Baba Bharthri Nath

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Fast Facts
Baba Bhartri Nath.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Nath Sect, Siddha Path, Nath Tradition
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
Ist century BC
Place of Birth: 
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
Date Left His/Her Body: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Baba Balak Nath, Goraksh Nath, Gopi Chand


In Indian history and folklore, Raja Bharthari (Hindi: भरथरी), also known as "Sant" Bharthari, in many parts of India is the hero of many folk stories in North India. He was the ruler of Ujjain in the 1st century BC, before renouncing the world and abdicating in the favor of his younger brother Vikramaditya. He is sometimes identified with Bhartṛhari, a 7th century poet.

Stories of Bharthari and his nephew King Gopi Chand of Bengal (Hindi: गोपीचन्द), who are considered Nath panth yogis, abound in the Indian folklore of Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and West Bengal.[1] Much of the details about the lives of Bharthari and his brother Vikramaditya are from the tales of Baital Pachisi (Twenty five tales of Baital), translated as 'Vikram and The Vampire' by Sir Richard Francis Burton in 1870.

Bhartrhari was the elder son of King Gandharva-Sena, by a handmaiden, and received the kingdom of Ujjain from The celestial god Indra and the King of Dhara.[2][3]

When Bhartrhari was king of 'Ujjayani' (modern day Ujjain) in his state there lived a Brahman who after years of austerities was given, the fruit of immortality, from the celestial tree of Kalpavriksha. The Brahman presented the same to his monarch, Raja Bhartrhari, who in turn, passed it on to his love, the beautiful, Dangalah Rani, Raja Bhartrhari's last and youngest wife. The queen, being in love with the Head police officer of the state, Mahipaala, presented the fruit to him, who further passed it on to his beloved, Lakha, one of the maids of honour. Eventually, Lakha being in love with the king presented the fruit back to the king. Having completed the circle, the fruit revealed the downsides of infidelity to the king, he summoned the queen and ordered her beheading, and ate the fruit himself. After that he abdicated the throne, to his younger brother Vikramaaditya, and became a religious mendicant.[2][4] He later became a disciple of Nath saint, ‘Jaalandhara Natha’, along with the son of his sister Menaavati (also Mayanamati), Raja Gopi Chand of Bengal.[5]

There is a very famous song sung by the bards of Chhatisgarh in the memory of Raja Bhartrhari. The story says that Queen Pingala and Raja Bhartrhari did not have a son and the queen was very sad as a result of that. A saint came to the door of their palace one day and asked for alms. When Rani Pinglaa went down to give him alms, he said, "I know you are sad and I have brought some holy water for you. If you drink this water with faith, you will have a son in twelve months' time." Rani Pingala had the water and as promised by the Yogi, she had a son after twelve months.

There is one more very interesting story related to Raja Bhartrhari and Rani Pingla. It is said that Raja Bhartrhari was out for a hunt one day and he saw a woman jump into the pyre of her husband (Sati) as her grief would not let her stay alive. Raja Bhartrhari was moved and this incident stayed in his mind. When he returned to his palace, he told the story to Rani Pingala and asked her if she would do the same. Rani Pingala said that she would die on hearing the news itself and there would be no chance of her staying alive till the funeral ceremony. Raja Bhartrhari decided to test her and went on a hunt once again and sent the news of his death back to the palace. The Mahaaraani died on hearing the news as she had promised and Raja Bhrithari was grief-stricken. Guru Ghorakhonath heard about the grief of the King and came to help him overcome his grief. It is said that Guru Ghorakhonath created 750 copies of Rani Pingala to demonstrate the illusory nature of the world to Raja Bhartrhari. Even though Rani Pingala came alive Raja Bharthari decided to renounce the world and became a follower of Guru Ghorakhonath. He became a very famous saint and is also known as Sant Bhartrhari by the people of North India.



There are some who think Bharthrihari and Balak Nath were the legendary figures just like Lord Rama having been also spoken as legendary figure. Neither Rama nor Bharthrihari and Balak Nath are the legendary figures because they have sufficient historical and archaeological evidences and backgrounds etc.

Vikrami Sambat(years) were started by the King Vikramaditya and this was started by the King Vikramaditya prior to commencing of BC (years counting in the name of Christ = Before Christ). Bharthrihari was the brother of Vikramaditya which is historical evidence and there are many places in the states of India as in Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan etc.

King Bharthrihari abandoned his throne to his brother in order to become a monk as per the tradition of Kings and also his mind totally went to the embracing of the life of renunciation. After having become Sidha he wrote a famous book which is called 'VAIRAAGYA SHATKAM'. This book contains the teachings of Bhartrihari and stuff of the teachings is very, very deep and so important that it is highly helpful for people. Interested people may study this book at 'link' for himself.

This book was translated by Swami Madhavananda under the title named as --- 'THE HUNDRED VERSES ON RENUNCIATION' which is available at link.


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