When Gorakhnath Tried to Save His Guru

Sadhguru tells the story of a young Gorakhnath who is distraught to see his guru getting ensnared in worldly trappings and decides to take matters into his own hands.
sadhguru wisdom article | when gorukhnath tried to save his guru
 

Sadhguru: Gorakhnath is one of the most well-known yogis in India, even today. His followers are generally known as kanfats - they are always recognized by the big hole in their ear.

Gorakhnath’s guru was Matsyendranath. Matsyendranath, who people regarded as an incarnation of Shiva himself, was a yogi and mystic of enormous proportions. He was barely human; he was too much of the beyond. He lived a very secluded life away from people, except for a few very fierce disciples of his, one of whom was Gorakhnath. Gorakhnath comes from the west coast of India; that’s where Matsyendranath was too – even today a mountain is named after him.

This happened about two thousand years ago:

One day, Gorakhnath saw that his guru Matsyendranath went to Assam to see somebody, and then he did not come back. In his vision he saw that his guru is into physical pleasures. He was aghast – “How could my guru be in this condition?” So he went walking from the west coast to Assam, which is more than three thousand kilometers away. He walked all the way, and there he found his guru sitting in a prostitute’s house, fondling two women in his lap, seeking physical pleasure. He just couldn’t believe this. He thought, “How could this happen to Matsyendranath? He is Shiva Himself.” Gorakhnath has experienced Matsyendranath in so many powerful ways, but here was this man, sitting with two prostitutes!

Then Gorakhnath told him, “You must come,” and he scared the prostitutes away with his fierceness. He drew his guru out and brought him along. On the way, Matsyendranath went for bath. He gave his handbag to Gorakhnath and said, “Take care of this. It has something very precious,” and went for a bath in the river. The bag was too heavy, so Gorakhnath just opened it and saw two big bars of gold. He was so heartbroken – “What has happened to my guru? First with the prostitutes, and now he is collecting gold! If he wants he can piss on the rock and make the whole rock into gold; he has that much occult in him. But this man is attached to two bars of gold. Why?” And he took these two bars of gold and threw them into the forest, and then they walked back.

Gorakhnath was in great distress that his guru is getting lost, and now he is feeling proud that he walked three thousand kilometers to save his guru from being lost. When this pride came into him, Matsyendranath put his hand on Gorakhnath’s head, and suddenly Gorakhnath realized that he was sitting right there. Neither did he walk to Assam, nor did he see the prostitutes, nor did he see the gold – nothing. It was all happening in his mind. But it all was real for him – he had actually walked, gone there and saw it. All this had happened because of the occult of the guru. Matsyendranath had created everything around him, in reality. And Gorakhnath was absolutely broken – “I did all this. I imagined that my guru was with prostitutes. I imagined my guru was lusting for gold.” He was in total distress. Then Matsyendranath said, “It’s okay. At least you are willing to walk three thousand kilometers to save me. That’s great for you; keep that going in you.”

Editor’s Note: Be part of Guru Purnima 2019 with Sadhguru at Isha Yoga Center.

 
 
 
 
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