Siddha Yogi Charpat Nath (Carpaṭī-nāth)
Also known through various legends as Siddh Charpaṭ-nāth, Karpaṭī-nāth, Pacarīpā and Charbaripa, the Natha Yogi Charpat Nath is traditionally recognized as one amongst most distinguished Siddhas of the Natha Sampradaya. It is uncertain if his name is derived from the Sanskrit word carpaṭa, which can be translated either as ‘the ears lying flat to the head’ or the open palm of the hand or carpaṭī- ‘thin biscuit of flour’. In accordance with some lists, he is counted not only as being one from the Eighthly Four Great Siddhas, but also as one of the Nine Nathas. There exists numerous legends about him, although many of them more resembling the fairy tales, then the reliable historical testimonies. Out of the some accounts mentioning him and from the analysis of his works, it appears clearly, that as the historical personality, he was the realized Yogi of the Natha Panth, who has attained the State of the enlightened Siddha Yogi. His guru was either Gorakh Nath or Matsendra Nath, the different sources disagree at this point, but the tendency is to show him as the direct disciple of the Guru Gorakh Nath, rather then his Guru Bhai (while Tara Nath mentioned him as the guru of Matsendra and Mina Natha, which can’t be true). In the verse one of his book Charpat Nath Shataka, which is recognized as the authentic work, Charpat Nath himself revered the Guru Goraksh Nath as his guru: ‘śrīgorakṣaṁ natvā devaṁ’. The medieval popularity and the influence of Charpat Nath is supported by the mention of his name in HYP amongst the names of other realized Mahasiddhas. He also mentioned along with some other Great Siddhas in Sidh Gosṭi, the book forming the part of Shri Guru Granth Sahab, as having the conversation with the Sikh Guru Nanak Dev. However, even in the sight of this obvious high status of the Siddha Charpat Nath amongst the Natha Yogis, amongst the Twelve Sub sects of the Natha Sampradaya there is not exist any pant in his name. However if we accept him as the guru of the Siddha Naga Arjuna, who is traditionally associated with the Raval Panth, then he could be counted as one of forerunners of this Panth.
In accordance with some legends and other written sources, he has acquired immortality by the means of Rasayana (the Indian name for Alchemy), and was able to transform the different materials into other. As for example, the work Rasaratnakara attributed to the authorship of the Siddha Nityanath, has mentioned Charpat Nath amongst the other famous Indian alchemists. Although in the accordance with the various sources the Rasayana Siddha Nagarjuna is traditionally recognized as the presiding him by time, and therefore as his senior, in some verses of Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdis, Charpat Nath is addressing to him in the way as guru is addresses to own disciples: ‘kahai carpaṭ suni ho ṇāgā ārjan’ (Nath Siddho ki Bani 147). In accordance with the account of the Lama Tara Nath, Nagarjuna has learn Rasayana from Vyalipa, who in his turn was the disciple of Charpat Nath. Also in the verse 151 of the same work, Charpat Nath addresses to Luipa as his disciple: carpaṭ kahai sunau re Loī. The Lama Tara Nath also has mentioned the Siddha Kakkuti or Kakkuṭipa (who is probably lived at the same time with Luipa) as the disciple of Charpat Nath.
In accordance with the legend found in the Bengali book called ‘Mīna-cetan,’ (Mīna-cetan or the Awakening of Mina’, composed by Shyama-das, and other ‘Gorakh vijaya’ or the Victory of Gorakṣa, composed by Faijulla), Devī Parvati being pleased by Gorakh Nath, blessed him, by granting him the bonus of obtaining the most beautiful woman ever existed. To fulfill her bonus, Śiva by his yogic power, created a young woman, who determinedly has accepted Gorakh Nath as her husband since the moment she came into existence. After coming into her house, Goraksh Nath turned himself into the six month old child and started annoyingly crying demanding milk from her breast. After short time, when the girl has became greatly absent by this situation, Goraksh Nath told her that it is impossible for him to be affected by the sensual desire, but if she would wash his kaupīn or karpaṭī (loin cloth) and drink water remain after it, she would get a child. She did in accordance with his advice, washed his karpaṭī and drunk water left after it. Some time later, son was born to her, which was named Karpaṭī-nāth.
In the 'Ananta Vakya' attributed to Charpata, he is called a 'Raja', that is, a prince of royal heritage. In the 'Maha Santa Vakya' Mayanamati calls him her brother. (from the article Some Aspects of the History and Doctrines of the Nathas by Gopinath Kaviraj published in the Princess of Wales Sarasvati Bhavan Series, Vol VI, 1927). There are few places in the different parts of India connected with Charpat Nath, which are surrounded by the various legends about this remarkable yogi. His name has strong connection with the ancient mountain kingdom of Chamba, where he was kept in the high esteem as the Raj guru or the spiritual preceptor of the king. The different legends and the historic records mention him as the guru of the Raja of Chamba Sāhilladeva or Sahila Varma. Besides the obvious conclusion that the Siddh Charpat Nath was contemporary with the Guru Gorakh Nath, who was his guru, the time period of Sahiladeva’s rule is the another reliable testimony about the time of his life. It is said that Raja Sahil Varma has shifted the capital of the kingdom from Bharmaur to Chamba around the year 920 A.D., and that Charpat Nath has participated in the taking this decision.
Charpat Nath and the Chamba Kingdom
It is believed that being the Guru of the king, Charpat Nath has exercised considerable influence in the matters concerning the management of the Chamba kingdom. It is told that he has participated in taking the decision of shifting the capital of the kingdom to the new place, where the modern city Chamba is situated. The blessing of the yogi to the king was successful, and the dynasty of the Chamba kings has ruled peacefully and uninterruptedly, nearly for the period of one millennium. Even nowadays, in the annual procession centered around the temples of Chatpat Nath and Chaurasi Temples, the ritual is performed, which symbolizes the supreme authority of the Siddha Charpat Nath over the Chamba Kingdom, when the Raja of Chamba passes chari (the wooden stick of the particular design wrapped in the silver foil) to the priests of the Charpat Nath temple.
In the city Chamba, near the Lakshmi-Narayana temple, which believed was constructed by the king Sahil Varma under the guidance of Charpat Nath, there is the temple of Charpat Nath. The different accounts state that it was constructed by the Raja Sahil Varman in the honor of his guru, while there are some others who says that it was constructed later, in the memory of the Siddh Charpat Nath.
There are few works in Sanskrit and some in local dialects, which are traditionally recognized as the authentic works composed by the Siddha Charpat Nath. I think that after analyzing the scarcity of the reliable historical materials, his literature works is another importance source from which we can learn more about the personality of this remarkable Natha yogi.
His main book in Sanskrit Carpaṭa Maṅjaryaparaparyāya or Carpaṭanātha Śataka, is an important work of the Natha Tradition, written in its unique stile (Carpaṭa Maṅjaryaparaparyāya , Yogi Narhari Nath, editing 1953. Carpaṭaśatakam, Kashi, Gorakh Tilla, Akhil Bharat Varshiya Yoga Pracharini Mahasabha Sri Charpat Satkam, editing by Bhamboolnath Yogi, 1969, Hardwar, Bhesh Barah Panth Dalicha). Although it is composed in Sanskrit, it uses Doha metre, which is more common for the works written in Hindi. This work isn’t centered on the Hatha Yoga practices, but rather have the motivational character, intended to stimulate the various categories of people to turn their faces towards their Supreme Soul (Paramatma), and forsake sleepiness and hypocrisy; some of its verses are quite challenging. To some extent it can be compared with the Shabdi of the Guru Gorakh Nath or with the Doha Kosha of the Great Siddha Saraha, which have the similar flavor. In the first verse of the composition of hundred verses, Charpat Nath making obeisance to Gorakh Nath as his Guru and explains the purposes of his work:
śrīgorakṣaṁ natvā devaṁ sakalasurāsuraviracitasevam |
vakṣye kiṇcittadanucaro'haṁ muṇcati yena vivekī moham || Charpa Shataka || 1 ||
Charpat Shataka 1. After making obeisance to the Shri Goraksha Deva (śrīgorakṣaṁ devaṁ natvā), who is serviced by the combined efforts of all gods and demons (sakalasurāsuraviracitasevam), I (Charpat Nath) would say here few words (vakṣye kiṇcittadanucaro'haṁ), which are leading to the vanishing of delusion by replacement it with wisdom (muṇcati yena vivekī moham).
kuruṣe yadi śamasukhahevākaṁ muñca tadānīṁ krodhavipākām |
yatkṣaṇakupite tadiha veraṇyaṁ vatsarakoṭitapasiha puṇyam || ChS || 8 ||
ChS 8. If you truly think about own wellbeing (kuruṣe yadi śamasukhahevākaṁ), then renounce the misfortune of your anger forever (muñca tadānīṁ krodhavipākām), because even the momentary engagement in wrath and the filling of enmity (yatkṣaṇakupite tadiha veraṇyaṁ), could burn up all the good karma collected through the penance of the countless years (vatsarakoṭitapasiha puṇyam).
yadayaṁ svāmī yadidaṁ sadma sarvaṁ caitacchattvā chadma |
yadiyaṁ kāntā yadayaṁ kāntaḥ so'yaṁ moho hanti dūrantaḥ || ChS || 29 ||
ChS 29 This is my master, I am his servant (yadayaṁ svāmī yadidaṁ sadma) all these are the tricks of the mind to conceal the own True Self (sarvaṁ caitacchattvā chadma). I am belong to her, she is belong to me (yadiyaṁ kāntā yadayaṁ kāntaḥ); in such way, the attachment to ‘this is mine’ leads to the sorrowful consequences and finally kills (so'yaṁ moho hanti dūrantaḥ).
na dhanaṁ na gṛhaṁ na sutaḥ kaścid yadi jānīte manasi vipaścita |
māyā buddhi vikalpitametat tavamamakārākalita hyatet || ChS || 30 ||
ChS 30 He who knows that (yadi jānīte) neither the wealth belongs to some one, nor the house, nor the son (na dhanaṁ na gṛhaṁ na sutaḥ), he is the wise man (manasi vipaścita). All these alterations of the intellect attached to the three fold illusion (māyā buddhi vikalpitametat) are the result of the engagement in ‘yours and mine’, which are should be forsaken (tavamamakārākalita hyatet).
aṅgaṁ galitaṁ palitaṁ muṇḍaṁ jātaṁ daśanavihīnaṁ tuṇḍam |
vṛddho yāti gṛhītvā daṇḍaṁ tadapi na muṇcatyāśāpiṇḍam || ChS || 33 ||
ChS 33. The limbs of the body have became feeble (aṅgaṁ galitaṁ), the twisted together hairs on his head have became grey (palitaṁ muṇḍaṁ jātaṁ), no teeth has left in his mouth (daśanavihīnaṁ tuṇḍam), taking support of stick, the old man walks (vṛddho yāti gṛhītvā daṇḍaṁ), but even then the hope (to live forever) didn’t left his body (tadapi na muṇcatyāśāpiṇḍam).
śrutvā tuṣyati pariṇayalagnaṁ vetti na mūḍho maraṇaṁ lagnam |
hasati ca śatruṁ bhujabalamagnaṁ kalayati na svaṁ bhujabalamagnam || ChS || 67 ||
ChS 67. After listening the news about the arranging the own marriage (śrutvā tuṣyati pariṇayalagnaṁ), the foolish person becomes pleased, without realizing that his excitement is about own death (na vetti mūḍho maraṇaṁ lagnam). After getting caught into the clasp of the enemy, he laughs (hasati ca śatruṁ bhujabalamagnaṁ), without realizing that he himself has offered himself to the snare of death (kalayati na svaṁ bhujabalamagnam).
sukhataḥ kriyate ramyo bhogaḥ paścādeti śarīre rogaḥ |
paśyati loke maraṇaṁ śaraṇaṁ tadapi na muṇcati pāpācaraṇam || ChS ||68 ||
ChS 68. He becomes engaged in the getting the filling of happiness through the various kinds of the sensual experiences (sukhataḥ kriyate ramyo bhogaḥ), but as the result of these, his body becomes afflicted with diseases (paścādeti śarīre rogaḥ). But even after seeing the world taking the refuge in death (paśyati loke maraṇaṁ śaraṇaṁ), he didn’t stop being the slave of the sinful behavior (na muṇcati pāpācaraṇam).
mā gāḥ snehaṁ kvacidapi mātaḥ śokam muṇcatvapi ca tāta |
mā tvaṁ dīnaṁ rodrībhrātraḥ svayamevāhaṁ karmatrātaḥ || ChS || 69 ||
ChS 69. O Mother! After seeing me becoming yogi, leave aside your affection (mā gāḥ snehaṁ kvacidapi mātaḥ)! O father! Don’t grieve about your son (śokam muṇcatvapi ca tāta)! O brother! Don’t cry because of the memories about me (mā tvaṁ dīnaṁ rodrībhrātraḥ)! Everyone is getting the fruits of their own karma, and no one of others (svayamevāhaṁ karmatrātaḥ).
ko'haṁ kastvaṁ ko'yaṁ lokaḥ kena kimarthaṁ kriyate śokaḥ |
āyātyeko gacchatyekaḥ sarve jīva skhalitavivekaḥ || ChS || 72 ||
ChS 72. Who am I? And who are you? And who are these people? Who is sad about which matter? One has come, and other has gone, in such way all souls rotate on the wheel of time, being pulled around by their ignorance.
kiyatī nahi me bhūtā mātā kiyatī bhaginī nahi saṁjātā|
kiyatī belā nahi sampannaḥ kiyatī belā naiva vipannaḥ || ChS || 75 ||
ChS 75. How many mothers I have got in past, and with how many wives I have spent my lives? How many times I have become wealthy, and how many times I have ended up by becoming poor?
vaktraṁ bhajate gālīleśaḥ kāyaṁ tudate hiṁsākleśaḥ |
citte nivasati roṣāveśaḥ ko'ya yogin yogādeśaḥ || ChS || 79 ||
ChS 79. In the mouth there is still remains of scolding, in the body abides the disease of violence, in the mind resides anger, O yogi! Is that Adesh which you have obtained from your Guru?
vapuṣā hariṁhṛta bhogavilāsaḥ karaṇairanukṛtbakakṛkalāsaḥ |
sphurati na kaścadyogavikāsaḥ kriyateyogin kathamāyāsaḥ || ChS || 81 ||
ChS 81 In the same way as chameleon changes its color, he has changed his closes; after outwardly renunciation of the world, he still fully attached to it through the mind and heart. O Yogi! Why you didn’t brought forth any progress in yoga? Where on your way you became lost in lethargy?
ko'haṁ kastvaṁ kathamāyātaḥ kā me jananī ko me tātaḥ |
itiparibhāvayataḥ saṁsāraḥ sarvo'yaṁ svapnavyavahāraḥ || ChS || 99 ||
ChS 99. Who am I? And who are you? How we get involved into this misery? Who is my mother? And who is my father? After contemplating in such manner, the yogi realizes that the activities of this world are like passing dreams.
Some Other Works
Amongst other works attributed to the authorship of Charpat Nath are Shri Charpat Nath ji ka Shabdi and Charpat Nath ji ke Shlok; both these works are composed in old Indian dialects and were published by Hajariprasad Dvivedi in 1978. (Nāth Siddho kī Bāniya, Kashi (Varanasi)- Nagari Pracharini Sabha). The works in local Northern Indian dialects Shri Charpat Nath ji ka Shabdi and Charpat Nath ji ke Shlok are written in the similar stile as his Sanskrit work Charpat Shataka, which is the proof that these works have the same authorship:
aisī karaṇī karau avadhu jyūm bahuri na hoya maraṇāṁ | Nath Siddho ki Baniya 184 (Shri Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdi)
NSB 184 O yogi beyond of dualities (avadhu)! Live your life in such way that you will no die again!
mān abhimānai lādai phirai, guru na khojai mūrakh marai |
ḍaṇḍa kamaṇdal bhagvā bheś, pātthar pujā bahu upades || NSB 154 (Shri Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdi)
NSB 154 Conceit about himself, the foolish person who thinks that he already knows everything doesn’t bother to search for guru. In his hands there is stick and water pot, he wears the closes of saffron color, he has learned a lot from the worship of stones.
nhave dhove pakhale aṇga bhītari mailā bāhari caṇga |
homa jāpa igyāri karai pārabrahma ke sudh na dharai|| NSB 156 (Shri Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdi)
NSB 156 He is paranoid about the cleanness of his body, so he washes his limbs again and again through the day; outwardly he shines, but inside he is full of all kinds of impurities. He has set his heart on the complicated external rituals, but he has totally forgotten to purify his soul to the height of Pārabrahma.
carpaṭ kahe suno re avadhū kāmaṇi saṇg na kījai |
jiṇd binda no naḍī sokhai dina dina kāyā chījai || NSB 160 (Shri Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdi)
NSB 160 Charpat Nath says, listen O yogi beyond of dualities (avadhu), don’t fell into the convenience of the company of woman (kāmaṇi saṇg na kījai). By discharging bindu, the life force in the nine nadis of your body would be gradually extinguished; day by day your body would be taken away from you.
kisakā beṭā kisakī bahū āpa savāratha milayā sahū |
jetā phūlā tetā kāla carpaṭ kahai e sab jaṇjal || NSB 142 (Shri Charpat Nath ji ki Shabdi)
NSB 142 Is this son of yours is your personal property? Should he be married to this lady only because you want him to do so? The people guided by their selfish interests and ignorance, try to manipulate us in accordance with their whims. Where these worldly associations are spread themselves up, the time is born, and its consequence is death. Charpat says, the indulging in all these worldly affairs would push you into the perpetual confusion and misery.
There are few more work attributed to the authorship of Charpatnath, they are Carpaṭarasayana and Ananta-Vakya, the work called Rasacandraudaya is attributed to the authorship of Carpaṭin.
The Life Story of the Guru Carbaripā
This is the Vajrayana version of the life story of the Siddha Carbaripā (Javaripa), as it appeared in the book Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti or 'The Life Stories of the Eighty Four Siddhas' written by Abhaya Datta (the story number 64). Some researchers have supported the view that Vajrayana Siddha Carbaripā was the same with the Natha Yogi Charpat Nath. As for example, in the book of the Lama Tara Nath (1573-1635 A.D.) ‘The Seven Instruction Lineages’, the name Charpati or Charpaṭipa is plainly used instead of the name Carbaripā. The narration line of this story as it appeared in the book Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti is quite abrupt, and its ending isn’t clear, and it is only after comparing it with the more detailed account given by the Lama Tara Nath that one can come to some more clear conclusions. To make this story more readable I will present here the mingled version of these two accounts describing some events of the Charpat Nath’s life. In cases of the minor variations of the both texts, I have chosen the line of narration of CSP because it is older written record then the account of Tara Nath, which is based on the spoken tradition.
In accordance with the account of the Lama Tara Natha, the Rasayana Siddha Vyalipa after long search has discovered the elixir of immortality (amrita). Although he has attained the state of Vidyadhara in his bodily form, his knowledge of the doctrine still was imperfect. Therefore he prayed to the Acharya Carpati, who has realized the highest state of Mahamudra (the Great Union or the State of Yoga) to fulfill this gap. After he has obtained what he desired, he has given to his guru Charpati the portion of his elixir of immortality, along with the knowledge of the numerous aspects of Rasayana, as the token of his gratitude. After testing the elixir on himself, and realizing its potential, Charpti decided to go to the dense populated location, so that there as many people as possible could be benefited from it.
(CSP) The life story of Guru Carbaripā is in such manner: He used to live in some place of the Magdha Kingdom and was carag or cārvāk by caste.
On outskirts of the Magdha Kingdom, at the place exact location of which presently is not known (in accordance with the translation of David Templeman, this area was known as Camparna), there was living a man of Charag family (Charag by caste, members of this caste were usually taking care of animals or hunting), who was very prosperous and reach. He had as much as one thousand of buffalos, horses and sheep, which were the main source of his income. One day, when his aged father has died, his last ceremony was performed by the members of his family with the great pomp. It was tradition at that time that when somebody was dying, the people from all around areas, were coming at his place and donating lot of money for the members of his family. Till all required formalities were fully performed, there was arranged the daily ritual feast with the numerous formalities in the memory of the deceased for all people and the relatives collected there, which was lasting for few days.
When all people collected there gone for the ritual bathing in Ganga (or probably some other river?), they left at the house the wife of the son of demised, with her three years old son, to take care of the place. When they were sitting there alone, the guru Carbaripā has come there and begged her for some food (in accordance with the translation of David Templeman, he did all which followed this because he has chosen that location for the spreading of his elixir). She was of simple character and she explained the situation to him (food was prepared for the ritualistic purposes and nobody was allowed to partake out of it before all the necessarily formalities were done).
But Carbaripā insisted, and told her that if her husband and others would became angry on her for giving him food, she should escape to the nearby jungle, where he would stay and make his fire place. He persuaded her give him food, by saying that possibly they would not be angry and all will end up peacefully. She has became convinced by his words (she didn’t wanted to offend the yogi and offered him food), and the yogi has left to his place in the jungle. The young woman was sitting happily at her home, being pleased by the meeting with the yogi.
After some time, the people returned back, and her mother-in-law was one amongst them. Immediately she noticed that some food was taken and started scold her daughter-in-law for this. Unable to bear this, she has escaped to the yogi’s place in the jungle with her child in hands. When she approached him, he seeing her, with the words ‘nice done’, sprinkled her with water and spelled mantra over her (in accordance with SIL of Tara Nath, this was the same elixir of immortality, which he has obtained from Vyalipa). As result of it her body and of her son became transformed into the self-existent diamond bodies (svayṁbhū vajrakāya). Since that moment, there was no need for them of food or anything else in this world (in accordance with SIL of Tara Nath they have obtained Vidyadhara bodies).
When her husband has reached to the house, he started asking people where his wife was. Always he was told that she gone somewhere, but nobody know where exactly. Asking from place to place, at last he has reached the place of that Yogi, where he also started inquire about his wife. As it happened before with his wife and the child, water was sprinkled over him and the mantra was pronounced, as the result of which he acquired the same state as they were. The three of them were sitting on the same seat. As the lost buffalos, their relatives and friends were reaching the place of the yogi in the search for them; all of them has faced the same fate and obtained their ultimate aim (arth siddh).
As the result of this transformations, even the child of the young lady has acquired (or could bestow upon others) such magical abilities as: from his testicles he has acquired the ability to walk in the air, the urine issued from his penis was capable to transform the various materials into gold, out from his anus came out the elixir, from his eyes were coming the ability of walking in the sky (DT: ointment siddhi, from his ears the pill siddhi, from his mouth the sword siddhi, from his nose the fleetfoot siddhi) and the other eight magical powers. Soon after this, the fame of the boy has spread far around the place in all directions, so that along with many other people, even the king of the Chamba KIngdom Mahi (Mahipal) came to visit their place. After seeing him (DT: Charpati), the king has become greatly impressed and submersed into the devotional mood. (In accordance with the translation of DT, when the king has presented his offering in front of the yogi, he has become furious and overturned the food containers on the ground. Afterwards the daughter of the Naga King has come from the underground and presented in front of the King many more wonderful items, so that the king has became convinced in the miraculous abilities of the yogi). The king has constructed the abode for the couple along with their child (in accordance with DT, Charpat Nath was the head of the family), and for the other three hundred people he has made the monastery (vihar or DT: rocky caverns), which has became famous under the name Dvampa. No cruel minded people could enter inside of the premises of that place, and it is said that the stone statures of that place were praying by themselves, and were doing also many other things. In the course of time, that place has became the Siddha Center (Siddha Pith), populated by the numerous yogis and Siddhas. The atmosphere of that place was capable to bring enlightenment very soon. It is said that they (DT: Charpati, mother and child) would continue their work for the benefit of the suffering living beings at the same spot (DT: known as Champa-Charpati) till the coming of the Maitryea Buddha.
On this the Life story of the Guru Carbaripā is completed.
1. Datta B.N., 1944. ed. and translation, Mystic tales of Lama Taranath, Calcutta, Ramakrishna Vedanta Math.
2. Templeman David, translation 1983. The Seven Instruction Lineages (of Taranatha). Dharamsala, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives.
Some more articles related to Charpat Nath from the Internet: