Hatharatnavali by Srinivasayogi

(ISBN-81-901176-96)

The Hatharatnavali of Srinivasayogi is a little known but nevertheless important text on Hatha yoga. It was first published in 1982 in an edition by M Vekata Reddy but since that time additional copies of the manuscript have been discovered and become available.

About a third of the verses are direct quotes from the Hatha yoga pradipika with additional explanation or contextualisation. In addition to this there are other special points in the text which make it significant In it’s own right including:

* Conceptual definition of Yoga;

* Astakarmas – 8 cleansing techniques rather than the usual six;

* Additional Kumbhaka described;

* New information about mudras;

* Presents an independent outlook on yamas and niyamas

* Actually lists the 84 asanas and describes 36 of them;

* Use of the term ‘sanketa’ which means ‘a key through which secret information behind esoteric practices is revealed.

Chapter one is mainly concerned with defining Yoga. There is a description of ‘Mahayoga’ a combination of mantrayoga, layayoga, rajayoga and hathayoga. The astakarmas (eight cleasning techniques) are described and there are descriptions of suitable places for practice, suitable food and helpful and harmful things in attaining success in Yoga.

Chapter two describes nine kumbhakas (breath retention techniques), 10 mudras and the synonyms for Ida, Pingala and susumna.

Chapter three lists the 84 asanas and gives an elaborate description of 36 of them. There is also information given on the importance, techniques and the effects of pranayama.

Chapter four is mainly concerned with samadhi. Additionally nadanusandhana (hearing of the unstruck sound for mind absorption) is explained. There is a description of the four stages of Yoga and a 14 nadis are explained. Pinda (the human – microcosmic body) and brahmanda (the macrocosmic body) are mentioned. The chapter ends with philosophical statements from different schools of Yoga

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