The Amaraughaprabodha: Awakening a Flood of Nectar

The earliest known Haṭha Yoga text.


Ṛśyaśṛṅga (a maharṣi) worshiping a Śiva Liṅga.
Gouache painting by an Indian artist (19th c.).
Wellcome Collection. CC BY.


The Amaraughaprabodha is a Sanskrit Śaiva yoga text attributed by its colophons to Gorakṣanātha. It was published by Kalyani Devi Mallik in 1954 and has been discussed in various secondary sources. Most notably, Christian Bouy (1994, pp. 18-19) identified this work as a source text for the Haṭhapradīpikā of Svātmārāma (mid-fifteenth century). This article presents new manuscript evidence for a shorter recension of the Amaraughaprabodha than the one published by Mallik. Comparing the differences between the short and long recensions reveals that the structure of the shorter one is more cohesive and closer to the original design of the work. The close relationship of the Amaraughaprabodha’s short recension with an eleventh-century Vajrayāna work on yoga called the Amṛtasiddhi provides unique insights into how early teachings on Haṭhayoga were formulated. Although the practice of the physical techniques is largely the same in both texts, the author of the Amaraughaprabodha removed or obscured Vajrayāna terminology, added Śaiva metaphysics and framed Haṭhayoga as subordinate to a Śaiva yoga known as Rājayoga. This article proposes that the Amaraughaprabodha’s short recension is probably the earliest known work to combine Haṭha- with Rājayoga, on the basis of this recension’s close relationship with the Amṛtasiddhi, its rudimentary nature and the likelihood that Svātmārāma used it, and not the long recension, for composing the Haṭhapradīpikā.
Full article is available for download here.


Birch, J. "The Amaraughaprabodha: New Evidence on the Manuscript Transmission of an Early Work on Haṭha- and Rājayoga". Journal of Indian Philosophy (2019).



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