Monday, 4 May 2015

The Yuktabhavadeva

A concise description of Haṭhayoga from a 17th century source

By JASON BIRCH and JACQUELINE HARGREAVES 


The Yuktabhavadeva, which means "The god who is engaged in the world", is a 17th-century compilation on yoga written by Bhavadevamiśra, a Maithila Brahman. This text is a fine example of how Haṭha and Rājayoga were absorbed into mainstream Brahmanical thought.

It contains a passage with a concise description of Haṭhayoga as a simple seated practice repeated four times a day for 48 minutes for 6 months (or longer).  Colourful visual metaphors describe the states achieved by consistent practice of this technique.

Bhavadevamiśra work brings together teachings of Haṭha and Rājayoga with the Pātañjalayogaśāstra and traditional Brahmanical texts such as the Mahābhārata, Purāṇas, Dharmaśāstras, Upaniṣads and so on. Bhavadevamiśra was also fond of the Yogavāsiṣṭha and quotes it extensively in this text.

Download this concise description as a PDF.






The Yuktabhavadeva (chapter 11, verses 121-29)


atha haṭhayogasya saṃkṣepo 'bhidhīyate

savyena gulphena gudaṃ nipīḍya savyetareṇaiva nipīḍya sandhim || dakṣiṇe kare savyaṃ karaṃ sthāpayitvā samāṅge netre nāsikāgre bhrūmadhye vā dhārayitvā manasā mūlādhārasthāṃ śikhāṃ paśyed iti ||121||

evaṃ prātarmadhyāhnasandhyārdharātreṣu muhūrtam api samabhyasato yogino dinadaśakenaiva gudadvāranirodhād ūrdhvam udgacchatāpānena pratyarpito vahnir ūrdhvajvālo bhavati ||122||

tataḥ śarīralaghutā jāṭharānaladīptinādābhivyaktayo bhavanti || tataḥ ṣaṇmāsena vatsareṇa vālpamūtrapurīṣatvam || vāhanāsanādau ca nirbhayatvaṃ ca bhavati ||123||

tato 'nilena sārdham analaṃ nābhau dhārayet || tena tatrasthakuṇḍalinīrūpiṇaś cakriṇaḥ prabodho bhavati ||124||

tataḥ kalevare paṭe tantava iva vāyavaḥ sañcaranti || tato vahniṃ tathaivānilena saha nābher ūrdhvaṃ nayet ||125||

tato rogā nasyanti || vahnivṛddhikāntyādayaś ca bhavanti || atha hṛtpaṅkajaṃ vahnisahito vāyuḥ praviśya protphullaṃ karoti || tato vidyānidhitvaṃ bhavati ||126||

tataḥ sa vahniṃ vāyuṃ bhruvor madhye samāropya candraṃ buddhyā paśyet || tadantare cātmānaṃ vibhāvayet || tatra ca mano līnaṃ kuryāt ||127||

tatphalam uktaṃ yājñavalkyena [Yogayājñavalkya 12.25-26]
mano layaṃ yadā yāti bhrūmadhye yogināṃ tadā |
jihvāmūle 'mṛtasrāvo bhrūmadhye cātmadarśanam ||128||

kampanaṃ ca tathā mūrdhni manasaivātmadarśanam
devodyānāni ramyāṇi nakṣatrāṇi ca candramāḥ
ṛṣayaḥ siddhagandharvāḥ prakāśante ca yoginām ||129||

From "Yuktabhavadeva of Bhavadeva Miśra” 
(edited by Gharote and Jha. Lonavla: The Lonavla Yoga Institute, 2002)

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Do you know where in this text the pañcakośa are mentioned? Are you able to provide me with a reference and quote? Thanks, Patrick

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    Replies
    1. Hi Patrick,
      There’s a reference to the pañcakośas in the Yuktabhavadeva's third chapter, which is on the body (śarīra). It presents various conceptions of the body, from āyurvedic to vedāntic, the five kośas are mentioned, with the following passage quoted from the advaita text, the Sureśvarācārya:

      dehamannamayaṃ kośamāviśyātmā prakāśate .
      sthūlo bālaḥ kṛśaḥ kṛṣṇo varṇāśramavikalpavān .. 27..
      prāṇakośe'pi jīvāmi kṣudhito'smi pipāsitaḥ .
      saṃśito niścito manye iti kośe manomaye .. 28..
      vijñānamayakośastho vijānāmīti tiṣṭhati .
      ānandamayakośākhye tvahaṅkāre purākṛtaiḥ .. 29..
      puṇyairupāsanābhiśca sukhito'smīti modate .
      evaṃ kaṃcukitaḥ kośaiḥ kaṃcukairiva pañcabhiḥ .. 30..
      paricchinna ivābhāti vyāpto'pi parameśvaraḥ .
      yathā salilamāviśya bahudhā bhāti bhaskaraḥ .. 31..
      tathā śarīrāṇyāviśya bahudhā sphuratīśvaraḥ

      Bhavadeva calls his text (written in 1623CE) a Yoganibandha, but this does not mean that the yoga practices he describes (i.e., āsana, prāṇāyāma, dhyāna, etc.) are integrated with the theory he presents. In fact, the chapters are quite disjointed (i.e, there is no yoga practice mentioned in the third chapter). Nonetheless, it is somewhat of a precedent to the combining of Vedāntic theory with medieval yoga practices, as happened in the 20th-century.
      Thanks, Jason

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