Hinduism and Tribal Religions

Living Edition
| Editors: Pankaj Jain, Rita Sherma, Madhu Khanna


  • Anupam Jash
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1036-5_479-1



Gorakhnāth is the founder of the Kānphāta sect of Śaivism and one of the main founders of Hindu Nāth sect.


The “Nāth” sect is one of the main Hindu sects with a large number of followers spreading far and wide, within India and even beyond. Gorakhnāth is one of the main founders of the monastic order of this sect.

The word “Gorakh” in the vernacular have different meanings. It may mean “one who is protector of earth” or “one who protects the cow”; it may also mean “one who has control over the senses” ([1], p. 1). “Gorakh” is also used as a distinguishing characteristic (Gotra) of a certain kind of Yogis. The word “Nāth” primarily means “master.” In the local dialect, “Nāthana” means “one who is pierced” or “bound with cotton stringed.”

Life of Gorakhnāth

It is hard to have any undisputed account of the biographical details of Gorakhnāth. There are accounts of Gorakhnāth embedded in the different traditions, but these...

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    Singh M (1937) Gorakhnath and mediaval Hindu mysticism. Oriental College, LahoreGoogle Scholar
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    Mahadevan TMP (1960) A seminar on saints. Ganesh & Co, MadrasGoogle Scholar
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    Briggs GW (1938) Gorakhnath and the Kanphata Yogis. YMCA Publishing, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
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    Kalyani M (1950) Nath Sampradaya Itihas. Calcutta University, CalcuttaGoogle Scholar
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    Banerjea AK (1961) Philosophy of Gorakhnath with Goraksha-Vacana-Sangraha. Mahant Dig Vijai Nath Trust, GorakhpurGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyBankura Christian CollegeBankuraIndia