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Umbra Caelestis Dhuni Rite and Final Interment of Sri Dhruvanath’s Earthly Remains

Umbra Caelestis Dhuni Rite and Final Interment of Sri Dhruvanath’s Earthly Remains

Sri Dhruvanath

By Vijayanath

This past August in the forested hills north of Seattle in Washington State, a gathering of Nathas and friends situated themselves near the banks of a beautiful river to convene for a few days of focused ceremony. After making offerings and prayers at the Native American burial ground on the way in, camp was made off of a forest service road a short hike from the Dhuni Chakra. Vijayanath led four other men for the first couple of days in taking shifts in various preparatory duties such as trail maintenance, setting up the kitchen, tents, latrines, potable water stations and general scouting made the area safe and ready for the arrival of the remaining group. Rahasyanath and Vijayanath led the line of cars into the woodlands and the “FAMILY REUNION” sign at the mouth of the road kept things very private for the duration of the event. With the final stragglers arriving, the number totaled 17 bodies and things began to take shape.

At evening twilight on August 18th, we began with the unlit Dhuni as focal point of the evening’s festivities. After offering some ghee lamps and passing Dhruvanath’s ashes around the inner circle of initiates to offer around the rim of the Dhuni, focus was then shifted to the north-northeast quadrant in the outer ring of the circle. This place sported some hardy scrub and brush that Dhruvanath and Vijayanath had chosen to leave growing when the site was originally established. The shade and protection it gives made a nice spot to inter said remains. Previously carved out, the area was under-laid with stones, and by using some clay and sand; the earthy, receptive Yoni portion of the apparatus was prepared. Dhruvanath’s altar cloth was then folded and laid down over that and more ashes were added in. His altar stone, a large Shivalingam with reddish hues was then installed in its new resting place. Offering baskets full of fresh flowers, sweets and incense went around and around until the shrine and the dhuni were thickly adorned. Individuals took turns offering ghee lamps (arati) and more ashes for an interval as they felt called. The sadhaks pulled together to ratchet up the energy and focus shifted back to the inner circle and Dhuni, remaining unlit this night. The vibrations went through various stages and eventually things broke loose. The opening to Alpha Ovule came to pass. Graced by the presence of the Immortal Line of Shiva’s Naths – called forth in this most ancient way and likewise joined by local sprites and spirits, the entire Chakra continued to bask in the radiant vibrations for some time. The obeisance was complete, all touching heads and hands to Earth. The night was concluded by gazing at the full moon from the banks of the river.

The next day was as entirely full. Things started off about 6am with some silent meditation and sharing of the Trishul led by Vijayanath. This simple and powerful mediation and shakti exercise was introduced into this particular format by Sri Kapilnath, within the span of the 2016 Nath Mela in Costa Rica.

Breakfast and lunch followed, people taking hikes into the forest, playing at the river, and generally enjoying nature.

Dhuni preparations went along smoothly and before dinner Vijayanath and Rahasyanath went down to the Chakra to complete a separate but related ritual – The first known Nath Tattoo Transmission. This tattoo was devised as a Yantra by Vijayanath and is paired with a Mantra of significant derivation. The ink was dosed with sacred ash and tattooed into the flesh entirely by hand. A very personal ceremony, there will be more information on this available later.

The Dhuni began as the sun and moon traded places, as is the custom. Energies were imposed upon the work and stirred accordingly. As the tower of wood was reduced to a pile, growing ever smaller, ghee, aromatic offerings and many Mantras were incorporated into the enlivened womb of the earth. As the moon rose higher, Umbra Caelestis became her namesake; a Celestial Shadow. The usual time-space warp occurred – time dilated and ceased to have meaning. Chimta rattling and voices singing into the night, fiery lingam ebbs to subtle glow, the Dhuni reducing all offerings to a single substance; a tantrik’s prize; this special distillate.

The next morning was begun with Nathess and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Akshaya Devi, leading some pranayama at the Dhuni Chakra. This helped to clear the airways after the previous night of sipping smoke and fire. After that, all present settled in for a bit of quiet meditation until Vijayanath began to lead the group in some chanting. He rose after a time and taking a small Trishul from its perch above the interred lingam of Sri Dhruvanath, presented to Samdhyanath this Laghu Candradhara Trishula for his personal use. On the mantras went, and offerings of small citrus fruits were made to the points of each Trishula. Upon closing this circle, the ash was harvested from the Dhuni for later distribution and the last remains of Sri Dhruvanath were taken to the river. Each took a turn to spoon some of these ashes into the current and whisper blessings, a few mantras and goodbyes. Finally, Garduanath and Vijayanath both took the jar in hand and joyfully poured out the last.

With that, the roster of events was declared complete. Many stayed near the river for a time, free to wander, contemplate and reflect. The swimming hole was perfect that mid-morning and a welcome respite from the heat of the climbing sun. On the return to camp past the Dhuni, stones were piled up around the Shivalingam to protect and preserve it in its new home. It was nice to have so many come to participate and not only to honor our dearly departed Kula brother, friend and guide but also to partake of the true mysticism that is the hallmark of this crepuscular path.

Om Namah Shivaya

Twilight Yoga

Twilight Yoga

Sri Kapilnath meditating

By Sri Kapilnath

TWILIGHT YOGA

From rising to rising of the Sun is called Savana reckoning. By
that are determined the Savana days and by these the regulation
of the time of sacrifices. Surya Siddhanta 14.18

Twilight Yoga uses the rising and setting of the Sun for daily timing purposes. The exact time of sunrise is determined when the Sun is half its diameter above the horizon to the East, and sunset when the Sun is half its diameter below the horizon to the West. These are the two most important junctures of the Savana or ritual day. This timing is based on our physical position on Earth relative to the Sun. In this conception of phenomena and time, the Sun is the soul of All, the Atman. The supreme Cosmic Spirit embodied as the solar orb. Twilight Yoga begins before sunrise and extends after that point into the day. Twilight Yoga begins before sunset and extends after that point into the night.

Having established the timing basis for Twilight Yoga, now the method. Seat yourself in the circle of Yogis in a comfortable seated posture. Beneath you is your physical mat or seat, also called asana. This can be made of any material, but some suggest that natural fibers more easily collect and retain the divine vibrations generated during the work. A Yogi’s personal asana which has collected the vibrations and energy of so many yogas and exalted moments is a great personal asset. Virasana or Padmasana are ideal postures. Feel free to shift position slightly every 20 minutes or so to allow proper blood flow. Relax. Please avoid excessive fidgeting and movement. If you are new to meditation and can’t get comfortable sitting on the ground, please consider sitting on a large cushion with your legs folded in front of you or sit in a chair. Serious yogis always have their personal seat with them for use at any formal sitting.

Now being comfortably seated, the next step is to begin withdrawal of the senses by closing the eyes. This is being done so that we may more efficiently drawn our awareness within. This is the interior focus where we are directing our awareness back to its apparent source. This is the left turning path of the Tantrikas. We are going back to the source of consciousness from whence we came.

In this method, concentration is used to bring our awareness deeply into our breathing process in an unbroken stream for the entire duration of the meditation. The in and out breathes are timed to equal duration by the use of mantra. The duration of each breath is the same duration as the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” repeated two times for both the in and out breathes. This mantra recitation is done in complete silence and only intoned by the mind. Example: (In breath) Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya (Out breath) Om Namah Shivaya, Om Namah Shivaya. One will notice that it is necessary to keep the syllables moving at an active and even rate. In this version of this upaya or method, the mantra is inwardly repeated and coordinated with the breath in an unbroken stream for the entire duration of the meditation. Thus, the exposition of the method.

Concentration and clear intention are the key elements to successfully bring together our individual awareness, breath and mantra.

After the first hour of meditation I will be silently visiting a few participants during each meditation session and sharing my own meditation energy, (Shakti) with them. All of this will be explained and discussed at our first meeting on Sunday.

As a classical summation, this method or upaya of Twilight Yoga consists of: Asana, Pratyahara, Dharana, Pranayama, Mantra and Dhyana.

“Yoga is the transformation of the mind complex and its activity;
The helixform path of magick leading to higher spiritual levels;
To vanquish the conditioning and habits inflamed by civilization,
Restoring our original nature and magick charisma of divinity
By union of the individual spirit with the supreme Atman”
Shri Gurudev Mahendranath

Of Rites and Rituals: The Crafting of a Nath’s Trishula

Of Rites and Rituals: The Crafting of a Nath’s Trishula

By Vijayanath

Om Gam Ganapati Namaha!

I give obeisance to the Cosmic Spirit and the Nath Kula Kaula, to the 4 Directions and the 3 Worlds… and to Earth Mother, who gives us form and substance to work out our Karmas in this life. I humbly and heartily thank All beings and elementals who have aided in the creation of this object. Guru Om.

The inspiration for this creative work came 3 winters ago, when I felt that the time had arrived to fashion an appropriate magickal tool to aid sadhana. In the east, the Trishula has many forms and represents the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna Nadi within the human body and it is also the adamantine weapon of Shiva. It is both an operative and symbolic object that is synonymous with the Wizard, or Yogi, Himself. During frequent forays in the home smashana, I began to catch glimpses of its shape in flashes across the stilled surface of my mind’s eye. Sketching commenced, and within a few days a working drawing appeared. As the form was refined on paper, I set about gathering the necessary materials to carve a wax model.

This was to be a masterful work combining form and function that would likely outlast the earthly vessel of its creator, so naturally the timeline would only be revealed as the work progressed, evolving of its own accord. When inspiration struck, I carved, and amidst the small chaos of worldly life, several household moves and some structural design changes, it took shape. The completed Trishul continued to visit during puja, a magickal companion thinly veiled in the aether, waiting to be fully born.

Intimations of Kula ancestors have frequently come to me at the Dhuni and reach back into the mists of time upon the continuum of spirit. Echoes of voices; chanting, their shadows appearing and disappearing in the flickering firelight, speak to me of the spartan lifestyle of those primal sadhakas. Longing for progressive realization and contemplation, haunting burning grounds and other desolate places to carry out their initiatic rites and experiments, occasionally fending off wild dogs, carrion eaters and devils yet more strange, inspired me to build such a tool as to stand up the ages as well as the rigors of martial ardor that may be required of it one day.
070812 pictureAfter some time, the remaining materials and final construction became discernible as the wax head piece slowly emerged from the lapis colored block. Once the wax pieces were completed, everything else fell into place in typical Nath fashion, with omens pointing the way and synchronicity at every turn.

Such synchronism coalesced around the particulars of the process. I needed a place to cast the metal parts, that had the right tools and know how available, as well as being sympathetic to its purpose. I was pleased soon after, when I bumped into an old colleague whom I will refer to henceforth as the Earth Mage. After catching up on mutual interests, I told him of the project. Upon hearing the purpose of the piece, he generously offered up his workshop and expertise at such time may be auspicious to cast the piece in Ancient Bronze. For the shaft, a fine grained South American hardwood was chosen from a local craftsman who advised me of its properties and worked it into proper shape, having just enough time before being swamped with other projects. With these pieces of the puzzle affixed, I contacted Khadga Devi, a dear friend and Nathess skilled in the art and science of Jyotish, from whom I obtained an appropriate Muhurta to bring forth the crowning realization of this endeavor. In response, two dates were given; the first, for the casting of the metal parts and the second, for the inaugural ritual. At which time, all main components must be affixed.

070812 picture2The Astrological alignments had been designated and so, with renewed focus and a prayer of thanksgiving, I worked into the wee hours for three consecutive nights in the catacombs of Earth Mage’s shop. The spirit of transformation presided over the processes of our work, and obstacles were disintegrated almost as quickly as they arose. On the third night, after appropriate preparations and purifications, I tossed 3 pinches of Ash, the refined essence of more than a dozen Dhuni rituals, into a crucible of bronze casting grain, and transmuted it to liquid in the dragon mouth of super heated flame. Intentions crystallized and mantras were offered as we poured molten metal into the investment flask that, one day before, had solidified around the wax models of the Trishul’s head and tail pieces.
070812 picture3After cooling, the newly born triumvirate and its counterweight were freed of their embryonic casings for clean up and final heat treat, giving the pieces a two-tone finish. Bright, high polish on the bevels and a dull, hammered patina on the center eye. This eye, also symbolic of the Primordial Plenum of Cosmic Yoni, disgorges Shakti as seen in the raised, oblong ingot sliding further down the ferrule – alighting upon the opened crowns of the sadhaks after performing evocations and excitations on the helical orbit. The main modes of magick used in the Nath Kula are that of Projection of Will/Intent and the subsequent Absorption of Divine Grace in the form of the subtle energy called Shakti. The Keys for success in such an enterprise are Concentration and Attunement with a nod to Intensity and Frequency of practice.
070812 picture4After securing the head piece and end cap to the staff with pins of the same Bronze, I began the leather work portion. Spiral wrapping the center shaft, first with black leather and then Brass wire, I drew the color of the metal between tip and tail. Completing the detail of the Central Nadi are Turk’s Head Knots fashioned with red leather thong; three passes below and two above.
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070812 picture6The Inaugural Rite with the newly constructed Trishul was a grand success, and it proves to be every ounce effective in its purpose. To complete its installment in the Zonule, I tapped two other craftsmen to make a leather cowl for the head piece and a steel base stand, nearly completing my vision of the project.
070812 picture7As I wend my way in to the mountain valley, her sentinels of Cedar, Fir and Hemlock speaking quietly to one another, I hear the Shaman’s rattle and smell incense as I approach Umbra Caelestis Dhuni…. The brush of a Tengu’s* wing welcomes me back into the Sacred Circle and I plant the Trishula firmly in the Earth at her rim, next to the Dragon Seat – where the Alchemagick of Becoming begins again with a deep prostration, a focused Will, and a spark.
070812 picture8Om Shri Nivritti Marga Paramahamsaji Namaha

*note: Tengu (as they are known in Japan) are powerful but reclusive and occasionally benefic spirits that protect and reside in the forested mountains. Described as winged and beaked, or ruddy and long-nosed, these magicians represent formerly human spirits in transition to higher, more subtle realms of being – closely akin to the Garuda of South Asia.
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On Shakti

On Shakti

Shakti can be described in a number of ways. The straight definition is that Shakti is the energy or power by which the Cosmic Spirit manifests itself. Now I will go through some hypothetical definitions and respond to each:

A power to be controlled and utilized –  That is siddhi. To the extent that the individual spirit has realized a deep connection to the Cosmic Spirit, Shakti can be expressed through the Will of the magician.

A divine being to be worshipped –  Yes, absolutely for sure. That’s how the connection is made and expanded.

Pure individualized self devoid of ego –  You must mean pure UNindividualized self devoid of ego, otherwise it’s a contradiction, a self-contradiction, so to speak. Anyway, that’s a description of the Absolute, or Cosmic Spirit, and yes, Shakti is Cosmic Spirit made tangible to the refined and trained mind.

A Goddess and/or an intelligent and aware force –  In mythology Shakti is usually thought of as a Goddess, consort of Shiva, and often worshiped as the Divine Mother as a way of going back to the Source from which we came. But let’s not get stuck on gender – Shakti can be generated and accessed through worshiping Shiva and other “male” god forms too. Shiva and Shakti are flip sides of a coin, inseparable, dual aspects of the One. Yes, Shakti is an intelligent and aware force. It is consciousness, after all.

Blind force, something which can be possessed, transferred, or lost –  No, not blind force but quite the opposite, and “possessing” Shakti is just a casual manner of speaking where one might hear that such-and-so a siddha “has a lot of Shakti,” but of course the meaning is not to imply literal ownership, as it is the siddha who is a devotee of the Shakti (and he must be a good devotee if people are saying he has a lot of Shakti).

Shakti can be transferred to another person if they are properly receptive, which is the basis of an initiation lineage like the INO. It can be projected into an object as well. It is not the same as prana. Prana is life force associated with the body; Shakti is a cosmic spiritual force. Every living person experiences prana every moment, fewer experience Shakti.

While sitting for puja, the Nath subsumes his/her prana into the Shakti as an integral part of the yoga, however ultimately it must be remembered that Clinging To Life is an obstacle to spiritual liberation. Once attained, Shakti can be lost by allowing Kleshas to proliferate unchecked.

Om.

Dhruvanath

The Lingam of Lord Bhairava

The Lingam of Lord Bhairava

By Dhruvanath

The accompanying one minute video clip presents a moment deep into a Dhuni ritual. By this point the Nath sadhaks have been immersed in worship for hours. The air is thick with fragrant smoke from smoldering fire offerings, mixing with the swirling, expanding, multi-layered mantric vibrations.

In the video, we first see the flame of a nearby torch. The picture slowly pans to reveal a trishul in its natural habitat. The three-pronged scepter of Shiva represents mastery over the three Gunas (tamas, rajas, and sattva). Pure consciousness is free and unfettered by the appearance of any qualities.

Next we see the embers which fill the Dhuni, sparks sent flying about from passionate fanning. The purpose of the ritual is to exalt the sacred fire pit, therefore the ritual would not be complete without puja of Lord Bhairava, for what could please Her more that to receive the Lingam of Lord Bhairava?

Bhairava is the Lord of Magick, the Lord of Permissions, Granter of Siddhi Shakti. He lords over the yogic processes. If pleased, He grants success in the yogic processes by allowing transference of the Siddhi Shakti to the properly aligned recipient Microcosm. Lord Bhairava is easily pleased by those who approach with sincerity, but can only grant Siddhi Shakti in proportion to the quality of one’s yogic alignment. Thus, attainment unfolds in accordance with the aspirant’s efforts.
In His capacity as Lord of Permissions, Bhairava guards and protects the Inner Sanctum, barring those who are unfit to enter. For those who gain permission to proceed, He is known to be rather ruthless in stripping away impurities. For this reason He is sometimes experienced as fearsome, although such a reaction to His blessing is merely indicative of uncontrolled Kleshas.

The flame in the Dhuni is the Lingam of Lord Bhairava. In this coition is the transference of the Divine. Bhairava is the Light of Consciousness, His approach is the gateway to the ultimate spark of Awakened Awareness. His Reality is the nature of the Great Awakening.

Avadhuta Gita

Avadhuta Gita

Adesh, Adesh,

On a Sunday afternoon, two days after Guru Purnima, July 1991, after a gloriously intense ritual honoring Guru Mahendranath at a place called Syn Dhuni and a day spent reading the English translation of the Avadhuta Gita by Shree Purohit Swami and edited by S. Mokashi-Punekar (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers) in the company of Lalitaji, I was struck by a direct transmission of the entire text of the Avadhuta Gita. My consciousness was rendered completely split by the experience. At once I was still, yet I could completely attend to the sound of my housemate and guru brother Shree Kapilnath listening to Star Trek, The Next Generation on the television in the next room.

The clarity of that dichotomy amplified the importance of the experience. At once I was Here and yet There. The There was a vision of wintertime trees and sky, and the completely chilly dispassionate feeling that everything you know is Wrong, and the Ego response of “please don’t say all my practice/life is wasted”. I was bankrupt in a millisecond. Everything I had thought of as useful was utterly useless, irrelevant…Kaput! The emotional panic of that realization was quickly followed by the corresponding understanding, …that all of my Fears of failure or other mishap, were equally Irrelevant, cosmic pause…..emptiness …. I was inherently Free!

Curiously, I had stumbled upon the answer to a question of many years yearning, yet the answer was startlingly Alien in texture from the expectations I had previously imagined. The transmission had the lack of sentiment of a transmission from a complete Uberlord 108 eyed Alien from another galaxy. From this experience, I was left with the idea that much of my sentimental human concept of “Freedom” was false… but all was not lost, because my worry and likely most other mortal’s misconceptions were equally irrelevant, and so equally without karmic worry.

The paradox was liberating. At that moment, at a deep level, I was free from the snares of expectation. This transmission had the vibrational signature of Guru Mahendranath all over it. I was in a zombie-like emotional zero state for a week afterward, but also very liberated… again more paradox. I set out to make plans to visit Mahendranath in India, to ask his opinion on my recent experience with the Avadhuta Gita. Ah, but this is another story. Let me instead emphasis that the Avadhuta Gita is my talisman. It stands in equal to the I Ching.

Guru Om,

Shri Garudanath

Nath Keywords

Nath Keywords

Dhruvanath with trishul

The Five Kleshas have been touched upon a number of times, and rightly so. Insight into the way we habitually maintain our kleshic “reality bubble” is essential to the long process of finally letting it go. Relaxing our grip on the Kleshas makes room for a new… yet eternal… more expansive spiritual awareness to shine forth. Full and permanent dissolution of the Kleshas must wait until, having attained Cosmic Awakening, you also dispense with your body. So, the Five Kleshas are a useful set of terms to explain what an Awakened State is not. As a corollary, also worthy of reflection are the handful of “keywords” that describe what an Awakened State is. These keywords are beacons which we find sprinkled through the Scrolls of Mahendranath. They are: Sama, Sahaja, Svecchachara, and Samarasa.

Briefly – Sama means balance, equipoise. Sahaja means naturalness, ease, divine joy born of deep harmony with the Cosmos, “going with the Flow.” Svecchachara means thinking for yourself, doing one’s authentic Will, free from dogma or conditioned ideas absorbed from others. Samarasa means the state of perfect yogic assimilation of microcosm and macrocosm, the bliss of attainment which continues undisturbed after samadhi is finished, or one could say, the magnum opus of twilight yoga.

Just as the Five Kleshas do not exist independently of one another, but are interconnected aspects sprouting from a common source, the four keywords are also aspects or characteristics of a singular state of Being. From the standpoint of a divine mindset, these qualities are are self-evident expressions of the Divine Wisdom Stream. Their practical value as keywords is more for those of us emerging from the world of the Kleshas. They can serve as reference points to align our mind into a better configuration for Cosmic Vibes to break through, and to help stabilize degrees of Awakening when it takes place. As such, they reveal their power more when combined together, rather than each standing alone. (This synergy is also true of other keyword groupings used by Naths, i.e. Insight-Intuition-Imagination, Will-Knowledge-Action, People-Things-Ideas…) That said, although they function together, building a working affinity with each keyword individually is important and worthy of focus and contemplation.

I’ve found it valuable to make a point of thinking about the keywords while experiencing “expanded consciousness,” for the purpose of imprinting a bit of the essence of each keyword into my brain cells. It comes in handy as a set of magic seeds for conjuring the Zonule next time around. Merging them together into one energy is a compelling way to put forward one’s offering.

OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

Dhruvanath