Hatha yoga pradipika: Silent features of hatha-yoga


We will talk about the silent Features of hatha yoga in hath yoga pradipika. And some basic key points to get knowledge about hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is a type of prana sayam yoga.

Hatha yoga pradipika: Silent features of hatha-yoga

• Some key points of Hatha yoga pradipika:-

Hatha yoga pradipika is a Hatha yogic text which is not influenced by Patanjali. 
H.P. was written by in between 14 -16th century by Svatamaram. Among all the Hathayogic texts, H.P. is having its position on top.

How hatha yoga comes with Matseyndranath

History of hath yoga :- Once upon a time, Goddess Parvati has asked Lord Shiva to teach the practice of Hatha Yoga. Then Lord Shiva sat on the banks of the pond with Mata Parvati and told him about the practice of Hatha Yoga, but when he was telling these things, a fish sitting inside the pond between them was listening to them. He was none other than Matsendranath.

After the talk is over, Matasendranath apologizes to Shape out of the pond and says that he has heard the talk between you two. But Lord Shiva smiled and said if you have known the Hatha Yoga then you have to refer it to different people and follow this practice completely.

 hatha yoga in hath yoga pradipika

Adinath Matsyendranath — Gorakshnath

In this way further, it was introduced to many sadhakas. 

• Definition of Hatha yoga :- 

Hatha Yoga is a practice which is related to the control of Pranavayu which can be attained through control over respiration. 
‘Ha’ stands for ‘Sun‘; Pingala Nadi and heating principle or ‘right nostril’ and ‘Tha‘ stands for ‘Moon‘; Ida Nadi and cooling principle or ‘left nostril’. Breathing had a relationship with the functioning of the mind. 

Hath yoga pradipika declares it in:-  chapter -2, verse – 2
– When respiration is operative, the mind is unstable. When respiration is stabilized, the mind becomes stable. 

Purpose of hatha yoga

  • Removal of sufferings. 
  • Providing a base for all types of yoga. 

• Yama and Niyama according to hatha yoga pradipika

Here, it is also said Hatha yoga has no consideration of Yama and Niyama. 
Here, Svatamaram mentioned the success in the attainment of Yogic end without mentioning the term Yama and Niyama. He also warned the aspirants to keep themselves away from the opposite sex and follow Brahmachari

Chap – 1, verse – 61
• Alternative of Yama and Niyama in hathpradipika:- Indirectly we can co-relate the Yama and Niyama with Hatha yoga i.e.

* Yama – meetahara
* Niyama – ahimsa

Svatmaram had divided Hatha yoga in four limbs :-

  • Asana
  • Kumbhaka
  • Mudra
  • Nadanusandhana

It is also known as Chaturanga Yoga. 
He also mentions that these limbs have sequential relationships. 

Chapter – 1, verse – 56 ~ Asana, kumbhaka, different types of techniques known as mudra and nadanusandhana are the sequence of practice in Hatha yoga. 

★ Hatha yoga poses

In Hathapradipika around 15 hatha yoga asanas have been mentioned. In which 4 asanas are important known as asana chatusthai. 

  1. Simhasana
  2. Bhadrasana
  3. Padmasana
  4. Siddhasana

Here, Siddhasana and Padmasana are considered as a meditative asana. 

hatha yoga asanas

★ Hathapradipika has special consideration over diet i.e meetahara. This includes vegetarian and nutritious food. Along with this 3/4 part of our stomach must be full of food and on the other hand, 1/4 part is left for God. This is also the process of following the moderate diet

The description of do’s and don’ts are also mentioned by Svatamaram. 

Chap – 1 , verse -15,16

1) Sadhaktatva in hathpradipika:-

  • Enthusiasm     
  • Courage          
  • Patience   
  • Right knowledge 
  • Discrimination   

2) Badhaktatva in Hathpradipika:-

  • Overeating   
  • Serious effort should not be there 
  • Adherence to rule   
  • Talkative   
  • Popularity 
  • The fickleness of mind 

★ Kumbhaka/Pranayama:-

Guidelines for the practicing pranayama

Another important characteristic of which regard to H.P. is Kumbhaka. 
He has mentioned such application i.e. the practice of pranayama. Nadi sodhana Pranayama and the practice of Astha Kumbhaka.

  • Suryabhedana
  • Ujjayi
  • Sitkari
  • Sitali
  • Bhastrika
  • Brahmari
  • Murccha
  • Plavini

Guidelines for the practicing pranayama-

Before following the practice of pranayama, Sadhaka has to become well versed in 4 conditions, we can also name it as pre-requisite of pranayama i.e.

i. Becoming well versed in asana. 
ii. Stability of senses. 
iii. Proper guidance of a guru. 
iv. Moderate diet – meetahara (Yogic diet). 

Shatkarma yogic hath yoga cleansing techniques-

Before the practice of pranayama they have to follow the cleansing process:- Suddhikriya mentioned in hathpradipika there are 6 suddhi kriyas in hath-yogic text

  1. Dhauti
  2. Basti
  3. Neti
  4. Nauli
  5. Trataka
  6. Kapalbhati. 

Having control over Ida and Pingala by elaborating the eight varieties of Sahita kumbhaka which results into Kevala kumbhaka. 

Pranayama Phases or steps-

Chapter- 2 , verse- 71 explain Pranayama has three phases

  • Puraka ~ Inhalation
  • Rechaka ~ Exhalation
  • Kumbhaka ~ Retention

Here, kumbhaka is of two types i.e. Sahita and Keval. Till the Keval state is accomplished Sahita should be practised

Benefits of pranayama-

By the practice of kumbhaka the strength, lightness and brightness of our body are increased; they look thin, the shrillness of sound and health becomes secured. Several diseases like a hiccup, asthma, cough and pain in the head, ear and the eyes are removed. 

★ Mudra:-

In this chapter of H.P., it has been mentioned about Mudra. The thing which presents the identity is known as mudra. It is the lock of the nervous system i.e. neuromuscular locks. Mud means blissful. Ra means which gives. 

Mudra gives the blissful state i.e. happiness. By doing mudra the attainment of siddhis means the supernatural powers are attained. There are 10 mudras mentioned in Hatha yoga pradipika.


Kecharri mudra:-

Among all these 10 mudras Kecharri is considered as best mudra among all. Reversing the tongue and inserting it into the nasopharyngeal cavity in the skull and turning the eyes towards the middle of the eyebrows. 

Success is attained in kecharri by cutting and moving the tongue so that the length of the tongue should increase and should touch the nector. Hair’s breadth length should be cut if the tongue and one have to perform this practice till 6 months.

Benefits of Khechari Mudra-

When a yogi did this successfully then he gets rid off all the disease, death and old, fatigue, hunger and thirst are also removed. 

Vipritkarni mudra:-

It is a kind of inverted posture but it becomes mudra when all the three bandhas i.e. Mula bandha, uddiyana bandha and jalandhara bandha are locked automatically. In this practice the navel is above and the palate below means the sun above(the navel) and the moon below(the throat), this is known as Vipritkarni mudra.

 Benefits of Viparitkarni Mudra-

  • Increases the gastric heat.
  • Wrinkles and grey hairs disappear after six months. 
  • One who practices 3 hours in a day, he overcomes death. 

★ Nadanusandhana

Svatamaram considered Nadanusandhana as an independent limb of Hathayoga. 
For the prapti of laya, nadanusandhana is considered as the best method among all. 

* Chapter – 4, verse – 66~ Sri Adinath has described one crore twenty-five lac varieties of laya but we consider nadanusandhana as to be the best of all the layas. 

~ Here, about 3 things are mentioned i.e.

  • Nada – Internal sound.
  • Bindu – Resonance of sound. 
  • Kala – Sound of soul. 

Lord Shiva has conceived as Nada, Bindu and Kala who should be meditated upon every day. In order to do this one must practice Nadanusandhana i.e. following the internal sound. The sound is not produced inside, it already exists within us, so one has to train his mind to listen to it. 

* When the prana enters in the path of Sushumna then the serpant gets awakened and the state of manonmani i.e. Samadhi is attained. The sound starts when the prana reaches to Anahata chakra. Along with this all three granthis i.e. Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra Granthi gets pierced. 

Here, 4 states of Samadhi are mentioned i.e.

  1. Arambha ~ Anahat
  2. Ghata ~ Vishuddhi
  3. Paricaya ~ Vishuddhi
  4. Nispatti ~ Ajna

After all these stages the attainment of Raja Yoga is done. Therefore, Hatha yoga is a ladder in order to attain Raja Yoga. 
Hence, Svatmarama says Rajayoga means Samadhi. 



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