Hatha Yoga Pradipika of Swathmarama is a Hatha Yoga text which starts from physical level.
Salutation to Adinatha (Shiva) who explained the knowledge of Hatha Yoga, which like a staircase leads the aspirant to the highest Raja Yoga.
Yogin Swatmarama, after saluting first his Guru Srinatha explains Hatha Yoga for the attainment of Raja Yoga.
The highest state of Raja Yoga is unknown due to misconceptions (darkness) created by varying ideas and concepts. In good will and as a blessing, Swatmarama offers light on Hatha Yoga.
Yogi Matsyendranath knew the knowledge of Hatha Yoga. He gave it to Gorakhnath and others, and by their grace the author (Swatmarama) learned it.
Hatha Yoga is the greatest secret of the yogis who wish to attain perfection (Siddhi). Indeed, to be fruitful, it must be kept secret; revealed it becomes powerless.
The Hatha Yogi should live alone in a hermitage and practice in a place of the size of the length of a bow (one and a half meters), where there is no hazard from rocks, fire or water, and which is in a well-administered and virtuous kingdom (nation or town) where good alms can be easily attained.
This is the description of the yoga hermitage as prescribed by the Siddhas for the Hatha Yoga practitioners. The room of sadhana should have a small door, without window, holes or cracks, being neither too high nor too low. It should be spotlessly clean, wiped with cow manure and free from animals or insects.
Outside, there should be an open platform with a thatched roof, a well and a surrounding wall (fence). The appearance of the hermitage should be pleasant.
In this manner, dwelling in the hermitage, being devoid of all thought (excess mentation); Yoga should be practiced in the way instructed by the Guru.
Yoga is destroyed by the following six causes: Overeating, exertion, talkativeness, adhering to rules, i.e., cold bath in the morning, eating at night, or eating fruits only, company of men, and unsteadiness.
Zeal, determination, discrimination, unshakeable faith, courage, avoiding the company of bad people, are the (six reasons) which bring success in yoga.