Friday, April 24, 2015


Srisailam is located in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This whole area is full of forests of Kadali, Bilva trees, mountain ranges and Patalaganga (Krishnaveni river). All of them echo from these joyous voices of devotees.

Puranic History of Srisailam Temple

When Kumar Kartikeya returned to Kailash after completing his trip around the earth, he heard about Ganesha’s marriage from Narada. This angered him. In spite of being restrained by his parents, he touched their feet in obeisance and left for Krounch Mountain. Parvati was very distraught at having to be away from her son, implored Lord Shiva to look for their son. Together, they went to Kumara. But, Kumara went away a further three Yojanas, after learning about his parents coming after him to Krouncha Mountain. Before embarking on a further search for their son on each mountain, they decided to leave a light on every mountain they visited. From that day, that place came to be known as JyotirLinga Mallikarjuna. It is believed that Shiva and Parvati visit this palce on Amavasya (No moon day) and (full Moon day) Pournami, respectively. Visiting this JyotirLinag not only blesses one with innumerable wealth, but also name and fame and fulfils all the desires.
Once, a princess named Chandravati decided to go to the Jungles to do penance and meditation. She chose Kadali Vana for this purpose. One day, she witnessed a miracle. A Kapila cow was standing under a Bilwa tree and milk was flowing from all of its four udders, sinking into the ground. The cow kept doing this as a routine chore everyday. Chandravati dug up that area and was dumb founded at what she saw. There was a self-raising Swyambhu SivaLinga. It was bright and shining like the sun rays, and looked like it was burning, throwing flames in all directions. Chandravati prayed to Siva in this JyotirLinga. She built a huge Shiva Temple there. Lord Shankara was very pleased with her. Chandravati went to Kailash wind borne. She received salvation and Mukti. On one of the stone-inscriptions of the temple, Chandravati’s story can be seen carved out.



Thursday, April 23, 2015


   In Virasaivism, Siva or Brahman or God is called 'Sthala'. He is 'Sthala' because he, like the sky or space (sthala - space) is limitless or infinite. Also the word 'sthala' can, etymologically, mean that from which the world emerges and evolves, in which it is stationed and into which it gets dissolved (stha = being stationed; la = getting dissolved). According to the doctrine 'Sat-sthala- siddhanta,' Siva divides himself into two aspects, Linga and Anga, the former being himself and the latter, the jiva. Both these, again, divide themselves into three further aspects;— (a) Linga into ista-linga, prana-linga and bhava-linga;  (b) Anga into tyaga-anga, bhoga-anga and yoga-anga.  When the jiva renounces his attachment to worldly objects, he is called 'tyaga-anga' and the linga given to him by his guru at the time of diksha or initiation is the 'ista-linga' which is the means of his upasana or worship. When due to the upasana of the ista-linga he is purified, then he enjoys the things of the world as the grace of Siva, becomes 'bhoga-anga' and experiences the 'prana-linga' (Siva's presence in his heart). When he progresses further, to very high states of consciousness in the sahasrara-cakra, he is called 'yoga-anga' and enjoys highest bliss by his identity with Siva, now called 'bhava-linga'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The Name “Nāth” The use of the name “Nāth” (Skt. nātha) to denote an order of human ascetics is relatively recent, dating to approximately the 18th century . Before this time the members of the various ascetic lineages that were to become the Nāth Sampradāya were known as yogīs (as they still are in the name of the modern “Nāth” organization, the above-mentioned Yogi Mahasabha). Householder “Nāths” were also known thus, and it was not until the 20th century that they began to refer to themselves as Nāths, in a bid to elevate their status and escape the pejorative connotations of the name yogī/jogī, which had come to be associated with low-status castes and mendicant orders . This has happened only in Rajasthan; elsewhere householder “Nāths” are still for the most part known as yogīs or jogīs.

The names of some of the early Nāth gurus did sometimes bear the suffix -nātha, but other suff ixes are also found, including -pāda, -pā, -deva, and -āī; very often the early gurus’ names are found without any suffix at all. Meanwhile many humans and gods with no connection with the Nāth Sampradāya have names that bear the suffix -nātha, for example, the Jaina saints Ādinātha, Pārśvanātha, and so on; the 16th-century guru of the → Vallabha Sampradāya, Vitthalnāth; → Krsna as Gopīnāth, the lord of the shepherd girls; and → Visnu as Jagannāth at Puri (see → Orissa). In a modern gazetteer, a group of five Vaisnava → tīrthas spread across India is known as the Pañc Nāth (Tīrthānk, 561). From at least the 10th century (see below), we find groupings of semidivine Nāths, but they are not associated with a human “Nāth” Sampradāya. Prior to the 18th century, when the word nātha/nāth is found on its own, whether in Sanskrit or a regional language, it simply means “Lord” and is usually used to address a god or an important person.

 Many commentators and scholars have seized upon instances of the word or suffix -nātha as indicative of the existence of a Nāth Sampradāya, but until the 18th century, the word was not used as such. T he hybrid Hindi/Sanskrit term “Nāth siddha,” which is commonly used in secondary literature to denote members of the ascetic Nāth Sampradāya throughout the ages, is not found in premodern literature. It might be supposed that the forerunners of the Nāths were denoted by the name “yogī,” but this term is also ambiguous as it has been used, at least until the modern period, to denote yogapracticing ascetics belonging to a wide range of orders, in particular those of the Daśanāmī samnyāsīs and Rāmānandīs.

 In the absence of nomenclature as a definitive criterion for identifying “Nāths” and in the light of there being no evidence of an organized pan-Indian order of Nāths prior to the beginning of the 17th century, in order to analyze the history of the Nāth Sampradāya during its formative period, the history of the various elements that constitute Nāth identity today will now be examined in turn. At the risk of historical inaccuracy, for the sake of convenience, the forerunners of the members of what is now known as the Nāth Sampradāya are herein usually referred to as “Nāths.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Bharthari' vairag panth of Nath Samprday

In Indian history and folklore, 'Raja Bharthari', also known as "Sant" Bharthari, in many parts of India is the hero of many folk stories in North India. He was the ruler of Ujjain in the 1st century BC, before renouncing the world and abdicating in the favor of his younger brother Vikramaditya and became a follower of Guru Gorakhnath and along with his nephew Gopi Chand went to the Guru's hill abode in northern Punjab. He is sometimes identified with Bhartṛhari a 7th-century poet.
Stories of Bharthari and his nephew King Gopi Chand of Bengal (Hindi: गोपीचन्द), who are considered Nath panth yogis, abound in the Indian folklore of Punjab, Haryana, BiharUttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and West Bengal. Much of the details about the lives of Bharthari and his brother Vikramaditya are from the tales of Baital Pachisi (Twenty five tales of Baital), translated as 'Vikram and The Vampire' by Sir Richard Francis Burton in 1870.

When Bhartrhari was king of 'Ujjayani' (modern day Ujjain) in his state there lived a Brahman who after years of austerities was given, the fruit of immortality, from the celestial tree of Kalpavriksha. The Brahman presented the same to his monarch, Raja Bhartrhari, who in turn, passed it on to his love, the beautiful, Pinglah Rani or Ananga Sena( as per Maha Kavi Kalidas), Raja Bhartrhari's last and youngest wife. The queen, being in love with the Head police officer of the state, Mahipaala, presented the fruit to him, who further passed it on to his beloved, Lakha, one of the maids of honour Eventually, Lakha being in love with the king presented the fruit back to the king. Having completed the circle, the fruit revealed the downsides of infidelity to the king, he summoned the queen and ordered her beheading, and ate the fruit himself. After that he abdicated the throne, to his younger brother Vikramaditya, and became a religious mendicant.He later became a disciple of 'Pattinathar' (Swetharanyar or pattinathu chettiyar is poorvashram name of this saint from poompuhar,Tamil Nadu) who first indulged in argument about samsari and sanyasi with king Bhartrhari later during the conversation pattinathar said that all women's have 'dual mind' it might be true case even with parameswari. King conveyed this news to rani pingalah and she ordered pattinathar to get punished and to sit in 'kalu maram' ( Tree, whose top portion would be sharpened like a pencil and whole tree is fully painted with oil,person who are allowed to sit in the top will split into 2 pieces), They tried pattinathar but kalu maram started burning and nothing happened to pattinathar, the king came to know this news and went directly to pattinathar and asked him to get ready to die the next day, but pattinathar repllied i'm ready even now to die, The next day king came with tears in his eyes and released saint from jail because he actually noticed queen pingalah having sex with horsemen that night, He threw away his empire,wealth, even full coat dress and dressed simple kovanam (cloth that covers only the organ), The king became disciple of pattinathar and got mukthi(salvation) in Kalahasthi temple.

Monday, April 20, 2015



The Nāth Sampradāya today comprises an order of renunciate ascetics and a householder caste, both of which trace their lineages to a group of nine Nāth gurus headed by Ādinātha (“First Nāth”), who is identified with the god → Śiva. Next in most lists of nine Nāths comes Matsyendranātha, followed by Goraksanātha (Gorakhnāth), who is said to have founded the Nāth order of ascetics. The earliest references to the Nāth ascetic order as an organized entity date to the beginning of the 17th century, but its first historical gurus, Matsyendranātha and Goraksanātha, lived much earlier, probably in the 9th and 12th centuries, respectively, and during the intermediate period there are numerous references to both ascetic and householder Nāths in texts, inscriptions, iconography, and historical reports.

In this article, thefeatures that characterize the Nāth Sampradāya today will be summarized (for a more detailed ethnography of today’s Nāths, see Bouillier, 2008; see also → Kānphatās), followed by an examination of their historicity: Nāths today claim that their characteristics were introduced by Goraksa when he founded the Sampradāya, but many are of more recent origin. Aspects of Nāth identity that are shared with other groups, such as the Nāth ascetics’ observance of typical Hindu renouncers’ vows (see → sādhus), will not be examined in detail.

 Today the ascetic branch of the Nāth Sampradāya is quite distinct from that of the householders. Membership of the former is open to all and effected by initiation from an ascetic Nāth guru. Householder Nāths greatly outnumber asceticsand consist of a broad variety of mainly endogamous castes. They see themselves as descendants of Nāth ascetics who broke their vows of celibacy and settled down as householders. Householder Nāths are found throughout India and Nepal, with certain regions, such as Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Nepal, having higher concentrations than others. The various householder Nāth castes include a wide range of social groups, from lowstatus Muslim bards in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to relatively high-status Sanskritized jogīs (Hind. yogī) and Nāths in → Rajasthan and → Karnataka, respectively.

 The ascetic Nāth order is overseen by an organization called the Akhil Bharatvarshiya Avadhoot Bhesh Barah Panth Yogi Mahasabha (“The All-Indian Great Assembly of the Renunciate Yogis of the Twelve Lineages”), which was founded in 1906 and whose headquarters are in Haridwar. There are approximately eight to ten thousand Nāth ascetics in India today (Bouillier, 2008, 15). Their monasteries, which number about f ive hundred, are found mostly in northern and western India. There are also a handful of monasteries in each of the following regions of the subcontinent: Bihar, Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Nepal, and Pakistan.


अग्रत: चतुरो वेदा: पृष्‍ठत: सशरं धनु: ।
इदं ब्राह्मं इदं क्षात्रं शापादपि शरादपि ।।
Meaning: Parshuram who is well-versed with the four Vedas and sports the bow and arrow upon His back (that is the one who has the radiance of both theBrahman and the Kshatriya) will destroy evildoers either with a curse or with an arrow.
        When fighting, mere use of weapons is insufficient for a seeker. He should have the potential to curse in conjunction with the former. Shri Parshuram single-handedly eliminated the warriors from the earth, circumambulating it twenty-one times. What exactly does this mean? He destroyed the evil Kshatriyas. If He were to destroy all the Kshatriyas on the earth thoroughly even once then not a single Kshatriya would have survived for the second round! However He slew only the evil Kshatriyas. Let us all attempt to destroy the evildoers atleast once.
Bhagwan Parshuram, the sixth Incarnation of Vishnu, belongs to the Tretayug, and is the son of Jamadagni and Renuka. Parshu means axe, hence His name literally means Ram-with-the-axe. He received an axe after undertaking a terrible penance to please Shiva, from whom He learned the methods of warfare and other skills. Even though He was born as a Brahmin, He had Kshatriya (warrior) traits in terms of aggression, warfare and valour. Hence He is said to be a ‘Brahma-Kshatriya’ and one who possesses Brahmatej and Kshatratej.
        He killed the entire army and King Kartavirya Sahasrarjuna, who took away the magical cow (Kamadhenu) forcibly, that belonged to His father Jamadagni. In revenge the King’s sons killed Jamadagni in Parshuram’s absence. Furious at their unrighteous act, He killed all sons of the King and also went on killing all corrupt Haihaya Kings and warriors on the earth 21 times.
        He then conducted the Ashvamedha sacrifice, done only by sovereign Kings and gave the entire land He owned to priests who performed the sacrifice(Yadnya).
        He is a Chiranjeevi (Immortal) who fought the advancing ocean back, thus saving the lands of Konkan and Malabar (Maharashtra – Karnataka – Kerala coastline). The coastal area of Kerala state along with the Konkan region, i.e., coastal Maharashtra and Karnataka, is known as ParshuramKshetra (area)


The cult of Pashupati or the Pashupata cult seems to be an ancient one. The use of words 'pati,' 'pasha,' and 'prasada' in the Shvetasvatara Upanishad (1.11; 6.9; 3.20), worship of Siva as linga, the practice of tying the Sivalinga on the arm as per the stone edict of the king Pravarasena (A. D. 428), Sivalingas discovered in Cambodia (now Kampuchia) and assigned to the period A. D. 550 — all these confirm this belief.  The Pashupata cult is based mainly on the Saivagamas, certain puranas and a few minor Upanisads of the post-Vedic period. Some of the agamas are: Kamika, Ajita, Amshuman, Suprabheda, Svayambhuva, Raurava, Mrgendra, Pauskara and Vatula. The puranas are: Vayu,Karma and Shiva. As for their authoritative nature, they have been considered equal to the Vedas, the Vedangas, the Mahabharata and the Dharma-shastras.
The period of the agamas ranges from the first century to the fourteenth. They are prevalent mostly in South India, that too in Tamil Nadu. Whether they — some of them at least — were originally composed in Tamil and later rendered into Sanskrit, or were directly written in Sanskrit itself, opinion seems to be divided.

                                             Chief Tenets

 The topics dealt with in the Pashupata literature are technically called Pancarthas, the five basic subjects. They are: karana, karya, yoga, vidhi and duhkhanta.   KARANA   Karana, the primeval cause, is Shiva, called 'Pati' (Lord) here. Some of his other names are: Rudra, Sankara, Kala, Balavikarana, Aghora, Sarva, Sharva, Tatpurusa, Isana, Isvara and Brahma. He is anadi (without beginning or origin), avyaya (indestructible) and the cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the world. He is transcendent as well as immanent. He is compassion unlimited. Pranava or Om is his best symbol.

  Unlike the Vedantic systems, Siva or lsvara is only the nimitta-karana (efficient cause) of creation and not the upadana- karana (material cause). Though the jivas (individual Selfs) and the world have a separate existence, they are completely under his control. It is due to him that the world and the jivas undergo changes. However, being a prasadi (one who bestows grace), he is ever compassionate to the jivas. That is why they can get liberation by meditating on him.  It may not be out of place to mention here that the Pashupata system is very much akin to the Dvaita Vedanta system of Madhva (A. D. 1197-1276). The only difference is that Shiva has replaced Vishnu, in this case.  KARYA  Karya is the second of the five basics mentioned above.

Karya is defined here not as an effect, but as that which is asvatantra or dependent, karana being that which is svatantra or independent. In this sense, lsvara or Shiva alone is the karana, the jagat (world) and the jivas being karyas since they are dependent upon him.  Though lsvara is the karana, the jivas, being  prodded by him, can also be the karanas in the further process of creation. So also prakrti or pradhana which is responsible for further evolution of the world. Hence these two have been called 'karya-karna'.

One thing has to be noted here. lsvara as the original karana never gets affected by the evolution of the world whereas prakrti which is a 'karya-karana' does. Two examples can make this concept clear. Lotus blooms when the sunlight falls on it. Iron filings move in the vicinity of a magnet. In these cases, neither the sun nor the magnet is affected though the lotus and the iron filings are. So also, Isvara remains unaffected by the evolution of the world through the prakrti (and the jivas).

Among the karyas, the jivatman (individual Self) is the most important. He has been called 'pashu' since he is subject to 'pasha' (bondage) and sees ('pashyati') himself as the body-mind complex forgetting that he is the spirit, whereas Shiva has been declared as 'Pashupati' (Lord of pashus).  The pashu or the jiva is eternal, all-pervading and possesses the powers to see (drk-shakti) and to act (kriya-shakti).  The pashus, depending on their spiritual evolution, are classified into two groups: sañjana (those attached to the body, the senses and the mind) and nirañjana (the liberated ones).  The pashas or bonds that bind the pashu are called malas or impurities.  They are three: anava-mala, mayiya-mala and karma-mala.  The impurity that makes the pashu (or jiva) identify with the limited body though he is really infinite, is anava-mala.

  The bondage that has been brought about by maya (the power of lsvara) is mayiya-mala. Limitations that arise due to past karmas are karma-mala. With the help of yoga, the pashu is able to cleanse himself of all these malas and attain the dukhanta state (destruction or cessation of all sorrow and suffering).

Swami Harshananda.

Sunday, April 19, 2015



Ātman:- the innermost Self

We as individuals are also a part of this changing universe. Our bodies are constantly undergoing change, while our minds, formed of thoughts and feelings, are also in a state of flux. According to Vedānta, however, our self consists of more than mind and body. At its core lies the unchanging ātman, our innermost, transcendental Self, as opposed to the material self (our body, thoughts, and feelings) that is part of the universe. The ātman is our True Self. But we lose sight of it because of our passionate involvement with our material self and its search for happiness in this universe. The universe can never provide perfect and permanent happiness, however, because it, like our material self, is in a state of constant flux. We attain true happiness only through an awareness of our ātman and the discovery of its true relationship with Brahman.
By achieving awareness of ātman and its unity with Brahman, we attain not only happiness, but also moksha, or liberation. But liberation from what? At one level, the liberation is from unhappiness, but the answer provided by Vedānta Hinduism goes deeper: Moksha is liberation from a chain of lives called samsāra.


The term swastika emanates from the Sanskrit word swasti = su (good) asti (being). As a symbol, swastika is a line-design invented by the vedic sages. Its specific geometry is believed to have some relation with certain natural energy fields. It is drawn as a cross with equal arms when all the arms are continued as far again at right angles clockwise. The sublime effects, in terms of the cosmic energy currents superimposed in the unique pattern of swastika, correspond to what the swastika symbolizes -- auspiciousness ,well-being. 

The clockwise (dakshinavarta) direction is of significant importance, as it also happens to be the direction of movement (as we see it on the earth) of the sun, which rises in the east and sets in the west. The four sides of the swastika thus represent the four principal directions. The symbol of swastika is being used as a holy sign in India since the time of yore. Scriptural descriptions define it as a divine symbol that encompasses (in coded form) several important meanings and mysterious formulae or signs representing specific energy cycles in the universe. 

The "Halayudh Kosha" regards it as prominent among the twenty-four symbols of significance in the Indian Culture and states -- Chaturvinshanti Chinhantargata Chinha Vishesha. The same scripture also refers to it as chatushpatha - four paths emerging symmetrically in four directions from a common origin. The seed-syllable (sounding like "gam" in the Vedic script) of the Ganapati Mantra resembles the swastika. This seed syllable together with the four segments (chatushtaya) of the mantra seems to be encapsulated in the swastika symbol. In some scriptures, four divine powers governing the physical system of Nature are said to be subtly present around its four sides: Vradhdashrava Indra in the east, Brahaspati Indra in the south, Pusha-Vishwaveda Indra in the west and Arishtanemi Indra in the north. Scholars of vedic literature also interpret the swastika symbol as the coded design of the electromagnetic / magnetic energy fields around the solar systems nucleus. Valmikiya Ramayana cites the appearance of swastika symbol as that of the bluish line-design seen on the crest of the cobra - king of snakes.