The Adhiyoga System of Neel Kulkarni
Adhiyoga is a comprehensive guide to the 21st century Yoga student. This book contains original Authentic Yoga Sutras of Neel Kulkarni (first published in 2013), commentary in English by the Author, tips on creating effective Yoga practice, choice of paths, precautions, correction of misunderstanding, simplification of complex philosophical ideas, health fitness, and experience of numerous students as a proof of concept. Also, available in Italian, Spanish and Marathi.
Paramapoojya Dr.Prof. Bhashyam Swamy, M.A., Ph.D, D.Litt.
Paramapoojya Dr.Prof. Bhashyam Swamy, M.A., Ph.D, D.Litt.; Recipient of “Rajya Prashasti – 1994” & Recipient of “Rajyotsava Prashasti – 2012”; Recipient of Titles -Veda Varidhi, Veda Vachaspati, Veda Marthanda, Krishna YejurvedaVisheveda, Agama Kushala, Pancharatra Agama Rartnakara, Mantra Ratna, Mantra Mani, Jyotisya Ratna, Mantrashastra Mahodadhi, Mahagnananidhi, Gyananidhi, Sarvajana Maharshi, Jayaratnashree; Member – Prasikshana Parishat, Karnataka Sanskrit University, Bangalore ; M.Phil.- Guide – Karnataka Sanskrit University, Bangalore; Member – State Level Steering Committee for seeking Central Assistance – Dept. Of Kannada & Culture,GOK; Joint Secretary cum Treasurer – Academy of Sanskrit Research, Melkote; Principal – Government Maharaja’s Sanskrit College, Mysore; President – Sri Yoganarasimha Charitable Trust, Mysore; Member – Advisory Committee JSS Ayurvedic College, Mysore; Member Secretary- Selection Committee for Faculty Appointment of Govt. Maharaja Sanskrit College, Mysore; Peethadhipathi, Sri Sudarshana Narasimha Kshetra, Vijayanagar, Mysore 570017
At the very outset I wish to commend the humbleness of Prof.Neel Kulkarni who visited our Sri Yoganarasimhaswamy temple at Vijaya Nagar extension in Mysore to present a copy of his noble work contained in a book form titled Adhiyoga to enable me to have a glimpse of it and express my views on it. The way he sent the book thro’ one of our volunteers to reach me by himself standing at a distance shows how much respect and devotion he has towards me.
Due to my pre-occupation it took some time for me to go thro’ the contents of the book. This work is just not a way of exposing Patanjali Yoga Sutras for the benefit of human entity. BUT it is a Sixth sense’s revelations. Here I remember one of our Srivaishnavait Alwars and Acharyas known as Kuratalwar who could write the contents of the Bhodayana Sutra the manuscript of which was stolen and lost. So to say this is a divine blessing and not merely a human effort.
The year 2014 which has made experience a lot of catastrophic calamities in this part of the universe, is coming to an end and let us all hope the year 2015 will do well to the humanity to march towards the soul searching for peace. Why I am saying this is the minds of human being with special reference to our Bharat has shattered and people have started soul searching to seek peace and salvation.
Thus it is at this juncture the essence of systems of Yoga like the Adhiyoga comes in handy as a readymade food for thought as well as for preparing the body to seek salvation – right opportune time. It is often said that we don’t find Yoga, but that Yoga finds us.
As a food for thought to the interested persons choosing to pursue acquiring in depth knowledge empowerment on Yoga I would like to touch upon the Ancient History or the Origin of Yoga as the recent explosion of Yoga’s popularity around the Globe has portrayed Yoga in so many various shades and colours and finding the most authentic Yoga may pose a challenge. The definition of Yoga was not restricted to the bodily postures, as is being depicted by many; but rather, it encompassed a wide range of ways to connect with One’s highest potential.
When we say this, the first thing which comes into our minds is the Yoga in Bhagawad Gita. While some may prioritise the three aspects of Yoga – Asana (posture); Pranayama (breath) and Mudra (focus), to my mind I go back to Gita which deals with three types of yoga – that is – Karma yoga leading to Gyana yoga which in turn leads to Bhakti Yoga as told by Lord Krishna to Arjuna for performance. This is the real Triyoga, as in these 3 types there lies all the essence of One’s potential which can enlighten him to perform his life in the right direction and to full extent.
The Bhagawad Gita’s Yoga is something nearly every human being practices or participates in, to one degree or the other, in one form or the other. BUT they just don’t know it for lack of proper initiation by a right Guru.
Similarly the essence of authenticity of Adhiyoga (which incidentally is divided into 18 chapters just like the Gita) can be got only if it is initiate by a right Guru. Here the Author of the said Book – Adhiyoga himself being a practitioner of over 4 decades of involvement and his trained disciples can be of great help in reaching the fruits of pursuing this system of yoga.
While I wish to congratulate the author of the book, for his noble task, if I am not mistaken, I wish to take this opportunity to reach the beneficiaries of yogic sciences to know that, like this, there are several Sanskrit Texts too which can high light the origin of Yoga dating back to Vedas, Upanishads. Considering all the above facts it is indeed that Yoga is one of the oldest Sciences of the world originated from India, which is very useful for both getting and maintaining the physical, mental and moral health of any individual.
According to one of the classical texts of Yoga known as Hathayoga Pradipika, Lord Shiva is the first teacher of Yoga, where as the Gita tells Lord Krishna is the first teacher of Yoga.
Some historical researchers have proved that Yoga was prevalent during the time of Vedas. After the period of Vedas, a great sage Maharshi Patanjali systematized Yoga, its meaning and its related knowledge through his Patanjali Yoga Sutra about which you all aware.
In this connection I would like to specially draw your attention to the contribution for the Yoga of a foremost Srivaishnava theologian and Saint and himself being a Yogi, called Nathamuni, (822ad to 930 ad) a contemporary of Saint Nammalwar, was an extraordinary person who revolutionized many customs prevailing at his time. Among his authorship is the text known as Yoga Rahasya. which contains a lot of practical information of how yoga plays a role in the different stages of life (including the pregnancy stage of a woman). The title (Yoga Rahasya) itself means secrets of yoga and true to its name. This wonderful master piece offers many deep insights into the use and application of Yoga.
From the list of eminent persons who have written Forward / Reviews I can feel that the book is already reaching the right hands to give a boost to the scholarly work by Neel Kulkarniji who richly deserves congratulations not only from me but also from all those who can digest the essence of the book.
May the scholarly work by Neel Kulkarni spread all over the universe at a desired speed as it is suited for all age groups of the yogic knowledge seekers.
May he be the recipient of the blessings of our Lord Yoganarasimhaswamy along with my Aashirvachanams.
Dated:Tuesday (Utwana Dwadashi Day) the 4th November 2014 @ Mysore – the City of Palaces, in the State of Karnataka of India.
Padmashree Yogacharya Padmashree Sadashiv Nimbalkar, Director – YOGA VIDYA NIKETAN
Dear Neel Kulkarni,
Adhiyoga – An Authentic Yoga System
At the outset, let me congratulate you to bring out your pioneer work in the form of a book, with the title ‘Adhiyoga’ defining yoga as a system. I thank you for sending the book for my reading. I found it in a totally novel format, but interestingly showing exemplary command over our ancient Sanskrit language as you have written sutras in English followed with Sanskrit translations.
I found your book to be a guide, a manual, and a textbook for yoga students – it covers all aspects of human life.
Your beginning with a chapter on Happiness has indicated the trend of the book. The starting aphorism ‘Each and every human being is by nature in a search of happiness’ is a great beginning. Next, chapters on goal and course of action, your ‘Authentic Yoga System’, wherein you have discussed intricacies of yoga and given a guidelines for all important areas of yoga, like body-mind-spirit, Ishwara and Prakrti, health, fitness, rest, yoga practices, etc. Your concept of Pranayama, Meditation, Spiritual practices are very useful to the practitioners.
Your book on Adhiyoga giving a scientifically designed Authentic Yoga System is remarkable. It is your original work, which makes the work more worth and praise worthy. You have nicely elucidated your concepts about various aspects of yoga. The Sanskrit verses of Dr. Deviprasad Kharwandikar are added attraction to your book.
Dear Neel Kulkarni, I am very much impressed with your work and I cannot expect any less from a scholarly person like you, an IIT studied Aerospace Engineer. I wish you all the success in your life. May God bless you with all essentials of service to society.
S. P. Nimbalkara
Dr. Vidya Damle, Applied Psychologist
Dr. Vidya Damle, Applied Psychologist, Founder and Manager, Indrayani School for Mentally Challenged, Akola, India; Applied Psychologist specialized in: Training Programs for Mentally Challenged, Slow Learners, Autistic Children, and Persons with Learning Disability; Testing & Psychological Assessment; Counseling & Guidance; Behavioral Modification; Learning Skill Development; Rehabilitation; Founder and Manager, Indrayani School for Mentally Challenged, Akola, India; Vidya_nature18@yahoo.co.in
Adhiyoga is not a book but the Amrita-Kalasha (pot with elixir of immortality) that never gets empty. It is a treasure (of knowledge), the wealth in which does not exhaust even when drawn by millions. Each reading reveals new finding. Its very beginning is the life of/for happiness. Actually, happiness is a state of mind. It is easy to quote Saint Tukaram’s lines, “Thevile Anante Taisechi Rahave, Chitti Aso Dyave Samadhan (One should keep contentment in whatever life situation God has placed one in.)”. But, Adhiyoga details the methods and life style for achieving that contentment. The things that disturb physical and mental wellbeing, the steps for reaching one’s goal, and the appropriate diet-exercise-rest are explained elaborately but in a simple manner. The importance and proper use of Yoga are revealed. The skill needed to make life happy is found in Adhiyoga.
The Adhiyoga is not formed with mere intellectual thinking and a great writing skill. It is an accurate and systematic statement of a prolonged study and experience. It is an excellent integration of many subjects such as Nutrition, Health Science, Philosophy, Social Science, Psychology, and Spiritual Liberation that is considered the ultimate goal of human life.
Psychology is the pillar of Indian culture and Philosophy. Indian scriptures depict the ancient life style with its emotions, social tendencies, and human interaction. Adhiyoga explains these using Modern Psychology. How does learning take place in the brain? How is it related to emotion, attention, cognition, intelligence, and memory? These questions are answered very well. We also find the relation between diet/nutrition and mind in Adhiyoga.
Truly speaking, I find my capacity and intelligence short of fully understanding the Adhiyoga by collecting the shells from this ocean of knowledge.
Dr. Vidya Jayant Damle
Ayurvedacharya Hari Parashuram Vaidya (Khadiwale Vaidya); Hari Parashuram Aushadhalay and Ayurveda Research Center
Adhiyoga – A unique study of Yoga Shastra
The invaluable gift of Yoga Shastra given by India to the world is spreading fast all over the globe, along with the other two such gifts of Music and Ayurveda. The world population is tired of expensive medication. Everywhere people are trying to make use of Yoga therapy. Practice of Yoga Asanas is spreading house to house. One book in my collection uses the term Arogya-Asanas (Arogya – Health) instead of Yoga Asanas. Medicine is getting more and more expensive day by day. In order to resolve Health-Disease issues and to cure old as well as newly found diseases, poor and rich alike are using Yoga therapy that includes deep breathing, Pranayama, Sun Salutations and Yoga Asanas such as Sarvangasana. Once they experience benefit from the physical Yoga practices, they start thinking deeply about the subject of Yoga.
“yogena chittasya padena vacham
malam shareerasya cha vaidyakena
yopaakarottam pravaram muneenam
Sage Patanjali, the foremost proponent of Yoga Shastra, composed Yoga Sutras a few thousand years ago. That is a very laudable work. However, now the world has changed a lot. There is a need to study Yoga Sutras of Patanjali with modifications and in a new form. Many new works on Yoga Shastra are published almost daily in various languages. This is most satisfying news.
But, Neel Kulkarni has prepared a Samidha (a sacrificial substance) of Eighteen Chapters containing a few hundred Sutras for this Yoga Grantha Prakashana Yajna (A Sacrificial Ritual in the form of Yoga Book Publication). All his Sutras are in English. Therefore, they shall be studied and taught all over the globe, I have not even a hint of doubt about this. The efforts made by Yoga scholar Neel Kulkarni for this invaluable writing are amazing. It will take at least 15 days for a serious Yoga student to get an overview of this book. The great Sanskrit scholar, Dr. G. U. Thite has contributed the Sanskrit translation.
This book has over 400 pages and is blessed by Dr. Thite and Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. Kharwandikar. The comparative study presented through English Sutras, Sanskrit translations, and Bhagavadgita citations is an intellectual feast! The meaning that emerges from reading and reciting the Sutras gives immense peace of mind and joy.
Dear Yoga enthusiasts, you want to read this book, and to persuade your friends to purchase and read it. My salutations are to Neel Kulkarni. May all be well.
P.Y. Vaidya (Khadiwale)
Padmashree Dr. Sharad Moreshwar Hardikar, Professor Emeritus Orthopaedics; Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Director, Hardikar Hospital; www.hardikarhospital.org
It is universally established that Yogadarshan (Shastra) is an art and science of living which if practiced methodically with the proper understanding of its philosophy will help each Sadhak to achieve health, happiness and spiritual goal of liberation, so earnestly sought by all human beings. To achieve the same, each Sadhaka must study this eternal science of yoga earnestly, with its spiritual connotation which will enable him to be on correct path to achieve the goal. Yoga practice requires diligence, patience and perseverance to achieve desired goal.
Mahamuni Patanjali nearly 2500 yrs. BC has written 195 sutras to narrate the pathway to reach Kaivalya (Spiritual Liberation). Yogadarshan is complimentary to Sankhya Darshan. In addition to 25 Tatvas of it, Yogadarshan accepts 26th Tatva i.e. Ishwara. After lying dormant for centuries, Yoga Shastra was restricted to few seekers in Bharatvarsha. It surged like phoenix and spread like wild fire all over the world in the last few decades. There has been sudden awakening which culminated in great desire to study and practice the Science of Yoga. It also transcended the barriers of nation, race and religion.
However in great eagerness and hurry to learn, practice and propagate, it is observed that pure science of Yoga has been diluted with deviations and aberrations. And hence short courses by so called Yoga teachers / Masters erupted like mushroom and spoiled its pristine form for material and commercial benefit.
In presently competitive and highly stressed society it has become very difficult to master time management. Is it then possible to practice Yoga in its purest form which demands quiet peaceful life? Taking a leaf out of this problem Prof. Neel Kulkarni who has truly mastered the ancient science of yoga has come out with Adhiyoga, with his own Sutras without disturbing the essence and true spirit of Yoga Science. Author gives detailed commentary to his own Sutras which is particularly creditable. A.Y.S. for Today of Neel Kulkarni has arranged his Sutras very systematically and logically which enables students to set goal at various levels.
He has achieved this with in-depth study, research and thoughts. He has realized that Yoga Sutras must fulfill the demands of eager seekers of today. He is convinced that ardent follower of Yoga can achieve health, happiness along with spiritual liberation with the practice of A.Y.S. Sutras. He has provided few new methods to address today’s problems of the seekers. He has incorporated pure health sciences into Yoga Shastra for attaining vibrant physical and mental health.
He gives total freedom for personal goal which is a boon for today’s ambitious persons. (2.3)
Authentic Yoga System for Today helps us to be practical, open minded, yet effective, by accepting few – corrections. (3.4)
In Body – Mind – Spirit Complex, he simplifies the knowledge regarding the Maanas, Buddhi, Chitta, Smriti and Ahankara, so essential to deal with them. (4.2) In this he also explains Karmasidhanta which prepares the foundation of spiritual life. (4.5) He further describes classical Yoga for spiritual path finders. (4.11)
Purush and Prakruti concept, from 5.1 to 5.4 sutras give us idea of Sankhya Philosophy. He beautifully explains the Ishwar, with the help of Bhagvat Geeta (15.16,17,18) and Patanjal Sutras (1.24, 25, 26) with a statement that “Climax of Yoga Practice results in total surrender to the will of Ishwara.” Now onwards are the chapters of applications. Healths, fitness, Rest, Exercise are the crux of today’s need.
For fitness he carefully guides us for exercise, nutrition and rest; with a special mention of rest being intentional absence of physical or mental activity. In his exercise sutras (9.1 to 9.10) he elaborates about Hath yoga practices, in detail, with a warning that ‘More may not be better!’
From chapter 10 onwards his sutras are dedicated to core Yogic practices, with a aim of individual evolution or salvation in mind. His crucial guidelines like mental focusing, subtle intentional modification in breathing, serene & stable mind so useful for meditation, help the inquisitive students.
Chapter 13 on Meditation gives a clear pathway for meditation practice. The sutras 13.1 to 13.9 explain the classical and applied meditation, where the aims are different, but process is same. Lastly he elaborates main concepts of spiritual Yoga Practice, and briefs us about karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Dnyna Yoga & Bhakti Yoga. He concludes by saying that even though people fall under one category, due to numerous tendencies in a single person, all people follow a combination of all four practices to some degree.
Adhiyoga thus introduces, narrates and explains the theoretical and practical aspects of Yoga. It also warns about the mistakes and obstacles. It makes a student cautious in selecting a teacher & deciding the aim.
Adhiyoga is innovative and authoritative in the field of Yoga, for a new comer as well as for a dedicated practitioner to achieve health, happiness & spirituality; I congratulate the author for his unique achievement and contribution. Adhiyoga will no doubt attract scores of enthusiasts who are keen to make Yoga part of their daily life.
Dr. S. M. Hardikar, M.B., F.R.C.S.
Specialist Physiotherapist (BSc MCSP HPC Reg.) & Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance RYS 500 trained) (www.yogiphysio.com)
As a Yoga practitioner, a Yoga teacher and a specialist physiotherapist I have found ‘Adhiyoga’, written by Neel Kulkarni, to be an invaluable tool for the development my own spiritual and health well being and for my ability to then be able to help others. The further I got into the exploration of Yoga, the more I realised just how much vast and complex it was as a philosophy, and the thought of trying to convey its teachings into a modern day practice was rather over whelming. Through his ‘Adhiyoga’ system, Neel is able to apply his extremely impressive background knowledge of Yoga, philosophy, sanksrit and health science into the environment and needs of the modern world in a way that makes it approachable for a student of any level without losing any of its depth. This makes the subject feel so much more relevant and familiar for the reader, which many books on Yoga fail to do, instilling a true motivation and desire to learn more and put the practice into action. Adhiyoga is one of the few books that I find myself reading from again and again. It has and will always continue to be an inspiration for my personal and professional development and will always be a source of information that I can recommend to anyone with whole hearted assurance of its rigour, validity, reliability and precision. Thank you Neel for this gift to us all.
Yoga Teacher, London
In his book, Neel proposes ways in which his understanding of classical yoga/meditation and pranayama (based upon the writings of Patanjali, Pradipika, etc.) may be adapted to accommodate the needs and desires of people living in the twenty first century. The text therefore contains additional elements such as modern science, other disciplines (such as chanting) and good common sense; and it doesn’t shy away from criticising traditional philosophy and practices either. Neel’s “Authentic Yoga System” aims to facilitate the achievement of any goals we may have – be they psychological or physical, spiritual or material. Positive and non-judgmental, the book encourages the student to engage in further study and effort in order to achieve his/her own outcome.
Yoga Teacher, California; weslinchyoga.com
I would like to offer my heartfelt appreciation for Neel’s guidance and teaching of Yoga philosophy as well as it’s ancillary sciences. What makes Neel’s teaching so unique is his broader understanding of how Yoga fits into the greater picture of India’s vast philosophical tradition. When studying a subject such as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, one cannot isolate the teachings from subjects such as Samkhya and Sanskrit. Most modern day teachers do not have adequate understanding of these other subjects, therefore the presentation of Yoga darshana is lacking. This is where Neel truly shines as a teacher. He has a gift of unwrapping the teachings in a clear and precise manner, relating it back to the bigger picture, and then making it relevant and palatable for the modern day yogi. Thank you Neel!
Yoga Teacher, London, melarte.carbonmade.com
I highly recommend people and Yoga teachers to read the Yoga Sutras of Neel Kulkarni. When I started to read the book, many changes in my life had already begun. I felt that the knowledge in the pages of Adhiyoga was transforming my life. I don’t know if the book appeared when this changes were already happening, or if each chapter induced this transformation to take place. The important thing is that the study of Adhiyoga and transformation is a blessed synchronicity!
I started to think about my health problems, as something I can do something about it. I started to understand my Yoga Practice at a deeper level and what was lacking in it, and where should my focus be.