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“James Mallinson has just produced the most reliable Sanskrit edition and English translation of the Shiva Samhita available. I praise his painstaking and learned work, which is well complemented by a crisp, informative, no-nonsense introduction. The accuracy and readability of this book make it of great interest to anyone working on Yoga and related disciplines.”
“I recommend your publications to every serious student of yoga that I come across. The translations are obviously meticulously done. The introduction in each text establishes clarity regarding the various source materials for each translation, as well as the careful thought process that has gone into the translation. It is refreshing, as it comes across as genuine. No agenda is attached to it other than bringing out good translations from which we can study. You and your team have brought dignity and integrity to these translations.”
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“I found the book very easy to read and understand. I would highly recommend this book.”
“Well done! This book is very easy to read and provides a great synopsis of Yoga and how it benefits the body and mind. Furthermore, the book illustrates right living in a way that is understandable to the common reader. I am impressed with the author’s ability to translate information that is ancient into a format that is palatable to the present time. I am also impressed with the publisher. Although this is a small company, the response time was very prompt, the books are affordable, and ship very quickly.”
“Mallinson has done the yoga community a great service by translating this and a number of other yogic texts in a clear and concise manner.”
“The author provides the original Sanskrit rendered right along with his direct, clear, and beautiful translation.”
“With this work newly translated into English, the people at YogaVidya.com have completed the publication of three of the most historically important but seldom published works of yoga. The other two are Akers, Brian Dana, trans., Hatha Yoga Pradipika; and Mallinson, James, trans., Gheranda Samhita. Mallinson, who also did the translation here, is to be commended for the clear, contemporary feel of the book and for a worthy introduction.”
“One of the sacred books of Hinduism, the Shiva Samhita was composed more than five centuries ago and is considered a fundamental text of Hatha Yoga. Recording beautiful spiritual teachings found nowhere else, the Shiva Samhita is translated from the original Sanskrit by James Mallinson, providing western readers with a new, accurate, modern translation of this ancient religious text. Featuring photographs of the asanas and mudras described by the text, the Shiva Samhita is a strongly recommended, core addition to personal, academic, and community library Hinduism Studies, Yoga Studies, and World Religion Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. Also very highly recommended from YogaVidya.com are two other Hindu Studies titles: James Mallinson’s translation of the Gheranda Samhita and Lars Martin Fosse’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita.”
Table of ContentsIntroduction
The Vital Principle
From the IntroductionComposed over five centuries ago, the Shiva Samhita is one of the most celebrated root texts of Hatha Yoga. It includes beautiful teachings found nowhere else. This edition contains the original Sanskrit, properly edited and printed for the first time, and a new, accurate translation thereof. It also features photographs of the asanas and mudras described therein.
ExcerptThe Lord said, “There is one eternal true knowledge, without beginning or end. No other real entity exists. The diversity which is found in this world appears through the imposition of the senses on knowledge and for no other reason.
Affectionate toward his devotees, the Lord, having cast aside opinions born of the ignorance of sophists, shall now pronounce a Yoga teaching that bestows liberation on the selves of all beings, so that beings whose minds are set on no other destiny may have knowledge of their selves.
Some praise truth and others asceticism and purity. Some praise patience and others equanimity and honesty.
Some praise charity and others ancestor worship. Some praise action and some absolute indifference.
Some wise men praise the rites of the householder and some say that rites such as the fire sacrifice are the best.
Some praise Mantra Yoga and pilgrimage. In this way, many means to liberation are taught.
About the AuthorJames Mallinson is a graduate of Eton and Oxford, holds a master’s from the School of Oriental and African Studies, and returned to Oxford University for his doctorate. He is presently a Senior Lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical and Indian Studies at SOAS, University of London.
Notes on MeterThe Shiva Samhita's meter is mainly anushtubh, with just a few vipulas, but verses 1.1, 1.91, 5.180 and 5.193 are in shalini, 5.30 is in vamshamala and 5.194 and 5.260 are in Indravajra.
BibliographyThe AmRtasiddhi of MAdhavacandra. Acc. No. 1242 in the manuscript collection of the Maharaja Mansingh Pustak Prakash, Jodhpur.
The BRhatkhecarIprakAza. A commentary on the KhecarIvidyA by BallAla. Manuscript 14575 in the collection of the Scindia Oriental Research Institute Library, Ujjain.
The DattAtreyayogazAstra, ed. Brahmamitra AvasthI. Delhi: SvAmI KezavAnand YogasaMsthAn. 1982.
The Siva Samhita, tr. Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu. Allahabad: Panini Office. 1914-15.
The YogacintAmaNi of ZivAnanda SarasvatI, ed. HaridAsa VidyAvAgIza (BhAgavatAcArya). Calcutta. Undated.
The Yuktabhavadeva of Bhavadeva Mizra, Ed. M. L. Gharote and Vijay Kant Jha. Lonavla: Lonavla Yoga Institute. 2002.