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Gheranda Samhita

Gheranda Samhita (Sanskrit धेरंड संहिता Gheraṇḍa saṃhitā) meaning “Gheranda’s collection” is one of the three classic texts of Hatha Yoga (the other two being the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Shiva Samhita). It is a late 17th century text and is considered to be the most encyclopedic of the three classic texts on hatha yoga.

Gheranda Samhita is a manual of yoga taught by Gheranda to Chanda Kapali. Unlike other hatha yoga texts, the Gheranda Samhita speaks of a sevenfold yoga:

Shatkarma for purification

Asana for strengthening

Mudra for steadying

Pratyahara for calming

Pranayama for lightness

Dhyana for perception

Samadhi for isolation

The text itself follows this division in seven chapters, and has a focus upon the shatkarmas, thus this text is sometimes said to describe ghatastha yoga. For instance, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali describes an eightfold path (yama and niyama instead of shatkarma and mudra, and addition of dharana). The closing stanzas on samadhi teach different methods than those described by Patanjali.

Definition courtesy Wikipedia.

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