Navnath – nine supreme siddhas of Nath sect


Nath sect has great importance in the Hindu religion. It is believed that this sect started in the Bhairava form of Lord Shankar himself and before him, Lord Dattatreya was the incarnation of Guru Sri Hari. For this reason, in the Nath sect, Mahadev or Bhairav is called “Adinath” and Dattatreya is called “Adiguru”. It is believed that all nine Siddhas were born from the semen of Supreme Father Brahma. Let us know about those nine most accomplished gurus the Navnath.


What is Nath sect ?

Despite being related to the Hindu religion, it is a sect whose followers and disciples are people of almost all religions. Although there is a description of a total of 84 Gurus in the Nath sect, in this the nine supreme Gurus, who are called Navnath, have great importance. According to many beliefs, there are descriptions of nine different Gurus, but the Navnaths mentioned by Swami Narasimha Nath are the most recognized. Let us know those nine most accomplished gurus.


His other name is also Matsyanath. Considered as the founder of the Nath tradition. He was the guru of Gorakhnath and it was he who founded the Hathayoga school. He is also the author of the first book of Hatha Yoga, Kaulajnananirnaya. They have equal importance in Buddhism also. He is also mentioned in the 64 Mahasiddhas of Buddhism. He is also called “Vishwayogi” in Nath sect. The most famous story about him is about the war between him and Mahabali Hanuman. In short, the story is that once Machhindranath was doing penance at Ram Setu.

At the same time, Hanumanji thought of testing him. He started hitting the seven nearby mountains with his mace, due to which Machhindranath’s penance was broken. On this, a war broke out between the two. Hanumanji uprooted all those 7 mountains and threw them on Matsyanath but he crushed all those mountains with his mantra power. Then Machhindranath stunned Hanuman ji with his mantra. Seeing this, Mahabali Hanuman became very happy and gave his blessings to Machhindranath.


The most famous Guru of the Nath sect whom we know as Gorakhnath. Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh is named after him where he established the present Gorakshpeeth Math. The Gorkha community of Nepal is also named after him. A district of Nepal named Gorkha is also named after him where his statue is installed in an ancient cave. The description of Gorakhnath also appears in Tretayuga and Dwaparayuga. While in Tretayuga he attended the coronation ceremony of Shri Ram, in Dwaparayuga he also attended the marriage ceremony of Shri Krishna and Mother Rukmini. His story also comes in Kaliyuga when the great hero Bappa Rawal visited him and received a divine sword from him as a boon. With the same sword, he defeated the Mughals.

Bhaironath was his disciple who was saved by Mata Vaishnodevi. There is a story about the birth of Gorakhnath once Machhindranath came to a house at a place called Chandragiri to beg for alms. The woman named Saraswati who gave him alms was childless. He gave him Vibhuti and said eat it, you will get a son. But out of fear, the woman placed that Vibhuti on a heap of dung. When Matsyanath reached there after 12 years, he came to know that the woman had kept his vibhuti on a heap of dung. When he reached the dung heap and lit the fire, 12-year-old Guru Gorakhnath appeared from the same heap. Matsyanath named him Gorakshanath because he remained safe in cow dung.



He was the disciple of Gorakhnath. There is an amazing story of his birth. Once Machhendranath and Gorakhnath reached Kanak village while traveling. There Matsyanath told Gorakhnath I am going to take alms, you practice Mritasanjeevani Vidya in solitude. When Gorakhnath was meditating, some children came there playing. He asked Gorakhnath to make an effigy from wet clay. Following his request, Gorakhnath ji started making an effigy of a child as soon as he recited the Sanjivani Mantra, which came alive due to the effect of that mantra.

When Matsyanath returned, he fed milk to the child from his kamandalu. After some time, both of them started leaving from there with the child. Then a Brahmin living in the same village named Madhumay came to him with his wife Ganga. Both of them were childless, which is why they requested Gorakhnath to adopt that child. With the support of his guru Matsyanath, Gorakhnath gave the child to Madhumaya who became his adoptive father. He named the child Gahininath who would later become a great saint.


He was a resident of Punjab and today’s Jalandhar city is known by his name. In many places, he is said to be Gurubhai of Guru Matsyanath. He has been described as a disciple of Lord Dattatreya. Among his disciples, Shri Krishnapada, who later joined the Navnaths, was prominent. He, along with his disciple Krishnapada, founded the Kapalik sect. He has great importance in Tibet and according to the beliefs there, he was the guru of Matsyanath who was born in a Brahmin family of Nagarbhog country.

An entire chapter of Hatha Yoga is named after him which is called “Jalandhar Bandha”. Acharya Ramchandra Shukla had said that Jalandhar Nath is the first Nath and the last Siddha. The story that comes about his birth is that in Hastinapur, a king named Brihadrava was performing a yagya named Som. In the form of Samidha of the same Yagya, Antariksha Narayan entered that Yagya due to which Jalandharnath was born from that Yankund.


His other name was Krishnapada and he was the disciple of Jalandharnath. In Maharashtra, she is also called Kanhoba. In Charyapada he is known as Kanhapa. He created his unique yoga by mixing Hevraj and Shaiva yoga practices, which were followed by his disciples. He was born into the family of Karnataka native Brahmin and because of his black body color, he got the name Krishnapad. One of his disciples was Mekhala who is highly respected in the Vajrayana sect. Apart from him, Kankhal, Achiti, and Bhadali were his famous disciples.

He is considered one of the nine incarnations of the enlightened Narayana, called “Navnarayana”. Along with his guru Jalandhar Nath, he founded the Kapalik sect. However, later he turned to Shaiva Yoga. According to Bhagwat Purana, he was the son of Swami Rishabh Dev. He is also considered the son of Lord Brahma. Once Lord Brahma was attracted to Mother Saraswati, his effulgence fell into the ears of an elephant on earth. A child was born from him and because he was born from the ear, he was named Kanifanath.


He is also called Bharthari Nath. Bhrithhari was the elder brother of King Vikramaditya and the king of Ujjain. He loved his wife Pingla very much. He also took retirement because of his wife. Once Guru Gorakhnath gave him a fruit which would keep him young forever. He gave that fruit to his queen Pingla. Pingla was in love with another young man, so he gave that fruit to him. That young man was in love with a prostitute, so he gave the fruit to that prostitute. The prostitute wondered what she would do with this fruit. Thinking this, he gave that fruit to King Bhrithhari for his long life. When the king saw that fruit, he came to know the reality of Pingla.

Due to that sorrow, he retired. Another story is opposite to this. According to that story, Pingala loved her husband very much. Once Bhrithari asked Pingala what she would do if he died. On this Pingla said that she would die as soon as she heard this news. Hearing this, Bhrithari sent false news of his death to the queen to test her. On hearing this the queen sacrificed her life. Now Bhrithari became extremely angry and started wailing. Then Gorakhnath reached his kingdom while travelling. King Bhrithhari requested him to spare his wife’s life. Gorakhnath did the same. On this, Bhrithari decided to take retirement and handed over the kingdom to his younger brother Vikramaditya and went with Guru Goraknath.


Siddha Revannath is also considered to be the son of Brahmaji. According to a legend, a childless man lovingly created a statue of a child out of sand on the banks of the Rewa River and went back. Kanifnath was born due to which some part of the same glory of Brahma fell on the statue lying on the banks of river Rewa due to which it came to life and started crying. The next day when the same person came to the river bank, he saw the statue he had made alive and took it to his home and named it Revannath because it was born on the banks of the Rewa river.

When Revanath grew up, Dattatreya ji appeared to him and gave him a boon that whatever he wished would be fulfilled. Now he started fulfilling everyone’s wishes and people started calling him Revansiddhi. This gave him a little pride. One day Machhendranath came to that city and hearing about the fame of Revannath, went to meet him. He was very surprised to see his accomplishment there but understood that he was surrounded by pride. He prayed to Dev Dattatreya to free Ravanath from him. Hearing his prayer, Dattatreya came to Revanath and removed the pride and ignorance hidden in his mind.


According to a legend, the glory of Brahmaji was swallowed by a serpent who was hiding in the hollow of a tree, hiding from the Nagayagya of Janmejaya. When the time came, the serpent delivered the egg and from it, a child was born who became famous by the name of Nagnath. Due to his mother taking shelter in the banyan tree, he also got the name Vatnath. When he grew up, Dattatreya ji also appeared to him and blessed him that whatever food he wanted would appear in front of him. After receiving that boon, Nagnath started feeding food to all the monks every day. Seeing this, Dattatreya was very happy.

Later, Dattatreya took him to Kashi and got the blessings of Lord Shankar, and to Badrinath, he got the blessings of Shri Hari. After this, Nagnath became knowledgeable of all the 64 sciences. Once Machhendranath came to meet him but Nagnath’s disciples did not allow him to go inside. On this, Machhendranath tied them all with a snake’s noose. Seeing this, Nagnath started fighting with Machhendranath. Seeing the war becoming dreadful, Dattatreya came there and told Nagnath that Matsyanath was his elder Guru brother. After knowing the truth, Nagnath felt very remorseful and asked for forgiveness from Machhendranath.


The last among the Navnaths is Charpatinath who was the disciple of Guru Gorakhnath. According to a story, when Lord Shankar cursed Brahmadev for seeing Mother Parvati, he crushed her radiance with his feet. From half of it 88000 divine sages were born and the other half fell into the river Homa. But some part of his glory got stuck in the grass growing on the river bank and after 9 months a child was born from it. He was named Charpatinath because he was trapped in grass or reeds. With the inspiration of Devarshi Narad, a person named Satyashrava adopted him.

Devarshi Narad later told Dattatreya that 8 Siddhas had been included in the group of nine Naths that you had dreamed of forming. Now include Charpatinath in that group as the ninth and last Siddha. On this Dattatreya said that without repentance no one can become perfect, hence they will have to wait till Charpatinath becomes perfect. Hearing this, Devarshi Narad changed his form and went to Charpatinath, and under his guidance, Charpatinath repented and after attaining 64 knowledge, took the position of the ninth Siddha.

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