Sacred Mountain Retreat

Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Aghori

by Anjou Durga Giri March, 2016

Yogiraj Dr. Ramnath Aghori Baba

Yogiraj Dr. Ramnath Aghori Baba was a very well known, feared and much admired Guru from the Nath Aghori lineage in India. He was born in the royal family of Pahur near Tarapith in West Bengal, who, later at the age of sixteen took sanyas or asceticism. Gambhirnath Baba initiated him under an ancient peepul tree, where he was incorporated into the Kanpatha segment of Gorakhnathis. He lived to a ripe age 117 years.

Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba as he was fondly known then and now was always interested in spirituality and for more than a century was the head of the Nath Akhara in Gorakhpur. And he always visited the Pashupatinath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, every year, stayed on for a month to celebrate the festival of Shivaratri and was held in a great honor by the various types of Shaiva sadhus and by the Nepali devotees there.

As an adept, lineage holding master Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba was the senior Natha yogi with his 'seat' situated beside the Bagmati river, on the premier Natha 'dhuni' of the burning ghats. From the onset when he was known as just Ramnath Baba, he became an indispensable figure to the Nath sampradaya. Many yogis of the sampradaya were amazed to see the then young Ramnath Baba's courageous approach to sadhana ‘meditation’ and other yogic penances. Soon, Ramnath Baba was considered the star pupil of the Kanphata sadhus.

Alternative titles to Kanpatha : Gorakhnathi; Nathapanthi

Kanphata Yogi, also called Gorakhnathiand Nathapanthi , member of an order of religious ascetics in India that venerates the Hindu deity Shiva. Kanphata Yogis are distinguished by the large earrings they wear in the hollows of their ears (kanphata, “ear split”). They are sometimes referred to as Tantric (esoteric) sannyasis (ascetics), because of their emphasis on the acquiring of supernatural powers in contrast to more-common practices of devotion and meditation. They are followers of Gorakhnath, who is said to have lived in the 12th century or even earlier. The ideology of the Kanpatha Yogis incorporates elements of mysticism, magic and alchemy taken from both Shiavite and Buddhist esoteric systems, and Hatha Yoga. ( source: Brittanica)Later, Ramnath Baba wandered barefoot for fifty odd years without any ties or earthly possessions, all over regions and impasses. He especially visited all the main mountains peaks and places of pilgrimage while continuing his mantra yog and spiritual practices. He also crossed into Tibet and China, from the Indian border. Ramnath Baba headed eastwards to Vladivostok in Siberia, visited Arabia and then returned back through China, Central Asia, Persia and Iraq. After returning from Persia to India, He performed spiritual practices at the pilgrimage center of the deity Hinglaj Mata an emanation of Shakti; held in great reverence by the Nath tradition, which is located in area of Makran coast range which is now in modern Pakistan. However, Ramnath Baba reached the pinnacle of his yogic journey at Girnar, Gujarat and hence forth dressed as a Yogiraj, Prince among yogis . From there titled as Yogiraj Ramnath Baba left for Ajmer Dwarka where he learned Islamic esoteric practices from the Pir Babas in Mazar. After completion of all the complex practices Ramnath Baba then left for Kamakhya in Assam where he resided for a long time at the Bhootnath cremation ground and then he came back to Pashupatinath cremation ground in Kathmandu, Nepal, where he became the Siddha of the Mantra Gyaan and Veda Gyan - secret occult practices practically lost to mankind today. Then he ultimately became a Aghori initiating numerous sadhaks into yogic esoteric sadhanas , he then came to be known as Aghoreshwor.

Aghoris : are one of the principal Indian traditions and the most extreme and fascinating form of the Tantra. Dattatreya, a divinity that includes the Trimurti - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, are considered to be the founder of this school. The death's theme, so recurrent among the Aghoris, constantly remembers us our mortality but it is also a challenge to transcend the duality between life and death. Breaking every mental scheme, going over every taboo makes aware of the illusion of this world and becomes a path toward the liberation (moksha), the realization of the itself with the absolute one. Also the conventional Hindu distinction among pure and impure for the Aghoris is an illusion.

The Sanskrit term Aghora is the combination among two words and has various meanings: A is a negation; Ghora is the obscurity of the ignorance, but it also means intense, deep; Aghora therefore means Light, absence of obscurity, awareness, but it also symbolizes a style of life where a person of the Aghori tradition doesn't have intense or deep feelings, it doesn't make difference among the various feelings, seems to be indifferent to the various stories of the life.

Shri. Mrityunjay Dey who was direct disciple of Ramnath Baba during late 1970's had the good fortune to have witnessed many supernatural and magical powers performed by his guru. Many of which are of such supernatural content that only Yogiraj Ramnath Baba could have manifested. Much later, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba gained access to the newly created Royal Library of Nepal. Here, he discovered the history of the Naths before the time of Gorakshnath in ancient, molded palm leaf manuscripts. Yogiraj Ramnath Baba investigated these manuscripts further as these findings contradicted the then Nath sampradaya’s guidelines and practices. Then he travelled to the Samye Monastery in Tibet. The Tibet’s first monastery which was made by Guru Swayambhunath who is also known as Guru Padmasambhava who took Buddhism to Tibet in 8th century AD.

However, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba was refused to entry to the monastery because he was a Kanphata Darshani Gorakhnathi. On the snowy slope of Himalayas while traveling back to Nepal, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba met the Tibbotinath Baba who was also known as Chakhtha Rinpoche who then took Yogiraj Ramnath Baba to Bakreshwar, West Bengal, where he had a life altering experience in meeting Byom Shankar Aghori Baba, who is said to be the last direct inheritor in lineage to Guru Padmasambhava. Byom Shankar Aghori Baba was over 200 years old, seven feet tall and blue eyed. Under his guidance, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba learned the Tantric Vajrayana Nath Aghori technologies of the earlier Naths under the guidance of Baba Byom Shankar Aghori and after completion Yogiraj Ramnath Baba retraced his steps to Samye Monastery and was then, welcomed to stay and study, he then lived here and also taught for a long time. Many original Naths texts and discourses were taken to Samye in Tibet by Buddhist teacher Atisha Dipankara from Nalanda University in Bihar, India.

Nalanda University was later destroyed by Muslim Turkish army in 1193 AD, it is said that the great library of the Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it. This is when Vajrayana tradition was removed from India and today Vajrayana only survives in some rare Nath lineages and Buddhist practices. Yogiraj Ramnath Baba also discovered the true teachings of Nath Sampradaya which shed light about the false propaganda in teachings of the Gorakhnathis sampradaya.

Yogiraj Ramnath Baba then returned to Nepal, full of the knowledge he had acquired and was ready to overturn the heresy which had been inflicted on Nath sampradaya. He became the Raj Guru of Nepal and brought back the original old texts and discourses of Nath teachings here. Yogiraj Ramnath Baba created a storm of miracles to overrule the false orders and renew the old order, stripping the false and hypocritical so called Gorakhnathit eachings and that's how he restored the pure ancient order. Much later, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba who was also guru to late King Birendra of Nepal, one one occasion granted the King an extraordinary vision of Shiva and Kali on Yogiraj Ramnath Baba’s own palm.

Yogiraj Ramnath Baba initiated many reforms and brought about many changes both in the physical and spiritual life of Nepal which was very beneficial to Nepal. But after being disturbed by the King Birendra ‘s manipulation of spiritual powers and siddhis, Yogiraj Ramnath Baba left for Calcutta. King Birendra had displayed rampant irreverence to his guru Yogiraj Ramnath Baba who in essence was more than one’s own father. This apparently made the great yogi comment, “ Due to the karmic flow of the event, King Birendra’s head will roll in the hands of his own son crown Prince Dipendra no matter how he may so desire otherwise”. The vile destruction of the Nepal's royal family at the hand of Prince Dipendra in 2001 AD clearly displays the bad karmic consequence of King Birendra's actions.

Naths: The Nath tradition (Sampradaya) is a timeless lineage of spiritual masters, connected with Infinite Consciousness through the greatest Yogi of all ages, Babaji Gorakshanath, (the same introduced in Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi as Mahavatar Babaji). These ancient yogis discovered that the secret of cosmic consciousness is intimately linked with breath mastery. The life force, which is ordinarily used for bodily functions, can be channeled for higher activities by a method of calming and stilling the ceaseless demands of the breath. It is through this grand lineage of the Nath Yogis that the royal science of Hatha Yoga has been preserved and handed down through the corridors of time by the ever living Shiva Goraksha Babaji.

As we peer into the akashic records of the misty past, we get a glimpse of the lineage of the Nath Yogis. It began from Adi Nath, Lord Shiva himself, who gave it to his consort, Parvati Nath. She gave it to Shanmuk Nath, Ganesh and Nandi Nath. Then Lord Krishna as Vishnu initiated Lord Vivasvat, the Spirit of our sun.The lineage was later guarded by the kings of the solar dynasty.Then Vaivasvat Manu, King Ikshavaku down to Harishchandra, then to Lord RaghuNath (Rama), 47th in descent from Ikshavaku (He is the 8th Rudra, esoterically connected with Shiva Goraksha Babaji). (source: Rudrashivananda)

As for the ancient traditional Naths, they had only two sects, one was Darshan Dhari or Darshani, a more modern term vs Kapaali or Kappaliks. There is a controversy regarding that those that wore large earrings, where some said, they originated from Gorakhsnath and some from Kanipha. According to the name, its more likely they originated from Kanipha Nathji, as the word kanphatta seems to be derived from this name. So, its better to use the name Darshani Sadhus then Nath panthi.

Sadhu

Around 1978 a westerner named Sadhu George seeking for spiritual understanding in Pashupatinath had the golden opportunity to meet Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba ( who by the had mastered the science of herbs and traditional Ayurvedic medicines and had got the title Doctor, using it to heal and cure diseases of the sick that visited him ) and has written about his experience of being with Yogiraj, “ Yogiraj Ramnath Baba did not have a high opinion of the then contemporary yogi/ascetic scene suggesting that yogis were often lazy and weak. Yogiraj Ramnath Baba said that modern ascetics were generally lazy because they had been seduced away from the required detached ascetic’s path by seeking name and fame; by relative materialistic goals; by their over-indulgence of drugs and the convenience of modern transport, electricity etc.”

Yogiraj Ramnath Baba thereby advised the Sadhu George against seeking to become an full time ascetic sadhu and especially emphasized the need to cultivate and awaken the coiled-up energy/ capability by way of the tantric approach of the householder/yogi. One quiet afternoon when no one was around Ramnath Baba, chose to ‘give’ Sadhu George prajna, ‘insight’ into the nature of Pashupatinath. He instructed Sadhu George to sit under a Bel tree, a tree associated with Shiva’s resonance, located in a courtyard on the other side of the Bagmati River some hundreds of yards away from his seat in the cremation ghat and to meditate there in an instructed manner. From Yogiraj Ramnath Baba’s grace and siddhi, Sadhu George enjoyed some hours of blissful meditation and gained some enduring ‘insights’ into the amazing potential offered by the finite physical body and mind.

On a daily basis of living Yogiraj Ramnath Baba was not at all impressed by conventional caste systems, social and religious prejudice. He often declared that caste conventions etc., had simply become a means to justify social inequalities. On occasions the Yogiraj intuited the relative nature of individuals entering or leaving Pashupatinath temple and bemoaned the fact that, "Good devotees including low caste Nepalese and other foreigners could not take ready 'sight’ of Pashupatinath’s image". He also spoke about the social order saying, "Caste systems act as a convenient means for a great many devotees to avoid coming to terms with the doctrinal and applied householder/yogı approach actually required for tantric emanation and yoga". Yogiraj Ramnath Baba also suggested that elaborate orthodox rituals were a ‘child’s game’, enacted to waste time and simply divert attention away from protracted effort and deliberation required for ‘true’ devotion and the application of system of self -emanation and yogic practices. Yogiraj Ramnath Baba suggested that if the time spent on Brahminical rituals was gainfully used on attempting to attain inner concentration, adepts would become more commonplace. He taught that even a little but appropriate effort spent every day towards attaining inner concentration eventually becomes a mountain of fruits.

Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba was an adept yogi whose mind was established within the divine quantum field and possessed the powers of energy/capability transference as well as the powers of clairvoyance and telepathy. Disciples of other gurus were sent to him to check if they correctly mentally recited mantras. Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba did not need to hear the spoken mantra but could readily intuitively correct their error and would then instruct on the correct pronunciation of particular syllables or words. Yogiraj also earned the title of Doctor as he was a master physician, botanical expert and an adept of Ayurvedic practices and herbs. Therefore the title of Doctor was addressed to him per his mastering this traditional healing methods to cure and heal many diseases of people that came to him for help.

According to Yogiraj Tyaginath Aghori, "Guruji Dr. Ramnath Baba was such a strict and disciplined teacher that he had no patience for those who wanted to gain name and favors in the name of being a spiritual adept. I have been so loved and beaten to seconds away from my life, because he wanted perfection in his chela or spiritual son. There could be no excuse of any kind, if I was to be his predecessor. Just to have been in his auspicious surrounding was a blessing that can never be repaid except with the same discipline and devotion to attaining spiritual moksha and compassion."

Of the many siddhis Yogiraj Dr Ramnath had, the one that most sadhus fondly remember especially, Yogiraj Dr Tyaginath Aghori is of using the invisible helps. It was his invisible servants.

"One day Baba Ramnath called all the local babas for a feast, a bhandara, he would prepare on Dashashwamedh Ghat, a half-mile downstream from us. Even the local shopkeepers and others laughed at him when he announced that he would feed his guests from the meager resources of his humble dhuni , with just a couple of small pots, and hundreds of babas arrived. The babas sat in a pangat, two pairs of long lines each facing another. Plates made of leaves sewn together with twigs, patals, were placed in front of them. They were served the traditional bhandara lunch of vegetables, dal, puris, and halwa, and of course, a one-rupee note was also given as dakshina. Everyone was amazed that Baba Ram Nath Aghori was able to feed so many people with such small pots. But the pots had no bottom. After the meal, he announced that his work was not yet finished. He had another hundred leaf plates laid out, and food served (but without the dakshina). A large crowd gathered to touch his feet but when he started barking like a dog, they all recoiled. Then, from every street and alleyway, an army of dogs raced to the ghat and devoured their prasad.

Then he had the invisible servants lay out another hundred plates of food, this time with the one-rupee-note dakshina. “Ladies and gentlemen!” he announced. “This round is for my friends, the spirits and the ghosts!” and immediately, all the food and money vanished."

Yogiraj Dr Tyaginath Aghori

Yogiraj Dr. Tyaginath Aghori

Yogiraj Dr. Tyaginath Aghori

Yogiraj Dr Tyaginath Aghori also fondly remembers his guru Yogiraj Dr Ramnath as one who made him into the yogi that he is now, " I had to wake up by 3.30 a.m. in the morning and make sure that every sadhu or yogi in the premises of Pashupatinath Ghat and outskirts were served hot piping tea by 4.a.m. There could be no excuses or delay. I would be literally running around for that duration of half hour and on time to continue serving my Guruji." Albeit to say, that in the process of being a chela or spiritual son, the rigorous route to attaining even a singular guru mantra requires unflinching dedication and devotion.

Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba left his corporeal body on 6th of January, 1982 and his samadhi peeth or sepulchre is situated in Balurghat, North Bengal, India. On the day of his departure his disciple Sadhak Basudev Baba recollects, "It felt like Maha Bhairava/ Lord Shiva was returning to Mount Kailash accompanied by Nandi and other beloveds while playing sounds of sacred instruments to mark his journey”.

Many performs siddhis for their own enlightenment but Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba did it for spiritual progression of whole of humanity and not mere supernatural powers. Fetters of slavery and bondages were liberated by Yogiraj Dr Baba Ramnath by initiating numerous sadhus to spiritual understanding and practices without any discrimination. After parinirvana of Yogiraj Dr Ramnath Baba, Yogiraj Dr. Tyaginath Aghori Baba maintains Yogiraj Dr Baba Ramnath’s seat in Kathmandu, Nepal. Yogiraj Dr. Tyaginath Aghori Baba is constantly serving humanity and he is 106 years old and lives by the Bhasmeshwar Ghat of the Pashupatinath, at the Siddha temple of the clan and sometimes at Janakpur temple in Nepal, liberating and serving all sentient beings.

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