Nath, also called as Natha, are a Shaivist sub-tradition within Hinduism.[1][2] A medieval movement, it combined ideas from Buddhism, Shaivism and Yoga traditions in India.[3] The Naths have been a confederation of devotees who consider Adinatha, or Shiva, as their first lord or guru, with varying lists of additional lords.[1][4] Of these, the 9th or 10th century Matsyendranath and the ideas and organization mainly developed by Gorakshanath are particularly important.Thus Gorakhnath was originator of "Nath Panth.[4]

Nath tradition has extensive Shaivism-related theological literature of its own, most of which is traceable to 11th century CE or later.[5] However, its roots are in far more ancient Siddha tradition.[6][1] A notable aspect of Nath tradition practice have been its refinements and use of Yoga, particularly Hatha Yoga, to transform one's body into a sahaja siddha state of awakened self’s identity with absolute reality. An accomplished guru, that is yoga and spiritual guide, is considered essential,[3] and they have historically been known for their esoteric and heterodox practices.[4][7]

Their unconventional ways challenged all orthodox premises, exploring dark and shunned practices of society as a means to understanding theology and gaining inner powers.[8] They formed monastic organisations, itinerant groups that walked great distances to sacred sites and festivals such as the Kumbh Mela as a part of their spiritual practice. The Nath also have a large settled householder tradition in parallel to its monastic groups.[5] Some of them metamorphosed into warrior ascetics during the Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent.[9][10][11]

The Nath tradition was influenced by other Indian traditions such as Advaita Vedanta monism,[12] and in turn influenced it as well as movements within Vaishnavism, Shaktism and Bhakti movement saints such as Kabir and Namdev.[13][14][15][16]

17th century Hindu female Nath yogi painting
17th century painting showing female Nath yoginis.

Etymology and nomenclature

The Sanskrit word nātha नाथ literally means "lord, protector, master".[17][18] The related Sanskrit term Adi Natha means first or original Lord, and is a synonym for Shiva, the founder of the Nāthas. Initiation into the Nātha sampradaya includes receiving a name ending in -nath.[19]

The term ‘’Nath’’ is a neologism for the Shaivism tradition now known by that name. Before the 18th century they were called Jogi or Yogi.[20] However, during the colonial rule, the term "Yogi/Jogi" was used with derision and classified by British India census as a “low status caste". In the 20th century, the community began to use the alternate term Nath instead in their public relations, while continuing to use their historical term of “yogi or jogi” to refer to each other within the community. The term Nath or Natha, with the meaning of lord, is a term also found in Vaishnavism (e.g. Gopinath, Jagannath) and in Jainism (Adinatha, Parsvanatha).[21]

The term yogi or jogi is not limited to Natha subtradition, and has been widely used in Indian culture for anyone who is routinely devoted to yoga.[21] Some memoirs by travelers such as those by the Italian traveler Varthema refer to the Nath Yogi people they met, phonetically as Ioghes.[22]


Nath are a sub-tradition within Shaivism, who trace their lineage to nine Nath gurus, starting with Shiva as the first, or ‘’Adinatha’’.[23] The list of the remaining eight is somewhat inconsistent between the regions Nath sampradaya is found, but typically consists of c. 9th century Matsyendranatha and c. 12th century Gorakhshanatha along with six more. The other six vary between Buddhist texts such as Abhyadattasri, and Hindu texts such as Varnaratnakara and Hathapradipika. The most common remaining Nath gurus include Caurangi (Sarangadhara, Puran Bhagat), Jalandhara (Balnath, Hadipa), Carpatha, Kanhapa, Nagarjuna and Bhartrihari.[24]

The Nath tradition was not a new movement, but one evolutionary phase of a very old Siddha tradition of India.[6] The Siddha tradition explored Yoga, with the premise that human existence is a psycho-chemical process that can be perfected by a right combination of psychological, alchemy and physical techniques, thereby empowering one to a state of highest spirituality, living in prime condition ad libitum, and dying when one so desires into a calm, blissful transcendental state. The term siddha means "perfect", and this premise was not limited to Siddha tradition but was shared by others such as the Rasayana school of Ayurveda.[6]

Deccan roots

According to Mallinson, "the majority of the early textual and epigraphic references to Matsyendra and Goraksa are from the Deccan region and elsewhere in peninsular India; the others are from eastern India".[25] The oldest iconography of Nath-like yogis is found in the Konkan region (near the coast of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka).[25] The Vijayanagara Empire artworks include them, as do texts from a region now known as Maharashtra, northern Karnataka and Kerala. The Chinese traveller, named Ma Huan, visited a part of the western coast of India, wrote a memoir, and he mentions the Nath Yogis. The oldest texts of the Nath tradition that describe pilgrimage sites include predominantly sites in the Deccan region and the eastern states of India, with hardly any mention of north, northwest or south India.[26] This Community Also Can Be Found In Some Parts Of Rajasthan But These Are Normal Like Other Castes, Considered As Other Blove Caste(OBC).

Gorakhshanatha is traditionally credited with founding the tradition of renunciate ascetics, but the earliest textual references about the Nath ascetic order as an organized entity (sampradaya), that have survived into the modern era, are from the 17th century.[27] Before the 17th century, while a mention of the Nath sampradaya as a monastic institution is missing, extensive isolated mentions about the Nath Shaiva people are found in inscriptions, texts and temple iconography from earlier centuries.[27]

The Navnath, according to a Deccan representation

In the Deccan region, only since the 18th century according to Mallison, Dattatreya has been traditionally included as a Nath guru as a part of Vishnu-Shiva syncretism.[24] According to others, Dattatreya has been the revered as the Adi-Guru (First Teacher) of the Adinath Sampradaya of the Nathas, the first "Lord of Yoga" with mastery of Tantra (techniques).[28][29]

The number of Nath gurus also varies between texts, ranging from 4, 9, 18, 25 and so on.[24] The earliest known text that mentions nine Nath gurus is the 15th century Telugu text Navanatha Charitra.[24] Individually, the names of Nath Gurus appear in much older texts. For example, Matsyendranatha is mentioned as a siddha in section 29.32 of the 10th century text Tantraloka of the Advaita and Shaivism scholar Abhinavagupta.[30]

The mention of Nath gurus as siddhas in Buddhist texts found in Tibet and the Himalayan regions led early scholars to propose that Naths may have Buddhist origins, but the Nath doctrines and theology is unlike mainstream Buddhism.[30][4] In the Tibetan tradition, Matsyendranath of Hinduism is identified with "Lui-pa", one referred to as the first of "Buddhist Siddhacharyas". In Nepal, he is a form of Buddhist Avalokiteshvara.[31]

According to Deshpande, the Natha Sampradaya (Devanagari:नाथ संप्रदाय), is a development of the earlier Siddha or Avadhuta Sampradaya, an ancient lineage of spiritual masters.[32] They may be linked to Kapalikas or Kalamukhas given they share their unorthodox lifestyle, though neither the doctrines nor the evidence that links them has been uncovered.[31] The Nath Yogis were admired by Bhakti movement saint Kabir.[33]

Natha Panthis

The Nath Sampradaya is traditionally divided into twelve streams or Panths. According to David Gordon White, these panths were not really a subdivision of a monolithic order, but rather an amalgamation of separate groups descended from either Matsyendranath, Gorakshanath or one of their students.[34] However, there have always been many more Natha sects than will conveniently fit into the twelve formal panths.[34]

In Goa, the town called Madgaon may have been derived from Mathgram, a name it received from being a center of Nath Sampradaya Mathas (monasteries). Nath yogis practiced yoga and pursued their beliefs there, living inside caves. The Divar island and Pilar rock-cut caves were used for meditation by the Nath yogis. In the later half of the 16th century, they were persecuted for their religious beliefs and forced to convert by the Portuguese Christian missionaries. Except for few, the Nath yogi chose to abandon the village.[35][36]

Contemporary Natha lineages

The Inchegeri Sampradaya, also known as Nimbargi Sampradaya, is a lineage of Hindu Navnath c.q. Lingayat teachers from Maharashtra which was started by Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj.[37] It is inspired by Deshastha Brahmin Sant Mat teachers as Dnyaneshwar, Eknath and Samarth Ramdas. The Inchegeri Sampraday has become well-known throughout the western world due to the popularity of Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.


The Nath tradition has two branches, one consisting of sadhus (celibate monks) and other married householder laypeople. The householders are significantly more in number than monks and have the characteristics of an endogamous caste.[27] Both Nath sadhus and householders are found in Nepal and India, but more so in regions such as West Bengal, Nepal, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The ascetics created an oversight organization called the Barah Panthi Yogi Mahasabha in 1906, which is based out of the Hindu sacred town of Haridwar.[27] According to an estimate by Bouillier in 2008, there are about 10,000 ascetics (predominantly males) in the Nath ascetic order, distributed in about 500 monasteries across India but mostly in northern and western regions of India, along with a much larger householder Nath tradition.[38] The oldest known monastery of the Naths that continues to be in use, is near Mangalore, in Karnataka.[39] This monastery (Kadri matha) houses Shaiva iconography as well as three Buddhist bronzes from the 10th century.[39]

A notable feature of the monks is that most of them are itinerant, moving from one monastery or location to another, never staying in the same place for long.[27] Many form a floating group of wanderers, where they participate in festivals together, share work and thus form a collective identity. They gather in certain places cyclically, particularly on festivals such as Navratri, Maha Shivaratri and Kumbh Mela. Many walk very long distances over a period of months from one sacred location to another, across India, in their spiritual pursuits.[27]

The Nath monks wear loin cloths and dhotis, little else. Typically they also cover themselves with ashes, tie up their hair in dreadlocks, and when they stop walking, they keep a sacred fire called dhuni.[38] These ritual dressing, covering body with ash, and the body art are, however, uncommon with the householders. Both the Nath monks and householders wear a woolen thread around their necks with a small horn, rudraksha bead and a ring attached to the thread. This is called Singnad Janeu.[38] The small horn is important to their religious practice, is blown during certain festivals, rituals and before they eat. Many Nath monks and a few householders also wear notable earrings.[38]

According to James Mallinson, the ritual covering of ash, necklace and tripundra tilaka was likely missing in the past, and it may have emerged in the modern era.[20] Those Nath ascetics who do tantra, include smoking bhang (cannabis) as a part of their practice.[38] The tradition is traditionally known for hatha yoga and tantra, but in contemporary times, the assiduous practice of hatha yoga and tantra is uncommon among the Naths. In some monasteries, the ritual worship is to goddesses and to their gurus such as Adinatha (Shiva), Matsyendranatha and Gorakhshanatha, particularly through bhajan and kirtans. They greet each other with ades (pronounced: "aadees").[40]

Warrior ascetics

The Yogis and Shaiva sampradayas such as Nath metamorphosed into a warrior ascetic group in the late medieval era, with one group calling itself sastra-dharis (keepers of scriptures) and the other astra-dharis (keepers of weapons).[10] The latter group grew and became particularly prominent during the Islamic invasions and Hindu-Muslim wars in South Asia, from about the 14th to 18th century. According to Romila Thapar, along with Shakta Hindus, subtraditions within the "Natha Jogis were known to take to arms".[9]

Gurus, siddhas, naths

The Nath tradition revere nine, twelve or more Nath gurus.[24][8] For example, nine naths are revered in the Navnath Sampradaya.[41] The most revered teachers across its various subtraditions are:[42][43]

The traditional gurus of Naths
Guru[43] Alternate names Notability[43]
Adiguru Shiva, Bhairava Shiva is a pan-Hindu god
Matsyendra Mina, Macchandar, Macchaghna 9th or 10th century yoga siddha, important to Kaula tantra traditions, revered for his unorthodox experimentations
Goraksha Gorakh founder of monastic Nath Sampradaya, systematized yoga techniques, organization and monastery builder, Hatha Yoga texts attributed to him, known for his ideas on nirguna bhakti, 11th or 12th century
Jalandhar Jalandhari, Hadipa, Jvalendra, Balnath, Balgundai 13th century siddha (may be earlier), from Jalandhar (Punjab), particularly revered in Rajasthan and Punjab regions
Kanhapa Kanhu, Kaneri, Krishnapada, Karnaripa 10th century siddha, from Bengal region, revered by a distinct sub-tradition within the Natha people
Caurangi Sarangadhara, Puran Bhagat a son of King Devapala of Bengal who renounced, revered in the northwest such as the Punjab region, a shrine to him is in Sialkot (now in Pakistan)
Carpath lived in the Chamba region of the Himalayas, Himachal Pradesh, championed Avadhuta, taught that outer rituals don't matter, emphasized inner state of an individual
Bhartrihari king of Ujjain who renounced his kingdom to become a yogi, a scholar
Gopichand son of the Queen of Bengal who renounced, influential on other Indian religions
Ratannath Hajji Ratan a 13th-century siddha (may be earlier), revered in medieval Nepal and Punjab, cherished by both Naths and Sufi of north India
Dharamnath a 15th-century siddha revered in Gujarat, founded a monastery in Kutch region, legends credit him to have made Kutch region liveable
Mastnath founded a monastery in Haryana, an 18th-century siddha
Mahayogi Satyendra Nath Ishaputra, Kaulantak Nath Kaulantak Peeth, Himachal Pradesh


A Matsyendra Macchendranath Temple Nath Shaivism Avalokiteshvara Buddhism Nepal
A Matsyendra (Macchendranath) Temple in Nepal, who is revered by both Buddhists and Hindus.[44]

The establishment of the Naths as a distinct historical sect purportedly began around the 8th or 9th century with a simple fisherman, Matsyendranath (sometimes called Minanath, who may be identified with or called the father of Matsyendranath in some sources).[34]

One of earliest known Hatha text Kaula Jnana Nirnaya is attributed to Matsyendra, and dated to the last centuries of the 1st millennium CE.[45][46] Other texts attributed to him include the Akulavira tantra, Kulananda tantra and Jnana karika.[47]


Gorakshanath is considered a Maha-yogi (or great yogi) in the Hindu tradition.[48] Within the Nath tradition, he has been a revered figure, with Nath hagiography describing him as a superhuman who appeared on earth several times.[49] The matha and the city of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh is named after him. The Gurkhas of Nepal and Indian Gorkha take their name after him, as does Gorkha, a historical district of Nepal. The monastery and the temple in Gorakhpur perform various cultural and social activities and serves as the cultural hub of the city. The monastery also publishes texts on the philosophy of Gorakhnath.[50]

Gorakshanath did not emphasize a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth, but emphasized that the search for Truth and spiritual life is valuable and a normal goal of man.[48] Gorakshanath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline and an ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching siddha state, samadhi and one's own spiritual truths.[48]

Gorakshanath, his ideas and yogis have been highly popular in rural India, with monasteries and temples dedicated to him found in many states of India, particularly in eponymous city of Gorakhpur.[51][52] Among urban elites, the movement founded by Gorakhnath has been ridiculed.[51]

The aims of the Nathas

According to Muller-Ortega (1989: p. 37), the primary aim of the ancient Nath Siddhas was to achieve liberation or jivan-mukti while alive, and ultimately "paramukti" which it defined as the state of liberation in the current life and into a divine state upon death.[53] According to a recent Nath Guru, Mahendranath, another aim was to avoid reincarnation. In The Magick Path of Tantra, he wrote about several of the aims of the Naths;

"Our aims in life are to enjoy peace, freedom, and happiness in this life, but also to avoid rebirth onto this Earth plane. All this depends not on divine benevolence, but on the way we ourselves think and act."[54]

Hatha yoga

The earliest texts on Hatha yoga of the Naths, such as Vivekamartanda and Gorakhshasataka, are from Maharashtra, and these manuscripts are likely from the 13th century. These Nath texts, however, have an overlap with the 13th century Jnanadeva commentary on the Hindu scripture Bhagavada Gita, called the Jnanesvari. This may be because of mutual influence, as both the texts integrate the teachings of Yoga and Vedanta schools of Hinduism in a similar way.[22]

Numerous technical treatises in the Hindu tradition, composed in Sanskrit about Hatha Yoga, are attributed to Gorakshanath.[55]


The Natha Sampradaya is an initiatory Guru-shishya tradition.


The Hatha Yoga ideas that developed in the Nath tradition influenced and were adopted by Advaita Vedanta, though some esoteric practices such as kechari-mudra were omitted.[13] Their yoga ideas were also influential on Vaishnavism traditions such as the Ramanandis, as well as Sufi fakirs in the Indian subcontinent.[13][14] The Naths recruited devotees into their fold irrespective of their religion or caste, converting Muslim yogins to their fold.[13][56]

The Nath tradition was also influenced by Bhakti movement saints such as Kabir, Namdev and Jnanadeva.[14][15][57]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.
  2. ^ Eleanor Nesbitt (2014). Pashaura Singh; Louis E. Fenech, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Sikh Studies. Oxford University Press. pp. 360–361. ISBN 978-0-19-100411-7.
  3. ^ a b Natha: Indian religious sect, Encyclopedia Britannica (2007)
  4. ^ a b c d Mallinson, James (2011) 'Nāth Saṃpradāya.' In: Brill Encyclopedia of Hinduism Vol. 3. Brill, pp. 407-428.
  5. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 407-421.
  6. ^ a b c Paul E. Muller-Ortega 2010, pp. 36-37.
  7. ^ Mark Singleton (2010). Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 27–39. ISBN 978-0-19-974598-2.
  8. ^ a b Constance Jones & James D. Ryan 2006, pp. 169-170, 308.
  9. ^ a b Romila Thapar (2008). Somanatha. Penguin Books. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-0-14-306468-8.
  10. ^ a b Rigopoulos 1998, pp. 99-104, 218.
  11. ^ Lorenzen, David N. (1978). "Warrior Ascetics in Indian History". Journal of the American Oriental Society. 98 (1): 61. doi:10.2307/600151.
  12. ^ David N. Lorenzen; Adrián Muñoz (2011). Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Naths. State University of New York Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-1-4384-3892-4.
  13. ^ a b c d Mark Singleton (2010). Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-19-974598-2.
  14. ^ a b c Guy L. Beck (2012). Alternative Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu Deity. State University of New York Press. pp. 117–118. ISBN 978-0-7914-8341-1.
  15. ^ a b David N. Lorenzen; Adrián Muñoz (2011). Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Naths. State University of New York Press. pp. xi–xii, 30, 47–48. ISBN 978-1-4384-3892-4.
  16. ^ Akshaya Kumar Banerjea (1983). Philosophy of Gorakhnath with Goraksha-Vacana-Sangraha. Motilal Banarsidass. p. xxi. ISBN 978-81-208-0534-7.
  17. ^ Wolf-Dieter Storl (2004). Shiva: The Wild God of Power and Ecstasy. Inner Traditions. p. 258 with footnote. ISBN 978-1-59477-780-6.
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  21. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 409-410.
  22. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 411-415.
  23. ^ Mallinson 2012, pp. 407-411.
  24. ^ a b c d e Mallinson 2012, pp. 409-411.
  25. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 410-412.
  26. ^ Mallinson 2012, pp. 411-413.
  27. ^ a b c d e f Mallinson 2012, pp. 407-408.
  28. ^ Rigopoulos 1998, pp. 77-78.
  29. ^ Harper, Katherine Anne; Brown, Robert L. (2002). The Roots of Tantra, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-5305-6, pp. 155-156
  30. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 409-412.
  31. ^ a b Karine Schomer; W. H. McLeod (1987). The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 217–221 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0277-3.
  32. ^ Deshpande, M.N. (1986). The Caves of Panhale-Kaji. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, Government of India.
  33. ^ Karine Schomer; W. H. McLeod (1987). The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 36–38 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0277-3.
  34. ^ a b c d White, David Gordon (1996). The Alchemical Body. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  35. ^ "The evolution of Salcete's mighty Mathgram - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
  36. ^ Vithal Raghavendra Mitragotri (1999). A socio-cultural history of Goa from the Bhojas to the Vijayanagara. Institute Menezes Braganza. pp. 117, 240–244., Quote: "Nath yogis are associated with caves in Goa as well as in Maharashtra. The rock cut caves of Diwadi island and Pilar both in Tiswadi taluka are Nath-panthi caves".
  37. ^ ShantiKuteer Ashram, Bhausaheb Maharaj
  38. ^ a b c d e Mallinson 2012, pp. 407-409.
  39. ^ a b Mallinson 2012, pp. 413-417.
  40. ^ Mallinson 2012, pp. 1-2.
  41. ^ "Navnath Sampradaya". Nisargadatta Maharaj. Archived from the original on 2015-02-23. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  42. ^ Berntsen 1988.
  43. ^ a b c Mallinson 2012, pp. 407-420.
  44. ^ Prem Saran (2012). Yoga, Bhoga and Ardhanariswara: Individuality, Wellbeing and Gender in Tantra. Routledge. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-136-51648-1.
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  46. ^ Prabodh Chandra Bagchi; Michael Magee (Translator) (1986). Kaulajnana-nirnaya of the school of Matsyendranatha. Prachya Prakashan.
  47. ^ David N. Lorenzen; Adrián Muñoz (2011). Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Naths. State University of New York Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-1-4384-3892-4.
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  49. ^ Briggs (1938), Gorakhnath and the Kanphata Yogis, 6th Edition (2009 Reprint), Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-8120805644, p. 229
  50. ^ AK Banerjea (1983), Philosophy of Gorakhnath with Goraksha-Vacana-Sangraha, ISBN 978-8120805347
  51. ^ a b White, David Gordon (2012), The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India, University of Chicago Press, pp. 7–8
  52. ^ David N. Lorenzen and Adrián Muñoz (2012), Yogi Heroes and Poets: Histories and Legends of the Naths, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-1438438900, pages x-xi
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  54. ^ Mahendranath (1990), The Magick Path of Tantra
  55. ^ Karine Schomer; W. H. McLeod (1987). The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 70–71 with footnotes. ISBN 978-81-208-0277-3.
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  57. ^ Neelima Shukla-Bhatt (2015). Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat: A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories. Oxford University Press. pp. 271 note 34. ISBN 978-0-19-997642-3.


External links


Ajudhiya Nath Khosla

Ajudhia Nath Khosla (11 December 1892 – 1984)

was an Indian engineer and politician. He was the Chairman of the Central Waterways Irrigation and Navigation Commission of India.Khosla was born in New Delhi, and worked as Vice Chancellor of the University of Roorkee from 1954 to 1959.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1954 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1977. He was nominated as member of the Rajya Sabha the Upper house of Indian Parliament in 1958, but resigned in 1959 and joined the Planning Commission of India. He was the Governor of Odisha from September 1962 to August 1966 and again from September 1966 to January 1968. He was the president of Indian National Science Academy from 1961-62.

Alok Nath

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Bareilly ( (listen)) is a city in Bareilly district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It is the capital of Bareilly division and the geographical region of Rohilkhand. The city is 252 kilometres (157 mi) north of the state capital, Lucknow, and 250 kilometres (155 mi) east of the national capital, New Delhi. It is the eighth largest metropolis in Uttar Pradesh and the 50th-largest city in India. Bareilly also figured amongst the PM Narendra Modi's ambitious 100 Smart City list in India. It is located on the Ramganga River and is the site of the Ramganga Barrage built for canal irrigation.

The city is also known by the name Nath Nagri (for the seven Shiva temples located in the Bareilly region - Dhopeshwar Nath, Madhi Nath, Alakha Nath, Tapeshwar Nath, Bankhandi Nath, Pashupati Nath and Trivati Nath) and historically as Sanjashya (where the Buddha descended from Tushita to earth). The city is a centre for furniture manufacturing and trade in cotton, cereal and sugar. Its status grew with its inclusion in the "counter magnets" list of the National Capital Region (NCR), a list also including Hissar, Patiala, Kota and Gwalior. The city is also known as Bans-Bareilly. Although Bareilly is a production centre for cane (bans) furniture, "Bans Bareilly" is not derived from the bans market; it was named for two princes: Bansaldev and Baraldev, sons of Jagat Singh Katehriya, who founded the city in 1537.

Bhola Nath Jha

Bhola Nath Jha is the recipient of Padma Vibhushan (1967), the second highest civilian honor of India, for his contribution to the field of civil services.


Yogi Gorakhnath (also known as Goraksanath, estimated c. early 11th century) was a Hindu yogi and saint who was the founder of the Nath tradition. He is considered as one of the two notable disciples of Matsyendranath. His followers are found in India at the place known as Garbhagiri which is in Ahmednagar in the state of Maharashtra. These followers are called yogis, Gorakhnathi, Darshani or Kanphata.The details of his biography are unknown and disputed. He was one of nine saints also known as Navnath and is widely popular in Maharashtra, India. Hagiographies describe him as more than a human teacher and someone outside the laws of time who appeared on earth in different ages. Historians state Gorakhnath lived sometime during the first half of the 2nd millennium CE, but they disagree in which century. Estimates based on archaeology and text range from Briggs' 15th- to 12th-century to Grierson's estimate of the 14th-century.Gorakhnath is considered a Maha-yogi (or great yogi) in the Hindu tradition. He did not emphasize a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth, but emphasized that the search for Truth and the spiritual life is a valuable and normal goal of man. Gorakhnath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline and an ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching samadhi and one's own spiritual truths.Gorakhnath, his ideas and yogis have been highly popular in rural India, with monasteries and temples dedicated to him found in many states of India, particularly in the eponymous city of Gorakhpur.

Jatindra Nath Das

Jatindra Nath Das (Bengali: যতীন্দ্রনাথ দাস); 27 October 1904 – 13 September 1929), also known as Jatin Das, was an Indian independence activist and revolutionary. He died in Lahore jail after a 63-day hunger strike.

Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri

General Jayanto Nath Chaudhuri, OBE (10 June 1908 – 6 April 1983) was an Indian four-star general who served as the Chief of Army Staff of the Indian Army from 1962 to 1966 and the Military Governor of Hyderabad State from 1948 to 1949. After his retirement from the Indian Army, he served as the Indian High Commissioner to Canada from 19 July 1966 until August 1969.

Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath (born 18 November 1946) is an Indian politician and the 18th Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, a central Indian state. As a leader of the Indian National Congress he has served as the Minister of Urban Development. He is one of the longest serving and most senior members of the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament. He was appointed the Pro Tem Speaker of the 16th Lok Sabha. He has been elected nine times from the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency of Madhya Pradesh. Nath was elected president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee in May 2018, leading the party in the November-December 2018 assembly election. He assumed the office of Chief Minister on 17 December 2018.

M. N. Roy

Manabendra Nath Roy (21 March 1887 – 26 January 1954), born Narendra Nath Bhattacharya, was an Indian revolutionary, radical activist and political theorist, as well as a noted philosopher in the 20th century. Roy was a founder of the Mexican Communist Party and the Communist Party of India. He was also a delegate to congresses of the Communist International and Russia's aide to China. Following the rise of Joseph Stalin, Roy left the mainline communist movement to pursue an independent radical politics. In 1940 Roy was instrumental in the formation of the Radical Democratic Party, an organisation in which he played a leading role for much of the decade of the 1940s.

In the aftermath of World War II Roy moved away from Marxism to espouse the philosophy of radical humanism, attempting to chart a third course between liberalism and communism.

Niralamba Swami

Jatindra Nath Banerjee (Niralamba Swami) (19 November 1877 – 5 September 1930) was one of two great Indian nationalists and freedom fighters – along with Aurobindo Ghosh (Sri Aurobindo) – who dramatically rose to prominence between 1871 and 1910.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore ( (listen); 7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), also known by his sobriquets Gurudev, Kabiguru, and Biswakabi, was a Bengali polymath, poet, musician, and artist from the Indian subcontinent. He reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of the "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse" of Gitanjali, he became in 1913 the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore's poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his "elegant prose and magical poetry" remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as "the Bard of Bengal".A Brhamo from Calcutta with ancestral gentry roots in Jessore, Tagore wrote poetry as an eight-year-old. At the age of sixteen, he released his first substantial poems under the pseudonym Bhānusiṃha ("Sun Lion"), which were seized upon by literary authorities as long-lost classics. By 1877 he graduated to his first short stories and dramas, published under his real name. As a humanist, universalist, internationalist, and ardent anti-nationalist, he denounced the British Raj and advocated independence from Britain. As an exponent of the Bengal Renaissance, he advanced a vast canon that comprised paintings, sketches and doodles, hundreds of texts, and some two thousand songs; his legacy also endures in the institution he founded, Visva-Bharati University.Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures. His novels, stories, songs, dance-dramas, and essays spoke to topics political and personal. Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World) are his best-known works, and his verse, short stories, and novels were acclaimed—or panned—for their lyricism, colloquialism, naturalism, and unnatural contemplation. His compositions were chosen by two nations as national anthems: India's Jana Gana Mana and Bangladesh's Amar Shonar Bangla. The Sri Lankan national anthem was inspired by his work.

Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh (born 10 July 1951) is an Indian politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party who currently serves as the Home Minister of India. He previously served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and as a Cabinet Minister in the Vajpayee Government. He has also served as the President of the BJP twice, 2005 to 2009 and 2013 to 2014. He began his career as a physics lecturer and used his long-term association with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to become involved with the Janata Party. DND Flyway which connects Delhi and Noida was inaugurated by him in 2001.

Ram Nath Kovind

Ram Nath Kovind (born 1 October 1945) is an Indian politician currently serving as the 14th President of India, in office since 25 July 2017. Previously he had served as the Governor of Bihar from 2015 to 2017 and was a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from 1994 to 2006. Kovind was nominated as a presidential candidate by the ruling NDA coalition and won the 2017 presidential election.Before entering politics, he was a lawyer for 16 years and practiced in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court until 1993.

Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose, (Bengali: সত্যেন্দ্রনাথ বসু Sôtyendronath Bosu, IPA: [ʃotːendronatʰ boʃu]; 1 January 1894 – 4 February 1974) was an Indian physicist specialising in theoretical physics. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics in the early 1920s, providing the foundation for Bose–Einstein statistics and the theory of the Bose–Einstein condensate. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he was awarded India's second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan in 1954 by the Government of India.The class of particles that obey Bose–Einstein statistics, bosons, was named after Bose by Paul Dirac.A self-taught scholar and a polymath, he had a wide range of interests in varied fields including physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, mineralogy, philosophy, arts, literature, and music. He served on many research and development committees in sovereign India.

Swami Vivekananda

Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɔndo] (listen); 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendranath Datta (Bengali: [nɔrendronatʰ dɔto]), was an Indian Hindu monk, a chief disciple of the 19th-century Indian mystic Ramakrishna. He was a key figure in the introduction of the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the Western world and is credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion during the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India, and contributed to the concept of nationalism in colonial India. Vivekananda founded the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his speech which began with the words - "Sisters and brothers of America ...," in which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali Kayastha family of Calcutta, Vivekananda was inclined towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru, Ramakrishna, from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self; therefore, service to God could be rendered by service to humankind. After Ramakrishna's death, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired first-hand knowledge of the conditions prevailing in British India. He later travelled to the United States, representing India at the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions. Vivekananda conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint, and his birthday is celebrated as National Youth Day.

Tarak Nath Das

Taraknath Das (or Tarak Nath Das) (Bengali: তারকনাথ দাস) (15 June 1884 – 22 December 1958) was an anti-British Bengali Indian revolutionary and internationalist scholar. He was a pioneering immigrant in the west coast of North America and discussed his plans with Tolstoy, while organising the Asian Indian immigrants in favour of the Indian independence movement. He was a professor of political science at Columbia University and a visiting faculty in several other universities.


A yogi (sometimes spelled jogi) is a practitioner of yoga. In Vedic Sanskrit, yoga (from the root yuj) means "to add", "to join", "to unite", or "to attach" in its most common literal sense, whereas in recent days, especially in the West, yoga often means only the physical exercises of hatha yoga, the asanas. The term yogi is used broadly to refer to sannyasi or practitioners of meditation in a number of Indian religions. The feminine form is yogini, but is not always used, especially in the West.

Yogi, or jogi, since the 12th century CE, while meaning those dedicated to Yoga practice, has also referred to members of the Nath siddha tradition of Hinduism. Alternatively, in tantra traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, a practitioner of tantra (a tantrika) may also be called a yogi. In Hindu mythology, god Shiva and goddess Parvati are depicted as an emblematic yogi–yogini pair.

Yogi Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath (born Ajay Mohan Bisht on 5 June 1972) is an Indian monk and Hindu nationalist politician who is the current Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, in office since 19 March 2017.He was appointed as the Chief Minister on 26 March 2017 after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2017 State Assembly elections, in which he was a prominent campaigner. He has been the Member of Parliament from the Gorakhpur constituency, Uttar Pradesh, for five consecutive terms since 1998.Adityanath is also the Mahant or head priest of the Gorakhnath Math, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, a position he has held since the death of his spiritual "father", Mahant Avaidyanath, in September 2014. He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a youth organization that has been involved in communal violence. He has an image as a right-wing populist Hindutva firebrand.

Mantra/ Stotra
Philosophical Traditions
Pancha Bhoota Stalam
Traditional Observances
Inchegeri Sampradaya
Rishi Dattatreya, mythological deity-founder.[a][b]
Navnath, the nine founders of the Nath Sampradaya,[c][d]
Gahininath,[e] the 5th Navnath[f] Revananath, the 7th[g] or 8th[h] Navnath, also known as Kada Siddha[i] Siddhagiri Math[j][k] c.q. Kaneri Math (est. 7th[l] or 14th century[m];
Lingayat Parampara[n] c.q. Kaadasiddheshwar Parampara[o]
Nivruttinath, Dnyaneshwar's brother[p]
Dnyaneshwar[q] (1275–1296)
also known as Sant Jñāneshwar or Jñanadeva[r]
and as Kadasiddha[s] or Kad-Siddheshwar Maharaj[t]

Different accounts:
Kadasiddha,[u] also called "Almighty "Kadsiddeshwar",[v] who appeared as a vision to Sri Gurulingajangam Maharaj[w]
The 22nd or 24th[x] Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj, who initiated Sri Gurulingajangam Maharaj[y]
"The 25th generation of the kadsiddha at siddhagiri had then initiated Guruling jangam maharaj of nimbargi."[z]
"Juangam Maharaj" c.q. "a yogi [at Siddhagiri] who gave [Nimabargi Maharaj] a mantra and told him to meditate regularly on it"[aa]

1 Nimbargi Maharaj (1789-1875)
also known as Guru Lingam-Jangam Maharaj [ab][ac][ad]
23rd Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj
2 Shri Bhausaheb Maharaj Umdikar[ae][af] (1843 Umdi - 1914 Inchgiri[ag]) 24th Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj
3 H.H. Shri Amburao Maharaj of Jigjivani

(1857 Jigajevani - 1933 Inchgiri)[ah][ai]

Shivalingavva Akka (1867-1930)[aj] Girimalleshwar Maharaj[ak][al] Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj (1875-1936)[am][an] 25th Shri Samarth Muppin Kaadsiddheswar Maharaj
4 H.H. Shri Gurudev Ranade of Nimbal (1886-1957)[ao][ap][aq][ar][as] Balkrishna Maharaj[at] Shri Aujekar Laxman Maharaj[au] Madhavananda Prabhuji
(d. 25th May, 1980)[av]
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj (1897–1981)[aw] 26th Shri Muppin Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj (1905-2001)

Student of Sri Siddharameshwar Maharaj[bc]

5 H.H Shri Gurudev Chandra Bhanu Pathak[bd] Bhausaheb Maharaj (Nandeshwar)[be] Shri Nagnath Alli Maharaj[bf] 27th head: H.H. Adrushya Kadsiddheshwar Swamiji[bx] H. H. Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Shree Swami Narendracharyaji Maharaj[by]
Notes for table


  1. ^ Boucher
  2. ^ Frydman 1987
  3. ^ Boucher
  4. ^ Frydman 1987
  5. ^ Dnyaneshwar
  6. ^ Frydman 1987
  7. ^ Frydman 1987
  8. ^ Boucher
  9. ^ Kada Siddha (website Ranade Maharaj
  10. ^ Kada Siddha (website Ranade Maharaj)
  11. ^ Siddhagiri Math
  12. ^ Siddhagiri Math (website Shri Kshetra Siddhagiri Math, Kaneri)
  13. ^ Siddhagiri Math (Gramjivan Museum)
  14. ^ Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj (website Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj)
  15. ^ Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj Parampara
  16. ^ Dnyaneshwar
  17. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  18. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  19. ^ Frydman 1987
  20. ^ Boucher
  21. ^ Frydman 1987
  22. ^ Ranjit Maharaj Timeline
  23. ^ Ranjit Maharaj Timeline
  24. ^ Siddhagiri Math (website
  25. ^ Siddhagiri Math (website
  26. ^ Kada Siddha (website Balkrushna Maharaj)
  27. ^ Boucher
  28. ^ Boucher
  29. ^ Nimbargi Maharj (website Ranade Maharaj
  30. ^ Frydman 1987
  31. ^ Boucher
  32. ^ Bhausaheb Maharaj (website Ganapatrao Maharj)
  33. ^ Bhausaheb Maharaj (website Ranade Maharaj)
  34. ^ Amburao Maharaj (website Ranade Maharaj)
  35. ^ Frydman 1987
  36. ^ Shivalingavva Akka (website Ranade Maharaj)
  37. ^ Frydman 1987
  38. ^ Girimalleshwar Maharaj (website Balkrushnamauli Maharaj)
  39. ^ Boucher
  40. ^ Frydman 1987
  41. ^ Amburao Maharaj Maharj (website Ranade Maharaj)
  42. ^ Ranade Maharaj (website Ranade Maharaj)
  43. ^ Boucher
  44. ^ Frydman 1987
  45. ^ Ranade Maharj (website Bridge-India)
  46. ^ Balkrishna Maharaj (website Balkrishna Maharaj)
  47. ^ Nagnath Alli Maharaj (website)
  48. ^ Madhavananda Prabhuji (website
  49. ^ Boucher
  50. ^ Boucher
  51. ^ Ranjit Maharaj (website Ranjit Maharaj)
  52. ^ Ranjit Maharaj Interview
  53. ^ Ranjit Maharaj Satsang
  54. ^ Bhausaheb Maharaj (website Ganapatrao Maharaj)
  55. ^ Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj (website Kaadsiddheshwar Maharaj)
  56. ^ Ranjit Maharaj (website Angelfire)
  57. ^ Bhausaheb Maharaj (Nandeshwar)(website Balkrishna Maharaj)
  58. ^ Nagnath Alli Maharaj (website Nagnath Alli Maharaj)
  59. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  60. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  61. ^ Gautam Sachdeva
  62. ^ Ramakant Maharj (website Ramakant Maharaj)
  63. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  64. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  65. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  66. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  67. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  68. ^ Jean Dunn (website Ed Muzika)
  69. ^ Jean Dunn (website Ngeton)
  70. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  71. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  72. ^ Sailor Bob Adamson (website Sailor Bob Adamson)
  73. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  74. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  75. ^ Nisargadatta Maharaj Disciples
  76. ^ Siddhagiri Math – History (website
  77. ^ Narendracharyaji Maharaj (website Narendracharyaji Maharaj)



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