Salutations and Obeisance to the Immortal Line of Shiva’s Naths
Om Shri Dattatreya Namaha
Om Shri Matsyendranatha Namaha
Om Shri Lokanatha Namaha
Om Shri Pagala Baba Namaha
Om Shri Mahendranatha Namaha
Cast your grace upon this author and the assembled readership of this humble essay. May a broader public Awaken to the numinous spirit continuum of the Nath Kula Kaula.
The International Nath Order (INO) has always resolved to limit the use of Sanskrit in everyday communications but has attempted to reasonably define in the English language, Sanskrit words which we have adopted for our use.
While Sanskrit remains a language of great beauty and subtlety, few in the West know more than the definition of a few Sanskrit terms. Those few words are often subjected to the Western influence of redefinition. Without a standard lexicon, many ideas may languish in a limbo where people interpret one idea in several different ways. This may be par for the course in human communication, but far from ideal if one is serious about getting a specific point across to any readership.
English is now the standard international language, so it has been chosen as the native tongue of the INO. There are no teachings within the INO which prohibits any member from studying the Sanskrit language, but at the same time, it is suggested that language skills do not in themselves make you more spiritual or promote greater success in spiritual life, per se.
Human language remains a vehicle for communication between human beings who maintain a common lexicon of literal and conditional definitions.
The English phrase, “What a dog!” will mean one thing if exclaimed at a dog show, but convey dissimilar meanings if declared to either a man or a woman in different contexts.
Our phrase, “What a dog!” is likely to completely bamboozle an inexperienced English speaker. The phrase itself communicates little if translated in a literal sense which fails to include explicit context. Our cited example is usually uttered only as a context sensitive expression. Oddly enough, in modern usage our example cited above may have little to do with the meaning of “dog” as a species of the genus Canis.
Having re-exposed the vagaries of the English language to our readership, I will proceed to communicate an English translation and broader meanings associated with the Sanskrit words, Nath Kula Kaula.
The context of this translation is the meaning of these words as understood and explained by a qualified initiate and living Kula leader of the INO. The general definitions provided below paint a vivid picture which remains in line with the oral lore and traditions of both the Nath and Kaula lineages.
The INO is itself a modern reformation of the ancient Adi-Nath and Uttara Kaula lineages of siddha yogis. The names have been changed, but as a known lineage of In-being it hearkens back to a period of no less than 700 years ago.
The only stable law of the Cosmos is change, and this relates to the present as a re-emergence of vital thought patterns leading to a rediscovery of an occult, but numinous Reality. The Adi-Nath and Uttara Kaula no longer exist as discrete Hindu sects, but have merged and are now identified as the modern INO.
While each word of our triad Nath Kula Kaula has a number of definitions, only those meanings which relate to the INO as a lineage of initiation will be discussed here . This essay is intended to shed light on a spiritual concept which is little known outside of the oral teachings and practices of a few such sects.
The ideas themselves were never intended to be secret, and are practiced by other sects and traditions, but the essence remains a subtle theme and is often easily obscured. It is my wish that the ideas and concepts related to Nath Kula Kaula be more broadly understood and perhaps appreciated by others.
By way of a crude translation, the phrase Nath Kula Kaula relates to the idea of the Nath In-Group Family. What is interesting about this spiritual family is that one enters the clan by initiation or friendly association and this family actively includes deceased initiates on “spirit” levels as a part of the living In-Group.
What I describe is the interaction of living Nath initiates (embodied beings) and their association with the numinous spirit continuum of the Nath Kula Kaula. This concept of Kaula explicitly includes and calls the deceased Nath Siddhas as dynamic spirit beings and a part of the Kula or In-Group.
Many ancient sects include the concept of “ancestor worship,” but in the case of the Nath Kula Kaula, the link to the past is not provided exclusively by genetic provenience. The link is instead an intentional one, forged by the mind/spirit transmission of a living Kula member with the mind/spirit complex of a properly aligned recipient.
The process is a simple evocation or calling down utilizing mantras. The concept of deceased Naths being evoked by a calling is not so odd if you think about it. Many Naths spent a lifetime in training to separate and reintegrate the spirit aspects of their individual beings relative to their body consciousness or identity.
The principle idea was to end the pattern of repeated rebirth on this plane. If this idea is conceivable, and it was and is practiced, then consider where these individual Nath spirits went when they gave up the physical body… If you are not comfortable with this provocative paradigm, think in terms of angels.
Those people trained in western occult patterns are aware of the concept: the Magical Link. The magical link in terms of the Nath Kula Kaula is presented as a mind/spirit transmission.
Formal initiation into the INO is a formal transmission of a magical link which includes the predecessors of the lineage from which it sprang. The process I describe in this essay is functionally based on this principle and forms the essence of lineage in many ancient sects.
The mind/spirit transmission of the Nath Kula Kaula is the vehicle through which any individual receives the link. Of course, sensitive individuals or those advanced in the yoga of meditation or patterns of Tantra are much more likely to receive the link in a tangible form. The process of engaging and aligning to the link is the sacred rite of transit leading to the Sanctum or Kula.
The Kula has a further meaning as the ground or place in which the spirits of the living Naths commune with the spirits of the deceased Nath Siddhas (Attained Adepts) of our lineage of Nath Kula Kaula. This represents a Divine Crossroads. Look both ways before crossing over…
The method is one of alignment with the living Kula members and those that have gone before. It is a method of intentional extension and love to those who would participate within the Kula Chakra or Zonule. Traditionally the process unfolds in a context of alignment and intention.
The easiest method to engage the process is the repetition of mantras which have been passed down through the spiritual family for countless generations and include those mantras given to the living by distinct historical members of the Kula.
The alignment to Nath Kula Kaula is a complete yoga in itself. The exertion towards alignment may forge a link where hitherto, none existed. In the case of those whose link is established, the process is one of further unfolding in harmony with a mighty stream of Yogis and Nath Siddhas. This is a communion on a sacred spiritual level.
The practical utility of this process and approach should be obvious to perceptive spiritual scientists. Spiritual entities and forces which were at one time directly connected to this earth plane are more easily contacted by the living in the present or future. Added to this is the vitality of the link being passed down in an unbroken mind/spirit transmission or line from generation to generation.
The process of refining and making the magical link tangible is the bedrock or foundation practice for initiates of the INO. One begins to resonate in harmony with That which one engages, aligns with and concentrates on. Focusing our attention with love, ecstasy and gratitude on the spirit continuum of great souls and those more advanced than ourselves is always a progressive karma. In this case, we are not only working with the magical link, but also working with the principle of sympathetic magic.
The magical link is conferred by mind/spirit transmission at the time of initiation in a formal way. If the Nath initiate is properly prepared by earlier transmission and training, then there is every expectation that the higher processes and personal transmutation will proceed if the processes and teachings are sufficiently engaged. The concept and reality of Nath Kula Kaula is the spiritual rudder which grounds the Nath aspirant in good company, associated values and practical exertion or practice. It is the essence of lineage.
In modern times, an attempt to de-Sanskritize the INO resulted in a substitution of the Sanskrit term, Kula Chakra with Zonule. On practical levels, the words are intended to be synonymous. The Zonule is the sacred circle of spiritual communion and physical seat of intentional experimentation in those processes which further illuminate our spirit journey.
Inside the INO, the word Nath is used to denote an individual who has been initiated into the INO by a qualified initiate. In this sense the Nath or Devi naming convention signifies initiated status. The naming convention however does not suggest more than that. The Nath/Devi may or may not be qualified to initiate or guide others. Obviously, the ability to confer the mind/spirit transmission and link is a prerequisite to initiate others.
The family or clan aspect comes in with the word Kaula. In the INO, all initiates are Kaula members by definition. There are also a number of people who are considered Kaula or family members, but have no initiation into the INO.
These are the family friends, brothers and sisters from other orders, creeds and lineages. The more advanced partake of the Kula/Sanctum in full measure and bring their own unique streams into the mix. In a real sense, all people are a part of one human family. The distinction worth noting here is the harmonious intention which enables people from diverse backgrounds, genders or races to interact in a new and illuminated spiritual dimension. The context is unique because it has as its basis a common ground of coming together in a space made sacred by intention, yogic convention and spiritual magic.
The Nath Kula Kaula is however, unable to embrace all people because all people cannot embrace the Nath Kula Kaula. Those individuals who have a genuine interest and lean toward the practices of Tantra, Mantra and Yantra or have a background in the processes of spiritual yoga and meditation may find themselves happily floating in the Kula/Sanctum of family friends and on to new spiritual dimensions…
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