Natha community is not simply a concept or an idea; it is rather a society to understand and analyse the mystery of universal cycle of creation and the existence of the knowledge and being. Although the origin of the cult is associated with Gorakhnath, the Yogic incarnation of lord Shiva to spread the teachings of the science of Yoga and his Guru Machchhindranath, the Natha cult has covered all the structure of the creation. The Natha cult, clarifying the scientific definitions of the being and the universe, is proved to have been occupying the supreme position as the synonym of the religion itself since the names of the famous religious places used to be addressed by the term Natha. Even the Buddhist temples and the religious preachers' names used to include the term Natha, like Swayambhunatha in Kathmandu. The meaning of the term 'Natha' refers to the owner or master of the entire universe and the doer of all super human deeds. Thus the term clarifies the supremacy of the community. This cult can be seen from two perspectives: the perspective of philosophy and of the perspective of management.
From the philosophical point of view the philosophy of Yoga is the invention of Natha Cult. The community, on one hand unifies the living with being; the lust with knowledge with the help of the bases of scientific proofs and from the view point of management, on the other always tries to uproot the social evils and the provision of providing common home for all, has become much relevant even today. The society divided on the basis of geography, gender, race, caste, shade and financial discriminations are treated equally by the Natha tradition can be regarded as having the high ranking social values. E.g. Heera Ranjha (the chief character of Hira Ranjha, a famous story), Ranjha, who was not from the Hindu communities, mingled into this community. All the other communities could get mingled into this community such as Brahmins, Kshetriya, Vaishyas, Shudras etc. There is no difference among the people for this community to let them in it. The Natha community is the common home for all the people regardless of their gender, caste and religion. Thus, the Natha cult will be relevant to be addressed as Natha Ideology hereinafter.
The objective of the Natha ideology is to adopt the economically oppressed, socially marginalized individuals, neglected by the families and their own communities. The individual who is not adopted by any other communities are included by the Natha communities. There is no discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, age, economic status, colour of the skin or physicality. Basically there are two factions of Nathas: Household Nathas and emancipated Nathas Gurus.
1) House holding Nathas: The House Holding Nathas are found a lot and they are made household by various circumstances.
The family and house holding Nathas are known by the names such as Natha, Devanatha, Kunwar, Kanwar, Kamar, Yogi, Rawal, Jangam etc. The tradition of addressing them as Devanatha is in practice in Asam of India whereas Kunwar, Kanwar, Kamar, Jangam etc. is popular in Nepal. There are some secrecy behind the addressing of the Nathas as Kunwar:-
a. Individuals being tutored by emancipated Gurus and adding the term 'Natha' to their names.
An individual influenced by emancipated Gurus who entered the community by primary teaching but couldn't become Tyagi and Darshani (didn't pierce holes in their ears) like one's Guru, was addressed as Kunwar.
b. The kings and members of various Royal families following the teachings of Guru Gorakhnatha and subsequently addressed by the common people as Natha Kunwars.
There were lots of kings who became the disciples of Guru Gorakhnatha and those kings' disciples were addressed by the local people as kunwar because (Shishya) disciple and son had the same status. Those who used to address their sons as kunwar or Rawal started to address their disciples as kunwar as well.
It is mentioned in the history that Guru Gorakhnatha tutored Ninety Nine Crore (9.9 billion) Kings as his disciples. That means the period of Gorakhnatha shouldn't be understood as one certain expansion of time on one hand and the tutored individuals might have been the Kshetriyas on the other. The time of the Gorakhnatha might have been a whole of the different periods when the Natha tradition flourished in the world at large. The disciples of Gorakhnatha were also regarded as kings. Further, 99 crore might represent the almost the intellectuals joined the tradition of Nathas.
C. Emancipated Gurus who turned towards household later on and their generations.
There is a very common tradition in Natha community that first First Bhoga then Yoga or Yoga then Bhoga. The children of the individuals who first received the teachings of yoga and for some reason (Lust, need of children, etc.) again returned to the worldly affairs, their children are called Kunwar, Kumar, Kawar, Kamar, Natha, Devanatha, Jangam or Yogi. Thus the Nathas seem to have been converted to house holdings.
2. Natha (Saint): Any individual from any caste who gets influenced by and believes in Natha tradition can be emancipated saint. For this there are mainly three steps.
a. Teaching (One has to be convinced to become Natha and he gets the first teaching from a particular Guru in Jagaran (a especial ceremony).
b. Tyaga/Bairag (emancipation) He prepares himself and makes the commitments to detach himself from the family in Jagaran (a especial ceremony).
c. Gorakh Bana (When he completely prepare to become a Sadhu he wears Gorakh Bana Darshan (a ring put on ear). These Biraktas (emancipated ones) are addressed as called Natha or Natha Ji.
There are few words and customs in Natha tradion why?
1. The use of Urdu, Pharasi words which are particularly used by the Muslims.
In Natha cult not only Hindus but also Muslims were taught the ideologies/ principles of Yogic science. Various kings of Kabul, Kandhahar, Baluchistan had followed the teachings of Guru Gorakhnath. The Gurus of Nathas are addressed as Peera, a term from Urdu prove that the cult was really a science based secular ideological group. The Guru of Hindus was the Peeras of Muslims and the temple of Ratnanatha used to be known as Dargaha in Kabul, Kandhahar and so on. There is a temple known as Ratnanatha temple in Dang Nepal where the head of the temple is called Peera and there are other words still used in temple which is used by the Muslims.
2. The use of courtly system and words:
The use of the terms of Royal courts in Natha tradition is because of three different reasons.
a. The Urdu/Pharasi words to be more related to the royal courts.
b. Because of the tutoring of the members of Royal families, the terms and management of courtly nature are practiced in Natha cult.
c. The rule of religious organisations at a time and the use of military force to run the religious organisation.
3. 12/18 = 12 Pantha:
The followers of 12 -18 Idealists of Natha: The Nathas are supposed to be the followers of 12 ideologies, having 12 communities or 12 surnames since there were six Gurus of Shiva Yogi and other six Gurus of Gorakh Yogi.
Among 18 the names of the six: Satyanathi, Ramanathi, Pakalnathi, Pawapanthi, Dharmanathi, Mannaathi. The six names of Shiva Yogi among the 12: Kapilpanthi, Gangapanthi, Nateswari, Aaipanthi, Bairagyapanthi, Rawalpanthi. There are various other names of Gorakh Yogi beside the above mentioned names. They are the generation of these Gurus.
4. Aadesha and Kashaya (Saffron) robes:
Aadesha is the commandment of Gurus and as per the will to unify the soul and the supreme power the salutation of Aadesha is adopted in Natha community. One Yogi meeting another Yogi and saluting in Adesh symbolises that they must do something for the betterment of the creatures. This particular salutation stands for the unified form of soul to the super soul.
The colour of the garments used by Nathas is also significant. They dress in (Saffron) yellowish red robe. Yellow symbolises the emancipation and red is the symbol of energy (blood colour). The use of these two colour on one hand symbolizes the Nathas to be free from worldly affairs and also symbolizes that they are not sensually weak instead their power can be utilized for the betterment of the entire cosmos.
5. Chaurasi Siddha (84 Enlightened Ones) :
The Nathas further follow the principles of Chaurasi Siddha (Eighty Four Enlightened Ones). In Hindu tradition 84 Lakhs (8.4 million) Yonis (the creative powers) of creation are believed to have been existing in the Universe. Among the 84 lakh Yonis, there are 84 representative species or varieties of living beings. We talk about the species of the plants and animals today. E.g. Cat variety is the representative of the animals like tigers, lions, leopard, cheetah, panther, puma, domestic cat, lynx etc. Each and every variety has their own specific characteristics by which they survive in the world. The explorers of the bases of the survival of each and every creature are those 84 enlightened gurus who, with the help of the great yogic power and all the proven skills, made possible for human beings to be able to survive for thousands of years through the means of 84 yogic postures. The 84 scientists and philosophers are the inventors of those 84 Yogic postures who are addressed as enlightened (proven) gurus or Nathas. There exists the tradition of worshipping 84 Enlightened (Proven) Gurus by the individuals who cross the 84 years of age in Nepal.
6. Nava (Nine) Nathas:
Nava Nathas (Nine Energy Resources or the cycle of the creation) are the nine Nathas, owners, doer of action or nine energy resources such as Sound, air, fire, water, Earth and the Composition of all these. They are the cycle of whole creation. In the cycle of creation the steps of the creations are called the Nava Nathas.
The chain of various elements of the cosmos makes up the whole of universe. Sky is made from the sound element, then wind from the sky, the fire from the wind, the water from the fire, the earth from the water, and the whole structure of the creation from the earth came into being. The cycle of creation goes on continuously in the same manner. In order to understand the elements of creation the development of the similar types of elements is gradually seen in necessary amount as per the principle of least action. This very phenomenon is specifically described by the Natha tradition or ideology. The same faction of superhuman existence is signified as Nava Nathas.
|1) Aadinatha||Shiwa||Aakash (sky)||Shabda||Listen, ear|
|2) Achal achambhenatha||Shesh||Wayu (air)||Sparsh||Feel, skin|
|3) Santoshnatha||Bishnu||Tej (fire)||Roop||Sight, eye|
|4) Satyanatha||Bramha||Jala (water)||Rasa||Test, tongue|
|5) Udaynatha||Parbati||Prithwi (earth)||Gandh||Smell, nose|
|7) Chauranginatha||Chandrama||Banaspati||Trees plants and food|
|9) Gorakhnatha||Shiwa/Parwati||Yoga||Join sansar to the knowledge|
1. Aaadi Nath: ShivaSwarupa: (Sky Incarnation): Mystery of Sound: Audio: Creation Air: Sky is the first incarnation of GOD or he himself became sky in the beginning of creation. In Natha tradition Aaadi Natha is Lord Shiva that is why the general people regard colour of Shiva to be the Blue Colour which looks like the Sky.
Sometimes people complain of the Hindu Culture for not being scientific but if you see in details the name of the sky in Sanskrit language is Aakash. Which is Aa + kasha. The word Kasha has been developed from the root word Kashri Dhatu. And the meaning of the word Kashri is light and Aa+kash Aakash that is the Aakash is that big cosmic area upto where there the light can reach is Aaksh.
In Aaksh firstly sound had been produced. Natha people knew the secrets of sound that's why they worship the Nada (sound) and they wear Nadi (the instrument to produce especial sound). In some places of Nepal the Natha community people play especial instrument to produce certain sound to protect the territory from unwanted and unseen forces though they are looked down by the society for being the people of low social value.
Sky is not an empty vacuum instead it is full of electron and the waves. It is a very powerful thing. All the knowledge and wisdom have come from sky and all the creation is done by the sky which the people from the Natha tradition regard as Aadi Natha (The First God).
2. Achal Achambhe Natha: Shesh Swarup: Wayu Avatar (Air Incarnation, Mystery of Touch feel: Skin: Olfactory: Vayu (air is an element having the mathematical seed. There are seven Maruta when you multiply seven with seven that become forty Nine. So there are 49 Maruta Ganas.
Sometimes you must have heard the myth that the earth has been supported by Shesha. Shesha means Gharshan (friction force) Karshan means gravity. The GOD created gravitational force to give the venue for all the creatures and all the heavenly masses of the universe. The principle of gravitation is known by the eastern philosophers. There is the example in Bhagavata Geeta
To provide the shelter and venue to all the planets he made gravity Shesha. So Achalachambhenath is the incarnation of vayu and gravity and force.
3. Santosh Natha: Bishnu swarupa. Tej Incarnation; Sun, light, fire) Rupa Rahasya (Vision:Eyes) Creation: The sun is supposd to be the mass of the fire but whatever is there between the sun and the light is known as consciousness which is the Varga. Fire is present everywhere because it has got the seed element within itself. There is another mystery in Sanskrit. The word of Prakash also has originated from the same root Kashri that means where ever it wants to be appeared it can appear there is the light energy.
In Natha tradition agni is very secret and important thing that's why they have the tradition of making unceasing fire known as Akhanda Jyota or Dhuna.
4. Satya Natha/ Bramha Swarupa, Water Incarnation Rasa Rahasya. Taste. Tongue. The creation of the creature has been started in water. Algie, aquatic creatures has been started in water. Though Bramha is known to be the creator of all the creatures Satya Natha is the beginner of the creation according to Natha ideology. It is very interesting to know that Darwin's theory of Evolution very much matches with he lord Bishnu's ten incarnations. Matsya( Aquatic Creature), Kakshyap (tortoise), etc. In natha, again water is very important. In some place water is supported to be (Jinda Peera) the living saint.
5. Udaya Natha: Parwati Swarupa, Mother Earth Incarnation Gandha Grana Nose Creation. There are five elements, five feelings and five sense organs to feel that. Mother has got all five properties. If you go and start in sky there was sound and in air there are sound and touch, in fire there are sound, touch and vision, in water sound, feel, vision and taste and in the earth there are sound, feel, vision, taste and smell. Each time adding one more element developed after the next incarnation. But if you analyze the sky has got every thing so that they developed the entire cosmos. In Bhagavat Geeta Nothing can be developed from nothing. There must be something to create something.
6. Gajabali Gaja kanthadi Natha: Ganesha Swarupa (Riddi Siddi Avatar Scientific MYSTERY): In Hindu culture each and every project people start with the Ganesha pooja because Ganesh is the technically assembling god as he seems to have been assembled himself. The five elements were created by the creator and the assembling of the five elements in a whole is done by Ganesha.7. Chaurangi Natha: Moon Swarupa Banaspati Incarnation. Chaurangi natha is responsiple for all the plants. THe accumulation of food for all the elements is the responsibility.
8. Matsyendra natha Maya Avatar/Illusion. There is a saying about Matsyendra nath (Maya to ........) In Nava Natha serial Matsyendra nath is the 8th one. Matsyendra natha most of the stories are related to the Maya (illusion). Actually Maya also has been created by the god that's why it is effective also some how. People know they will die one day but they still can't give up maya, illusion, lust, and so on. But at the same time it is mystery Matseyendra Nath him self is a knowledge. This explains the Maya is also the one of the 9 avatars.
9. Gorakh natha. Shiva Parvati swarup, Yojak Avatar. Yoga rahasya. The cosmos has been started by knowledge. It is not reasonable to end the universe and its creatures that were created by knowledge in the illusion. So to rescue all the worldly creatures from the veil of Maya Gorakh Natha invented and used the means of Hatha Yoga. So that he is regarded as the pioneer Hatha Yoga. Gorakh Natha on one hand was the disciple of illusion and Guru of Knowledge on the other.
People try to limit the Gorakha incarnation within certain time line. Gorakha took various incarnations in different time. If the mystery and scientific elements related to the Natha tradition is studied or explored it will certainly be beneficial for all the creatures of the world or the entire universe.