Born on 2nd. July 1951, Prof. G. S. Sahay, Gold Medalist in M.A. Sanskrit,
is a favourite among his thousands of students of Yoga. With initial formal
training in Yoga from Kaivalyadhama Yoga Research Institute, he joined the
same Institute in 1976. He started professing at the Gordhandas Seksaria
College of Yoga from the 1977.His expertise in Hathayoga texts, Indian
Philosophy and Patanjala yoga sutra is widely acknowledged thereby making
him an Eminent yoga Expert for Traditional knowledge, Digital Library
(TKDL) project ,of CSIR, Govt. Of India. Presently he is .associated with it as
Member, Advisory Committee of this project. He is visiting faculty and
Member of Board of Studiesin Yoga for various Universities. He has
travelled to multiple Yoga Schools across the globe to spread of the essence of
Traditional Yoga; In his illustrious service tenure at Kaivalyadhama, he
contributed as co editor in the preparation of around Twelve book such as
Yoga concordance, Vasishtha Samhita, Hathapradipika Jyotsna. His first
Book on Hathayogapradipika (Chinese Language) was published in 2012 from yoga Summit Hangzhou, china.
After Retirement, he has started his Gurukul type of Institute of yoga named ‘Yogic Heritage’, at Lonacala and conductes 200 hours hoga course registered at Yoga Alliance, USA.
Hathayogapradipika is one of the most important Hathayoga
Texts which has been recommended as one of the Text Book in
almost all the yoga courses like PGDYSc., BA/BSc (Yoga
Science), MA/ MSc (Yoga Science), BNYS etc. Many authors have
attempted to elaborate the contents of Hathayogapradipika,
however, they have not written them from the view point of students
and their understanding. These texts simply provide translation of
verses or some elaborated description which is not in coordination
with the texts.. The Sanskrit commentary Jyotsna on
Hathayogapradipika by Brahminanda which was published in
original Sanskrit script with its English and Hindi Translation, is
considered as one of the most valuable publication published by
Adyar Library, Chennai. However, it is also very difficult for the
beginners and non Sanskrit yoga students to understand it easily.
The present text of Hathyogapradipika by Shri G. S. Sahay
has been prepared keeping in mind both the teacher and ?the reader
engaged in teaching and learning Yoga. Some of the highlights of
the present book are-
1. Each verse has been presented with its transliteration and this
will help not only for non Sanskrit readers but also non
Devanagari knowing persons.
2. Meaning of each word appearing in the verse has been provided
to help the students in understanding the right import of the
words of the verses.
3. Many a times word meaning is not sufficient, e. g. in the context
of Padmasana, Svatmarama has instructed to "raise the
apanavayu upward" (HYP I / 46 ).... Even if one understands the
meaning of the words , but from practical point of View nothing
becomes clear unless it is clearly said that in order to raise the
apanavayu upward, one should perform mula bandha. Meaning
of such words/verses in the book have been made clear with
4. Kumbhaka forms the most important component of Hathayoga
Sadhana and is directly related to Hathayogic practices and the
verses related with its practice required to be explained in detail
so as to avoid any unwanted consequences of wrong
Special notes on HYP 11/ 44-47 are worth to read in this regard.
Yoga has become very popular during the last few decades. Few
years back, people were more interested only in the practical aspects
of Yoga and they were least concerned about the theoretical aspects
of Yoga. More and more Yoga Education and Therapy courses are
being started by many colleges, Yoga Institutions and Universities to
cater to the present growing demand for Yoga. The students of yoga
need to study both theoretical and practical aspects and also traditional
yoga texts. Therefore, there is a great demand for the important Yoga
Texts with elaborate descriptions about yoga practices, their techniques
Hathayogapradipika is one of the most important Hathayoga Texts
which has been recommended as one of the Text book in almost all
the Yoga curses like PGDYSc., BN/BSc (Yoga science), MN
MSc.(Yoga science), BNYS etc. Many authors have attempted to
elaborate the contents of Hathayogapradipika, however, they have
not written them from the view point of the students and their
understanding. These texts simply provide translation of verses or
some elaborated description which is not in coordination of the text.
The Sanskrit Commentary Jyotsna on Hathayogapradipika by
Brahmananda, which was published in original Sanskrit script with
its English and Hindi Translation is considered as one of the most
valuable publications published by Adyar Library, Chennai. However,
it is also very difficult for the beginners and non Sanskrit yoga students
to understand it easily. Therefore, there is a need of an edition of
Hathayogaprad] pika with translation, meaning and also valuable
comments by teachers who have taught the subject for decades so
that it will be useful for the yoga students' community.
The present text of Hathayogapradipika by Shri G. S. Sahay has
been prepared keeping in mind both the teacher and the reader engaged
in teaching and learning Yoga. Some of the highlights of the present
book are Each verse has been presented with its transliteration and this
will help not only the non Sanskrit readers but also non
Meaning of each word appearing soon after the verse has been
provided to help the students in understanding the right import
of the words of the verses.
Many-a-times word meaning is not sufficient, e.g. in the context
of Padmasana, Svatmarama has instructed to 'raise the apana
vayu upward', 'utthapya pavanarp sanaih' (HYPI/46/), and
'varamvaramapanamurdhvamanilarp protsarayan .. ' (HYP I/48).
Even if one understands the meaning of the words, but from
practical point of view nothing becomes clear unless it is clearly
said that in order to raise the apana vayu upward, one should
perform 'Mulabandha'. Meanings of such words/verses in the
book have been made clear with special notes. With respect to
various effects mentioned as a result of certain practice, it has
been made clear with special notes containing justification and
additional information, which can be seen at verses HYP I:27,29,
31, 52; II:24-25, 30-33 and so on.
Kumbhaka forms the most important component of Hatha Yoga
Sadhana and is directly related to Hathayogic practices and the
verses related with its practice require to be explained in detail
so as to avoid any unwanted consequences of wrong practice.
This aspect has been taken utmost care and elaborate
understanding and information has been provided to proceed
with the right practice leading to the highest goal of Hathayoga.
Special notes on HYP II / 44,45,46,47 are worth to read in this
Besides all, an exhaustive Introduction will be very useful for
The present book Hathayogapradipika of Svatmarama has been
translated in English with word meaning of the verse and special
notes by Shri G. S. Sahay (Sanskrit Gold Medallist) , former Research
Officer, Philosophico Literary Research Department of
Kaivalyadhama, Lonavala and currently working as head and
managing Editor of Yoga Mimamsa at Kaivalyadhama, is
commendable and fulfils the need felt by the Yoga community. I am
thankful to Prof. Sahay for his contribution.
I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Secretary
A YUSH, Joint Secretary A YUSH and other officers of Department
of A YUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. Of India and
competent authority of MDNIY for their support and encouragement
to publish this book.
My sincere thanks are to Dr. ( Mrs.) Indulata Das, Director,
Academy of yoga and Oriental studies, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha and
Prof. K. K. Sharma, Dept. of Vaidic Darshan, BHU, Varanasi, U'P;
for their valuable expert suggestions and timely support.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Derivative meaning of the word : The term Yoga has been
derived from the verb root vYuj in Sanskrit. This verb has three
• yuj samadhau – Integration
• yuj sarpmyamane - Control
• yujir yoge - Joining
Classical literatures on yoga seems to use the word in all the three
senses. So far, the first two meanings are concerned, all the literatures
and schools of yoga have unanimously accepted these meanings.
Patanjali, the first systematizer of the yogic discipline - seems to accept
the meaning of yoga as integration - since the first commentator of
Patanjala Yogasutra Vyasa in his commentary writes:
Yogah Samadhih i.e. Yoga is Samadhi.
Patanjali does not subscribe to the other meaning of Yuj.
i.e . yujir yoge Joining'. This is mainly because Patanjali-s philosophy
is based on Sankhya metaphysics and Sankhya believes in separation
of Purusa from that of Prakrti. - with which Purusa has wrongly got
itself identified. Similarly Patanjali considers drasta (Seer Principle)
to be separated from drsya (Seen Principle) with which it has got
identified. Thus separation of these two principles is supposed to be
Yoga. We also find meaning of Yoga as separation in BhagavadGita.
tam vidyad duhkha sarpyogaviyogam yogasajnitam.
i.e. separation from the union of pain is called yoga. It is again based
on Sankhya philosophy which declares that all sorts of pains and
miseries arise because of misidentification of Purusa with that of
Prakrti, Thus, separation from pain means separation from Prakrti.
But there are another group of Yoga authors who believe in Yuj
for joining. It does not mean that they reject the meaning of Yuj
for integration. They have accepted it as the outcome of the highest
goal i.e. union. The Hatha yogic school of Yoga tries to understand it
in this sense-sarpyogo yoga ityukto jIvatma aramatmanoh (Yogavasistha)
i.e. 'union of individual self with that of supreme self is Yoga'. Thus
we find the word 'Yoga' used in both the understanding by the ancient
authors of Yoga.
2. Contextual meaning of the word: We find the use of this term
in various contexts in Indian scriptures and schools of Yoga. In
BhagavadGita the word Yoga has been used in various understandings.
Every lesson of Gita has been named after Yoga of some type e.g.
Arjunavisadayoga and so on. Here the word Yoga has been used in
simple meaning of joining. Thus, here it will mean 'union of Visada
(depression) with Arjuna'. Yoga word has nothing to do with 'Samadhi'
which is actually the main concept of Yoga.
We also find various defmitions of Yoga in Gita such as 'yogah
karmasu kausalam' (Yoga is skil in action). Here skill in action works
as means for the attainment of Yoga i.e. 'Samadhi'.
Gita also presents the term Yoga as a means for the removal of
all sorts of suffering. ' yogo bhavati duhkhaha'. Thus, Yoga
maintaining the meaning 'Samadhi' has been usually prefixed by the
words like 'Karma', 'Bhakti', 'Joana'. In all such places, words in prefix
stand for means or method and they connote 'Yoga (Samadhi) through
Karma (skilled action), Bhakti (devotion), or Jiiana (knowledge)'.
3. Understanding the concept as available in representative
scripture or literature : The most systematic literature on Yoga is
Patanjali Yogasutra. Patanjali defines Yoga as control over
functioning of mind 'yogascittavrttinirodhah' (P.Y.S. 1 / 2).
This is also the state which leads one to Samadhi and Yoga in the
sense of control over mind has been undisputedly accepted in the
world of Yoga. There may be various methods but all methods must
contribute towards arresting the functioning of mind. Usually every
person is slave of his mind. Yoga is a method through which one can
make mind his slave. This is based on the Yogasutra of Patanjali.
4. Developing the concept on the basis of its components / effects :
In modem times we find that this method of understanding Yoga is
more popular. Asana and Pranayama- which holds most important
position in the curriculum of Yogic practices - Yoga is understood as
a method of physical exercise contributing towards endurance and
flexibility of the body. Such Institutions give more importance to
Hathayoga in comparison to Patanjali yoga. However, they recognize
Hathayoga in a very limited sense.
There are some other people who give importance to the Dhyana
(meditation) and they consider Yoga as providing very powerful
method/technique of Dhyana which increases all-round performance
level of the person in their own field. They consider its importance
only for mind. Those who give importance to the value and humanity
over and above physical strength, they consider 'Yama' and 'Niyama'
to be of prime importance as these are fundamental codes of conduct.
They believe that whatever one's culture, religion, faith, caste, creed
or nationality may be, these Yamas and Niyamas of Yoga will
undoubtedly contribute towards making them better human.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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