Saturday, December 11, 2010



RELIGION AND MEDITATION-Surajnāth is a full initiate, a darśanī yogī, of the Nāth Panth,He now lives in a small village near Ahmednagar in western India, a region with a

Die O yogi die-Death is Divine -Gorakhnath

The Great Natha Siddhas

Nath Yoga

Yoga and the Nath Sampradaya

The success of this (Natha) sect was partly due to the fact that its teachers did not recognise caste barriers, and their teachings were adopted by outcastes and kings alike." - The heterodox Natha tradition has many sub-sects but all honour Gorakhnath and Matsyendranath as their originators. Here you will find original material, translations and other works relating to this pan-Indian tradition.
The Nathas are believed to be the descendants of earlier cults including the Pashupatas, Kapalikas and Siddhas. They were also intimately connected with the alchemical tradition of Rasayana. There is much more information on this site about the Nath tradition.
The Adinatha Tradition. Discover more about the Nath sect of yogis and yoginis. HH Shri Mahendranatha Paramahamsha Dadaji was the 23rd Adiguru of this tradition. The Nathas are still active to this day. See the eight lotus chakra system of the Kaulas.
Kaula Jnana Nirnaya. English translation of chapter three of this important tantra, attributed to Siddha Matsyendranath.
Ecstasy, Equipoise and Eternity. Written by Mahendranath (Dadaji), explores the origins of the Nathas and their relationship to freedom.
Dattatreya. Written by Mahendranath (Dadaji), covers the great guru of the Nathas and includes valuable material on sama, samarasa and pratibha.
The Naked Saints of India. Written by Mahendranath (Dadaji), and covers the ancient tradition of the naked Indian sadhus.
Dadaji Dhuniwala. Another article by Mahendranath (Dadaji); a fascinating account of Indian sadhu life.
the nine naths with Dattatreya in the background The Yoga Vishaya. Attributed to Minanath (Matsyendranath), this short work deals succinctly with guru, disciple, path, chakras and the Hamsa 21,600 mantra.
The Gorakh Shataka. An ancient text of the Natha tradition, written in the form of a dialogue between Gorakh (Gorakshanath) and Macchendra (Matsyendranath).
Analysis of the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati by Gorakhnath. This is an important work of the Nathas. It covers the different parts of the psycho-physical organism, shows the relationship between the microcosm and the macrocosm, and the importance of the guru to the tradition. Also view here the remarkable story of the current Nepalese one rupee coin and how it connects to the Nath tradition

Natha Yoga

Nath siddha Jnaneshvara,Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara

Nathas and Yoga

Akulavira Tantra


Chakras according to Goraksanath,



 Jogi Traditions


Kulananda Tantra



 Nathas in Nepala,Shiva Sutras

Shri Vilakshan Avadhoot,Siddhasiddhanta Paddhati,

 Some Aspects of the History and Doctrines of the Nathas

Tantrik yoga,The 36 Tattvas




Blog Archive-

Bhartari gufa is the cave where the great Yogi Bhartri hari did Tapasya.

Bhartari gufa is the cave where the great Yogi Bhartri hari did Tapasya. It is present near the Garh kali temple. Bhartri hari is believed as the elder brother of the king Vikramaditya. He abandoned the Kingdom, took Deeksha in Nath panthi and became Yogi. He did Tapasya here, with his friend Gopi nath. This place is best suited for Yoga sadhana.

Dada Guru Mastsyendranath,

Peer Matsyendranath is the tomb of Maha Yogi Matsyendra nath. It is located near the temple of Garh kali.. He is the founder of Nath panthi.Mahakali is Yogeshwari. Matsyendra nath is considered as her beloved son.

Peer matsyendranath near Gharkali temple

Friday, December 10, 2010

Yogacharya Gorakshanathji

Jagatguru Yogacharya Gorakshanathji

Beyond religions and caste systems, this is an ancient sect of Avdhoot yogis. It originated with Adinath Shankar and was presented by Shiva incarnate Balyati Shri Gorakshnath to the world.


Great epics like Padma, Skanda, Shiva and Bramhand Puranas, books on Tantra such as Tantra Mahanarva, Brahadaranyak Upnishads and other ancient scriptures have well described stories of Guru Gorakshnath.

Goraksh Nath ji taught the world how to develop and realize the super powers existing in the human mind and body through yogic practices. He was the originator of hatha yoga and initiated the process of teaching it to the mankind to improve the mind and body, thoughts and actions, focused on leading a better quality of life, to save them from terrible diseases and misfortunes. For the welfare of humanity, he preached yoga through all ages.

To maintain the tradition of Guru-Sishya relationship, Goraksh nath became the disciple of Baba Shri Matsyendra Nath ji. Till eternity they clear all the doubts arising in a yogis mind through the medium of question- answers between the guru and the disciple. Gorakh Bodh, a book written by Goraksh Nath is an example. He wrote many books on the subject of yoga in Sanskrit language. Many have been published and many manuscripts still remain with the yogis at their ashrams.

Impressed by his super human feats and teachings, many kings became his disciples. They gave up all the luxuries in life and became completely devoted towards sadhana for the betterment of humanity. After performing many austerities and penance, they mastered yoga and gained various Sidhis. They attained sainthood and performed extraordinary deeds during their life times.

The present form and rules set in the Nath Sampradaya is supposed to be 200 years before Lord Shankaracharya’s birth. This is mentioned in the Hindu epic Shankar Digvijay.

Gorakshnath ji propagated the science of yoga by initiating Nav-Naths and 84 Sidhas on this path. The famous Nav-Naths of the Nath Sampradaya are:

1. Goraksh nath ji
2. Matsendra nath ji
3. Chourangi nath ji
4. Gyan nath ji
5. Jalebi nath ji
6. Achal nath ji
7. Santosh nath ji
8. Uday nath ji
9. Omkar nath ji

The Barah Panth or the 12 sects in the Nath Sampradaya are:

Satya nath
Dharam nath
Daria nath,
Ayi Panthi,
Vairaag ke
Ram ke,
Ganga nathi
Rawal ke
Paav panth
Paagal panthi.

There are no major differences in the traditions and principles of these 12 sects.

A disciple has mainly three Gurus in this Sampradaya:

Choti Guru- The guru intiates the disciple in the Nath Sampradaya by formally cutting some of his hair and granting the disciple symbolic saffron clothes of the Sadhu asking him to follow the discipline of always having self-control over all his senses.

There after the disciple shaves his head completely and always wears saffron.

Chira Guru- Is the Guru who tears the cartilage of his disciple’s ears with a sharp knife. There after a disciple always wears kundals in his ears.

Mantra Guru or Updesh Guru- The Guru teaches the secret mantra and gives all the knowledge and protection to his disciple. There after the disciple promises to follow the Guru’s teaching and fulfils all his commands till the end of his life.

Sri Guru Goraksh nath ji made the piercing of the cartilage of the ear to wear the Kundals popular in the Sadhus. Flat, large hoop rings made of earth, gold, bone, horn of rhino (now even plastic) etc. are worn all the time by the nath sadhus. This confirms the complete dedication and determination in the disciple. To check the sense of deep detachment and the power to bear pain, Goraksh Nath ji established this tradition as a test for his followers and disciples. The disciples who remain as monks without wearing their Kundals or Darshans, are called “Oghad” or half a Sadhu. They are shown less respect accordingly.

The Nath sadhu calls the name “Alakh” when they go for alms (bhiksha) or when they meditate. Alakh meaning, invisible, imperceptible ultimate spirit of the universe, this is another title of Lord Shiva. They greet each other by calling out “Adesh” literally meaning, “will do as you command”.

Nath yogis wear Janeu (sacred threads) around their neck, which is called “Singi-Seli”.

This Janeu is made of 16 threads of black sheep wool. Each thread is woven delicately by spinning eight threads of raw wool by hand. The total length of a janeu is 18 feet. There is a Singh- Naad attached to one end of the Janeu. This whistle is blown as salutations while bowing in front of the Samadhis or owns own Guru or superior. There is a small ring called Pavitri and a Rudraksha bead joined to this Naad. While wearing the Janeu, the Naad ideally rests at the navel of the yogi.

Yogacharya Shri Goraksha Nath ji

Most yogis carry very few things while traveling. A wooden staff, a “Kambal” (woolen blanket), a “ Kamandal” is all that the sadhu needs for his journeys. “Kamandal” is a typical container made of bitter fruit called Toomba used by the Sadhus to carry water.

Some Sadhu remains in Samamdhi-Asana, a state of deep meditation for a long time without needing any food, drinking the nectar, which flows from within. The wooden hand rest called “Asho”, is used to support the chin or the hand while the Sadhu sits in the asana.

Nath yogis perform great austerities practicing Hatha Yoga. Some Sadhus live in
cremation grounds and eat food served only once in their khappar(a bowl made of half
the portion of coco-de-la-mer, the coconut of the sea).


As these saying goes, no one can disturb a Sadhu who eats in a Khappar and sleeps in the cremation grounds. A king would lose his kingdom, people would lose their livelihood, their children, and a yogi would lose his knowledge, if they tried to hurt such a Sadhu.

These yogis have been highly respected all through the ages by Kings and common man equally. With their practice of Yoga, these monks gain self-control over all their weaknesses. They then merge and become one with the Lord. They completely detach themselves from all materialistic pleasures in life. They are great philosophers, devoting their lives for the welfare of people, giving true knowledge, guiding all towards the right path to follow in life. Always performing virtuous actions, bringing good fortune to the needy and the wretched, granting salvation to all under their refuge. The complete Avdhoot Nath yogis remain in an ever-blissful state without any physical needs to perform these deeds. Only then they justify the character of the word ‘Nath’. Nav Naths were such Avdhoot Nath yogis.

Nath Yogiss en inde contemporaine

On imagine volontiers les ascètes indiens errants et solitaires, notamment les Nāth Yogī, ces disciples de Gorakhnāt, thaumaturges et adeptes du Hatha Yoga, célèbres depuis le XIIIe siècle pour leurs exploits et, à ce titre, héros de ballades chantées dans toute l'Inde du Nord. Mais, s’ils sont d’infatigables pérégrins, ils possèdent également des modes d’organisation bien établis, en particulier monastiques, grâce auxquels ce mouvement sectaire assure sa pérennité. C’est à ces monastères, point d’ancrage d’une tradition d’itinérance, que ce livre est consacré.

Il propose une description et une analyse de la complémentarité de deux types de monastères, les monastères communautaires dans lesquels les ascètes se réunissent autour des symboles et de rites partagés, et les monastères personnels, transmis de maître à disciple au sein d’une lignée.

Le monastère de Kadri-Manjunath à Mangalore (Karnataka) est le type même du monastère communautaire : nous verrons que l’intronisation du supérieur y est l’occasion, tous les douze ans, d’une grande célébration, précédée d’un pèlerinage à pied, long de six mois, entre Nasik et Kadri, réitération d’un mythe fondateur lié au dieu Parashurām et illustration de l’histoire religieuse complexe de cette région.
Les monastères personnels, ici ceux de Fatehpur dans la Shekhavati (Rajasthan) et de Asthal Bohar en Haryana, sont en revanche le lieu d’innovations, souvent liées à un changement de patronage : un accent mis sur la dimension dévotionnelle derrière le culte du guru et le développement de l’hagiographie, un nouvel intérêt pour les activités caritatives, une ouverture aux laïcs mise en évidence lors de la cérémonie fastueuse tenue à Fatehpur pour leur bénéfice et caractérisée par un sacrifice qui se veut « védique ».

Ce livre présente la richesse et la diversité des institutions et des orientations qui concourent, derrière l’atomisation des pratiques individuelles, à faire des Nāth Yogīs une tradition sectaire vivante et cohérente.






Sire Mandir

Shakti Peetha, Ma Kamakhya Devi temple, Assam

It might be a misconception that Tantrik cults are over and done with, for the essence of it still continues to prevail rather openly in West Bengal and Assam. While Kalighat and Tarapeeth might have been big centers for such practices the seat of ancient tantricism is at Kamakhya Devi temple, Kamarupa Assam. This is the most important of all the Shakti Peethas in India.

Kamakhya devi shrine hosts the yoni of Sati that fell here following the destruction of Daksha's sacrifice. This Shakti Peetha symbolizes the union of Shiva with Shakti, as described in the Kali Purana. They are depicted in constant union where Kamakhya is the Goddess of desire, who grants salvation. She is the young bride of Lord Shiva and together they symbolize the sublime reality of the miracle of life, the everlasting bliss of male/female union. This temple is situated atop a hill that overlooks the Brahmaputra river. The inner sanctum is a deep dark underground rocky chamber into which one descends by a flight of steep steps. The "Matra Yoni" which is inscribed on a rock is covered with silk sarees and is constantly moist by underground spring water.

Tantrik cult is a different kind of cult where the orthodoxy of normal rituals and male dominance over the female took a massive beating. In tantricism, it’s the opposite where the female is given a lot more importance and is associated with Shakti. This is reflected in all their strange ritual practices. There is a deep divide between conventional worship and tantrik worship. In conventional worship, a woman is considered as "impure" during her 3 day monthly cycle, further to which she is almost treated as an untouchable in ancient brahmin traditions still prevailing today. In Tantrik worship, most of the rituals including initiation are centered on the 3 days, this period being the most important period where the woman is considered most pure and an incarnation of Shakti. This is clear from various references made in Tantric texts.

Most of the tantrik texts have been found around the regions of Kamarupa, suggesting very strong prevalence of this cult around the Kamakhya Devi temple. The Yoni Tantra hails from Cooch Bihar but most of the Kaul Tantras originated from Kamarupa. The earliest comprehensive references made to the most important element of Tantrik ritual, called Yoni Tattva in the Kaula Tantra are given in the Kaula Jnana Nirnaya by Matsyendranath.

A few references that really call for interest about this esoteric cult, and can be made mention of, are as follows.

1. The Shakti, represented here as Kamakhya Devi has close associations with the 64 Yoginis found elsewhere in Orissa. The yantra associated with Kamakhya devi empowers the 64 yoginis(Hirapur Chaunsat Yogini Temple, Khajuraho) as part of Shakti. The Tripura mantra "Aim Klim Sauh" represents the triple Kundalini. It is also believed that female sadhvikas who are well versed in Yoga dwell at Kamakhya peetha. If one joins them, they obtain yogini siddhi.

2. The Matrikas who dominated both Buddhist sculpture as well as Brahmanical, are the depiction of the importance of alphabet or sound in the worship of Shiva and Shakti. There are seven representations called the Sapta Matrikas, describing the importance of the alphabet in the Beeja mantra and associated hymns sung in the praise of Shiva and shakti.

3. This reference comes as an eye opener that Tantrik cults were not restricted to unknown tantriks who practiced in complete secrecy, but a few known faces also seem to be a part of this cult in thought.

With reference to Yoni tattva, Kaula tantras deal with the subject of menstrual blood as given in the following translation.

Matrikabheda Tantra (English translation Ideological Book House 1990) describes the different types:

"Shri Shankara said:
The first menses appearing in a woman who has lost her virginity is Svayambhu blood.
In a maiden born of a married woman and begotten by another man, that which arises is Kunda menses, the substance causing the granting of any desire.
Deveshi, a maiden begotten by a widow gives rise to Gola menses, which subdues gods.
The menses arising in the first period after a virgin becomes a married woman is the all bewildering Svapushpa."

Last but not the least is the dialog between the supreme creative power Brahma and Shakti. Brahma can create but only through the yoni which shall be the sole creative principle, and will bless the soul with life. After severe penance Brahma brought down a luminous body of light to earth and placed it within the yoni circle of Goddess Kamakhya at Kamarupa.

Himalayas - A Living Power Center

Shivling Mountain

When the ancient world leaves impressions of a superior world behind, we ignore it
When tradition tries to teach us its value we doubt it
When scriptures sing out the beauty of the superior world we don’t understand it
But when nature presents these secrets in gigantic imagery can we be blind to it?

The Himalayan soil echoes the presence of super powers of a different kind. Is it the beauty of this land or is it its magnetic presence, or is it its gigantic size that makes us feel ant like in this space or is it the presence of Gods that gives us this uncanny sense of bewilderment that leaves us slaves to its power?

This bewitching beauty added to the sheer size and unconquerable appeal almost makes anything on this soil appear Godlike. Daring to sound a little biased, the power of the supreme is felt far stronger here in these temples than in an adaptation anywhere else in the country. The feeling is not restricted to the shrines among these mountains alone, it envelops the earth that cradles the very temple.

From the theoritical stand point, there is no difference in what the temple of Ukhimath and Tungnath offer as compare to Tanjore or Ujjain. The power of the Shaivite rule echoes in stone as much on these high mountains as it does near a river in Thiruvanaikkaval or in a shrine like Ujjain. Yet there is an uncanny difference. Is it the lack of people, noise and endless queues, is it the lack of corruption or is it the stronger virgin appearance of this land or is there something more to it?

Baghirathi Mountain

The Himalayas present a platter of beauty, in snow capped mountain ranges rising one higher than the other with a majestic appearance that can humble our own presence. And yet we are familiar with only a few mountain peaks, each meticulously named after a person, symbol or event from our ancient mythologies.

Kailash Parvat

The Maha Nirvana Tantra beautifully paints the possible aura of Mount Kailasa and Mount Meru, the most sacred mountain peaks in the mystical Himalayan range. Mount Kailasa, described to be the paradise of Lord Shiva towers above the Manasarovar lake on its north west side. This paradise is described to be the summer land of both lasting sunlight and cool shade, musical with the song of exquisite birds and bright with undying flowers. The air is scented with the sweet fragrance of the Mandara chaplets, resounding with the music and song of the celestial gandharvas. This mountain is Gana Parvata thronged with spirits of superior beings [devayoni]. And in this region, rises the peak of Mount Meru considered as the center of the world represented by a lotus. It towers above all nature clustered by the souls of many who have been blessed a home in these heavens, living here, and worshipping this supreme center of power and forming a string of stars garlanding around its pinnacle.

Such is the power of the Himalayas that it is written "He who thinks of the Himalayas, though he may not behold them, is greater than he who performs all worship at Kashi."

It’s uncanny that the description of Mount Kailasa in the Maha Nirvana Tantra matches with the description of nature when Madhana, the Lord of love descended on Kailasa to distract Lord Shiva and make him aware of the beautiful Parvati. It’s strange that on one side there is the description of the perennial warmth of spring and blooming flowers and on the other the reality we see is snow capped mountains and bleak regions.

And yet in this breath taking spectacle, there are mysteries that are so obvious, that we cannot look away from them. Chaukhamba, as the name suggests might be a mountain with four towering peaks, but when viewed from any direction, it presents the feel of a deadly trishul of Kala Bhairava. Kailasa has been described to be enveloped by spring and blooming flowers and blossoming love, but what meets the eye today is the powerful yet cold appearance of the dormant third eye on the center of its brow. But what is even stranger are some staggering peaks that apparently have no character, but when the snow falls on them and the sky is cleared off the mystic clouds strange symbols appear inscribed on their very contours. The Om Parvat is an uncanny representation of the supreme, coincidentally carved out of rock in these bleak regions visible only when the heavens choose to display it to us. Trishul Mountain is another representation of the trident that has captured our imagination of religious symbolism.

Om Parvat

And then there are the other peaks that host sacred shrines at their feet or within them or are just named after mythological beings. While Mount Shivling and Bhagirathi are towering peaks with no apparent shrine or form, their presence is pronounced more by their geographical location, the sacred shrines of Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Gangotri speak of unknown powers of the other world that is yet to be touched and realized.

What leaves us wondering is the deep symbolic mysticism that is shrouded in these snow capped regions which makes an appearance to unsettle our otherwise uneventful ignorant lifestyles. Is there something beyond the spectrum of our daily life that we have not experienced yet? Are these mountains and scriptures trying to call us to something far deeper and potent that we fail to realize? How strange are these mountains that they melt our hearts when we set foot on their sacred soil?

To the sacred Himalayan Mountains that crown our land, I bow in reverence.

Eklingji Temple near Udaipur, Rajasthan:

There was chill in the air as Srinivasan walked on the cold stone floor of this remote temple, near Udaipur. The north has a charm; the rural west is so quaint, undeniably simple and slow and laden with tranquility. It’s like a village, with not too many people, no shops selling the familiar chips and coke, just clean untouched natural beauty lying spotless all around him.

He had cut out the noise of the city, of a busy life to come here, and what lay around him was pure historical magnificence. He walked slowly, pillar to pillar of this small Nagara styled temple breathing in the chill as he progressed towards the dark interiors of the shrine chamber. Within the deep silent darkness lay the stone idol of the Lord, as vibrant as it was centuries ago when this temple was first built. A small lamp glowed, lighting up the bare interior as Srinivasan just transported himself to another world, breathing in this fresh air around him. He sat on the floor, the chill eating into his veins as he looked on to the Lord ahead.

The temple bell rang, a single ring resounding in the air, reverberating through the temple interiors almost bringing alive the dancers on the walls. This was Eklingji, the one and only Shiva who is unattainable and only surrender is the way towards Him. Srinivasan, closed his eyes, as his heart sank, and he shut his mind down to hear the sounds around him. Birds chirped, peacocks shrieked, and the sound of water slowly began to cover the air. He opened his eyes and saw rays of sunlight beaming into the temple, lighting up the stage along the temple walls as stone idols played their music and danced to a different tune, one that was so pure, so clear and almost lost that it was left within the imagination of the self to really live this moment of silence.

Srinivasan yearned to just leave his work, and come to settle here, live a simpler life with fewer desires and worship the Lord. He breathed a sigh, one that echoed the bondages in his life, those that he could not leave due to karmic entanglement though he just wished to break free. But wasn’t this all in the mind! Srinivasan got up to walk around the temple. As he walked out of the pillared hall the beauty of the land just sprawled itself out in front of him. He looked around to see a large lake behind the temple, circled by low hills, dotted with many more such small temples. It felt like heaven had opened its gates to make us feel the presence of all divinity, such brilliance meticulously carved out by men. A heavenly paradise of a different kind, of which he was a part. The wind blew among the hills, causing small ripples in the waters of the lake that made the sounds like that of a woman’s anklet as they splashed gently along the stony temple floor. A lake, covered with green, untouched in the lap of rocky hills. This was nature in its purest form, all its elements being felt so close without any distraction. His mind was so much at peace.

Srinivasan thought, the beauty of this land is so subtle, it needs to be felt. Peace is hard to find, but here it was very much in abundance. Spiritualism can be found only in the silence of the mind, and there seemed to be so much tranquility here, he felt he was so far away from the familiar world he knew so much. He watched a lady pass by, rural in appearance singing an ancient folklore as she walked by with a pot of water. Srinivasan walked down to the lake, touching the chilling water surface with his feet, feeling the sudden chill through his bones as he sat looking around. He was but a small speck in this large panoramic world of the Lord, surrounded by hills and silent villages, with no apparent rules, just pure freedom with the self.

As the clouds covered the sun, draping the world into sudden shade, Srinivasan turned to see the silhouette of this small temple housing the very symbolism of his existence and the meaning to his life. As he stared on the temple bell rang again, a resounding echo which rippled out of the temple scattering itself into the space around bathing life on its way. Eklingji temple, another world, another reality, but running right through his being in this little paradise.

Eklingji town, Shiva temples near Udaipur, Rajasthan

The name Eklingji is not that of a temple as much as it is the name of a place. Eklingji hosts approximately 108 temples scattered around the green hilly Rajasthani countryside near Udaipur. In this untouched terrain, one is faced with low hills, lakes with proliferating wild life, thick ancient walls and narrow alleys leading into small houses surrounding stone temples...its almost dream like.

Rural Rajasthan is a quiet landscape with architecture so quaint and so different that one could live there and just admire it. Its not about forts, palaces and havelis, or the homes of the once rich and famous but about single chambered temples with a simple mandap in front, scattered every where yet sacred in themselves.

While the sun rises and lights up these ancient wonders into current times, while the lamps light up these otherwise silent interiors, they bring with them an aura of spiritualism far more active and prolific than what we probably have today. These once populous temples just remain historical wonders, waking us up only occasionally to their presence.

In this vast sea of stone structures, crowded with sculptural representations of an open society in ancient times, we have the deep under currents of faith ruling these miniature wonders. One of the most interesting temples, with a difference is that of Eklingji temple Kailashpuri founded by Acharya Viswaroopa, a contemporary of Adi Sankaracharya.

This in one word is "anokha" or unique. This temple is dotted with smaller single chambered temples along its walls that surround the larger temple with two floors in the center of this courtyard that gradually climbs the hillside.

Going back into those ancient days, where electricity gave way to fire torches and lamps lit the interiors, and folk songs echoed among these walls, the ambiance appeared almost magical. As we step into this wondrous world of dancing flames in the wind, throwing shadows of sculptures on the walls and almost bringing them alive, the drums beat reverberating through the walls and the bells ring as the flame goes up in arti, we witness a spectacle of divinity that touches our souls. Deep within the garbha griha, are the sparkling eyes of a Shiva linga, comprised of four faces each in a cardinal direction.

Silent cool pillared halls lead into this deep chamber that hosts one of the most spectacular icons of divinity. Covered by a gold triple parasol, we have all of the Gods residing within. The flames flicker on, lighting up the face of Surya to the east, Vishnu to the North, Brahma to the west and Rudra to the south, all carved into a sacred black marble stone. Decorated with precious stones that shine through like the cosmos itself, the lingam is striking, with the eyes of divinity capturing us, our senses, our minds, leaving us helpless and swollen with an emotional high of bhakti in its purest form. As we circle around this icon of divinity on earth, all forms of the Lord locked into the linga peetha, we are met with the most powerful and profound symbol of all. A sacred yantra crowns their heads, powerful and divine that rules the faith of people who visit this enchanting temple. Surrounding this divine form, resting within their niches are Parvati, Ganesha and Karthikeya.

This chamber brings alive a phenomenon, in a symbolic form. The black marble represents the cosmos, the universe itself, created and preserved by the very forms who reside within the linga, each eye glowing and sparkling waking us to that which is beyond. At its crown lies the power of the yantra, that which defines the nature of this power that has created the universe and controls it. The unique element of this yantra is that it is not embedded deep within the idol but out in the open, present for us to see, a very unique feature uncommon in Indian temples.

This linga is a reminder, that Brahma, Vishnu and Surya are a part of a larger whole, the apex of which is the divine form of Lord Shiva, embedded within the yantra, that is sacred and has been preserved through generations for worship. Indeed, with the vastness of the cosmos proliferating with life, there is indeed just one force that controls it all - Eklingji Shiva who protects all and is not just the guardian deity of the Maharanas of Mewar.

Adbhutanath Shiva and the miracle of living!

Click on photo to enlarge
Sammidheshwar temple, Chittor Fort, Mewar, Rajasthan:

Lost in the ancient sands of the Thar, dotted with the ruins of a great fort that once held the mirror of Rani Padmini, now offers the Sammidheshwar temple. Born into the rich temple fortress of the Mewar dynasty at the seat of Chittor, surrounded by the victory tower on one side and Mahasati (royal cremation ground) on the other, Shiva is presented in mind blowing splendor.

Rajasthan speaks poetry, and Mewar speaks valor, self respect and death with honor. Mewar, the name, makes one breathe in deep, to just listen to the galloping horse hoofs of Rana Kumbha who dashed down the fort to meet the Mughals at the bottom of the plateau. In the air, one can still listen to the bhajans of Mira Bai as she sang her heart out to Krishna. Mewar also echoes the shrikes of women who burnt themselves in Jauhar(mass sacrifice by self immolation). Within these very fort walls, in the exquisitely carved temple of Sammidheshwar lies this form of Adbhutanata Shiva.

One way of perceiving it is as follows:

We last heard of Shiva Trimurti at Elephanta where the Vakataka empire had sculpted Him out exquisitely early in the 5th cen AD. Later He has been profusely sculpted symbolically as Trimurti embedded within the Nataraja by the Cholas in the 8th cen AD, with the creator, preserver and the destroyer appearing as the Damaru (creation), and the fire bowl (destruction) on either side of the Lord. Trimurthi is the name given to any form of Lord Shiva that displays Vamadeva(feminine) and Aghora(fierce) simultaneously but these representations are also numbered. Alternatively he is represented with Brahma and Vishnu. He appears in the Sammidheshwar temple in the 6th cen A.D as Adbhutanata alias Trimurthi possibly.

Another way to perceive Him is to feel the interiors of the temple within which He lies.

The outside of the Sammidheshwar temple is laced in marble with exquisite shikharas rising up to the Kalash(pot). As the walls rise high, in marble finery carved with sculpture of Gods and Kanyas, the inside of the temple is a passage opening into a cool, hollow dimly lit room open to the roof rising high up. This is a well lit interior, the walls of which appear strong and solid unlike their delicate appearance on the outside.

Click on photo to enlarge

As one steps in, cutting out the light, and walks towards the sanctum, there is little knowledge of what is going to meet the eye. Just two pairs of bright eyes might quite be an astonishment. This form of Shiva brings alive to us a silent world of perfection. Shiva is the Lord of perfection, the master of Siddhis. Siddhis are of 8 kinds and one of them is associated with Laghima. Laghima is the perfection reached when a person controls his senses and has reached a spiritual plane where he can levitate.

Laghima means lightness, that is the perfection that makes the body levitate at will. Adbhutanata Shiva presents us with the Rasa of adbhuta, or wonder and astonishment that translates to this perfection. Rasa associates itself in the ancient texts with aesthetics of perfection, adbhuta(meaning wonder and astonishment) is a Rasa experienced when one attainst the siddhi of Laghima.

Wonder towards what? In this rather abstract theory, which I hope to construct, astonishment and wonder is connected with the miracle of life and the appreciation of it as much as its experience. This is where the simplicity of living is realized as a miracle, where the aspirant humbly accepts the miracle of "living" with every breath.

It is strange that the Chittor fort sang the praises of its dead on every rock and hosts a Shiva temple that praises the miracle of life!

The essence of Shiva Bhairava

Look up to the bright sky and train your eyes to see the brightness in it, you will notice the faint clouds that glow even brighter in that light. Look up to the sun for a few seconds and maintain the gaze even in the brightness, you will notice it is round and glowing even more. Keep silent and close all your sense faculties and kill all the noise around you and you will realize the primordial sound OM grows within you.
This is Bhairava, This is Shiva, This is prana.

Prana, as beautifully described in the Vigyana Bhairava Tantra, is not the breath that goes in and out, but the eternal space that can be felt between any two breaths. Prana is not the air we breathe but it is the energy or life that is generated by the constant vibration between any two breaths. This is where OM is felt.
This is defined as Bhairava, This is defined as Shiva, This is Prana.

The human self is described most poetically; we are but a lotus plant, whose stem is blue on the outside and red on the inside. We are but a lotus plant whose stem is the channel through which Shakti flows upwards to meet her Shiva at the seat of consciousness. We are but a lotus plant immersed in the waters of Maya but enlightened at the epitome of our consciousness - the thousand petal form.
This consciousness is Bhairava, this feeling of bliss is Shiva.

When your senses shiver and your mind becomes still, and when you quiver, feel this bliss. When you practice love in the ritual of union feel the quivering of your senses like the wind in the leaves. You will feel ecstatic love. At the start of this union, be in the fire of this energy released by intimate sensual pleasure. Merge into Shakti, burn in this space but avoid the ashes in the end. Feel your substance, your bones, your flesh and your blood saturated with cosmic energy.
This is Bhairavam this is Shiva, this is supreme bliss

There is beauty in the emptiness of space devoid of trees, hills or dwellings. There is poetry in the fire of life that burns all illusion to death. I see the entire world burn as a blazing inferno and when all turns to ash, I feel this space that envelopes me, I feel the entire universe dissolving into subtler form until it merges into pure consciousness.
This is Bhairava, Thihs is Shiva, This is prana.

Waves are born in the ocean and dissolve in the ocean itself, flames are born out of fire and dissolve in this fire of life. The sun appears in the sky and fades into the sky itself. The self rises in the realm of knowledge and energy and slowly being deprived of it, dissolves into itself revealing to us our true being.
This essence of subtle life is Bhairava, is Shiva, is Prana.

the Shiva Kavach

Mantra kavacha coupled with a sword to fight, sacred ash and a conch to subdue the enemy is all that is required for victory over problems and enemies in ones life. This armour is woven out of sacred syllables, which call on Lord Shiva to protect, through the magic of Rishi Rishabha's penance.
Shiva Kavacha is revealed to mortals through the divine dialog between Rishi Rishaba and prince Suta. Offering his worship to Lord Shiva Neelakantha, the beloved of Uma, the 3 eyed and thousand armed Sambhu who destroys all enemies. Here is the supreme secret of all penance, possessing which you will be ever successful and redeemed from all pain and sin.

Worship of the Lord involves Karanyaas, which is the method of energising the fingers by mantra (mudra). It is followed by Hridayadi Anganyasah which is the process of energising the heart and the whole body with single pointed concentration on the Lord, concentrating on the heart, head, crown of the head, eyes, the third eye, and by circulating the right hand giving a click of the finger. One is ready and moves into a deep state of Dhyanam or meditation. Seated in composure, in a sacred place, one should contemplate upon the imperishable Shiva with all his senses subdued and pranas controlled.

Having invoked the Lord in the lotus of your heart, whose presence is bliss that is beyond the senses, having disentangled yourself from the bonds of action one is ready to wear the Kavach Om Namah Shivaya.

May the supreme divinity raise me from the clutches of Samsara
May He render me free of all fears
May the eight fold form of Shiva save me from all earthly deseases
May Kala Rudra who dances the Tandava after destroying all at the end of the yuga, protect me
May Trinayana, four headed who is replendent in lightening like gold look after me in the east and the south
May the Lord, spotless like the jasmine who bears the moon and crystals protect me in the west and north
May the five faced Iswara protect me from all evil
May Lord Chandramauli protect my mind, Phalanetra protect my forehead and eyes and destroy my lust
May Lord Vishvanatha who breathes the Vedas protect me
May the Lord who holds Pinaka protect my throat and hands
May the Lord who destroyed Daksha protect me from all evil
May my hip, waist, stomach and navel be protected by Dhurjati, the destroyer of cupid.
In the first watch of day may Mahesha protect me
In the second watch of day may Vamadeva protect me
In the third watch of day may Trilochana protect me
In the fourth watch of day may Vrishaketu protect me
May Lord Sashishekhara protect me in the dark
May Lord Gangadhara protect me in the night
May Lord Gauripati protect at dawn and Lord Mrityunjaya protect my all the time
May Lord Neelakantha dispel my fears at all times
My prayers to Virabhadra, who is as fierce as Yama

I bow down and surrender to Lord Sadashiva
Who is supreme truth
Who is the incarnation of Rudra and Brahma
Whose very eyes are the Sun, moon and fire
Who is smeared in white holy ash
Who is studded with diamonds and jewelery
Who kills the tide of time
Who resides alone in the Muladhara
Who is the permanent abode of the Ganges
Who wears the eight serpent kings round his neck
Who is the very form of Pranava
Who is the embodiment of pure consciousness
Who wears a universal necklace of stars, planets and galaxies
Who is spotless and pure
Who is the supreme witness of the entire universe
Who is the supreme secret of all the Vedas
Who bestows boons upon his devotees
The merciful Lord Who is free from all lust, greed and sorrow
Who is devoid of desire, disease, ego and attachment
Who is beyond the chains of cause and effect
On whome doubts fade and action ceases
O Lord Sadashiva, Mrityunjaya, Thrayambaka I pray to you again and again
Having revealed the sacred syllables to invoke Lord Shiva, Rishi Rishabha blesses Suta and gives him a conch, a mighty sword purified by the sacred mantra Kavach, sprinkles holy ash on him and blesses him with magic that renders him supreme.

The Kavach renders itself in a unique way in today's world. The mantra kavach renders the enemy lifeless, meaning even if someone plans to attack you, they will forget the reason at the time of confrontation. When they interact, the protection of the Lord will keep them at bay. The metaphorical reverberating noise of the conch will deafen their minds with their own thoughts and confuse them thereby rendering you victorious. Clad in the syllables of Shiva Kavacha Om namah Shivaya, you can conquer the world and destroy your enemies.

Mandala of Great Bliss with a lotus flower center housing six deities including Kalachakra and Vishvamata,

Chart of Kalachakra

1. Mandala of Great Bliss with a lotus flower center housing six deities including Kalachakra and Vishvamata, Askshobhya and Prajnaparamita, Vajrasattva and Vajradhatvishvari surrounded by eight shaktis

2. Mandala of Enlightened Wisdom

3. Mandala of Enlightened Mind

4. Mandala of Enlightened Speech

5. Mandala of Enlightened Body

6. Animals representing the months of the year

7. Half vajras with half-moons, each adorned with a red jewel

8. Geometric shapes symbolizing the six elements, which are the five physical elements (fire, water, earth, air, space) plus the wisdom element (consciousness)

9. Thirty-six offering goddesses represented by Sanskrit seed-syllables

10. Double vajras which correspond to each of the four directions

11. Hanging garlands and half-garlands of white pearls surrounding the eight auspicious signs

12. Downspouts, which release rainwater from the palace roof

13. Half-lotus petal design symbolizing protection from afflictive emotion

14. Seven animals pulling a chariot that holds two protective deities; seven elephants are here in the western quadrant

15. Western gate of the Mandala of Enlightened Body

16. Offering garden

17. Earth element circle filled with interlocking crosses representing earth's stability

18. Water element circle containing wavelike ripples

19. Senge Kangpa Gyepa, an eight-legged lion pulling a cart containing two wrathful protective deities

20-21. This whole area is known as the cemetery grounds and is composed of the fire element circle (20) and the wind element circle(21)

22. Wheel of Dharma with a pair of protective deities in the center

23. Sanskrit seed-syllables

24. Space element circle containing an interlocking fence of golden vajras

25. Wisdom element circle, also known as the Great Protective Circle

Nath siddha Jnaneshvara,Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara

Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali

Two sources of ancient Indian thought are Vedas and Agamas. Even if the ultimate aim of both the systems was to attain liberation, or to experience the ultimate truth, or Brahman or Moksha or Nirvana, their teachings, ideologies and philosophies were different, on a number of basic issues and principles. Vedas and Upanishads presume, as is stated in Mahabharata (1) etc. that the originator of the science of the Yoga is Hiranyagarbha. The tradition of Agamas says that the author of this science of Yoga is Adinatha or Shiva or Shankara. Almost all these Agamas are written in the form of conversation between Parvati and Shankara. Patanjali is following the tradition of Upanishads. The philosophy behind Patananjal Darshana is that Sankhya, the Astanga Yoga which Patanjali propagated was in vogue several centuries before Patanjali (300 BC).

We get references of Astanga Yoga in a number of Upanishads such as Chandogya Upanishad, Sandilya Upanishad etc. Yajnavalkya explains this Yoga Philosophy to Gargi and other disciples exactly on the same lines as Patanjali does. (2) Yajnavalkya further states that this philosophy of Astanga Yoga was being learnt by him from his masters. This is an indication of the fact that the philosophy of Astanga Yoga is very ancient and was already in practice before Patanjali.

Hence, it is quite natural that whatever Patanjali has stated is on the basis of certain principles of Upanishads and the philosophy of Sankhya. Of course, Patanjali has his own contribution to Yoga Sutras. The concept of Ishvara, even if absent in Sankhya Darshana, has been defined by Patanjali as per PYS 1. 240. (3) However, he is having his own interpretation about this concept and it is not according to the established tradition. His Ishvara is not a creator but a person whose sins are destroyed. Patanjali's concept of Ishvara is very near to Jain Darshana. (4)

Jnaneshvara, had altogether a different background. He was initiated as per the tradition of Nath Sampradaya. This philosophy is different from that of Patanjali's Yoga Darshana. The basic principles of Yoga philosophy of Nath Panth, are stated in detail in various books such as Gorakshagita, Goraksha Paddhati, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Amaraugha Sasana, Amaraugha Prabodha, Mahartha Manjari, Gheranda Samhita, etc., all written in Sanskrit. Hence, the Yoga Philosophy of Jnaneshvara is just like a mirror reflection of the Yoga Philosophy of Nath Panth. From this it is quite obvious that the original sources of philosophy of these two great saint philosophers and seers are quite different. Thus there is bound to be a major difference in their Yoga Systems. In this paper, therefore, I intend to point out certain outstanding differences in their Yoga Philosophies.

In the overall Yoga Philosophy, we find a number of branches, out of which the most popular now-a-days, in India and abroad, is the one which has been advocated by Patanjali and which is known as Astanga Yoga. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are translated in various languages and also a number of commentaries have been written on it. However, there are a number of other Yoga systems such as Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga, Mantra Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga etc. Since this paper is intended for only the comparison between the Yoga of Jnaneshvara and Patanjali, I would restrict my scope to the comparison of philosophies of only these two masters.

The basic differences are as under:

1. Patanjali gives the system of Astanga Yoga per his Sutra No. 11. 29 (5) of Yoga Sutras. The Yoga System of Jnaneshvara is based on the principles of Hatha Yoga. Some of the scholars of this system are following Astanga Yoga. However, great Yogis such as Gorakshanath are following the system of Sadanga Yoga which has been stated by him in his book Goraksha Paddhati 1.7. (6) This System avoids Yamaand Niyama. The justification given by those Yogis is that if you obtain mastery in meditation, your whole lifestyle gets changed in such a way, that you automatically start following the Yama and Niyamawhich are the necessary rules and individual rules of conduct respectively. These six aspects of Yoga are:

  1. Physical Postures
  2. Pranayama
  3. Pratyahara
  4. Dharana
  5. Dhyana
  6. Samadhi

2. According to the Nath Cult it is most important that the aspirant should purify his body completely. This has been stated in detail in Gheranda Samhita l.10-11-12. (7) This is a total purification of all important and vital organs of the body such as stomach, small intestines, large intestines, nasal passage, food pipe, eyes, cars, throat, etc. After this the cult says that the aspirant is in a position to undertake all the steps of Yoga. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras this preparation of initial background is not mentioned.

3. The next step (in other Yoga systems) is the learning of physical postures. However, after learning all the important postures, the aspirant has to practise the most essential posture viz. Siddhasana or Vajrasana. For all the future Sadhanas this is considered to be the basic and important posture. The detailed description of this posture is given by Jnaneshvara in his sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari and also by a number of books of Nath Cult. They say that this posture is a must for all the aspirants. However, Patanjali says that you can sit in any convenient posture you like. Hence he gives the Sutra "Sthira-sukham asanam."

4. The importance of a Guru or Master is maximum in Nath cult. Their every book or Shastra starts by remembering or bowing with great reverence and respect to the Guru Adinath or Shiva or Shankara. Jnaneshvari also starts like this by saying "Om Namoji Adya." This importance is not given to Guru in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.

5. The Nath cult says that the human body consists of certain most essential centres or vital points and voids (Akasha). (8) Every aspirant has to know and understand these things. They say that one who is not aware of these essential centres is not a Yogi. They are six Chakras, sixteen vital points, two Laksyas (concentration points), five voids, all situated within the human body. Such type of discussion is not found in Patanjala Yoga Darshana.

6. Nath cult says that the human body is just like a beautiful house which is having nine doors. (9) It is formed out of five essential elements and each element is having its own deity. The nine openings are two eyes, two nostrils, two ear holes, mouth, excreta outlet, and sex organ. The deity of Earth is Brahma, of water is Vishnu, of fire is Rudra, of air is Ishvaraand of space is Sadashiva. Every aspirant has to understand these things. In Patanjala Sutras we do not find this.

7. The Nath Panth, in their various books as mentioned above, gives a detailed description of the seven chakras, their exact location in the body, their properties and functions etc. Jnaneshvara has not given the description of these chakras for the reason that he wanted to restrict his interpretation to the verses of Bhagavad-Gita. At the base of the spinal cord and at the centre of the line which connects sex organ and the excreta outlet is situated the first chakra which is known as Muladhara Chakra. Slightly above the sex centre and below the naval centre the second chakra is situated which is known as Svadhisthana Chakra. The third is situated near the naval centre and is called Manipura. The fourth one is situated near the heart centre and is known as Anahata Chakra. The fifth is situated at the throat centre and is known as Visuddha Chakra. It must be noted that all these chakras are situated in the Shushumna Nadi which passes through the spinal cord, which again passes through Vertebral Column. These are extremely subtle points and may not be structural and cannot be located by any sophisticated instrument available. These were actually 'observed' and seen by the great Rishis in the stage of Samadhi. Here come the limitations of modern science. The sixth chakra is situated on the forehead and between the centre of the two eyebrows. This is known as Ajna Chakra. The seventh and the last chakra is situated in the centre of the brain in its uppermost portion. Patanjali does not mention any such thing in his Yoga Sutras.

8. According to Nath Cult there are 72.000 nerves in the body of human beings. (10) Out of these ten Nadis are important. Out of these three are most important. They are known as Ida, Pingula and Shushumna. Ida is known as Chandra Nadi and is passing through the left side of the vertebral column. Pingula is known as Surya Nadi and is passing through the right side of the vertebral column. Shushumna Nadi is passing through the spinal cord and is known as Agni Nadi. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras do not mention all this. He does mention a few Nadis like Kurma Nadi. But the detailed description is absent.

9. The concept of Prana has been studied in maximum details in Nath Cult. They say that in the human body there are ten different types of air or Vayus (11), which are known as Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana, Vyana, Naga, Kurma, Krikala, Devadatta and Dhananjaya. Each one is situated in a specific part of the body. Each one is having specific purpose and function in the body. When we take the air inside our body, it gets bifurcated into ten branches. This is just like a stream of water which starts from the Himalayan Mountains and gets bifurcated into several branches and each branch becomes a river and is given a separate name. Present medical science is not in a position to locate these ten different types of airs. However, our ancient Yogis have actually 'seen' these different streams of air inside our body. This type of description is not found in Patanjala Sutras.

10. When we breathe in there is a subtle sound which is known as 'So' and when we breathe out there is a subtle sound which is known as 'Ham'. (12) Everyone can experience this with slight practice. This sound of 'Soham' is continuously going on with every breathing. In a period of one day, that is twenty-four hours, we take 21.600 breathings. That means this type of sound which is known as Mantra, is being continued in our body for that many number of times (21.600). If the aspirant observes this mentally and consciously, this becomes a great Sadhana. This Sadhana is being given very great importance in the Nath Cult. This is not found in Patanjala Yoga Sutras (PYS).

11. The most important aspect of the Yoga Sadhana of Jnaneshvara is the activation of the Kundalini Shakti. This is a Tantric Sadhana of the Nath Cult. Jnaneshvara has given a detailed account of this process in his sixth chapter. This is a practical application of the philosophy of Nath Panth. They say that the whole universe is created out of the energy of Shiva or Mahashiva or Adinatha. They call it Shakti or cosmic energy. This energy is occupying the whole universe. The smallest portion of this energy is known as Kundalini, and the energy which is present in the entire universe is known as Maha Kundalini. This energy is present in human beings in potential form (Supta Shakti). The Yogis who have experienced this energy, say that this is like a serpent and is situated at the end of the Shushumna Nadi in a coiled form, in three and a half coils, position. This also is in line with their philosophy which says "Bramhandi te Pindi". This means that whatever exists in the universe also exists in the human being in the subtle form. Nath Cult and their great masters like Gorakshanath have devised various ways and means to activate this energy. Saint Jnaneshvara has described one method of activating this energy. This method has been stated in almost all the books of Hatha Yoga and Natha Panth and some Upanishads. The detailed description is available in the sixth chapter of Jnaneshvari. This energy can also be activated by Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga and Bhakti Yoga. That is why we find in Jnaneshvari all these systems of Upasana.

The ultimate stage of realisation or Moksha as per this colt is the union of Shakti with Shiva. Hence the aspirant initiated in this cult has to activate this energy and allow this energy to go through all the six chakras gradually. The place of Shiva is considered to be in the last chakra which is known as Sahasrara. In the ultimate stage, Sadhaka has to transfer this energy to this last chakra. This is supposed to be the point of union of Shakti with Shiva. One who is successful in this process, is supposed to be a great Yogi. A number of spiritual powers known as siddhis are at his disposal in that stage. A number of examples are available in the ancient Shastras about the Yogis, who were successful in obtaining this highest stage. Jnaneshvara had experienced the above union with Shiva and hence he is known as Maha Yogi. In PYS we do not find anything about Kundalini Shakti.

12. In Nath cult there is a great importance of a Gun or Master. He is given the same importance as is given to their ultimate Guru Adinath. That is why Jnaneshvara is giving maximum importance to his Guru Nivrittinath and is mentioning his name in Jnaneshvari at a number of places. Not only that, he gives the entire credit of writing this book to Nivrittinath. Their philosophy says that the aspirant can get the ultimate experience of truth or Shiva only with the continuous guidance of Guru or the Master. We find that every book of Nath Panth starts after bowing to Guru.

13. In this cult we find a mystic and esoteric act of the transfer of spiritual energy from the master to the initiated aspirant and the act is known as Shaktipata. With the tremendous powers of the master, he can activate the Kundalini energy of the disciple. This transfer, he can do by touching a specific part of his body or simply by looking at him. This transfer of energy can be done on the aspirant who is at a great distance from the master. This is a peculiar mystical act. After the transfer of energy, the aspirant experiences a number of supernatural things, a tremendous flow (of liquid) light, etc. However, those scholars who are really anxious, should go through the book Awakening of Kundalini written by Pandit Gopi Krishna, who had undergone all these experiences before about twenty-five years in Kashmir. The concept of Shaktipata is not found in PYS.

14. This cult gives a great importance to the practice of certain physical postures known as Mudras. They are useful in meditation and also in the activation of Kundalini energy and the six chakras. Hence every aspirant has to learn these Mudras. The ancient texts say that such Mudras arc twenty-five. Out of these ten are most important. With the practice of Mudras the aspirant is in a position to get rid of any and every disease and can acquire a number of supernatural powers. Because of these multiple advantages, the aspirant is taught these postures and afterhe achieves this experience, he is taught Pranayama. Mudras arc nowhere mentioned in PYS.

15. There is a difference between the Dhyana-meditation of Patanjali and Jnaneshvara. Patanjali gives the definition of Dhyana as per Sutra No. III.1 and III 2 which are as under. The aspirant has to concentrate on specific or vital part of the body or on some external point. This process is known as Dharana. When the aspirant gets success in the concentration on that particular point, for a sufficiently long time, it becomes a Dhyana. For the concentration on that particular point, the aspirant has to use his mind. However, in Kundalini Yoga, the aspirant has not to use his mind at all. He has to practise Kumbhaka, wherein the function of mind totally stops. Instead of concentrating on any particular point, the aspirant has to activate the Kundalini energy. This is a much superior way. This opinion has been confirmed by Sir John Woodroffe, in his book The Serpent Power on page No. 314 and 315 of the eleventh edition, which the learned scholars and philosophers can refer to any time.

16. Patanjali gives a broad division of Samadhi, which is termed as SamprajnataSamadhi and Asamprajnata Samadhi. However, the stage of Samadhi has been studied in details by the Nath cult and which is followedby Jnaneshvara in toto. Nath cult has categorised Samadhi in six types which are known as I ) Dhyana Yoga Samadhi, 2) Nada Yoga Samadhi, 3) Rasananda Yoga Samadhi, 4) Laya yoga Samadhi, 5) Bhakti Yoga Samadhi, and 6) Raja Yoga Samadhi. How each Samadhi can be experienced is also discussed in details. Scholars and philosophers can refer chapter seven of Gheranda Samhita which gives the entire description.

To conclude, I would like to state that both these systems of Yoga are different. The reason is obvious. Their philosophical base is altogether different. That is why the Yoga of Nath Panth accommodates Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. This Yoga Philosophy is therefore multi-dimensional. Besides the results here are very fast. This has been promised by Gorakshanath in his book. However, it is advisable that the practices of this Yoga should be undertaken under an able and experienced master. To end the paper, I would like to quote the verse No. IV.114 (13) from Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It says that till you are not in a position to activate the Kundalini energy, till you are not in a position to have perfect control over your pranic force, till you are not in a position to clear the path of Shushumna Nadi, all your knowledge is external, futile and full of ego. It is only an exercise of talking and nothing else. Hence he says that this is a process which has to be experienced only.


  1. Jnanesvari by Sakhare Maharaj.
  2. Goraksa-paddhati by Gorakshanath.
  3. Gheranda Samhita - Commentary by Shree Swamiji Maharaj.
  4. Hatha-yoga-Pradipika by Shree Swatmarama Yogi
  5. Patanjala Yoga (Sutra) Pradipa by Swami Omananda Tirtha.
  6. Patanjala Yoga Darsana by K.K. Kolhatkar
  7. Yoga Yajnavalkya
  8. Siddha-Siddhanta-Paddhati by Gorakshanath
  9. Shiva-Samhita - Commentary by Dr. K.R. Joshi