Siddha Siddhanta, or the Gorakshanatha Shaivism was generally considered as belonging to the lineage of the first ascetic orders of India.
The sage Gorakshanatha was a disciple of Matsyendranatha, the holly protector of Nepal, claimed by both certain esoteric Buddhist schools and by Hindu as well. Apparently, Gorakshanatha lived in the X-th century and wrote in Hindi.
The historians connect Gorakshanatha lineage with that of Pashupata (already described in one of our previous articles. The Divine in the form of Shiva is considered here as the Shepherd of all creatures), late successors, as well as siddha yoga (the yoga of perfection) and the Agama-ic traditions.
The Gorakshanatha’s adepts themselves consider that Matsyendranatha has learned the secret Shivaic truths from Shiva himself, in the form of Adinatha, and then in his turn he transmitted them directly and identically to Gorakshanatha.
The school synthesized and developed the Hatha Yoga practice to a remarkable degree, so today we may say that this spiritual lineage has provided all the things we know about Hatha Yoga.
Gorakshanatha, prominent guru and author of the work Siddhanta Paddhati (“Considerations on the doctrine of the adepts”) was a man of a tremendous spiritual force, and remarkable discernment.
As a man who renounced the worldly life, his youth is not known to us, yet there are reasons to believe that he was born in the Hindu province Punjab.
After studying for 12 years in the school of his famous guru, Matsyendranatha, Gorakshanatha became a master in the Natha secret knowledge of the yoga, traveling throughout the northern India, from Assam to Cashmere, he worshiped Shiva in the temples, realizing Him in the most profound states of mystic ecstasy, samadhi, and awakening many of the paranormal capacities of a shivait adept.
Creating 12 monastic orders with complexes of temples and monasteries all over northern India, Gorakshanatha popularized his school and in the same time he isolated powerful Shaivism isles apart from the Muslim influence.
Matsyendranatha had already established this school in Nepal, country in which even to this day he is glorified as the holly protector of the country.
The modern researchers and scientists consider that Gorakshanatha’s yoga represents a development from the Pashupata early lineage and from the related ascetic orders, as there are many philosophical and practical similarities.
For the outer society, Gorakshanatha’s yogis were people of great renunciation, remarkable and troubling, dressed in saffron-robes, with their long black hair, and the foreheads whitened by the holy ashes, big, round earrings, rudrashkas, and a whistle around their neck, signifying the primordial vibration, AUM.
The Muslims named the Gorakshanatha adepts kauphati, meaning “the thorn ears” referring to the rite practiced by Goraksanatha’s adepts in order to insert in their earlobes big earrings, sometimes huge ones.
Some Muslims even associated themselves with these kauphati, and several leaders of Goraksanatha monasteries were known at that time as sacred parents of the Muslim tradition, designating the respect with which they were treated.
These Natha perceived their inner and outer universe as being Shiva’s cosmic body, (mahasakara pinda), as a continuous blossoming outside Him as Shakti (energy), in an infinity of individual souls, universes and forces. Earth and life, human weaknesses and human divinity, these are all manifestations of Shiva.
Thus, these people expressed their spiritual exultation in a humane and joyous devotion in worshiping in the temple and pilgrimages. Nonetheless, their inner focus is on the inner practice and kundalini yoga. They would perform inner Parasamvid, the supreme state of transcendence of Shiva.