The Shiva Samhita

A Critical Edition and An English Translation

Translated by James Mallinson • 192 pages • 6 x 9 • Photos • Index

This affordable, critical edition of the Shiva Samhita contains a new introduction, the original Sanskrit, a new English translation, nine full-page photographs, and an index. This is the first edition of this classic Yoga text to meet both high academic and literary standards, the first to be based on a truly critical study of the Sanskrit manuscripts.

Free Sample PDF

Here are just some of the stores that carry the Shiva Samhita. You can also read it for free through your library or have it printed in minutes by an Espresso Book Machine.


ISBN 9780971646650

Buy Six Paperbacks

Get 40% off


ISBN 9780971646643

Buy Six Hardcovers

Get 20% off

By the Carton

Buy a carton of 24 paperbacks and get 55% off & free shipping within the United States. (In USD)

Buy a carton of 24 paperbacks and get 50% off & free shipping within the United Kingdom. (In GBP)

Buy a carton of 24 paperbacks and get 45% off & free shipping within Australia. (In AUD)

“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.”
—Elizabeth De Michelis
Oxford University


“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.”
—Don Diggs
Center for Health and Wellness


“I found the book very easy to read and understand. I would highly recommend this book.”
—Claude Mundy


“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.”
—Anne Marie Allen


“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.”
—Diane Fereig


“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 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.”
—Dennis Littrell


“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 are two other Hindu Studies titles: James Mallinson’s translation of the Gheranda Samhita and Lars Martin Fosse’s translation of the Bhagavad Gita.”
Midwest Book Review

Table of Contents

The Vital Principle

From the Introduction

Composed 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.


The 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 Author

James 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 Meter

The 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.


The 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.