Hatha Yoga Pradipika 8 – Restraints & Observances

Chapter One — Asana
Continued from Hatha Yoga Pradipika, I:1-16

The first translation and Title of a verse is from Swami Kripalu’s, Revealing the Secret, a commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The second translation is from the Pancham Sinh edition.

The following verses were added by a later author at which point the numbering of verses changes in the two translations, so I am not using numbers at all here.

Anything in (parentheses) is in the text of the translation or commentary. As always, my own input is in [brackets].

The Restraints and Observances

[Those of you who have studied with me will recognize “The Restraints and Observances” as the yamas and niyamas of the Ten Keys to Success course. However, In this interpolation there are ten yamas and ten niyamas.  You will also notice a difference in the translations of some of these.]

[Restraints, Yamas]

Experts in yogic scripture mention these ten restraints: non-violence, truthfulness, non-theft, chastity, calm resolution, acceptance, compassion, honesty, regulating food, and cleanliness,

The ten rules of conduct are: ahimsa (non-injuring), truth, non-stealing, continence, forgiveness, endurance, compassion, meekness, sparing diet and cleanliness.

[Observances, Niyamas]

And these ten observances: burning austerity, contentment, faith, proper making of gifts, worship of God, listening to statements containing true principles, shame, judgement, burning austerity, and fire sacrifice. (verses 1 and 2.)

The ten niyamas mentioned by those proficient in the knowledge of yoga are: Tapa, patience, belief in God, charity, adoration of God, hearing discourses on the principles of religion, shame, intellect, Tapa [to burn, warm or melt down] and Yajna [sacrifice].

Kripalu’s Commentary

Then, does sun-moon yoga disparage the restraints and observances? [Kripalu refers here to the fact that yama-niyama were added to the text later and were not part of the original HYP of Svatmarama.]

No, it does not disparage them, because the restraints and observances are great vows of the entire earth. They are indispensable for all.

To disparage them is to disparage truth. The teachers of sun-moon yoga think that the aspirant who wishes to attain liberation already belongs to a high class: [in other words,] he must already be practicing them. Having this viewpoint, they have not mentioned the restraints and observances [in the original].

There is also a special reason for this lack of mention: one name of sun-moon yoga is ‘natural yoga’ or ‘accomplishment yoga’. The systematic practices which are included in it are all natural systematic practices. That is to say, they happen effortlessly, without desire (will), by themselves. Restraint and observance do not happen effortlessly by themselves; they have to be practiced laboriously (willfully). Therefore, they have not been numbered among the natural systematic practices.

But this is only one side of the question; there is another side, which is that through the systematic practice of natural yoga, bit by bit, in the body and mind, a rearrangement in the conditions of nature occurs, so that after the aspirant makes enough progress, he naturally begins to practice the restraints and observances. It is worth remembering that practicing the observances results in purity of nature and abandoning the observances results in impurity of nature.

The restraints and observances are the unfailing fort of systematic practice. Prohibited actions must not be allowed to enter into life, so the aspirant must build up the fort of the restraints and observances.

• • •

See which of the yamas and the niyamas of both translations match the ones that you already know. Note and compare any differing translations of these. Then, note the different translations of the ones with which you are not familiar. Contemplate what you come up with.

Jaya Bhagavan (Victory to God),
Durga Ma

3 thoughts on “Hatha Yoga Pradipika 8 – Restraints & Observances

  1. Pingback: Getting Real Non-Violence | Between Too Worlds

  2. Pingback: Hatha Yoga Pradipika – Ordered List of Entries With Links | Mystical Tidbits

  3. Pingback: Hatha Yoga Pradipika – Asana | Mystical Tidbits

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