Gorakshanath: Incarnation and His Great Works

Gorakshanath (also known as Gorakhnath, Goraksanath) was a Hindu Yogi, the saint who was the influential founder of the Nath Hindu monastic movement in India. He is considered one of the two notable disciples of Macchindranath, the other being Chauranginath. His followers are found in India at the place known as Garbhagiri which is in Ahmednagar in the state of Maharashtra. The name of Gorakshanath is relevant to the incident of his birth, which was from the garbage of cow dung. Navnath Bhaktisar, the most popular spiritual pothi (holy book) also mentions the same incident. Having millions of followers of Gorakshanath in Maharashtra, Siddha Spirituality of Swami Hardas Life System also supports the same theory.

Who was Gorakshanath?

He was one of nine saints also known as Navnath and is widely popular in Maharashtra, India, and Dumgaon, Uttarakhand (where their worshipers do difficult penance (Tapasya) in the Himalayas for a month sometimes 6 months or more). 

Navanath, navnath, NAVNATH, nath, sanjivan samadhi, samadhi, sampradaya, dattaguru, gurudevdatta, machindranath, ma…
Sadguru Shri Gorakshanath

Gorakshanath is considered a Maha-Yogi (or great Yogi) in the Hindu tradition. He did not emphasize a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth but emphasized that the search for Truth and the spiritual life is a valuable and normal goal of man. Gorakshanath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline, and ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching Samadhi and one’s own spiritual truths.

Gorakshanath, his ideas, and Yogis have been highly popular in rural India, with monasteries and temples dedicated to him found in many states of India, particularly in the eponymous city of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.

How is Gorakshanath incarnated?

The birth of Gorakshanath

Ash to a lady Saraswati

According to Navnath Bhaktisar, in greater Bengal, Macchindranath was moving from one place to another soliciting alms. While doing so he reached the same village where he had given some ash to a lady named Saraswati. He went to her house. “Jay Allakh Niranjan!” saying this asked for alms. When the lady came out he asked her name. “Long ago I had given you some holy ash, I hope you consumed it! You must have delivered a boy, so where is he? He must be twelve years old now,” he said. The lady got scared and told him, “Due to fear I threw it near the garbage place. What should I do now? I have committed a sin!”

The place where the ash was thrown

Macchindranath asked her to show the place where she had thrown the ash. She showed him the place which was at one corner of the yard where there was a heap of garbage and cow dung. He remembered that the incarnation of Hari Narayana was going to happen from Gorakhsha – A birth in a labyrinth situation.

O Great Guru, I am here

The Macchindranath called out, “Child, Gorakhsha! I am Macchindranath calling you out! You stayed under a heap of cow dung for twelve years, now come out.” And a voice came from the heap, “O Great Guru, I am here! Pull me out!” Macchindranath said to the astonished lady, “Please get a spade immediately!” While the lady got it, people nearby had gathered around and were looking in wonderment.

Macchindranath left the village taking Gorakhsha along

They helped the Macchindranath in clearing the heap. From under the heap came a twelve-year-old glorious child. Saraswati started crying cursing her misfortune. Nath consoled her, “What is the use of crying now? He is anyways not your son! Don’t wait here or I might curse you.” She went home crying. Macchindranath left the village taking Gorakhsha along. He initiated Gorakhsha into the world of Yoga and with a disposition of soliciting alms they started traveling to various villages.

When was Gorakshanath born?

Traditionally, Gorakshanath is believed to have been born sometime in the 8th – 11th century, although some believe he was born hundreds of years later. He traveled widely across the Indian subcontinent and accounts about him are found in some form in several places including Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Punjab, Sindh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Assam, Bengal, Kathiawar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and even Sri Lanka.

View 18 Wallpaper Guru Gorakhnath Image Hd Download - Confidents Birth
Child Gorakshanath

What do legends have to say about Gorakshanath?

One legend states that Guru Gorakshanath, the “eternal sage” traditionally associated with Haṭha Yoga, has been around for thousands of years watching the welfare of humanity. Other legends ascribe different stories to his birth and the period of his worldly existence, and they vary greatly. The Nāth Rahasya, which literally translates as “the mystery of the masters”, recounts the birth, work, and death of nine such Nāths; and Guru Gorakshanath was the ninth Nāth, preceded by his Guru, the eighth Nāth, namely, Macchindranath.

There is no confirmed theory of where Gorakshanath was born and several theories have risen from different parts of India where the locals of the distinct ethnic regions claim Gorakshanath was born in their region. Another theory is that he was born in Assam and the next theory is that he was born in Uttar Pradesh. However, another theory is that he was born in the Kathiawar Peninsula of Gujarat.

How far Gorakshanath did travel?

Gorakshanath traveled widely across the Indian subcontinent, and accounts about him are found in some form in several places including:

  • Nepal,
  • Punjab,
  • Sindh,
  • Uttar Pradesh,
  • Uttaranchal,
  • Assam,
  • Tripura,
  • Bengal,
  • Orissa,
  • Kathiawar (Gujarat),
  • Maharashtra,
  • Karnataka, and even
  • Sri Lanka.

Who is the founder of Nath Sampradaya?

The Nath tradition states that its traditions existed before Gorakshanath, but the movement’s greatest expansion happened under the guidance and inspiration of Gorakshanath. 

In India, there are many caves, many with temples built over them, where it is said that Gorakshanath spent time in meditation. According to Bhagawan Nityananda, the Samadhi shrine (tomb) of Gorakshanath is at Nath Mandir near the Vajreshwari temple about one kilometer from Ganeshpuri, Maharashtra, India.

According to legends Gorakshanath and Macchindranath did penance in Kadri Temple at Mangalore, Karnataka. They are also instrumental in laying Shivlingam at Kadri and Dharmasthala.

The temple of Gorakshanath is also situated on a hill called Garbhagiri near Vambori, Tal Rahuri; Dist Ahmednagar (Maharashtra). There is also a famous temple of Gorakshanath in the state of Odisha.

What was the influence of Gorakshanath?

Hatha Yoga

Some scholars associate the origins of Hatha Yoga with the Nath Yogis, in particular, Gorakshanath and his guru Macchindranath. According to British Indologist James Mallinson, this association is false. In his view, the origins of Hatha Yoga should be associated with the Dashanami Sampradaya of Advaita Vedanta (Hinduism), the mystical figure of Dattatreya, and the Rāmānandīs.

What Is Hatha Yoga, Exactly? | Shape
Hatha Yoga

Nepal tradition

The Gurkhas of Nepal and Indian Gorkhas take their name from this saint. He has long been considered the rastradevata (lord of state) of Nepal. Gorkha, a historical district of Nepal, is named after him.

There is a cave with his paduka (footprints) and an idol of Gorakshanath. Every year on the day of Baisakh Purnima there is a great celebration in Gorkha at his cave, called Rot Mahotsav

A legend asserts, state William Northey and John Morris, that a disciple of Macchindranath by name Gorakshanath, once visited Nepal and retired to a little hill near Deo Patan. There he meditated in an unmovable state for twelve years. 

Tamil Siddhar tradition

Korakkar is one among the 18 Siddhars and also known as Gorakshanath amongst Navanathar. Agattiyar and Bogar were his gurus. His Jeeva Samadhi temple is in Vadukupoigainallur of Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu. According to one account, he spent a portion of his growing-up years in the Velliangiri Mountains in Coimbatore.

Other sanctums related to Korakkar are Perur, Thiruchendur, and Triconamalli. Like other Siddhas, Korakkar has written songs on Medicine, Philosophy, and Alchemy.

Gujarati tradition

While legends claim and suggest for Guru Gorakshanath were born in Kathiawar, the influence of Nātha Sampradāya, tributary monuments, places, and followers of Guru Gorakshanath and Guru Macchindranath are found across Gujarat, more in Kathiawar – Saurashtra region. Eventually, there are already some Nath Yogis born in Kathiawar, namely Neminath, Baba Balak Nath, and Gebinath.

Guru Gorakshanath and their lineage are often found in the region, which includes:

  • Junagarh,
  • Bhavnagar,
  • Porbandar,
  • Amreli,
  • Rajkot districts,
  • A few places in Kutch and particularly Girnar range in Saurashtra.

There is a famous Gorakshanath Temple in Junagadh. Bhavnagar to Dwarka has a few interesting spots relating to Guru Gorakshanath, including:

  • A village called Gorakhmadhi is situated near Prabhas Patan,
  • Somnath is dedicated to Guru Gorakshnath, and
  • There is a distinct Gorakshanath Temple in Bhuj, Kutch too.

West Bengaal – Assam – Tripura

The Bengali community located in these states and the neighboring countries of Bangladesh have a sizeable number of Yogi Brahmins (also called Rudraja Brahmins/ Yogi Nath—who used surnames like Debnath, Debsharma, Nath, and Bhowmick) who have taken their name from this saint.

Kashmiri tradition

After some years, Mahayogi Guru Gorakṣhanath, a Hindu yogi who dreamt of the episode between Vaiṣnavi and Rama, wanted to know if the Goddess Vaiṣno Devi had really attained a higher spiritual level. Therefore he sent his most devout follower, Bhairo Nath, to the Trikuta Mountains to find out the truth.

Rajasthani tradition

As a result of Gorakshanath’s popularity in Rajasthan, the saint Gahari Dev of Village Lanjhanu is believed to be an incarnation of Gorakshanath.

Urdu tradition

Urdu texts and Urdu Muslims call Gorakshanath a Jogi Pir Gorkha.

In eastern Uttar Pradesh, dozens of villages are inhabited by Muslim yogis. They like members of the Nath sect, wear saffron Gudri or Kantha, and wander through villages singing folklore on their sarangi. With the help of sarangi, they, narrate how Gopichandra and Raja Bharthari became sanyasis under the influence of Gorakhnath. Villagers offer them food and money and passionately listen to them while they glorify Gorakhnath in their songs.

Who are these yogis and how are they related to the Nath sect influenced by Gorakhnath? Few people know about their history. The Muslim yogis once used to be a common sight. Not any more.

Langars (community kitchens)

According to Arvind-Pal Singh Mandair, a professor of Sikh Studies, Gorakshanath orders in Punjab were operating free community kitchens in Punjab before Guru Nanak founded Sikhism. Gorakshanath shrines have continued to operate langar and provide a free meal to pilgrims who visit.

Baba Balaknath and Guru Gorakshanath

Balaknath was a great Bhakta of Universal Mother. When Lord Kartikey left the home as per the legend, mother Parvati used to come down to the earth to meet her son Lord Kartikey. Mother Parvati requested him to come back home. He agreed but said I will take birth on the earth for my Bhakta’s/Devotees. On this, Lord Kartikey requested Mother Parvati to find a guru for him when he takes birth on the earth.

Mother Parvati suggested Guru Gorakshanath. Mother Parvati said Gorakshanath is a yogic manifestation of Śhiva himself. Hence there was no duel between the Guru Gorakshanath and Balaknath. 

How the works of Gorakshanath is great?

Romola Butalia, an Indian writer of Yoga history, lists the works attributed to Gorakshanath as follows:

  • Goraksha Samhita, 
  • Goraksha Gita, 
  • Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, 
  • Yoga Martanda, 
  • Yoga Siddhanta Paddhati, 
  • Yoga-Bija, and
  • Yoga Chintamani.

He is believed to be the founder of the Nath Sampradaya and it is stated that the nine Naths and 84 Siddhas are all human forms created as yogic manifestations to spread the message of Yoga and meditation to the world. It is they who reveal Samadhi to mankind.”

Goraksha Samhita

According to the Nath Siddha tradition, Guru Gorakshanāth is an immortal sage and takes care of human beings and their welfare.

It is said that Hatha Yogī Macchindranāth was the Guru of GorakśhanāthYogī Macchindranāth received Yoga Vidyā (knowledge/wisdom) directly from the mouth of Lord Śhiva through Parvati. It was Guru Gorakśhanāth who summarized the yogic subject matter in two hundred verses, which he had received from his Guru Macchindranāth, based on the teachings of Śri Ādinātha (Lord Śhiva). 

Gorakśha Samhitā highly emphasizes the purification of the body, prāna, and the mind. 

Goraksha Samhita: Also Known As Goraksha Paddhati by Swami Vishnuswaroop | Goodreads
Goraksha Samhita

Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati

According to Feuerstein (1991: p. 105), it is “one of the earliest Hatha Yoga scriptures, the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, contains many verses that describe the avadhuta” (liberated) Yogi.

The Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati text is based on an advaita (nonduality) framework, where the Yogi sees “himself in all beings and all in himself” including the identity of the individual soul (Atman) with the universal (Brahman). This idea appears in the text in various forms, such as the following:

Brahmana in sadacara (righteous conduct), Ksatriya in saurya (valor and courage), Vaisya in vyavasaya (business), and Sudra in seva (service). A yogin experiences all men and women of all races and castes within himself. Therefore he has no hatred for anybody. He has love for every being. — Gorakshanath, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati III.6-8 (Translator: D Shastri)

Yoga Siddhanta Paddhati

Guru Gorakshanath, the Mahayogi, wrote this book as a guide to seekers of the Supreme Truth. It is based on his own transcendental experience and is a work that does not get into dialectics, logic, arguments in support of or against viewpoints.


It details the origin of the body, defines and differentiates the cosmic and physical bodies. It also provides a detailed understanding of the Brahmanda or Samasti Pinda or the Supreme Spirit and how everything emerges from this Supreme Reality.


This lesson gives details of the constitution of the body, not as a physical organism, but about the subtle elements like the Chakras, Adharas, Lakshya, and Vyoma. Pinda-Vicara teaches how to deeply contemplate these and use the deep insights to evolve the physical body. It emphasizes the role of the guru being critical and irreplaceable on this path.


Herein, Guru Gorakshanath talks about the role of Shakti. It also explains the Shiva-Shakti relationship.

Samarasa Karana

This is dedicated to the perfect unification of the individual body with the cosmic body. Also the procedures of how to attain the same. The Guru says that it is in this stage that the difference between the finite and infinite disappears. The practitioner now gets an illumine consciousness which experiences bliss and unity with the Supreme

Avadhuta Yogi

It explains the character and conduct of such an attained being. This Avadhuta lives in a state of elevated consciousness / super consciousness and becomes a master of himself and his circumstances. In this attained person, have awakened all the latent spiritual and mental powers which lie completely dormant in normal people. It is through these powers that he/she is able to take complete control of his life and all its circumstances. 

As each of these key spiritual ideas unfold, it will provide us with deeper knowledge and a better understanding of what spiritual masters have for centuries, been conveying to us.


Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Haṭha Yoga, and Rāja Yoga

The Yogabīja describes a fourfold system for attaining liberation (moksha), spanning Mantra Yoga, Laya Yoga, Haṭha Yoga, and Rāja Yoga. It specifically denies that liberation is possible simply by knowledge or jñāna; instead, it argues that the yogin needs both knowledge and yoga and that liberation results in the yogin becoming an immortal jivanmukti, invisible but alive. The text shares that concept and others such as that Rāja Yoga is the union of Bindu and rajas (semen and uterine fluid), and some verses with the ancient Yogaśikhā Upaniṣad. In turn, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika incorporates around 18 verses from the Yogabīja.

The Mudras

It is one of the few early Haṭha Yoga texts to describe the mudras. Their purpose, along with breath retention, is to make the Kundalini rise. It teaches the three bandhas and śakticālanīmudrā (“stimulating Sarasvatī”) for the purpose of awakening Kundalinī.


On mantras, the Yogabīja mentions the involuntary so ‘ham, the sounds made by breathing in and out; the phrase, from the Upaniṣads, means “I am that” in Sanskrit.

Breath control

The text states (verses 80–86) that controlling the breath with pranayam controls the mind (and is the only way of doing so), and that this leads to liberation.

Laya Yoga

It describes Laya Yoga as the “dissolution of the mind”, leading to the steadiness of breath and the highest happiness, svātmānanda, “bliss in one’s own self” (verses 150–151). Mallinson comments that so defined, Laya Yoga is hardly distinguishable from Rāja Yoga, the practice of samādhi.

Yoga Chintamani

Yoga cintāmaṇī is the name of a Sanskrit book dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśhāstra or Pākakalā. It is a noticeable fact that Āyurveda and its tradition stood as the champions for the development of critical notions of dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India.

What do today’s scholars say about Gorakshanath?

Many devotees believe and experienced the darshana of Gorakshanath. One among them is Shri Narayan Pandurang Gayke (Dr. Swami Hardas). After a few years, Dr. Swami Hardas underwent penance on the commandment and guidance of Gorakshanth. Having gained the knowledge during, he started the pious work at Pune in India, which was known and propagated as Swami Hardas Life System. Although Dr. Swami Hardas took samadhi on 10th Feb 2018, the pious Siddha work is still continuing throughout India and some parts of the world. 

Dr. Swami Hardas, Inventor of 'Swami Hardas Life System: Introduction Blogging - Dr. Swami Hardas, Inventor of 'Swami Hardas Life System
Siddha Gorakshanath Temple at Pune (Maharashtra)

The great concept is based on the Siddha swaroopa of Gorakshanth, better known as Siddha Gorakshanath. A great Celestial Siddha Gorakshanath Temple is situated at Shaktidata, Wadgaonsheri, Old Mundhawa Road, Pune (Maharashtra).


Guru Gorakshanath has been there for thousands of years. He is still watching over the welfare of mankind from behind the scenes. He occasionally appears to accomplish a specific goal. Guru Gorakh Nath is a legend in the world of everyday reality where logic prevails. 

Frequently asked questions

Before posting your query, kindly go through them:

Who is Gorakshanath?

He did not emphasize a specific metaphysical theory or a particular Truth but emphasized that the search for Truth and the spiritual life is a valuable and normal goal of man. Gorakshanath championed Yoga, spiritual discipline, and ethical life of self-determination as a means to reaching Samadhi and one’s own spiritual truths.

How the great works of Gorakshanath is great?

Romola Butalia, an Indian writer of Yoga history, lists the works attributed to Gorakshanath as follows. Guru Gorakshanath is thought to have authored several books including Goraksha Samhita, Goraksha Gita, Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati, Yoga Martanda, Yoga Siddhanta Paddhati, Yoga-Bija, and Yoga Chintamani.

He is believed to be the founder of the Nath Sampradaya and it is stated that the nine Naths and 84 Siddhas are all human forms created as yogic manifestations to spread the message of Yoga and meditation to the world. It is they who reveal Samadhi to mankind.”


Who is the founder of Nath Sampradaya?

The Nath tradition states that its traditions existed before Gorakshanath, but the movement’s greatest expansion happened under the guidance and inspiration of Gorakshanath. 


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    1. हे जानूंन आनंद जाला की आपणास लेख मधे दिलेली माहिती महत्वपूर्ण वाटली आणि आवडली. आपण शाक्य असल्यास इतरांशी ही माहिती शेयर करावी, जेणेकरून त्यांना सुद्धा आनंद होइल. धन्यवाद, आपल्या चंगुल पाना साठी!!!

  1. भगवान गोरक्षनाथ जी के बारे में आपने बहुत सुंदर जानकारी भक्तों तक सांझा की, इस लिए धन्यवाद! नाथ जी से संबंधित मुझे जो जानकारी है, वह प्रस्तुत करने का प्रयास कर रहा हूं…

    भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी को नाथशिरोमणि, नाथ पंथ के संस्थापक और नाथ पंथ के प्रथम गुरु के स्वरुप में सम्पूर्ण विश्व में जाना जाता है। गोरक्ष नाम का अर्थ है गौ रक्षक अर्थात जिनका जन्म किसी स्त्री के गर्भ से नहीं हुआ जो स्वयं ही गौशाला में प्रकट हुए। गोरक्ष अर्थात जो गौ के रक्षक हैं। गौ में हिन्दू मान्यता के अनुसार तेंतीस कोटि देवी देवताओं का निवास है। इस आधार पर भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी को तेंतीस कोटि देवी देवताओं देवी देवताओं का रक्षक भी माना जाता है।

    भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के जन्म से जुडी अनेकों कथाएं हैं किन्तु जन्म उसका होता है जो स्त्री के गर्भ से संसार में आये। उदहारण के तौर पर भगवान राम और भगवान कृष्ण। भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ साक्षात पृथ्वी पर प्रकट हुए १२ वर्ष के बालयोगी के स्वरुप में। भगवान शिव पृथ्वी पर अवतार नहीं लेते ! भगवान शिव को साक्षात धर्म का प्रतीक माना गया है। धर्म की रक्षा और स्थापना के लिए भगवान विष्णु पृथ्वी पर अवतार लेते हैं। भगवान शिव के स्थापित १२ ज्योतिर्लिंगों में भगवान शिव ने स्वयं प्रकट होकर अपने भक्तों को आशीर्वाद दिया और १२ ज्योति के स्वरुप में सदा पृथ्वी पर उनका निवास है।

    किस युग में और किस काल में भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी ने नाथ पंथ की स्थापना करी आज तक कोई भी नहीं जान पाया। इसका कारण यह भी हो सकता है की भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ कोई अवतार नहीं स्वयं भगवन शिव हैं जो अपने शिष्य मछिंदरनाथ की मददः नाथ पंथ के निर्माण करने के लिए ही आये। इसलिए उनकी माता कौन हैं और पिता कौन हैं आज तक कोई जान नहीं पाया। नाथ पंथ में नवनाथ और चौरासी महासिद्धों का निर्माण भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी ने ही किया।

    लोगों का यह भी मानना हैं भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ ११वि शताब्दी के योगी हैं। राजा भर्तहरि जो पहली शताब्दी में उज्जैन नगरी के राजा थे भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी के शिष्य बने। उसी प्रकार बप्पा रावल जिन्होंने ८वि शताब्दी में राजस्थान की लड़ाई लड़ी वह भी भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी के शिष्य थे। ऐसे कितने ही उल्लेख इतिहास में मिलते हैं जो यह बताते हैं भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ ११वि शताब्दी के योगी नहीं हैं और यह धारणा पूर्ण रूप से गलत हैं। आदि गुरु शंकराचार्य की लिपियों में भी भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जी का उल्लेख मिलता है। भगवान वेद व्यास जिन्होंने द्वापरयुग में १८ पुराणों को लिखा उन्होंने भी स्कन्द पुराण, ब्रह्म पुराण और शिव पुराण में भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ का उल्लेख किया है। कितने ही राजा, योगी, साधु, संत भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ के भक्त और शिष्ये थे।

    मृत्यु जीवन का अटल सत्य है। जो संसार में आया है उसको एक दिन जाना ही है। जिसने जन्म लिया वो एक दिन निश्चित स्वरुप से अपने शरीर का त्याग करेगा। भगवान गुरु गोरक्षनाथ जिन्होंने स्त्री के गर्भ से जन्म नहीं लिया और साक्षात शिव हैं सदा इस पृथ्वी पर एक महायोगी के स्वरुप में निवास करते हैं।


  2. बहुत बडिया जानकारी है ।

    1. Thanks, dear Vinod. Your good words mean a lot to me. Please avail of the information provided and also share the knowledge with others so that they too get benefited. {lease take care and stay safe!!

  3. बहुत बडिया जानकारी है ।

    1. So kind of you, Vinod. You liked the content! This is my award. Kindly stay safe and be connected in the future too!!!

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