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NATHA YOGA TRADITION

9 Jan 2021 HYN Himalayan Yoga Academy

Nath Yoga Tradition

MEANING:

Natha is a Sanskrit term that can be translated to mean “lord,” “master” or “protector.” It is most often used to refer to the nathas (saints/gurus) of the Nath tradition. The Nath tradition is a heterodox siddha (adept) tradition that was established by Shiva and followed by  Matsyendra and further developed by his disciple, Goraksha. He introduced Natha Yoga or Hatha Yoga in Public forum.

The Nath tradition has many sub-sects, but they all accept Aadinath Shiva, Matsyendra and Goraksha as their founders. The Natha Sampradaya, or the “Tradition of the Natha Gurus,” is based on a lineage of spiritual masters who are worshiped both collectively and individually.

NATHA YOGA AND NATHA YOGI:

The Sampradaya of Mahayogi Gorakshanath is an ancient authentic Yogic Tradition. It was Guru Gorakshanath who has founded this Tradition. He is regarded by Aadinaatha Shiva. Mahayogi Gorakshanath has established and developed yoga which is being practiced nowadays all over the world. Many scientists determine the period of formation of the Tradition from 5th to 12th century A.D,; but as a rule all dates are quite contradictory. Gorakshanath and other great Yogis are honoured by Nathas as spiritual Masters with realized kaya-siddhi and attained immortality.

Gorakshanath has written about fifty texts on philosophy, metaphysical aspects of Yoga and various methods of Yoga-sadhana. He has founded the order of Kanphataa Yogis. The Kanphataa yogis’ distinctive attribute is big earrings in the ears, symbolizing solar and lunar energy. Natha Yogis have another characteristic feature which is Nadi (ritual whistle), that yogis carry on a black woolen cord (Janeu). This symbol is related to Nada-anusandhana practice, which is intended for working with sound vibration. The Janeu cord is associated with Ida and Pingala channels. Some treatises on Yoga and Tantra which are traditionally attributed to Mahayogi Gorakhshanath.

MEANING OF TIME IN NATHA TRADITION

Time, in Nathas worldview, is the essence of Shakti, the dynamic aspect of Shiva. Tantra names given aspect of Shakti Kali, while whereas in Nath tradition the highest manifestation of the Goddess is Yogamaya Balasundari. Special yantra is used for her worshiping. Yantra is divided into four parts, symbolizing the four yugas – time segments of the universe. In the middle is Balasundari herself in yamala (union with Shiva). Balasundari is Nija-shakti of Shiva, Kundalini.

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 Natha tradition.

Nathas consider the time as Shakti, within which the practitioner constantly resides in his pursuit of Kundalini awakening, and therefore time for Nathas is not just a certain material element, but also has deep spiritual meaning. Shakti embodies the creative dynamic reality of Shiva that reflects the essence of time – continuous change and transformation, while Shiva is a static reality that is related to space. Here space implies not only the physical, but also its transcendent aspect.

nath yoga tradition

NINE NAATHS: NAVNATH SAMPRADAYA

      The Navnath (Sanskrit: नवनाथ), also spelt as Navanatha and Nau Nath, are the nine saints, Masters or Naths on whom the Navnath Sampradaya, the lineage of the nine gurus is based. They are worshipped collectively as well as individually. The nine gurus, collectively known as Navnaths, are considered representative of great teachers in this tradition or parampara:

Machindranath or Matsyendranath
Gorakshanath or Gorakhnath
Jalandharnath
Kanifnath
Gahininath
Bhartrinath
Revananath
Charpatinath
Naganath

NATH YOGA SAMPRADAYA -BOOKS

Gorkhnaht satakam book-Yoga-Mimansa
Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Sanskrit and English
The Splendours And Dimensions Of Yoga -Hatha yoga –book
The philosophy of Jñānadeva: as gleaned from the Amṛtānubhava-book
The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom-Natha sidha and Hatha yoga –book
Kundalini: the mother-power-Matsyendranath-book
Sonic theology: Hinduism and sacred sound-Gorakh nath- book
Yantra-Mantra Tantra and Occult Sciences–sabar mantra Gorksh nath- book
Sharing Jesus holistically with the Buddhist world-Matsyendranath and Gorakh nath-book
Yoga: Immortality and Freedom-Matsyendranath and Gorakh nath-book
Discovery of Spiritual India-Matsyendranath and Gorakh nath-book
Maha sidha Matsyendranath -Tāntric art of Orissa –book
Maṇimahesh Chambā Kailāsh-Gorkshnath – book
The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Yoga: Hatha Yoga
Gorakhnāth and the Kānphaṭa yogīs-book
Philosophy of Gorakhnath with Goraksha-Vacana-Sangraha-book
The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India-Nath Sidha
Kundalini: the mother-power-Matsyendranath-book

Conclusion:

The Nath Sampradaya is an ancient tradition where the devotees are the spiritual custodians of Hatha Yoga and Tantra. Nathas consider Shiva (Adinath) as their first Guru and Matsyendra as the forefather of the Nath Tradition and therefore Yoga. The original goal of Natha yoga was spiritual liberation or self-realization during the yogi’s lifetime. In the Natha tradition, the yogi’s own actions and thinking determined their path, rather than a divine being. Natha yoga practice includes the physical practice along with spiritual and intellectual advancement goals.

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