Key information

7:00 pm to 8:15 pm
Kalili Lecture Theatre

About this event


The Amṛtasiddhi and Amṛtasiddhimūla: The Earliest Texts of the Haṭhayoga Tradition

The Amṛtasiddhi is a Sanskrit manual of yoga teachings which was composed by Mādhavacandra probably no later than the second half of the 11th century CE, most likely in the Deccan region of India. It is the first text to teach a system of yoga whose primary method is physical and it introduces many practices and principles fundamental to the yoga method often categorised in subsequent Sanskrit texts as haṭha. Many of its teachings are without precedent within Indian sources.

The Amṛtasiddhi was first brought to modern scholarly attention by Kurtis Schaeffer in an article published in 2002. In 2008 James Mallinson read the text of the Amṛtasiddhi for the first time in one of its two c. 19th-century manuscripts in the collection of the Man Singh Pustak Prakash library in Jodhpur. He immediately realised its importance for the history of haṭhayoga and started to edit the text. In the process of collating further manuscripts and reading working editions in various groups, with the help of Péter-Dániel Szántó he was able to identify the text as a product of a Buddhist milieu and invited Péter, a specialist in tantric Buddhist traditions, to help him produce the final edition. The publication of this critical edition by Péter and James is thus the result of painstaking work over many years, by multiple scholars. It was supported by the ERC-funded, SOAS-based, Hatha Yoga Project and is the first of the project’s ten critical editions planned, each of which promises to advance greatly our understanding of the development of physical yoga methods.

With all the changes the world has seen in the last few years, this publication has been a long time coming. We at the SOAS Centre of Yoga Studies feel this is the perfect reason to have our first in-person event for two years. We would love as many of our members, friends, colleagues and students to join us as possible, for a brief introduction to the text, a celebration, and a chance to meet as a scholar-practitioner community.

Practical details will be confirmed nearer the time, but please register via our Eventbrite page for 7pm, Wednesday 16th March, in the Khalili Lecture Theatre.

This event is not suitable for recording or online attendance, but we will bring you a report of the event and in the meantime, the text can be bought here .