Happy Birthday Shri Gurudev Mahendranath!
Happy Birthday Shri Gurudev Mahendranath!
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
Feeding some Friends
Parada Yoni and Lingam and Sapt Amrta
Juicy – Om Namah Shivaya
Nath Mela 2017 hosted at the Sanctuary in Costa Rica is now scheduled for February 19th through the 25th, 2017. We regret the change of timing for those of you already planning to attend. It has been revealed that a public holiday in Costa Rica will disrupt food distribution for the previously announced dates in April. On the bright side, the new dates place the retreat in one of the finest climate periods of the year. Please consider these dates for an immersion into meditation and ritual as practiced by the International Nath Order. Full schedule and details to follow. Om Namah Shivaya!