The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is an important text in which are enumerated the essentials of yoga. It explains in clear terms the asanas, pranayama, mudras, and the samdhi which are essential in the practice of yoga and describes the stages and the correct methods for doing these. It also discusses the philosophy underlying the yoga and is a manual of instructions for the students of yoga.The importance of this text for teacher and student of yoga alike cannot be overestimated as this treatise is of immense practical value. The present work contains the original Sanskrit text and its translation into English along with an Introduction.
The Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā is a classic Sanskrit manual on hatha yoga, written by Svāmi Svātmārāma, a disciple of Swami Gorakhnath. Said to be the oldest surviving text on the hatha yoga, it is one of the three classic texts of hatha yoga, the other two being the Gheranda Samhita and the Shiva Samhita. A fourth major text, written at a later date by Srinivasabhatta Mahayogaindra, is the Hatharatnavali.
The text was written in 15th century CE. The work is derived from older Sanskrit texts and Swami Svatmarama's own yogic experiences. Many modern English translations of the text are available.
The book consists of four Upadeśas (chapters) which include information about asanas, pranayama, chakras, kundalini, bandhas, kriyas, shakti, nadis and mudras among other topics. It runs in the line of Hindu yoga (to distinguish from Buddhist and Jain yoga) and is dedicated to Śrī (Lord) ādi nāthā (Adinatha), a name for Lord Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction and renewal), who is believed to have imparted the secret of hatha yoga to his divine consort Parvati.
Yogi Swatmarama was a 15th and 16th century yogic sage in India. He is best known for compiling the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which introduced the system of hatha yoga. Hatha yoga focuses on purification of the body as a path that leads to purification of the mind. As a result, prana or vital energy can flow and be handled. Gorakhnath, who was probably Swami Swatmarama's guru, belonged to a yoga sect called Nath pant. Nath sect came into existence to save the society from the misuse of tantra śāstra (black magic and sorcery).