Review of Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarama

Post By: Published on: July 24, 2017 Reading time: 2 minutes

Review of Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarama (printed by The Adyar Library and Research Center).

Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Cover face of the book, Hatha Yoga Pradipika

Svatmarama was 15th or 16th Century Yoga master.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika was written by Svatmarama, a disciple of Gorakshanath, in turn a disciple of Matsendranath. The basis of the lineage is the Siddha tradition which is an esoteric and ancient branch of Shaivism.

The Hatha Yoga Pradeepika is a very lucid text book on Hatha Yoga. It is split into 4 chapters; the first is on asana, second on pranayama, third on mudras and fourth on samadhi. The reader is immediately struck by the clarity of approach in dealing with the subject. The document is very clear on its objectives and the path a practitioner should take to reach liberation.

One will conclude after reading the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is that liberation is a straightforward action. For example, one does not need to know many asanas and pranayama etc, to attain liberation. It only requires focus, discipline and regular effort. Additionally, Svatmarama constantly espouses the precedence of practice and experience over theory or discussion.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Adyar Library

Adyar Library and research centre has done the translation of Hatha Yoga Pradipika in a very interesting manner. The book is a collaboration by many, there is a Jyotsna (Sanskrit explanation) by Brahmananda and an English translation of Srinivasa Iyengar by Tookaram Tatya. Despite the multiple collaboration, the book is excellently compiled and integrated. However, the lack of translation of individual words make it difficult for a reader to arrive at his own conclusions. 

For anyone with an interest in Yoga, this book is mandatory. Indeed, it is well written. Additionally, where required and in certain places, the book explains the socio-cultural background of India which makes understanding easy.

Conclusion – This book is a “Must Read” for all Yoga enthusiasts. However, the book also highlights the deep divide between the ideals of Hatha Yoga and current yoga practices.

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