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Yogi Matseyanandrnath — Master of hatha yoga


A SIDDHA is a person who can control the forces of Nature. He can work miracles. For instance, he can fly in the air, walk on water, make gold out of mud, and such other things. He knows past, present and future. He does it all by exercising his yogic powers. One acquires these powers by long practice of the discipline of yoga. One who practices Yoga is called a Yogi.

Yogi Matseyanandrnath ji was the Gorakshanath’s teacher. In sanskrit Matsyendranath means “Lord of the fish”. Matsyendranath ji is Maya-Svarupa and Matsya-Svarupa. According to legend, Matsyendranatha spent twelve years in the belly of a fish in the Ocean (which is called “kula”). In other words, Kula be the Maya (an illusion), where Matsyendranatha is considered to be as the Master of the Kula. He is the founder of the Kaula Tradition.

Nathas, Kaulas, as well as adepts of Vajrayana Buddhism and Kashmiri Shaivism, have legends of Matsyendranatha. According to the Natha tradition, Maya, mentioned above, manifests in two forms:
1) in the form of illusion, which conceals the truth
2) in the form of Karuna-maya or Mahavidya, that liberates from the Ocean of Samsara.

Matsyendranatha is known as the Yogi tempted by Maya, as well as the Great Siddha Guru, who bestows knowledge of liberation through yoga.

Character: Maya-svarupa.
Guru: Omkar Adinath ji (spiritual son (manas-putra) of Shiva and Parvati).
Panthi: Shiva-yoga.
Abidance: Kamakhya (Kamarupa) Gouhati.
Sadhana: shirshasana siddhis.
Greatness: all of riddhi-siddhi, prakayya-pravesha, kaya-kalpa, Vacha-siddhi and other yogic powers.
Mantra: oṁ siddha yogī matsyendra nāthāya namaḥ

Matsyendranātha, Macchindranāth or Mīnanātha (c. early 10th century) was a yogi and the founder of hatha yoga as well as the author of some of its earliest texts. He is also seen as the founder of the natha sampradaya, having received the teachings from Shiva. He is especially associated with kaula shaivism. He is also one of the eighty-four mahasiddhas and considered the guru of Gorakshanath, another important figure in early hatha yoga.

He is revered by both Hindus and Buddhists and is sometimes regarded as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara.

Legends tell that Matsyendra was born under an inauspicious star. This warranted his parents to throw the baby into the ocean. It is here that the baby was swallowed by a fish where he lived for many years. The fish swam to the bottom of the ocean where Shiva was imparting the secrets of yoga to his consort, Parvati. Upon overhearing the secrets of yoga, Matsyendra began to practice yoga sadhana inside the fish’s belly. After twelve years he finally emerged as an enlightened Siddha. This is often given as the origin of his name ‘Lord of the Fishes’ or ‘He Whose Lord is the Lord of the Fishes’.

Matsyendra is credited with composing Hatha yoga works such as the Kaulajñānanirnāya (“Discussion of the Knowledge Pertaining to the Kaula Tradition”), the Matsyendrasamhita and “Akula-Viratantra”, some of the earliest texts on hatha yoga in Sanskrit in the eleventh century.


Guru Gorakhnath – Son as well as disciple
Matsyendranath was a Siddha or Yogi. Lord Siva taught Matsyendranath the secrets of Yoga. He used to beg at some house or other. He ate whatever he got. At other times he went into lonely forests and practiced Yoga.

One day as usual he went to a house and asked for alms.

The lady of the house came out. Seeing that he was a Yogi, t
he woman said: “Holy Sir, We are not blessed with a child as yet. Is it possible for me to have a child at all?”

Matsyendranath gave her some sacred ash and said: “O lady, please swallow this. You will be blessed with a child.”

The lady told this to her neighbor.
The neighbor said: “Do not believe these Yogis. Some of them are cheats!”

So the lady threw the sacred ash away on a garbage heap at the back of her house, and forgot all about it.

After twelve years, Matsyendranath called at the same house.
He asked the lady: “How is your child doing?”

The lady told him what had happened.
Matsyendranath asked for her: “Where did you throw the ash?”
She pointed: “There, on the garbage heap.”

Matsyendranath went to the garbage heap, and prayed for a while.
Then he called out: “Son, come here!”

From the garbage heap came out a boy of twelve years.
Seeing him, the lady fell at the feet of the Yogi and begged for forgiveness.

Matsyendranath took the boy away with him.
This boy was Gorakhnath.

“Go’ is Sanskrit means earth. ‘Rakh’ means to protect. Since the earth protected the boy, he was called Gorakhnath.

Gorakhnath became Matsyendranath’s disciple.
One day the Guru and the Sishya (disciple) went to a house to beg for alms.
There was a feast in that house at the time. So the lady of the house gave them excellent food.

The next day Matsyendranath told Gorakhnath: “Son, go to the same house, and ask for the same kind of food. I liked the dishes”.

Accordingly Gorakhnath went and asked. But the lady said: “Yesterday we had a feast. So I gave you delicious food. How can I prepare that kind of food every day?”

Gorakhnath said: “Mother, my Guru wants it. It is my duty to get it somehow.”

The woman said: “If your Guru asks for your eyes, will you pluck them out and give them to him?”

The boy replied without hesitation: “Yes, I will.”

The lady said: “Then for a test, give me your eye-balls, and I will give you the same nice dishes.”

The boy Gorakhnath at once started to pull out his eye-balls.

The lady cried: “Stop! I shall give you the dishes that you want”.

And she prepared then and gave to Gorakhnath. Gorakhnath brought the dishes to his Guru.

The Guru saw his red and swollen eyes.
He asked: “Son, what is the matter with your eyes?”

Gorakhnath told his Guru about the woman’s challenge.
Matsyendranath said: “I wanted to find out how strong is your devotion to me. Now I am satisfied.”
Thereafter Matsyendranath taught Gorakhnath all the secrets of Yoga.

Gorakhnath became a great Siddha. The name of Gorakhnath is very sacred in Nepal. City of Gorakhpur is named after the name of Guru Gorakhnath. There are many ashrams in Nepal built in his memory. They teach Yoga practices there. Those who practice these teachings are called Nath Yogis.

Matsyendranath is typically listed as having eight disciples.
Kanifnath (Kanhoba)
Revan Nath
Along with Matsyendranath, they are called the Navnath. While Gorkshanath is generally considered a direct disciple of Matsyendranath, it is likely they lived hundreds of years apart.

Recognition in nepal
Macchindranāth (or Bunga Dyah in Newari) is a god of rain worshiped by both Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal. Hindus regard him as an incarnation of Shiva while Buddhists regard him as an incarnation of Avalokiteśvara.

The temple of Macchindranāth lies in the southern part of the Patan Durbar Square since 1673.
Hyangu (red) Macchindranath temple in Patan, also known as the Rato Macchindranath Temple, is one of the oldest Matsyendranath temples, dating back from the 16th century. Each of the four well-crafted wooden doors of this temple is guarded by two lion figures while the four corners of the temple are guarded by khyah, a yeti-like figure. The murti of Rato Macchindranath spends six months of the year in this temple.

The village of Bungamati, regarded in Nepal as the birthplace of Matsyendranath, is a traditional Newar town located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) from downtown Kathmandu. The temple of Rato Macchindranath is located in the heart of this village and it is known as his second home. After the chariot festival, Rato Macchindranath spends the next six month in this temple.

Seto Matsyendranath of Kathmandu, Nepal
Toyu (white) Macchindranath temple in Kathmandu in another important Macchindranath temple in Nepal. White Machhindranath(Matsyendranath) is also known as Jana-baha Dyo since the temple is located at Jana Baha(Bahal).

Bhote Jatra / Chariot Festival
The most important event connected with the deity is the annual chariot procession known as Bunga Dyah Jatra or Rato Macchindranath Jatra. Each year, the locals of Patan, Lalitpur celebrate the festival in order to show respect to the rain god. This festival is one of the oldest and the longest festival celebrated in Patan and is celebrated in April–May.
According to a legend, when Gorakshanath visited Patan, he captured all the rain-showering serpents of Patan and started to meditate after he was disappointed by the locals as they did not grant him any alms on his request. As a result, Patan faced drought for a long time. The king of Patan, on the advice of his advisers, invited Matsyendranath, Gorakshanath’s guru, to Patan. When Gorakhnath learned that his teacher was in Patan, he released all the rain showering serpents and went to see him. As soon as the rain showering serpents were set free, Patan again got plenty of rainfall every year. After that day, the locals of Patan worshiped Matsyendranath as the god of rain.

Chariot Festival is celebrated just before the monsoon season starts so that the city will get plenty rainfall for good growth of crops. During the procession, the image of Bunga Dyah is placed on a tall chariot about 65 feet high and pulled in stages through the streets of Patan for a month.

Ritual of Mahasnana
Before the chariot festival starts the ritual of Mahasnana is conducted in an auspicious hour as indicated by the astrologers about 15 days before the chariot festival.
The deity is taken to a platform at Lagankhel which is about 200 meters away from the temple of Machindranath at Ta: bahal Lalitpur.
In front of a huge crowd, the god is given a bath with the sacred water mixture of honey, milk, and water fetched by the panejus or priests in the four silver kalasa(vessel).
The four priests then pour the sacred water or jal from four directions in the platform to the deity and it is believed that from whichever direction 1st the jal touches the deity from the same direction monsoon will start or first rain will be granted.

After the mahasnana ritual
The repairs are done to the idol of the deity if required and the new face is painted.

After the face painting
Various ritual are performed to the deity like Bareychukegu; Ihi; Bara tyegu as done to a human and at the end Dashakarma vidhi is performed.

Construction of chariot (ratha)
The chariot or ratha is made at Pulchowk by the Barahi and Yawal clans, amongst which one only does the rope work and other only the woodwork. In the construction of the chariot, no nails are used to connect the joints of the huge chariot but are only tied with ropes and veds. The only part that uses an iron to hold are the four wheels. After the construction is finished the deity is ascended in the divine vehicle i.e. 3 days before the pulling of the chariot.

Route of Jatra (Yatra)
It starts at Pulchwok and passes through Gabahal, Sundhara, Lagankhel and ends at Jawalakhel.
It was also called the festival of three states as the deity was brought by the alliance of these three states.

1st day of festival was to be carried on by people of Kathmandu
2 nd by Bhaktapur
3rd by Lalitpur

And on last day all three sister cities come together for Jawalakhel Jatra with other nearby city people from Kirtipur and others from the valley.

After the chariot reached Jawalakhel, this festival concludes with Bhoto Jatra, which literally means “vest festival”. During the ceremony, a government official holds up a sacred jewel-studded black vest from the four sides of the chariot so that all the people gathered around can have a look at it.

After the festival
The chariot is dismantled and Rato Macchindranath is taken to a temple in the nearby village of Bungamati, also known as the second home of the rain god. Rato Macchindranat spends the next six months in that temple.

Matsyendranath Temple in india
1. The samadhi place of Machindranath, Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
2. Macchindranath temple in kille-Machhindragad Tal: Walwa (Islampur) Dist: Sangli, Maharashtra
3. Vishwayogi Swami Machindranath Mandir, Mitmita: Aurangabad
4. Mayamba Temple (Garbhagiri Pravat as mentioned in Navnath Grantha) at Shri Kshetra Machindranath Devasthan at Sawargaon: Tal: Ashti, District: Beed
5. Machhindra Nath Mandir, Inside Ambagate, Amravati
6. Machindra Nath Tapobhumi,Devacho Dongar, Kudal, Maharashtra, Dist Sindhudurg.(This Holy place is mentioned in the 6th Chapter of Navnath Grantha)
7. Macchendranath Guru Peeth in Sri Guru Parashakthi Kshethra: Madyar: Mangalore, Dakshina Kannada district.

In the Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh narrated a huge discourse between Matsyendra Nath and Paras Nath on Intuitive (Bibek) and Non-Intuitive Mind (Abibek). Parasnatha subdued kings of the world and turned egoistic, and was broken by Matsyendranatha’s spiritual preachings. This granth is regarded among Spiritual warriors of Khalsa Panths called Nihang Singhs.


oṁ siddha yogī matsyendra nāthāya namaḥ