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Dattātreya-yoga-śāstra

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  1. Truly adoration to the One appearing as Nārasiṁha, defined through the threefold word (beingness-consciousness-blissness) or “has been said that the threefold name of brahman is oṁ-tat-sat” (BhG XVII.23) and many others, whose own nature is bliss (ānanda) and pure consciousness (cit-ātman).
  2. Sāṁkr̥ti, the wisest among the sages, while roaming about the whole world with the desire to obtain Yoga for prosperity, entered in the Naimiṣa forest
  3. Which is imbued with pure lakes, trees with good and tasteful fruits, flowers variously sweet.
  4. The wise, passing by over there, saw the great r̥ṣi Dattātreya who was sitting in padma-āsana together with his disciple on a small stage, under a mango tree.
  5. Dattātreya was in baddhapadma-āsana, viewing the tip of the nose, having the palms harmoniously united and placed upwards in the middle of the thighs.
  6. After making obeisance to the great and accomplished r̥ṣi Dattātreya, Sāṁkr̥ti took a seat in front of Him together with the rest of the disciples.
  7. Then, that sage, leaving the state of union (yoga), said a welcome word to Sāṁkr̥ti who was seating in front of Him:
  8. – Sāṁkr̥ti, tell me! For what reason are you here?
    To this question 
    Sāṁkr̥ti answered:
    – I came here to know about Yoga.
  9. Srī Dattātreya said:
    – Despite the fact that Yoga is manifold, I will explain to you all the spiritual knowledge that is compound of: Mantra-yogaLaya-yoga, Haṭha-yoga is the third
  10. And the fourth, Rāja-yoga, that is the best among all schools of Yoga. The tradition tells us that: ārambha, ghaṭa, paricaya
  11. And niṣpatti are the 4 established stages. This I will detail at length if you wish to listen them.
  12. First of all the wise yogin will make mātr̥kā nyāsa on the different parts of the body and then should repeat the mantra in order to obtain any kind of perfection (siddhi) – this is called Mantra-yoga.
  13. He should consider that if water and ocean become one through their union (yoga) then manas and ātman become one through samādhi.
  14. In the same way is also with the jīvātman and paramātman. Fit for this Yoga is the feeble one, able in 12 years of practice
  15. To obtain for sure the knowledge and powers (siddhi) like aṇiman etc. This Yoga is practiced by the inferior disciple who has a lesser power of the mind.
  16. And, truly, Mantra-yoga is known as the lowest among the systems of YogaLaya-yoga is the absorption of the mind produced through different saṁketa.
  17. 80.000.000 of saṁketa have been revealed by Ādinātha.
    Sāṁkr̥ti said:
    – Sir! Who is this Ādinātha and how does He look?
  18. Dattātreya said:
    – Mahādeva’s names are ĀdināthaBhairava, Śiva, Īśvara, Śabara, Īśa etc. That mighty god was playing
  19. With Gaurī on Śrīkaṇṭha mountain. Pramatha leaders, who were within the range of the forest of banana trees on the mountain Himākṣa,
  20. Have received from Śaṁkara, in His compassion, the revelation of each saṁketa there, on the peak of the mountain Citrakūṭa – mountain covered with beautiful trees.
  21. I can not explain circumstantially all this saṁketa but I will describe some of them that can be naturally (sahaja) practiced, without effort.
  22. No matter whether is abiding, walking, sleeping, eating or meditating yogin’s mind should be day and night in śūnya – this is the first saṁketa uttered by Ādinātha.
  23. The next saṁketa is described as being the focus of the sight only on the tip of the nose. Another saṁketa through which the death is defeated is the meditation on the backside of the head.
  24. The following saṁketa is described in this manner: the yogin should focus his sight only between the eyebrows. The best saṁketa is the concentration on the forehead in the flat-shaped place between the eyebrows (ājñā-cakra).
  25. The best laya is: sitting supine, immovable like a corpse (śava-āsana), with the mind focused on the right or left hallux – thus is described the best saṁketa.
  26. If the yogin will practice relaxed, in a place bare of peoples, would be able to obtain perfection (siddhi). Thus, in this way Śaṁkara has described many other saṁketa.
  27. His mind becomes laya through innumerable saṁketas or through other ways – this is Laya-yoga. After this exposition of the Laya-yoga system listen the order of the stages within Karma-yoga:
  28. External rules (yama), internal rules (niyama) and besides that posture (āsana), breath-exercises (prāṇāyāma) is the fourth, withdrawal of the senses (pratyāhāra) is the fifth,
  29. Concentration (dhāraṇā) is described after that, meditation (dhyāna) is mentioned seventh, contemplation (samādhi) described eighth confers all the virtues.
  30. Aṣṭāṅga-yoga has been known so also by Yājñavalkya etc.; in the same way also the followers of Kapila and others have practiced Haṭha-yoga.
  31. Thus mahā-mudrā and mahā-bandha, then khecarī-mudrā and jālaṁdhara-bandha,
  32. Uḍḍiyāna-bandha, mūla-bandha and viparītā-karaṇa and also japa of praṇava (auṁ) are to be practiced in a great secret.
  33. Vajrolī is known to be of 3 kinds: vajrolī, amarolī and sahajolī. I will describe their characteristics and how it should be made taking into account differences between them.
  34. Ten yama rules were described by wise who know the ultimate reality. Light food is one of the most important niyama rules and not other.
  35. Ahiṁsā is one of the most important yama rules. Listen the most important āsana of the 8.400.000!
  36. That āsana mentioned by Ādinātha it will be descried here: making with great care that both legs stay together on the thighs with the feet up,
  37. And then placing the hands in the middle of the thighs, with palms up, the yogin must stare at the tip of the nose and put the tongue at the root of the upper incisors.
  38. Should breathe easy leaning the chin close to the chest. Thus, the “abdomen” should be replete easily, inhaling powerfully. 
  39. Then the air should be expired easy, also with power. This is the padma-āsana, described as the annihilator of all diseases.
  40. Although being difficult to be obtained by anyone, in this world it is acquired only by the wise.
    Sāṁkr̥ti! Listen carefully to the path of Yoga practice!
  41. For [all] what will be said must be practiced gradually by the yogins with great care and determination and, in whatever situation are – young, old or ill –,
  42. Through practice and full attention, obtain gradually perfection in YogaBrāhman or ascet, buddhist or arhat (jain),
  43. Kāpālika or cārvāka, if is endowed with wisdom and full of faith, through an uninterrupted practice of the Yoga will obtain the full realization (sarva-siddhi).
  44. Realization can be achieved only by action – how can be achieved without action? No realization can be achieved simply by reading the scriptures (śāstra).
  45. If is with the head shaved or is staff bearing, clad in reddish clothes or speaker about Nārāyaṇa, hairy or smeared with ashes,
  46. Utterer of “namaḥ śivāya” (Glory to Śiva!) or worshiper of external sacrifices, worshiper of the 12 sacred sites (jyortir-liṅga) or has a very enjoyable speech,
  47. Or devoid of sacrificial acts – how can achieve perfection? Going under the guise of a saint is not the true cause of perfection, surely it is not.
  48. Sāṁkr̥ti! The truth is that the cause of perfection is the action. Conversations about Yoga of those who go under the guise are only for the satiation of stomach and of sexual organs.
  49. Endeed, being short of practice they deceive the people. They speak for a multiform disappointment: “Competent people
  50. We are, the yogins” – actually they’re ignorant and their final goal is pleasure. Knowing as they manifest themselves gradually that they are totally without a practice of Yoga,
  51. Assuming only the appearance and being satisfied merely to utter words – they must be removed because were always the real obstacles to Yoga practice.
  52. They must be removed with great care. Activity that brings perfection is as follows:
    – Great sage! at the beginning of practice there are many kinds of impediments.
  53. The first obstacle is laziness, the second is the self-praise and companionship of perfidious depicted above, the third is the practice of mantra,
  54. The fourth is alchemy, the fifth satiety and music;
    – Great sage! Thus all those that are perceived are like the “thirst of the deer” (mr̥ga-tr̥ṣṇa).
  55. Knowing thus the wise man should abandon it. Then, realising padma-āsana, should do voluntarily prāṇāyāma.
  56. Should build an excellent hut with a small door, cleaned of insects ghuṇa and has to be appropriate and carefully painted with cow dung or lime,
  57. Should not exist in it beings (bhūta) like bugs, mosquitoes etc., being very well swept for every day with a whisk, carefully and without laziness,
  58. It is scented with a fragrant smell and smoked with guggula etc. it should not be touched by the 18 kinds of bodily impurities such as urine etc.,
  59. Obstacles being destroyed through all these not united, not cloth or even skin of a tiger. Giving up association with others should not strew āsana elsewhere.
  60. There āsana is forming a wide part, covering well the surface of the hut. The wise sits there in padma-āsana
  61. Welcoming own deity with the body upright and añjali-mudrā, and then, with the right hand thumb the right nostril (piṅgalā)
  62. Being blocked, should inspire air very gently through the left (iḍā) nostril, then must do kumbhaka by withholding the air until the end of power.
  63. Then must eliminate the air carefully and impetuously through piṅgalā. “The abdomen” must be filled again carefully through piṅgalā and should be emptied in the same way without hindrance through the same nostril was filled. [Keeping thus as long as he can, it should be expelled slowly through iḍā. Filling trough that trough which has been expelled, must be kept without disturbance.]
  64. This is called sahitakumbhaka through which the yogin becomes free of all obstructions. Sitting thus harmoniously should do 20 kumbhaka in the morning,
  65. Should do 20 kumbhaka at noon, should do 20 kumbhaka in the evening, 
  66. Should do kumbhaka 20 at midnight. Sahitakumbhaka should be done daily with the help exhalation and inhalation.
  67. Since it is practiced together (sahita) with exhalation and inhalation is called sahita-kumbhaka – this should be done energetically 4 times daily.
  68. If it is practiced in this way for 3 months, then nāḍīs become pure. Only when the nāḍīs become pure the external signs appear
  69. In the yogin’s body – these I will describe entirely: ease of the body, brightness, intensification of the stomach-fire (gastric juice)
  70. And suppleness of the body will occur for sure. Then I will say about avoidable things that are producing obstacles in the practice of Yoga:
  71. Salt, mustard, sour, hot, unpleasant and black mustard; yogin should give up overeating and relationships with women;
  72. Fire worship must also be abandoned and also the society composed of deceivers. I will also explain the way to quickly get perfection in Yoga.
  73. The right means for the success in practice of Yoga are: clarified butter, milk, fresh food and diet moderate are permitted.
  74. Prāṇāyāma must be done exactly as has been said, then the yogin is able to keep the air in the chest as much as desired.
  75. Thus, by keeping the air at will, is performed kevala-kumbhaka. For who has reached perfection in kevala-kumbhaka, free of inspiration-expiration,
  76. Nothing is difficult to obtain in the three worlds. Early symptoms include excessive sweating and the yogin have to wipe it.
  77. Then, a retention increased gradually and very carefully of the air, tremor occurs in the body of the man that sits in padmaāsana.
  78. Then, through a enhanced practice, certainly appears dardurī – that can go as a frog (dardura), jumping on the ground.
  79. The yogin, sitting in padma-āsana, can forward on the earth in this way. Through such an intensified practice, he leaves the earth.
  80. Sitting in padma-āsana, the one moves abandoning the earth, being actually without support, because then appears various powers.
  81. Since then the yogin is no longer disturbed whether eats little or much, urine and faeces is shrinking and the sleep will be shorten;
  82. Worms, impure secretion of the eyes, saliva or stinking perspiration of the skin, all this and others do not occur again for him.
  83. Then, through the intensification of practice power will increase greatly thereby producing bhūcara-siddhi through which the earth living creature’s tameness is acquired:
  84. Tiger, wild buffalo or gayal, elephant or lion are killed by this yogin just with a hand strike.
  85. As is the form of Kāmadeva the same way will be of this yogin. Meanwhile, an great obstacle for the yogin can be pramāda:
  86. Subjugated by this form, women want to be with him. If he joins the woman his seed will be destroyed.
  87. Through the loss of the seed, during the lifetime, occurs decay. Therefore intercourse with women should be avoided repeatedly and respectfully.
  88. By protecting the seed from the yogin’s body he will always be good smelling, that is why the seed must be preserved by the yogin with all the efforts.
  89. Sitting in solitude, oṁ – lengthened to 3 units of measurement (a-u-ṁ) – should be repeated to destroy the sins previously collected.
  90. This oṁ mantra removes all obstacles and all the vices. By practicing Yoga performed in this way is produced ārambha-siddhi
  91. Then the practitioner of prāṇāyāma achieve the state of breath suspension (ghaṭa-avasthā).
    prāṇa apāna (prāṇamaya-kośa)
    manas vāyu (manomaya-kośa)
    jīvātman paramātman (vijñānamaya-kośa)
  92. Through the harmonization of these pairs – from ghaṭaavasthā – appears the state of unity called ghaṭaadvaya-avasthā, which is well known the yogins.
  93. From this state may appear certain signs that I will describe. The practice described above, performed 4 times per day, has to be abandoned.
  94. Whether it is day or night, has to practice only 3 hours – done only once per day – kevala-kumbhaka.
  95. For the yogin who practice thus certainly pratyāhāra will appear. Withdrawal of the senses, from the objects of the senses, is certainly for
  96. The yogin who use kumbhaka – this practice is called pratyāhāra. All what he sees with the two eyes, that must be ātman.
  97. All that he smells with the two nostrils, that must be ātman. Thus should be observed all the senses,
  98. Only three hours daily, by the yogin who is strenuously alert. Then the yogin will certainly achieve different powers such as:
  99. Clairaudience (dūra-śruti), foresight (dūra-dr̥ṣṭi), instantaneous movement at remote (kṣaṇād-dūra-gama), power of the word (vāk-siddhi), moving at will (kāma-cāritva), the capacity to make oneself invisible (adr̥śya-karaṇa),
  100. Turn iron etc. into gold with bodily excretions, urine and saliva, flying (khecarī) etc. – are achieved by the yogin who practice constantly.
  101. Then the yogi endowed with intelligence should understand that the powers (siddhi) of Yoga are the obstacles to the great achievement (mahāsiddhi) – therefore the wise one should not enjoy them,
  102. And should not ever show to anyone his own power, or it may show sometimes, in a friendly way, to the close one through faith.
  103. Like a fool, like a madman or like a deaf man – so should live in all three worlds in order to hide its own power.
  104. If he does not live in this way no doubt that many will become his disciples. Being thus intense occupied by carrying out work for others he will forget his own practice of Yoga
  105. And then, lacking the practice, becomes worldly man. Keeping in mind guru’s advice, he must practice in this way day and night.
  106. Only thus occurs ghaṭa-avasthā for the practicing yogin. If it is devoid of practice, Yoga will not become perfect by frivolous conversations.
  107. For this reason he need to practice Yoga with all the attention. Then, from the practice of Yoga occurs paricaya-avasthā.
  108. The breath (vāyu), being filled up carefully, as long with the fire, Kuṇḍalī awakening, must enter harmoniously into suṣumnā;
  109. Citta together with the breath (vāyu) must enter the “great path” (mahāpatha). Mahāpatha, śmaśāna or suṣumnā are truly one, although
  110. In other traditions exists under different names, in reality there are no differences. Present, future and past will be acquired
  111. For the one whose mind with the breath (pavana) enters in suṣumnā. This yogin, sitting in solitude and focusing hard to know the future actions,
  112. Must do the quintuple dhāraṇā in order to remove the danger caused by elements. I’ll describe pr̥thivī-dhāraṇā that removes the dangers caused by the element earth.
  113. The yogin should focus the air for 2 hours (5 ghaṭika) elow the navel and above the anus (mūlādhāra-cakra). Because of this, the practice has to be known pr̥thivī-dhāraṇā which removes the dangers caused by the element earth.
  114. For the yogin who makes this dhāraṇā no longer exists death caused by earth. Then has to focus the breath (vāyu) in the navel (svādhiṣṭhāna-cakra) for 2 hours (5 nāḍika).
  115. Through this dhāraṇā danger due to water ceases to exist, and even death caused by water does not exist for the yoginYogin should focus vāyu for 2 hours (5 nāḍika) in the circular area above navel (maṇipūra-cakra) –
  116. This is āgneya-dhāraṇā. For the one practicing this dhāraṇā no longer exists death caused by the element fire. Then the yogin acquires for sure different powers,
  117. His body will not burn be it thrown into a pot with fire. At the middle of a distance, consisting of 3 pradeśa, between the navel and eyebrows (anāhata-cakra)
  118. The yogin should focus his vāyu for two hours (5 ghaṭika) – this is vāyavī-dhāraṇā. Through this dhāraṇā, problems due to air (vāyu) no longer exists for the yogin.
  119. He must concentrate carefully the vāyu for 2 hours (5 nāḍika) above between the eyebrows (ājñā-cakra) – this is the ākāśa-dhāraṇā.
  120. Performing ākāśa-dhāraṇā the yogin really conquers death. Wherever he is located, will enjoy the ultimate happiness.
  121. The wise yogin should practice thus the quintuple dhāraṇā. Thereafter his the body becomes strong and death no longer exists for him.
  122. He must practice concentrating on the 5 elements as has been described. Death will no longer exist for him, not even in the dissolution (pralaya) of Brahmā.
  123. After dhāraṇā needs to practice dhyāna for 24 hours (60 ghaṭika). Controlling vāyu, must meditate on the deity that fulfills wishes –
  124. Thus it is saguṇadhyāna that confers qualities (guṇa) like aṇiman etc. Meditating on the formless-one (nirguṇa), like the space, the yogin enters the path of liberation.
  125. After having obtained nirguṇadhyāna the yogin should practice samādhi. He can surely obtain samādhi in 12 days.
  126. By controlling the breath (vāyu), the yogin becomes surely wise and emancipated while still alive (jīvanmukta). Samādhi is the identity state of jīva-ātman with parama-ātman.
  127. If he wants to abandon the body, then he can drop it at will and merge with the supreme brahman discarding karman, whether good or bad.
  128. So, if the yogin likes his own body and does not abandon it, being endowed with qualities (guṇa) like aṇiman etc., can wander all the worlds,
  129. Or can walk through the heavens becoming God at his will, or can become in an instant, at his own will, man or demon,
  130. Can become, as desired, lion, tiger or elephant, or can become a human being (jantutā). Since then the wise yogin can become, certainly as desired, the Maheśvara.
  131. – O, Sāṁkr̥ti! The way of the seer has been described in accordance to Aṣṭāṅga-yoga. Now I will describe as well the doctrine of perfected ones (siddha) like Kapila etc..
  132. Each practice is different but the result is really the same. I will explain at length mahāmudrā, which was revealed with great care by Bhairava.
  133. The heel of the left foot must be united with the genital place (yoni); the right leg, outstretched, must be held firmly with both hands.
  134. Placing the chin to chest (hr̥d) he has to refill the lungs with air (vāyu) retaining it as much as he can by kumbhaka, then it must be released.
  135. After practicing on the left side has to practice also on the right side – foot that was stretched out in front must be placed above the thigh –
  136. This is the mahā-bandha which must be practiced like mahāmudrā. Sitting the mahā-bandha, yogin must strike the buttocks very carefully –
  137. This is the mahā-bandha practiced by the perfect people (siddha). Placing the tongue’s tip, after being turned up, in the roof of the mouth
  138. The yogin must look between the two eyebrows – this is the khecarī-mudrā. After bending the neck toward the heart (hr̥daya) the yogin should focus firmly by the will –
  139. This is the jālaṁdhara-bandha, the protector of the fluid of immortality (amr̥ta) that flows from the lotus with a thousand petals (sahasrāra), situated in the crown of the head, by the fire from the navel (maṇipūra-cakra)
  140. Is always burned completely in the living creatures. But by doing so, the fire will not burn amr̥ta but will devour himself.
  141. Then, through such an exercise the yogin shall submit on the final path (paścima) – therefore should practice jālaṁdhara-bandha that makes the body immortal.
  142. Uḍḍīyāna done in a natural (sahaja) way is always described for its great merit; it can be practiced even by the old man, who giving up laziness becomes young.
  143. Must do utmost to make the navel’s fiber from above to be below. If practiced for 6 months, it can certainly defeat death – without any doubt.
  144. One who is familiar with the Yoga must practice also mūla-bandha constantly. Pressing the heel on the anus, he must turn back the breath (vāyu) with power
  145. Several times, making in a way that the breath will go up. Prāṇa and apāna, nāda and bindu become one through mūla-bandha.
  146. Practiced together, confers without any doubt complete perfection in Yoga. Posture (karaṇa) called viparītā is the destroyer of all diseases,
  147. And by practicing it constantly increases the gastric fire.
    – O Sāṁkr̥ti! For this fire must certainly be brought plenty of food;
  148. If will have little food, the fire will surely devour him.
    – Listen Sāṁkr̥ti! Doing viparītā-karaṇa, Sun sits above and the Moon below
  149. Head down and feet up – on the first day it should stay just a moment (kṣaṇa). Through daily practice will increase the duration a little more than a moment.
  150. After 6 months any wrinkles or gray hair are not to be seen if the experienced one in Yoga practices this exercise for 3 hours regularly.
  151. I’ll describe the vajrolī exercise that is kept in secret by all yogins. It is very secret and should not be disclosed to anyone.
  152. For certainly is to be described to the one who is like his own life. Going on the way of his own will, no longer subject to the rules set forth by Yoga,
  153. That yogin who knows directly vajrolī is the receptacle of perfection. On this topic, I say two things difficult to obtain for everyone,
  154. And if acquired then is mentioned as his generator of perfection in Yoga. The two things difficult to get are: milk and semen;
  155. The second thing difficult to get is acquired by men, wisely, from women. Woman who practice Yoga of sexual union can also get it through endeavor and with the help of man.
  156. Man or woman, through the indifference of each other on being male or female and through a single practice only of the own goal, can achieve realization (siddhi).
  157. If the seed comes out, then the yogin have to keep it by pulling it back – if the seed is preserved thus the yogin fully conquers the death.
  158. Death comes through the loss of the seed, life comes from the seed preservation. By a good conduct of preserving the seed, the yogin will succeed in all.
  159. First is practiced amarolī and then sahajolī. The method of their practice is described in the] tradition of Siddha school.
  160. Yogin should practice these exercises mentioned above at a time, one by one and then can practice Rāja-yoga – because certainly there is no another way.
  161. Realization is not gained through mere indications but is won only by practice. By fully mastering Rāja-yoga the yogin becomes the lord of all that exists.
  162. Having a behavior devoid of passion, he can do anything or to do nothing. As yogin’s full practice on this path of the system Yoga
  163. Therefore acquires the status of niṣpatti that bestows equally the results of pleasure (bhukti) and of the liberation (mukti).
    – O brahman Sāṁkr̥ti! All described is the practice of Yoga
  164. Listening to these words, Sāṁkr̥ti acquired yoga and got all the siddhis by the grace of Dattātreya.
  165. For the learner of this śāstra from a sādhu, in any way, even just listening to it, his yoga will be fulfilled gradually, without any doubt.
  166. Yogins who practice constantly, either in forests or in the family, being liberated since long time, certainly are glad for a long time.
  167. Therefore Yoga should be practiced always with great perseverance. Yoga practice is the fruit of life without which] actions would remain fruitless.
  168. And because the happiness of all is possible only through the favour of Mahāmāyā, the yogin shall endeavor to win her goodwill for all this teaching.
  169. The Lord – friend in joy and suffering, whose invocation burns sins and bestows the perfection (siddhi) in Yoga the ascetics – revealed for the first time, in his great kindness, the doctrine of the Yoga system (Yoga-śāstra).
  170. I humbly seek refuge at the lotus-feet of Viṣṇu incarnated in Dattātreya, Cintāmaṇi of devotion, guru of all people for whom my devotion is insignificant.

Here ends Yoga-śāstra composed by the great yogin, Muni Dattātreya

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