Natha Sampradaya

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Natha Sampradaya Mean?

Natha Sampradaya can be translated as the "sect of Nathas" or the “Tradition of the Nine Gurus.” It is a tradition that is based on a lineage of spiritual gurus, who are worshipped individually and as a collective.

The Natha Sampradaya tradition is important in yoga because its foundations and teachings are based on Hatha Yoga principles. As such, sometimes great yogis and yoga gurus are known as nathas.

The name is derived from the Sanskrit word natha, which means "lord,” “master,” or “protector.”


Yogapedia Explains Natha Sampradaya

When devotees are initiated into the Natha Sampradaya tradition, they are given a name ending in -nath.

There is some regional variation around who the nine gurus of the Natha Sampradaya tradition are. Shiva is always the first guru.The remaining eight gurus generally include the 9th century Matsyendranatha and the 12th century Gorakhshanatha, along with Buddhist and Hindu considered “gurus," such as Abhyadattasri, and the Hatha Pradipika.

Historically, Natha Sampradaya is thought to have evolved from the ancient Siddha tradition of India. This tradition explored yoga as a means to perfecting the human condition using psychological, chemical and physical techniques to achieve the highest spiritual states.

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