Yoga Rahasyam

Chapter I

Yogadhyaya

Study on Yoga


[Once Yogi Dattatreya was questioned by his disciple, King Alarka, whereupon he revealed the following message.]?
Yogi Dattatreya said:

1. Among the Yogis, Mukti (liberation) is to attain Knowledge and to be consciously devoid of ignorance. Not to be associated with the natural qualities is oneness with Brahma, the ultimate Self.

2. 0 dear King (King Alarka)! Mukti is achieved through yoga. The state of yoga (the equilibrium state, sama, eternal Tranquility) is attained through perfect (absolute) Knowledge, and perfect Knowledge is produced from sorrows and sufferings. When chittva (the heart) is attached to maya (outward attention of the mind), sorrows appear.

3. Therefore, the man who is desirous to achieve mukti, liberation, very carefully and sincerely gives up attachment to bisayas (outward manifestations). The sense of "mine" is dropped when one becomes detached from bisayas.

4. Happiness is produced when one becomes detached from affections; when the spirit of renunciation appears, the world is considered to be mithya (false or unreal). Renunciation is produced through Knowledge (inner Realization of the Self), and Knowledge of the Self is the root of renunciation.

5. Griha, the house, is where one lives. Bhojya (food) is that which sustains life. Similarly, that by which Mukti (liberation) is achieved is called gyana (Knowledge). If it does not bring mukti, then consider it to be agyana (ignorance).

6 & 7. 0 dear King! One does not come into bondage with the body again and again. In other words, one does not reincarnate, when punya and pap (holiness and sin) are enjoyed; every day's necessary actions are performed detachedly (abandoning the expectations for the results of these actions); providence is destroyed; and there is no accumulation of further results of pap and punya (sin and holiness).

8. 0 lord of the earth! What I described to you is called Yoga. One who accepts the path of Yoga depends on nothing but the eternal Brahma (the ultimate Self).

9. First one has to conquer the Self by the self. This is because Atma is incomprehensible even for the Yogis. Therefore, compose to practice to conquer the self. Listen to me on how to conquer the self.

10. Burn limitations by the practice of Pranayam; remove pap (sins) by dharana; conquer bisaya (outwardness) by pralyahara (interiorization); and dissolve atheistic qualities by dhyana (meditation).

11. The conquering of Pranabayu (life's breath) and the burning of the limitations produced from the senses might be compared to the purification of the mountain minerals upon being bumt.

12. The student of Yoga, first, will practice Pranayam. The dissolution of Prana (the breath operating from nostrils to lumbar center) and Apana bayu (the breath operating from lumbar center to coccygeal center) is called Pranayam.

(In other words, when Prana and Apana are tranquilized into the state of sama, equilibrium, it is called the state of Pranayam.)

13. 0 dear Alarka! Pranayam is of three kinds: laghu, madhya, and Utariya. I am telling you. Hear from me.

14. Listen to me as I explain Pranayam: There are three kinds of Prana- yam: Laghu, Madhyam, and Uttariya.

15. Know it that the duration of a blink, or of the closing and opening of the eyes, is the time of one matra.

Twelve of these matra make Laghu Pranayam (Small Pranayam). Double Laghu Pranayam makes Madhyam Pranayam (Medium Prana m). Three times ya Laghu Pranayam make Uttariya Pranayam (Long Pranayam).

16. One has to conquer sweating by the first Pranayam; trembling (bepathu) by the second, and melancholy by the third.

17. As the lion and elephant may become tamed, so may the Prana be through the practice of Pranayam by the Yogis.

18. As an elephant driver drives an elephant according to his wishes, similarly, the Yogis bring Prana under control to perform actions according to their shes.

19 & 20. As a trained lion kills only deer and not man; similarly, when similarly (the breath) is perfected (Tranquilized), it destroys sins and does not harm body of humans. Therefore, the Yogi carefully should achieve success in anayam. Now listen to me of the nature of the four types of Pranayam.

21. There are four types of Pranayam: Dhwasti, Prapti, Sangbit, and Prasad. Listen as I describe them.

22. The time when the results of good and bad actions are destroyed and the heart is enriched is called dhwasti.

23. The time when the Yogis are able to prevent desires and attachment to this life and the life to come is called Prapti.

24. & 25. The time when Yogis detached from the past and future acquire a radiance like that of the sun and the moon is called Sangbit.

26. That which causes the purification of the Yogi's mind, the five states of Prana, the senses, and the objects of senses is called Prasad.

27. 0 dear King! Hear from me all about the prescription of signs and Asanas for a man who is interested in Yoga.

28. Having mastered the position of asana by sitting for a long period at ease with either Padmasana (lotus posture), Ardhasana (half-posture), or Swastikasana (easy posture), and having made japam (chantings) of Pranaba (OM) at the heart, one should practice Yoga.

29 - 36. The Yoga practitioner should hold on to the restrained state of heart while sitting erect at Asana, folding the legs, keeping the body straight and thighs in front completely flat, not touching the genitals and raising the head slightly so that it is projected straight ahead.

He should not touch the teeth by the teeth. Not paying attention to any direction, he should only focus or look at the "tip of the nose" (one must know from the Guru personally what the tip of the nose means or where the tip of the se is).

At that time, the Yogi, who is established in the pure essence having overpowered the tamasik qualities by the rajasik and the rajasik by the sattvik, should attain the still state of breath, or tranquil Breath. Restraining the mind and anas from bisaya (the object of focus) by the equilibrium state (tranquil Breath), he should engage himself in Pratyahara, interiorization.

He should focus his attention only on Atma (Arman), the Self, and see the Self, restraining his kama (attachment, or outward attention) and krodha (anger), as the tortoise withdraws its senses. Having purified himself internally and externally from the throat to the navel, he should practice pratyahara, interiorization, filling the body.

Restrained thusly, the Yogi becomes free from all impurities. Eternal Peace generates in him. He achieves the ability to see the qualities of nature and the ultimate Self.

37 - 39. The Yogi who has thus restrained himself, or the Pranayam- parayan Yogi, is able to see things greater than the sky and smaller than the atom and is able to see the pure Self. Winning the land little by little, that is, mastering the ground, one should climb on, as if in one's own mansion.

If one does not win the grounds, or foundation of Yoga, then emotion, anger, limitations, diseases, and attachment will increase. That is why one should not try to climb onto Yoga until one has mastered the basic ground.

[In other words, this basic preparation is essential before one is introduced to ,Pranayam. Without this necessary preparation, it will be impossible to make effective progress in the Yoga discipline, which is serious and scientific.]

Pranayam is defined as the restrained state of the five different states of prana (,Prana, Apana, Byana, Samana, and Udana); in other words, the state of sama, 44 equilibrium," or the "tranquil" state of all the five states, is called the state of Pranayam.

40 & 4 1. Dharana is defined as the means by which one is able to establish oneself in his or her own form, Tranquility, and is able to see Atma, the Self.

Pralyahara is a means by which determined Yogis withdraw the senses from sound and all the sense organs from their respective-associated objects. Diseases in the [Cosmic] body of the Yogi are not possible if the rules laid down by the raized Yogis are properly observed.

42. Having mastered the austerities, the Yogi should drink air (breath) slowly as a thirsty person drinks water by the means of a straw.

43 & 44. There are ten kinds of Dharana to be mastered:

1. navel,
2. inner heart,
3. chest,
There-after, respectively:
4. throat,
5. mouth,
6. tip of the nose,
7. eyes,
8. between the eyebrows,
9. head, and finally
10. Brahma, the ultimate Self
One who is able to master these tenfold Dharana attains the status like Brahma.

45. The Yogi who has mastered Dharana does not die, does not decay, and his feelings of tiredness and fatigue are removed. At that time [having poised at Dharanal, he holds onto the Turiya state, "the transcendental state"; that is, he holds onto the ultimate Self, or Brahma.

46. This is called Yoga bhumi, "the ground of Yoga." Yoga bhumi has seven steps.

47. The Yogi will not practice the Yoga discipline interestedly to achieve success when he is hungry, fatigued and is restless at heart.

48. The Yogi will not make effort to be in the meditative state through the practice of Yoga when it is severely cold, hot, or windy.

49 & 50. The Yogi who is aware of the essence of Yoga will not practice Yoga at places that are noisy or near fire, water sources, dry grazing fields, intersections, dry leaves, river banks, places full of snakes, burning dead bodies, fearful places, wells, or mud.

5 1. The Yogi should leave a place and time when the sattvik bhavas, "divine sentiments," are not generated. Dishonest persons never can practice Yoga, and that is why the Yogi should leave the place.

52. 0 dear King! There is no doubt that the quality of time and the glories of the place increase the strength of mind and purify the heart. Where is the need to reason about quality of time and place when the mind being sattvik, "divine quality," merges into Oneness with Brahma, the ultimate SelP

53. Hear from me in detail about the obstructions to Yoga practice for those who, being ignorant, do not consider time and place.

54 & 55. [These verses indicate that Yoga discipline is not for all. It depends on many factors, and it is Guru, the Master, who generally evaluates the seeker's position. One who is qualified needs serious, basic preparation. The seeker is warned about practicing Yoga discipline. It requires a good physical condition and a certain anatomical constitution and demands a certain mental makeup as well. That is, the person needs to be tranquil by nature, not hyperactive, restless, excessively devotional, or extremely intellectual.)

One who does not become aware of the necessity for basic preparation and who starts practicing Yoga without preparation faces a lot of obstructions. He may become deaf and dumb, lose his memory, become blind, and run a temperature. I am telling you how to treat defects which arise because of a lack of such preparations.

56 - 58. For curing rheumatism, one should eatjava (a kind of grain) and hold it in the stomach, then vomit it out, or belch out, or release, air.

If the mind is restless, concentrate dharana on the state of tranquility; if one becomes speechless, concentrate dharana on the speech; if one is losing hearing, concentrate dharana on the ears. One should act in these circumstances as the tongue of a thirsty person, which thinks only of the mango fruit and does not think of anything else.

59. Hold the respective beneficial dharana in whichever body part the disease develops. If it is cold, one should hold warmth in body and mind and vice versa.

60. Placing a wooden stake, or wedge (kitaka), on the head, one should strike the wood gently with the wood. Then the lost memories will reappear.

61 & 62. Think about the sky, earth, air and fire if memories are lost. These treatments are prescribed as the rules for treating diseases arising from inhumanism [animalityl. By concentrating on the air (breath) and fire, diseases of animality (if they have entered in the heart of a Yogi) will be cured.

63. Oh dear King! The Yogi should take care to always keep the body healthy as the body is the root of achieving dharma (righteousness), artha (prosperity), kama (enjoyment), and moksa (liberation).

64. Because of wonder at and indulgence in outward attention, Knowledge is concealed from a Yogi. Thus, the Yogi should keep secret [restrain) his outward attention.

65. The following signs are seen at the beginning of Yoga practice: Devoidness of disease, non-restlessness, having no unkindness, the generation of subtle good smell in the body, the decrease of urine and stool, the beautification of the body, contentment and tranquility, and a sweet voice.

66. When people in society devoutly praise the Yogi and nobody is afraid of him, it is the sign of siddhi, or success, in Yoga.

67. It is understood that a Yogi has attained the state of siddhi, success, when he is not afraid of anyone and is not obstructed by the opposites, heat and cold.


1. Once the ancient Yogi Dattatreya, incarnation of Lord Siva, advised King Alarka and disclosed the mystery of Yoga. This became famous as Yoga Rahasyam, the Dattatreya Treatise.



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