(‘the Primeval Lord’)

The esoteric Nātha cult which originated in Bengal and the followers of which are found in some parts of North India considers the Supreme Being as elusive and intangible, and as manifested in the universe created out of him. It designates him as ‘Ādinātha.’ Following in the footsteps of the Ṛgveda (10.129) and the opening verse of Manusaṁhitā, the Nātha cult describes the beginning of creation as starting from a bubble or an egg which appeared as a result of the impulse for creation in the infinite void and all-encompassing darkness. The egg hatched and out of it emerged ‘Ādinātha’ the primeval God. From his sweat was produced his spouse Ketakā or Manasā who in turn created Brahmā, Viṣṇu and Śiva. Further creation proceeded out of them.

The first of the nine Nātha gurus is also Ādinātha.

See also NĀTHA-CULT.