Sunday September 22, 2019

Gorakshanatha: The Siddha-Yogi who spread Yoga in all four directions

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Source: http://nathas.org

By Nithin Sridhar

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Guru Poornima Special- Part 3

The Natha (literally “lord”) sampradaya has been one of the most influential lineages of spiritual masters in the history of India. Many of the current spiritual practices including those of laya yoga, hatha yoga etc. can be traced to these masters.

Therefore, the third segment of Guru Poornima series will deal with Gorakshanatha, the second among the nine Natha’s.

His Life: According to modern scholarship, Gorakshanatha lived somewhere between 10th and 11th century. But no definite information is available regarding his birth date, place or life events. He is considered as one of the 84 Siddha Maha-Yogis and as the founder of what later came to be known as Hatha Yoga.

Traditionally, he is considered as one among the nine immortal Nathas, and a manifestation of Lord Shiva.

Accounts about his power and miracles are heard throughout the length and breadth of the country, from Nepal in the north to Maharashtra in the south, and from Punjab in the west to Assam in the east.

According to one such famous account, once, when Matsyendranatha, the teacher of Gorakshanatha, had gone into a land of women called Kadali-vana, he fell into the snares of 1600 women, and he completely forgot about his real nature and the powers he had.

At that time, it was Gorakshanatha, who went there and saved his master by reminding him his true personality. Some accounts, also believe that this whole episode was a play of Matsyendranatha to test Gorakshanatha.

Regarding the birth of Gorakshanatha, various legends have appeared. According to one such account, Lord Shiva had given prasad (food) to a woman to eat, saying she would give birth to a son. Twelve years later, when Matsyendranatha went to the woman to see her son, he was informed that the woman had thrown the prasad upon a dung-hill. Matsyendranatha found a young boy of twelve years, near the place where the dung hill stood.

His Guru: Matsyendranatha is the founder of Kaula tradition and is first among the nine nathas. He is said to have been initiated by Lord Shiva himself who is referred as Adi Natha.

The legend goes that Matsyendranatha was a fisherman. Once, while he was fishing, he was swallowed by a large fish. This fish went near a cave where Lord Shiva was imparting secret teachings of Yoga to Parvati. Matsyendranatha, who was in the belly of the fish, heard those teachings and practiced those austerities for 12 long years, after which he finally came out of the fish’s body. Hence, he is called as Matsyendranatha where matsya refers to fish.

His Philosophy: He was not a philosopher but was a Siddha Yogi, who taught and spread the knowledge of Yoga. The Natha’s believe that in every Yuga, Gorakshanatha appears on earth to teach Yoga.

He considered the Brahman (Transcendent reality) as Shiva and the manifestation as Shakti. And this MahaShakti (great power) being the real inherent power of Brahman.

Hence, Gorakshanatha considered that though Shiva has no movement and is static, he himself, by virtue of his inner Power (nija-shakti) manifests this multiplicity of universes.

He further considers a Siddha yogi, a perfected yogi as one who has realized the identity of Shiva and Shakti.

His Works: Gorakshanatha has been traditionally believed to have authored several Sanskrit treatises on various topics related to Yoga. Some of his works are Goraksha Samhita, Siddha Siddhanta Paddatti, Viveka Maartanda, Yoga Chintamani, Jnanaamrita, Goraksha Gita etc.

His Legacy: He was one of the foremost Yogis who spread the philosophy and practice of Yoga far and wide. The system of Yoga taught by Nathas are not different from Pantanjali Yoga in general principles. But, Gorakshanatha elaborated and enriched the system by adding various forms of Asanas (posture), Pranayaama (breath control), Mudraa (hand gestures), Bandha (body locks), Dhaarana (one pointed concentration), Dhyaana (meditation), Ajapaa (spontaneous repetition of mantra) etc.

He made unique contributions to Naada (primordial sound), which became the basis for Laya Yoga. He dealt in depth on Kundalini and gave detailed descriptions regarding various Chakras.

He is foremost among the teachers of Hatha Yoga and many consider him as its founder. His master had founded the Yogini Kaula tradition and he enriched the tradition as well.

The Nath Sampradaya, carried the legacy of Matsyendranatha and Gorakshanatha forward. They were experts at alchemy and healing.

Many consider Gorakshanatha as the most influential person after Adi Shankaracharya. What Adi Shankaracharya did to Vedanta, Gorakshanatha achieved the same for Yoga. He single-handedly spread Shaivism and Yoga through the length and breadth of India.

Glossary:

Hatha Yoga: A system of Yoga that mainly concentrates on the perfection of physical body and is considered as the first step towards the pinnacle of Raja Yoga.

Laya Yoga: It is same as Kundalini Yoga, where a practitioner awakens his sleeping Kundalini and makes it flow through Chakras.

Kundalini: It is the primal energy (Shakti) that sleeps at the base of the subtle spinal column.

Kaula tradition: The practitioners of a specific school of tantra.

Siddha Yogi: A perfected Yogi, who has attained the ultimate goal.

More in this segment:

Guru Poornima Special- Part 1

Guru Poornima Special- Part 2

Next Story

Realme, Samsung Have Lowest Return Rates Among All Smartphone Brands in India

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent)

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To get ahead in the fast-changing tech industry, Samsung said it will expand investment in burgeoning tech segments to propel growth. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese handset maker Realme and South Korean major Samsung have the lowest return rates among all smartphone brands in India, a survey by CyberMedia Research (CMR) said on Thursday.

The “CMR MICI” survey that included 4,000 smartphone owners across top eight Indian cities, focused on smartphone purchase process, key smartphone specs of priority, as well as issues with post-sales service, including repairs or replacements.

“The return rates in smartphone brands provide a measure of consumer satisfaction with their current brand and, in turn, implies that the brands have been able to excel in meeting consumer expectations. Our survey findings report the lowest return rate for brands, such as Realme and Samsung, in comparison to the prevailing industry average,” Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, said in a statement.

The lowest return rates are determined by the first visit to the brand’s service centre within the first six months of purchase, for either repair or replacement, by both online as well as offline buyers.

Around three per cent of the total smartphone users visited a service centre for the first time within the first six months of their smartphone purchase, during the in-warranty period.

Realme, Online, Smartphone
Armed with a quad camera-system smartphone in every price segment along with an investment worth Rs 300 crore for its surface-mount technology (SMT) lines, Chinese handset maker Realme aims. Pixabay

When it comes to looks, design and feel, users of Vivo are most satisfied (99 per cent), followed by OPPO and Realme users (98 per cent each), and at third place, Xiaomi with 97 per cent satisfaction.

Across smartphone brands, users are excited about the design aesthetics, camera performance and build quality that phones sport across price bands.

Users indicated more satisfaction with intangible factors that they associate with their smartphones, including reliability and performance.

Also Read- Facebook To Shut Down Group Story Feature

“In order to win consumer mindset, smartphone brands need to invest in getting not just product design and product quality right, but they must ensure overall brand experience, and service quality right,” Ram added.

When it comes to reliability, Realme users rank their smartphones high (90 per cent), followed by Samsung (88 per cent) and Vivo (87 per cent). (IANS)