BRIEF ABOUT HATH YOGA AND KANPATA YOGIS (naths)
Hatha is a combination of two bija mantras i.e. ha and tha. It has been explained in the Hatha yoga that 'ha' represents prana, the vital force and 'tha' represents mind, mental energy. Therefore Hatha yoga is the union of the pranic and mental forces. When there is a union of pranic and mental forces, the awakening of higher consciousness takes place. like other spiritual practices it emphasises on the purity of mind and soul, lastly Mksha via KUNDALINi JAGRAN. Also its noteworthy that very often we see significant relation of hath yoga with tantraism, kapalikas, vam kriya etc.
There are references of Hatha Yoga practices in Upanishads and Puranas as well although these are feable references. It seems that the systematic study and practice of Hatha Yoga began to emerge in India sometime during the phase of Satguru Gorakh Nath ji, the most poweful authority in nath samprday.
But according to Nath samprday literature Nath gurus are headed by "Adinath" who is lord Shiva himself. In the later stage Matsyendernath has contributed a lot in the development of Nath sect and further Guru gorakh Nath ji regarded as greatest of all nath yogis. He is undoubledly the founder of Kanpata yogis (pierced ear) of nath hath yoga. His history has already been given in our previous articles.
There are a number of reliable texts on Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga Pradeepika by Swatmarama is the primary source considered in this regard. Apart from it, Gheranda Samhita by Sage Gheranda, Goraksha Samhita by Yogi Gorakhnath, Shiva Samhita, Hatha Ratnavali by Srinivasabhatta Mahayogindra are considered authentic resources of Hatha Yoga.
Kiss, C., Matsyendranātha’s Compendium (Matsyendrasaṃhitā): A Critical Edition and Annotated Translation of Matsyendrasaṃhitā 1–13 and 55 with Analysis, Oxford University, 2009
Locke, J.K., Karunamaya: The Cult of AvalokitesvaraMatsyendranath in the Valley of Nepal, Kathmandu, 1980.