The Shiva Samhita is a text on yoga and tantra that is attributed to the Hindu god Shiva. It is one of the most important texts in the tradition of hatha yoga, which emphasizes the physical and energetic practices of yoga as a means to achieve spiritual enlightenment. The text is believed to have been written sometime between the 15th and 18th centuries, and it is said to have been revealed to a sage named Vasugupta by Shiva himself.
The Shiva Samhita is divided into five chapters, or "prakaranas," each of which deals with a different aspect of yoga practice. The first chapter, "Sādhanapāda," provides an introduction to the text and gives an overview of the principles of yoga. It explains the importance of a spiritual teacher, or guru, and the importance of developing a daily yoga practice.
The second chapter, "Nādipāda," deals with the practice of pranayama, which is the regulation of the breath in order to control the flow of prana, or life force, through the body. The chapter explains the different types of pranayama, such as nadi shodhana (purification of the nadis), and the benefits of practicing pranayama, including purification of the body, control of the mind, and the ability to enter into deeper states of meditation.
The third chapter, "Mudrapāda," deals with the practice of mudras, which are hand gestures that are used to control the flow of prana in the body. The chapter explains different mudras and the benefits of practicing them, including the ability to control the elements, the senses, and the mind, and the ability to achieve spiritual powers and attain the highest state of consciousness.
The fourth chapter, "Bandhapāda," deals with the practice of bandhas, which are internal locks that are used to control the flow of prana in the body. The chapter explains different bandhas and the benefits of practicing them, including the ability to control the elements, the senses, and the mind, and the ability to achieve spiritual powers and attain the highest state of consciousness.
The fifth chapter, "Kaivalyapāda," deals with the ultimate goal of yoga, which is the attainment of liberation, or kaivalya. It explains the nature of the ultimate reality and the path to liberation, and the ultimate benefits of the practices outlined in the previous chapters.
Overall, The Shiva Samhita text provides guidance on various aspects of the Hatha Yoga practice, detailing various postures and breathing techniques, as well as explaining the importance of a Guru and importance of physical purification for spiritual advancement. It also provides details on the ultimate goal of yoga and what is expected to be achieved through the practice of yoga.