The Rite of the Naked Fire*

The Rite of the Naked Fire*

The Invocation

Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Namah Shivaya!

Salutations to Lord Shiva!

Hara Hara Mahadeva

Hara is the Great God, Shiva

Shiva-Shambu

Shambu, Lord of the World

Kashi Vishwanatha

Residing at Kashi on the Ganga!

Om Gurur Brahma
Gurur Vishnu

The Guru is Brahma,
The Guru is Vishnu,

Gurur Devo Maheswara

The Guru is also Shiva Maheshvara,

Gurur Sakshaat Parabrahma

Guru is the absolute.

Tasmai Shri Guruve Namah!

Salutations to the Guru!

The Oration

One fire, One God, One world, One people;
Ignorance transforms the one into many:
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

As fire burns we destroy delusion and bondage,
Leaving only the white ash of Liberation.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Let the fire destroy the drag of the senses
Pulling us hither and thither in bondage.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

In the Naked Fire the mind regenerated
Fit to attain the vision of Reality.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

As burning releases the fire from fuel
May mankind be released from bondage.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Let the fire burn all Karmas and their power
Releasing us to attain equipoise and liberation.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

The flame in the fire is the symbol of Wisdom;
As Naked fire let the inner consciousness glow.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Realization of the Self is immortality
And the supreme attainment is spontaneous.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Thoughtless, the fire burns without intention;
In Samadhi we attain that state of Bliss.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Like as the Dhunee is the symbol of Shakti,
The flame is the Lingam of Lord Shiva.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

As above, so below. Fuel transforms to ash;
All the worlds of the universe turn to dust.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

As fire is inherent in the fuel,
So the soul is inherent in the body.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

In the fires of Samsara, painfully burning;
May the grace of the absolute descend on us.
Homage and salutations to the Naked Fire!

As fire takes the form of the fuel it consumes,
The immortal soul takes the form of the body.
Homage and salutations to the Naked Fire!

As flame passes on to other pieces of wood,
So the soul passes on from body to body.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Drink thou the Nectar of Immortality;
Thou art the Naked Fire of Eternity.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

In the fire of frustration Wisdom is born,
From the womb of a jackal a tiger is born,
From the fire of Wisdom dispassion is born,
From all cast aside Liberation is born.
Then one has done all that which needs be done,
As Naked Fire then shine as mortals all.
Homage and Salutations to the Naked Fire!

Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Namah Shivaya!
Om Namah Shivaya!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

-Shri Dadaji Mahendranath

*Most sects of Sannyasins of Tantrik or Yoga traditions associated with Shiva, Shiva Shakti, or the Mother Goddess observe the custom, the origin of which is lost in antiquity, of keeping a sacred fire burning in any place where they stay for a period. This fire is lit in a circular Dhunee made of mud and stones, and its lighting is initiated with some ritual. These cults do not worship fire, but the Dhunee, once lit, is regarded as sacred and the ashes are used to smear and mark the body and also are given to visitors for the same purpose.

If the rite is performed in a building or home, a metal or earthenware bowl can be used. The fire can be very small, and can be fed with ghee or vegetable oil. Mineral oil, paper, or chemicals must not be used. Once the rite is completed, the Sadhus leave it to smolder, and add wood or cow dung as necessary. If performed in a home or as a private ceremony, it need not be kept burning longer than the actual need. The rite of the Naked Fire is the one used by the Adi-Nath sect of Nathas. The words, originally Sanskrit, are here rendered in English. Only the Mantras of the invocation must be retained in their original form. OM prefaces all mantras, and it is put there to imply that whatever is expressed in the mantra, it is still only OM.

Attention should be paid to the wording of the rite if it is not only to become a worthless ritual. Each verse expresses basic Upanishad teachings, and they can expand one’s awareness. Most Sannyasin sects have a strict tradition that they must be naked when meditating, performing the fire rite, and (as sometimes done by the new, young Sadhus) when doing puja or worship. A rite of this kind is an ideal opening for group meditation or for the practice and teaching of Yoga. In such circumstances one person should light and tend the fire, while another chants the Mantras and text.

Fire rites differ considerably among different sects and Guru schools. This rite of the Naked Fire, although modern in its presentation, preserves that Golden Thread which runs through Hindu Paganism, and it expresses, most of all, the teachings of Shri Dattatreya and the Adi-Naths. Fire rites in non-Aryan Paganism are not exclusive to Sadhus and may be performed by householders and students.

-Shri Gurudev Mahendranath

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