Friday, October 22, 2010
Awakening the Nath Dhuni
Many striking images are associated with the Nath way of life by both
historical and traditional reference. Of these images, the haunting
specter of the lone Nath quietly tending his or her Dhuni stands
supreme. The Nath Dhuni of antiquity is perhaps no different than
those of today. A simple and shallow cleft in the ground in which
suitable materials are incinerated. The Dhuni is not a simple camp
fire. It was viewed by the Nath as a living deity, emblematic as the
womb of the Earth Goddess from which all manifestation was generated,
sustained, and destroyed. Although many cultures have sustained a
tradition of fire worship, it remains a unique feature of the Naths
that it was the site or dwelling place of the Holy Fire which was
considered sacred. The ancient but graphic iconography of such a scene
is simple. The cleft in the earth represents the womb of the Mother
Goddess. This was the Holy Ground upon which the Nath way of life was
brought into being, transformed, and regenerated.
Nath teachings propose that the entire Cosmos, both perceived and
hidden is a Divine manifestation of ingenious Integration and Unity.
While this may be true, humanity throughout the passage of time has
often chosen to fragment the Divine Puzzle into separate pieces for
easy digestion. Presumably, it was thought that few had the capacity
or illumination to grasp the Whole. Thus, it was with a nod and a wink
that humanity acknowledged its own ignorance and began to designate
and create a manmade wonderland of Divine and Really Cool Stuff.
Divine temples were instituted, as well as sects, cults, religions,
and paths of purported Divine origin. Some caught on and flourished,
while others died behind the pulpit or withered like leaves on a tree.
For reasons hard to explain or perhaps speculative, individuals found
some paths or fragments of the Divine Puzzle to suit their individual
tastes. Some, only get a headache when considering their true feelings
on the subject....
The Naths of antiquity and today, are practical thinking individuals,
and often able to vaporize puzzles and many types of confusion. While
perceiving the Cosmos as a Divine manifestation of Integration and
Unity, Naths also perceived that most people lived in a personal
reality of fragmentation and disassociation from the Divine. The Naths
encouraged patterns of mantra, meditation and regulated breathing as a
means to Awakening, but some clamored for greater diversity and means
of expression. If the question was simple, so must be the answer. The
Naths built from the ground up.
Nath teachings propose that all beings currently inhabiting a physical
body on this planet are designated dwellers of the Earth Plane. The
Earth is thus the immediate basis for all terrestrial life on this
planet. In purely physical terms, it all starts here and ends here.
What better place to begin! A site is carefully selected and an
appropriately sized cleft or pit is excavated. In homage to the womb
which gave us all life, the Dhuni is shaped in like fashion. Naths are
aware that it is the intention and attitude of the individual which is
an all important element in the transformation of their personal
perceptions. With this awareness, it is the intention, attitude, and
will of the Natha which transforms a pit in the ground into a living
embodiment of the Earth Goddess or Dhuni Divine. This sacred site then
becomes the focal point for individual and group transformations of
Awakening and Worship. A Pagan temple of simple, but ingenious
construction. Now that we have given the subject a preliminary caress,
let's turn our attention to the living fire of practice. A few hot
sparks to ignite a Dhuni Divine.
The Operatic Dhuni: leading roles and their performance
While the International Nath Order is free from the shackles of rules,
prohibitions, and dogmas; experience has suggested that a few
guidelines may be helpful. In the case of the lone Nath tending the
Dhuni, a single injunction is observed. "Do What Thou Will." No other
guiding factor is necessary. The Nath relies only on their own innate
essence and feelings to guide them. At this advanced stage of
Attainment, the inner Awakening of the Nath and the outer illumination
of the Dhuni have become one. The relative and conditioned perceptions
which have separated the Nath from their Awakening have been
This Attainment brings the Nath into a new and magickal integration
with the Cosmos. This Awakening is usually achieved in amusing stages,
and then reintegrated and consolidated on higher and higher levels.
Many Naths have spent their entire life spans focused on incinerating
the world of relativity into ashes, the Dhuni being their sole
spiritual observance. The energy of worship offered to the Dhuni was
returned as grace which transforms ignorance of the Cosmos into the
pure gold of Awakened Awareness.
If any individual meets such a Nath at their Dhuni, they now have a
few ideas as to what is going on, and the meaning of such a scene. Of
course some Naths also engage in other occult and spiritual patterns,
but the focus of this manuscript is the Dhuni. Participation in Dhuni
rites are not exclusive to initiated Naths. In fact, at a properly
established Dhuni, farout dropins often find the experience
fascinating if not transformative. For those new to this ancient Pagan
scene, a few notes and guidelines should suffice to paint a picture of
Dhuni activity on group levels.
Central to group activity at the Dhuni is the Chakra-Raja, or Leader.
It is the role of the Chakra-Raja to guide the participants in the
ritual components of Dhuni rites. These elements possibly include:
establishing the Dhuni site; considering with other intended
participants the nature and intention of the rite; choosing an
appropriate date and time to begin the rite; initiating the group
repetition of specific Mantras; modulating the intensity and duration
of specific Mantras, and determining the duration of the rite.
Once the Dhuni is established, it is important to consider the
intention behind the Dhuni rite. The stated direction of the Dhuni
rite has a lot to do with those who show up for the rite, their will
or intention for being there, and the experience, outcome, or side
effects of the rite.
It is often difficult to harmonize a group of individuals if their
intentions and expectations are not in harmony. For this reason,
specific magickal applications of Dhuni rites are best kept within the
InGroup who have already learned to define and express their
collective Will through communication and special processes.
Due to these factors, Dhuni rites which welcome those unfamiliar to
our Ways are best restricted to what might best be called general
General worship in this case is the expression of energy and intention
toward Awakening the Dhuni. In this rite of worship, all participants
join together in the expression of energy and intention toward
Awakening the Dhuni. This energy is expressed in a multitude of ways.
Chief among these expressions is the potential energy offered to the
Dhuni in the form of fuel and offerings; the energy offered as chanted
Mantras; and the energy offered as sounds produced by ritual
These energy offerings range in quality from sweet murmurs to the
Beloved, all the way up to completely unhinged howlings of spiritual
ecstasy. Naths and advanced Pagan practitioners are well aware of how
the Cosmos responds to specific energy transmissions. It is greatly
rumored and may be said that the Cosmos can respond in sympathetic
fashion to the intention and nature of the stimulation which is
Therefore, all participants at the Dhuni would be wise to be aware of
the feeling and intention behind their participation, as well as the
energy expressions they are offering. The refinement of this awareness
has much to do with the experience of the participant and the quality
of the rite as a whole. The enchantment and powerful vibrations
produced by cooperative focus at the Dhuni can be raised to
delightfully dizzying heights.
Once the participants are seated in a circle around the Dhuni, the
opening Mantras are begun at the predetermined time. These Mantras
begin to establish the mood and focus the participants attention on
the Dhuni. With a predetermined cue, the Chakra-Raja signals the Fire
Starter to begin ignition. Generally, the Fire Starter is seated
across the circle from the Chakra-Raja. At an established Dhuni, it is
rare for the Chakra-Raja to begin ignition. This is significant in
signaling that the flame which begins the transformation has already
been passed to another initiated Nath inside the circle.
The Fire Starter often recruits or appoints a Helper for the task of
getting the Dhuni ignited. All eyes, hearts, spirits, and minds are
now on the Dhunis' burgeoning Awakening as the Fire Starter and Helper
fan the transformation to sufficient intensity. The chanting of Mantra
continues to grow as the temperature increases. Seated to the right of
the Chakra-Raja is the all important Fuel Master. It is the role of
the Fuel Master to prepare the primary fuel and feed the Dhuni.
In modern Dhuni rites, properly dried wood is cut to a length no
greater than the diameter of the Dhuni. Ideally these pieces of wood
are then split to a thickness no greater than three or four inches. It
is necessary for the wood to be easily digested by the Dhuni and
rather rapidly reduced to hot glowing embers. A hatchet and small saw
are the tools of the trade.
All participants chant Mantras and wield ritual instruments while the
Fuel Master feeds the Dhuni to a full spectrum blaze. After a duration
of about two hours, the Chakra-Raja signals the end of the wood
offering stage; but the rite still has a long way to go....
Feeding the Dhuni properly is very important. If too much wood or too
large a piece is offered to the Dhuni, a regrettable situation
Instead of focused worship of the Dhuni, participants begin to
inwardly repeat the mantra, "when will that obstruction finally be
transformed?" This sentiment is frustrating and inimical to the
intention of the Dhuni rite. If all participants are sincere in their
intentions and preparations, this defect cannot occur.
When the primary fuel has been transformed and reduced, feathers and
fans are used to aerate the Dhuni and its glowing embers. It is now
said that the Dhuni is hot, fully Awakened, and fit to receive further
offerings. Those individuals who are sexually experienced and
understand the meaning of "foreplay" will quickly grasp the
significance of this metaphor.
At this stage there is an interesting shift in the Mantra, a renewed
focus on the Dhuni, and the mood of anticipation builds.
As the chanting and attention of the participants reaches a clearly
focused climax, Ghee or clarified butter and aromatic substances are
energetically, but consciously offered to the Dhuni and its' glowing
embers. A fragrant and beautifully refined blaze now manifests as the
Dhuni reaches spiritual ecstasy along with the blissfully frenzied
expressions of the participants. The sounds of the chimpta, damaru and
drum once again mix with the reverberations of exalted chanting.
This climactic period lasts until the ghee and aromatics are properly
consumed by the Dhuni. The peak has now been reached, and the chanting
grows somewhat softer as feathers and fans lovingly aerate the Dhuni
and reduce the remaining embers to fine white ash.
The fanning and chanting then ceases while the assembled participants
silently enjoy the ethereal, but palpable embrace of the Great and
Songs and Sounds of the Dhuni
Clearly, a properly executed Dhuni rite is something of a spiritual
Kodak moment which can be remembered and cherished for some time. The
metaphor of the Dhuni is primal, and its rite of recreation as
ancient as life itself. It is a celebration of natural processes on a
high spiritual level.
The Awakened intention, and vibrations of joy and love which are
offered to the Dhuni are returned in kind to the assembled
participants. A reward of Cosmic cause and effect which is gratefully
accepted by the assembled Naths and all participants. As the Dhuni
heat reaches sufficient intensity, many Naths shed their clothes in
order to more intimately share in the warmth of the Dhuni.
Ashes from previous Dhuni rites are then used to mark the body of the
participants in the ancient manner of Nath tribal tradition. Ritual
instruments are used liberally at the rite, and often participants
rise and dance while chanting and playing a chimpta or damaru.
The Mantras used at Dhuni rites have been passed down from Guru to
Disciple in an unbroken chain stretching back to before the time of
recorded history. The Pagan rites of the Nath Dhuni are ancient, but
still astonishingly effective in their primal simplicity and power.
Countries change, societies change, people change, but the unbroken
lineage of the International Nath Order still keeps the Dhuni gently
The Dhuni is usually tended at a quiet smolder by the lone Nath.
Bringing the full flame into the Dhuni is always regarded as something
of a special occasion. One does however, care to keep a glow going at
regular intervals to keep things alive...