Bhartarinath: Incarnation of Dhrimi Narayan

Bhartarinath is a Hindu saint. He is one of the nine Mahayogis of Navnath Sampradaya. He is considered as an avatar of Dhrimi Narayan, who is one of the Nav Narayan. Bhartarinath was a yogi belonging to the Gorakshanath branch of Nath Sampradaya. He was a disciple of Gorakshanath. Siddha Spirituality acknowledges the great Yogi for his teachings. Vishnu’s command – His begging bowl named Bhartari was placed in the courtyard by the sage Kaulik, in which the semen of the sun fell. He had saved it as well. In it, Dhrimi Narayan should appear and become famous as ‘Bhartarinath’. Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System supports the concept of Bhartarinath’s incarnation and birth.

The aims of the Navnath

According to Muller-Ortega (1989: p. 37), the primary aim of the ancient Nath Siddhas was to achieve liberation or Jivan-Mukti during their current lifespan. According to a recent Nath Guru, Mahendranath, another aim was to avoid reincarnation. In The Magick Path of Tantra, he wrote about several of the aims of the Navnath; “Our aims in life are to enjoy peace, freedom, and happiness in this life, but also to avoid rebirth onto this Earth plane. All this depends not on divine benevolence, but on the way, we think and act”.
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Mahayogi Bhartarinath

The etymology of a Nath initiatory tradition

The Sanskrit word nātha (नाथ) is the proper name of Navnath initiatory tradition and the word itself means “lord, protector, refuge”. The related Sanskrit term Adi Nath means first or original Lord and is, therefore, a synonym for Shiva, Mahadeva, or Maheshvara, and beyond these supramental concepts, the Supreme Absolute reality as the basis supporting all aspects and manifestations of consciousness.

History of Nath Tradition

The Nath tradition has many sub-sects, but all honor Macchindranath and Gorakshanath as the founders of the tradition

Origins of Nath Sampraday

The Nath Sampraday is a development of the earlier Siddha or Avadhuta Sampraday, an ancient lineage of spiritual masters. Its founding is traditionally ascribed as an ideal reflectedby the life and spiritual attainments of the guru Dattatreya, the avatar of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva all in one and born as the son of Rishi Atri and Anusuya Mata

Navnath Sampraday

The Navnath are the nine saints, Masters or Naths on whom the Navnath Sampraday, the lineage of the nine gurus is basedThey are worshipped collectively as well as individually. The nine teachers, collectively known as Navnath, are considered representative of great teachers in this tradition or paramparaThe lineage starts with Rishi Dattatreya, mythological deity-founder. 
1. Macchindranath or Matsyendranath
2. Gorakshanath or Gorakhnath
3. Jalandharnath or Jalandernath also known as JanPeer
5. Gahininath also known as Gaibi Peer
6. Bhartrinath or Bhartarinath or Raja Bhartari
7. Revannath
8. Charpatinath
9. Naganath or Nageshnath

Nath sampradaya initiation tradition

The Nath Sampraday is an initiatory Guru-Shishya tradition. Membership in the sampraday is always conferred by initiation (Diksha) by a  Diksha-guru —either the lineage-holder or another member of the sampraday whose ability to initiate has been recognized by his Diksha-Guru. The Natha initiation itself is conducted inside a formal ceremony in which some portion of the awareness and spiritual energy (shakti) of the Guru is transmitted to the Shishya (student).

Mahendranath, a guru of the Adinath Sampraday

The neophyte,navnath, is also given a new name with which to support the new identity. This transmission or “touch” of the guru is symbolically fixed by the application of ash to several parts of the body. In the Phantastikos, Mahendranath, a guru of the Adinath Sampraday, wrote; “The passage of wisdom and knowledge through the generations required the mystic magic phenomenon of initiation, which is valid to this day in the initiation transmission from naked guru to the naked novice by touch, mark, and mantra. In this simple rite, the initiator passes something of himself to the one initiated
This initiation is the start of the transformation of the navnath. It must not be overlooked that this initiation has been passed on in one unbroken line for thousands of years. Once you receive the Nath initiation, it is yours throughout life. No one can take it from you, and you yourself can never renounce it. This is the most permanent thing in an impermanent life.
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Nath Sampraday Initiation Tradition

Incarnation of Bhartarinath

The story of Bhartarinath’s birth

Once in the evening, the Sun and Urvashi glanced at each other. Seeing her, Surya (Sun) felt lust and his semen fell. As soon as the semen fell from the sky, the wind split it in two. A part of it fell into the ashram of Lomesh Rishi. From that sage, Agastya appeared. Another part came to the ashram of Kaulik sage. At that time, he was going out to beg. While he was closing the door in the courtyard, the semen came and fell into the begging bowl (named Bhartari). This was seen by the sage. Then he realized that this semen belonged to the sun. Three thousand one hundred and three years later, Dhrimi Narayan will incarnate in this bowl, so he kept it in a begging bowl, thinking that it should be carefully preserved.

After some time, the sage took the bowl to the mouth of a cave and left. Then Dhrimi Narayan entered in it. That fetus was slowly growing. Its statue was completed nine months later. Then his size began to increase. Then it would break when a stone hit it, and the baby that came out of it would be as bright as the sun. As soon as he came out, he started crying.

Deer gives birth to two cubs

At the same time, some deer came to graze there. One of the deer was pregnant. She gave birth there. That deer gave birth to two cute cubs. But when she looked back, she saw three babies. She took all three of them.

Thus the baby spent 7 years in the company of the deer. One day, the couple, who had no children, found the 7-year-old boy and took him to their home for further care. He was named Bhartari.

Later, at the age of sixteen, for some reason, Bhartari’s parents died. After some time, Bhartari and Dattatreya met and he gave knowledge to Bhartari. Also included in the Nath sect. After that Dattatreya came to Badrikashram with the Bhartari and put him in penance for the next twelve years. 


There exist many versions of Bhartarinath’s life story, which circulate in different formats (as songs, theatric plays, and books) all over India. However all of them are based on the two principal variants of the story describing the reasons for Bhartarinath’s renunciation; first of them directly connecting it with the influence of the Guru Gorakshanath, while the other two variations although basically same, differ from each other by sometimes mentioning and sometimes omitting any relations existed between both personalities.
The first version, which circulates amongst Nathas and in the form of folk-ballads sung by wandering minstrels, can be divided into two parts: one, when Gorakshanath has to meet Bhartarinath in the jungle, and second when he meets him after Bhartarinath’s wife Pingala, has died, and the king was mourning about her.  

The First version about Bhartarinath

Gorakshanath was performing his Sadhana on the top of Toraṇmal mountain. At the same time, Raja Bartrihari went to the same area of the jungle for hunting. There he has killed male deer near the place where the yogi was sitting, and Gorakshanath saw what happened. The male deer killed by the king was accompanied by the female deer, and when Raja wanted to carry off his hunt and tight it to his horse, she was sorrowfully watching this from some distance. 

Gorakshanath made the deer alive

The yogi rebuked Raja for done by him and told him that he has no right to kill the deer because he was unable to make him alive. On listening to this, the annoyed king has started argumentation with the yogi, and in its conclusion, Gorakshanath has made the deer alive again, and it ran away to the jungle. 
Raja Bhartrihari has become impressed by such development of events, and expressed his desire to renounce the world, and asked the yogi to make him his disciple. Gorakshanath has answered that before it he should go to the palace and ask his wife permission to do it. On this both separated and went to their places, Gorakshanath returned to the top of the mountain and Raja Bhartrihari went to his capital.

The Second version about Bhartarinath

Following the first of them, he was Raja of Malwa Kingdom with its capital in Ujjain. He was a wise and mighty king, who ruled over wide areas and have all authority. It is said that he had as many as one thousand wives. One whom he loved most of all was queen Piṇgalā by name. Once king listened as she told one of the attendant women that she loved the king so much that she would not survive his death even for a moment.

King mourning the death of queen Pingala

He decided to examine how strong her love is, and once when he went hunting in the jungle, he sent a messenger to the palace with the announcement that he was killed by a tiger. The messenger brought with him closes of king dropped in the blood of recently killed antelope, which he showed to the queen to prove that his words were true. After getting this news, the queen immediately swallowed poison and died. When the later king returned to the palace, he greatly regretted the mistake he has done, and he felt completely responsible for what has happened. He became so much overwhelmed with grief that he was unable to do anything, and all-time was sitting at cremation ground and mourning the death of the queen. On seeing his grief many of his people, also became filled with sorrow and joined him in his mourning.

Gorakshanath mourning about his bagging bowl

When he was sitting there, and whine hey Pingala, hey Pingala, hey Pingala, Gorakshanath came near, dropped his earthen pot, and started crying even more loudly than a king: ”hey my earthy pot, hey my earthy pot.” When the king filled with sorrow, noticed him and asked about the reasons for his grief, Gorakshanath told him that he was mourning about his bagging bowl. 
After the yogi has told him about the reasons for his sorrow, King became greatly ashamed to know, that all about what yogi was so loudly weeping, was the earthen pot he got broken. He told him: ‘Don’t cry for your earthen pot, and make me sadder, I will give you hundred new pots, better than yours, but please stop crying.’ 
However, the yogi didn’t stop and answered with abundant tears dropping from his eyes, no I don’t want your pots, I want only my old one, which I loved so much. 

Isn’t it impossible to return what was once destroyed?

What nonsense you are talking about, the king has told, isn’t it impossible to return what was once destroyed? On this Gorakshanath stopped crying told him: ‘O wise king! If you are knowing this, then why you are crying here for your Queen, which is also gone forever? Will your crying return her? You have so many more queens, then why you cry about this one?’ 

What came from earth one day must return to it

King answered that it is impossible to compare love for a queen with love for an earthen pot. On what Gorakshanath has told, that there isn’t much difference between both, be it earthen pot or body of a human, because both are made from the earth, and what came from earth one day must return to it. This is the law of nature. Wath was created But after all, would you be able to recognize your queen which seems so much special for you, if I would restore her by my yogic powers? He continued.
Yes, or course king has told. After these, Gorakshanath created by his yogic power one hundred queens, each of which was appearing as an exact copy of queen Pingala. Now choose which of them is yours, he told to the ashamed king. After the king was unable to choose, he renounced his kingdom and became a disciple of Guru Gorakshanath.



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  1. One among powerful Navnath. He is more popular in Rajasthan. He being a disciple of Gorakshanath, did many miracles. A large part of the population has been benefited with his unique Power. Thanks for giving such a rare information.

    1. Rightly said, Madam. As a matter of fact, all nine Narhas were the most powerful on this earth. They all took birth with the incarnation of one or other Navnarayanas. They were not born as we humans take birth, hence they don’t have died as we die. They took birth as Ayoneej. Owing to their dedicated Sadhana and Yoga, they acquired unique and all powers for the welfare of humankind. Thanks for your kind words and for being with us. Please take care and stay safe!!!

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