Sunday, May 24, 2015


 The story of Raja Rasalu usually comes as the continuation of the story of his older brother Puran Mal also known as Chorangi Nath, by whose blessing he was born. Although Puran Mal has told his step mother that her crime against him was pardoned, he consequently added that it was not entirely forgotten. As result of it, his blessing became at the same time kind of curse for the queen and king, as retribution for the sins they committed against him. Duty this cursed cruel parents were unable to take pleasure in the company of their child since the time he was born till the end of their lives. Fortune tellers have predicted them that forthcoming child will became the reason of death of them both, if they once see his face before he became twelve years old. To avoid this, Rasalu was placed separate from them since the moment he was born for the period of twelve years, but they were still unable to be with him even after the allotted twelve years has passed. In such way both parents went through the great pain, similar they have given to Puran Mal and his mother by separating them.
As his older brother, Raja Rasalū has acquired prominent role in the Natha Sampradaya, and yogis of the Mānnāthī panth considering themselves as being his descendants. Duty his historical connection with the Natha sect and on the base of some legends and historical records, it seems as much possible that Raja Rasalu was the real historical personage, who lived at the same time with Guru Goraksh Nath. Of course his life presented in the legends may vary greatly from the real historical account about him. More detailed historical analysis was omitted here because it was discussed in the previous section in connection with his brother Puran Mal.
The tales of two brothers existed in the form of ballads sung by the wondering minstrels all over area of the Northern part of India. It is obviously that in course of time, in the same way as many other oral folk tales, they went through numerous modifications by narrators. Often the different variations of tales about two brothers borrowing from each other, are telling about the same events as the part of life of one of them. 
For first time legends about Raja Rasalu were published in the systematized form by Flora Annie Steel (1847-1929) in her book Tales of the Panjab. She based her narration on the stories song by the wondering minstrels of Punjab. The story was reproduced later with some omitting by Joseph Jacobs in his Indian Fairy Tales. The both authors found these legends as being suitable fairy-tales for the entertainment of children. That is true, the saga narrating the life story of Rasalu appearing to be much more near to the style of fairy tales, than to typical stories about the Natha Siddhas. Having not much to add to it, here I presented as it appeared in Tales of the Punjab by Flora Annie Steel.


The great Siddha yogi Kanipa was one of most remarkable personalities amongst the Māhasiddhas of the Tantrik traditions of India and Tibet. In different stories he appearing under various names, as Kṛṣṇācārya, Kṛṣṇāpāda, Kānhupāda, Kānphā, Kaṇha-pa, Kāṇha, ācārya Caryāpa, Kaniphanāth, Kānarī-nāth?, Kānupā and more. It is seems as the established historical fact that he was the chief disciple of the Natha Siddha Jalandhar Nath, and live at the same period of time with the Guru Goraksh Nath, whom he have met few times. He appeared as the remarkable and powerful yogi in the Indian Śaiva tradition of the Nātha yogis and in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of the Vajrayana Māhasiddhas. The both traditions agree that he was prominent Siddha yogi and at the same time paṇḍita (highly learned man), and had lot of disciples.
Legends: There exist three principal legends about him considerably different from each other, one which was circulating as oral tradition amongst the Nātha Yogis and in the form of folklore tales, and second was presented in the book Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti amongst the stories of eighty-four Mahasiddhas under number 17. The third variation of his biography was presented by Lama Taranatha in two of his books ‘The Seven Instruction Lineages’ and ‘The Live of Kṛṣṇācārya/Kāṇha’. 
In the natha version of his story he is shown as being very powerful, but arrogant Nātha Yogi, who eventually enters into the conflict with Goraksh Nath and afterwards tries to challenge him few times, but always loosing contest. There exist endless interpretations of this legend, varying in details in bigger or lesser degree, but having the same main line of narration. 
In the second story Kānupā has shown as the Vajrayana Siddha, the disciple of Jalandhari-pa, who initiated him into Hevajra mandala sadhana. After practicing it, he achieving extraordinary yogic powers and becomes intoxicated by them, and likes to demonstrate them everywhere indiscriminately. At the end he punished for his arrogance by some sorcery girl, whose fatal curse causing him to die. There is no any mention of Guru Goraksh Nath in the second tale. Both these stories are different from each other, but have some parallel places in them, and it seems that author of one of them was aware of existence of the other story, but it difficult so say which of them preceded other.


The patpanthi story of the Siddh Caurangī-nāth, who also known as Pūran Bhagat and Pūran Mal, or simply Pūran, since long time was the favorite theme of the folklore songs singed by the wondering minstrels all over India, especially in its Northern states from Punjab to Bengal. The tale of the young prince who was falsely accused by his zealous step-mother, and who was thrown into well after his hands and legs were cut away, was the theme of the numerous ballads and the folk-theater plays, touching the hearts of the people all over India. 

In the legends about him, he is traditionally connected with the Guru Gorakh Nath (guru bhai), Matsyendra Nath (his guru) and another legendary Natha personage Raja Rasalu, who was his younger brother born from the same step mother which unfairly has accused him. There existing so many variations of the legend depicting the life story of the Siddh Chorangi Nath that sometimes it becomes difficult to decide, which of them is more resembles his actual biography. Along with the numerous versions of his life story in Hindi, there exists one more account about his life, which has appeared amongst the stories of the Eighty Four Great Siddhas written from the point of vie of the Buddhist Vajrayana Tradition. The original Sanscrit manuscript of the book known as Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti has been lost, and only Tibetan translation of the text has survived. At the present moment, it is the oldest written account of his life, which is nearly one millennium old. 

He have got his name Chorangi-nath in accordance with the Nath tradition of India, and Chorangipa in accordance with Tibetan tradition of Mahasiddhas because his limds were cut away. Cīrā literally means an incision, a cut or a wound, and aṅg means a limb, therefore Cīrā-aṅgi means ‘whose limbs were cut away.’ Similarly he called Pūran Bhagat, Pūran Mal or simply Pūran becouse he got his body restored to its previous condition. Pūrā means entire, complete or whole, therefore Pūran can be translated as ‘whose body was restored in its previous conditon and become entire as before.’ ?
He became great yogi and realised mahasiddha in both traditions as indian as well as Tibetan. Although Tibetan version of legend about him found in CSP says that he had no disciples, Nātha sect presently has one pant presumably founded by him that is Pagal panthi