(Reverence to Madhava, the Supreme Bliss! Blessed by him the dumb shall grow eloquent and the lame shall stride across a mountain.)
The present work is the result of an inquiry into the original text of the Goraksasataka. The Literary Research Department of Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti set itself to the problem because, so far, the question had not received any serious attention from scholars who have written about Gorakhanatha and his work. So, through the good offices of Dr. P. K. Gode, the Curator of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona, the Samiti contacted most of the well known MSS. libraries in India and two more in London. As a result of the collection of the MS. material thus obtained, it was possible to arrive at the original text of the Natha Cult. After the solution of the problem, it was naturally thought desirable to present this original text to the literary world, with a complete English translation, and explanatory notes wherever necessary. In our search for MSS. we had come upon two Samskrta commentaries –Balaprabodhini and Yogatarangini (both in Ms. form) on the entire text published as ‘Goraksapaddhati’ by Laxmi Venkateshwar Press, Bombay, and as ‘Yoga Martanda’ included in the collection called ‘Siddhanta Paddhati’ and other Works of ‘Natha Yogis’, published by the Poona Oriental Book House, Poona. These commentaries were found to be useful in the explanation of some of the verses of Goraksasataka. So, relevant extracts from them also, have been included at several places in the explanatory notes. We are happy to say that the text in its present form is being placed in the hands of the readers for the first time.
In the preparation of this edition, we have received hearty co-operation from scholars working in the field. To them we have to express our sincere thanks. Our special thanks are, of course, due to Dr. P. K. Gode for his prompt help in making the MS. material available to use and his readiness to spare his valuable time for consultation whenever necessary. We have also to thank the late Shri Bhide of the Gitadharma Mandala, Poona who in spite of his old age and infirmity, took the trouble of deciphering for us some MSS. in the Bengali script, surely out of his love of learning. Finally we are greatly obliged to the authorities of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, Poona for providing us with general facilities like free access to their library etc. [or carrying out our work.
Having expressed our gratitude towards those that have helped us in the preparation of this edition of Goraksasataka, we want to say a few words about another matter concerning this publication. It will be found that an attempt has been made in the Notes and particularly in the Supplement to give scientific interpretation of certain Yogic concepts occurring in the text. This attempt is based partly on the scientific data collected in the laboratory of the Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti and partly upon the material taken from the writings of other Scientists. We have, no doubt, tried to avoid burdening our readers with too much of this scientific material, because several readers of this Sataka may not have much acquaintance with modern anatomy, physiology etc. But about the few places where these interpretations occur, we want to observe that only those aspects of the concepts that are gross have been mentioned and not the subtler ones. No doubt even some of the subtler features of a few concepts mentioned in this text have been tackled in the Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y .M. laboratory but the result of these investigations have not yet been fully finalised, and it was also felt that a subtle discussion of these subtler aspects was not quite consistent with the object with which this publication was undertaken. However, those of our readers who feel interested in studying the scientific aspects of the Yogic concepts available in the text of this Sataka, are requested to turn to the volumes of Yoga- Mimamsa and particularly the Scientific Section of the journal.
There is one more point for which we crave our readers indulgence. Today we are publishing only the Introduction, the Text of Goraksasataka, its English Translation and some explanatory notes. The remaining explanatory notes, a scientific interpretation of some Yogic concepts, appendices and indices remain yet to be published. This material will shortly be brought out in the form of a supplement and will be available to the subscribers of Yoga Mimamsa Vol. VII at a moderate price of Rs. 2.50 post-free.
This supplement will cover about 60 pages of Yoga-Mjmamsa size including several full-pages illustration of Asanas, Bandhas etc. It will contain anatomical charts showing the pathways of important nerves which playa significant part of Yoga psycho-physiology. The explanatory notes will be as illuminating as those that are being published here. In short, the material to be presented in the supplement is expected to be as acceptable to our readers as the matter that is published here of Goraksasataka.
In the body of Notes there appears some General Notes on topics such as Cakras, Na91s etc. They will be found rather too lengthy and too critical by those of our readers who are interested mainly in the original text of this Sataka. But a critical edition of the Sataka would have remained incomplete if these General Notes were omitted.
Having offered a few remarks by way of this short preface we now thank our colleagues in the Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti for lending us a helping hand whenever needed in preparing this edition of Goraksasataka.
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