By Yogiraj Gurunath Sidddhanath
from the stillness of the himalayan peaks, gurunath brings a message of healing and peace. Here he describes the nath tradition he belongs to.
They (Naths) are the Ancient of Days composed of the Divine Essence of the Being about whom naught may be said. These immortal divinities are ever watchful over the welfare and evolution of the destinies of nations and their humanities. Since they are aja (unborn), they can never die. Their essences do incarnate for the salvation and evolution of the humanity. I detail below an order of the celestial hierarchy of the heavenly host.
The basic Indian Philosophy about samsara is that this world is a wheel of Time (Kala Chakra), which rotates due to spiritual ignorance (avidya). Its spokes are virtue (dharma), vice (adharma), pleasure (sukha), pain (dukha), attachment (raga) and aversion (dvesha). These qualities are the cause of karma (cause and effect) and subsequently punarjanma (cycle of birth and death). I have not written about all the primeval Nine Naths mentioned above. Instead I have given accounts of later Nath yogis with whom I have had a personal experience.
The Nine Naths
The Nine Naths are divine immortal beings who have evolved to the seventh degree of cosmic awareness. They guide the eighty-four siddhas who form the guardian wall of humanity. Their consciousness is of so advanced a state that it is extremely difficult to comprehend their spiritual stature.
These Nath Siddhas are living in many secluded parts of India, mainly in the Himalayas. It is interesting to know that all of them have evolved beyond the sixth level of consciousness called Avadhoots. Some of them have, with tremendous Yoga and tapa evolved to the state or avastha of an Avatar Nath Yogi, beyond the seventh level of universal consciousness. Nath yogis have gone on to the eighth level of divine consciousness. They are known as the rishis, who are the custodians of our human evolution. These ‘sages of the fire mist’ are great beyond man’s reckoning… Such Cosmic Avataric descents are Self-taken and are one of a kind in human history, that is, each would be unique. These levels of spiritual consciousness are way beyond the understanding of devas or gods and human beings. The stupendous magnitude of their work is incomprehensible.
This means the First Lord who is Shiva himself, the unborn, undying, deathless Lord of Liberating Yoga. He is the ‘Eternal Now’ as Adi Nath, whose Self-taken work for the work cycle is to reabsorb an erring humanity into its original state of consciousness, but awakening them to and teaching them the Yoga of Self-Realisation. Both the Kaula tradition of Matsyendranath and the Nath tradition of Gorakshanath acknowledge Him as their primal Lord and Master. Identified with Lord Shiva, he is held to be the original giver of divine yogic wisdom in a long line of masters and teachers of the Yogacharya schools. The title Adi Nath is also given to Rishub Nath, the first of the 24 enlightened teachers called the ford makers (tirthankaras) of the Jain tradition.
Adi Nath was the primal Yogi and a direct manifestation of Shiva and it is he whom the Yogis trace their lineage to. His positive Shakti energies are Uma Nath, Udai Nath, Parvati Nath, Jagat Amba, Gauri and Bhavani. His dark fiercer Shakti energies some of which are personified in Durga, Shyama, Chandi, Bhairavi, Chinna–masta and Kali Nath. To balance the world, speed up evolution of souls and do what it takes to be done, He may exercise any of his divine consort Shakti energies…
Although the Nine Naths are Immortal, yet for the inspiration of humanity and for future generations to come, there are Nine sacred shrines (samadhis) in the Himalayas associated with the Nath tradition. They are Amar Nath, Kedar Nath, Badri Nath, Pashu-Pati Nath, Kailash Nath, Tunga Nath, Rudra Nath, Vishwa Nath (Kashi), and Jaggan Nath.
She is the manifestation of Parvati, the consort of Adi Nath Shiva. Udai Nath heralds the dawn of the age and time of spirituality. She helps the practitioner of Yoga to burn the seeds of all his past negative karmas; supplies the light of inspiration to progress along the yogic path. She also plays the role of world mother and all along the passage of time she was the semi-divine goddess Renuka, the mother of Parashuram; Kaushilya, the mother of Ramchandra; Devaki, the mother of Krishna; Maya, the mother of Buddha and Mary, the mother of Christ.
There are two aspects to her nature—bright, other dark. In Shakti, the two aspects of Shiva are manifest. In her milder personification she is known as Uma, Gauri, Parvati, Jagdamba and Bhavani. In her dark and fierce character she is Durga, Shyama, Chandi Kali, Bhairvi. Uma is the gracious consort of Adi Nath Shiva; the daughter of Prajapati Daksha. She, out of total love for Shiva, assumed a body so that she might be totally united with him. It is related in the account of the sacrifice of Daksha as to how Shiva was insulted by not being invited and being later ridiculed. This led to violation and mortification of Uma, who then became Sati, sacrificed for the sake of the Lord. Then grief-stricken Shiva carried her over his shoulders telling Vishnu to dismember her. As he walked along, various parts of her sacred body fell at various sites, which now makes the 52 holy Shakti Pithas.
After this she was reborn as Parvati (daughter of the Himalayan mountains). Shiva and Parvati are described as living together on the sacred Kailash mountain. They are ever immersed in the samadhi of love; at times, engaged in deep philosophical discourse to show the path of salvation to humanity lost in the theories of material world. From these discourses many a treatise on Yoga and Tantra have been gifted to the world…
When we go on to the more formidable aspects of Shakti, let us not forget, the spirit of love and of the evolutionary push of the soul’s salvation which the Divine Mother has for us in her heart. Durga ‘the Unconquerable’ is Adi Nath Shiva’s consort in the aspect of warrior. She derives her name from the demon she slew. She is depicted with eight arms during the festival of Nine Naths (Navratra) of prayers and goes by the name Asta Bhuja (eight-armed). Then we have the four-armed Kali with a sword and a garland of heads around her and her red tongue protruding thirsty for the blood of the demonical forces and demons. The darker the negativity and evil on this earth, the more fierce and aggressive her form, to overcome the evil and create a balance of the gunas. She is then Kala Bhairavi and Chinnamastu….
A Nath legend goes that as one day the great Yogi sat fishing in his boat in the Bay of Bengal, he hooked a huge fish that pulled so hard on his fishing line that the boat capsised and the whale swallowed him whole. This is similar to the Biblical story of Jonah in the stomach of a whale. Now Matsyendranath was protected by his good karma. At that time, Lord Shiva had under the ocean created a beautiful setting. He was expounding to his spouse Parvati, the sacred doctrine of Yoga and Tantra. The large fish happened to go into this very site. Matsyendranath was able to hear the secret discourse.
After some time Parvati fell asleep, and when Shiva asked “Are you listening?” A prompt “yes” came from the belly of the fish. Using his Shiva Netra (third eye), Shiva gazed into the belly of the fish where he saw the Nath. Overjoyed, he said: “Now I know who my disciple is. I will now initiate Matsyendranath.” For the next 12 years, all the while remaining in the belly of the fish, Nath dedicated himself to Tantric Yogic practices. Then, another fisherman caught the monster and upon opening it, had Matsyendranath appearing as a fully realised master.
Matsyendranath is responsible for the transmigration of all evolving souls. In his hands are the keys to the gates of salvation.
In Tibet he is the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, who gave to humanity the liberating mantra Om mani padme hum. In Nepal, he is venerated as the guardian deity of Kathmandu, in the form of Shveta Matsyendra, celebrated in the song and legend as the saviour and spiritual redeemer of all the Nath Yogis.
There is a great mystery and a sacrifice associated with the ninth level of Divine Awareness which is self-born. This is the state of Brahma Nirvana from which the ineffable Shiva-Goraksha-Babaji descends. He comes to redeem humanity yet maintains his state, how this is possible is only known to him. He is the collective consciousness of the seven primordial sages of the fire mist born at the beginning of time. He is the total light of the highest Elohim and yet in his unfathomable compassion, has left behind a finite portion of His infinite consciousness to evolve humanity into the likeness of Divinity. This finite and immortal portion of his divinity manifests among the haunts of men from time to time, as the need arises. Throughout eternity this ‘Eternal Now’ watches over the evolution of humanity, till it is liberated. Truly, He is called the Great Sacrifice, the visible invisible saviour of mankind.
Babaji is ever the same. He was never born and therefore never can die. They call Him aja (the unborn). But from time to time this compassionate Lord of irradiant splendour does manifest for humanity. Pulling the veil of Maya by his own will, He takes the form of Lightless light to incarnate among mortal beings. He guards, guides and enlightens their conscience as per their evolutionary blueprint. His deathless body of lightless light may take any form through which he can express and reveal himself to the faithful from age to age. He took the form of Adi Nath Shiva himself. In the year 70 B.C, he manifested as Gorakshanath, at the time of King Shalivahan and Chowrangee Nath. Still later the ever present Babaji Nagaraj in 203 A.D. in the same ever-present immortal body. He later appeared as Shiva-Goraksha-Babaji in the ninth century A.D. This was during the time of Guga Nath whom He empowered to have complete mastery over the Nagas (snakes) and ultimately be worshipped as a Naga god. Gorakshanath is Himself shown in the supreme samadhi sitting as Nagaraj upon a Yogic throne under which are the Nine Nagas.
Gorakshanath has assumed legendary fame during his manifestation in the middle ages. Many such stories of other saints competing with the Nath are of a sectarian prejudice, and show a total disregard for the dates and era in which Goraksha existed historically. It came to be established that no saint or yogi was considered to be of any worth or importance unless and until he defeated the legendary Gorakshanath in a contest of yogic powers or in a philosophical debate…
Once a householder came to pay his respects to the Maha Yogi Goraksha with folded hands, he said: “Oh Respected One, your sacrifice is great, for you have given up the whole world for God.” Goraksha replied with folded hands: “Oh Respected One, Your sacrifice is greater than mine for you have given up the infinite God for this finite world.”
A practising yogi full of rage at his failure to attain samadhi was on his way to die. Goraksha was sitting calmly under a tree and asked: “Where are you going, my son?” “To die!” replied the frustrated yogi. Goraksha said: “Then die if you must but make sure the dying is complete. If you cannot do it, come to me, I will teach you to die so completely that you will never die again and become deathless (amar). The yogi came back and attained to deathless samadhi under the loving eye of his Guru, Shiva-Goraksha-Babaji…
Extracted with permission from: Wings of Freedom: Mystic Revelations from Babaji and the Himalayan Yogis, by Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath.
Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath is a perfected master yogi from the Himalayan lineage of the Naths. Based near Pune, he teaches Hamsa Yoga, the system he has evolved.
Contact: Delhi, (0) 9811199058
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hamsa-yoga.org
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