(Last Updated on : 15/02/2011)
The tradition of the Nine Nath Siddhas is derived from the flowering of Shaivite Tantra dating back in the tenth century. The word Nath is derived from the name of Lord Shiva and its literal meaning is "Lord". The Naths brought to light different systems of tantric practice that were aimed at the transubstantiation of the human body into a divine immortal body.
Central to their methods were the practices of Hatha, Kundalini Yoga and Alchemical Yogas. The North Indian tradition has listed down nine Naths and eighty-four Siddhas in its ancestry, the most prominent of the Nath Siddhas were Nath Siddha Matsyendranath and Nath Siddha Gorakhnath. Most of these eighty-four Siddhas appeared in the Buddhist tantric tradition, where it is sometimes said that they practiced Hindu tantra by day and Buddhist tantra at night. The various lists of the Nine Naths include the most important nine Nthas, namely the Nath Siddha Matsyendranath, Nath Siddha Gorakhnath, Nath Siddha Jalandhara, Nath Siddha Kanipa, Nath Siddha Gopichand, Nath Siddha Chaurangi, Nath Siddha Charpati, Nath Siddha Dharamnath and Nath Siddha Grininath.
The Nath Siddhas are mentioned in the religious scriptures and greatly revered for their Tantric and Yogic achievements.
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