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The Books on Yoga

From the point of view of their ultimate significance all the Hindu scriptures, indeed the scriptures of all religions, may be said to be treatises of yoga. The aim of all religions is to bring man towards union with, or re-integration into the Supreme Being. Religious practices or moral disciplines are only preliminary stages in this process.

In most of the Hindu scriptures, such as the Eternal Wisdom (Veda), the "Completive Scriptures" (Puranas), the Epics (Itihasas), the Moral Codes (Dharma Shastras), the Rules of Terrestrial Knowledge (Tantras), etc., are found many important references to the different techniques of yoga. A certain number of ancient Sanskrit treatises however, deal exclusively with the principles the methods and the different systems of yoga.

The main treatises which form the basic scriptures of yoga are the following:

(1) The Yoga Upanishads which are part of the Vedic literature and which deal with all the aspects of yoga.

(2) The Yoga Darshana of Patanjali and its commentaries which form the basic treatise of Raja Yoga.

(3) The technical treatises of Hatha Yoga such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita, etc.

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