The relation of sri Gorasnatha to Hathayoga is similar to Maharsi Patanjali’s relation to what is termed by scholars as Classical Yoga – both are known as the systmatizers of Yoga and not the originators. The treatise, Siddhasiddantapaddhatih (SSP) by sri Goraksanatha, is a classical text on Hathayoga which delineates hathayogic precepts and practices in their profoundity and thoroughness and thus has become a pioneering source for succeeding hathayogic literature. The present critical edition endeavours to justify itself as it presents the text with authenticity, along with the annotations that consist of notes, appendices, tables and charts, etc. contributing towards in-depth comprehension for various types of Yoga lovers.
Goraksanatha, to whom the present text is ascribed, was a leading exponent of the religious order known as the Natha Pantha, also called kanphatas. He was a yogi par excellence and was regarded as greater than his guru, Matsyendranatha. Judging by the varied mass of literary material associated with his name, in Sanskrit, Prakrta, Marathi, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Urdu and other vernaculars in India, his fame as a religious leader and reformer seems to have caught the fancy of people all over India and thus led to a cluster of contradictory legends about him.
Popular belief which takes him to be a representative of siva or even a form of that God himself, saw no difficulty in weaving together incidents separated by long distances of the time. The early stories connected with his name might have been inspired by fancied etymology and gathered round his head after his death. In the result, Goraksanatha has come to be placed anywhere between the 7th century A.D., and the 15th century A.D. If the Maharastra parampara is held authentic, the date of jnanesvari 1290 A.D. and the inscription of somanatha in which Goraksanatha's name is recorded, would supply the latest terminus. Of course, allowing a fair margin for the growth of his popularity to have a temple erected in his name, as argued by Dr. Briggs, he can be assigned to the 10th century. Dr. Mohan Singh concludes from data chiefly found in vernacular sources that Goraksanatha lived in 9th century and the 10th century. Dr. Mohan Singh, also, is faced with the difficult problem of harmonizing the entire group of popular legends, particularly the composition of the twelve 'contemporary' disciples, some of whom are clearly separated from Goraksanatha by several years. So, the 10th century has tentatively been accepted as the date of Goraksanatha.
The literary out-put that goes under the name of Goraksanatha is both vast and varied. For example, he is said to have written a book on chemistry called, ‘Goraksakimayagara’. It is presumed that he has written a book on astronomy as there is a reference to a school of thought called, 'Goraksamata' on the question of (Muhurta). There is a book in Marathi called 'Amaranatha-sarnvada' ascribed to him. sri Hajar' Prasada Dvivedi (Hindusthani Academy, Uttar Pradega, Alahabad, 1950), in his book, (nathasampradaya) P-98 has given a long list of works attributed to Goraksa - most of these dealing with Yoga.
Goraksanatha is regarded as the Tutelary Deity in Nepal, whereas, in Tibet he is taken to be a Buddhist Magician. He was evidently an Advaitin protagonist of saivism and successfully counteracted the influence of the Mahayana Buddhism in Nepal which he converted to saivism. He was a powerful organizer and established 'Mathas' all over India, e.g., in Bengal, Nepal, Punjab, Kathiawar, Maharasthra, Ceylon etc. He is said to have crossed the N. W. Frontier of India and visited Afganistan and Baluchistana. The visit of Mahant Manmohanadas of Dargah Pir Ratan Nath to kabul (after the partition of India) and the reception accorded to him by the leading afghan Hindus and Sikhs recalled the memory of the establishment of a ‘gaddi’ at kabul by Ratan Nath who was deputed there by his guru, Goraksanatha. A consistent and well-connected story of the life of Goraksanatha is, still a desideratum.
The Philosophico Literary Research Department of Kaivalyadham, Lonavla, has a long tradition of working on the Critical Editions of Yogic MSS both published and unpublished. The present text Siddhasiddhantapaddhatih. (SSP) is the one that has been already published from several places and times. Though there are several published texts, our findings reveal that these are not of the category of Critical Editions but simply translations in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati or English based on single Manuscript. Further, the translations do not render the text from yogic practical point of view. Sometimes Transliteration is found not following the Sanskrit Text. These factors cumulatively led the researchers of the Department to undertake the project on the Critical Edition of Siddhasiddhantapaddhatih. The particulars of Nine MSS and four published texts that have been used in our Critical Edition are provided in the Introduction of present work.
Siddhasiddhantapaddhatih (SSP) is considered as one of the earliest Hathayoga scriptures authored by Goraksanatha the pioneer writer on Hathayoga. In modern yogic scenario, the text Siddhasiddhantapaddhatih can be looked upon as the ancient Indian Science on Yogic Anatomy-Physiology. Here Goraksandtha also lays down the fundamental doctrines of Nath philosophy viz. the Highest Reality.
Our Critical Edition may appear to be at some places influenced by an applied aspects of Yoga. For the better understanding of the text our Critical Edition is provided with some charts on important topics along with the analytical summary of the content of all the Six Chapters. Hope that scholars, readers and students will find this edition rich in content.
We are grateful to all those manuscript libraries who have helped us in getting photo copies of Siddhasiddhantapaddhati Manuscripts (the details of which we have mentioned in our Introduction). We are also thankful to all the authors and publishers of Published Books, list of which given in our Introduction.
Our thanks are due to the Ministry of H.R.D., Department of Education, Government of India, for their regular financial and moral support for the research works being carried out and for the overall development of Kaivalyadhama.
We are thankful to our Secretary, Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute, Shri O. P. Tiwari for encouraging and providing necessary facilities right from procuring MSS and discussing with the staff about the progress of the work.
Chief Executive Officer, Kaivalyadhama Shri. Subodh Tiwari with his expertise and diligence is in pace with ongoing research and could generate necessary funds for the publication of the text. And he rightly deserves our appreciation and thanks.
This Preface will not be complete without expressing our sincere gratitude towards all the members of Kaivalyadham Pariwar for their direct/indirect contribution.
We are always thankful to our Library staff for their prompt services that they have rendered towards departmental research work regularly.
Mr. Nitin Tanpure, ACE Enterprises, Pune, who has longstanding experience in printing and long association with Kaivalyadham, has utilized his expertise unsparingly towards the well-knit and timely printing of the present work. We are thankful to him for the same.
Last but not least, we hope that our readers will provide as usual with their feedback, comments, criticisms etc. regarding the present work so that their opinions and comments can be well taken care of in our next edition.
**Contents and Sample Pages**