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Published by rasikaa
History of Saiva Cult. The stories of Gorakh Nath, MachendraNath and other disciplies. Very interesting and useful for those who are interested to learn more about Saiva Doctrine of Hindu Way of Life.
History of Saiva Cult. The stories of Gorakh Nath, MachendraNath and other disciplies. Very interesting and useful for those who are interested to learn more about Saiva Doctrine of Hindu Way of Life.

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Published by: rasikaa on Sep 12, 2009
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The historical reason for this wide-spread popularity of the Nath literature throughout India is that the Nath movement was, and still is, an all-Indian movement -
Obscure Religious Cults, Dasgupta
This text is from
Hindu Castes and Sects
, by Bhattacharya, Calcutta, 1916. Not only is this entry from hisencyclopaedia out of print, it is also out of date, first being printed in 1899. It contains some inaccuracies regardingthe nature and practices of the yogi
but was a pioneering effort in its time, when little was known to those whowere not members of the different sub-divisions of the sampradayas. Some of the material here is both interesting andunusual, particularly the stories Bhattacharya recounts.A more reliable account is found in
Gorakhnath & the Kanphata Yogis
, G.W. Briggs, now once more in print, but oneof the better descriptions is to be found in the English introduction to
Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati & Other Works of the Nath Yogis
, Mallik, 1953.From a recent trip to India in November of this year, one
or abbot of a Nath ashram in Rajasthan estimatedthere were currently 100,000 yogis of the
Bharo Panth
or 12 panths still to be found in India. Notes to the original textare placed in parentheses. Ed.
(1) -- A devotee, a performer of 
. The Yoga system of philosophy, as established by Patanjali,taught the means whereby the human soul might attain complete union with the Supreme Being. The modern Jogi,speaking generally, claims to have attained that union and to be, therefore, a part of the Supreme (2) and, as such,invested with powers of control over the material universe. The history of the development of the modern Jogi out of theancient professors of Yoga is as fascinating as it is obscure. But it would be entirely beyond the scope of this article,the object of which is to give a matter-of-fact account of the actual beliefs and customs of the latter-day Jogi.The term Jogi may be said to include two very distinct classes of persons. First are the Jogis proper, a regular religious order of Hindus, which includes both the Aughar Jogis and the Kanphatta Jogi ascetics who are followers of Gorakh Nath and priests and worshippers of Shiva. (3) These men are fully as respectable as the Bairagis, Gosainsand other religious orders. They are all Hindus, but the
or secular Jogi, even if a Hindu, appears to becommonly called RAWAL and makes a living by begging, telling fortunes, singing and the like. (4) Another synonymfor the Hindu Jogi is NATH. The second class is that miscellaneous assortment of low-cast
and fortune-tellers,both Hindu and Musalman but chiefly Musalman, who are commonly known as Jogis. Every rascally beggar whopretends to be able to tell fortunes, or to practise astrological and necromantic arts in however small a degree, buyshimself a drum and calls himself, and is called by others, a Jogi. These men include all the Musalmans, and probablya part of the Hindus of the eastern districts, who style themselves Jogis. They are a thoroughly vagabond set, andwander about the country beating a drum and begging, practising surgery and physic in a small way, writing charms,telling fortunes, and practising exorcism and divination; or, settling in the villages, eke out their earnings from theseoccupations by the offerings made at the local shrines of the malevolent godlings or of the Sayads and other Musalman saints; for the Jogi is so impure that he will eat the offerings made at any shrine. These people, or at leastthe Musalman section of them, are called in the centre of the Punjab Rawals, or sometimes Jogi-Rawals, from theArabic
, a diviner, which again is derived from
, "sand," which which the Arab magicians divine. (5) TheJogi-Rawals of Kathiawar are said to be exorcisers of evil spirits, and to worship a deity called Korial. In Sialkot, theJogis pretend to avert storms from the ripening crops by plunging a drawn sword into the field or a knife into a mound,sacrificing oats, and accepting suitable offerings. Mr. Benton wrote:-- "The Jogi is a favourite character in Hindustanifiction. The there appears as a jolly playful character of a simple disposition, who enjoys the fullest liberty andconducts himself in the most eccentric fashion under the cloak of religion without being called in question." The Jogisused to be at deadly feud with the Saniasis and 500 of the former were once defeated by two or three hundredSaniasis. Akbar witnessed the fight and sent soldiers smeared with ashes to assist the Saniasis who at lengthdefeated the Jogis. (6)The Jogis as a body cannot be said to have any history; so numerous and indeterminate are the branches into whichthey have split up in the course of time. Regarding their origins the Jogis have a vast body of nebulous tradition, the
of much primitive metaphysical speculation now hardly recognisable in its fantastic garb.
The Origin of the Jogis
9/12/2009 Jogishttp://www.shivashakti.com/jogi.htm 1/16
According to the
, a devotee of Shiva, desired offspring, so the god, at Parbati's intercession, gavehim some ashes from his
or fire and told him his wife should eat them. The wife, however, was incredulous anddid not do so, but let the ashes fall on a heap of cowdung. Eventually the devotee found a child where the ashes hadbeen thrown, and took it to Shiva, who said it would grow up a great ascetic and should be given to him. (7) Henamed it Gorakh Nath, from the place of his birth and instructed him to find a Guru. As Shiva could find no oneworthy, Gorakh Nath set forth to seek a teacher, and reaching the sea, offered there a large loaf on a
leaf. Thiswas swallowed by Rakho, the fish, who 12 years later restored not the loaf, but a child whom Shiva namedMachchendra Nath and who became Gorakh Nath's Guru. Another version makes Machchendra Nath the issue of Gorakh Nath himself.Shiva then told Gorakh Nath that he must, though an ascetic, have children and advised him to make disciples. Shivaalso gave him
grass, saying it should be their clothing, and a stick cut from an
tree, saying it should be tiedto his garments, and used as a
, to be sounded thrice daily, in the morning, in the evening, and before the Guru.He also asked Parbati to bore Gorakh Nath's ears and place earthen earrings in them. This she did and alsomutilated herself, dyeing a cloth with the blood and giving it to Gorakh Nath to wear. Gorakh Nath then made twelvedisciples:-1. Sant Nath, 2. Ram Nath, 3. Sharang or Bharang Nath, 4. Dharm Nath, 5. Bairag Nath, 6. Darya Nath, 7. Kaik Nath,8. Nag Nath (8), 9. Gangai Nath, 10. Dajja Nath, 11. Jalandhar Nath (9), 12. Nim Nath (10)A tradition says that Narinjan Nirankar, the formless Creator, created Gorakh Nath from the sweat of his breast,whence is also called Ghor Nath (fr.
, filth). The Supreme then bade him create the universe, whereupon acreeping plant sprang from his navel, and a lotus blossomed on it. From this flower sprang Vishnu, Brahma, Shivaand Shakti, the last a woman who straightway dived beneath the waters, before earth or sky, air or fire had beencreated. As Earth was indespensable to the complete manifestation of the universe, the Supreme sent Vishnu downto the lower regions beneath the waters to bring Earth to the surface. When he reached the Patal Lok Vishnu sawShakti with a
in front of her, while light rayed from her body. A voice asked who had come, and Vishnu repliedthat his errand was to bring up Earth by the Supreme's command. The Shakti answered that he could do so, providedhe first wed her, but Vishnu urged that intercourse with her was impossible, since even at a distance of 12
hefound her effulgence insupportable. So he returned unsuccessful. Brahma likewise failed, and so at last Shiva wassent. To his reply that 'Shiva had come,' the Voice said: 'There have been crores of Shivas, which Shiva art thou?'Shiva answered that he was the lord of Kailas, and he agreed to espouse Shakti when Earth and Sky had come intobeing. Shakti then gave forth the four vedas, and bestowed two handfuls of ashes with some smoke from her 
upon Shiva, who carried them up. The smoke when sent upwards became the sky, and the ashes when strewn uponthe waters formed land. Hence the Jogis worship only Gorakh Nath and Shiva. By a process which reminds us of themyth of Hephaistos and Athene (11), Gorakh Nath became by a fish the father of Macchendra Nath, who forthwithwent into the wastes to worship. When Gorakh Nath was reproached with his incontinence he felt that he must seekout a
of his own, but finding none better than himself, he bethought him that his own son was fitted for the officeand exclaimed:-
Barte khasm, nikalte puta,Yun bhakhe Gorakh abdhuta.
"'The husband's embraces cause sons to be born': Thus saith the ascetic Gorakh."He then sought out Machchendra Nath, who would have fallen at his feet, but Gorakh addressed him as his own
This is how Macchendra Nath became Gorakh's
as well as his son.The Brahmans tell quite a different tale: Basmasus, a
, had long served Shiva, who in return promised himany boon he might claim, so he demanded that which when placed on anything would reduce it to ashes. Shivathereupon gave him his bangle. Bhasmasur coveted Parbati, Shiva's wife, and he endeavoured to place the bangle onher husband's head. Shiva fled, pursued by the demon, and at last hid in a cave on Kailas and blocked up itsappearance with a stone. Bhagwan now assumed Parbati's form and approached Bhasmasur, but whenever he triedto grasp the vision, it eluded his embrace, and at last declared that Shiva used to sing and dance before his wife.Bhasmasur avowed his readiness to learn and while wwas dancing as she taught him she bade him place his handon his head. In it he held the bangle, and was burnt to ashes. Bhagwan then brought Shiva, who was afraid to showhimself, out of the cave. Shiva's curiosity was now arouded and he demanded that Bhagwan should again assume theform which had enchanted Bhasmasur. This was Mohni, Parbati's double, but even more beauteous than she, andwhen her shape appeared Shiva by a process similar to that alluded to above became the father of Hanuman, who
9/12/2009 Jogishttp://www.shivashakti.com/jogi.htm 2/16
was born of Anjani's ear, and of Machchendra Nath. By a cow he also fathered Gorakh Nath.Once, says another legend, the sage Bashisht recounted the following story to Sri Ram Chandraji:- "My mind was illat ease, and I wandered until I came to Bindra Chal, on which hill I spent a long period in worship. One day I saw thewife of Brahma, my father, coming towards me. She approached and said my father was wroth with her and I resolvedto go to him, so I went and found a cave whose mouth was blocked by a stone. Unable to move it I created a man bymy Brahm-tej (creative power) and he removed the stone. I then entered the cave, wherein I saw a world, like the onein which I lived. In it were all the gods, and I first made a reverence (
) to Brahma and then to all the other gods.But when I told them of my errand they warned me to quit the cave at once, since the day of judgment was at handbecause wives were dissatisfied with their husbands. I did as they had bidden me, but meanwhile stillness hadprevailed everywhere, and all the earth had turned to water. Soon a great sound arose from the waters, and enduredfor a long while, but when it had nearly died away Shakti appeared. I endeavoured to approach her, but could not evendo obeisance, and stood like a statue before her. She then cast a ball into the waters, and it made a great sound. Asit died away she again appeared. Thrice she did this, and the third time Vishnu appeared. Him she bade to wed her,but he refused and again she threw a ball upon the waters. Then Brahma emerged, but he too declined her hand, andagain she cast a ball. Shiva then appeared in wrathful mood, and he promised to espouse her, but not yet. Though allthese gods were free from
, nevertheless through it they had appeared, and each claimed superiority over theothers. Meanwhile a lotus blossomed on the surface of the waters, and they agreed that he who should trace it to itsroot should be deemed the chief. Neither Vishnu nor Brahma succeeded in his attempt, but Shiva, leaving his body,transformed himself into an insect and descended through the stem of the lotus. But his rivals besought Shakti totransfigure his body, so as to puzzle him on his return, and so she took some dirt off her body and of it made earrings(
). These she placed in the ears of Shiva's form, boring holes in them, and thus re-animated the body. When itstood up she demanded fulfilment of Shiva's promise, but his form refused to wed her, so in her wrath she threatenedto burn it. The body, however, replied that her earrings had made him immortal. Subsequently the earrings werechanges into
, as will be told later on. The Shakti then asked whose body it was, and it replied that it wasBhogu-rikh, whereby Jogis mean one who is immortal and has control over his senses. Hence Shiva is also calledBhoga-rikh.Meanwhile Shiva returned, having traced the lotus to its root. Failing to find his own form he made for himself a newbody (12) and in that married Shakti. The descendents of the pair were called Rudargan, those of Bhogu-rikh beingnamed Jogijan. But Shiva's progeny inherited his fierce temper, and eventually exterminated the descendants of Bhogu-rikh, who told Shiva that he, as a
, was free from joy or sorrow and was unconcerned at the quarrelbetween their children. But Shiva replied: 'Thou are free from
, yet dost owe thy existence to it. Do thy work, Iwill not interfere.' So Bhogu-rikh began his task under Shiva's counsel. Initiated by him he became known as UdeNath Parbati (13) and founded the Jogi
or 'door'. (Bashisht's tale would seem to end here.)The following is a table of his spiritual descendants:-After his initiation by Shiva Ude Nath made Rudargan a
and he by his spiritual power, initiated an evil spirt (
)named Jalandhar, bringing him to the right way. He, in turn, made two disciples, Machchendra Nath and Jallandaripa.The latter founded the Pa
; while Machchendra Nath made Gorakh Nath his disciple. And here we must tell thestory of Machchendra Nath's birth.In the Satyug lived a Raja, Udho-dhar, who was exceedingly pious. On his death his body was burnt, but his navel didnot burn, and the unburnt part was cast into a river, where a fish devoured it and gave birth to Macchendra Nath (14) --from
, 'fish'. By means of his good deeds in a previous life he became a saint. Gorakh Nath was born of dung,and when Machhendra Nath found him he made him his disciple, and then left him to continue his wanderings. Atlength Machhendra Nath reached Sangaldip where he became a householder (15), killed the Raja and entered hisbody. He begat two sons, Paras Nath and Nim Nath. Raja Gopi Chand (16) of Ujjain was taught
by his mother,and desiring to become a
sought out Jallandaripa, who taught him a certain maxim (
). Unable tounderstand this, he consulted his minister who falsely told him that its teaching was contrary to the Vedas and truereligion, fearing that if he disclosed its real import, the Raja would abandon his kingdom and retire from the world.Hearing this false interpretation Gopi Chand had Jallandaripa cast into a well, into which he ordered horse-dung to bethrown daily. There he remained, until Gorakh Nath, resolved on his rescue, reached Ujjain. The seat of Jallandaripaat Ujjain was then occupied by Kanipa, the
. Gorakh Nath chose a lonely spot for his bathing-place andthither, according to Jogi usage, food was sent him from the kitchen of the monastery by the hands of a man whowas not himself a Jogi. When this messenger, bearing food for one, reached Gorakh Nath he found two persons:when he took food for two, he found four, and so on. Hearing this Kanipa guessed it must be Gorakh, so he sent him
9/12/2009 Jogishttp://www.shivashakti.com/jogi.htm 3/16

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