Introduction to the Srinatha sect and Yogis
This sect is the sect of the ascetics of ancient India, who were above the consideration of the high and the low.
It began from Adinath Samkara and its present form owes its existence to the child ascetic Sri Goraksanathji. No evidence of his apperance and disappearance has been available so far.
The ancedotes and legends regarding Shri Goraksa Nathji appear in the puranas - Padma, Skanda, Siva and Brahmanda, the Tantric scriptures- Tantra Maharanava, Upanisads - Brhada ranyaka and other ones, and in other ancient scriptures.
Sri Goraksa Nath was an ascetic above the Varna Srama system and belonged to the fifth Asrama. He educated the humanity for the development and expression of the great spiritual powers, dormant in the human body system, by way of the Yogic practices and observances. He propagated the cardinal principles of Hatha Yoga for the redressal of dangerous diseases and that way he handed down to the humanity a very useful efficacious and ready at hand the tool of redemption.
Many monarches got impressed with the yogic teachings of Shri Goraksha Nathji. They accepted initiation at his hands or in his sect. They renounced their all that they possessed and realised the happiness that dwells in the core of of the lotus that the Atman is. These sages, who were formerly monarchs, performed many great deeds that bestowed good on the poeple. Sri Goraksa Nath, in order to keep the tradition, accepted Sri Matsyendra Nath as his Guru. A dialogue went on between them for long time. Sri Matsyandra Nath Ji also was acclaimed an incarnation of Lord Siva. Many legends in the Purnas and Upanisads refer to Shri Matsyendra Natha.
This Nath sect of Yogis has been continuing since time immemorial. But its crystalization in the present form dates back to 200 two hundred years before Adi Samkaracharaya. The famous book Samkara Digvijaya has a reference regarding it.
During the days of Buddha, The Tantric cult (which prescribes wine and women as essentials) gained prominence. The principles of this sect were very lofty but the common people could not take to their essentials and began behaving in perversive ways.
Sri Goraksa Nathji was a generous and liberal saint. In this period he instituted Nath Sect and preached reformation of 84 Siddha saints. They were from the Vajrayana Sect.
Nine naths became famous in this period. They were Goraksa Natha, Jvalendra nath, Karina natha, Gahini nath, Carpata natha, Revana Natha, Naga natha, Bhartrhari natha and Gopicand nath.
An another written evidence shows the names- Omkar Natha, Udaya Natha, Santosa Natha, Acala Natha, Gajabah Natha, Jnana Natha, Caurangi Natha, Matsyebdra Natha and Goraksa Natha. It is possible that these might be different names of the same saints mentioned above.
This Yogi sect is divided into 12 (twelve) sub sects such as Satya nath, Dharma natha, Dariya nath, Ayi pandhi Ramake, Vairaga ke, Kapila, Ganga Nathi, Mannathi, Rawal ke, Pawa Panthi and Pagala.
These twelve variants of the Natha sect are not much different from one another in respect of essential canons and traditions. There are great Asrams in almost all the states of the country. They belong to Nath Sect. They are very prosperous. Highly learned sadhus are manning the governing bodies of these Asrames.
The name of Guru Goraksa Nath was highly venerated in the Nepal Kingdom. The ruler of nepal revers the name even these days. Guru Goraksa Nath is the chief guru of the state and the people. There are highly esteemed monasteries of the sect in Nepal. The state currency bears the name of Sri Guru Goraksa Nathji. The people of the state Nepal are known and called by the name Goraksa (Gorakha).
Guru Goraksa Nath had initiated disciples in Kabul, Kandhar, Kacch, Sindh, Baluchistan and even in Mecca-Madina. The name was held in high respect.
In this sect there are four types of gurus -
- 1. Coti Guru
- 2. Cira Guru
- 3. Mantra Guru
- 4. Topa Guru
Guru Gorakha Nath had initiated the tradition of piercing the ears. To offer oneself for the tradition of piercing ceremony of the ears signifies the power of forbearance, firmness and detachment. By way of initiating this tradition, Guru Gorakha Natha set down a test for his followers. After getting his ears pierced, the disciple, naturally or by abashment, saves himself from the wordly entrapment.
They were kept on probation for considerable time, before their ears were pierced. The Sadhus, whose ears were not pierced, were called Aughada, the signifying uncouth, unfinished, and untrained. They deserved only half the honour.
There are many well known places, attributed to Shri Gorakh nathji, in India. Many festivals are held in connection with his name.
This sect is the Avadhut sect; this word means wihtout women or free from illusory manipulation. Siddha Siddhanta Padhati stays.
He is an Avadhuta who sheds all kinds of defilements of and deviations from, the nature, the true nature. Again:
According to this statement nine Nathas were perfect Avadhutas and many are present even now.
The followers of Nath sect remember their favourite deity before they utter the word Alakh (alaksa). They greet each other with the words Adesh or Adish. The words Adesh or Adish signify Om or the Supreme Being. The Vedas and Upanisads also contain references to these words.
Yogi's wear a sacred thread of black wool. It is called Seli. They also keep a whistling instrument of horn. Both are called Singi-Seli. They are the Saivas; they workship Lord Siva.
The plae of Yoga in the six systems of philosophy is very high. The Yogis follow the path of Yoga; they observe the practices and the disciplines of the Yoga. The practices are designed and destined for the goal of self realization. Yoga means that personified consciousness and the Supreme Being are one. The total convergence of the mental tendencies and their abstinence from the sensuous pleasures is called the state of Yoga.
The monasteries of the sect are getting disorganized. Avadhuta Yogi Mahasabla has been instituted for the restoration of order in them. The directors are bussy in bringing about the order and improvement in the management and the expansion of the learning and knowledge.
In olden days there was a ruler, called Samkha Bhati, of Sialkot. He had two sons, Purna mala and Risalu. Both of them became disciples of Guru Gorakha nath. They came to be known by the names of Chaurangi nath and Mannath. They practised rigorous penances and mastered great powers. They roamed the vast tracts and performed many deeds of the welfare of the people. They attained the final state of "Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah" - total and absolute restraint of the outgoing tendencies of the CITTA, the consciousness, or the mind or the heart. They popularized the system of YOGA and did a lot of good to the people. They strengthened the Indian culture, or call it human culture. They provided the nourishment to it so that it may continue to bestow the spiritual weal upon the human society.
Out of these 12 (twelve) sub sects the Mannathi Panth originated from Shri Mannatha. Shri Mannath arrived at Sekhavati area in the present Jaipur state and established his asrama at Bisau. This village is known by the name Tani these days. Sri Mannath had breathed his last at this place. Here is a sanctum dedicated to Shri Mannath Ji, constructed at his Samadhi and here is the Gurudwara of this sect. In the Monastery at Tanic there 2000 two thousand bighas land from the olden days and a spacious building. There are many samadhis in the campus. All this shows that some very great saints must have lived here for long time.
Shri Keshar Nathji, the disciple of Shri Jyoti Nathaji used to live here. Now Shri Jnana Nathji lives here. This asrama has been renovated.
In the line of Sri Mannath there came a good saint Sri Cancala Nathji. He built his asrama at Jhunjune (Jaipur) in the year 1700 of V.E. His sactum stands here.
The remaining history is given in appendix No.2. The teachings Sri Goraksha Natha will be published in the form of an anthology, if it becomes possible.
The syllable Na signifies the existence of the form from the time which never began- which ever existed eternally. The syllable tha stands for the existence for ever. The three spheres are one and the same, obeisance at the feet of Sri Goraksa Nath.
The quotation is from Sakti Ssamgama Tantra.
The Avadhuta Yogis are the believers in the philosophy of non-dualism. They burn the fire without any physical means and set alight their past Karmas and their fruits. They remain in the blissful state of their SELF. They bestow good upon the general people through their spontaneous straight natural teaching.
The word Nath justifies its use and meaning only then:
- There is no Brahma no Visnu and no Rudra;
- There is no Indra nor there gods who matter,
- There is no earth no water in the final reckonning,
- There is no fire, no air, no sky, no directions, and no time
- There are no vedas, no sacrifices, no sun and no moon;
- There is no Vidhi, the creator nor his fabulous time duration called Kalpa,
- The knowledge of the SELF is the only truth. Glory to you O, One the manifestation of the truth, the awareness of bliss.Peace, Love; Bliss