involution.

78. The earth becomes subtle and is dissolved in water; water is resolved into fire; fire similarly merges in air; air gets absorption in ether, and ether is resolved in avidya (Ignorance), which merges into the Great Brahma.

79. There are two forces – viksepa, (the out-going energy) and avarana (the transforming energy) which are of great potentiality and power, and whose form is bliss. The great maya, when non-intelligent and material, has three attributes sattva (rhythm) rajas (energy) and tamas (inertia).

80. The non-intelligent form of maya covered by the avarana force (concealment), manifests itself as the universe, owing to the nature of viksepa.

81. When the avidya has an excess of tamas, then it manifests itself as Durga: the intelligence which presides over her is called Isvara. When the avidya has an excess of sattva, it manifests itself as the beautiful Lakshimi; the Intelligence which presides over her is called Vishnu.

82. When the avidya has an excess of rajas, it manifests itself as the wise Saraswati; the intelligence which presides over her is known as Brahma.

83. Gods like Siva, Brahma, Vishnu, etc., are all seen in the great Spirit; bodies and all material objects are the various products of avidya.

84. The wise have thus explained the creation of the world – tattwas (elements) and non-tattwas (non-elements) are thus produced – not otherwise.

85. All things are seen as finite, etc. (endowed with qualities, etc.), and there arise various distinctions merely through words and names; but there is no real difference.

86. Therefore, the things do exist; the great and glorious One that manifests them, alone exists; though things are false and unreal, yet, as the reflection of the real, they, for the time being, appear real.

87. The One Entity, blissful, entire and all-pervading, alone exists, and nothing else; he who constantly realizes this knowledge is freed from death and the sorrow of the world-wheel.

88. When through the knowledge that all is illusory perception (aropa) and by intellectual refutation (apavada) of other doctrines, this universe is resolved into the one, then, there exists that One and nothing else; then this is clearly perceived by the mind.

Karma clothes the Jiva with body.

89. From the Annamiya Kosa (the physical vehicle) of the father, and in accordance with its past karma, the human soul is re-incarnated; therefore, the wise consider this beautiful body as a punishment, for the suffering of the effects of the past karma.

90. This temple of suffering and enjoyment (human body), made up of flesh, bones, nerves, marrow, blood, and intersected with blood vessels etc., is only for the sake of suffering of sorrow.

91. This body, the abode of Brahma, and composed of five elements and known as Brahmanda (the egg of Brahma or microcosm) has been made for the enjoyment of pleasure or suffering of pain.

92. From the self-combination of the Spirit which is Siva and the Matter which is Sakti, and, through their inherent interaction on each other, all creatures are born.

93. From the fivefold combination of all subtle elements, in this universe, gross innumerable objects are produced. The intelligence that is confined in them, through karma, is called the jiva. All this world is derived from the five elements. The jiva is the enjoyer of the fruits of action.

94. In conformity with the effects of the past karma of the jivas, I regulate all destinies. Jiva is immaterial, and is in all things; but it enters the material body to enjoy the fruits of karma.

95. Bound in the chain of matter by their karma, the jivas receive various names. In this world, the come again and again to undergo the consequences of their karma.

96. When the fruits of karma have been enjoyed, the jiva is absorbed in the Parambrahma.


(1) The Microcosm.

1. In this body, the mount Meru – i.e., the vertebral column – is surrounded by seven islands; there are rivers, seas, mountains, fields; and lords of the fields too.

2. There are in it seers and sages; all the stars and planets as well. There are sacred pilgrimages, shrines; and presiding deities of the shrines.

3. The sun and moon, agents of creation and destruction, also move in it. Ether, air, water and earth are also there.

(2) The Nerve Centers.

4. All the beings that exist in the three worlds are also to be found in the body; surrounding the Meru they are engaged in their respective functions.

5. (But ordinary men do not know it). He who knows all this is a Yogi; there is no doubt about it.

6. In this body, which is called Brahmanda (microcosm, literally the mundane egg), there is the nectar-rayed moon, in its proper place, on the top of the spinal cord, with eight Kalas (in the shape of a semi-circle).

7. This has its face downwards, and rains nectar day and night. The ambrosia further sub-divides itself into two subtle parts:

8. One of these, through the channel named Ida, goes over the body to nourish it, like the waters of the heavenly Ganges – certainly this ambrosia nourishes the whole body through the channel of Ida.

9. This milk-ray (moon) is on the left side. The other ray, brilliant as the purest milk and fountain of great joy, enters through the middle path (called sushumna) into the spinal cord, in order to create this moon.

10. At the bottom of the Meru there is the sun having twelve Kalas. In the right side path (Pingala) the lord of creatures carries (the fluid) through its rays upwards.

11. It certainly swallows the vital secretions, and ray-exuded nectar. Together with the atmosphere, the sun moves through the whole body.

12. The right-side vessel, which is pingala is another form of the sun, and is the giver of nirvana. The lord of creation and destruction (the sun) moves in this vessel through auspicious ecliptical signs.

(3) The Nerves.

13. In the body of man there are 3,500,000 nadis; of them the principal are fourteen;

14-15. Sushumna, Ida, Pingala, Gandhari, Hastijihvika, Kuhu, Saraswati, Pusa, Sankhini, Payaswani, Varuni, Alumbusa, Vishwodari, and Yasaswani. Among these Ida, Pingala and Sushumna are the chief.

16. Among these three, sushumna alone is the highest and beloved of the Yogis. Other vessels are subordinate to it in the body.

17. All these principal nadis (vessels) have their mouths downwards, and are like thin threads of lotus. They are all supported by the vertebral column, and represent the sun, moon and fire.

18. The innermost of these three is chitra; it is my beloved. In that there is the subtlest of all hollows called Brahmarandhra.

19. Brilliant with five colours, pure, moving in the middle of sushumna, this chitra is the vital part of body and centre of sushumna.

20. This has been called in the Shastras the Heavenly Way; this is the giver of the joy of immortality; by contemplating it, the greatYogi destroys all sins.

(4) The Pelvic Region.

21. Two digits above the rectum and two digits below the linga is the adhara lotus, having a dimension of four digits.

22. In the pericarp of the adhara lotus there is the triangular, beautiful yoni, hidden and kept secret in all the Tantras.

23. In it is the supreme goddess Kundalini of the form of electricity, in a coil. It has three coils and a half (like a serpent), and is in the mouth of sushumna.

24. It represents the creative force of the world, and is always engaged in creation. It is the goddess of speech, whom speech cannot manifest, and who is praised by all gods.

25. The nadi called ida is on the left side coiling round the sushumna, it goes to the right nostril.

26. The nadi called pingala is on the right side; coiling round the central vessel, it enters the left nostril.

27. The nadi which is between Ida and Pingala is certainly Sushumna. It has six stages, six forces, 1 six lotuses, known to the Yogis.

28. The first five stages of Sushumna are known under various names; being necessary, they have been made known in this text.

29. The other nadis, rising from adhara, go to the various parts of the body, e.g. the tongue, penis, eyes, feet, toes, ears, the abdomen, the armpit, fingers of the hands, the scrotum and the anus. Having risen from their proper place, they stop at their respective destinations, as above described.

30. From all these (fourteen) nadis, there arise gradually other branches and sub-branches, so that at last they become three hundred thousand and a half in number, and supply their respective places.

31. These nadis are spread through the body cross-wise and length-wise; they are vehicles of sensation and keep watch over the movements of the air i.e., they regulate the motor functions also.

(5) The Abdominal Region.

32. In the abdomen there burns the fire – digester of food – situated in the middle of the sphere of the sun having twelve Kalas. Know this as the fire of Vaiswanara; it is born from a portion of my own energy, and digests the various foods of creatures, being inside their bodies.

33. This fire increases life, and gives strength and nourishment, makes the body full of energy, destroys all diseases, and gives health.

34. The wise Yogi, having kindled this Viswanaric fire according to proper rites, should sacrifice food into it every day, in conformity with the teachings of his spiritual teacher.

35. This body called the Brahmanda (microcosm) has many parts, but I have enumerated the most important of them in this book. (Surely) they ought to be known.

36. Various are their names, and innumerable are the places in this human body; all of them cannot be enumerated here.

(6) The Jivatma.

37. In the body thus described, there dwelleth the Jiva, all-pervading, adorned with the garland of endless desires and chained to the body) by karma.

38. The Jiva possessed of many qualities and the agent of all events, enjoys the fruits of his various karmas amassed in the past life.

39. Whatever is seen among men (whether pleasure or pain) is born of karma. All creatures enjoy or suffer, according to the results of their actions.

1 That is, the functions of the Cord, viz.Reflection, co-ordination, etc.

2 The parts of which the Spinal Cord is composed are the Tantrik stages viz.: Cervical, Dorsal, Lumbar, Sacral and Coccygeal.

40. The desires, etc., which cause pleasure or pain, act according to the past karma of the Jiva.

41. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of good and virtuous actions receives a happy life; and in the world he gets pleasant and good things to enjoy, without any trouble.

42. In proportion to the force of his karma, man suffers misery or enjoys pleasure. The Jiva that has accumulated an excess of evil never stays in peace – it is not separate from its karmas; except karma, there is nothing in this world. From the Intelligence veiled by maya, all things have been evolved.

43. As in their proper season, various creatures are born to enjoy the consequences of their karma; as through mistake a pearl-shell is taken for silver, so through the taint of one’s own karmas, a man mistakes Brahman for the material universe.

44. From desire all these delusions arise; they can be eradicated with great difficulty; when the salvation-giving knowledge of the unreality of the world arises, then are desires destroyed.

45. Being engrossed in the manifested (objective) world, the delusion arises about that which is the manifestor – the subject. There is no other, (cause of this delusion).Verily, verily, I tell you the truth.

46. The illusion of the manifested (objective world) is destroyed when the Maker of the Manifest becomes manifest. This illusion does not cease so long as one thinks, “Brahma is not.”

47. By looking closely and deeply into the matter, this false knowledge vanishes. It cannot be removed otherwise; the delusion of silver remains.

48. As long as knowledge does not arise about the stainless Manifestor of the universe, so long all things appear separate and many.

49. When this body, obtained through karma, is made the means of obtaining nirvana (divine beatitude); then only the carrying of the burden becomes fruitful – not otherwise.

50. Of whatever nature is the original desire (vasana), that clings to and accompanies the Jiva (through various incarnations); similar is the delusion which it suffers, according to its deeds and misdeeds.

51. If the practiser of Yoga wishes to cross the ocean of the world, he should perform all the duties of his ashrama, (the condition of life), renouncing all the fruits of his works

52. Persons attached to sensual objects and desirous of sensual pleasures, descend from the road of nirvana, through the delusion of much talk, and fall into sinful deeds.

53. When a person does not see anything else here, having seen the Self by the self; then there is no sin (for him if he) renounces all ritual works. This is my opinion.

54. All desires and the rest are dissolved through jnana only, and not otherwise. When all (minor) tattwas (principles) cease to exist, then My Tattva becomes manifest.


On Yoga Practice. The Vayus.

1. In the heart, there is a brilliant lotus with twelve petals adorned with brilliant sign. It has letters from k to th (i.e., k, kh, g, gh, n, ch, chh, j, jh, ñ, t, th), the twelve beautiful letters.

2. The Prana lives there, adorned with various desires, accompanied by its past works, that have no beginning, and joined with egoism (ahankara.)

Note: The heart is in the center where there is the seed yam.

3. From the different modifications of the Prana, it receives various names; all of them cannot be stated here.

4. Prana, apana, samana, udana, vyana, naga, kurma, Krikara, devadatta, and dhananjaya.

5. These are the ten principal names, described by me in this Shastra; they perform all functions, incited thereto by their own actions.

6. Again, out of these ten, the first five are the leading ones; even among these, the prana and apana are the highest agents, in my opinion.

7. The seat of the Prana is the heart; of the apana, the anus; of the samana, the region above the navel; of the udana, the throat; while the vyana moves all over the body.

8. The five remaining vayus, etc., perform the following functions in the body: – Eructation, opening the eyes, hunger and thirst, gaping or yawning, and lastly hiccup.

9. He who in this way knows the microcosm of the body, being absolved from all sins, reaches the highest state.

(2) The Guru.

10. Now I will tell you, how easily to attain success in Yoga, by knowing which the Yogis never fail in the practice of Yoga.

11. Only the knowledge imparted by a Guru, through his lips, is powerful and useful; otherwise it becomes fruitless, weak and very painful

12. He who devoted to any knowledge, while pleasing his Guru with every attention, readily obtains the fruit of that knowledge.

13. There is not the least doubt that Guru is father. Guru is mother, and Guru is God even; and as such, he should be served by all with their thought, word and deed.

14. By Guru’s favour everything good relating to one’s self is obtained. So the Guru ought to be daily served; else there can be nothing auspicious.

15. Let him salute his Guru after walking three times round him, and touching with his right hand his lotus feet.

(3) The Adhikari.

16. The person who has control over himself attains verily success through faith; none other can succeed. Therefore, with faith, the Yoga should be practiced with care and perseverance.

17. Those who are addicted to sensual pleasures or keep bad company, who are disbelievers, who are devoid of respect towards their Guru, who resort to promiscuous assemblies, who are addicted to false and vain controversies, who are cruel in their speech, and who do not give satisfaction to their Guru never attain success.

18. The first condition of success is the firm belief that it (vidya) must succeed and be fruitful; the second condition is having faith in it; the third is respect towards the Guru; the fourth is the spirit of universal equality; the fifth is the restraint of the organs of sense; the sixth is moderate eating, these are all. There is no seventh condition.

19. Having received instructions in Yoga, and obtained a Guru who knows Yoga, let him practice with earnestness and faith, according to the method taught by the teacher.

(4) The Place, etc.

20. Let the Yogi go to a beautiful and pleasant place of retirement or a cell, assume the posture padmasana, and sitting on a seat (made of kusa grass) begin to practice the regulation of breath.

21. The wise beginner should keep his body firm and inflexible, his hands joined as if in supplication, and salute the Gurus on the left side. He should also pay salutations to Ganesha on the right side, and again to the guardians of the worlds and goddess Ambika who are on the left side.

(5) The Pranayama.

22. Then let the wise practitioner close with his right thumb the pingala (right nostril), inspire air through the ida (the left nostril); and keep the air confined – suspend his breathing – as long as he can; and afterwards let him breathe out slowly, and not forcibly, through the right nostril.

23. Again, let him draw breath through the right nostril, and stop breathing as long as his strength permits; then let him expel the air through the left nostril, not forcibly, but slowly and gently.

24. According to the above method of Yoga, let him practice twenty kumbhakas (stopping of the breath). He should practice this daily without neglect or idleness, and free from all duels (of love and hatred, and doubt and contention), etc.

25. These kumbhakas should be practiced four times – once (1) early in the morning at sunrise, (2) then at midday, (3) the third at sun-set, and (4) the fourth at mid-night.

26. When this has been practiced daily, for three months, with regularity, the nadas (the vessels) of the body will readily and surely be purified.

27. When thus the nadas of the truth-perceiving Yogi are purified, then his defects being all destroyed, he enters the first stage in the practice of Yoga called arambha.

28. Certain signs are perceived in the body of the Yogi whose nadas have been purified. I shall describe, in brief, all these various signs.

29. The body of the person practicing the regulation of breath becomes harmoniously developed, emits sweet scent, and looks beautiful and lovely. In all kinds of Yoga, there are four stages of pranayama – 1: Arambha-avastha (the state of beginning); 2: Ghata-avastha (the state of co-operation of Self and Higher Self); 3: Parichaya-avastha (knowledge); 4: Nishpattiavastha (the final consummation).

30. We have already described the beginning of Arambha-avestha of pranayama; the rest will be described hereafter. They destroy all sin and sorrow.

31. The following qualities are surely always found in the bodies of every Yogi – Strong appetite, good digestion, cheerfulness, handsome figure, great courage, mighty enthusiasm and full strength.

32. Now I tell you the great obstacles to Yoga which must be avoided, as by their removal the Yogis cross this sea of worldly sorrow.

(6) The things to be renounced.

33. The Yogi should renounce the following; 1: Acids, 2: astringents, 3: pungent substances, 4: salt, 5: mustard, and 6: bitter things; 7: much walking, 8: early bathing (before sun-rise) and 9: things roasted in oil; 10: theft, 11: killing (of animals) 12: enmity towards any person, 13: pride, 14: duplicity, and 15: crookedness; 16: fasting, 17: untruth, 18: thoughts other than those of moksha, 19: cruelty towards animals; 20: companionship of women, 21: worship of (or handling or sitting near) fire, and 22: much talking, without regard to pleasantness or unpleasantness of speech, and lastly, 23: much eating.

(7) The means.

34. Now I will tell you the means by which success in Yoga is quickly obtained; it must be kept secret by the practitioner so that success may come with certainty.

35. The great Yogi should observe always the following observances – He should use 1: clarified butter, 2: milk, 3: sweet food, and 4: betel without lime, 5: camphor; 6: kind words, 7: pleasant monastery or retired cell, having a small door; 8: hear discourses on truth, and 9: always discharge his household duties with vairagya (without attachment), 10: sing the name of Vishnu; 11: and hear sweet music, 12: have patience, 13: constancy, 14: forgiveness, 15: austerities, 16: purifications, 17: modesty, 18: devotion, and 19: service of the Guru.

36. When the air enters the sun, it is the proper time for the Yogi to take his food (i.e., when the breath flows through the pingala); when the air enters the moon, he should go to sleep (i.e., when the breath flows through the left nostril or the ida).

37. The Yoga (pranayama) should not be practiced just after the meals, nor when one is very hungry; before beginning the practice, some milk and ghee  can be taken.

38. When one is well established in his practice, then he need not observe these restrictions. The practitioner should eat in small quantities at a time, though frequently; and should practice kumbhaka daily at the stated times.

39. When the Yogi can, of his will, regulate the air and stop the breath (whenever and how long) he likes, then certainly he gets success in kumbhaka, and from the success in kumbhaka only, what things cannot the Yogi command here?

The first stage.

40. In the first stage of pranayama, the body of the Yogi begins to perspire. When it perspires, he should rub it well, otherwise the body of the Yogi loses its dhatu (humours).

The second and third stages.

41. In the second stage, there takes place the trembling of the body; in the third, the jumping about like a frog; and when the practice becomes greater, the adept walks in the air.


42. When the Yogi, though remaining in padmasana, can raise in the air and leave the ground, then know that he has gained vayusiddhi (success over air), which destroys the darkness of the world.

43. But so long (as he does not gain it), let him practice observing all the rules and restrictions laid down above.

From the perfection of pranayama, follows decrease of sleep, excrements and urine.

44. The truth-perceiving Yogi becomes free from disease, and sorrow or affliction; he never gets (putrid) perspiration, saliva and intestinal worms.

45. When in the body of the practitioner, there is neither any increase of phlegm, wind, nor bile; then he may with impunity be irregular in his diet and the rest.

46. No injurious results then would follow, were the Yogi to take a large quantity of food, or very little, or no food at all. hrough the strength of constant practice, the Yogi obtains bhucharisiddhi, he moves as the frog jumps over the ground, when frightened away by the clapping of hands.

47. Verily, there are many hard and almost insurmountable obstacles in Yoga, yet the Yogi should go on with his practice at all hazards; even were his life to come to the throat.

48. Then let the practitioner, sitting in a retired place and restraining his senses, utter by inaudible repetition, the long pranava OM, in order to destroy all obstacles.

49. The wise practitioner surely destroys all his karma, whether acquired in its life or in the past, through the regulation of breath.

50. The great Yogi destroys, by sixteen pranayamas, the various virtues and vices accumulated in his past life.

51. This pranayama destroys sin, as fire burns away a heap of cotton; it makes the Yogi free from sin; next it destroys the bonds of all his good actions.

52. The mighty Yogi having attained, through pranayama, the eight sorts of psychic powers, and having crossed the ocean of virtue and vice, moves about freely through the three worlds.

Increase of Duration.

53. Then gradually he should make himself able to practice for three gharis (one hour and a half at a time, he should be able to restrain breath for that period). Through this, the Yogi undoubtedly obtains all the longed for powers

Siddhis or Perfections.

54. The Yogi acquires the following powers: vakya siddhi (prophecy), transporting himself everywhere at will (kamachari), clairvoyance (duradristhi), clairaudience (durashruti), subtle-sight (shushma-drishti), and the power of entering another’s body (parakaypravesana), turning base metals to gold by rubbing them with his excrements and urine, and the power of becoming invisible, and lastly, moving in the air.

II. The Ghata Avasta.

55. When, by the practice of pranayama, the Yogi reaches the state of ghata (water-jar), then for him there is nothing in this circle of universe which he cannot accomplish.

56. The ghata is said to be that state in which the prana and the apana vayus, the nada and the vindu, the jivatma (the Human Spirit) and the Paramatma (the Universal Spirit) combine and co-operate.

57. When he gets the power of holding breath (i.e., to be in trance) for three hours, then certainly the wonderful state of pratyahar is reached without fail.

58. Whatever object the Yogi perceives, let him consider it to be the spirit. When the modes of action of various senses are known, then they can be conquered.

59. When, through, great practice, the Yogi can perform one kumbhaka for full three hours, when for eight dandas (=3 hours) the breathing of the Yogi is suspended, then that wise one can balance himself on his thumb; but he appears to others as insane.

III. The Parichaya

60. After this, through exercise, the Yogi reaches the Parichaya-avastha. When the air leaving the sun and moon (the right and the left nostrils), remains unmoved and steady in the ether of the tube sushumna, then it is in the parichaya state.

61. When he, by the practice of Yoga, acquires power of action (kriya shakti) and pierces through the six chakras, and reaches the sure condition of parichaya, then the Yogi, verily, sees the three-fold effects of karma.

62. Then, let the Yogi destroy the multitude of karmas by the pranava (OM); let him accomplish kayavyhua (a mystical process of arranging the various skandas of the body), in order to enjoy or suffer the consequences of all his actions in one life, without the necessity of re-birth.

63. At that time let the great Yogi practice the five-fold dharana forms of concentration on Vishnu, by which command over the five elements is obtained, and fear of injuries from any one of them is removed. (Earth, water, fire, air, akas cannot harm him.) Note: He should perform 5 kumbhakas at each centre or chakra.

64. Let the wise Yogi practice dharana thus:– five ghatis (2 1/2 hours) in the adhara lotus (muladhara); five ghatis in the seat of the linga (svadhisthana), five ghatis in the region above it, (in the navel, manipur), and the same in the heart (anahata); five ghatis in the throat (visuddha) and, lastly let him hold dharana for five ghatis in the space between the two eye-brows (anjapur). By this practice the elements cease to cause any harm to the great Yogi.

65. The wise Yogi, who thus continually practices concentration (dharana), never dies through hundreds of cycles of the great Brahma.

IV. The Nishpatti.

66. After this, through gradual exercise, the Yogi reaches the Nishpatti-avestha (the condition of consummation). The Yogi, having destroyed all the seeds of karma which existed from the beginning, drinks the waters of immortality.

67. When the jivan-mukta (delivered in the present life,) tranquil Yogi has obtained, through practice, the consummation of samadhi (meditation), and when this state of consummated samadhi can be voluntarily evoked, then let the Yogi take hold of the chetana (conscious intelligence), together with the air, and with the force of (kriya-sakti) conquer the six wheels, and absorb it in the force called jnana-sakti.

68. Now we have described the management of the air in order to remove the troubles (which await the Yogi); through this knowledge of vayu-sadhana vanish all sufferings and enjoyments in the circle of this universe.

69. When the skilful Yogi, by placing the tongue at the root of the palate, can drink the pranavayu, then there occurs complete dissolution of all Yogas (i.e., he is no longer in need of Yoga)

70. When the skilful Yogi, knowing the laws of action of prana and apana, can drink the cold air through the concentration of the mouth, in the form of a crow-bill, then he becomes entitled to liberation.

71. The wise Yogi, who daily drinks the ambrosial air, according to proper rules, destroys fatigue, burning (fever), decay and old age, and injuries.

72. Pointing the tongue upwards, when the yogi can drink the nectar flowing from the moon (situated between the two eye-brows), within a month he certainly would conquer death.

73. When having firmly closed the glottis by the proper yogic method, and contemplating on the goddess Kundalini, he drinks (the moon fluid of immortality), he becomes a sage or poet within six months.

74. When he drinks the air through the crow-bill, both in the morning and in the evening twilight, contemplating that it goes to the mouth of the kundalini, consumption of the lungs (phthisis) is cured.

75. When the wise Yogi drinks the fluid day and night through the crow-beak, his diseases are destroyed: he acquires certainly the powers of clairaudience and clairvoyance.

76. When firmly closing the teeth (by pressing the upper on the lower jaw), and placing the tongue upwards, the wise Yogi drinks the fluid very slowly, within a short period he conquers death.

77. One, who daily continues this exercise for six months only, is freed from all sins, and destroys all diseases.

78. If he continues this exercise for a year, he becomes a Bhairava; he obtains the powers of anima and conquers all elements and the elementals.

79. If the Yogi can remain for half a second with his tongue drawn upwards, he becomes free from disease, death, and old age.

80. Verily, verily, I tell you the truth that the person never dies who contemplates by pressing the tongue, combined with the vital fluid of Prana.

81. Through this exercise and Yoga, he becomes like Kamadeva, without rival. He feels neither hunger, nor thirst, nor sleep, nor swoon.

82. Acting upon these methods the great Yogi becomes in the world perfectly independent; and freed from all obstacles, he can go everywhere.

83. By practicing thus, he is never reborn, nor is tainted by virtue and vice, but enjoys (for ages) with the gods.

The postures.

84. There are eighty-four postures, of various modes. Out of them, four ought to be adopted, which I mention below:– 1, Siddhasana; 2, Padmasana; 3, Ugrasana; 4, Svastikasana.  Or « freedom from all diseases ».


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