“Machhindranath” is believed to be, the first “Nath” or “Saint” to receive knowledge from Lord Dattatreya, under the guidance of Shiva. He learnt about – “The Science and Teaching of Yoga.”
In the “Navnath Pothi / Navnath Bhaktisar” book, the story of the births of the Navnaths are mentioned.
The Birth Story of “Machhindranath” Guruji –
In the past, from the semen of Lord Brahma, 88,000 sages were formed.
During that period, some of the semen fell into the Yamuna River.
This semen got divided into three parts. 2 parts of the semen fell into the bowl and one part fell into the waters of the holy river Yamuna.
The part of the semen that fell in the waters was instantly swallowed by a fish, in the Yamuna river.
One of these days, Lord Shiva and his wife, Mata Parvati were sitting on Mount Kailash talking.
Mata Parvati and Lord Shiva were discussing “the mantra”. She wanted to know the mantra that Shiva always chanted.
As it was an important mantra, Lord Shiva said that they would have to find a private and quiet place. So they started searching for a private place.
While searching, they came to an isolated place on the banks of the river Yamuna. There was stillness everywhere!
As no one was around, they chose to sit there. Lord Shiva started teaching the mantras to Mata Parvati.
In the Yamuna river, was the fish that had swallowed Lord Brahma’s semen. The fish was swimming near this isolated place.
The fish was pregnant. The baby inside the fish’s womb was hearing the conversation between Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati.
After listening to the divine mantras, the baby in the fish’s womb had gained pure and supreme knowledge and became “Brahmarupa”. He understood that the whole world is about “Consciousness” which is Lord Brahma.
After imparting his knowledge, Lord Shiva asked Mata Parvati about the principle of the mantras. At that moment, the baby said from the fish’s womb that ‘Everything is Brahma.’
Hearing this, Lord Shiva looked in the direction of the sound and understood that “Machhindranath” had communicated with him through the fish’s womb.
“Machhindranath” got this name as he was born from the fish. (“Machhi” means “a fish”).
Lord Shiva told “Machhindranath” that he had benefited a lot from listening to the mantras. Once, he is born, he will receive the same knowledge from his “Guru”/ teacher Lord Dattatreya, in Badrikashram.
Saying this, Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati went back to Mount Kailash.
Baby “Machhindranath” had started chanting the mantra in the fish’s womb. As the day got over, the fish laid her eggs on the bank of the river Yamuna and went out into the holy waters.
A few days later, the egg hatched and baby “Machhindranath” started crying. These eggs were spotted by a fisherman, named Kamik.
Kamik felt sorry for the crying baby. All of a sudden, the voice from the sky (Akashvani) advised Kamik to take the crying baby home.
The fisherman had no children, so he was happy to take baby “Machhindranath” home. He and his wife took good care of the baby.
When “Machhindranath” was 5 years old, he wanted to do penance. So, “Machhindranath” went to Badrikashram and underwent rigorous penance for twelve years.
Only the skeleton of his bones remained!
During this time, Lord Shiva and Lord Dattatreya met and chatted for some days. Lord Dattatreya wanted to see the most beautiful forest of Badrikashram, and to fulfil his wish, Lord Shiva took him to the forest of Badrikashram.
Lord Dattatreya saw “Machhindranath” penancing. The Lord was surprised as no one did such penance in the Kali Yuga!!
Lord Dattatreya asked “Machhindranath” about his whereabouts.
“Machhindranath,” told him that he had been doing penance for the last twelve years and he hadn’t seen a single person since. So, he didn’t know who the man in front of him was but he felt as if his wish had come true.
Lord Dattatreya introduced himself as the son of Anusaya and asked him for a boon. Hearing this, “Machhindranath” happily fell at his feet.
Lord Dattatreya recited a mantra in “Machhindranath’s ear” and so all the worlds began to appear divine to Guru “Machhindranath”
To test his knowledge, Lord Dattatreya asked him a question.
“Where is God?”
“Machhindranath” replied that he saw nothing but God because God is everywhere.
Lord Dattatreya was extremely pleased with his answer and took him to Lord Shiva. With the blessings of the two Lords, “Machhindranath” created the Nath Sampradaya or the Nath Sect.
After establishing the “Nath Sampradaya”, “Machhindranath” went on pilgrimage.
“Machhindranath” as he had to establish the “Nath Sampraday” ( 9 Great Saints) , his first student ” Gorakhshanath” was born.
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