"VERY OFTEN PHILOSOPHICAL GYMNASTICS IS MISTAKEN FOR SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE. IT IS TO BE REMEMBERED, HOWEVER, THAN NO INTELLECTUAL CONVICTIONS OR PHILOSOPHICAL TRAINING WILL TAKE AN INDIVIDUAL EVEN A WHIT NEARER TO THE LORD. PRACTICAL EXPERIENCES IN THE SUBLIME REGIONS OF ADHYATAMA A LONE COUNT. THESE EXPERIENCES CAN DEFINITELY BE MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE PSYCHO-PHYSIO-LOGICAL PROCESSES OF YOGA"
Preface to First Edition
We are happy to present to our readers a critical edition of another important text of Hathayoga, namely Gheranda Samhita. We had published earlier a critical edition of Hatha Pradipika which was very well received equally by the scholars and the Yoga students. Gheranda Samhita which describes several Yogic practices, is a great attraction for the Yogic students.
The staff of the P.L.R.D. of the Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti has been working on this text for years together to bring out a critical edition which has been long overdue.
The work of preparing a critical edition of Gheranda Samhita started during the life time of Swami Kuvalayanandaji. Several staff members have worked in this project, the prominent names associated with this work being: the Late Dr. S.A. Shukla and the Late Dr. Mahajot Sahai. The number of manuscripts selected was limited in the beginning. The work was further extended to include 19 texts, some manuscripts and some printed texts. Since the number of manuscripts available is small we have tried to depend more and more on available material for the collation.
Thus, for the first time a critical of Gheranda Samhita is made available to the readers. The text is presented in the original, with a complete English transliteration, translation and explanatory notes wherever necessary. It is also illustrated by the suitable photographs of the techniques of Yogic practices to supplement the description. This has further increased the utility of the text.
It will be found that an attempt has been made to give some scientific explanation and results of the scientific studies conducted on some of the Yogic practices in the Scientific Research Department of the Samiti. Research workers from different fields including medical, are now attracted towards the study of various practices of Yoga for the maintenance of psychophysiological health. However, the actual research findings are very meager. Wherever there were available, we have used them in the notes.
The publication of this text has been made possible because of the help from the Government of India, Ministry of Education, for which we are highly thankful. We are grateful to our colleagues Dr. P.V. Karambelkar, Joint Director of Research, Dr. M.V. Bhole, Deputy Director of Scientific Research, Shri O.P. Tiwari, Secretary, Dr. V.A. Bedekar, Shri R.J. Sahu, Dr. Pitambar Jha and Shri G.S. Sahay for their help in preparing this critical edition. We acknowledge with thanks the hearty co-operation of various Oriental Institutes, too numerous to mention, for providing related thankful to Shri Ramesh Madhamshettiwar for the help rendered in collecting related material at our request.
We also thank Shri K.M. Gokhale for the excellent co-operation and immense pains taken while the book went through the press. Help of Nirakar's Photo Studio, Bombay is also acknowledge for the photographs taken.
Preface of the Second Edition
The First Edition of the Gheranda Samhita published in 1978 had been very well received equally by the scholars as well as Yoga students.
The first edition having been completely sold out for quite some time it was felt necessary to go in for the second edition to meet the persistent demand for Gheranda Samhita being received by the Samiti from within the country and from abroad. Unfortunately, the Samiti was handicapped due to non-availability of the services of both the editors of the first edition namely Swami Digambarji and Dr. M.L. Gharote. Whereas Swami Digambarji had passed away in 1990, Dr. M Gharote had retired from the service of the Samiti. Nevertheless, the work done under their guidance to bring out the first edition of Gheranda Samhita ever be remembered by the Samiti as well as Yoga enthusiasts.
Finally, it was decided to bring out the second edition of the publication without any change for the present. However, it had not been possible so far for want of adequate resources to take up the job in hand. We have since overcome these handicaps. The second edition of Gheranda Samhita is now in the hands of scholars/readers interested in Yoga. Further, it was made possible because of the active involvement of Shri K.P. Talwar, who is in fact one of the family members of Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla. The total printing of the publication has been done under his supervision. It will the too formal for me to thank him for this.
Dr. B.R. Sharma, Acting Asstt. Director P&R Deptt. of the Samiti and his staff remembers are of course to be thanked for their suggestions.
My heartiest thanks are also due to Shri Megh Raj Aggarwal of the Model Press (Pvt.) Ltd., New Delhi who has always been very helpful and cooperative in the printing of our publications including the current one.
May God bless all to continue to bring out such publications and serve the cause of Yoga in future also.
Earlier publications of Gheranda Samhita
Gheranda Samhita was edited first by Bhuvanan Chandra Vasaka at Calcutta in 1877. The same was translated and introduction was prepared in German by Richard Schmidt at Berlin for the second edition in 1921, under the title, "Fakire und Fakirtum". Tattva Vivecaka Press, Bombay published an edition in 1885. Kaliprasanna Vidyaratna edited with translation in Bengali, the text of Gh.S. in 1886. Another edition in Bengali script by Rasika Mohan Chattopadhyaya was published in 'Arunodaya' Bengali Monthly Journal in 1890. In the series of the 'Sacred Books of the Hindus' an edition with English translation was published by Panini Office, Allahabad in 1914. Earlier in 1898 Laxmivenkateswar Press published an edition with Hindi translation. A better and carefully edited text was published by the Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras in 1933.. Other editions have also recently been published. But non of these editions was critically edited and these seem to have been based on a single manuscript, particulars of which are not available.
A general account of the manuscripts
For the purpose of the critical edition of the text of Gheranda Samhita 14 manuscripts and 5 printed texts have been used. Out of these only one manuscript is incomplete. Rest of the texts are complete. Their details are given below:
I. Ms. No. 1074 (also No. BI 32) at BBRAS Library. Bombay; 19 Folios; 11 lines to a page: 32 letters to a line; Country paper. Rough and thick; Devanagari script; size 12" X 6"; date, Jyestha Vadya 9th of Samvat 1928 (10th July, 1872 A.D.) Name of the scribe Bhagawanlal Indraji; Complete.
II. Ms. No. G. 9112-15-D-3 at the Asiatic Society, Calcutta; 7 Folios: 14 lines to a page; 52 letters to a line, Country paper, smooth and thin; Devanagari script; size 13" X 6"; date appears to be modern; Incomplete, containing first five chapters and a verse from the sixth.
III. Ms. No. G. 5835-7-F-3 at the Asiatic Society, Calcutta; 16 Folios; 10 lines to a page. 34 letters to a line; Country paper, tough and thin; Devanagari script size 11" X 5½"; Date, Asadha Suddha 12th of Samvat 1900 (1843 A.D.); Name of the scribe Narayananatha, written at Goraksatilla: damaged by rodents; Complete.
IV. Ms. No. G. 9099-15-D-1 at the Asiatic Society, Calcutta, 18 Folios; 11 lines to a page; 34 letters to a line; country paper, smooth and tough; Devanagari script; size 11½" X 5½"; Date, Sravana Sukla 1st of Samvat 1934 (1877 A.D.) Complete.
V. Ms. No. Keith 5768 (I.O. 3578) at India Office Library, London; 14 Folios; 11 lines to a page; 40 letters to a line; Thick and smooth country paper; Devanagari script; size 13½" X 5½"; Date, Phalguna Suddha 13th of Samvat 1919 (1862 A.D.); Complete.
VI. Ms. No. Keith 5768 (I.O. 3578) at India Office Library. London; Calcutta; 28 Folios; 3 lines to a page; Palm leaf; Bengali script; size 16"X 1½"; Date, Sake 1724 (1802 A.D.); Complete.
VII. Ms. No. 36248 at the Rajasthan Oriental Institute, Jodhpur; 8 Folios: 18 lines to a page: 40 letters to a line; Country paper; Devanagari script; size 13½" X 7"; Date not given, but not very old. Complete.
VIII. Ms. No. 4103 at the Orientai Institute, Baroda; 22 Folios.
IX. A transcript of Ms. No. 12/4727 at Ganganath Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapitha, Allahabad.
X. Ms. No. 29870 at the Sanskrit University Library (Saraswati Bhawan), Varanasi, 10 Folios; 10 lines to a page; 21 letters to a line; paper; Devanagari script; size 13" X 5.1"; Dated not given Complete.
XI. Ms. No. 29987 at the Sanskrit University Library (Saraswati Bhawan), Varanasi, 39 Folios; 7 lines to a page; 21 letters to a line; paper; Devanagari script; size 6.3" X 3.3"; Dated Samvat 1861; Complete.
XII. Ms No. 29944 at the Sanskrit University Library (Saraswati Bhawan), Varanasi; 15 Folios; 8 lines to a page; 59 letters to a line; Paper; Bengali script; size 13.2 X 3.7"; Date not given; Complete.
XIII. Ms. No. 30012 at the Sanskrit University Library (Saraswati Bhawan), Varanasi; 15 Folios; 8 lines to a page; 59 letters to a line; Paper; Bengali script; size 13.2" X 3.7"; Date not given; Complete.
XIV. Ms. No. 30121 at the Sanskrit University Library (Saraswati Bhawan), Varanasi: 12 Folios; 11 lines to a page; 54 letters to a line; paper; Bengali script; size 13.1 X 3.9"; Date not given; complete.
XV. Gheranda Samhita (Yogasastram) published in Samvat 1986 by Ganga Visnu Shrikrishnadas, Laxmivenkatesvera Steam Press, Bombay, with Hindi translation by Pandit Radhachandra. The headings of chapters and sub-headings of the topics given are apparently inserted by the editor.
XVI. Gheranda Samhita with translation and notes by Dr. Chamanial Gautam and published by Samskriti Samsthan. Bareli in 1974 A.D. The headings of the chapters and sub-headings of the topics are also used in this text.
XVII. Gheranda Samhita, translated in English by Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu, first published in 1917-15 by Panini Office. Allahabad; Second Edition published by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, New Delhi in 1975.
XVIII. Bengali text edited with translation and notes by Kaliprasanna and published by Babuchandra Ghosh on 1st Bhadra of Bengali year 1292 (i.e. 1886 A.D.), microfilm of which was used.
XIX. Bengali Text edited with translation and notes by Rasikmohan Chattopadhyaya and published in Arunodaya Monthly in 1890 A.D. of which microfilm was used.
XX. Vol. (XX). Gheranda Samhita, Theosophical Publishing House, Adyar, Madras, 1933.
So far as material variants are concerned, the following Mss. Show some distinctly individual and peculiar readings with their mutual affinity as shown in the following groups:
(1) I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII.
(3) X, Xi, XII, XIV, XX.
(4) XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX.
The text of Gheranda Samhita is based on printed text (XX) with the necessary emendations supported by other Mss. However, the original readings of the basic Ms. Are noted in the foot-notes.
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