śrīguruṁ paramānandaṁ vande svānandavigraham|
yasya sannidhyamātreṇa cidānandāyate tanuḥ ||1||
yo yogī yugakalpakālakalanāttvaṁ ca jegīyate |
jñānāmodamahodadhiḥ samabhavad yatrādināthaḥ svayaṁ
vyaktāvyaktaguṇādhikaṁ tamaniśaṁ śrīmīnanāthaṁ bhaje ||2||
(Gorakṣa Śataka verses 1,2)
1. "Salutations to Guru, (who is) an embodiment of the eternal bliss, who bestows (on the disciple) the blissful state of the experiencing self as the Supreme Eternal Self, and by mere nearness to whom, the body becomes transcended as pure and blissful mind." 2. "To that Yogi who at all ages and eras abides inside of the same steady light of the flame of his soul, being established there by the virtue of his practice, and who is not affected by the changes of time; who has realized his oneness with Adi Nath himself, who is like the great ocean of knowledge and bliss, who is more then qualities vyakta and āvyakta can describe, to that venerable Mīnanātha I worship continuously."
The name of Matsyendra Nath is one of most remarkable amongst the yogis of the Nath Sampradaya, as well as of the whole Mahasiddha tradition. He has wide recognition as the guru of Goraksh Nath, and less known as one of the founders of the tantrik Kaula sādhanā. Matsyendra Nath is the very important person for Nathas, becouse he is the guru of the founder of their tradition. Although they support view that it was Guru Goraksh Nath, who actually founded their order, the names of Matsyendra Nāth and Jalandhar Nath precede him in the list of Acharyas, parampara - the lineage of transmission of the sect. Duty this reason Matsyendra Nāth is also known as Dādā (Guru) Matsyendra Nāth, where dādā means ‘grand father guru’. While Goraksh unanimously accepted as their guru by all Nathas, Matsyendra Nāth in his turn recognized as the preceptor and maker of their guru, and therefore as their grand father guru.
There exist lot of legends, in India and Nepal, describing the supernatural abilities and miracles performed by Matsyendra Nāth. It is widely believed that as Goraksh nath, he also was an immortal, endowed with the extraordinary magical powers and was much more than the ordinary human being. He is mentioned by the author of HYP Swaatmarama as one of the great siddhas, who destroyed the hold of the time by the power of Hatha yoga, and became able to wonder in the Universe as they wish.
HYP 1.9 ityādayo mahāsiddhā haṭha-yoga-prabhāvataḥ |
khaṇḍayitvā kāla-daṇḍaṁ brahmāṇḍe vicaranti te|| 9||
Sometimes Matsyendra Nāth is compared with Shiva in the Indian Natha tradition, and in the Buddhist tradition of Nepal he is worshiped as Avalokiteshvara- the divinity of the Buddhist Pantheon. One of the most remarkable from his miraculous powers mentioned in the legends about him, was the ability to live one body and entering into other bodies by free will, and remain there for prolonged period of time. It is believed that in his knowledge of the occult sciences and magic he was second to no one amongst people, probably excluding only his great disciple. He also has reputation as the famous tantrik practitioner, in some stories he even appearing as wicked sorcerer, and exterminates by his magic the army of the king of Nepal, which later was restored by Gorakh Nath.
He is honored as their Guru and as an ideal of sadhaka by many modern practitioners of tantra, especially by those who try to follow the path of Kaula Shakti marga.
The Path of Nathas
Some legends showing him as the ‘fallen’ yogi, who become enamored by women and forgot about his yogic past, and it is Goraksh nath who comes to rescue him from this situation. Yet some other sources say that he done all his ‘mistakes’ only for the benefit of the world and his great disciple, being totally unaffected by all what he was doing (if we suppose that his spirit was free from his body than it could be true); indeed, being the guru of God was apparently difficult task for him. The relations of Matsyendra Nātha and Goraksh Nātha are considered to be an ideal example of the relations of guru and disciple, and form the path for others to follow; all those who have attained their ultimate freedom and immortality walked by this path only. One of the greatest experts of the Hatha Yoga, the great yogi of the Natha Tradition Swaatmarama has assigned credit of all his personal achievements to the grace of Matsyendra-Gorakṣā:
haṭha-vidyāṁ hi matsyendra-gorakṣādyā vijānate |
svātmārāmo'thavā yogī jānīte tat-prasādataḥ || 4||
There exist lot of the different lists of the Nine Great Nathas, and Matseyndra Nath appearing in almost all of them. Amongst the members of the Ennead of the Great Nathas he is known as Māyā Svarupī or Māyā Pati Dādā Matsyendra Nath, the names which has symbolical meaning behind them. Māyā Svarupī can be translated as ‘being the form of Māyā (illusion) and Māyā Pati means the master of it. In this context he appears not like limited human individuality, but rather more like universal principle of the yogic transforming power. After awakening of Kundalini (Personal Divine Power), it is not the individual guru only who is guiding yogi on his path, but the entire existence becomes his guru, Māyā changes from her role as merely illusion and becomes Yoga Maya, the power of transformation leading towards the Spiritual Self.
Around the Natha Tradition there exist numerous devotional folk songs presenting the ideas of the Natha yogis, composed in the various old and modern dialects of India, some of theme are widely popular, especially in the Northern part of the country. The most of them are written in the form of monologue of Matsyendra Nath addressing to his disciple Goraksh Nath and usualy ending with words, 'Kahate Matsendar Baba, suno Jati Goraksh', what means 'Matsendar is saying, listen O Goraksh!'
Most legends about him connect his life with the areas of Bengal, Assam, Nepal and locality near the city Mangalore of Karnataka. In accordance with Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti, he was born in Eastern India, was fisherman by caste and lived near an ocean. Another place usually associated with his name is Kama-rupa (modern Assam).
In course of time, the name of Matsyendra Nāth came through numerous distortions, and he became recognized under many different names, from which Matsyendra nāth and Machendra nāth are two most popular and generally used by the yogis of the modern Natha Sampradaya. There exist quite a lot of spellings and translations of these two names in the various local dialects of India, which were current there at different periods of time. In Nepal he is identified with divinity of Buddhist pantheon Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, whose other two names Loka Natha (the Lord of the world) and Karunamaya (embodiment of compassion) are also applied to him. He also famous there as Rato Macchindra Nath, where Rato means ‘red’ and worshiped by Newars as ‘the God of rain’. This tradition limited only to the area of Nepal and not supported in the other Buddhist regions.
In the different stories of book Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti he was called Minapā, Vajrapada and Achintapā (Achintya or worryless). Abhinava Gupta called him Machanda Vibhu in his of his works called Tantraloka.
In work Kaulajñānanirṇaya his names vary from chapter to chapter (called Paṭalas) As Macchaghnapāda he mentioned in Paṭalas III, IV,V, VI,VII, VIII, IX, X; Macchendrapāda in Paṭalas XIII, XV, XVII; Matsyendrapāda : ibid.'XVI, XXII, XXIII and Mīnapāda XIX, XX, XXI. Two more names appearing in KJN are Matsyodara, which means ‘born of fish’ and Macchaghna ‘killer of fishes’. The first name comes from the version of legend which says that he was born from the womb of fish, and second based on Vajrayana version of his life story, in accordance with which he was a fishermen before he was swallowed by fish. Even in this sense he can be looked on as ‘reborn out of fish’, because he came out of its stomach entirely different person then he was before entering into it. In two different versions of Akulavira tantra he is mentioned as Mīnanātha and Macchendrapāda. In Kulānanda he called Matsyendra and in Jñānakārikā Macchindranātha-pāda.
The researchers were unable to come to agreement about the exact date when Matsyendranath was floorishing. In accordance with various opinions, he lived not earlier than 7th century and not later than 12th century. The earliest date is based on the accepting as fact that he lived at the same time with the king of Nepal Narendra Deva, who ascended to throne in about 640 A.D. and and ruled till his death in in 683 A.D. The latest date is based on the biography of the Saint Jnaneshwar, in accordance with which he lived not long time before him. There exist few more accouunts suggesting other possible periods of his life. Most of them would be discused in more details in connection with the lives of Goraksh Nath, Jalandhar Nath and Kanipa Nath and therfore I omitted them here.
Becouse Matsendra Nath can be accepted as contemporary with all of these yogis, the time mentioned for them will be same for him. Here I will present only few references peculiar for him.
Chronology in accordance with the time of the king of Nepal Narendra Deva
The most earliest time of the Matsyendra Nath’s life usualy calculated on the base of legends connecting him with the king of Nepal Varadeva? There exist popular belive supported by few researchers that Matsyendranath has came to Nepal in the reign of the king Varadeva (Bardeva), who was the second king of the Thakuri dynasty? The Thakuri dynasty was started from Amsuvarman, who was its first king. Amsuvarman was the great king, who ruled Nepal from 605 A.D. to 621 A.D.
King Narendradeva, became his successor and ruled at the same time with the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo, to whom he married his daughter. King Srongtsan Gampo, was born in the year 617 A.D. and died 698. He became the king of Tibet in 630 A.D., when he was only 13-year-old. Under his rule Tibetans conquered Burma and in 640 A.D. occupied Nepal. Both of these kings are historical personalities, lives of which quite well documented.
Narendra Deva was 7th king of the Lichchhavi dynasty? In accordance with the legend popular in Nepal, he meet Matsendranath at about 647 A.D. Matsyendranath came there in period of his rule therefore the time of his life can be placed somvwere in the middle of 7th century.
Narendra Dev was the son of Uday Dev II. Uday Dev has to take shelter under the Tibetan King Srong-Tsang-Gompo, after his throne was taken over by Bishnu Gupta. Narendra Dev, with the help of the Tibetan king took revenge against the enemy of his father and restored his ancestral throne. Thus, he ended the double rule and became the 7th king of the Lichchhavi dynasty. He ascended the throne in about 640 A.D.
It was he who brought the patron deity Machchhendranath from Kamrup (Assam, in India). A Chinese Mission visited Nepal for the first time during his rule in about 643 A.D. Again, in 647 A.D., a second Chinese Mission under the leadership of Wang Hiun Tse visited Nepal. This Mission highly praised the development of Nepalese art and architecture. Narendra Dev also sent a Mission to China with presents and messages of good will.
Chronology in accordance with the time of Abhinava Gupta
The famous exponent of Kashmiri shaivism, Abhinava Gupta, who lived at the tenth century, has mentioned Matsendra Nath as “Macchanda-vibhu ” in one of his works called Tantraloka. Composing of this work historicaly evident as beeing written in the period of time between the end of 10th and beginning of 11th centuries. It such way it becomes clear that Matsendra Nath was living prior to him, that is before the end of the tenth century.
rāgāruṇaṁ granthi-bilāva-kīrṇaṁ yo jālamātāna-vitāna-vṛtti |
kalombhitaṁ bāhyapathe cakāra stān me sa macchanda-vibhuḥ prasannaḥ ||1|7||
(Tantrāloka 1.7 by Abhinava-Gupta)
Are Machanda Vibhu mentioned by Abhinava Gupta and Matsyendra Nath same?
Are Luipa and Matsyendra Nath were same persons?
The idea that Matsyendra Nath and Vajrayani Mahasiddha Luipa were the same persons was introduced for the first time by the Doctor Baggchi in his book Kaulajñānanirṇaya of the School of Matsyendra Nath. Later it was supported by the Doctor Kalyani Malik in her book SSP&OWNS. The authors based their assumptions on proposal that both Luipa and Matsendranath were accepted as the first (Adi) acharyas of their traditions, one of Tibetan, and other of Indian lineages of the Mahasiddha yogis. As such they can be easily accepted as being the same persons. Another argument presented by both researchers was that name Matsyendra is nothing else, but corrupted form of word Matsāntrāda (‘eater of inner parts of fishes’ or ‘one who eats intestines of fishes’), which is one of translations of different Tibetan spellings of name Luipa into Sanskrit. This seems as logical because pronunciation of Matsāntrāda sounds more near to Matsyendra than to Mina-natha. And if we assume that name Matsyendra Nath was derived from Mina-nath than it should be pronounced as Matsya-nath or Maccha-nath without its ending ‘endra’. There few more arguments presented by these researchers in support of their theory, one of which is that the both yogis appearing on paintings as being surround by fishes.
The opinion expressed by these two eminent scholars later gained popularity and became accepted by many others researchers as trustworthy. Although I highly respect their contribution to the field of the studies about Nathism, at this point I can’t agree with their point of view. It seems that at the time when both of them were preparing their publications, they were unable to access the full text of Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti, because it was published as the one complete text as late as in 1979, much later after their works came to light. Before the full text of CSP became available in the printed form, there was existing lot of uncertainty about this question, which was settled by its publication. After going through the full text of the book it become obvious that both yogis were two entirely different personalities and have nothing in common excluding their relations to fishes. The fact that story of Luipa stand on first place in Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti doesn’t mean that he was the first of Mahasiddhas and therefore Adi Siddha. After reading the book, it becomes obvious that 84 stories of Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti doesn't appear in the chronological order, and it is rather Saraha then Luipa, who often recognized as being the first amongst Mahasiddhas.
Are Minanath and Matsyendranath were two different persons?
Another popular misconception preveils around the question: Were Mina-pa and Matsyendra-nath two different individuals, or these are only two different names of one person. There is nothing impossible that there could be two yogis with the names Minapa and Matsyendra Nath, which were different individuals and lived at differnt time. In the Natha Sampradaya many times it happening that names of yogis are repeated again and again in cource of time, and there is not exist any rule not allowing to use any of names. But after analyzing the contexts in which these two names appear in the various texts, it appearing clearly that it was one and same person.
In accordance with the tradition accepted by the Natha yogis, there are only three persons in the lineage of transmition: Adi Nath, Matsyendra Nath, Goraksh Nath. In this light all other variants of Mastseyndra Nath’s name can be accepted as being his name. However, the yogi Svaatmarama in his book Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā, gives the list of the great siddhas, in accordance with which Goraksh Nāth is placed as the fifth or sixth in the spiritual descent from Matsyendra and as the direct disciple of Mīna:
cauraṅgī-mīna-gorakṣa-virūpākṣa-bileśayāḥ || 5||HYP 1.5
This verse could lead to conclusion that Matsyendra and Mīna were two different individuals and that Gorakhnāth lived more than a hundred years after Matsyendra, but the list of HYP by any means can’t be accepted as chronological.
In accordance with some variations of the popular story of Matsendranath’s life, Minapa was the name of Matsendranath’s son, born from queen of Triya rajya, but this point also can’t be accepted, becouse Mina-pa is only different interpretation of the same name. Names of Minapa or Mina-Nath and Macchendra or Matsyendranath are virtualy the same, because both Matsya and Mīna in Sanskrit meaning fish, and Maccha is nothing else but form which word Matsya takes after being translated into Prakrit. Second part of the word ‘endra’, is word ‘indra’, which after transformation in accordance with rule of ‘sandhi’, has accepted this form, used simply as adding to the name, in sense of ‘the best, excellent, the first, the chief’, what is common practise in Hindi and Sanskrit names.
Still in accordanse with G.W.Briggs, in Nepal there exist tradition where they were accepted as two different persons.
Matseyndra Nath in Bengali Tradition
In Bengal, there exist two books written in the Bengali language, which having different names, but narrating about same events and have similar context. One of them composed by Shyama-das called ‘Mīna-cetan’ (‘The awakening of Mina’), and other composed by Shaikh Faijulla ‘Gorakh vijaya’ (‘Victory of Gorakṣa’). The the both authors based their narrations on the local folklore of Bengal and ballads sung by the wondering minstrels. The Doctor Sukukmar Sen has presented the summary of the story in his book called Baṅglā Sāhityera itihās (History of the Bengali Literature). Later, Doctor H.P.Dvivedi partaly reproduced it in his book after translating it into Hindi. Also, some fragments from this book was presented by by D.Kalyani Malic in her work SSP & WNY.
Summary of 'The Victory of Goraksha'
Adya (primordial male principle) and Adyā (primordial female principle) were two ancient Gods who have started creation. Afterwards four Siddhas were born, after them young girl was born, whose name was Gaurī. Being ordered by Adya, Śiva married her and descended on the Earth. The names of those four Siddhas were Mīnnāth, Gorakṣnath, Hāḍiphā (Jalendharnath) and Kānphā. From the time they were created, they became absorbed in the yoga practice and were sustaining merely on air. Goraksh Nath was in service of Mīn-nāth and Kanpha nath was the people of of Hāḍipā.
Amar Katha (Bengali version)
One day Gaurī saw the garland of human sculls on the Śiva’s neck, and asked him why he was wearing them. He answered that in reality all those skulls belonged her, in her previous lives. Gaurī became shocked to learn it. She asked Śiva, what were the reasons duty which she has to die again and again, but he was immortal. Śiva answered her, that this kind of knowledge was secret, and not for ears of every body. He told her that before he will answer they should go in the middle of the Kṣir Ocean on a boat, and then there discuss it. When they have reached the middle of the Kṣir Ocean, at the same time Mīn-nāth, who has accepted the form of a huge fish, has reached under their boat and stopped below it.
Listening, listening Devi gone to sleep and Mīn-nāth was saying yes, listening all time, so that Śiva complete narration. When Devi became awakened by the sound of his voice, she told that she didn’t listened the Great Knowledge Śiva was narrating. When Śiva has applied his yogic sight to find who was saying, “yes I am listening”, he has found that it was Mīn-nāth, sitting under the boat. He became angry and cursed him by saying that once day will come when he would forget The Great Knowledge, because it was acquired by unfair means.
After this, Adi-guru Śiva has gone to Kailash Mountain and started live there. Gaurī was repeatedly asking him to arrange marriages of Siddhas, so that they can bring forth progeny. Śiva answered her that Siddhas can’t be affected by lust. Gaurī has told that it is impossible that human body can be free from desires, and if Śiva would give his order, she will test all of them. Then Śiva allowed her to do this.
The four Siddhas were performing their penances in four quarters, Hāḍiphā wan the East, Kānphā was in the South, in Goraksh was in the West and Mīn-nāth in the North. To give Gaurī an opportunity to perform her test, Śiva has invited the four Siddhas to his place. When they came, Gaurī after taking form of Bhuvan Mohinī (the seducer of the world) served them food. All four Siddhas became charmed by her form in different ways. Mīn-nāth thought in his mind that that if he will get such a beautiful women he would spend a night with her. Devi curst him that he would forget his Great Knowledge and in Country Kadli would spent nights enamored by company of sixteen hundred beautiful women. Hāḍiphā thought that for such women he would become even street sweeper, and as result he got curse that he would become sweeper in house of queen Mayanāmatī. Disciple of Hāḍiphā, Siddha Gābhūr thought that if he would get such a woman, then even if his foot and legs will be cut away it is not big matter. As result of his thoughts, he was cursed that his stepmother would put him in disgrace. Kānphā thought in his mind that for getting such a woman even sacrifice of life is not to mach. Duty this Devi cursed him by saying that after going in Turmān country he would became ḍāhukā? Goraksh thought that if such women would be his mother he would be happy sit in her hands and drink milk from her breast. Goraksh Nath alone passed the test, and has got blessing as reward, but Devi not being satisfied on this, determined in her mind to make more severe test for him in future.
After tests were completed, all Siddhas started for the places they were cursed to go. Only Goraksh Nath remained free. Once when he was sitting under Banyan tree absorbed in deep meditation, Devī applied all her means to bring him down from his state of yoga, but he passed through all her attempts till they ended. Other time she lay naked on his way, pretending that she was sleeping, but such her state not created any wrong thoughts in mind of Goraksh, and he covered her with big tree list. Then she has taken form of fly and entered in his stomach trying to make pain to him. Goraksh Nath has stopped his breathing and she became badly harassed by it. After all these, Devī accepted terrible form and started killing countless human beings. Being obliged by Śiva Goraksh delivered Devī from her state, and established a statue on her place. Rumors say that it is the same statue, which worshiped in Calcutta in Kali temple. Devī being pleased by him, blessed him by granting him bonus to get most beautiful woman ever existed. To fulfill her bonus Śiva by his power of his Yoga-Maya (illusion), created young woman who determindly accepted Goraksh Nath as her husband. Goraksh after coming in her house became child of six month old and started annoyingly crying demanding milk. After short time, the girl became greatly absent by the situation. Goraksh Nath told her that it is impossible for him to be affected by sensual desire, but if she would wash his kaupīn or karpaṭī (loin cloth) and drink water remain after it, she will get a child. She did in accordance with order, washed his karpaṭī and drunk water left after it. Some time later, son was born to her, which was named Karpaṭī-nāth.
Goraksh Nath and Kānphā
One day, Goraksh Nath was sitting under Banyan tree absorbed in Samadhi. Kānphā was flying through sky to somewhere, and his shadow felt on Goraksh Nath. When Goraksh Nath noticed it, he turned his face up and after seeing him, became angry. He took his khaḍāu (wooden shoes) and through it at Kānphā, who was caught by it and dragged to Goraksh Nath. In such way, he was punished for carelessly flying over his head.
Kānphā told him with sarcasm: ’you have become so big Siddha, then do you know where your guru is? He is now in country Kadlī, engaged with women, after he forget all his Mahā-Jñān (the Great Knowledge). His powers became extinguished now, and after I made an enquiry in office of Yamarāja (God of Death), I came to know that his span of life is only three days more. If you such great Siddha, then go and save him’.
Goraksh Nath answered to him: “You are giving me instructions what I should do, but did you have any news about your guru? He was buried under ground by son of wise queen Mayanāmatī raja Gopīcand.”
Rescuing the Guru
In such way, both yogis came to know about situations in which were their gurus, and started for rescuing them. First of all Goraksh Nath gone to office of Yamarāja and made there arrangements for prolonging life term of his guru. Then he returned to the tree, and after taking with him two disciples, Laṅg and Mahālaṅg, he entered into Kadalī forest for rescuing his guru. Yogis were not allowed to enter in Kadalī country; therefore, he disguised himself as Brahman. By seeing him, people were making him obeisance accepting him for a Brahman, and he has in response give them blessings. However, in reality, those blessings were not blessings of ordinary Brahman, but of Great Siddha which Goraksh Nath was, therefore they were having tremendous power. All those whom he blessed, even the worst of sinners, at once were becoming free from all their sins and retribution for them. On seeing this, Goraksh Nath understood that appear as a Brahman was not good for him, therefore he returned to his normal look as a yogi. He sat under Banyan tree situated on the bank of some lake at Kadalī country, and entered in samadhi. A local woman came there and after seeing him, became charmed by his appearance. From her he came to know that his guru Mīn-nāth spending his time in company of two queens Mangalā and Kamalā by name, surrounded by sixteen hundred female attendants. Yogis were not allowed to enter into the palace under treat of death penalty, and only female dancers were permitted to access Mīn-nāth. For delivering his guru, Goraksh Nath disguised himself as female dancer, but queens Mangalā and Kamalā being informed by female doorkeeper that he is not complete female , prevented him from entering in apartments where Mīn-nāth was sitting. At last, Goraksh Nath started pound at his drum from behind the door . On listening the sound coming from the drum, Mīn-nāth called for person who was doing it. Being brought in front of him, Goraksh Nath by sounding his drum recollected him his past and restored his Mahā-Jñāna (the Great Knowledge). After listening it, Mīn-nāth remembered who he was before.
On seeing him ready to go, queens being scared of it brought in front of him his son Bindu-Nath, and attempted play on his filings, trying to change his mind. Goraksh Nath responded on it by making Bindu-Nath dead and then bringing him back to the life, and Mīn-nāth once more became determined to go. Queens of Kadalī, attempted to create conspiracy to kill Goraksh Nath, but after it felt, were curst by him and both became bats. At last, Goraksh Nath with his guru and Bindu-Nath returned to Vijay Nagar.
The Life story of Guru Mīna-pā.
This is the Vajrayana version of the life story of Matseyndra Nath, the story number 8 in Caturaśīti-siddha-pravṛitti or 'The Life Stories of the Eighty Four Siddhas' by Abhaya Datta. This is one of the oldest written records about Matsyendra Nath.
Guru Minapa was born in the Eastern India and was fisherman by caste. His Guru was Mahadeva (Siva), who blessed him with mundane siddhis (powers).
At some distance from Kamarupa (modern Assam), there was an ocean, Ita by name(modern Bengal Bay). Fishermen who lived there were daily catching the fish from the ocean, and selling it on the market. One day one of them fitted a hook into the net made of cotton, fixed a peace of meat on it and cast the net into the ocean. Very big fish entered into it. When he tried to take it out of the ocean, he was not able to do it. Instead the fish dragged him deep in the water, until he finally sunk down. Than the fish swallowed him, but miraculously he, protected by his (good) karma, didn’t die.
About the same time Uma Devi asked from Mahadeva (Shiva) to narrate her lesson of Dharma, on what he answered that his teaching is very secret, and not for each and every body. “You make a house deep into the ocean (where nobody will listen us), then I will initiate you there.” Uma Devi did this, and after they both reached there, Shiva started narrating his lesson. While he was speaking, the fish (the same fish that swallowed the fisherman) came there and stopped right under the house (they were sitting in). Shiva not finished his lesson yet, but Uma became overpowered by sleep. Shiva was narrating and from time to time he was asking her, “Do you understand what I am saying?” And it was the fisherman who while listening (from the stomach of the fish), was answering, “Yes, I understand.” When Mahadeva completed his lesson of Dharma, Uma Devi awakened from her sleep, and started to say, “Now you shall continue”. Mahadeva answered, “I had finished the lesson, what else you want to know?” On what Uma has told,” I was listening till some moment, but later I gone into sleep and don’t listen duty this.
Puzzled Mahadeva has asked her, “Then who was saying: “Yes I am understood”?”
Uma answered, “No it was not me”.
When Mahadeva applied his yogic vision, he has found that, the man who was into the stomach of the fish under the house, they were sitting in, listened all the Teaching, from the beginning till the end. He thought, ‘Now he has become my disciple. But he will have to wait, till his time has come’. So he ordered to fisherman practice sadhana he has taught him (without taking him out of the fish), and officially accepted him as a disciple.
For twelve long ears the fisherman was practicing his sadhana, sitting inside (stomach) of the fish.
One day at the place called Shree Tapri, other fisherman has caught that big fish and dragged it out of the water. After seeing its (unusual) heaviness, he thought that it might have in its stomach some gold or silver. With purpose to take them out he cut her belly, and saw there a man was sitting. (Ashamed) fisherman asked him, “Who you are?” And get the answer, “I am also was a fisherman (like you are). At the time of ruling King Amuk, this fish dragged me into the ocean and swallowed afterwards.”
When people (gathered to see him), calculated the time, elapsed since that moment, they found that twelve ears have passed by. All people were greatly astonished to see this wonderful event. Since that moment he became famous under name Minapa .
People performed worship of him, and when he at once began dance, his feet started entering deep into the earth. When he continued his dance on the big stone, his feet also were entering deep into it, as if it was of wet mud. All around were amazed to see this. On what Minapa has told:
Because of previously accumulated good karma
And as power of chanting a sacred mantra
Such wonderful qualities I have got, Hey ho, my mind-jewel!
Later he spent five hundred ears (doing deeds) for uplifting humanity. Minapa, Vajrapad and Achintapa (Achintya), these are three names under which he became famous in different places.
At first he got mundane Siddhis (Supernatural powers), but later he entered the true path and became dissolved into Eternal Space.
The story of the fisherman Minapa is nice illustration what can man reach if he left alone for quite long period of time, without any disturbances, and if he initiated into the powerful techniques of meditation.
Actually every body can reach such extraordinary progress on yoga path, if he left alone without any disturbance, and all possible kind of activities he may indulge in, are cast away. Then only one can turn own sight from outside to inner reality, and become established there. Such conditions even today some attempt to approach by going into retreats. But as a rule, in daily reality of modern life, we neither have enough time, nor can we go out of the circle of our daily routine. We have no time to stop and sit down, and even if we try to meditate, still mind is larking somewhere else. It is happening because hobbit of the endless, restless activity deeply rooted into our nature. This becomes main reason why Minapa of modern days not appearing on today’s horizon. To make meditation successful it must be continuous and interrupted for long, long time and this can be accomplished only if God willing let it happen.
Today we have on our disposal all possible techniques of meditation, which previously were kept highly secret, were dispersed in different places all over the earth, and were taught only to initiated. But in spite of all this diversity, people today have to attend so many things at once that they have no time to stop and sit for while.