Yoga Karika (With Yoga Sutras, Transliteration, English Translation and Special Notes)

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Item Code: NAH026
Author: Swami Maheshananda
Publisher: Kaivalyadhama Samiti Lonavla
Language: Sanskrit Text with Transliteration and English Translation
Edition: 2008
ISBN: 8189485504
Pages: 277
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 370 gm
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Book Description

It is a matter of great satisfaction that our Philosophico-Literary Research Department is slowly and steadily continuing the legacy of its founder Swami Kuvalayananda, in exploring the traditional yogic lore by way of unfolding the true import of Sanskrit Yogic Texts in modern languages.

In this regard, in late 1990 after having convinced with the profound content of Yoga Karika written by Swami Hariharananda Aranya, published as appendix by Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, under Kashi Sanskrit Granth Mala No. 110, the Department undertook the project of English Translation of this text as this elucidates the various concepts and practices of Patanjala Yoga Sutra, expected to be immense beneficial to all those who do not understand the Sanskrit language.

While translating the Sanskrit text in English it is well known fact that we do not find appropriated terminology in English or in any other language to convey the proper connotation of Sanskrit terms and therefore, it was thought necessary to retain the original Sanskrit words in the translation or some times in brackets. Secondly, while rendering of Sanskrit terms in any other language one has to follow the traditional method wherein the Sanskrit words are translated work by word keeping the contextual meaning in mind and that is the reason why word-to-word meaning has also been given in the translation. In doing so, a lot of care has been taken to see that this English translation of Yoga Karika is close to the thoughts of its author. And we hope that the present translation will prove immensely pertinent in deciphering the traditional import of Patanjala Yoga Sutra through this master work i.e. Yoga Karika of Swami Hariharananda Aranya.

At times, the work that was going in full swing was to be either slowed down or set-aside due to other Department/Institutional priorities. And even when the translation work was complete and it was in the process of printing our search for more information regarding Swami Hariharananda Aranya was on and in this connection we had the correspondence with Kapil Math, founded by Swamiji himself, from where we came to know that the English translation of Yoga Karika has recently been published by one of the disciples of Kapil Math, Dr. Deepti Dutta, Retd. Vice Principal, Miranda College. We tried to get the copy of the same but could not get it. Actually speaking we had no information regarding the translation done by Dr. Deepti Dutta as this translation work was not listed on the web site of Kapil Math. Secondly, it is well known nationally and internationally that Kaivalyadhama is mainly devoted to the cause of yoga for the last 80 years with a view to disseminate the knowledge of classical yogic text amongst common people without any monitory gains. Moreover, there can be more than one translations of a text especially when the text is as profound as Yoga Karika. As our translation work was already in the press and it was done with a view to pay our homage at the lotus feet of the great Sadhaka, Yogi and the exponent of our Ancient Indian Tradition of Yoga, keeping this in mind, we communicated this fact to the authorities of Kapil Math and we would like to place on record that the Kapil Math authorities very promptly and wholeheartedly accepted the same. We highly appreciate their academic and yogic approach for research and therefore, we express our humble gratitude and regards for the same.

In conclusion, we express our sincere gratitude towards all the members of Kaivalyadhama Pariwar for their direct/indirect contribution towards this work. We would like to mention the name of Shri O.P. Tiwariji, Secretary, Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti especially, to whom we remain ever indebted for his contribution and concern for the Department and Institute as a whole. Shri Subodh Tiwari, Administrator, Kaivalyadhama also deserves our deep appreciations without whose effort in arranging money for its publication, the work would not have seen light of the day.

Our thanks are also due to the Ministry of H.R.D. Department of Education, Govt of India, for its regular financial and moral support for the research works being carried out and for overall development in Kaivalyadhama.

Our thanks are also due to Dr. Bhaktikar Jha and Miss Shrutibha for going through the proof during the publication of this translation.

Besides English Typing the present work consists of computer work of various kinds such as Transliteration, Devanagari Script, Typing of notes etc. that requires refined skill and attention and Shri P.H. Raut, who prepared the typescript of the present book, deserves our thanks for the same.

We are also thankful for the prompt services provided by our Library staff Mr. B.D. Kute and Mrs. A.S. Sinha.

Mr. Tanpure, Proprietor, Ace Enterprises, Pune, who has long standing experience in printing and long association with Kaivalyadhama, has utilized his expertise unsparingly towards well-knit printing of the present work and hence our thanks are due to him.

Last but not least, we appeal to our readers to give their feedback, comments, criticisms etc. regarding the present work so that their opinions and comments can be incorporated in the future. It will be duly acknowledged by us in the next edition of this Translation.


Yoga Karika, a scholarly work in verse form by Swami sri Hariharananda Aranya, elucidates the concepts and practices of Yoga, as described in Yoga Sutra by Maharsi Patanjali and commentary thereon by Vyasa, It attracted the attention of Research workers of Kaivalyadhama mainly because of the following reasons:-

1. This work is called Yoga Karika which had a name similarity with that of Samkhya Karika, We know the importance of Samkhya Karika. However the case with Yoga Karika can not be directly compared with that of Samkhya Karika but undoubtedly the word 'Karika' attracts the scholar's attention. This work was published as Appendix - 1 in the book 'Samkhya Yoga Darsanam' i.e. 'Patanjala Darsanam - Patanjala Rahasya, Tattva Vaisaradi, Yoga Varttika, Bhasvati and Samkhya Pravacana etc.', (2nd Edition - 1989), Edited by Goswami Damodar Sastri, published by Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthana, Varanasi under Kashi Sanskrit Grantha Mala No. 110. Though it was published as Appendix but looking to the profoundness of the content the work was worth considering as having independent status. The Philosophico-Literary Research Department of Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti decided to take up this work for its independent publication along with its English translation.

2. The other reason that prompted the department to take up this work was its availability only in Sanskrit. We could not find the book translated in modem Indian languages i.e. either in English or Hindi, therefore, the Department proposed to translate this work in English and make it available to those who are not well versed in Sanskrit. The Department is devoted to and stands for bringing out all relevant and important literatures on Yoga and make it available to common man. The growing demand and popularity of Yoga has actually increased the responsibility of Yoga researchers to expand the horizon of Yogic knowledge by bringing out Sanskrit Yogic literature in translated form for Yoga Sadhakas, Yoga Teachers and Yoga therapists. Kaivalyadhama is fully aware about its responsibility and making every effort in this direction. The Translation of Yoga Karika is an example of the same.

About Yoga Karlka
Yoga Karika is a Book written on Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. It elucidates Yogic concepts and practices in verse form described in Yoga Sutra. It is divided in four Padas (i.e. chapter) devoted to each Pada of Yoga Siitra.

The Karikas actually elaborate a brief understanding of the concepts in- built in the Sutras and some time more than one Karika have been devoted to explain and clarify the concept and practices therefore, the number of Karikas have increased up to 346 as against only 195 Sutras of Patanjali.

Swami Hariharananda Aranya has also written Sarala Tika in Sanskrit on his own Yoga Karika and has tried to further elucidate the concepts which could not be clarified through Karika or which further required to be clarified through Tika. The published book as Appendix - 1 (Ref. above) contains the original Karika as well as Sarala Tika both.

About Hariharananda Aranya ( A Historical Account)
Swami Hariharananda Aranya - the author of the commentary on Yoga Sutra known as Bhasvati and Yoga Karika - represents the age old tradition of Sanskrit scholars and of commentators. Fortunately we have authentic information about his life. He was a great sage and Samnyasi of early twentieth century. By his works he may be placed by the side of Vacaspati Misra and Vijnana Bhiksu and so on. So far the life history of Swami Hariharananda Aranya is concerned, according to the tradition to which he belongs, the details of his life sketch are not made public (See Para 2 of Page 11 of the Editorial by Dr. Ramashankar Bhattacharya on the book 'Patanjala Yogadarsana' a Hindi Translation of the Bengali Commentary by srimat Swami Hariharananda Aranya). He himself had forbidden his disciples to construct any memoir at his Samadhi place or writing his life sketch. This is also reported in the editorial of 'Pataiiajala Y ogadarsana' - Hindi Translation of the Bengali Commentary by Swam] Hariharananda Aranya, edited by Bhagiratha Mishra et al. and published by Lucknow University (page 2). However, the information that we could gather from the editorials of different editors who have published the books written by him, is being presented here for the readers.

It has been reported that Swam] sri Hariharananda Araanya was born in Bengal on 4th December 1869. He left this mortal coil on 19th April 1947 and in this way he lived for 78 years in this world. He was initiated in Samnyasa by his Guru Swami Triloki Aranya about whom nothing can be said authentically. He spent most of his time in a secluded places like jungle or cave and had minimum contact with the people. He was a living example of Samkhya Yoga tradition and was following the path of Samkhya for the sake of highest realization. He was the founder of Kapila Matha located in Bihar (presently in Jharkhanda) at Madhupur (PIN - 815353 ).It is a monastic community devoted to maintain the tradition of Sarpkhya Yoga in contemporary India.

From 1926 to 1947 i.e. till he left his mortal coil, Swami Hariharananda Aranyaji lived in a secluded artificially created Kapila cave and lived the philosophy of Samkhya and Yoga practically. He was accepting the food brought by his devotee only once a day which was received through a small opening.

Scholarship - The depth of the scholarship of Swarni Hariharananda Aranya can be known through his works reported in the editorial of 'Patanjala Yogadarsana' (See Page12 of the Editorial by Dr. Ramashankar Bhattacharya on the book 'Patanjala Yogadarsana' a Hindi Translation of the Bengali Commentary by Srimat Swami Hariharananda Aranya). An incomplete list of his works has been provided are as under-
1. Bhasvati commentary on Vyasa Bhasya of Yoga Sutra (Sanskrit)
2. Yoga Karika with Sarala Tika (Sanskrit)
3. Sarpkhya Tattvalokah (Sanskrit)
4. Pancasikhadinarn Sarnkhya Sutram (Sanskrit Comm. On statements old Samkhya Acaryas)
5. Parabhakti Sutrarn (wrote in 26 aphorisms on Samkhya and also commented on them in Sanskrit)
6. Samkhya Sutras of Paucasikha and other ancient sages (Bengali)
7. Samkhyan catechism (Bengali)
8. Kapilasram iya Stotra sangrahah (Sanskrit with Bengali commentry)
9. Sarala Samkhya Yoga (Comm. On Samkhya Karika in Bengali)
10. Srutisara (Upanisadic doctrines explained in the light of Sarpkhya)
11. Karmatattva (Book in Bengali describing Karma Siddhanta)
12. Translated 'Bodhicaryavatara' in Bengali
13. Dharma Pada (Translated Pali verses in Sanskrit verses and further translated in Bengali)
14. Nibandha Granthavali (in Bengali)
15. Samkhyiya pranatattva (Bengali book)
16. Sankara Darsana and Samkhya tattva (in Bengali)
17. Gita and its doctrines (in Bengali)
18. Pancabhuta
19. Satya aur usaka avadharana
20. Purusa or Atman
21. Mastiska and Svatantra Jiva (in Bengali) Shri J.N. Farquhar during his quest for finding real Sadhakas of spiritual path happened to meet Swami Hariharananda Aranya, writes 'Samkhya samnyasins are so rare that it is of interest to know that as early as 1912 a learned Samkhya Yati named Swami Hariharananda Aranya was alive and teaching in Calcutta' (The religious quest of India, Page 289).

Kapilasramiya Patanjala Yoga Darsana is his one of the well known works. Originally in Bengali, it has been translated in Hindi and English. Dr. Rama Shankara Bhattacharya has given the summary of Swami Hariharananda Aranya's Samkhya's another work well known as Samkhya Tattvavaloka which has been incorporated into encyclopaedia of Indian Philosophies, Vol. No iv, (Samkhya , A dualist tradition in Indian Philosophy) Edited by Gerald James Larson and Rama Shankara Bhattacharya, Pub. By Motilal Banarasidas, 1987.

Swami Hariharananda Aranya is not only a personality well versed in Indian Traditional thought and sadhana but he is also well versed in Western thought and modem Anatomy and Physiology. This becomes quite clear from his Patanjala Yoga Darsana - a commentary on Yoga Sutra of 'Patanjali (cf. commentary on PYS I/7, I/30, II/50, III /13, IV / 14)

His criticisms of Buddhist thought from Samkhyan point of view and his answers to Sankaracharya's criticism to Samkhya are profound instances of his philosophical acumen and remind us of ancient Indian method of establishing one's thought.

Besides being a great scholar of Samkhyan philosophy and tradition and an ardent follower of Samkhyan path, he had a great reverence for Yoga Sutra of Patanjali as well. In modern times, we write Samkhya - Yoga with hyphen but for Hariharananda Aranya these two can not be conceived in separation. This can be deducted on the basis of the works that he has written on Patanjala Yoga.

We have three works written by Swami Hariharananda Aranya to be quoted here under the works on Patanjala Yoga:-

1. Patanjala Yoga Darsana - This is a work in Bengali language.

This can be considered as author's magnum opus. The book not only elucidates the concept of Yoga but at the same time refutes all those objections raised against Patanajali's Yoga and thus establishing the theory of Patanjali with profound arguments. Fundamentally, this work is elucidation of Vyasa Bhasya in Bengali language.

2. Bhasvati - a Sanskrit commentary on Vyasa Bhasya - we have two types of commentaries related with Patanjala Yoga. One is direct commentary on Yoga Sutra and the other is Commentary on various commentaries on Yoga Sutra. Bhasvati is Sanskrit Commentary on Patanjala Yoga of Second type because this is a commentary on Vyasa Bhasya.

3. Yoga Karika - On the basis of the statement in the beginning of Yoga Karika, it clearly mentions that it is a work on Patanjala Yoga Sutra, It presents the contents of Yoga Sutra with precise explanations in verse form in Sanskrit. We have also Sarala Tika - a commentary on Karika by the author himself. Tika is purported to unfold the concepts that are not clearly understood from Karika.

Special features of Yoga Karika
To present Yoga Sutra and Vyasa Bhasya both in the verse form - termed as Karika by the author himself - is the most important feature of this Text and only a great scholar of the calibre of Swam] Hariharananda Aranya can take up this challenging work. It is a well known fact that Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is one such sutra text in orthodox system of Indian Philosophy which has been commented by maximum number of commentators. This indicates two important facts about Yoga Sutra - (1) Its practical nature might have attracted the maximum number of commentators towards it, as well as, the (2) terse composition of its aphorisms necessitated the elucidation by several commentators. And further the synthesis of Theory and Practice is in itself a rare phenomenon in Indian philosophy and Yoga Sutra is perhaps the rare example of its kind. Though fundamentally Yoga Sutra has Samkhyan metaphysical foundation and it serves towards the realization of liberation as conceived by Samkhya but the practical efficaciousness of Yoga is not restricted to it only and that is the reason why Yoga has been accepted as Sadhana by the philosophies having different metaphysical foundations than Samkhya. And the uniqueness of Yoga Karika consists in shedding light on both the aspects of Yoga Sutra viz. Samkhyan metaphysical thoughts and also on subtle practical aspects of Yoga. In doing so, Swami Hariharananda Aranyaji seems to have taken Vyasa as the ideal to be followed which happens to be the case with the commentators of Sutra after Vyasa. At times it may at once be said that Karika has rendered Vyasa in most abridged form or simplified the same. In this way Yoga Karika carries forward, in modem times, the ancient tradition of Yoga. Writing Sarala Tika on his own work i.e. Yoga Karika also reinforces the same spirit.

Schema of Present English translation
Prior to taking up this work we had several options in front of us such as
1. Translating the work along with providing the word meaning or
2. Directly translating the Karika only without providing word meaning.

However, we can not grasp the import of the Karika Text without understanding the meaning of the words constituting the Text. Hence we have adopted the first option.

After having adopted the first option the features of presentation are as follows -
1. We are guided by the order of the contents of available Text published in the Appendix -1 referred above. This presentation contains the Patanjala Yoga Sutra followed by Karikas on it which again is followed by Sarala Tika by Swami Sri Hariharananda Aranya himself. Since the Karikas have been construed to explain the Sutras, they formed the essential core of the Text, hence the Sutras have been presented in our English Translation along with its Transliteration and the meaning thereof.

2. In order to make Karikas accessible to non Sanskrit / Devanagari knowing persons, we have provided the Transliteration of Karikas preceded by their Devanagari Version.

3. As stated earlier, we have provided the word meaning of each word of Karika in order to make the import of the Karika clear. This will be a good reference for those who want to know about how the translators have arrived at particular translation of the Karika. This will also help the readers in understanding the Karika analytically. The word meaning that has been provided are not the dictionary meaning of the words but the meaning has been given with reference to context.

4. So far Translation of the Karikas is concerned, at various places, Sarala Tika on Karika has been considered to be more authentic and thus the readers may find the reflection of Sarala Tika in the translation but this has been done in order to provide better understanding of Yoga Karika in accordance with the views of Hariharananda Aranya.

5. We have also provided special notes wherever necessary for understanding the concepts in better and clear way and through this we have tried to justify the concepts of Karika.

In this way we have presented the English translation of Yoga Karika Text in following sequence of content-
i. Original Patanjala Yoga Sutra (P.Y.S.) in Sanskrit
ii. Sutra in transliterated form
iii. Meaning of the Sutra
iv. Original Yoga Karika (Y.K.)
v. Karika in transliterated form
vi. Meaning of each word of Karika
vii. Translation
viii. Special Notes (wherever necessary)

Limitations of the Translators
In fact the limitations of the Translators are nothing but the limitations of Translator's knowledge and information which can always be improved but can never be transcended completely. Here no finality can be claimed but this much we are sure that no stones are left unturned in presenting the English Translation of Yoga Karika with clarity and precision.

We had to depend on only one copy of this text. The printing of this published text is not completely error-free and at various places there are misprints in Karika. However, with the help of Sarala Tika, we could arrive at proper reading of the karikas and accordingly we have presented our translation. In spite of all this, the scope and possibility of further improvement remains.


  Preface (v)
  Introduction (xi)
  Yoga Karika  
I Samadhi Pada 1
II Sadhana Pada 85
III Vibhuti Pada 160
IV Kaivalya Pada 226

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