Nath Sampradaya

Nav Naths

 

Nath Sampradaya is a sect of Shaivite Hinduism spread across India and Nepal.

It is one of the oldest traditions of Shiva worship.

Nath means “Lord” or “Master” and Sampradaya means “Tradition”.

Nath Sampradaya is connected to the Siddha tradition.

There are 12 traditional sub-sects of the Nath Sampradaya.

Characteristics

  • Quest for the innermost divine self
  • Idol worship
  • Kundalini yoga
  • Hatha yoga
  • Vairagya towards worldly affairs
  • Advaita Vedanta philosophy
  • Strong Guru - Shishya parampara
  • Shiva is the Adi Guru
  • Based on scriptures
  • Sadhana
  • Tapas

Two schools

The Nath Sampradaya can be divided into two schools: Nandinath Sampradaya and Adinath Sampradaya,

Nandinath Sampradaya is famous for Maharshi Nandinath and is also called Kailasa Parampara.

Nandinath Sampradaya is present in South India and Sri Lanka.

Reference to Nandinath can be found in the Tamil text Tirumantiram.

Mahayogi Gorakhnath belonged to Adinath Sampradaya.

Adinath Sampradaya is present in North India, Maharashtra, and Nepal.

Nandinath lineage

The Nandinath Sampradaya extends for millions of years.

Maharshi Nandinath is believed to have lived around 200 BCE.

His disciples were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanat Kumara, Shivayogamuni, Patanjali, Vyaghrapada, and Tirumular.

Several branches of the Nandinatha Sampradaya exist today,

Two of them are the one headed by Bodhinatha Veylanswami and the one headed by Nirmalanandanatha Swami.

Adinath Sampradaya

Two prominent names of the Adinath Sampradaya are Matsyendranath and Gorakhnath.

The most prominent Gurus in this Sampradaya are nine in number called Nav Naths.

There are different lists of Nav Naths.

One of the most accepted lists is: Machindranath, Gorakhnath, Jalindranath, Kanifnath, Gahininath, Bhartrinath, Revananath, Charpatinath, and Nagnath.

Gorakhnath Mutt

Gorakhnath Mutt situated in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh is the most important among the Nath centers today.

This is where Yogi Gorakhnath Ji performed sadhana.

The present head of the Mutt is Yogi Adityanath Ji.

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 Image attribution

Ramaswamy Sastry and Vighnesh Ghanapaathi

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