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Traditional Wisdom Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara Translated by Swami Narasimhananda

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Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara Translated by Swami Narasimhananda
1
PB January 2019
Wrút²; std{; ŒtËg JhtrªtctuÆt; >
Arise! Awake! And stop not till the goal is reached!
Traditional
Wisdom
January 2019
Vol. 124, No. 1
Yoga-Taravali of
Acharya Shankara
Translated by Swami Narasimhananda



 
Vande gurunam charanaravinde sandarshita-svatma-sukhavabodhe.
Janasya ye Jangalikayamane samsara-halahala-mohashantyai. (1)
I salute the lotus-feet of my guru that have experienced the knowledge and bliss of Atman,
and that serve as a doctor for removing the delusion of people caused by the poison of
samsara. (1)


 
Sada-shivoktani sapada-laksha-layavadhanani cha santi loke.
Nadanusandhana-samadhimekam manyamahe manyatamam layanam. (2)
In this world, there are one lakh and twenty-ve thousand laya-yoga—the yoga of absorp-
tion in nature—meditations told by Lord Shiva. Of these, I consider the samadhi brought
about by the meditation on the anahata sound to be the best. (2)
—No bleed here—
PB January 20192
Prabuddha Bharata
12

 
Sarecha-purair-anilasya kumbhaih sarvasu nadisu vishodhitasu.
Anahatad-amburuhad-udeti svatma-avagamyah svayameva bodhah. (3)
When by the rechaka, exhalation; puraka, inhalation; and kumbhaka, retention of air, all the
nadis, channels for prana’s ow, are puried, then knowledge rises of its own from the lotus
of anahata chakra; this knowledge can only be known by oneself. (3)

 
Nada-anusandhana namo’stu tubhyam tvam manmahe tattvapadam layanam.
Bhavat-prasadat-pavanena sakam viliyate vishnupade mano me. (4)
O’, meditation on the anahata sound, I salute you. I know that you are the ultimate goal
among the laya-yogas. By your grace, my prana and mind get merged in the Lord’s feet or
the supreme state. (4)


 
Jalandhara-auddyanaka-mulabandhan jalpanti kanthodara-payumule.
Bandha-traye’smin-parichiyamane bandhah kuto daruna-kalapashaih. (5)
e bandhakas, energy locks, of jalandhara, oddyana, and mula, have to be practised respect-
ively, in the throat, stomach, and the base of the anus. If one knows and practises these three
energy locks well, how can the cruel noose of time bind one? (5)

 
Oddyana-jalandhara-mulabandhair-unnidritayam-uranga-anganayam.
Pratyang-mukhatvat-pravishan-sushumnam gama-agamau munchati gandhavahah. (6)
3
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Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara
When the energy locks of oddyana, jalandhara, and mula awaken the coiled-up serpent-
woman, kundalini, then, the carrier of smell, air, moves downwards towards the sushumna
nadi, and gives up its going out and coming in. (6)
 
 
Utthapita-adhara-hutashan-olkair-akunchanai shashvad-apanavayoh.
Santapitach-chandramasah sravantim piyushadharam pibatiha dhanyah. (7)
By the constant compression of apana, the outward-moving energy, a ame of re comes
out of the muladhara chakra. is re heats the moon of the sahasrara chakra and the other
moons or centres of nadi in the body. Blessed in this world is the sadhaka, who drinks the
nectar that ows from this heated moon. (7)


 
Bandha-traya-abhyasa-vipaka-jatam vivarjitam rechaka-purakabhyam.
Vishoshayantim vishaya-pravaham vidyam bhaje kevala-kumbha-rupam. (8)
I do the one-pointed practice of kevala-kumbhaka that arises out of the practice of the three
energy locks mentioned earlier. is kevala-kumbhaka is devoid of rechaka and puraka, and
it removes the disturbance in the sense organs caused by their contact with sense objects. (8)

 
Anahata chetasi savadhanair-abhyasa-shurair-anubhuyamana.
Sanstambhita-shvasamanah prachara sa jrimbhate kevalakumbhaka-shrih. (9)
When the mind is xed on the anahata chakra, then the actions of breathing and the mind
are stopped. In this state, the splendour of kevala-kumbhaka is clearly seen. is splendour
can be experienced by the alert and adept sadhakas. (9)
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14



 
Sahasrashah santu hatheshu kumbhah sambhavyate kevala-kumbha eva.
Kumbhottame yatra tu rechapurau pranasya na prakrita-vainkritakhyau. (10)
ough thousands of kumbhakas are mentioned in the hatha yoga texts, only the kevala-
kumbhaka has been acknowledged as the greatest, because in this greatest kumbhaka, prana’s
rechaka, also called prakrita; and pranas puraka, also called vainkrita; do not exist. (10)


 
Trikutanamni stimite’ntarange khe stambhite kevala-kumbhakena.
Prana-anilo bhanu-shashanka-nadyau vihaya sadyo valayam prayati. (11)
When the calm inner space called trikuta becomes still by kevala-kumbhaka, then prana leaves
the solar nadi, pingala; and the lunar nadi, ida; and gets dissolved. (11)
 
 
Pratyahritah kevala-kumbhakena prabuddha-kundaly-upabhukta-sheshah.
Pranah pratichina-pathena mandam viliyate vishnupada-antarale. (12)
e prana—which remains aer it is consumed by the awakened kundalini—is controlled by
kevala-kumbhaka, and leaves by the downward path, and gradually gets merged in the feet
of the Lord or in the supreme state. (12)


 
Nirankushanam shvasanodgamanam nirodhanaih kevala-kumbhakakhyaih.
Udeti sarvendriya-vritti-shunyo marullayah ko’pi mahamatinam. (13)
5
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Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara
Various restraints of the unchecked upward-motion of the breath are caused by kevala-
kumbhaka. is causes a dissolution of air in some wise yogis. Such dissolution is free from
all disturbances of the senses. (13)

 
Na drishti-lakshyani na chittabandho na deshakalau na cha vaturodhah.
Na dharana-dhyana-parishramo va samedhamane sati rajayoge. (14)
When raja yoga has properly developed, there is no need to focus upon goals; there is no
need to control the mind; there is no need to observe the time and number of breath; there
is no need to regulate the breath; and there is no need to put eort to attain concentration
or meditation. (14)


 
Ashesha-drishyojjhita-dringmayanam-avasthitanam-iha rajayoge.
Na jagaro napi sushuptibhavo na jivitam no maranam vichitram. (15)
ose who are established in raja yoga, are completely discarded by this manifested universe,
and become one with Brahman. ey have a strange state, without the states of waking and
deep sleep; neither are they living nor dead. (15)

 
Aham-mamatvadi vihaya sarvam shri-rajayoge sthira-manasanam.
Na drashtrita nasti cha drishyabhavah sa jrimbhate kevalasamvid-eva. (16)
ose who have given up the ideas of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ and always have a calm mind and are es-
tablished in the great raja yoga, they do not have the moods of the seer or the seen, and in
that state, consciousness alone is manifested. (16)
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Prabuddha Bharata
16


 
Netre yayonmesha-nimesha-shunye vayur-yaya varjita-recha-purah.
Manashcha sankalpa-vikalpa-shunyam manonmani sa mayi sannidhattam. (17)
Let the evolved state of mind, manonmani, be present in me, in which state, there is no open-
ing or closing of the eyes, the exhalation or inhalation of air stops, and the mind also becomes
free of resolves and choices. (17)

 
Chittendriyanam chira-nigrahena shvasa-prachare shamite yamindrah.
Nivata-dipa iva nishchalangah manonmanim-agnadhiyo bhavanti. (18)
e inhaling and exhaling of breath stops because of prolonged restraint of the mind and
the senses. In this state, the limbs of great yogis become immobile like the ame of a lamp in
a windless place. e intellects of such yogis gets merged in the evolved state of mind called
manonmani. (18)

 
Unmany-avastha-adhigamaya vidvann-upayamam-ekam tava nirdishami.
Pashyann-udasina-drisha prapancham sankalpam-unmulaya savadhanah. (19)
O’ learned one! I tell you a method to attain the evolved state of mind, unmani: be indier-
ent to this universe and uproot all resolves with alertness. (19)

  
Prasahya sankalpa-paramparanam sanchhedane santata-savadhanam.
Alambanashad-apachiyamanam shanaih shanaih shantimupaiti chetah. (20)
7
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Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara
e mind that is constantly alert to forcefully destroy the chain of resolves in the mind, be-
comes free of distractions and attachment to sense objects due to the destruction of the basis
of all thoughts; and gradually attains peace. (20)


 
Nishvasa-lopair-nirbhritaih sharirair-netrambujair-ardha-nimilitaishcha.
Avirbhavantim-amanaska-mudram-alokayamo munipungavanam. (21)
When there is a complete absence of breathing, immobility of the body, and the lotus of the
eyes are in a half-open state, we see the manifestation of amanaska-mudra, the mindless-pose,
in great sages. (21)


 
Ami yamindrah sahajamanaska dehe mamatve shithilayamane.
Mano’tigam maruta-vritti-shunyam gachchhanti bhavam gagana-avashesham. (22)
e great yogis, whose identication with the body has weakened because of spontaneously
attaining the state of amanaska, attain a state beyond the mind that has no disturbances of
the prana, and is innite and limitless like the sky. (22)

 
Nivartayantim nikhilendriyani pravartayantim paramatmayogam.
Samvinmayim tam sahajam-avastham kada gamishyami gatanyabhavah. (23)
When would I give up all the other states and attain that spontaneous state full of conscious-
ness, which quietens all the senses and leads towards the union with the supreme Self? (23)

 
PB January 20198
Prabuddha Bharata
18
Pratyag-vimarsha-atishayena pumsam prachina-sangeshu palayiteshu.
Pradurbhavet-kachid-ajadya-nidra prapancha-chintam parivarjayanti. (24)
Due to excellent reection on the indwelling Self, the previous attachments of persons go
away and they attain a state of conscious sleep, yoga-nidra, which makes them give up all
thoughts of this universe. (24)

 
Vichchhinna-sankalpa-vikalpa-mule nihshesha-nirmulita-karmajale.
Nirantara-abhyasa-nitanta-bhadra sa jrimbhate yogini yoganidra. (25)
By constant practice, the ever-benevolent yoga-nidra, appears in those yogis, whose resolves,
choices, and the eects of actions have been completely uprooted. (25)


 
Vishrantim-asadya turiya-tattve vishvady-avastha-tritayoparisthe.
Samvinmayim kamapi sarvakalam nidram sakhe nirvisha nirvikalpam. (26)
O’ friend, getting convinced of and getting established in the state of turiya—which is be-
yond the three states of vishva, waking; taijasa, dreaming; and prajna, deep sleep—constantly
experience the bliss of yoga-nidra that is full of consciousness, free from doubts, and inex-
plicable. (26)


 
Prakashamane paramatma-bhanau nashyaty-avidya-timire samaste.
Aho budha nirmala-drishtayo’pi kinchinna pashyanti jagat-samagram. (27)
Alas! When the sun of the supreme Self rises and the darkness of ignorance is completely
9
PB January 2019
19
Yoga-Taravali of Acharya Shankara
dispelled, though the knowers of Self have a pure vision, they are unable to see anything in
this entire universe. (27)


 
Siddhim tathavidha-manovilayam samadhau shrishaila-shringa-kuhareshu kadopalapsye.
Gatram yada mama latah pariveshtayanti karne yada virachayanti khagashcha nidam. (28)
Staying in the cave of the Shrishailam mountain [a jyotirlinga temple of Shiva in Andhra
Pradesh, India], when would I attain the perfection in samadhi that dissolves the mind, when
creepers would entwine my body, and when birds would build their nests in my ears? (28)

 
Brahma-randhra-gate vayau gireh prasravanam bhavet.
Shrinoti shravanatitam nadam muktirna sanshayah. (29)
When the prana becomes stable at the brahma-randhra, the anterior fontanelle, conscious-
ness ows like the ow from the top of a mountain. One hears the anahata-sound, which is
beyond the range of hearing, and there is no doubt that one gets mukti. (29)
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... The source documents for yoga nidra, the Taravali of Acharya Shankara, also advised, "O' friend, getting convinced of and getting established in the state of turiyawhich is beyond the three states of vishva, waking; taijasa, dreaming; and prajna, deep sleep-constantly experience the bliss of yoga nidra that is full of consciousness, free from doubts, and inexplicable" [3]. The ancient Vijñāna bhairava, a major source document for yoga, describes roughly 112 types of yogic meditation practises (around seventh century CE). ...
Article
Full-text available
Yoga nidra, also known as ‘yogic sleep’, is a simplified form of an ancient tantric relaxation technique. The most general description of the practice is that it combines guided mental imagery with a specific yoga posture called Shavasana (or “corpse pose”). The goal of yoga nidra is to promote a profound state of relaxation, which differs from sleep inasmuch as there is still an awareness of one’s surroundings. While several components of the practice have been known since ancient times, it was not until the nineteen-sixties that an updated and systematized system of practice was introduced to the public through the writings of Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Unlike other schools of yoga, which emphasize concentration or contemplation, yoga nidra’s goal is complete relaxation. As such, its advocates claim that it is suitable for all individuals, from beginners to advanced practitioners of yoga. The calm inner stillness induced by yoga nidra is claimed by practitioners to be an effective stress management tool as well as a means for attaining greater receptivity to personal resolutions. These resolutions can range from the goal of achieving self-transformation, enhancing creativity, or improving one’s learning ability. Additionally, yoga nidra is claimed to promote beneficial changes in physiological and mental health. The following narrative review summarizes the basic steps used to achieve the final state of yoga nidra relaxation as well as some recent experimental findings regarding its physiological and psychological effects. Standard research databases were searched for relevant articles. Clinical studies have shown that yoga nidra meditation is associated with positive physiological changes, including improvements in several hematological variables, red blood cell counts, blood glucose levels, and hormonal status. Two neuroimaging studies have shown that yoga nidra produces changes in endogenous dopamine release and cerebral blood flow, a further confirmation that its effects on the CNS are objectively measurable. The practice has also been shown to reduce psychometrically measured indices of mild depression and anxiety, although these benefits were not shown in an experimental study to extend to severe depression or severe anxiety.
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