Tantric Guidelines for Perfect Pyromania
Rudra Dhuni – Olympia, Washington
Nath Dhunis Past and Present
Many striking images are associated with the Nath way of life by both historical and traditional reference. Of these images, the haunting specter of the lone Nath quietly tending his or her Dhuni stands supreme. The Nath Dhuni of antiquity is perhaps no different than those of today. A simple and shallow cleft in the ground in which suitable materials are incinerated. The Dhuni is not a simple camp fire. It was viewed by the Nath as a living deity, emblematic as the womb of the Earth Goddess from which all manifestation was generated, sustained, and destroyed. Although many cultures have sustained a tradition of fire worship, it remains a unique feature of the Naths that it was the site or dwelling place of the holy flame which was considered sacred. The ancient but graphic iconography of such a scene is simple. The cleft in the earth represents the womb of the Mother Goddess. This was the sacred ground upon which the Nath way of life was brought into being, transformed and regenerated.
Nath teachings propose that the entire Cosmos, both perceived and hidden is a divine manifestation of ingenious integration and unity. While this may be true, humanity throughout the passage of time has often chosen to fragment the divine puzzle into separate pieces for easy digestion. Presumably, it was thought that few had the capacity or illumination to grasp the whole. Thus, it was with a nod and a wink that humanity acknowledged its own ignorance and began to designate and create a man made wonderland of divine and really cool stuff. Divine temples were instituted, as well as sects, cults, religions and paths of purported divine origin. Some caught on and flourished, while others died behind the pulpit or withered like leaves on a tree. For reasons hard to explain or perhaps speculative, individuals found some paths or fragments of the divine puzzle to suit their individual tastes. Some, only get a headache when considering their true feelings on the subject…
The Naths of antiquity and today are practical thinking individuals and often able to vaporize puzzles and many types of confusion. While perceiving the Cosmos as a divine manifestation of integration and unity, Naths also perceived that most people lived in a personal reality of fragmentation and disassociation from the divine. The Naths encouraged patterns of mantra, meditation and regulated breathing as a means to Awakening but some clamored for greater diversity and means of expression. If the question was simple, so must be the answer. The Naths built from the ground up.
Nath teachings propose that all beings currently inhabiting a physical body on this planet are designated dwellers of the earth plane. The earth is thus the immediate basis for all terrestrial life on this planet. In purely physical terms, it all starts here and ends here. What better place to begin! A site is carefully selected and an appropriately sized cleft or pit is excavated. In homage to the womb which gave us all life, the Dhuni is shaped in like fashion. Naths are aware that it is the intention and attitude of the individual which is an all important element in the transformation of their personal perceptions. With this awareness it is the intention, attitude and will of the Natha which transforms a pit in the ground into a living embodiment of the earth goddess or Dhuni Divine. This sacred site then becomes the focal point for individual and group transformations of Awakening and worship. A Pagan temple of simple but ingenious construction. Now that we have given the subject a preliminary caress, let’s turn our attention to the living fire of practice. A few hot sparks to ignite a Dhuni Divine.
The Operatic Dhuni: Leading Roles and Their Performance
While the International Nath Order is free from the shackles of rules, prohibitions and dogmas; experience has suggested that a few guidelines may be helpful. In the case of the lone Nath tending the Dhuni, a single injunction is observed. “Do What Thou Will.” No other guiding factor is necessary. The Nath relies only on their own innate essence and feelings to guide them. At this advanced stage of attainment, the inner Awakening of the Nath and the outer illumination of the Dhuni have become one. The relative and conditioned perceptions which have separated the Nath from their Awakening have been incinerated.
This attainment brings the Nath into a new and magical integration with the Cosmos. This Awakening is usually achieved in amusing stages, and then reintegrated and consolidated on higher and higher levels.
Many Naths have spent their entire life spans focused on incinerating the world of relativity into ashes, the Dhuni being their sole spiritual observance. The energy of worship offered to the Dhuni was returned as grace which transforms ignorance of the Cosmos into the pure gold of awakened awareness.
If any individual meets such a Nath at their Dhuni they now have a few ideas as to what is going on and the meaning of such a scene. Of course, some Naths also engage in other occult and spiritual patterns but the focus of this manuscript is the Dhuni. Participation in Dhuni rites are not exclusive to initiated Naths. In fact, at a properly established Dhuni, far-out dropins often find the experience fascinating if not trans-formative. For those new to this ancient Pagan scene, a few notes and guidelines should suffice to paint a picture of Dhuni activity on group levels.
Central to group activity at the Dhuni is the Chakra-Raja, or leader. It is the role of the Chakra-Raja to guide the participants in the ritual components of Dhuni rites. These elements possibly include: establishing the Dhuni site; considering with other intended participants the nature and intention of the rite; choosing an appropriate date and time to begin the rite; initiating the group repetition of specific mantras; modulating the intensity and duration of specific Mantras and determining the duration of the rite.
Once the Dhuni is established, it is important to consider the intention behind the Dhuni rite. The stated direction of the Dhuni rite has a lot to do with those who show up for the rite, their will or intention for being there and the experience, outcome or side effects of the rite.
It is often difficult to harmonize a group of individuals if their intentions and expectations are not in harmony. For this reason, specific magical applications of Dhuni rites are best kept within the In-group who have already learned to define and express their collective Will through communication and special processes.
Due to these factors, Dhuni rites which welcome those unfamiliar to our ways are best restricted to what might best be called general worship.
General worship in this case is the expression of energy and intention toward Awakening the Dhuni. In this rite of worship, all participants join together in the expression of energy and intention toward Awakening the Dhuni. This energy is expressed in a multitude of ways. Chief among these expressions is the potential energy offered to the Dhuni in the form of fuel and offerings; the energy offered as chanted Mantras; and the energy offered as sounds produced by ritual instruments.
These energy offerings range in quality from sweet murmurs to the beloved all the way up to completely unhinged howlings of spiritual ecstasy. Naths and advanced Pagan practitioners are well aware of how the Cosmos responds to specific energy transmissions. It is greatly rumored and may be said that the Cosmos can respond in sympathetic fashion to the intention and nature of the stimulation which is offered.
Therefore, all participants at the Dhuni would be wise to be aware of the feeling and intention behind their participation, as well as the energy expressions they are offering. The refinement of this awareness has much to do with the experience of the participant and the quality of the rite as a whole. The enchantment and powerful vibrations produced by cooperative focus at the Dhuni can be raised to delightfully dizzying heights.
Once the participants are seated in a circle around the Dhuni, the opening mantras are begun at the predetermined time. These mantras begin to establish the mood and focus the participants attention on the Dhuni. With a predetermined cue, the Chakra-Raja signals the Fire Starter to begin ignition. Generally, the Fire Starter is seated across the circle from the Chakra-Raja. At an established Dhuni, it is rare for the Chakra-Raja to begin ignition. This is significant in signaling that the flame which begins the transformation has already been passed to another initiated Nath inside the circle.
The Fire Starter often recruits or appoints a Helper for the task of getting the Dhuni ignited. All eyes, hearts, spirits and minds are now on the Dhunis’ burgeoning Awakening as the Fire Starter and Helper fan the transformation to sufficient intensity. The chanting of mantra continues to grow as the temperature increases. Seated to the right of the Chakra-Raja is the all important Fuel Master. It is the role of the Fuel Master to prepare the primary fuel and feed the Dhuni.
In modern Dhuni rites, properly dried wood is cut to a length no greater than the diameter of the Dhuni. Ideally these pieces of wood are then split to a thickness no greater than three or four inches. It is necessary for the wood to be easily digested by the Dhuni and rather rapidly reduced to hot glowing embers. A hatchet and small saw are the tools of the trade.
All participants chant mantras and wield ritual instruments while the Fuel Master feeds the Dhuni to a full spectrum blaze. After a duration of about two hours, the Chakra-Raja signals the end of the wood offering stage but the rite may still has a long way to go…
Feeding the Dhuni properly is very important. If too much wood or too large a piece is offered to the Dhuni, a regrettable situation develops.
Instead of focused worship of the Dhuni, participants begin to inwardly repeat the mantra, “when will that obstruction finally be transformed?” This sentiment is frustrating and inimical to the intention of the Dhuni rite. If all participants are sincere in their intentions and preparations this defect cannot occur.
When the primary fuel has been transformed and reduced, feathers and fans are used to aerate the Dhuni and its glowing embers. It is now said that the Dhuni is hot, fully Awakened and fit to receive further offerings. Those individuals who are sexually experienced and understand the meaning of “foreplay” will quickly grasp the significance of this metaphor.
At this stage there is an interesting shift in the Mantra, a renewed focus on the Dhuni and the mood of anticipation builds.
As the chanting and attention of the participants reaches a clearly focused climax, ghee or clarified butter and aromatic substances are energetically but consciously offered to the Dhuni and its glowing embers. A fragrant and beautifully refined blaze now manifests as the Dhuni reaches spiritual ecstasy along with the blissfully frenzied expressions of the participants. The sounds of the chimpta, damaru and drum once again mix with the reverberations of exalted chanting.
This climactic period lasts until the ghee and aromatics are properly consumed by the Dhuni. The peak has now been reached, and the chanting grows somewhat softer as feathers and fans lovingly aerate the Dhuni and reduce the remaining embers to fine white ash.
The fanning and chanting then ceases while the assembled participants silently enjoy the ethereal but palpable embrace of the great and grateful Dhuni.
Songs and Sounds of the Dhuni
Clearly, a properly executed Dhuni rite is something of a spiritual Kodak moment which can be remembered and cherished for some time. The metaphor of the Dhuni is primal and its rite of recreation as ancient as life itself. It is a celebration of natural processes on a high spiritual level.
The Awakened intention, and vibrations of joy and love which are offered to the Dhuni are returned in kind to the assembled participants. A reward of Cosmic cause and effect which is gratefully accepted by the assembled Naths and all participants. As the Dhuni heat reaches sufficient intensity, many Naths shed their clothes in order to more intimately share in the warmth of the Dhuni.
Ashes from previous Dhuni rites are then used to mark the body of the participants in the ancient manner of Nath tribal tradition. Ritual instruments are used liberally at the rite, and often participants rise and dance while chanting and playing a chimpta or damaru.
The Mantras used at Dhuni rites have been passed down from Guru to Disciple in an unbroken chain stretching back to before the time of recorded history. The Pagan rites of the Nath Dhuni are ancient, but still astonishingly effective in their primal simplicity and power. Countries change, societies change, people change, but the unbroken lineage of the International Nath Order still keeps the Dhuni gently glowing…
The Dhuni is usually tended at a quiet smolder by the lone Nath. Bringing a full flame into the Dhuni is always regarded as something of a special occasion. One does however, care to keep a glow going at regular intervals to keep things alive…