Dr. Bholanath Yogi, a renowned Hindu scholar of the spiritual tradition and the Founding Principal of Hindu Vidyapeeth School in Dang, Nepal, spoke passionately about the ancient Nath tradition that once flourished in various cities of Pakistan. The scholar shared his insights at an exclusive gathering of intellectuals, scholars, and media personnel convened by Nepal Ambassador Tapas Adhikari at the embassy in honor of Dr. Yogi’s visit.
The Nath tradition, dating back over 2,000 years, was known for its commitment to humanity and its message of peace. Dr. Bholanath Yogi highlighted the role of the Naths as messengers of peace, following the teachings of Guru Gorakhnath Ji, the founder of the Nath Hindu monastic movement.
Gorakhnath’s followers are known as yogis, and even the legendary Gurkhas of Nepal derive their name from this revered saint, as the historical district of Gorkha in Nepal is named after him.
Dr. Bholanath Yogi revealed the historical significance of cities like Rawalpindi and Peshawar, which were once referred to as “Cities of Naths.” In Peshawar, the “Dargah Pir Ratan Nath Jee,” a Hindu temple named after Sri Ratan Nath, stands as a testament to the Naths’ presence in the region. Sri Ratan Nath was an ardent seeker of truth who tirelessly spread the Nath message of hope, peace, humanity, and truth.
The scholar also mentioned several other cities in Pakistan that were believed to be home to Naths, shedding light on the spiritual tradition’s widespread influence across the continent.
Ambassador Tapas Adhikari welcomed Dr. Bholanath Yogi and expressed his appreciation for the scholar’s efforts to revive awareness about the Nath tradition. He highlighted that Dr. Yogi had recently attended the 6th International Conference on World Religions in Lahore, organized by Minhaj University, and extended his visit to Islamabad to engage with local journalists.
In a tweet today, Ambassador Tapas Adhikari wrote, “Yesterday, Nepal Embassy, ISB held a talk program on ‘Nath Tradition in Nepal and Pakistan.’ Dr. Bholanath Yogi spoke on the tradition and its roots in Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Attock, and other places in Punjab and Sindh and its influence in Sufism songs and poetry.”
At the gathering, Dr. Yousuf Khushk, an esteemed scholar and former Chairman of the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL), recited a couplet by Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai, a mystic poet of Sindh, which used the word ‘Nath’ to symbolize spiritual eternity.
Dr. Bholanath Yogi emphasized the importance of seeking truth, love, and peace in all religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Sikhism, Islam, Buddhism, and others. He underlined that these principles could potentially eliminate bloodshed and conflicts, promoting unity and harmony among people.
This enlightening discussion with Dr. Bholanath Yogi not only brings attention to the forgotten Nath tradition but also serves as a reminder of the shared spiritual heritage between Nepal and Pakistan. Despite not sharing borders, the two countries have a history of collaboration and mutual respect, exemplifying the potential for harmony and understanding among diverse faiths and cultures.