This ebook is a compilation of two classical yogic texts Gheranda Samhita and Goraksha Samhita. A brief introduction to them is given below.
About Gheranda Samhita
Gheraṇḍa Samhitā is a classical yogic text. Its author is Sage Gheraṇḍa. The form of yoga he taught in Gheraṇḍa Samhitā is called Ghaṭastha Yoga. Initially, it deals with the body, prāna and the mind through various yogic practices step by step and finally, leads to Ātmajñāna (knowledge of the Self).
What is Ghaṭastha Yoga? It simply means body based yoga (ghaṭa - body, stha -based, yoga - yoga). In this body as ghaṭa abide prāna (the vital energy), mind (with its four components) and five senses, heart (feeling, emotion, attachment) and an independent ātmā (the Self which is regarded as the source and support of all beings).
Therefore, according to Sage Gheraṇḍa Ghaṭastha Yoga begins with the body, creates balance and harmony on the prānic, mental and emotional levels for higher level of awakening and finally, leads to samādhi, the Self-realization which is the ultimate goal of human life.
About Goraksha Samhita
The name of the great Yogī Gorakśanātha is not unfamiliar at all. He is a highly acknowledged and honored Siddha Yogī, renowned by spiritual masters in the past and present. His name is mentioned by Svāmi Svātmārāma in his classical text Hatha Yoga Pradipikā (Chapter One, Verses 4 and 5). He is also one of the yogīs mentioned in the Purānas and yogic texts. He is well known as Guru Gorakhanātha, and a highly respected, revered and worshipped spiritual master in India and Nepāl. The followers of the Nātha Tradition worship him as the incarnation of Lord Śiva, and say that the nine Nāthas and eighty-four Siddhas belong to Adinātha, Lord Śiva. So, he is also called Śiva Gorakśa, the founder of the Natha Siddha tradition.
Originally, the science of Hatha Yoga was discovered for the expansion and evolution of human consciousness, and for the accomplishment of the ultimate goal of human life and yoga, mokśa (liberation) and samādhi (the super conscious state), respectively.
According to Gorakśa Samhitā, the objective of Hatha Yoga is to create a harmonious balance between the physical body, prāna (the vital energy) and the mind. It is said that when the impulses generated by this harmonious balance stimulate the awakening of the Kuṇḍalī Śakti, only then is the evolution of consciousness or union between Śiva and Śakti possible. This accomplishment is the sole objective of the teaching of Gorakśa Samhitā by Guru Gorakśanātha.
It is hoped that this compilation will be helpful to all yoga lovers, yoga sadhakas, yoga teachers and yoga professionals to understand the traditional yoga, its objective and practice for attaining peace, harmony and spiritual development for one and all.