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Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.

4 (2011) 527
The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
Jso Brncn
Oxronu Urvrnsrf.
rfnoutcfro
This essay was prompted by the question of how Hahayoga, literally the Yoga of force,
acquired its name. Many Indian and Western scholars have understood the force of
Hahayoga to refer to the efort required to practice it. Inherent in this understanding is
the assumption that Hahayoga techniques such as pryma (breath control) are strenu-
ous and may even cause pain. Others eschew the notion of force altogether and favor the
so-called esoteric defnition of Hahayoga (i.e., the union of the sun (ha) and moon (ha)
in the body). This essay examines these interpretations in light of defnitions of hahayoga
and the adverbial uses of haha (i.e., haht, hahena) in Sanskrit Yoga texts that predate the
ffteenth-century Hahapradpik.
Implicit in the question posed above is the historical question of when the term hahayoga
arose. There is evidence that it was used in Buddhist tantras, while it remained conspicu-
ously absent from aiva tantras until late works such as the Rudraymalottaratantra. This
is surprising given that the aiva tantras are replete with much of the terminology of the
Hahayoga corpus. In the medieval Vednta and Yoga literature (written after the eleventh
century), hahayoga frst appeared almost always in conjunction with rjayoga, which, as
a system of Yoga, was based more on tantric Yoga rather than Ptajalayoga. The rivalry
between Rja and Hahayoga, which was expressed most vehemently in the second chapter
of a text known as the Amanaskayoga (eleventh to twelfth century), was based on the con-
tention that Rjayoga was the superior Yoga because its methods were efortless and most
emcacious, whereas Hahayoga required exertion and was superfuous. However, the rivalry
was reconciled by other medieval Yoga texts, such as the Datttreyayogastra (twelfth to
thirteenth century), into a hierarchy of four Yogas (i.e., Mantra, Laya, Haha, and Rjayoga),
and a few centuries later Svtmrma dismantled this hierarchy, in his Hahapradpik, by
melding previous Haha and Rjayoga systems together and by asserting that Haha and
Rjayoga are dependent upon one another. By doing so, he created a complete system of
Yoga and called it Hahayoga.
The corpus of Hahayoga texts consulted for this essay is as follows:
1
Authors note: I am grateful to the following scholars for their assistance. Firstly, Professor Alexis Sanderson, who
supervised this work and gave much advice, numerous references, and detailed comments at all stages of the work.
Professor Francesco Sferra and Dr. Elizabeth De Michelis commented on an early draft, and Dr. Csaba Desz and
Dr. Jim Benson examined a fnal draft and made many comments. Pter-Dniel Sznt, Dr. Shaman Hatley, Dr.
Peter Bisshop, Dr. Robert Goodding, Dr. Peter Thomi, Professor Jrgen Hanneder, and Professor Vesna Wallace
gave assistance in specifc areas. Thanks also to Stephanie Jamison for her editorial work. Finally, I must particu-
larly thank Dr. James Mallinson for answering my questions at every turn, commenting on several drafts of this
essay, and for sharing manuscripts and unpublished work. This work would not have been possible without the
fnancial support of the Clarendon Fund, Oxford.
1. These dates are merely an approximate guide, designed to facilitate the reading of this essay.
528 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
Early texts: Amtasiddhi of Virpka (11/12th century
2
), Amaraughaprabodha (14/15th
century
3
), Datttreyayogastra (12/13th century
4
), Khecarvidy (13/14th century
5
), the
original Gorakaataka (14/15th century
6
), rgadharapaddhati (1363 cr
7
), Vasihasahit
(12/13th century
8
), Vivekamrtaa (13/14th century) (including the Gorakapaddhati, the
Gorakaataka, Yogamrtaa, and one edition of the Gorakasahit
9
), Yogayjavalkya
(13/14th century
10
), Yogabja (14/15th century
11
).
Hahapradpik (15th century
12
)
Late texts:
13
Gheraasahit (17/18th century
14
), Haharatnval (17th century
15
),
Hahatattvakaumud (18th century
16
), ivasahit (15th century
17
), Yogacintmai (16/17th
century
18
), Yogatrval (15/16th century
19
).
2. The dating of this text is based on Schaefers assessment of a Tibetan manuscript (2003: 517).
3. Owing to a direct borrowing of verses, the Amaraughaprabodhas terminus a quo may be either the second
chapter of the Amanaskayoga or, as Mallinson suggests (2008: 9), the Amtasiddhi. For its terminus ad quem, see
Bouy 1994: 19.
4. The terminus ad quem of the Datttreyayogastra is the rgadharapaddhati (Mallinson 2008: 3).
5. Mallinson 2007: 4.
6. Mallinson 2011: 26263.
7. Sternbach 1974: 17.
8. The Kaivalyadhama Research Department (2005: 3032) has argued convincingly that the terminus ad quem
of the Vasihasahit is the Yogayjavalkya. Also, it presents evidence for a terminus a quo of the twelfth century.
9. The Vivekamrtaas terminus ad quem is the Khecarvidy (Mallinson 2007: 4) or the rgadharapaddhati
(Bouy 1994: 25). For a discussion of the various names and textual variations of the Vivekamrtaa and
Gorakaataka, see Bouy 1994: 18, 2224, 83 n. 355, and Mallinson 2007: 166. I have followed Mallinsons con-
vention (2008: 56) of using Vivekamrtaa to refer to the text found under all these titles.
10. The Yogayjavalkyas terminus a quo is the Vasihasahit (see n. 8). Bouy (1994: 84) has identifed a
citation of the Yogayjavalkya in the Sarvadaranasagraha, which gives it a terminus ad quem of the fourteenth
century.
11. The date of the Yogabja is discussed at length below.
12. Bouy 1994: 8186.
13. The focus of this essay is the early Haha texts. This list does not defne a late Hahayoga corpus, but
includes only prominent Yoga texts written after the Hahapradpik, as well as others that are specifcally men-
tioned in this essay. It is not easy to defne a late Haha corpus because after the Hahapradpik many Yoga texts
synthesized Hahayoga with other traditions such as Ptajalayoga (e.g., the Yogacintmai and the Yuktabhava-
deva), Advaitavednta (e.g., the late recension of various Yoga Upaniads such as the Triikhibrhmaopaniad,
Varhopaniad, Yogakualyupaniad, Yogatattvopaniad, and so on), Bhakti and Pja (e.g., the ivayogadpik),
and so on. Also, compendiums such as the Upsansrasagraha and Yogasrasagraha (see French Institute
of Pondicherry transcripts T0859 and T095b respectively), which contain some material from earlier Hahayogic
texts, are dimcult to classify. Other texts that might be considered for inclusion in a later Haha corpus on the
basis of their Hahayogic content are the Yogamrgaprakik, Binduyoga, Bhadyogasopna, Hahayogasahit,
yurveda (e.g., Yuktabhavadeva), Hahayogasandhy, Yogakarik, akarmasagraha, Kumbhakapaddhati, and
so on. One might exclude those Yoga Upaniads that do not contain Hahayogic teachings (e.g., Tejobindpaniad,
Advayatrakopaniad, etc.) and texts that are concerned more with Nth doctrine than Hahayoga, such as the
Siddhasiddhntapaddhati (seventeenth century) and Gorakasiddhntasagraha (eighteenth century).
14. See Mallinson 2004: xiiixiv.
15. See Reddy 1982: introduction.
16. Both these texts were written by Sundaradeva, son of Govindadeva (see Hahatattvakaumud, p. 721).
He was also the author of the Hahasaketacandrik (see Ms R3239, Government Oriental Manuscripts Library,
Madras). The Hahatattvakaumuds terminus ad quo is either the Haharatnval or the Kumbhakapaddhati, which
appears to be a late work on the practice of pryma.
17. See Mallinson 2007a: x.
18. Bouy 1994: 7777.
19. In manuscript colophons this text has been attributed to a number of diferent authors, namely,
Govindabhagavatpjyapda, Nandvara (Nandikevara), Sadiva, and, most commonly, akarcrya (Kai-
valyadhama Research Department 2005: 23238). It is highly unlikely that diakara (eighth century) authored
the Yogatrval because its author drew material from the twelfth-century Amanaskayoga (e.g., it refers to
mbhavmudr as amanaskamudr, and Amanaskayoga 2.67 = Yogatrval 20). Furthermore, the Yogatrval
529 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
Referring to a corpus of early Hahayoga texts is somewhat arbitrary because some
of these texts (e.g., the Vivekamrtaa and Vasihasahit) do not refer to their Yoga as
Hahayoga. However, the Yoga techniques in these texts came to characterize Hahayoga
after they were incorporated into the Hahapradpik. The early texts are distinguished by
similar teachings on sana,
20
pryma,
21
and one or more of what eventually became the
ten mudrs of Hahayoga.
22
Other salient features of the corpus include instruction on dietary
control (mithra), the four stages of Yoga,
23
the akarma,
24
and samdhi. The division of
the corpus into earlier and later texts is based on the probable date of the Hahapradpik,
which is largely an anthology, as shown by Bouy (1994: 8186) and Mallinson (2008: 23),
who have identifed the earlier texts by tracing the verses borrowed by the Hahapradpik.
xourn wrsfrn turnsfuros or fnr frnx
In the nineteenth century some infuential Indologists defned Hahayoga according to
their understanding of the root hah as referring to force or violence,
25
which is in keeping
with both Pinis Dhtupha
26
and the Amarakoa.
27
The force or violence of Hahayoga
was seen as the self-violence of extreme asceticism, and so, in the St. Petersburg Wrter-
buch, Hahayoga was defned as a form of Yoga which includes great self-torturing.
28
In
the same vein Monier-Williams (1899: 1287) gave a more elaborate explanation:
[It is] a kind of forced Yoga . . . treated of in the Haha-pradpik by Svtmrma and performed
with much self-torture, such as standing on one leg, holding up the arms, inhaling smoke with
the head inverted &c.
Monier-Williams confounded Hahayoga with various extreme practices of asceticism
(tapas) that appear in the puras,
29
but not at all in the corpus of Haha texts used for this
refers to the three Hahayogic bandhas, kevalakumbhaka, and ndnusandhna, as well as to more than one lineage
of Hahayoga (haheu), which all suggest that it was written when Hahayoga was well developed (i.e., ffteenth
century or later). In fact, the Hahapradpik may have infuenced the Yogatrval, because the latter follows the
formers seamless combination of Haha with Rjayoga. In the introduction to his edition of the Yogatrval (1987:
3), Bhattacharya asserts that this text has not been quoted in any Sanskrit work written before the ffteenth century.
20. Mention of a seated posture can be found in all Haha texts, most of which elaborate upon one or more
of them (usually padmsana and siddhsana). The inclusion of sanas other than seated postures is seen in the
Vasihasahit, Yogayjavalkya, Hahapradpik, and later Haha texts.
21. Most of the early Haha texts mention kumbhaka. The Hahapradpik and later texts distinguish eight
kinds of kumbhaka (i.e., sryabhedana, ujjy, stkr, tal, bhastrik, bhrmar, mrcch, and plvin). These are
preliminary to kevalakumbhaka.
22. The exceptions here are the Vasihasahit and Yogayjavalkya, which do not teach any mudrs. In the
Hahapradpik (3.6) the ten mudrs of Hahayoga are mahmudr, mahbandha, mahvedha, khecar, uyana,
mlabandha, jlandharabandha, vipartakara, vajrol, and akticlana.
23. The four stages are rambha, ghaa, paricaya, and nipatti (Hahapradpik 4.6977).
24. The akarma (commonly referred to as cleansing practices) are dhauti, basti, neti, traka, nauli, and
kaplabhti (Hahapradpik 2.2138). The akarma are a salient feature of the Hahapradpik and can be found
in later Haha texts (such as the Gheraasahit). They do not appear in the early Haha texts.
25. Monier-Williams (1899: 1287) speculated that this root is probably artifcial. Turner (1966: 13942) con-
siders haha to be derived from the hypothetical root ha meaning to move or exclaim violently.
26. Pini (335) gives three possible meanings: haha plutiahatvayo in [the meaning of ] to jump or to be
wicked as well as haha baltkra iti acting forcibly/violently.
27. prasahya tu hahrthakam (Amarakoa 2869).
28. Bhtlingk and Roth (1889: 250): eine gesteigerte mit grossen selbstqulungen verbundene form des Joga.
29. The following references are to these forms of tapas mentioned in Monier-Williams defnition. They
are not described as practices of Hahayoga, but as austerities performed by gods, kings, sages, forest dwellers
(vnaprasthrama), demons, etc. Standing on one leg (ekapda): Krmapura 2.27.30, Matysapura 35.17, etc.;
holding up the arms (rdhvabhusthita): Bhgavatapura 7.3.2, Ligapura 1.69.76, Matysapura 171.1, etc.;
530 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
study. Their omission from these texts is signifcant because, if such practices had been part
of Hahayoga, one would expect to see descriptions or at least some mention of them, since
these texts provide extensive instruction on practice. Nor can it be said that the Haha texts
describe Hahayoga as a practice that causes pain or amiction to the practitioner. Monier-
Williams defnition of Hahayoga appears to have been infuenced by recent traditions of
Sdhus and Sannysins who have combined certain Hahayogic practices with extreme forms
of tapas and consider the two synonymous.
30
This view of Hahayoga as self-violence continued into the twentieth century and can be
seen in various Indological works.
31
For example, in the Descriptive Catalogue of Sanskrit
Manuscripts at the British Library, Windisch and Eggeling (18871935: 600) defne the
Hahayoga of the Hahapradpik as the subduing of worldly desires by violent means.
However, most Western scholars known for their work on Yoga have not defned Hahayoga
as self-torture, but have tended to understand its force or violence in terms of the efort
required to practice it. Weston Briggs (1938: 274) believed that haha signifed hard, extreme,
or strenuous discipline, and Mircea Eliade (1958: 228) rendered Hahayoga as violent
efort. Similar interpretations have persisted in modern scholarship where translations such
as exertion-yoga (Larson 2009: 492), a very strenuous method (Gupta 1979: 180), and
a method of violent exertion (White 1996: 5) have appeared in recent years, as well as the
more ambiguous yoga of forceful suppression (Lorenzen, 1987: 214).
Modern scholarship on Hahayoga has also been infuenced by a common prejudice that
Jean Filliozat (1991: 375) described as follows:
The Indian yogin or fakir is still looked upon with suspicion: half-ascetic, half-conjurer, he lives
on the credulity of the masses who are mesmerised by his awe-inspiring self-mortifcation, irre-
spective of whether it is genuine or afected, and by his extraordinary tricks.
This prejudice fostered the view of Hahayoga as a degenerate descendant, as it were, of
Patajalis proper school of Yoga, which was regarded as the pinnacle of Yogas develop-
ment; its pure, lofty philosophical achievement far overshadowing what Hahayoga became
a thousand years later. Thus, Dasgupta (1962: 67) wrote,
Though all sorts of occultism and necromancy prevailed and still now prevail within the school
of Hahayoga, and though with a large number of Indian Yogins, Hahayoga has become a sci-
ence of physical feats, serenity prevails within the school of Yoga proper. As a philosophical
system Yoga represents a purely idealistic view . . .
Though some modern scholars may have confated the practice of Hahayoga with extreme
forms of tapas and thereby defned it as self-torture or a method of forceful exertion,
32

inhaling smoke (dhmapa): Krmapura 2.27.31. I wish to thank Dr. Thankar Manik at Pune University for pro-
viding me with a chapter on tapas from her unpublished thesis, which led to my search for references in the puras.
30. For a summary of these practices of tapas, see Clark 2006: 3637 n. 44. A frsthand account of this is given
by James Mallinson (2005: 109), who observed Rmnand Tygs performing a few Hahayogic sanas after
their practice of dhnitap (i.e., the ascetic sits surrounded by smouldering cowdung fres under the midday summer
sun), and he adds, this is usually the extent of their practice of yoga.
31. Examples of this can also be found in recent books on Indian philosophy. For example, Many practices
such as diferent forms of self-torture, standing on one leg, holding up arms, inhaling smoke with the head inverted,
piercing diferent parts of the body with sharp instruments and similar practices are included in the Hathayoga. This
increases vitality in the body, gives good health . . . (Venus 2001: 144).
32. It is also possible that some of the above-mentioned scholars have presumed that sanas require great
exertion or forceful efort, on the grounds that the average person fnds them dimcult to perform. However, reports
from Yoga practitioners suggest that an sana is not strenuous once it has been mastered. For example, in his most
recent book, BKS Iyengar (2005: 265) write, What I have endeavored to say about asana is that the posture should
531 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
the view that Hahayoga was strenuous to practice and even painful did not originate from
modern scholarship on Yoga, but has a long history within India itself. For example, the
Laghuyogavsiha describes Hahayoga as causing sufering (dukhada), and the Amanas-
kayoga labels the practice of pryma and mudrs as based upon pain (kleamla) and
dimcult to master (durjaya). In fact, the Rjayoga of the Amanaskayoga asserted its superi-
ority over Hahayogic techniques by claiming that its own way to liberation was efortless
(nirysa),
33
and it is not surprising that those Indian soteriologies that espoused methods
of liberation based on gnosis or initiation alone would have viewed the sanas, prymas
and mudrs of Hahayoga as unnecessary physical exertion.
34
fnr tsr or r nfn frxfs
The question why was Hahayoga called forceful yoga? is well worth asking when one
considers that the word haha is never used in Haha texts to refer to violent means or forceful
efort.
35
If the name Hahayoga were based on the notion of forceful efort, one would expect
to fnd injunctions to forcibly (i.e., haht or hahena) perform its techniques.
36
Instead, a
more neutral word for efort (i.e., yatnena or prayatnena) is used; in many instances this may
be interpreted as carefully or diligently,
37
sometimes as vigorously or energetically in
cases such as Bhastrikpryma.
38
Attempts are seen in the Haha corpus to qualify the
sort of efort a Yogin should apply. In fact, the qualifcation anai anai, which specifes
that a technique should be performed gradually, slowly, or gently, depending on the context,
occurs frequently.
39
For example, the practice of mahbandha and avinmudr require a
be comfortable and steady. The steadiness comes only when the efort has ended . . . In my asanas, I have no strain
anywhere as my efort ceased long ago . . . The notion that sana requires minimal efort goes back to Patajalis
Yogastra 2.47 [Posture becomes comfortable and steady] by means of relaxation of efort and union [of the mind]
in a boundless [state] (prayatnaaithilynantasampattibhym).
33. These references in the Laghuyogavsiha and the Amanaskayoga are discussed at length later in this essay.
See below for the citations.
34. A good example of this view is found in Siddhasiddhntapaddhati 5.55b59 Not because of sana . . .
holding the breath, holding a mudr, yoga . . . [and] not by endless methods and eforts is the supreme state obtained.
Having abandoned all these bodily practices, perfected men abide in the supreme state which is beyond the body
(. . . na csant . . . pradhrat . . . na mudrdhrad yogt . . . nnantopyayatnebhya prpyate parama
padam || etni sdhanni sarvi daihikni parityajya paramapade daihike sthyate siddhapuruair iti).
35. In Haha texts the word haha most often refers to Hahayoga itself. E.g., hahasya prathamgatvd sana
prvam ucyate (Hahapradpik 1.17ab) Because it is the frst auxiliary of Haha [Yoga], sana is discussed frst.
The word is also used adverbially (i.e., hahena, haht); these instances will be examined below.
36. One verse on mlabandha (3.62) in the Kaivalyadhama edition of the Hahapradpik might appear to con-
tain such a usage. However, for the correct reading of this verse, see n. 82.
37. E.g., Hahapradpik 1.45ab Having carefully placed the upturned feet on the thighs . . . (uttnau caraau
ktv rusasthau prayatnata . . .); 3.17cd [Mahmudr] should be carefully concealed and not given to [just]
anyone (gopany prayatnena na dey yasya kasyacit); 3.89cd Therefore, Yogins should diligently guard their
semen and mind (tasmc chukra mana caiva rakaya prayatnata).
38. E.g., Hahapradpik 2.60 = the original Gorakaataka 41cd42ab. Having taken full Padmsana, the
wise [Yogin] whose neck and torso are upright and who has closed [his] mouth, should exhale vigorously through
the nose (samyak padmsana baddhv samagrvodara sudh | mukha sayamya yatnena pra ghrena
recayet).
39. Most frequently in the Hahapradpik (e.g., 1.45, 2.8, 2.9, 2.11, 2.15, 2.24, 2.48, 2.49, 2.51, 2.69,
3.13, 3.21, 3.85, 3.86), but there are numerous instances in the early Haha texts including the Vivekamrtaa,
Datttreyayogastra, Khecarvidy, Yogabja, and Vasihasahit. From the later corpus Gheraasahit,
ivasahit, Haharatnval, Hahatattvakaumud, etc.
532 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
very gentle (anai anai) contraction of the perineum.
40
On the whole, anai tends to
be used when caution is required in performing a technique. In fact, the more powerful a
Hahayoga technique is, the greater the care (rather than force) the Yogin must exercise. This
is demonstrated by instructions that caution the Yogin against impatiently forcing pryma
techniques. For example, just as the lion, elephant, and tiger should be tamed very gradu-
ally, just so (should) the breath be cultivated; otherwise it kills the Yogin (yath siho gajo
vyghro bhaved vaya anai anai | tathaiva sevito vyur anyath hanti sdhakam).
41

Likewise, the practice of khecarmudr, which is fully explained in the Khecarvidy, is a
prime example of this: The practice must only be carried out gradually, not all at once.
The body of him who tries to do it all at once is destroyed. For this reason the practice is
to be carried out very gradually . . . (anair eva prakartavyam abhysa yugapan na hi |
yugapad ya caret tasya arra vilaya vrajet | tasmc chanai anai kryam abhysa
varavarini [1.5455] [tr. Mallinson 2007: 119]). The interpretation of Hahayoga as vio-
lent exertion is, in efect, refuted by the Hahapradpik (1.15), which includes exertion
(praysa
42
) as one of six factors that ruin Hahayoga.
43
fnr - urrrfro
If one puts aside the notion of forceful efort in Hahayoga, two possibilities arise. Either
the force of Hahayoga refers to something other than forceful efort, or the word haha
had a technical sense that was not based on its root meaning. Perhaps in order to avoid the
dilemma surrounding the force in Hahayoga, many modern Yoga books favor the so-called
esoteric defnition
44
based on the syllables ha and ha.
45
This esoteric meaning was made
known to the West in the nineteenth century by Srisa Chandra Vasu, who wrote in the intro-
duction to his widely read English translation of the Gheraasahit (1895: xxii):
Another explanationand a later oneis that Hatha Yoga means the Yoga or union between ha
and ha; the meaning is the sun and the moon; or the union of the pra and the apna vyus.
40. Descriptions of mahbandha appear in the earliest Haha texts (Amaraughaprabodha 33 and
Datttreyayogastra 27.12324). Avinmudr is described in Gheraasahit 3.46.
41. Hahapradpik 2.15. This verse has been quoted often. It is also found in the Vivekamrtaa 123 and
two later Yoga Upaniads (i.e., ilyopaniad 7.6 and the Yogacdmayupaniad 118). Caveats against force-
fully manipulating the breath are also common in later Hahayoga texts. For example, in his commentary to the
Hahapradpik, Brahmnanda discusses this at length and quotes without attribution the following verse at 2.49:
hahn niruddha pro ya romakpeu nisaret | deha vidrayaty ea kuhdi janayaty api || [When] the
breath has been stopped forcibly, it departs through the hair follicles. This [action] tears the body to pieces and also
generates [diseases] such as leprosy.
42. Praysa can mean exertion, efort, pains, or trouble. Brahmnanda (Jyotsn 1.15) glosses praysa as an
activity that is conducive to causing fatigue (ramajanannuklo vypra). The Hahapradpik (1.55) confrms
that the practice of sanas and bandhas should not cause fatigue: The best of Yogins whose fatigue has ceased
when [performing] postures and [internal] locks in this way should practice purifcation of the channels [in the body]
. . . (evam sanabandheu yogndro vigatarama | abhyasen nikuddhim . . .). Indeed, the practice of avsana
is designed to take away fatigue (avsana rntiharam . . . 1.32c).
43. atyhara praysa ca . . . abhir yogo vinayati (Hahapradpik 1.15). Brahmnanda (Jyotsn 1.15)
refers to these six factors as obstacles (pratibandha).
44. It is not clear why some writers such as Georg Feuerstein (2000: 118) have called this defnition esoteric,
but it is probably because of its infrequent appearance in the Haha texts as well as the fact that it is not based on
the lexical root (dhtu).
45. Numerous books on modern Yoga use this defnition. Some examples are Earnest Wood (1962: 82), Swm
Rmdev (2005: 114), Christy Turlington (2003: 42), Susan Winter Ward and John Sirois (2002: xvii).
533 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
There is circumstantial evidence to support the possibility that this metaphysical def-
nition was behind the name, Hahayoga. To begin with, the notion of union is central to
Hahayoga,
46
and among the earliest Haha texts the Amtasiddhi defned Yoga as the union
of the sun and moon.
47
Though the Amtasiddhi does not mention the term hahayoga nor
associate the sun and moon with the syllables ha and ha, there are instances in tantric litera-
ture, such as the Jayadrathaymala
48
and Kemarjas commentary on the Netratantra,
49
in
which the syllable ha is equated with the moon. There is also an instance in the medieval
Vaiava tantric text of the Pcartra, the Jaykhyasahit, in which the sun is equated
with the in-breath and the syllable ha.
50
In fact, evidence is found in the Jayadrathaymala
and Abhinavaguptas Tantrloka for equating the sun and moon with both the in- and the
out-breaths.
51
In light of these precedents, one would expect the ha-ha defnition to be a
salient feature of the early Haha corpus, but it is absent in all except one text, the Yogabja
(148cd149ab):
52
46. Such words for union as aikya and ekatva occur in the earliest Haha texts, in verses that describe the state
of meditative absorption (samdhi) as the union of all opposites, the union of the individual Self with the uni-
versal Self, or the union of the mind with the Self (e.g., Gorakaataka 18586). In the Vivekamrtaa (7880)
the highest state is obtained by uniting the sun and moon, in which case the sun is both akti and menstrual
blood (rajas) and the moon is iva and semen (bindu, ukra). The union between semen and menstrual blood is
efected by the practice of akticla. The Vivekamrtaa 7375 only mentions but does not explain this practice.
(For details on the confusion surrounding the practice of akticla/akticlana, see Mallinson 2007: 22627.) In the
Haharatnval (2.1069), semen and menstrual blood are united by vajrolmudr. Mahbandha and mlabandha
are said to efect a union (aikya) of the bodily winds of pra and apna, and mahmudr is known as the uni-
fcation (ghaana) of the sun and moon (see Vivekamrtaa 62, 81 and ivasahit 4.42). Mahvedha creates
a connection (sabandha) between the moon, sun, and fre (Hahapradpik 3.27), and in his commentary on
this verse Brahmnanda glosses moon, sun, and fre as the i, pigal, and suumnn respectively. Elsewhere
he defnes pryma as the union of sun and moon (e.g., Jyotsn 1.1), and in light of the above references, it
appears that the mudrs (such as mlabandha, etc.) that are employed during pryma (e.g., Hahapradpik
2.4546) may be responsible for this, rather than the practice of any particular type of kumbhaka. Of the standard
eight types of kumbhaka listed in Haha texts (e.g., Hahapradpik 2.44), no particular one is noted for bringing
about the union of two things. Indeed, it would appear that mudrs are the chief means of unifcation in Hahayoga.
47. candra caiva yad sryo ghti cbhramaalt | anyonya jyate yogas tasmd yogo hi bhayate
||4.10||. When the sun seizes the moon from the sphere of the sky, union with one another arises and therefore [this]
is called yoga. The Amtasiddhi contains instruction on controlling the breath (vyu) through techniques such as
mahmudr, mahbandha, and mahvedha. For an overview of the text, see Schaefer 2002.
48. Alexis Sanderson has kindly provided me with the following reference. In the Jayadrathaymala a chapter
called the Varanmapaala gives the code names for each letter of the alphabet. Verse 31 equates ha with the
full moon (pracandra) (kpavaktra hakra ca pracandra ca vartulam | akhaamaalkra may
te parikrtitam). For the dating of the Jayadrathaymala, see Sanderson 2002: 12, where he says, In fact the
earliest frm evidence for the existence of the Jayadrathaymala is a citation by Kemarja, who fourished ca. .u.
10001050. Thus the Jayadrathaymala would predate the earliest Haha texts. For Jayarathas citations from this
text, which he refers to as the Tantrarjabharaka, see Sanderson 2007: 25253.
49. aimaala hakram (Kemarjas commentary to the Netratantra 17.1013ab).
50. sryo hakra pras tu paramtm prakrtita (Jaykhyasahit 6.56).
51. In the Jayadrathaymalas Varanmapaala, verse 46, the in-breath (pra) is one of several code names
for the syllable ha (hasa nya tath pra mahrva mahkal | mahcchy dvikubja ca hakra
nmabhi smtam). Also see Tantrloka 6.24c27. I am grateful to Alexis Sanderson for providing me with these
references and for pointing out that Abhinavagupta is paraphrasing the lost Triirobhairavatantra of the Trika,
which is quoted by Jayaratha in his commentary on that passage.
52. There are three other Haha texts in which this defnition is found: the Yogaikhopaniad (1.133), the
Haharatnval (1.22), and the Hahatattvakaumud (55.29). The Yogabja is the most likely source from which
these three texts acquired this verse. It is clear that the Haharatnval is a later compilation (i.e., it frequently refers
to and quotes the Hahapradpik, as well as quoting verses from other texts, such as the Datttreyayogastra and
Yogayjavalkya). It also borrows verses without quoting) (e.g., Haharatnval 4.25, 4.27 = Amanaskayoga 2.44,
2.9), and the Haharatnval borrows from the Yogabja (e.g., Haharatnval 1.8, 2.7ab = Yogabja 143cd144ab,
534 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
The sun is known by the syllable ha and the moon by the syllable ha. Owing to the union of
the sun and moon, Hahayoga is named [thus] (hakrea tu sryo sau hakreendur ucyate |
srycandramasor yogd hahayogo bhidhyate).
The Yogabja has been attributed to Gorakantha, and if this were true, the text would date
back as far as the twelfth to thirteenth century, placing it amongst the earliest Haha texts.
53

This attribution is made in both the Gorakhnth Mandir edition of the Yogabja and the criti-
cal edition of Dr. Brahmamitra Awasthi.
54
Yet, as Mallinson notes, there appears to be no
manuscript evidence (i.e., colophons) to support Gorakanthas authorship.
55
Moreover, if
Gorakanthas authorship of the Yogabja is based solely on an attribution made by the Nth
sect, then it is questionable, because members of the Nth sect have a tendency to ascribe Yoga
texts to their founding Guru. One such example is the Amanaskayoga, which Gorakantha
could not have written if it is true that he was a master of Hahayoga.
56
The lengthy quota-
tions of the Yogabja in the Nth compendium called the Gorakasiddhntasagraha (e.g.,
pp. 2425) confrm that the Nths were consulting the Yogabja in the eighteenth century. In
terms of internal evidence in the Yogabja, it borrows many verses from early Haha texts,
and this has led Mallinson (2008: 9) to conclude The Yogabja is thus, to some extent, a
compilation and cannot be said with certainty to have been the source of the verses it shares
with the Hahapradpik.

Therefore, it is unlikely that the Yogabja is as old as the earliest
Haha texts. Since it is the oldest source of the ha-ha defnition, it is probable that this defni-
tion was conceived several centuries after the rise of Hahayoga.
57
fnr rnirrsf occtnnrcrs or fnr frnx
If one accepts that the ha-ha defnition was a late contrivance, the other possibility is that
the name was frst adopted because its Yoga was forceful in some way other than forceful
121cd). The frst chapter of the Yogaikhopaniad, in which the ha-ha defnition occurs, is a reworking of the
Yogabja. Finally, the Hahatattvakaumud identifes the Yogabja as the source for this defnition. It is fair to say
that the ha-ha defnition is prominent in the late Haha corpus.
Mircea Eliade was under the impression that the ha-ha defnition was found in one of the earliest Haha texts,
citing the Gorakapaddhati (which he mistakenly calls a commentary on the Gorakaataka) as the source of this
defnition (1969: 22829). However, I have not found it in the editions of the Gorakapaddhati, Vivekamrtaa,
Gorakaataka, or Gorakasahit listed in my bibliography. It is possible that Eliade was using a corrupted manu-
script of the Gorakapaddhati, but he gives no details of the edition or manuscript he consulted.
The ha-ha defnition is also quoted by Brahmnanda in his commentary on the frst verse of the Hahapradpik,
and he attributes the quote to the Siddhasiddhntapaddhati. However, this verse is absent from all fve manuscripts
and three of the four printed editions used for the critical edition of the Siddhasiddhntapaddhati by the Lonavla
Yoga Institute (2005). The one source appears to be a printed edition published by the Yogashram Sanskrit College
and denoted as P
2
in the Lonavla editions apparatus. It includes the ha-ha defnition at 1.69. If the manuscript
evidence has been accurately represented in the apparatus of the Lonavla edition, it suggests that this verse has been
added to the original Siddhasiddhntapaddhati at a later stage and it would therefore be likely that Brahmnanda
was using a corrupt manuscript.
53. For the dating of Gorakantha, see White 1996: 90101.
54. The title of this book (i.e., Yoga Bja by Siddha Guru Gorakhnath) is proof enough, but also see its intro-
duction.
55. Mallinson 2008: 9. Also, there are two Nepalese paper manuscripts (circa seventeenth century) of the
Yogabja (Kathmandu National Archives: A 0061-12, A939/19) and neither of them mentions the authors name.
56. This is attested to in the rgadharapaddhati 4372ab dvidh haha syd ekas tu gorakdisusdhita
(There are two types of Hahayoga. One was properly mastered by Goraka and others) and Hahapradpik 1.4ab
hahavidy hi matsyendragorakdy vijnate (Matsyendra, Goraka, and others knew the science of Haha).
For a discussion on the authorship of the Amanaskayoga, see Birch 2005: 23.
57. The terminus ad quem for the Yogabja is ivnandas Yogacintmai, which has been dated between the
late sixteenth and the early seventeenth century by Bouy (1994: 115).
535 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
efort. In order to assess how the founders of Hahayoga might have understood the use
of force in their Yoga, the earliest defnitions of the term hahayoga and any instances of
forceful action in the Haha texts, as denoted by such words as hahena and balt, will be
examined in detail.
In the texts consulted for this study, the earliest occurrence of hahayoga is in the eigh-
teenth chapter of a Buddhist tantra called the Guhyasamjatantra (eighth century
58
), in a
discussion on the attainment of a visionary experience (darana). If an aspirant is unable
to achieve it after three attempts of practicing the methods described in this tantra for six
months at a time, then he is to resort to Hahayoga, which brings awakening (bodhi) and the
perfection of knowledge (jnasiddhi).
59
Unfortunately, the Guhyasamjatantra does not
defne or explain its Hahayoga, and there are similar, obscure references to Hahayoga in
other Buddhist exegetical works such as the Sekanirdea and the Caturmudrnvaya, which
are both ascribed to Advayavajra (tenth to eleventh century).
60
The Klacakratantra (tenth to
eleventh century) alludes to hahayoga with the word hahena,
61
and it is Puarkas com-
mentary, the Vimalaprabh (eleventh century), that provides the frst defnition of hahayoga
in the Klacakra tradition.
62
His defnition was repeated verbatim in Anupamarakitas
aagayoga,
63
Nrops Sekoddeak,
64
and Ravirjnas Amtakaik,
65
as follows:
Now the hahayoga is explained. Here, when the unchanging moment does not take place because
the vital breath is unrestrained, [in spite of ] the image having been seen by means of withdrawal
and so on, then [the Yogin]after having made the vital breath fow in the central channel
violently through the [. . .] exercise of soundcan realise the unchanging moment through non-
vibration by arresting the bindu of the bodhicitta in the vajra-gem placed in the lotus of the
wisdom. This is the hahayoga. (idn hahayoga ucyate | iha yad pratyhrdibhir bimbe
58. In the introduction to his critical edition of the Guhyasamjatantra, Yukei Matsunaga has argued convinc-
ingly that it was mainly composed in the early eighth century, and the eighteenth chapter was added in the late
eighth century.
59. darana yadi amsair yad ukta naiva jyate | rabheta tribhir vrair yathoktavidhisambarai || 18.161
|| darana tu kte py eva sdhakasya na jyate | yad na sidhyate bodhir hahayogena sdhayet || 18.162 ||
jnasiddhis tad tasya yogenaivopajyate || 18.163ab ||.
60. Though he mentions a hahayoga, Advayavajra does not defne it in these two works. Advayavajra has been
dated to the tenth to eleventh century (Meisezahl 1967: 238). Francesco Sferra, who is working on a critical edition
of Rmaplas commentary, the Sekanirdeapajik, on Advayavajras Sekanirdea has informed me that this com-
mentary does not clearly defne hahayoga.
61. pratyhrdibhir vai yadi bhavati na s mantrim iasiddhir ndbhysd dhahenbjagakuliamaau
sdhayed bindurodht (Klacakratantra 4.119cd) And if the desired Siddhi of the Mantrins does not arise through
[methods such as] Pratyhra, etc., one should accomplish [it] forcibly (hathea) through the practice of Nda, [in
other words] through stopping Bindu, in the diamond (kulia) gem (mai) of the lotus (abjaga). Puarka under-
stands hahena as hahayogena (i.e., by means of Hahayoga).
62. Puarkas Vimalaprabh can be dated to just after the Klacakratantra, i.e., eleventh century (Sferra
2005: 26566).
63. The terminus ante quem for Anupamarakitas aagayoga is fxed by the death of Nrop, around 1040
CE. For a discussion on the chronology of the Klacakra literature, see Sferra 2005: 26667.
64. Nrop can be ascribed to the late tenth or early eleventh century. On the date of Nrops death, see Wylie
1982: 68791.
65. Ravirjnas defnition of Hahayoga does difer from the previous three commentators in some respects.
However, the diferences are small and his comments uphold that Hahayoga forcefully makes pra fow in the mid-
dle channel. Of interest is his additional comment that Hahayoga is a means (upya) for the purpose of making clear
(spubhvrtham) the auxiliary (known as) samdhi (upyo hahayoga pi samdhyagasphubhvrtham | eva ca
hahayogo yad pratyhrdibhir de bimbe saty akarakaenotpadyate | ayantritapratay ndanidnbhyst
sahajnandbhysd dhahena hkrandena pra madhyamy vhayet; Ravirjnas Amtakaik 29).
Ravirjna is said to have come from Kashmir, possibly from the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries (Wal-
lace 2001: 5).
536 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
de saty akarakaa notpadyate ayantritapratay tad ndbhysd dhahena pra
madhyamy vhayitv prajbjagatakuliamaau bodhicittabindunirodhd akarakaa
sdhayen nispandeneti hahayoga).
66
There are three features of the above defnition that identify it with the Hahayoga of later
texts. Firstly, the practice involves making pra fow in the madhyam, a term used in
Haha texts for suumnn.
67
Piercing the mouth of suumn with pra,
68
holding pra
in suumn,
69
and making pra fow in suumn
70
are all mentioned in the Hahapradpik
for the purpose of entering the void (nya) or samdhi (manonman).
71
Secondly, the prac-
tice of nda is mentioned and this fgures largely in many Haha texts,
72
particularly the
Hahapradpik (see 4.81102) and some of the Yoga Upaniads.
73
And fnally, the compound
bodhicittabindunirodha which, in the context of the Buddhist Klacakra tradition, appears
to mean the arresting of the drops of sexual fuid,
74
is found in Hahayoga as bindudhra
(retaining sexual fuids),
75
achieved through practices such as vajrolmudr.
76
Though the
compound bindunirodha is absent, nirodha does appear elsewhere in the Haha texts.
77
The
connection between the practice of nda and the retention of bindu in the Vimalaprabh is
also signifcant, because these two words are sometimes used together in Haha texts. For
example, in the Hahapradpik, the practice of amarolmudr (a variation of vajrolmudr),
78

which unites male and female sexual fuids, transforms a womans nda into the state of
66. Translated by Francesco Sferra in his edition of the aagayoga (p. 270). See Puarkas Vimalaprabh
(vol. 2, p. 212), Anupamarakitas aagayoga (pp. 1089), Nrops Sekoddeak (p. 133), and Ravirjnas
Amtakaik (see n. 65).
67. E.g., Hahapradpik 3.120ab. Hahapradpik 3.4 gives madhyamrga as a synonym for suumn. Other
relevant references include Amaraughaprabodha 9ab and Haharatnval 2.3ab.
68. E.g., suumnvadana bhittv sukhd viati mruta (Hahapradpik 2.41cd) Having split the mouth of
suumn, the breath easily enters [it].
69. E.g., baddho yena suumny pras tyate yata | tasmd uyankhyo ya yogibhi samudhta
(Hahapradpik 3.54) Since pra is held in suumn and fies up [through it] because of the [application of this
bandha], Yogins have called it by the name of Uyana[bandha]. Moving the breath into the middle channel is
also achieved by mahvedha (see Hahapradpik 3.26).
70. E.g., suumnvhini pre nye viati mnase (Hahapradpik 4.12ab) When pra is fowing in
suumn and when the mind is entering the void . . .; ktv vyu ca madhyagam (Hahapradpik 4.16b) Having
made the breath go into the middle [channel]. . . .
71. E.g., suumvhini pre siddhyaty eva manonman (Hahapradpik 4.20ab) When pra is fowing in
suumn, the [state of ] samdhi is achieved. In the Hahapradpik (4.3), manonman is given as one of the syn-
onyms of samdhi. Another reference to pra fowing in suumn is at Hahapradpik 4.12ab (see n. 70).
72. One should note that the technique of ndbhysa in the Klacakra tradition cannot be said to be the same
as that of the Sanskrit Haha texts. The importance in this case is in the association of ndbhysa with the term
hahayoga.
73. E.g., the Ndabindpaniad 3052, Dhynabindpaniad 95106, Brahmavidyopaniad 1213, and
Hasopaniad 89, 16.
74. The bindu of bodhicitta may refer to the four drops, which Vesna Wallace defnes as physical composites of
the size of a small seed, which consist of red and white drops of the semen and uterine blood (Wallace 2001: 158).
75. Chapter 7 of the Amtasiddhi is on bindudhra. See also Datttreyayogastra 143, Hahapradpik
3.8889, and ivasahit 4.31.
76. The section on vajrolmudr in the Hahapradpik contains the following verse: maraa binduptena
jvana bindudhrat | sugandho yogino dehe jyate bindudhrat || Because of the loss of sexual fuids, death
[occurs], and from the retention of sexual fuids, life. Because of the retention of sexual fuids in the body, the Yogin
has a sweet smell (3.87cd3.88ab).
77. In fact, nirodha is one of the few technical terms of Ptajalayoga that occurs with some frequency in the
Hahayoga corpus. For example, it is found seven times in the Hahapradpik 2.2, 2.49, 3.22, 4.16, 4.19, 4.42, 4.68,
and at least once in nearly all other Haha texts.
78. sahajoli cmarolir vajroly eva bhedata (Hahapradpik 3.90ab).
537 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
bindu,
79
and in the Amtasiddhi the Yogin should accomplish union by means of nda,
bindu, and citta (mind).
80
The notion of forcibly (hahena) making the breath to fow in the central channel was not
expressed as such in Haha texts. In the few instances where the word haha or its equivalent
bala is used adverbially (i.e., haht/hahena),
81
it most frequently refers to forcibly mov-
ing kualin, apnavyu, or bindu upwards. For example, mlabandha forcibly (haht)
makes the downward-moving apna move upwards. In another verse on mlabandha, the
anus is pressed with the heel and the Yogin forcibly (balt) draws the breath upwards.
82

Kualin is to be forcibly seized (balt),
83
roused from sleep and forcefully (haht) rises
upwards by the practice of akticlana.
84
Even if bindu fows down into the fre of the abdo-
men, it is to be stopped (nirodha) and forcibly (haht) moved upwards by the practice of
yonimudr.
85
In this context, it is apparent that the force of Hahayoga refers to forcing what
normally moves down (i.e., apna, bindu) and what is usually dormant (kualin) to move
upwards.
79. tasy arre nda ca bindutm eva gacchati ||3.96cd|| 3.96c arre ] Jyotsn : arra ed. (Hahapradpik
3.96cd). Brahmnanda explains that nda is raised up from the pelvic region and becomes the state of bindu above
the heart. Thus nda becomes one with bindu (mldhrd utthito ndo hdayopari bindubhva gacchati |
bindun sahaikbhavati ity artha). The rgadharapaddhati (4366) defnes bindu as originating from nda (. . .
ndajo bindu . . .), and the Amtasiddhi (7.12) states that the union of bindu and nda brings about the highest
state (i.e., samdhi) (bindu candramaya prokto raja sryamayas tath | anayo sagamd eva jyate parama
padam || Semen is made of [the substance of ] the moon and menstrual blood, of the sun. Simply from the union
of the two, the highest state arises). (This version of the verse was quoted with attribution to the Amtasiddhi by
Brahmnanda in his Jyotsn 3.100.)
80. E.g., ndo bindu ca citta ca tribhir aikya prasdayet ||7.21cd|| 7.21d prasdayet ] conjec-
ture : prasdanam ed. (Amtasiddhi 7.21cd). This verse is quoted in the Yogacintmai (folio 23) as traym
aikyasdhanam, so perhaps the intended meaning was [the Yogin] should accomplish the union of those three.
One could emend to trm aikya prasdhayet to yield this meaning.
81. In the Jyotsn, Brahmnanda glosses haht as balt in 2.10 and 3.104.
82. gude pri tu sampya vyum kucayed balt | vra vra yath cordhva samyti samraa
(Datttreyayogastra 131 = rgadharapaddhati 4416 = Yogabja 116 = Hahapradpik 3.62) Having pressed
the heel on the anus, [the Yogin] should forcibly draw the breath [upwards], so that the breath goes upwards again
and again. In the Kaivalyadhama edition of the Hahapradpik, this verse reads guda pry tu sampya
yonim kucayed balt | vra vra yath cordhva samyti samraa (3.62) Having pressed the anus with
the heel, [the Yogin] should forcibly contract the perineum, so that the breath goes upwards again and again. In
light of the wording of this verse in the Datttreyayogastra (the most likely source), the rgadharapaddhati, the
Yogabja, and fve manuscripts of the Hahapradpik (see Kaivalyadhama edition p. 99 n. 119, manuscripts ga, ya,
ra, la, va), as well as the fact that yonim kucayet is largely redundant when preceded by gudam . . . sampya, it is
fair to say that the editors have favored the wrong reading here, and yonim kucayet should be vyum kucayet.
Furthermore, the commentator, Brahmnanda, supports vyum kucayet and interprets it as [the Yogin] should
repeatedly draw apna forcibly (hahena) upwards by contracting the anus (yath yena prakrea samrao vyur
dhva suumny uparibhge yti gacchati tath tena prakrea bald dhahd vra vra puna punar vyum
apnam kucayed gu[da]sykucanenkarayed). This is further confrmation that the force refers not to how
mlabandha is performed, but to the way in which apna (which normally moves downward) is drawn upwards by
mlabandha.
83. gagyamunayor madhye blara tapasvinm | baltkrea ghyt tad vio parama padam
(Hahapradpik 3.105) [The Yogin] should forcibly seize the ascetic young widow [who resides] in the middle of
the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. That [seizing of Kualin] is the supreme state of Viu.
84. pucche praghya bhujag suptm udbodhayec ca tm | nidr vihya s aktir rdhvam uttihate haht
|| Having seized her tail, [the Yogin] should wake up the serpent [goddess] who was asleep. Free from sleep,
[Kualin] akti rises up forcefully (Hahapradpik 3.107 = Haharatnval 2.110).
85. calito pi yad bindu samprpta ca hutanam | vrajaty rdhva haht akty niruddho yonimudray ||
Even when semen has moved [downwards] and reaches the fre [in the lower abdomen], it is stopped by yonimudr
and forcefully moves upwards along with Kualin (Vivekamrtaa 75 = Dhynabindpaniad 85cd86ab =
Hahapradpik 3.42). This version of the verse is from Nowotnys edition of the Gorakaataka (71).
538 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
In the Vivekamrtaa there are only two instances where the adverb haht is used and
both imply that Hahayogic techniques have a forceful efect, rather than requiring forceful
efort. In the frst instance the Yogin applies what appears to be khecarmudr and, while
meditating on kualin, he drinks the liquid (jala) that trickles from a sixteen-petalled lotus
in the head and is obtained forcibly (haht).
86
Here, the combination of three techniques
(i.e., khecarmudr, meditation, and possibly some kind of pryma
87
) enables the Yogin
to forcibly retain his nectar, which would otherwise trickle away. The second instance occurs
in a verse that was appropriated by at least fve later Haha texts.
88
It reads as one might
forcibly (haht) open a door with a key, so a Yogin breaks open the door to liberation
with kualin (udghayet kapa tu yath kucikay haht | kualiny tath yog
mokadvra prabhedayet). As Brahmnanda notes,
89
the most important word in this verse
is haht because it serves as the proverbial lamp on a threshold to illuminate both the
simile and the statement. He understands haht as both balt and hahbhyst, and the
implication of this is that the practice of Hahayoga causes kualin to rise, which, like a
key, forces the door of liberation to open. When coupled with other images that are used to
convey the efect of Hahayoga on kualin, such as that of a stick (daa) beating a snake
(e.g., Hahapradpik 3.10, 3.67), the implication is that the force of Hahayoga is the force-
ful efect of its practice on kualin.
nfn.oo r fnr rv ffns
The number of instances of hahayoga in Buddhist tantras is sharply contrasted by its
scarcity in aiva tantras.
90
One would expect to fnd hahayoga in many aiva tantras
86. mrdhna oaapattrapadmagalita prd avpta hahd rdhvsyo rasan niyamya vivare akti
par cintayan | utkallolakaljala suvimala dhrmaya ya piben nirdoa sa mlakomalatanur yog cira
jvati || Vivekamrtaa 140 ||. Abbreviations in the apparatus: Viv = Vivekamrtaa, G = Gorakaataka, HP =
Hathapradpik, Brj = Brahmnandas Jyotsn.
a mrdhna ] Brj: rdhva Viv, G. a oaapattrapadmagalita ] G, Brj: oaapattrapadmagalita Viv:
oaapattrapadmagalita HP. b niyamya ] Viv. HP, Brj: vidhya G. b vivare akti ] HP, Brj: vivare nti Viv:
vidhivac chakti G. b cintayan ] Viv, HP, Brj: cintayet G. c utkallola ] Viv, HP, Brj: tat kallola G. c kaljala ]
Viv, HP, Brj: kalkula G. c suvimala Viv, G: ca vimala HP, Brj. c dhrmaya ] HP, Brj: dhrjala G:
jihvkula Viv. d nirdoa ] Viv, G: nirvydhi HP, Brj. d tanur ] Viv: vapur G, HP, Brj. Having fastened his
tongue in the cavity [above the uvula] the Yogin, whose face is [turned] upwards and who is meditating on the high-
est akti (i.e., Kualin), should drink the extremely pure fuid from the [moons] digits, which is waveless and
fows in a stream. [This liquid] has trickled [down] from the sixteen-petalled lotus in the head and is obtained forc-
ibly through the breath, and [the Yogin who drinks it] lives a long time, free from diseases and with a body as soft
as the fbers [of a lotus]. I have understood utkallola as uttaraga in the sense of nitaraga (i.e., without waves,
still), but it could mean the opposite (i.e., with rising waves).
87. This inference is supported by Brahmnanda (Jyotsn 1.151), who glosses prt with sdhanabhtt,
and he understands rdhvsyam as implying that the Yogin is in vipartakara. However, his gloss of hahayogt
. . . prptam on haht . . . avptam is clearly inappropriate in the context of the Vivekamrtaa, which at no
time refers to its Yoga as Hahayoga. Therefore, Brahmnandas gloss might be appropriate in the context of the
Hahapradpik, but in the Vivekamrtaa it is better to understand haht as an adverb.
88. Vivekamrtaa 56 = Hahapradpik 3.101 = Gheraasahit 3.51 = Hahasahit 44.83.1 =
Dhynabindpaniad 67 = Yogacmayupaniad 39.
89. yath yena prakrea pumn kucikay kaprgalotsranasdhanbhtay hahd balt kapam ara-
ram udghayed utsrayet | hahd iti dehaldpanyyenobhayatra sambadhyate | tath tena prakrea yog hahd
dhahbhyst kualiny akty mokadvra mokasya dvra prpaka suumnmrga vibhedayed vieea
bhedayet | tayordhvam yan na mtatvam eti iti rute (Jyotsn 3.105).
90. I have found the term hahayoga in only one aiva tantra. It occurs once in the ffty-ffth chapter of
Rudraymalottaratantra. Goudriaan and Gupta (1981: 11) speculate that some parts of the Rudraymala are old,
but add, the part of the text which is now available in edited form (the Uttara Tantra) shows unmistakable signs
539 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
given that the aiva origins of Hahayoga are amrmed by several Haha texts, which name
dintha (iva) as their founding teacher.
91
Furthermore, there are early aiva tantras that
contain passages on Yoga that resemble the Haha texts in style and terminology.
92
The aiva
tantras also provide instances where the word haha was used to describe a type of practice
(hahasdhana),
93
combustion (hahapka),
94
and gathering (hahamelaka/melpa)
95

which, one would think, could have inspired an early aiva pioneer to call their system
of Yoga haha, under the belief that it was particularly emcacious and powerful. The fact
of lateness and may have been added to the oldest core afterwards. The authenticity of the reference to hahayoga
in the Rudraymalottaratantra is questionable, because the term hahayoga occurs only in the frst verse of chapter
55 and nowhere else in the chapter on tantra. The frst verse states that Hahayoga was taught because it is distin-
guished by body control (kyavayavieat). However, the rest of the chapter is a description of a visualization
technique that yields the fruit of maipracakra. The chapter does not mention any Yoga technique particular to
Hahayoga nor does it elaborate on body control.
91. For example, Vivekamrtaa 2, Amaraughaprabodha 1, Datttreyayogastra 14, 19, 31, Yogabja 1, etc.
A lengthy lineage beginning with dintha is given in the Hahapradpik (1.51.9). For a survey of the lineages
of Hahayoga, see White 1996: 8086.
92. A good example of this is the Nivsatattvasahits Nayastra 4.1167 and 4.99 -143. For information
on this text, see Sanderson 2006: 15253.
93. hahasdhana is the subject of a chapter in the Brahmaymalatantra (paala 48), and refers to a practice
where the sdhaka digs a hole (gart) and flls it with the fve products of a cow (pacagavya) (i.e., cow urine, cow
dung, milk, purifed ghee, and cow fesh), sexual fuids (picu), wine (madya), bits of sinews and bile (snyupitta),
and human fesh. He covers the hole with a cows hide or elephants skin, assumes the eight mudrs, salutes Bhai-
rava, makes boisterous laughter (aahsa) and the howl of a jackal (ivrava), plays a bell (gha) and drum
(amaru), and waves about a tail-feather (picchakam). He then enters the hole and meditates (vicintayet) on the
powerful Goddess, Aghor, and repeats (japet) the vidy ([O] H CAE KPLINI SVH; see Sanderson
1988: 672). Siddhis, such as mantrasiddhi, arise progressively over a period of seven days, and on the eighth day he
sees the shadow of Aghor. Being pleased at his practice, she grants him a boon and on the ninth day she appears
to him in her thousandfold splendor: A great, terrible sound arises in the hole; a sweet breeze blows, a shower of
fowers all around. The goddess Aghor herself appears, surrounded by spirits of deformed visage; she speaks to the
sdhaka directly: you are dear to the Mother goddesses; you alone are the greatest of sdhakas; oh child, oh child,
great hero, Indra among sdhakas, of great penance, choose a boon, Rudra; you are a Siddha, without a doubt. He
then joins the Seven Mothers as their eighth member. The chapter concludes that the brave sdhaka who knows
the tantras and is fully endowed with devotion for the Guru accomplishes this hahasdhana by merely learning
it. Not by japa, not by sacrifce, not by ascetic observance nor niyama (vrataniyama); [rather,] having learned the
tantra, one should accomplish the supreme hahasdhana. Both quotations are translations by Shaman Hatley (p.c.
6/11/09 and 26/8/11).
94. Hahapka (forceful combustion) is described by Abhinavagupta in his Tantrloka (3.2553.265) as one of
three ways by which the worldly conditions (updhi) of creation, existence, and destruction are transcended. The
conditions are transcended either when they become invisible (anullsa) or when they cease (praama). Their ces-
sation occurs either by tranquility (nti) or by hahapka. Thus, the three ways are anullsa, nti, and hahapka
(Tantrloka 3.259b3.260b). In contrasting tranquility (nti) with hahapka, the commentator, Jayaratha, describes
tranquility as a process of pleasant combustion (madhurapkakrama). When the guru has been propitiated, the
tranquil methods of initiation (dksdhana) and devotion to a religious practice (anuhnanihat) will bring
about transcendence (atyaya) at the time of death. However, hahapka is a sudden and violent process that burns
up all things (bhva) in the fre of intelligence. It destroys duality and is likened by Abhinavagupta to the enjoyment
(rasa) of devouring enough (alagrsa). The commentator notes that hahapka is a forceful action (baltkrea)
that transgresses the normal order (kramavyatikramarpa) and, as noted earlier, this connotation of haha is implicit
in Hahayogas efect of raising the downward-moving breath (apna) and the normally dormant Kualin.
95. Hahamelaka refers to a violent meeting with Goddesses called Yogins and is sometimes contrasted with
an agreeable gathering (priyamelaka). It is found in early Tantras such as the Brahmaymala and the Tantrasadbhva,
but also in later works such as Abhinavaguptas Tantrloka. On the distinction between hahamelaka and pri-
yamelaka, Shaman Hatley has observed, (it) is related to the variety of beings with whom the encounter is sought,
and the means of their propitiation: Tantrasadbhva (chapter 16) associates hahamelaka with dangerous kins,
and the Picumata/brahmaymala (chapter 99) with kins, who are placed in contrast with pure (uddh) yogins
(Picumata/brahmaymala (H) 99.10) (Hatley, forthcoming, priyamelaka, in Tntrikbhidhnakoa).
540 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
that the term hahayoga is so rare in the aiva tantras suggests that the name has its origins
elsewhere, but it is also possible that aiva Yogins such as Svtmrma adopted the name
because they were aware of an early aiva source that is now lost. Though the earliest
known references to hahayoga appear to be in the Buddhist tantras, one must bear in mind
that its role in them is a secondary one, because its practice was recommended when other
techniques had failed.
96
This would suggest that the tantric Buddhists also appropriated the
name and the practice from an earlier source.
fnr rxrnorcr or r vrufrc sotncrs
Apart from providing some clues about the basic features of Hahayoga before the time of
the Haha texts, the aforementioned Buddhist tantras indicate that Hahayoga may have been
an ancillary or preliminary practice before it became a tradition of Yoga in its own right. As
I will now discuss, this seems also to be the case in some Vedntic sources as well as several
early Haha texts, which prescribe Hahayoga for a second-rate student, so to speak, who is
unable to practice an advanced Yoga. Yet, just like the Buddhist tantras, these Vedntic texts
do not clearly defne Hahayoga, though the comments of the fourteenth-century Vedntin,
Vidyraya, suggest that he understood it to be Ptajalayoga.
In its subordinate role Hahayoga was most often overshadowed by Rjayoga. A good
example of this is the medieval Vedntic text called the Aparoknubhti, which has
been attributed to diakarcrya.
97
It is unlikely that this text dates back to the eighth
century,
98
but it would predate the fourteenth century if the Vidyraya who wrote a com-
mentary on it called the Dpik is the same Vidyraya who wrote the Jvanmuktiviveka.
99

The Aparoknubhti (1023) presents a system of Rjayoga with ffteen auxiliaries
(tripacga), which include the eight of Patajalis Yoga and others, such as mlabandha,
dksthiti, and so on. The fnal two verses of the Aparoknubhti state that Rjayoga is for
students who are devoted to the Guru and Deities and have a perfected mind (paripakva
mana), whereas Rjayoga should be combined with Hahayoga in cases where students
have only partially extinguished their defects (kicitpakvakaya).
100
The Aparoknubhtis explanations of its auxiliaries have little in common with their
meaning in either Ptajalayoga or any medieval Yoga text. Though the Dpik does not pro-
96. This is the case for the Guhyasamjatantra and the Klacakratantra and its commentaries.
97. For a discussion of the authorship of the Aparoknubhti, see Bouy 1994: 6263.
98. Its system of Rjayoga with ffteen auxiliaries does not appear elsewhere in akaras commentaries on the
principal Upaniads, and as K. S. Arjunwadkar (2006: Introduction) has noted, the occurrence of the word upanetra
in verse 81 suggests that the Aparoknubhti was written sometime after lenses or magnifying glasses became
available in India. The context of upanetra in the text makes it clear that the meaning is some sort of magnifying
lens and further research is needed to determine when such lenses were introduced to India. I have yet to fnd the
word upanetra in any Sanskrit literature prior to the sixteenth century, nor the words upalocana and upacakus. P. K.
Gode (1947: 3246) refers to a Sanskrit work by Somanthakavi called the Vysayogcarita (the life of Vysarya,
dated to the ffteenth or sixteenth century), which he says contains a reference to spectacles (upalocanagolaka), but
I have not been able to consult this work to verify it. On the basis of this reference, Gode claims that spectacles were
introduced in India by the Portuguese in the ffteenth century. If the terminus ad quem of the Aparoknubhti is
the fourteenth century (i.e., Vidyrayas Dpik), then it appears that at the very least hand-held lenses were being
used in India before the ffteenth century.
99. The Jvanmuktiviveka has been dated at 1380 cr (see Goodding 2002: 1).
100. It is possible that the reference to Hahayoga was appended to the original text at a later time, because
Hahayoga is mentioned only in the fnal two verses and is nowhere defned (I wish to thank Peter Thomi for sug-
gesting this to me, p.c. 6/11/09). However, Vidyrayas commentary includes these verses, so they could predate
the fourteenth century.
541 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
vide details on Hahayoga, it explains the diference between Rjayoga and Hahayoga. It calls
Rjayoga the Yoga of Vednta, which is independent of Ptajalayoga,
101
while Hahayoga
is the celebrated Agayoga taught by Patajali.
102
The defnition of Hahayoga as
Ptajalayoga may be peculiar to Vidyrayas work, and further research is needed to deter-
mine the prevalence of this view in medieval Vedntic literature.
103
In his Jvanmuktiviveka
he defnes Hahayoga as the Yoga of man-made efort, which includes practices such as
pryma and pratyhra. Since Vidyraya quotes Patajalis Yogastras when discuss-
ing pryma and pratyhra elsewhere, it may be inferred that he confated Ptajalayoga
with the term hahayoga.
104
Taking the Aparoknubhtis subordination of Hahayoga to Rjayoga one step further,
Vidyraya gives an elaborate explanation as to why gentle yoga (mduyoga) is to be pre-
ferred to Hahayoga.
105
Throughout his Jvanmuktiviveka he quotes the Laghuyogavsiha,
so he was obviously aware of that texts dim view of Hahayoga. As in the case of the
Guhyasamjatantra and the Aparoknubhti, Hahayoga is mentioned but not defned in
the Laghuyogavsiha (5.6.86/92).
106
There is no evidence in the text to indicate the type of
101. . . . ptajalbhimatayoganirapeko ya vedntbhihito yoga . . . (Dpik 144) This [Rja]yoga is
declared in the Upaniads [and] is independent of the Yoga supposed [to be that] of Patajali.
102. . . . te hahayogena ptajaloktena prasiddhengayogena sayuto ya vedntokto yoga iti |
ea spaam | (Dpik 143). This [Rja]yoga which is taught in the Upaniads [should be] accompanied by the
celebrated Agayoga, taught as that of Patajali, [that is to say,] Hahayoga, for those [whose defects are only
partially extinguished]. The rest [of the verse] is clear.
103. In light of Vidyrayas commentary on the Aparoknubhti, Kokaje and Gharote (1981: 200) go so
far as to say, . . . the fact that until 1350 .u. Patajalis Agayoga was called Hahayoga becomes clear.
Apart from Vidyrayas work, I have not found an instance where the term hahayoga refers to Ptajalayoga
in any Yoga text written before the Hahapradpik. There is a reference to a Hahayoga with eight auxiliaries
in the rgadharapaddhati (442025), which was mastered by Mrkaeya and others (mrkaeydisdhitah).
However, the same text also describes another tradition of Yoga with six auxiliaries, mastered by Goraka and oth-
ers (43724419), so the rgadharapaddhati confrms that Hahayoga was not solely based on the Agayoga
format in the fourteenth century. The Agayoga in the Datttreyayogastra is related to but also distinguished
from Hahayoga. Nonetheless, in medieval yoga texts the Agayoga format cannot be considered synonymous
with Ptajalayoga because the auxiliaries are often defned diferently, in many cases using terminology from tant-
ric Yoga (for examples, see n. 146). Agayoga had been used widely and reinterpreted by the time of the twelfth
century in aiva (e.g., Netratantra 8.920) and Vaiava (e.g., Ahirbudhnyasahit 31.1647) tantras, Jain trea-
tises (e.g., Hemacandras Yogastra), and puras (e.g., Agnipura chaps. 37175, Bhgavatapura 3.28.138).
Systems of Hahayoga with eight auxiliaries that were in existence before 1350 CE are more likely (on the grounds
of terminology and content) to have derived from tantric sources (which may certainly have been infuenced by
Ptajalayoga) rather than directly from Ptajalayoga.
104. In the Jvanmuktiviveka (1.3.2527) Vidyraya uses the term hahayoga when commenting on verses of
the Laghuyogavsiha (2.1.11/12) that distinguish two ways of quietening the mind: acts of appeasing (sntvana)
as opposed to those of man-made efort (paurua prayatna). He defnes an act of man-made efort as forceful
yoga (hahayoga).
105. Vidyraya favors mduyoga because it works quickly, whereas Hahayoga works gradually. Likewise,
there are two ways to still the mind: by perceiving enemies, friends, etc., with equanimity and happiness, and by
personal efort such as breath control and withdrawal of the senses. One will quickly coax the mind by the frst way,
which is gentle (mdu) yoga; one would not coax the mind quickly by the second way, forceful (haha) yoga, but
only gradually (tr. Goodding 2002: 87) (tath atrumitrdisamatvasukhabodhana prymapratyhrdipuru
aprayatna cety etau dvau cittantyupyau | tatrdyena mduyogena ghra llayet | dvityena hahayogena drg
iti na llayet, ki tu anai anai [Jvanmuktiviveka 1.3.27]). The purpose of the distinction between mduyoga
and hahayoga appears to be to elevate the emcacy of traditional Vedntic practices over that of Yoga techniques.
106. In the Bhadyogavsiha these verses are found at 5.54.9/16. Prof. Jrgen Hanneder has informed me
that these verses appear in the Mokopya (p.c. Mokopya Project 2.11.2011), so that this occurrence of the term
hahayoga can be dated to the tenth century (see Hanneder 2005: 1417). The Laghuyogavsiha, which can be
considered a Vedntic reworking of the Mokopya, was extensively quoted in Vidyrayas Jvanmuktiviveka. I
542 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
forceful action being referred to, though it is important to note that some commentators,
such as tmasukha in his Vsihacandrik (5.6.86/92), have interpreted it as Hahayoga.
Therefore, the Laghuyogavsiha may be the earliest instance where the term hahayoga
took on the negative connotation of being a cause of sufering (dukhada).
107
fnr fwo xrros or n.oo
However, Vidyrayas and the Laghuyogavsihas criticism of Hahayoga was some-
what tame compared to that made by a tradition of Rjayoga that had its roots in tantric
aivism and was quite diferent from the Rjayoga of the Aparoknubhti. It emerged before
the twelfth century in a text called the Amanaskayoga,
108
and was vehemently opposed to the
techniques of Hahayoga, while promoting itself as a simple and efortless way to liberation
while living (jvanmukti).
It is worth digressing here to point out that in the history of medieval Yoga the term
rjayoga rose to prominence at approximately the same time as hahayoga (i.e., twelfth
to ffteenth century), in texts such as the Aparoknubhti, the Amanaskayoga, the
Datttreyayogastra, the Amaraughaprabodha, the rgadharapaddhati, the Yogabja,
and the Hahapradpik.
109
In all of these texts rjayoga and hahayoga appear together,
110

and rjayoga occurs in two diferent contexts. In the frst, Rjayoga is the name of a Yoga
that is distinct from Mantra, Laya, and Hahayoga in texts such as the Datttreyayogastra
(9), Yogabja (143), and Amaraughaprabodha (3). In this context Rjayoga is the practice
of samdhi
111
whereas the other three Yogas are characterized by the practice of their own
techniques (e.g., Mantrayoga by mantras, Layayoga by its saketas,
112
and Hatayoga by
wish to thank Peter Thomi, James Mallinson, and Jrgen Hanneder for providing me with references to hahayoga
in the Laghuyogavsiha.
107. This passage of the Laghuyogavsiha (i.e., 5.6.80141) explains how a sage (muni) should chant o
(praava) in order to achieve the traditional types of pryma (i.e., recaka, praka, and kumbhaka), which,
according to the following verses, cannot be achieved through force (haht): In the frst stage of [reciting the
syllable] o, this state [of recaka in which pra has been expelled from the body] arose at will [and] not through
[any] force at all. For Hahayoga causes sufering. . . . In the next stage of [reciting the syllable] o, this state [of
kumbhaka in which the breath has ceased] arose at will [and] not through [any] force at all. For Hahayoga causes
sufering (yvadiccham avasthai praavaprathamakrame | babhva na hahd eva hahayogo hi dukhada
||86|| . . . || yvadiccham avasthai praavasypare krame | babhva na hahd eva hahayogo hi dukhada ||92||
86a yvadiccham] Vsihacandrik: yvadittham ed. 86b] praavaprathamakrame emendation: praavaprathame
krame ed. 92a yvadiccham] Vsihacandrik: yvadittham ed. [Laghuyogavsiha 5.6.86 and 92]). It is possible
that in the Laghuyogavsiha hahayoga refers to Ptajalayoga (as in the case of Vidyrayas Dpik). However,
the Vsihacandrik implicitly defnes the term as Hahayoga (i.e., restraining the mind by restraining the breath
forcefully [balt], through mahmudr, etc.). This commentary also interprets a later instance of haht (6.7.4) as
Hahayoga, but again there is no evidence for this in the root text, and the verse may be referring to a sage (muni)
who conquers his senses through any Yoga technique considered to be forceful.
108. This text is referred to as the Amanaska in the majority of colophons of the seventy-fve available manu-
scripts. However, I refer to it as the Amanaskayoga because the most recent published editions do so (i.e., Yognth
Swm 1967 and Tara Michael 1986).
109. The term rjayoga also appears in late Haha texts, such as the Gheraasahit, ivasahit,
Haharatnval, Hahatattvakaumud, and several Yoga Upaniads.
110. The exception is the Amanaskayoga, which does not mention Hahayoga by name, but refers to Hahayogic
practices such as pryma, mudrs, bandhas, etc.
111. In defning the four Yogas, the Amaraughaprabodha (4gh5ab) clearly defnes Rjayoga as samdhi:
Rjayoga is that [Yoga] that is devoid of activity of mind. Rjayoga is sometimes divided into herbal and spiritual
(ya cittavttirahita sa tu rjayoga ||4gh|| auadho dhytmika ceti rjayogo dvidh kvacit ||5ab|| 5a auadho
dhytmika ] emendation: oadhyo dhytmaka ed.).
112. E.g., layayoga cittalaya saketai tu prajyate (Datttreyayogastra 14ab) Layayoga, which is the
absorption (laya) of mind, arises through [the practice of its] methods. The term saketa literally means conven-
tion but in this context it is better understood as the methods specifc to Layayoga.
543 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
its auxiliaries). The Yoga of the Amanaskayoga, which is based on the practice of amanaska
(i.e., samdhi), is called Rjayoga because it is the king (rja) of all Yogas and because
it enables a person to attain the imperishable Supreme Self, who is the illustrious king
(rjna dpyamnam).
113
In the second context, rjayoga is simply a synonym (ekavcaka)
for samdhi, as explicitly stated in the Hahapadpik.
114
Rather than a type of Yoga, it
refers to a state (pada)
115
that is non-dual
116
and often associated with the fourth stage of
Yoga called nipatti.
117
The fact that many Yoga texts use the term rjayoga both as a name
for a type of Yoga and as a synonym for samdhi is not a contradiction, because as a type
of Yoga it basically refers to the practice of samdhi.
118
The confation of Rjayoga with
Ptajalayoga is a much more recent phenomenon, which probably derives from authors of
late medieval Yoga compilations and commentators on the Yogastras who equated Pata-
jalis asaprajtasamdhi with Rjayoga. A good example of this is found in ivnandas
Yogacintmai (ms. 9784, folio 6):
In [this state], nothing at all is cognized. Thus it is asaprajtasamdhi. It is [also] called
nirbja, nirvikalpa, nirlamba, and Rjayoga (na tatra kicid saprajyata ity asaprajta
samdhi | aya ca nirbja iti nirvikalpa iti nirlamba iti rjayoga iti cocyate).
Both Vijnabhiku
119
and Nryaatrtha
120
appear to understand Rjayoga as samdhi or
the internal auxiliaries (aga) as opposed to the external ones. The dividing of Ptajalayoga
into Haha and Rjayoga carried on into the nineteenth century. For example, in the introduc-
tion of his book, Rja Yoga or the Practical Metaphysics of the Vednta, Dvivedi (1885: 43)
113. rjatvt sarvayogn rjayoga iti smta | rjna dpyamna ta paramtmnam avyaya | dehina
prpayed yas tu rjayoga sa ucyate (Amanaskayoga 2.4).
114. rjayoga samdhi ca unman . . . cety ekavcak (Hahapradpik 4.34).
115. E.g., rjayoga pada prpya (Amaraughaprabodha 71c), rjayogapada vrajet (Hahapradpik
2.77d).
116. caturtho rjayoga ca dvidhbhavavivarjita (Amaraughaprabodha 3cd) And the fourth [Yoga] is
Rjayoga which is free from the state of duality.
117. Datttreyayogastra 14647, Amaraughaprabodha 5253, Hahapradpik 4.7677.
118. The exception to this is the Aparoknubhti. In the Amanaskayoga, Rjayoga is used in both contexts;
however, as a type of Yoga it connotes a system of Yoga that is characterized by more than just the practice of
samdhi (i.e., mbhavmudr, transcending the tattvas, honoring the guru, etc.).
119. The reference to rjayoga in Vijnabhikus Yogasrasagraha (90/106), which is generally dated to the
sixteenth century, probably does not refer to Ptajalayoga as a whole, but to samdhi, or perhaps sayama (i.e.,
the combined practice of dhra, dhyna, and samdhi). In commenting on the sutras on sana (i.e., 2.4649) he
refrains from elaborating on the postures because the topic (prakaraa) at hand is Rjayoga (sanasya prapacas
tv atra rjayogaprakaraatvn na kriyate). In other words, his concern is not with the physical practices described
in Hahayoga texts, but samdhi and sayama. The second reference to Rjayoga is in a quoted passage from the
Nradyaharibhaktisudhodaya, which Vijnabhiku interprets as the practice of Patajalis internal auxiliaries (i.e.,
pratyhra, dhra, dhyna, and samdhi) and sayama (pratyhram uktv sayamaprakram ha). The exter-
nal auxiliaries (i.e., yma, niyama, sana, and pryma) are absent in Nradas account of Rjayoga.
120. In the Yogasiddhntacandrik Nryaatrtha, who has been dated to the seventeenth century (Endo 1993:
5456), equated the auxiliaries of Patajalis Agayoga with diferent types of medieval Yogas (including Laya,
Haha, Mantrayoga). In his commentary on stra 1.20, Rjayoga is equated with asamprajtasamdhi: The mean-
ing [of the stra is], Because of [wisdom (tato)] and supreme detachment (paravairgya), asamprajtasamdhi
arises for those other men who are diferent from the aforementioned [Yogins because they] are desirous of libera-
tion. This alone is called Rjayoga. It has been said in the tradition, in this regard, seedless samdhi is declared
to be Rjayoga, because the abundant Self, which is full of pure consciousness, shines (rjate) like a lamp. (tato
paravairgyd asamprajta itare prvavilakn manuy mumuk bhavatty artha | ayam eva
ca rjayoga ity ucyate | tad ukta smtausamdhis tatra nirbjo rjayoga prakrtita | dpavad rjate yasmd
tm saccinmaya prabhur iti). Nryaatrtha (1.34) quotes and follows the lexical defnition of Hahayoga in the
Yogabja (see n. 52), and thus equates it with pryma.
544 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
makes the following comment on Ptajalayoga: This Yoga has been viewed by later writ-
ers from two diferent stand-points: and this circumstance has led to its division into Hatha
(physical) and Raja (mental) Yoga . . .
121
n.oos strrnronrf. ovrn nfn.oo
It is in the context of Rjayoga as a system of Yoga that its superiority over Hahayoga
is most forthrightly asserted, particularly in those texts that present Rjayoga as a complete
system in itself. The Aparoknubhti focuses solely on Rjayoga, and Hahayoga is merely
an unexplained adjunct to it (hence Vidyrayas observation that Rjayoga is indepen-
dent of Hahayoga). In the Amanaskayoga the techniques of Hahayoga are rejected because
the practice of samdhi alone is considered enough for liberation. In fact, since mind and
breath are dependent on one another
122
and since the practice of mbhavmudr induces
the no-mind state (i.e., amanaska/samdhi), Hahayoga is considered superfuous in the
Amanaskayoga because there is no need to stop the breath in order to stop the mind when
the no-mind state has already been achieved.
123
Not only does the Amanaskayoga consider
the techniques of Hahayoga superfuous; it attacks the belief that Yoga should require con-
trol and efort.
124
According to this approach of Rjayoga, all the Yogin need do is honor the
Guru, sit comfortably, and remain very still (sunicala), with the gaze directed at an empty
space about an arms length in front.
125
The body is kept relaxed (ithila)
126
and the mind
allowed to wander wherever it will.
127
Eventually, the gaze becomes internal and the mind
dissolves by itself.
121. As Elizabeth de Michelis (2004: 17880) has noted, the early Theosophists may have been the frst to refer
to Ptajalayoga as Rjayoga and their mistake was popularized by Viveknandas book Rjayoga.
122. yvan manas tatra marutpravttir yvan maruc cpi manapravtti || tatraikand aparasya na
ekapravtter aparapravtti | adhvastayo cendriyavargabuddhir vidhvastayor mokapadasya siddhi (Amanaskay-
oga 2.27cd28) Therefore, as long as there is mind there is activity of breath, and as long as there is breath there is
activity of mind. In that case, when one disappears, the other disappears and when one is active, the other is active.
And when both are not dispersed, there is awareness of all the sense faculties. When both are dispersed, there is the
attainment of the state of liberation.
123. amanaske pi sajte cittdivilayo bhavet || cittdivilaye jte pavanasya layo bhavet (Amanaskayoga
1.21cd22ab) When the no-mind [state] has arisen, dissolution of thinking [ahakra, and buddhi] occurs. When
dissolution of thinking [ahakra and buddhi] has arisen, the breath dissolves.
124. E.g., tatrpy asdhya pavanasya na aagayogdinievaena | manovinas tu guruprasdn
nimeamtrena susdhya eva (Amanaskayoga 2.29) Therefore, [since the breath and mind depend on one another],
the disappearance of the breath cannot be mastered by the practice of the Yoga with six auxiliaries and the like
[because the mind remains active]. However, the complete disappearance of the mind [and, thereby, the breath] can
easily be mastered in a mere instant as a result of the gurus favor. akala samanaska ca sysa ca sad tyaja |
nikala nirmanaska ca nirysa sad bhaja (Amanaskayoga 2.26) Always avoid the [Yoga] with form, mind,
and efort. Always adopt the [Yoga] with no form, no mind, and no efort. nivryama yatnena dhartu ya
naiva akyate | sa tihati kaenaiva mruta sahajodayt (Amanaskayoga 2.73) The breath, which cannot be held
[for long however] efortfully it is being restrained, instantly remains [held (i.e., ceases)] because of the arising of
the natural [no-mind] state.
125. vivikte vijane dee pavitre timanohare | samsane sukhsna pact kicit samrita ||
sukhasthpitasarvga susthirtm sunicala | bhudaapramena ktadi samabhyaset (Amanaskayoga
2.4950) In an isolated, solitary, clean, and very beautiful place [the Yogin] sits comfortably on a level seat and is
supported a little from behind. His limbs are placed comfortably and he [remains] very steady and very still. Having
fxed his gaze [on an empty space] the measure of an arms length [in front], he should practice [thus].
126. ithilktasarvga nakhgraikhgrata| sabhybhyantare sarvacintcevivarjita (Amanaskayoga
2.51) [The Yogin] whose whole body is held relaxed, [even] up to the tip of his toenails and the tuft of hair on the
crown of his head, is free from all thoughts and movement, both externally and internally.
127. yatra yatra mano yti na nivrya tatas tata | avrita kayam yti vryama tu vardhate (Amanas-
kayoga 2.71). Wherever the mind goes, it is not to be prevented [going] from there. Unobstructed, it comes to an
545 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
Both the Aparoknubhti and the Jvanmuktiviveka left the door slightly open for
Hahayoga, whereas the Amanaskayoga closed it frmly. The extent to which the Amanas-
kayoga was opposed to Hahayoga can be demonstrated by comparing the following two
verses. The frst verse from the Laghuyogavsiha was quoted in the Jvanmuktiviveka as a
statement referring to Hahayoga:
As a vicious elephant in rut cannot be controlled without a goad, just so the mind cannot be
controlled without using a method [of restraint] (akuena vin matto yath duam atagaja |
vijetu akyate naiva tath yukty vin mana).
128
However, in the Amanaskayoga (2.72):
Just as an elephant without a goad, having obtained its desires, stops, so the mind, unobstruct-
ed, dissolves by itself (yath nirakuo hast kmn prpya nivartate | avrita manas tadvat
svayam eva vilyate).
The notion that Rjayoga was efortless, whereas Hahayoga required exertion continued for
many centuries after the Amanaskayoga, and perhaps found its most succinct expression in
the Rjayogabhya:
The [Haha] Yogas spoken of earlier are performed with exertion of the body, (whereas) this
(Rjayoga) efortlessly yields the goal of human life, in the form of liberation (prvokt yog
dehapraysakr | aya tu nirysena mokarpapururthaprada).
129
In light of Hahayogas background as an ancillary practice, this view would have been an
efective weapon in the hands of those who wished to promote Rjayoga over Hahayoga,
and it was probably due to the rhetoric of Rjayogas efortless emcacy that Hahayoga was
dismissed as the Yoga of forceful exertion by those outside the Hahayoga tradition.
fnr nfn-n nrifrosnrr r fnr rni. nfn conrts
In spite of such rivalry, Haha and Rjayoga were married, so to speak, in a fourfold
system of Yoga. Four texts of the early Hahayoga corpus used in this study preserve this
system, which consisted of Mantra, Laya, Haha, and Rjayoga. Three of these established
a clear hierarchy among the four Yogas, in which Rjayoga is above the others. Perhaps
the earliest, the Datttreyayogastra, states that Rjayoga is the best of these Yogas
130

and, after describing the various techniques of Hahayoga, then states that from practicing
those techniques, Rjayoga arises and certainly not otherwise.
131
In the Amaraughaprabodha
Laya, Mantra, and Hahayoga are taught for the sole purpose of attaining Rjayoga,
132
and
end. However, being impeded, it increases. durnivrya manas tvad yvat tattva na vindati | vidite tu pare
tattve mano naustambhakkavat (Amanaskayoga 2.74) As long as the highest reality is not known, the mind is
unrestrainable. When the highest reality is known, however, the mind becomes [still] like a crow [perched] on the
mast of a ship [moving on the ocean].
128. Jvanmuktiviveka (3.1.18), quoting the Laghuyogavsiha (5.10.127). Tr. Goodding (2002: 184).
129. This is in the opening paragraph of the Rjayogabhya. I am assuming that prvokt yog refers back
to the characteristics of Hahayoga (hahayogalakaa) mentioned at the beginning of the same paragraph. It is
strange that the plural (i.e., yog) is used and perhaps should be emended to the singular (along with the rest of
the sentence).
130. mantrayogo laya caiva hahayogas tathaiva ca | rajayoga caturtha syd yognm uttamas tu sa
(Datttreyayogastra 9) There is Mantrayoga, Laya, and also Hahayoga. Rjayoga is the fourth and it is the best
of [these] Yogas.
131. tato bhaved rjayogo nnyath bhavati dhruvam ||145cd|| 145d nnyath ] conjecture : nntar ed.
(Datttreyayogastra 145cd).
132. layamantrahah prokt rjayogya kevalam (Amaraughaprabodha 73cd).
546 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
in the Yogabja the four Yogas are listed in sequential order of practice.
133
Therefore, all
three of these texts assert both the superiority of Rja over Hahayoga and the dependence of
Rjayoga on the other three. As to why these four Yogas were brought together in this hier-
archy, one might infer from the Datttreyayogastra (910) that they are connected to the
four states (avasth) of Yoga (rambha, ghaa, paricaya, and nipatti), but the relationship
among them is not clear. Rjayoga is connected with the fourth state, nipatti;
134
however,
it is not stated that the frst three Yogas are the means to the frst three states respectively. It
is more likely that the hierarchy of the four Yogas was based on four types of student. This
is most clearly attested in the Amaraughaprabodha, which prescribes Mantrayoga for the
weak (mdu) student, Laya for the average (madhya), Haha for the capable (adhimtra),
and, presumably, Rja for the more than capable (adhimtratara).
135
fnr nsonrfro or n.oo rfo nfn.oo
Svtmrma can be credited with bringing an end to any rivalry that might have once
separated Haha and Rjayoga. In his Hahapradpik, he molded Haha and Rjayoga
into a complete system of Yoga, in which the practice of Hahayoga leads to the state of
Rjayoga.
136
Indeed, he makes it clear that without the practice of Hahayoga, Rjayoga is
unattainable, and without the attainment of Rjayoga, Hahayoga remains fruitless.
137
By
borrowing verses from both Rja and Hahayoga texts, he combined the principal theories
and techniques of Rjayoga (in particular, mbhavmudr) with a vast array of Hahayogic
techniques. As though to heal the past rift between Haha and Rjayoga, Svtmrma
included the word amanaska as a synonym for samdhi
138
and incorporated a number of the
133. mantro haho layo rjayogas tadbhmik kramt ||143cd|| eka eva caturdhya mahyogo bhidhyate
||144ab|| rjayogas tadbhmik ] Awasthis ed.: rjayogntarbhmik ed. (Yogabja 143cd144ab) Mantra,
Haha, Laya, and Rjayoga are the stages of [practice] according to their sequence. This one [Yoga] in four parts is
called Mahyoga.
134. Datttreyayogastra 14647. This is also the case in the Amaraughaprabodha (5253) and the
Hahapradpik (4.7678). In his Jyotsn (2.76) Brahmnanda glosses nipatti as rjayogasiddhi.
135. eka evmaraugho hi rjayogbhidhnaka | mantrdibhi samyukta caturtho dyate katham ||
mdumadhydhimtra ca adhimtrataras tath | caturdh sdhako jeyas tatsopnam ihocyate || mdave dyate
mantro madhyya laya ucyate | adhimtre haha dadyd amaraugho mahevare (Amaraughaprabodha 1718, 24)
17c mantrdibhi ] conj. : maydibhi ed. For only the unique [state] of Amaraugha has the name Rjayoga. How
can the fourth [Yoga] along with Mantra, [Laya, and Haha] be given [to students]? Weak, average, capable, and
more than capable are known as the four types of practitioner (sdhaka). In this system, it is said to be a ladder to
that [state of Amaraugha]. Mantrayoga is given to the weak, Laya to the average, Haha to the capable, and Ama-
raugha (i.e., Rjayoga) [to the more than capable, who is a] iva. Verses 1923 describe each sdhaka in detail.
Similar verses, including the hierarchy of four Yogas, are in the ivasahit (5.1227). The Datttreyayogastra
partially supports this by stating that Mantrayoga is for the weak (mdu) and lowest (adhama) students (1213),
though it does not qualify the students who practice the other three Yogas.
136. rdinthya namo stu yenopadi hahayogavidy | vibhrjate pronnatarjayogam rohum icchor
adhirohiva (Hahapradpik 1.1) Let us salute the honorable dinth by whom the science of Hahayoga was
taught. It manifests as a ladder for one desiring to ascend to the lofty [state of ] Rjayoga. kevala rjayogya
hahavidyopadiyate (Hahapradpik 1.2cd) The science of Hahayoga has been taught solely for the purpose [of
attaining] Rjayoga. Also see 1.67 and 4.103.
137. haha vin rjayogo rjayoga vin haha | na sidhyati tato yugmam nipatte samabhya-
set (Hahapradpik 2.76) Without Haha, Rjayoga is not accomplished, and without Rja, Hahayoga is not
accomplished. Therefore, [the Yogin] should practice both until [the state called] Nipatti [is attained]. rjayogam
ajnanta kevala hahakarmia | etn abhysino manye praysaphalavarjitn (Hahapradpik 4.79) Those
who are ignorant of Rjayoga are merely performing Hahayoga. I think these practitioners are deprived of the fruits
of their exertion.
138. rjayoga samdhi ca . . . amanaskam . . . cety ekavcak (Hahapradpik 4.4).
547 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
Amanaskayogas verses on mbhavmudr, laya, and the dependence of mind and breath.
139

It is supremely ironic that the Amanaskayogas verses on mind and breath, which were the
basis for its dismissal of Hahayoga as superfuous, were used by Svtmrma in order to
justify the practice of pryma:
When the breath moves, mind moves, and when the breath is still, mind is still. [In order to]
obtain the state of motionlessness, the Yogin should restrain the breath. (cale vte cala citta
nicale nicala bhavet | yog sthutvam pnoti tato vyu nirodhayet) Hahapradpik 2.2.
cocituro nrxnxs
As one of the four Yogas, Hahayoga was distinguished from Mantra, Laya, and Rjayoga
by the practice of sanas, pryma, and one or more of its ten mudrs. For example, the
Amaraughaprabodha provides a succinct defnition of Hahayoga as the practice of stopping
the breath,
140
and it teaches mahmudr, mahbandha, and mahvedha. The Yogabjas lexi-
cal defnition of ha and ha is similar to the Amaraughaprabodhas defnition of Hahayoga
as pryma; however, to speculate that the term hahayoga may have been synonymous
with pryma overlooks the importance of the ten mudrs in distinguishing Hahayoga
from other practices of pryma, which can be found in the classical Upaniads, Epic
literature, Dharmastras, aiva and Buddhist tantras, and so on.
141
Indeed, from the time of
the Datttreyayogastra, the ten mudrs are a defning feature of Hahayoga and serve to
distinguish it from all other Yogas.
The rise of Hahayoga occurred at the end of what might be called a second formative
phase in the textual history of Yoga. The frst phase, which encompasses the variety of
Yogic practices that appear in early Buddhism, the principal Upaniads,
142
and the Epic
literature,
143
culminated in the Yogastras of Patajali. The coherent structure of his text,
which integrated philosophy and practice to form a system known as Yoga led to Yoga
later becoming one of the six schools of Indian philosophy, with its own commentarial tra-
dition. The second formative phase probably has its origins in pre-tantric sects such as the
Pupatas
144
and grew independently of Patajalis commentarial tradition (though it was
139. Amanaskayoga 2.910, 2.2728 = Hahapradpik 3.3536, 4.2425.
140. yas tu prabhajanapidhnarato haha sa || pidhna ] Conjecture by Alexis Sanderson: vidhna ed. (Ama-
raughaprabodha 4cd). That which is intent upon stopping the breath is Hahayoga.
141. I have yet to fnd a description of the practice of pryma involving the Hahayogic bandhas and
mudrs in a text written before the earliest Haha texts, which abound with such descriptions. For example, in
the original Gorakaataka (67) Breath retention ought to be always done with the three bandhas (kartavya
kumbhako nitya bandhatrayasamanvita). The Hahapradpik amrms that the three bandhas are to be used
during pryma (2.4546). In his Jyotsn (2.7) Brahmnanda supports this: Breath retention, which is stop-
ping the breath, is accompanied by the bandhas such as Jlandhara (jlandhardibandaprvaka pranirodha
kumbhaka). One might infer from verse 2.7 of the Hahapradpik that khecarmudr was used for manipulating
the nostrils in the practice of alternate nostril breathing while the hands held the feet in bound lotus. Also, the frst
three Hahayogic mudrs (mahmudr, mahbandha, and mahvedha) combine breath retention with bandhas and
sanas. (In fact, mahmudr may have been the frst instance of pryma being performed in a non-seated pose
known as jnursana in BKS Iyengars system [1979: 148].)
142. The well-known examples sumce: the vetvataropaniad (ch. 2), the Kathopaniad (6.11), and the later
Maitryayupaniad (6.18, 6.25, etc.).
143. For references in the Mahbhrata, see Brockington 2003 and White 2006: 810.
144. The most convincing evidence for this is the last ten chapters of the Nepalese recension of the Skandapura,
which describe a pupatayoga. This text was probably written from the sixth to the seventh century (see Sanderson
2009: 5152 and nn. 23, 24). The chapters on pupatayoga mention various sana (svastika, padmaka, bhadra,
siha, and kacchapa), a fourfold pryma, a Yoga with six auxiliaries, as well as some of the terminology of
medieval Hahayoga, such as moving vyu through nis, kumbhaka, and some allusions to practices resembling
548 Journal of the American Oriental Society 131.4 (2011)
certainly infuenced by Ptajalayoga). Yoga techniques were incorporated into Hindu and
Buddhist tantras, as one among several other means to liberation, which included initiation
(dk) and gnosis (jna), and, in the case of Abhinavagupta, Yoga was subordinate to
gnosis (Vasudeva 2004: 237). By the twelfth century Yoga texts had emerged that posited
the practice of Yoga as the chief means to liberation, and the practice was accompanied by
a radically simplifed tantric metaphysics.
145
However, their terminology and practice was
closer to tantric Yoga than Ptajalayoga.
146
Some of these Yoga texts incorporated four
kinds of Yoga (Mantra, Laya, Haha, and Rja), which eventually coalesced in the ffteenth-
century Hahapradpik.
147
In compiling the Hahapradpik it is clear that Svtmrma drew material from many dif-
ferent sources on various systems of Yoga such as Yjavalkyas and Vasihas Agayoga,
the Amanaskayogas Rjayoga, the Vivekamrtaas aagayoga, dinths Khecarvidy,
the Virpkanthas Amtasiddhi, and so on. He assembled it under the name of Hahayoga
and, judging from the vast number of manuscripts of the Hahapradpik,
148
its numerous
commentaries,
149
and the many references to it in late medieval Yoga texts,
150
his Hahayoga
grew in prominence and eclipsed many of the former Yogas. As a label for the diverse Yoga
of the Hahapradpik, Hahayoga became a generic term. However, a more specifc mean-
ing of the term is seen in the tenth- to eleventh-century Buddhist tantric commentaries, and
this meaning is confrmed by an examination of the adverbial uses of the word haha in the
medieval Yoga texts predating the Hahapradpik. Rather than the metaphysical explana-
tion of uniting the sun (ha) and moon (ha), it is more likely that the name Hahayoga was
inspired by the meaning force. The descriptions of forcefully moving kualin, apna, or
bindu upwards through the central channel suggest that the force of Hahayoga qualifes
the efects of its techniques, rather than the efort required to perform them.
the Hahayogic mudrs, such as fxing the tongue on the palate (tlau jihv samdhya) and locking the navel
(nbhbandhana). These descriptions of Yoga demonstrate clear precedents to Hahayoga. I wish to thank Peter
Bisschop for pointing out these chapters to me and providing his transcription.
145. The Amanaskayoga and Datttreyayogastra are good examples of this.
146. For example, in explaining pryma, the terminology used in the Datttreyayogastra is tantric: i.e.,
recaka, praka, and kumbhaka (e.g., 68). Other elements not seen in Ptajalayoga are the two kumbhakas, sahita
(60) and kevala (68), alternate nostril breathing (5557), and dietary requirements (6467). Furthermore, Patajali
(3.1) and Vysa broadly defne dhra as fxing the mind on cakras, a light in the head, a part of the body, or an
external object. However, in most Hahayoga texts (e.g., Datttreyayogastra 10110) dhra is the practice of
holding pra in those parts of the body that correspond to the fve elements (tattva). This appears to have derived
from tantric Yoga (e.g., the Nayastra of the Nivsatattvasahit 4.11516).
147. A third formative phase in the history of Yoga could be added to this model, from the sixteenth cen-
tury onwards, when several important texts appeared (such as ivnandas Yogacintmai, rnivsayogs
Haharatnval, Bhavadevas Yuktabhavadeva, and various Yoga Upaniads), which attempted to integrate
Hahayoga with traditions such as Ptajalayoga, tantric Yoga, Advaitavednta, yurveda, and so on. The commen-
taries of Brahmnanda and Upaniadbrahmayogin represent the fnal outcome of this phases synthesis.
148. See Kaivalyadhamas Descriptive Catalogue of Yoga Manuscripts (2005: 496; serial numbers 81320).
The entry for the Hahapradpik, Hahayogapradpik, etc., is close to the size of Patajalis Yogastras and its
commentaries.
149. Gharote lists eight. See Hahapradpik (Ten Chapters), xxviii.
150. See Bouy (1994: 10, 1617, 3536, etc.).
549 Brncn: The Meaning of haha in Early Hahayoga
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