The historicity of the ‘Sidhpeeth’ is established from the ‘SiddhaTraditions’, the Sidhpeeth itself and Srutis and Samritis .
Sidha Tradition in Sanskrit Literature :
Baba Balak Nath Sidhpeeth
is a strong link in the long chain of ‘Siddha Tradition’ in Hindu
Mythology. To quote a few references :
Siddhashave been mentioned in
6th Chapter of ‘BhagwataPurana’ and
7th Chapterof ‘SkandaPurana’
as paying obeisance to the Lord Indra
in long line of deities i.e.
5th Cantos of the ‘ValmikiRamayana’ i.e. ‘SundraKanda’ relates to a conversation
among ‘Siddhas’, ‘Charnas’and Maharishis.
Dances of ‘Siddhas’ , ‘Yaksha’
and ‘Gandharva’ in the ‘VadrikaAshrama’ of Maharishi Prashra.
‘Patanjali’s Yog Sutra’ (Vibhuti Pada) says much about the "vision
of ‘Siddhas’ by pious souls".
‘AmarKosha’ has many references
of ‘Siddhas’ along ‘Vidyadhara’,
‘Guhiaka’ and ‘Bhuta’.
The originator of the ‘SankhyaPhilosophy’ is believed to be a
prominent Siddha. In ‘SrimadBhagvadGita’ Lord Krishna comments Himself as ‘KapilMuni’ among ‘Siddhas’.
In ‘Ashvamedha Parva’ of ‘Mahabharata’ there is a reference of the
discussion about the ‘Siddhas’. In Hindu belief, the ‘Siddhas’are
known to live eternally and in invisible form. Legend has it that
–‘Baba Balak Nath’ is a contemporary of 83 ‘Siddhas’of His times.
‘Siddha Tradition’ is based on ‘GURU SHISHYA PRAMPARA’ in Hindu
Philosophy and ‘Baba Balak Nath’ is believed the disciple of ‘Rishi
Dattariya’ whose lineage is traced to ‘Rishi Attri’.
The Sidhpeeth in the Historical context: "Nav Nathas" and "Chaurasi
Siddhas" lived in the period 8th to 12th century A.D. In the 10th
century A.D. during their routine wandering in the hills, they
visited Bharmour in Chamba District of Himachal Pradesh during the
reign of Shahil Varman. One of those—Charpat Nath – became "The
Rajguru" of Kingdom. The 8th and 9th century A.D.Hindi Literature is
enriched with the preaching of Sidhas likes Sarhapa, Sharhapa,
Luipaetc. Baba’s contemporary Guru Gorakh Nath was also a prominent
ascetic of those times.
In numberable Jana Srutis sing praises to
the divinity of Baba Balak Nath
His birth references among "Chaurasi Sidhas": We narrate the Lord
Shiva’s AmarKatha as the Jana Srutis in this context. Amar Katha is
a Puranic story about the origin of Baba Ji. As told, a parrot
nestling incidentally heard the Amar Katha being told by "Lord
Shiva" to "Parvati". Lord Shiva’s ‘Trishul’ followed parrot
nestling. Parrot nestling hid in the stomach of the wife of Rishi
Vyasa and requested a promise from Lord Shiva for coming out. The
promise was that when parrot nestling would come out in human form,
it along with all the children born at that time might become
eternal. Lord Shiva agreed for that and an extra-ordinary beautiful
lad came out and vowed before Lord Shiva for blessing. This lad
famed as ‘Sukdev Muni’, later on. Baba Balak Nath was one of the
nine ‘Nathas’ and eighty four ‘Sidhas’ born at that time
Emanationof Lord Shankra in ‘Dvapara Yuga’
According to ‘Lok Srutis’ Baba Ji reincarnates Yuga and Yuga. He was
known as ‘Skanda’in ‘Sat Yuga’, ‘Kaul’ in ‘TretaYuga’ and ‘Mahakaul’
and ‘Dvapra Yuga’. ‘Mahakaul’ of ‘Dvapra Yuga’, while going to
‘Kailasha Parvata’, met an old woman on the way. The old lady asked
the mission and destination of Baba Ji. After knowing all that the
old woman advised ‘Mahakaul’ to meditate on the bank of ‘Mansarovar’
and request ‘Mother Parvati’ (who would come there for bathing on
special occasions), help him in reaching ‘Lord Shiva’.‘Mahakaul’
acted as told and became successful in his mission of reaching ‘Lord
Shiva’ On seeing ‘Balayogi Mahakaul’, ‘Lord Shiva’ became very happy
and blessed Baba Ji to be the ‘Sidha symbol’ of worshipping for
devotee sin ‘Kaliyuga’ and his child like image to remain for ever.
Baba Ji is said to have taken birth in Gujarat, Kathiabad. The name
of His mother was Laxmi and that of his father Vishno Vaish. Here
Baba Ji named as ‘Dev’ became lost in ‘Bhagvad devotion’. Seeing
this, his parents wanted to marry him; but Baba Ji didn’t agree and
left His home in search of ‘Parma Sidhi’ and came by ‘Swami
Dattaitreya’ in Junagarh on Girnar hill - a historical place. It is
here Baba ji learnt the basics of ‘Sidhas’ from Swami Dattaitreya
and became ‘Sidha’ and came to be known as ‘Baba Balak Nath Ji’
There is mention of interaction of Swami Viveka Nanda with a ‘Pawan
Hari Sidh Baba’ in Vivekananda literature published from ‘Advait
Ashram, Calcutta’. As told that ‘Pawna Hari Baba’ learnt the science
of ‘Sidhas’at Girnar hills. This has similarity with ‘Baba Balak
Ron Geaves and Catherine Barnes
The regional cult of Baba Balak Nath arrived in Britain from the
Jalandhar Doaba in the Punjab with migration from that region.
Traditionally the followers of the deity have been drawn from both
Hindu and Sikh communities in the Punjab and they demonstrate the
informal and eclectic religious life associated with the region. The
increasing attempts to place Baba Balak Nath at the heart of
Sanatana Dharma provide a case study to illustrate the processes
where by a rural 'folk' tradition seeks access to a perceived
orthodoxy represented by several traditions within contemporary
Hinduism. The dominant tradition associated with Baba Balaknath is
that he is an incarnation of the son of Shiva usually known as
Skanda or Kartak. Visual depictions of Baba Balaknath are very
similar to South Indian visualizations of Murukan.
The article explores the regional folk cult of Baba Balaknath as it
moves from its major center of worship in the Himalayan foothills of
Himachal Pradesh down to the plains of the Punjab and then to on to
several cities of the West Midlands in Britain. At each location the
cult picks up practices and beliefs which are dominant in the
religion of the new locality but retains the dominant motif of
On its arrival in Britain, the priests of the cult have adopted a
variety of strategies that legitimize the folk tradition and aid it
in adapting to the new environment. These strategies fall into the
category of universalisation or sanskritisation. Study of the
transmigration of the worship of Baba Balaknath from the Punjab to
Britain provides a unique insight into the transformation of a
regional Hindu folk cult as it attempts to legitimize itself through
moving closer to the 'Great Tradition' in Hinduism or adopting an