Hatha Yoga (Hindi: हठ योग, Bengali: হঠ যোগ) or Hatha Vidya (हठ विद्या, Bengali: হঠ বিদ্যা) is a kind of Yoga which focuses mainly on human body and health. The aim of Hatha Yoga is to increase physical and mental strength and body immunity.
We know in 1890, Swami Vivekananda met Pavhari Baba at Ghazipur, who was a master practitioner of Hatha Yoga. When Vivekananda met Pavhari Baba, he was badly suffering from Lumbago and wished to be initiated by Baba to learn some Hatha Yoga techniques (although he was not initiated, just night before the initiation Vivekananda saw Ramakrishna in dream looking at him sadly, so he had to drop the idea.)
In this article we’ll make a collection of Swami Vivekananda‘s quotes and comment on Hatha Yoga.
- A man in Calcutta claims to have lived five hundred years. The people all tell me that their grandfathers saw him. … He takes a constitutional twenty miles, never walks, he runs. Goes into the water, covers himself [from] top to toe with mud. After that he plunges again into the water, again sticks himself with mud. … I do not see any good in that. (Snakes, they say, live two hundred years.) He must be very old, because I have travelled fourteen years in India and wherever I went everybody knew him. He has been travelling all his life. … [The Hatha-Yogi] will swallow a piece of rubber eighty inches long and take it out again. Four times a day he has to wash every part of his body, internal and external parts. …[Source]
- Hatha-Yoga deals entirely with the physical body, its aim being to make the physical body very strong.[Source]
- Some of these Hathayogis live to a great age.[Source]
- The result of this branch of Yoga is to make men live long; health is the chief idea, the one goal of the Hatha-Yogi. He is determined not to fall sick, and he never does. He lives long; a hundred years is nothing to him; he is quite young and fresh when he is 150, without one hair turned grey. But that is all. A banyan tree lives sometimes 5000 years, but it is a banyan tree and nothing more. So, if a man lives long, he is only a healthy animal. One or two ordinary lessons of the Hatha-Yogis are very useful. For instance, some of you will find it a good thing for headaches to drink cold water through the nose as soon as you get up in the morning; the whole day your brain will be nice and cool, and you will never catch cold. It is very easy to do; put your nose into the water, draw it up through the nostrils and make a pump action in the throat.[Source]
- There are some sects called Hatha-Yogis. … They say the greatest good is to keep the body from dying. … Their whole process is clinging to the body. Twelve years training! And they begin with little children, others wise it is impossible. … One thing [is] very curious about the Hatha-Yogi: When he first becomes a disciple, he goes into the wilderness and lives alone forty days exactly. All they have they learn within those forty days. …[Source]
- Thought-reading and the foretelling of events are successfully practised by the Hathayogis.[Source]