Shrimati Kanta Prasad Choudhry

The Nath community is old and influential. It is related to Adinath, who is Lord Shiva Himself. Among the human gurus of this legacy, Matsendranath, the enlightened man, is regarded as the first chief. Wherever the blessings and miracles of the Nath Yogis have resulted in the development of states, there they have left permanent impressions on the minds of the people. Not just in Rajasthan, but several of their small and big temples and institutions exist all across India. According to Hazariprasad Dwivedi, Matsendranath was the guru of Gorakshnath and Jalandharnath was the fellow disciple of Matsendranath. Jalandharnath was also the guru of Kanupa or Krishnapad. Gorakshnath was the most influential among them and was regarded as a great religious leader of his times. It is important to mention that he was a worshipper of wisdom. His works form an incomparable confluence of the various streams of knowledge alongside being an account of the world. They emphasizes on devotion for knowledge, purity of mind, strength of the heart, control over words and the practice of celibacy, and at the same time speaks about refraining from alcohol and meat in order to keep the body pure. It is also mentioned there that it requires rigorous meditation and patience for enlightenment, for which there is no short cut. This is what is considered to be the main emphasis of Gorakhnath and his followers.

When we analyze the influence of the Nath Yogis on the minds of the people and the society, we tend to look at their special powers and miracles. It is because of these powers that they have been closely associated with several royal families along with the common masses. Other than this, the regular meditations of the Nath Yogis, their eating and drinking habits and their visits at the royal palaces during festivals and occasions have helped increase their popularity and leave a deep impact on the society. Attached to several royal families, the Nath Saints functioned as a bridge between the king and his subjects. Many ashrams of the Nath Yogis were established in several villages due to the impeccable respect the kings had for them and the devotion the common masses had towards them. These establishments went on increasing in numbers as their livelihoods were taken care of by the state. It is a well-known fact that Man Singh, the Maharaja of Jodhpur, was fortunate to succeed to the throne as per the prediction of Devnath.

The popularity of the Naths increased so much during Man Singh’s reign that there hubs were established in remote and far-away villages also. Along with that increased the number of Nath followers. This is the reason why the hubs of the Naths are so many in numbers in Rajasthan. We get the Naths’ blessings and the opportunity to experience their miracles.

Chetramji, my grandfather Nanagramji’s younger brother, remained a celibate all his life. He was a Nath follower. He was a marvelous man with super powers. Once there was a marriage in our village. We were invited. But the number of people that turned up was far more than the invitees. Tensions were inevitable. Chetramji said that there was no need to worry. He declared that he himself would sit at the store, and that there would be no shortage as long as he was there. But there could be problems after he left. That is what happened. There was no shortage.

A miracle happened once in our Sardar Shahar. A sage suddenly arrived at our village home. He asked for drinking water and was given it. He was invited for a meal. He said that he had drank water, and asked for a half kilogram maze, which, if not available, would not matter. Suddenly he said that the youth had gone abroad. On hearing this, it struck my mind that the sage must be a great saint. Otherwise how would he know about our youth? I fell at his feet. He tried to stop me and said that he is an ascetic. Then he took out some ash, gave me and ordered to mix it with water and spread some of it at the four corners of the house. The rest he asked to spread outside, in front of the house. He said this and went away. I came out and looked around, but could not see any sage within long distances. He was an enlightened man who blessed us and went away. When I told this to my granduncle Chetanramji, he said that I was very lucky. The sage was none but Shri Amritnathji Maharaj Himself.

Kanta Prasad Choudhry