– Krishnamacharya’s Overlooked Sources -

from His Bibliography of  Source texts from the Yoga Makaranda (1934).

* To peruse the complete list of source texts referenced in this course, click here. *

“This is a padded bibliography with works referred to that have nothing to do with the tradition that he is teaching in. He has included material on yogic practices from these academic sources in his text without knowing an actual tradition of teaching connectedwith the practice.”  -Walter Sjoman, Yoga of the Mysore Palace (1996). This stance is replicated in Mark Singleton’s Yoga Body (footnote #7, p. 22)

Manuscript of the Nāradīya Tantra

Manuscript of the Nāradīya Tantra


The following are the  30 āsanas  engaged as Kāranas (moving postures) in this highest Yoga Sādhana of our revelation (śāstra)….at the  juncture of dawn, the  aṣṭāṅga praṇāma is to be physically engaged within the circumambulation of the maṇḍala. The Yogin is to perform the namaskāra  lowering to the earth in the shape of a staff (= caturanga daṇḍāsana). With his head, chest, and knees in a straight line, and with great devotional focus, he falls to the earth engaging the eight-part prostration (aṣṭāṅga praṇāma), led with his head first….” 

- Nāradīya Tantra, one of Krishnamacharya’s ignored sources.




Krishnamacharya’s Yoga Makaranda Preface with his Bibliography of Sanskrit Sources. Yoga_Makaranda_Small

śrī- hayagrīvāya namaḥ |

savinaya-prārthanāñjali-mudrā-pūrvaka-samarpaṇam |

“Salutations to Lord Hayagrīva. This is [my Humble dedication, made with palms placed in añjali-mudrā (prayer pose).”

This book contains the essential concepts from many texts of antiquity listed below I have studied the texts under the blessing of a great teacher and have explained the truths contained in them that I have personally experienced. In preparation for this book, the  following texts served as [my] authority…” 

– T. Krishnamacharya, from the Preface to his Yoga Makaranada (1934).


Bibliography of Krishnamacharya‘s Sanskrit Sources listed in his Yoga Makaranda.

1. Rāja Yoga Ratnākara        2. Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā        3. Yogasāra Mārga       4. Yoga-Phala-Pradīpikā

5. Rāvana Nāḍī (Nadi Pariksa of Ravana)   6. Bhairava Kalpam   7. Śrī Tattva Nidhi    8. Yoga-ratna-kāṇḍa

9. Mano Nārāyaṇīya   10. Rudra Yāmala    11. Brahma Yāmala    12. Atharvaṇa Rahasya

13. Patañjala Yoga Darśana   14. Kapila Sūtram      15. Yoga-Yājñavalkya     16. Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā

17. Nārada Pañcarātra Saṃhitā      18. Sātvata Saṃhitā     19. Sūta Saṃhitā     20. Dhyāna Bindu Upaniṣad

21. Śāṇḍilya Upaniṣad   22. Yoga Śikha Upaniṣad     23. Yoga Kuṇḍalī Upaniṣad    24. Ahir Budhni Saṃhitā 

25. Nāda Bindu Upaniṣad    26. Amṛta Bindu Upaniṣad    27. Garbha Upaniṣad


– Krishnamacharya’s list of texts above  includes the following six overlooked Tantric ‘Yoga Shāstras,’ which date from between the 9th and 14th centuries.  These total  more than *74,000* verses,  include numerous variations of Sūrya Namaskāra, and present more than 200 āsanas in different groups of classification. As Tantras (‘Revealed Scriptures’) they also present  Vinyāsa in which these are to be engaged, as this course will show.

1. Nārada Pañcarātra Saṃhitā (-Tantra). 

* Pre- 14th century; more than 32,000 verses. Perhaps the most influential of his sources, the Nāradā Saṃhitā, ak.a. the Nārada Purāṇa, is most commonly referred to known  as the Nāradīya Tantra.  It contains an entire chapter on the worship of Krishnamacharya’s Chosen Deity, Hayagrīva, whose seed mantras are still used in the practice of Sūṛya Namaskāra today (hrāṃ, hrīm, hrūm, etc.)  It was first published in 1927.

2. Ahir Budhni Saṃhitā (-Tantra)

* 12th-14th centuries;  4500 verses; published in 1916.

3. Sātvata Saṃhitā  

* pre-10th century; 5,625 verses; published in 1982. The Oldest of Krishnamacharya’s Vaiṣṇava sources.

4. Rudra Yāmala Tantra    

* pre-15th century; 9000+ verses; published in the 1960s?

4. Sūta Saṃhitā (-Tantra)

* written before 1300 A.D. 3000+ verses; first published in1893. 

5. Brahma Yāmala Tantra

* ca. 7th century; 20,000 verses (unpublished).