Hatha Yoga Pradipika - Chapter 4 - Samadhi

1. Salutation to the Guru, the dispenser of happiness to all, appearing as Nada, Vindu and Kali. One who is devoted to him, obtains the highest bliss.

2. Now I will describe a regular method of attaining to Samadhi, which destroys death, is the means for obtaining happiness, and gives the Brahmananda.

3-4. Raja Yoga, Samadhi, Unmani, Manonmani, Amaratwa, Laya, Tatwa, Sunya, Asunya, Parama Pada, Amanasska, Adwaitama, Niralamba, Niranjana, Jiwana Mukti, Sahaja, Turya, are all synonymous.

5. As salt being dissolved in water becomes one with it, so when Atma and mind become one, it is called Samadhi.

6. When the Prana becomes lean (vigourless) and the mind becomes absorbed, then their becoming equal is called Samadhi.

7. This equality and oneness of the self and the ultra self, when all Samkalpas cease to exist, is called Samadhi.

8. Or, who can know the true greatness of the Raja Yoga. Knowledge, mukti, condition, and Siddhis can be learnt by instructions from a guru alone.

9. Indifference to worldly enjoyments is very difficult to obtain, and equally difficult is the knowledge of the Realities to obtain. It is very difficult to get the condition of Samadhi, without the favor of a true guru.

10. By means of various postures and different Kumbhakas, when the great power (Kundali) awakens, then the Prana becomes absorbed in Sunya (Samadhi).

11. The Yogi whose sakti has awakened, and who has renounced all actions, attains to the condition of Samadhi, without any effort.

12. When the Prana flows in the Susumna, and the mind has entered sunya, then the Yogi is free from the effects of Karmas.

13. O immortal one (that is, the yogi who has attained to the condition of Samadhi), I salute thee! Even death itself, into whose mouth the whole of this moveable and immovable world has fallen, has been conquered by thee.

14. Amaroli, Vajroli and Saholi are accomplished when the mind becomes calm and Prana has entered the middle channel.

15. How can it be possible to get knowledge, so long as the Prana is living and the mind has not died? No one else can get moksa except one who can make one's Prana and mind latent.

16. Always living in a good locality and having known the secret of the Susumna, which has a middle course, and making the Vayu move in it, (the Yogi) should restrain the Vayu in the Brahma randhra.

17. Time, in the form of night and day, is made by the sun and the moon. That the Susumna devours this time (death) even, is a great secret.

18. In this body there are 72,000 openings of Nadis; of these, the Susumna, which has the Sambhavi Sakti in it, is the only important one, the rest are useless.

19. The Vayu should be made to enter the Susumna without restraint by him who has practices the control of breathing and has awakened the Kundali by the (gastric) fire.

20. The Prana, flowing through the Susumna, brings about the condition of manonmani; other practices are simply futile for the Yogi.

21. By whom the breathing has been controlled, by him the activities of the mind also have been controlled; and, conversely, by whom the activities of the mind have been controlled, by him the breathing also has been controlled.

22. There are two causes of the activities of the mind; (1) V�sana (desires) and (2) the respiration (the Prana). Of these, the destruction of the one is the destruction of both.

23. Breathing is lessened when the mind becomes absorbed, and the mind becomes absorbed when the Prana is restrained.

24. Both the mind and the breath are united together, like milk and water; and both of them are equal in their activities. Mind begins its activities where there is the breath, and the Prana begins its activities where there is the mind.

25. By the suspension of the one, therefore, comes the suspension of the other, and by the operations of the one are brought about the operations of the other. When they are present, the Idriyas (the senses) remain engaged in their proper functions, and when they become latent then there is moksa.

26. By nature, Mercury and mind are unsteady: there is nothing in the world which cannot be accomplished when these are made steady.

27. O Parvati! Mercury and breathing, when made steady, destroy diseases and the dead himself comes to life (by their means). By their (proper) control, moving in the air is attained.

28. The breathing is calmed when the mind becomes steady and calm; and hence the preservation of bindu. The preservation of this latter makes the satwa established in the body.

29. Mind is the master of the senses, and the breath is the master of the mind. The breath in its turn is subordinate to the laya (absorption), and that laya depends on the nada.

30. This very laya is what is called moksa, or, being a sectarian, you may not call it moksa; but when the mind becomes absorbed, a sort of ecstasy is experienced.

31. By the suspension of respiration and the annihilation of the enjoyments of the senses, when the mind becomes devoid of all the activities and remains changeless, then the Yogi attains to the Laya Stage.

32. When the thoughts and activities are destroyed, then the Laya Stage is produced, to describe which is beyond the power of speech, being known by self-experience alone.

33. They often speak of Laya; but what is meant by it? Laya is simply the forgetting of the objects of senses when the V�sanas (desires) do not rise into existence again.

The Sambhavi Mudra

34. The Vedas and the Sastras are like ordinary public women. Sambhavi Mudra is the one, which is secluded like a respectable lady.

35. Aiming at Brahman inwardly, while keeping the sight directed to the external objects, without blinking the eyes, is called Sambhavi Mudra, hidden in the Vedas and the Sastras.

36. When the Yogi remains inwardly attentive to the Brahman, keeping the mind and the Prana absorbed, and the sight steady, as if seeing everything while in reality seeing nothing outside, below, or above, verily then it is called the Sambhavi Mudra, which is learnt by the favor of a guru. Whatever, wonderful, Sunya or Asunya is perceived, is to be regarded as the manifestation of that great Sambhu (Siva).

37. The two states, the Sambhavi and the Khechari, are different because of their seats (being the heart and the space between the eyebrows respectively); but both cause happiness, for the mind becomes absorbed in the Chita-sukha-Rupa-atmana which is void.

The Unmani

38. Fix the gaze on the light (seen on the tip of the nose) and raise the eyebrows a little, with the mind contemplating as before (in the Sambhavi Mudras, that is, inwardly thinking of Brahma, but apparently looking outside). This will create the Unmani avastha at once.

The Taraka

39. Some are devoted to the Vedas, some to Nigama, while others are enwrapt in Logic, but none knows the value of this mudra, which enables one to cross the ocean of existence.

40. With steady calm mind and half closed eyes, fixed on the tip of the nose, stopping the Ida and the Pingala without blinking, he who can see the light which is the all, the seed, the entire brilliant, great Tatwama, approaches Him, who is the great object. What is the use of more talk?

41. One should not meditate on the Linga (i.e., Atman) in the day (i.e., while Surya or Pingala is working) or at night (when Ida is working), but should always contemplate after restraining both.

The Khechari

42. When the air has ceased to move in the right and the left nostrils, and has begun to flow in the middle path, then Khechari Mudra can be accomplished there. There is no doubt of this.

43. If the Prana can be drawn into the Sunya (Susumna), which is between the Ida and the Pingala, and made motionless there, then the Khechari Mudra can truly become steady there.

44. That Mudra is called Khechari which is performed in the supportless space between the Surya and the Chandra (the Ida and the Pingala) and called the Vyoma Chakra.

45. The Khechari which causes the stream to flow from the Chandra (Soma) is the beloved of Siva. The incomparable divine Susumna should be closed by the tongue drawn back.

46. It can be closed from the front also (by stopping the movements of the Prana), and then surely it becomes the Khechari. By practice, this Khechari leads to Unmani.

47. The seat of Siva is between the eyebrows, and the mind becomes absorbed there. This condition (in which the mind is thus absorbed) is known as Turya, and death has no access there.

48. The Khechari should be practiced till there is Yoga-nidra (Samadhi). One who has induced Yoga-nidra, cannot fall a victim to death.

49. Freeing the mind from all thoughts and thinking of nothing, one should sit firmly like a pot in the space (surrounded and filled with the ether).

50. As with air, in and out of the body, remains unmoved, so the breath with mind becomes steady in its place (i.e., in Brahma randhra).

51. By thus practicing, night and day, the breathing is brought under control, and, as the practice increases, the mind becomes calm and steady.

52. By rubbing the body over with Amrita (exuding from the moon), from head to foot, one gets Mahakaya, i.e., great strength and energy.

End of the Khechari

53. Placing the mind into the Kundalini, and getting the later into the mind, by looking upon the Buddhi (intellect) with mind (reflexively), the Param Pada (Brahma) should be obtained.

54. Keep the atma inside the Kha (Brahma) and place Brahma inside your atma. Having made everything pervaded with Kha (Brahma), think of nothing else.

55. One should become void in and void out, and void like a pot in the space. Full in and full outside, like a jar in the ocean.

56. He should be neither of his inside nor of his outside world; and, leaving all thoughts, he should think of nothing.

57. The whole of this world and all the schemes of the mind are but the creations of thought. Discarding these thoughts and taking leave of all conjectures, O Rama! obtain peace.

58. As camphor disappears in fire, and rock salt in water, so the mind united with the atma loses its identity.

59. When the knowable, and the knowledge, are both destroyed equally, then there is no second way (i.e., Duality is destroyed).

60. All this movable and immovable world is mind. When the mind has attained to the unmani avastha, there is no dwaita (from the absence of the working of the mind).

61. Mind disappears by removing the knowable, and, on its disappearance, atma only remains behind.

62. The high-souled Acharyas (Teachers) of yore gained experience in the various methods of Samadhi themselves, and then they preached them to others.

63. Salutations to Thee, O Susumna, to Thee O Kundalini, to Thee O Sudha, born of Chandra, to Thee O Manonmani! to Thee O great power, energy and the intelligent spirit.

64. I will describe now the practice of anahata nada, as propounded by Goraksa Natha, for the benefit of those who are unable to understand the principles of knowledge -- a method, which is liked by the ignorant also.

65. Adinatha propounded 1 1/4 crore methods of trance, and they are all extant. Of these, the hearing of the anahata nada is the only one, the chief, in my opinion.

66. Sitting with Mukta asana and with the Sambhavi Mudra, the Yogi should hear the sound inside his right ear, with collected mind.

67. The ears, the eyes, the nose, and the mouth should be closed and then the clear sound is heard in the passage of the Susumna which has been cleansed of all its impurities.

68. In all the Yogas, there are four states: (1) arambha or the preliminary, (2) Ghata, or the state of a jar, (3) Parichaya (known), (4) nispatti (consummate).

Arambha Avastha

69. When the Brahma granthi (in the heart) is pierced through by Pranayama, then a sort of happiness is experienced in the vacuum of the heart, and the anahat sounds, like various tinkling sounds of ornaments, are heard in the body.

70. In the arambha, a Yogi's body becomes divine, glowing, healthy, and emits a divine smell. The whole of his heart becomes void.

The Ghata Avastha

71. In the second stage, the airs are united into one and begun moving in the middle channel. The Yogi's posture becomes firm, and he becomes wise like a god.

72. By this means the Visnu knot (in the throat) is pierced which is indicated by highest pleasure experienced, and then the Bheri sound (like the beating of a kettle drum) is evolved in the vacuum in the throat.

The Parichaya Avastha

73. In the third stage, the sound of a drum is known to arise in the Sunya between the eyebrows, and then the Vayu goes to the Mahasunya, which is the home of all the siddhis.

74. Conquering, then, the pleasures of the mind, ecstasy is spontaneously produced which is devoid of evils, pains, old age, disease, hunger and sleep.

75. When the Rudra granthi is pierced, and the air enters the seat of the Lord (the space between the eyebrows), then the perfect sound like that of a flute is produced.

76. The union of the mind and the sound is called the Raja-Yoga. The (real) Yogi becomes the creator and destroyer of the universe, like God.

77. Perpetual Happiness is achieved by this; I do not care if the mukti be not attained. This happiness, resulting from absorption (in Brama), is obtained by means of Raja-Yoga.

78. Those who are ignorant of the Raja-Yoga and practice only the Hatha-Yoga, will, in my opinion, waste their energy fruitlessly.

79. Contemplation on the space between the eyebrows is, in my opinion, best for accomplishing soon the Unmani state. For people of small intellect, it is a very easy method for obtaining perfection in the Raja-Yoga. The Laya produced by nada, at once gives experience (of spiritual powers).

80. The happiness which increases in the hearts of Yogiswaras, who have gained success in Samadhi by means of attention to the nada, is beyond description, and is known to Sri Guru Natha alone.

81. The sound which a muni hears by closing his ears with his fingers, should be heard attentively, till the mind becomes steady in it.

82. By practicing with this nada, all other external sounds are stopped. The Yogi becomes happy by overcoming all distractions within 15 days.

83. In the beginning, the sounds heard are of great variety and very loud; but, as the practice increases, they become more and more subtle.

84. In the first stage, the sounds are surging, thundering like the beating of kettle drums and jingling ones. In the intermediate stage, they are like those produced by conch, Mridanga, bells, &c.

85. In the last stage, the sounds resemble those from tinklets, flute, Vina, bee, &c. These various kinds of sounds are heard as being produced in the body.

86. Though hearing loud sounds like those of thunder, kettle drums, &c., one should practice with the subtle sounds also.

87. Leaving the loudest, taking up the subtle one, and leaving the subtle one, taking up the loudest, thus practicing, the distracted mind does not wander elsewhere.

88. Wherever the mind attaches itself first, it becomes steady there; and when it becomes absorbed in it.

89. Just as a bee, drinking sweet juice, does not care for the smell of the flower; so the mind, absorbed in the nada, does not desire the objects of enjoyment.

90. The mind, like an elephant habituated to wander in the garden of enjoyments, is capable of being controlled by the sharp goad of anahata nada.

91. The mind, captivated in the snare of nada, gives up all its activity; and, like a bird with clipped wings, becomes calm at once.

92. Those desirous of the kingdom of Yoga, should take up the practice of hearing the anahata nada, with mind collected and free from all cares.

93. Nada is the snare for catching the mind; and, when it is caught like a deer, it can be killed also like it.

94. Nada is the bolt of the stable door for the horse (the minds of the Yogis). A Yogi should determine to practice constantly in the hearing of the nada sounds.

95. Mind gets the properties of calcined mercury. When deprived of its unsteadiness it is calcined, combined with the sulphur of nada, and then it roams like it in the supportless akasa or Brahma.

96. The mind is like a serpent, forgetting all its unsteadiness by hearing the nada, it does not run away anywhere.

97. The fire, catching firewood, is extinguished along with it (after burning it up); and so the mind also, working with the nada, becomes latent along with it.

98. The antahkarana (mind), like a deer, becomes absorbed and motionless on hearing the sound of bells, etc.; and then it is very easy for an expert archer to kill it.

99. The knowable interpenetrates the anahata sound when it is heard, and the mind interpenetrates the knowable. The mind becomes absorbed there, which is the seat of the all-pervading, almighty Lord.

100. So long as the sounds continue, there is the idea of akasa. When they disappear, then it is called Para Brahma, Paramatmana.

101. Whatever is heard in the form of nada, is the sakti (power). That which is formless, the final state of the Tatwas, is the Parameswara.

102. All the methods of Hatha are meant for gaining success in Raja-Yoga; for, the man, who is well-established in the Raja-Yoga, overcomes death.

103. Tatwa is the seed, Hatha the field; and Indifference (Vairagya) the water. By the action of these three, the creeper Unmani thrives very rapidly.

104. All the accumulations of sins are destroyed by practicing always with the nada; and the mind and the airs do certainly become latent in the colorless (Paramatmana).

105. Such a one does not hear the noise of the conch and Dundubhi. Being in the Unmani avastha, his body becomes like a piece of wood.

106. There is no doubt, such a Yogi becomes free from all states, from all cares, and remains like one dead.

107. He is not devoured by death, is not bound by his actions. The Yogi who is engaged in Samadhi is overpowered by none.

108. The Yogi, engaged in Samadhi, feels neither smell, taste, color, touch, sound, nor is conscious of his own self.

109. He whose mind is neither sleeping, waking, remembering, destitute of memory, disappearing nor appearing, is liberated.

110. He feels neither heat, cold, pain, pleasure, respect nor disrespect. Such a Yogi is absorbed in Samadhi.

111. He who, though awake, appears like one sleeping, and is without inspiration and expiration, is certainly free.

112. The Yogi, engaged in Samadhi, cannot be killed by any instrument, and is beyond the controlling powers of beings. He is beyond the reach of incantations and charms.

113. As long as the Prana does not enter and flow in the middle channel and the vindu does not become firm by the control of the movements of the Prana; as long as the mind does not assume the form of Brahma without any effort in contemplation, so long all the talk of knowledge and wisdom is merely the nonsensical babbling of a mad man.

Chapter 1 - Asana   Chapter 2 - Pranayama   Chapter 3 - Mudras

Words cannot convey the value of yoga - it has to be experienced.

- BKS Iyengar