Matsyendra Nath

śrīguruṁ paramānandaṁ vande svānandavigraham|
yasya sannidhyamātreṇa cidānandāyate tanuḥ ||1||
antarniścalitātmadīpakalikā svādhārabandhādibhiḥ
yo yogī yugakalpakālakalanātattvaṁ ca jegīyate |
jñānāmodamahodadhiḥ samabhavad yatrādināthaḥ svayaṁ
vyaktāvyaktaguṇādhikaṁ tamaniśaṁ śrīmīnanāthaṁ bhaje || 2 ||
(Gorakṣa Śataka verses 1,2)

Verse 1 Praise (vande) to the Venerable Guru (śrī gurum), the embodiment of the Supreme Bliss (param ānandam), who grants (vigraham) the bliss of experiencing oneself as the Supreme Eternal Self (sva ānanda), by mere nearness (sannidhya mātreṇa) to whom (yasya) the body (tanuḥ) becomes transcended (ayate) as pure and blissful mind (cid ānanda). Verse 2 To that (yad) Yogi (yogī), who being steadily fixed (niścalit) inside (antaḥ) the light (dīpa) of the flame (kalikā) of his soul (ātma) by the virtue of his yoga practice (sva ādhāra bandha ādibhiḥ), also (ca) sing praises repeatedly (jegīyate) the True Principle (tattvam) causing (kalanā) the time (kāla) of ages (yuga) and eras (kalpa). To that (tad) venerable (śrī) Mīna Nātha (mīna nātham), the Great (mahā) Ocean (udadhiḥ) of knowledge (jñāna) and joy (āmoda), surpassing (adhikam) the qualities (guṇa) of existence (vyakta) and non existence (āvyakta), where (yatra) the Foremost Lord (ādi nāthaḥ), himself (svayam) has merged in equability (sama bhavat), [I] worship (bhaje) continuously (aniśam).

The name of Matsyendra Nath is one of most remarkable amongst the yogis of the Nath Sampradaya, as well as of the whole Mahasiddha Tradition. He has wide recognition as the Guru of Goraksh Nath, and less known as one of the founders of the tantric Kaula Sādhanā. Matsyendra Nath is the very important person for the Natha Yogis, because he is the Guru of the Founder of their tradition. Although they support the view that it was Guru Goraksh Nath, who actually founded the Natha Order, the names of Matsyendra Nātha and Jalandhar Natha precede him in the list of Acharyas, parampara - the lineage of the direct passing on of the Tradition. Duty this reason Matsyendra Nāth is also known as the Dādā (Guru) Matsyendra Nāth, where dādā means ‘Grand Father Guru’. While the Guru Goraksh Nath is unanimously accepted as their Guru by all Natha Yogis, Matsyendra Nāth, in his turn, recognized as the preceptor of their guru, and therefore as their Grand Father Guru.

The Great Yogi

There exist lot of legends, in India and Nepal, describing the supernatural abilities and miracles performed by Matsyendra Nāth. It is widely believed that as the Guru Goraksh Nath, he also is an immortal, endowed with the extraordinary magical powers, and much more than the term ‘ordinary human being’ can express. He is mentioned by the author of HYP Swaatmarama as one of the Great Siddhas, who destroyed the hold of the time by the power of Hatha yoga, and became able to wonder in the Universe as they wish:
HYP 1.9 ityādayo mahāsiddhā haṭha-yoga-prabhāvataḥ |
khaṇḍayitvā kāla-daṇḍaṁ brahmāṇḍe vicaranti te|| 9||

Sometimes Matsyendra Nāth is compared with Shiva in the Indian Natha Tradition, and in the Buddhist tradition of Nepal he is worshiped as Avalokiteshvara- the divinity of the Buddhist Pantheon. One of the most remarkable from his miraculous powers mentioned in the legends about him, was the ability to live own body and entering into other bodies by free will, and remain there for prolonged period of time or permanently. If we accept this as true, then he is actually immortal, and keeps on passing from one body to other. It is believed that in his knowledge of the occult sciences and magic, he was second to no one amongst people, probably excluding only his Great Disciple. He also has reputation as the famous tantric practitioner, for example in one legend of Nepal, he appeared as the great sorcerer, who has exterminated by the power of his magic the army of the King of Nepal, which later was restored by Gorakh Nath. He is honored as their Guru and as an ideal of sadhaka by many modern practitioners of tantra, especially by those who try to follow the Path of Kaula Shakti Marga.

The Path of Nathas

Some legends showing him as the ‘fallen’ yogi, who become enamored by women and forgot about his yogic past, and it was Goraksh Nath who came to rescue him from this situation. Yet some other sources say that he done all his ‘mistakes’ only for the benefit of the world and his great disciple, being totally unaffected by all what he was doing (if we suppose that his spirit was free from his body then it could be accepted as true); indeed, being the guru of the Supreme Lord was not difficult task for him. The relations of Matsyendra Nātha and Goraksh Nātha are considered as an ideal example of the relations of guru and disciple, and form the Path to follow for others; all those who have attained their ultimate freedom and immortality walked by this path only. One of the greatest experts of the Hatha Yoga, the great yogi of the Natha Tradition Swaatmarama has assigned credit of all his personal achievements to the grace of Matsyendra-Gorakṣā:

haṭha-vidyāṁ hi matsyendra-gorakṣādyā vijānate |
svātmārāmo'thavā yogī jānīte tat-prasādataḥ || HYP 1 || 4||

There exist lot of the different lists of the Nine Great Nathas, and Matseyndra Nath appearing in almost all of them. Amongst the members of the Nine Great Nathas, he is known as Māyā Svarupī or Māyā Pati Dādā Matsyendra Nath, the names which have the symbolical meaning behind them. Māyā Svarupī can be translated as ‘being the form of Māyā (illusion) and Māyā Pati means the master of it. In this context he appears not like limited human personality, but rather more like universal principle of the yogic transforming power. After awakening of Kundalini (Personal Divine Power), it is not the individual guru only who is guiding yogi on his path, but the entire existence becomes his guru, Māyā changes from her role as merely illusion and becomes Yoga Maya, the power of transformation leading towards the Spiritual Self.

Around the Natha Tradition there exist numerous devotional folk songs presenting the ideas of the Natha yogis, composed in the various old and modern dialects of India, some of theme are widely popular, especially in the Northern part of the country. The most of them are written in the form of monologue of Matsyendra Nath addressing to his disciple Goraksh Nath and usually ending with words, 'Kahate Matsendar Baba, suno Jati Goraksh,' which means 'Matsendar Baba is saying, listen O perfect brachmachari Goraksh!'

The roles of Matsyendra Nath and the Guru Goraksh Nath in the spreading of the Shaiva worship all over India, are yet to be studied properly. Most legends about him connect his life with the areas of Bengal, Assam, Nepal and locality near the city Mangalore of Karnataka. In accordance with Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti, he was born in the Eastern India, was a fisherman by caste and lived near an ocean. Another place usually associated with his name is place Kama-rupa situated in the modern Assam State.

In course of time, the name of Matsyendra Nāth came through numerous distortions, and he became recognized under many different names, from which Matsyendra Nāth and Machendra Nāth are two most popular and generally used by the yogis of the modern Natha Sampradaya. There exist quite a lot of spellings and translations of these two names in the various local dialects of India, which were current there at the various periods of time. In Nepal he is identified with the divinity of the Buddhist pantheon Avalokiteshvara, whose other two names: Loka Natha (the Lord of the world) and Karunamaya (the embodiment of compassion) are also applied to him. He also famous there as Rato Macchindra Nath, where Rato means ‘red’ and worshiped by Newars as ‘the God of rain’. This tradition limited only to the area of Nepal and not supported in the other Buddhist regions.

In the different stories of the book Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti, he was called Minapā, Vajrapada and Achintapā (Achintya or worry-less). Abhinava Gupta called him Machanda Vibhu in his of his works called Tantraloka. In the work Kaula Jñāna Nirṇaya his names vary from chapter to chapter (called Paṭalas); he is mentioned as Macchaghnapāda in Paṭalas III, IV,V, VI,VII, VIII, IX, X; as Macchendrapāda in Paṭalas XIII, XV, XVII; as Matsyendrapāda in Paṭalas XVI, XXII, XXIII, and Mīnapāda in Paṭalas XIX, XX, XXI. Two more names appearing in KJN are Matsyodara, which means ‘born of fish’ and Macchaghna ‘the killer of fishes’. The first name comes from the version of legend, which says that he was born from the womb of fish, and second based on Vajrayana version of his life story, in accordance with which he was a fishermen before being swallowed by a fish. Even in this sense, he can be looked on as ‘reborn from fish’, because he came out of its stomach entirely different person then he was before entering into it. In two different versions of Akulavira Tantra, he is mentioned as Mīnanātha and Macchendrapāda. In Kulānanda he called Matsyendra and in Jñānakārikā Macchindra Nātha Pāda.

Historical perspective

The researchers were unable to come to the unanimous agreement about the exact date when Matsyendra Nath was flourishing. In accordance with various opinions, he lived not earlier than 7th century and not later than 12th century. The earliest date is based on the accepting as fact that he lived at the same time with the king of Nepal Narendra Deva, who ascended to throne in about 640 A.D. and ruled till his death in year 683 A.D. The latest date is based on the biography of the Saint Jnaneshwar, in accordance with which he lived not long time before him.

There exist few more accounts suggesting other possible periods of his life. Most of them would be discussed in more details in connection with the lives of Goraksh Nath, Jalandhar Nath and Kanipa Nath and therefore I omitted them here. Because Matsendra Nath can be accepted as contemporary with all of these yogis, the time mentioned for them will be same for him. Here I will present only few historically documented references peculiar for him.

Chronology in accordance with the time of Narendra Deva 

The earliest probable date of the historical Matsyendra Nath usually calculated on the basis of the legends connecting him with the king of Nepal Narendra Deva. In accordance with some historical records, the King of Nepal Narendra Deva, ruled Nepal at the same time with the Tibetan emperor Srong Tsang Gampo, to whom he has married his daughter. Srong Tsang Gampo, was born in the year 617 A.D. and died 698 A.D. He became the king of Tibet in 630 A.D., when he was only 13 year old child. Under his rule Tibetans conquered Burma and in 640 A.D. occupied Nepal. Both of these kings were historical personalities, lives of which relatively well documented.

Narendra Dev was the son of Uday Dev II, who was the King of Nepal in exile, under the patronage of the Tibetan Kings, after the throne of his ancestors was taken over by Jishnu Gupta and puppet kings installed by him. Narendra Deva, with the help of his Tibetan patron Srong Tsang Gampo, took revenge against the enemies of his father and restored his ancestral throne by overthrowing Bishnu Gupta, who was the son of Jishnu Gupta. Thus, he ended the double rule and became the 7th king of the Lichchhavi dynasty of Nepal. He ascended the throne in about 640 A.D., about the same time with the occupation of Nepal by the Tibetan army.

In accordance with the legends popular in Nepal, it was he who brought the patron deity Machchhendra Nath from Kamarup around 647 A.D. The legends agree that Matsyendra Nath came in Nepal in the period of his rule, therefore the time of his life can be placed somewhere around the middle of the 7th century.

Chronology in accordance with the time of Abhinava Gupta 

The famous exponent of Kashmiri Shaivism, Abhinava Gupta, who lived at the tenth century A.D., has mentioned Matsendra Nath as ‘Macchanda-vibhu’ in one of his works called Tantraloka. It is clearly evident, through numerous historical testimonies that this work was composed in the period between the end of 10th and beginning of 11th centuries A.D. Therefore his statement can prove that Matsendra Nath was living some time prior to him, which is before the end of the tenth century.

rāgāruṇaṁ granthi-bilāva-kīrṇaṁ yo jālamātāna-vitāna-vṛtti |
kalombhitaṁ bāhyapathe cakāra stān me sa macchanda-vibhuḥ prasannaḥ ||1|7||
(Tantrāloka 1.7 by Abhinava-Gupta)

Are Luipa and Matsyendra Nath were same persons? 

The idea that Matsyendra Nath and Vajrayani Mahasiddha Luipa were the same persons, was introduced for the first time by the Doctor Baggchi in his book Kaulajñānanirṇaya of the School of Matsyendra Nath. Later it was supported by the Doctor Kalyani Malik in her book SSP & OWNS. The both authors based their assumptions on the proposal that Luipa and Matsendra Nath were accepted as the first (Adi) acharyas of their traditions, one of Tibetan, and other of Indian lineages of the Mahasiddha yogis; as such they can be easily accepted as being the same persons. Another argument presented by the both researchers, was that name Matsyendra is nothing else, but the corrupted form of word Matsāntrāda (‘the eater of inner parts of fishes’ or ‘one who eats intestines of fishes’), which is one of translations of different Tibetan spellings of name Luipa into Sanskrit. This appears as rather logical, because the pronunciation of Matsāntrāda sounds more near to Matsyendra than to Mina Natha. And if we assume that name Matsyendra Nath was derived from Mina Nath, then it should be pronounced as Matsya Nath or Maccha Nath without the ending ‘endra’. There few more arguments presented by these researchers in support of their theory, one of which is that the both yogis appearing on paintings as being surrounded by fishes.

The opinion expressed by these two eminent scholars gained popularity and became accepted by many others researchers as trustworthy. Although I highly respect their contribution to the field of the studies about Nathism, here I can’t agree with their point of view. It seems that at the time when both of them were preparing their publications, they were unable to access the full text of Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti, because it was published as the one complete text as late as in 1979 A.D., much later after their works came to light. Before the full text of CSP became available in the printed form, there was existing lot of uncertainty about this question, which was settled by its publication. After going through the full text of the book it become obvious that both yogis were two entirely different personalities and have nothing in common excluding their relations to fishes. The fact that story of Luipa stand on first place in Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti doesn’t mean that he was the first of Mahasiddhas and therefore Adi Siddha. After reading the book, it becomes obvious that 84 stories of Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti doesn't appear in the chronological order, and it is rather Saraha then Luipa, who often recognized as being the first amongst Mahasiddhas.

Besides in the verse 151 of Nath Siddho ki Bani, the Natha Siddha Charpat Nath addresses to Luipa as his disciple: ‘carpaṭ kahai, sunau re Loī’. Because the Natha Tradition places Charpat Nath amongst the disciples either of Matsyendra Nath or Guru Goraksh Nath, this also can be accepted as the valid testimony.

Are Minanath and Matsyendranath were two different persons?

Another popular misconception prevails around the question: Were Mina-pa and Matsyendra Nath two different individuals, or these are only two different names of one person. There is nothing impossible that there could be two yogis with the names Minapa and Matsyendra Nath, which were different individuals and lived at different periods of time. In the Natha Sampradaya many times it happening that the names of yogis are repeated again and again in course of time, and there is not exist any rule not allowing this happen. But after analyzing the contexts in which these two names appear in the various texts, it appears clearly that it was one and the same person.

In accordance with the tradition accepted by the Natha yogis, there are only three persons in the lineage of transition: Adi Nath, Matsyendra Nath, Goraksh Nath. In this light all other variants of Mastseyndra Nath’s name can be accepted as being his name. However, the yogi Svaatmarama in his book Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, gives the list of the great siddhas, in accordance with which Goraksh Nāth is placed as the fifth or sixth in the spiritual descent from Matsyendra and as the direct disciple of Mīna:
śrī-ādinātha-matsyendra-śāvarānanda-bhairavāḥ |
cauraṅgī-mīna-gorakṣa-virūpākṣa-bileśayāḥ || 5||HYP 1.5

This verse could lead to conclusion that Matsyendra and Mīna were two different individuals and that Gorakhnāth lived more than a hundred years after Matsyendra, but the list of HYP by any means can’t be accepted as chronological.

In accordance with some variations of the popular story of Matsendra Nath’s life, Minapa was the name of Matsendra Nath’s son, born from queen of Triya Rajya, but this point also can’t be accepted, because Mina-pa is only different interpretation of the same name. Moreover, the different versions of legend about his life mention the different names of his son (sons). Names of Minapa or Mina-Nath and Macchendra or Matsyendranath are virtually the same, because both Matsya and Mīna in Sanskrit meaning fish, and Maccha is nothing else but form which word Matsya takes after being translated into Prakrit. Second part of the word ‘endra’, is word ‘indra’, which after transformation in accordance with rule of ‘sandhi’, has accepted this form, used simply as adding to the name, in sense of ‘the best, excellent, the first, the chief’, what is common practice in Hindi and Sanskrit names. Besides, in Bengal, Matsyedra Nath is traditionally recognized under name Mina Nath. Still, in accordance with G.W.Briggs, in Nepal there exists tradition where they were accepted as the two different persons.

Matseyndra Nath in the Bengali Tradition

In Bengal, there exist two books written in the Bengali language, which having different names, but narrating about same events and have the similar linre of narration. One of them composed by Shyama-das called ‘Mīna-cetan’ (‘The awakening of Mina’), and other composed by Shaikh Faijulla ‘Gorakh vijaya’ (‘The Victory of Gorakṣa’). The both authors based their narrations on the local folklore of Bengal and ballads sung by the wondering minstrels. The Doctor Sukumar Sen has presented the summary of the story in his book called Baṅglā Sāhityera itihās (History of the Bengali literature). Later, Doctor H.P.Dvivedi partly reproduced it in his book after translating it into Hindi. Also, some fragments from this book were presented by D.Kalyani Malik in her work SSP & OWNY.
Summary of 'The Victory of Goraksha'

Adya (primordial male principle) and Adyā (primordial female principle) were two ancient Gods who have started creation. Afterwards four Siddhas were born, after them young girl was born, whose name was Gaurī. Being ordered by Adya, Śiva married her and descended on the Earth. The names of those four Siddhas were Mīn Nāth, Gorakṣ Nath, Hāḍipā (Jalandhar Nath) and Kānhapā. From the time they were created, they became absorbed in the yoga practice and were sustaining merely on air. Goraksh Nath was in service of Mīn Nāth and Kanpha Nath was the people of of Hāḍipā.

Amar Katha (Bengali version)

One day Gaurī saw the garland of human sculls on the Śiva’s neck, and asked him why he was wearing them. He answered that in reality all those skulls belonged her, in her previous lives. Gaurī became shocked to learn it. She asked Śiva, what were the reasons duty which she has to die again and again, but he was immortal. Śiva answered her, that this kind of knowledge was secret, and not for ears of every body. He told her that before he will answer they should go in the middle of the Kṣir Samudra (the Ocean of Milk) on a boat, and then discuss it there. When they have reached the middle of the Kṣir Samudra, at the same time Mīn Nāth, who has accepted the form of a huge fish, has reached under their boat and stopped below it.

Listening, listening Devi gone to sleep and Mīn-nāth was saying yes, listening all time, so that Śiva complete narration. When Devi became awakened by the sound of his voice, she told that she didn’t listened the Great Knowledge, Śiva was narrating. When Śiva has applied his yogic sight to find who was saying, ‘yes I am listening,’ he has found that it was Mīn Nāth, sitting under the boat. He became angry and cursed him by saying that once day will come when he would forget the Great Knowledge, because it was acquired by the unfair means.

After this, Adi Guru Śiva has gone to Kailash Mountain and started live there. Gaurī was repeatedly asking him to arrange the marriages of Siddhas, so that they can bring forth progeny. Śiva answered her that Siddhas can’t be affected by lust. Gaurī has told that it is impossible that human body can be free from the sensual desires, and if Śiva would give his order, she will test all of them. Being persuaded by her, Śiva allowed her to do this.

The four Siddhas were performing their penances in four quarters: Hāḍiphā went to the East, Kānphā was in the South, in Goraksh was in the West and Mīn-nāth in the North. To give Gaurī an opportunity to perform her test, Śiva has invited the four Great Siddhas to his place. When they came, Gaurī after taking form of Bhuvan Mohinī (the seducer of the world) served them food. All four Siddhas became charmed by her form in different ways: Mīn-nāth thought in his mind that if he will get such beautiful women, he would spend a night with her. Devi curst him that he would forget his Great Knowledge and in Country Kadli would spent nights enamored by company of sixteen hundred beautiful female attendants. Hāḍiphā thought that for the sight of such beautiful women he would become even street sweeper, and as result he got curse that he would become sweeper in the house of queen Mayanāmatī. The disciple of Hāḍiphā, Siddha Gābhūr, thought that if he would get such a woman, then even if his foot and legs would be cut away it is not big matter. As result of his thoughts, he was cursed that his stepmother would put him in disgrace, as result of which his legs and legs would be cut away. Kānphā thought in his mind that for getting such a woman even sacrifice of life is not too mach. Becouse of this, Devi cursed him by saying that after going in Turmān country he would became ḍāhukā? Goraksh thought that if such women would be his mother, he would be happy sit in her laps and drink milk from her breast. Amongst other Siddhas, Goraksh Nath alone has passed the test, and instead of curse, he got a blessing as reward, but Devi not being satisfied on this, determined in her mind to make more severe tests for him in future.

After tests were completed, all Siddhas started for the places they were assigned to go. Only Goraksh Nath remained free. Once when he was sitting under Banyan tree absorbed in deep meditation, Devī applied all her means to bring him down from his state of yoga, but he passed through all her attempts till they ended. Other day, she lay naked on his way, pretending that she was sleeping, but such her state not created any wrong thoughts in the mind of Goraksh, and he covered her nakedness with a big leave from a fig tree. Then she has accepted the form of fly and entered in his stomach trying to cause pain to him. Goraksh Nath has stopped his breathing, and she became badly harassed by it. After all these tests, Devī accepted her terrible form and started killing countless human beings. Being ordered by Śiva, Goraksh delivered Devī from her state, and established a statue on her place. The legends say that it is the same statue, which worshiped in Calcutta in the Kali temple. After all these tests, Devī being pleased by him, blessed him by granting him bonus to get most beautiful woman ever existed. To fulfill her blessing the Lord Śiva by his power of his Yoga-Maya (illusion), created young woman, who determinedly accepted Goraksh Nath as her husband. Goraksh after coming in her house became child of six month old and started annoyingly crying demanding milk. After short time, the girl became greatly absent by the situation. Goraksh Nath told her that it is impossible for him to be affected by a sensual desire, but if she would wash his kaupīn or karpaṭī (loin cloth) and drink water, which remains after it, she will get a child. She did in accordance with has advice, washed his karpaṭī and drunken water left after it. Some time later, son was born to her, which was named Karpaṭī Nāth.

Goraksh Nath and Kānphā

One day, Goraksh Nath was sitting under Banyan tree absorbed in Samadhi. Kānphā was flying through sky to somewhere, and his shadow felt on Goraksh Nath. When Goraksh Nath noticed it, he turned his face up and after seeing him, became angry. He took his khaḍāu (wooden shoes) and through it at Kānphā, who was caught by it and dragged down to the place Goraksh Nath was sitting. In such way, he was punished for carelessly flying over his head.

Being disappointed by happened, Kānhapā told him with sarcasm, ‘If you have become so great Siddha, then why you do not know where your guru is? He is now in the country of Kadlī, engaged with women, after he forget all his Mahā-Jñān (the Great Knowledge). His powers became extinguished now, and after I have made an enquiry in the office of Yamarāja (the God of Death), I came to know that his span of life is only three days more. If you such a great Siddha Yogi, then go and save him from this misfortune and disgrace.’

Goraksh Nath answered to him, ‘You are giving me instructions what I should do, but did you have any news about your guru? He was buried under ground by the son of wise queen Mayanāmatī, Raja Gopīcand.’

Rescuing the Guru

In such way, both yogis came to know about the situations in which their gurus were, and started for rescuing them. First of all Goraksh Nath gone to office of Yamarāja and made there arrangements for prolonging the life term of his guru. Then he returned to the same tree, and after taking with him two disciples, Laṅg and Mahālaṅg, he entered into Kadalī forest for rescuing his guru. Yogis were not allowed to enter in Kadalī country; therefore, he disguised himself as Brahmin. By seeing him, people were making him obeisance, thinking him to be Brahmin, and in response he has to give bless them in customary manner. However, in reality, those blessings were not blessings of ordinary Brahmin, but of the Great Siddha, which Goraksh Nath was, therefore they were having extraordinary power. All those whom he blessed, even the worst of sinners, at once were becoming free from all their sins and retribution for them. On seeing this, Goraksh Nath understood that accepting the appearance of a Brahmin was not good for him, therefore he returned to his normal appearence of a yogi. He sat under Banyan tree situated on the bank of some lake at Kadalī country, and entered in samadhi. A local woman came there and after seeing him, became charmed by his look. From her he came to know that his guru Mīn-nāth was spending his time in the company of two queens Mangalā and Kamalā by name, surrounded by sixteen hundred female attendants. Yogis were not allowed to enter into the palace under the treat of the death penalty, and only female dancers were permitted to access the premises of Mīn-nāth. For delivering his guru, Goraksh Nath has disguised himself as a female dancer, but queens Mangalā and Kamalā being informed by a female doorkeeper that he was not proper female, prevented him from entering in the residence of Mīn Nāth. At last, Goraksh Nath has started make sound with his drum from behind the door. On listening the sound, Mīn-nāth called for the person who was making it. Being brought in front of him, Goraksh Nath by sounding of his drum, has made him recollected him his past and restored his Mahā-Jñāna (the Great Knowledge); after listening it, Mīn Nāth has remembered who he actually was before. On seeing him preparing to go, the queens desiring to avoid this, brought in front of him his son Bindu Nath, and attempted to play on his filings, trying to change his mind. Goraksh Nath responded on it by making Bindu Nath dead and then bringing him back to the life, and Mīn-nāth once more became determined to go. Queens of Kadalī, attempted to create conspiracy to kill Goraksh Nath, but after it felt, they were curst by him and both became bats. At last, Goraksh Nath with his guru and Bindu-Nath returned to Vijay Nagar.

The Life story of Guru Mīna-pā.

This is the Vajrayana version of the life story of Matseyndra Nath, the story number 8 in Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti or 'The Life Stories of the Eighty Four Siddhas' by Abhaya Datta. This is one of the oldest written records about the life of Matsyendra Nath. The text below is the translation from Hindi made by Yoga Nath.

Guru Minapa was born in the Eastern India and was a fisherman by caste. His Guru was Mahadeva (Shiva), who blessed him with mundane siddhis (powers).

At some distance from Kamarupa (modern Assam), there was an ocean, Ita by name (modern Bengal Bay). Fishermen who lived there, were daily catching the fishes from the ocean, and selling it on local market. One day, one of them fitted a hook into the net made of cotton, fixed a peace of meat on it and cast the net into the ocean. A very huge fish has entered into it. When he tried to draw it out of the ocean, he was not able to do it; instead the fish dragged him deep into water, until he finally sunk down. Then the fish swallowed him, but miraculously he, protected by his (good) karma, didn’t die.

About the same time, Uma Devi asked from Mahadeva (Shiva) to narrate her lesson of Dharma, on what he answered that his teaching was very secret, and not for each and every body, ‘You make a house deep into the ocean (where nobody will listen us), then I will initiate you there,’ he told her. Uma Devi did this, and after they both reached there, Shiva started narrating his lesson. While he was speaking, the fish (the same fish that swallowed the fisherman) came there and stopped right under the house (they were sitting in). Shiva not finished his lesson yet, but Uma became overpowered by sleep. Shiva was narrating and from time to time he was asking her, “Do you understand what I am saying?’ And it was the fisherman, who while listening (from the stomach of the fish), was answering, ‘Yes, I understand.’

When Mahadeva completed his lesson of Dharma, Uma Devi awakened from her sleep, and started to say, ‘Now you shall continue.’

Mahadeva answered, ‘I had finished the lesson, what else you want to know?’

On what Uma has told, ‘I was listening till some moment, but later I gone into sleep and didn’t listen duty this.’

Puzzled Mahadeva has asked her, “‘Then who was saying, ‘Yes I am understood? ’”

Uma answered, ‘No, it was not me.’

When Mahadeva has applied his yogic vision, he has found that the a man who was into the stomach of the fish under the house, they were sitting in, listened all the Teaching, from beginning till end. He thought, ‘Now he has become my disciple. But he will have to wait, till his time has come.’ So he ordered to fisherman to practice sadhana he has learned (without taking him out of the fish), and declared him as accepted as his disciple. For twelve long ears the fisherman was practicing his sadhana, sitting inside the fish.

One day at the place called Shree Tapri, other fisherman has caught that big fish and dragged it out of the water. After seeing its (unusual) heaviness, he thought that it might have in its stomach some gold or silver. With purpose to take it out, he cut her belly, and saw a man sitting there. Being shocked by this, the fisherman asked him, ‘Who you are?’ And was answered, ‘I am also was a fisherman like you are. At the time of the ruling of the King Amuk, this fish dragged me into the ocean and swallowed afterwards.’

When people (gathered to see him), calculated the time, elapsed since that moment, they found that twelve ears have passed by. All people were greatly astonished to see this wonderful event. Since that moment, he became famous under the name Minapa.
Afterwards, the people started praise him, and when he at once started dancing, his feet were entering deep into the earth, like if it was wet. When he continued his dance on the big stone, his feet also were entering deep into it, as if it was wet and soft mud. All around were amazed to see this miracle. On seeing their astonishment, Minapa has uttered:
‘Because of previously accumulated good karma
And as the power of chanting the Sacred Mantra
I have got these wonderful qualities, Hey ho, my Mind Jewel!'

Later he spent five hundred ears performing various deeds for the uplifting of the humanity. Minapa, Vajrapada and Achintapa (Achintya), these are three names under which he became famous in different places. At first he got mundane Siddhis (supernatural powers), but later he entered the True Path and became dissolved into the Eternal Void.


The story of the fisherman Minapa is the nice illustration what can man reach, if he left alone for long period of time, without any disturbances, and if he initiated into the powerful techniques of meditation. Actually every body can reach such extraordinary progress on the Yoga Path, if he left alone without any disturbance, and all possible kind of activities he may indulge in, are cast away. Then only one can turn own sight from the outside world towards the inner reality, and first become aware of its existence, and then become established there permanently. Such condition of the mental quietness even today some spiritual aspirants try to approach by going into retreats. But as a rule, in the daily reality of the modern life, we neither have enough time, nor can we go out of the circle of our daily routine. We have no time to stop and sit down, and even if we try to meditate, still mind continues to larking somewhere else. It is happening because hobbit of the endless, restless activity has became deeply rooted into our nature, has became its natural part. This is the main reason, why the Minapa of the modern days doesn’t appear on the today’s horizon. To make meditation successful it must be continuous and interrupted for long, long time and this can be accomplished only if God willing let it happen. Today we have on our disposal all possible techniques of meditation, which previously were kept highly secret, were dispersed in different places all over the earth, and were taught only to initiate. But in spite of all this apparent abundance and diversity, the people today have to attend so many things at once that they simply have no time to stop and sit devotionally for while.