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Select Bibliography of translated Sanskrit Texts on Hatha Yoga

  • By Dr. Subhasis Chattopadhyay
  • June 21, 2023
  • This bibliography is meant for serious students of Hatha Yoga.

To read article in PDF click HERE, to read in online formatted version see below.


1. Ayyangar, S. Satyamurthi, and G. Srinivasa Murti. The Yoga Upanisads: Translated into English on the Basis of the Commentary of Sri Upanisadbrhmayogin. Adyar: Adyar Library Research Centre, 1952.


This is an absolute essential volume as it brings out the Yoga Upanishads in one volume. It is an indispensable guide for a Yogi and scholar.


2. Ādinātha. The Khecarīvidyā of Ādinātha: A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of an Early Text of Haṭhayoga. Translated by James Mallinson. Reprinted. Routledge Studies in Tantric Traditions. London-New York: Routledge, 2007.


This book is very important within the Hatha Yoga canon. The real technique of Khechari can only be learnt from Guru to Shishya within the Shakta Tantra tradition. It is highly advisable not to practise this Mudra without an able Guru otherwise one can have permanent oral cavity problems including choking. This is a very advanced technique.


Mallinson's treatment of Khechari Mudra is seminal in the English-speaking world. Researchers will learn a lot from this text. But Mallinson is no Tantric and thus misses some necessary annotations at the level of metaphors and metonymies. His is a very erudite work but yet it remains an insufficient exegesis. Other extant translations in English do not match up to Mallinson's level. One has to remember that Mallinson's approach is informed by structuralist concerns.


3. Gheranda. The Gheranda Samhita: The original Sanskrit and an English translation. Translated by James Mallinson. Woodstock, NY: YogaVidya.com, 2004.


This is a key text on Hatha Yoga. Unless this book is consulted, the true aims of Hatha Yoga can never be understood. Hatha Yoga is a preparation for Tantra and therefore the various Hatha Yogic postures prepare the body ultimately making the body fit for divinization. The Rig Veda exhorts us to be gods to worship God. The aim of Hatha Yoga is to make us gods. The aim of Acharya Gheranda is to transform the body for the unsurpassed Yoga or anuttara Yoga practised by Kashmiri Shaivites. It lays a lot of stress on bhutashuddhi or, the cleansing of the psycho-somatic apparatus.


4. Svātmārāma. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Translated by Brian Dana Akers. Reprinted. New Delhi: New Age Books, 2005.


Unless one reads Swami Svātmārāma's book on Hatha Yoga, one never gets to know that the aim of Hatha Yoga is to prepare the ordinary human being, who is called a 'pashu' or animal in Shakta Tantra for progressing on the spiritual path. Often it is not realized that what we are practising in the name of Yoga are specific Tantric techniques for enabling Kundalini Shakti to rise or descend. The latter case is known as Shaktiphat. Read What is Shaktiphat


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Author Subhasis Chattopadhyay  has a Ph.D. in Patristics and the Problem of Evil in American Horror Literature from the University of Calcutta. His reviews from 2010 to 2021 in Prabuddha Bharata have been showcased by Ivy League Presses. He has qualifications in Christian Theology and Hindu Studies and currently teaches English Literature in the PG and UG Department of a College affiliated to the University of Calcutta. He also has qualifications in Behavioural Sciences.

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