Yogic Texts: Gorakhaanth

James Mallinson jim at RAWLINGSFARM.DEMON.CO.UK
Wed May 24 20:18:29 UTC 2000

"Ven. Tantra" wrote:

> Dear members,
> I have found online translations of two texts
> pertaining to the yogic tradition of Gorakhaanth: 1)
> Gorak.sa Zataka* and 2) Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati.** I
> have a three questions.
> 1. Is the text Gorak.sa Zataka (Hundred Verses of
> Gorak.sa) considered to be Gorakhaanths only
> surviving treatise?

Several Sanskrit and Hindi works are ascribed to
Gorak.sanaatha/Gorakhnaath. Among the Sanskrit texts are Amanaskayoga,
Amaraughaprabodha, Amaraughazaasana, Gorak.sasa.mhitaa (three completely
different versions), Yogabiija and Yogacintaama.ni. Many of the Hindi
works ascribed to him can be found in Barthwal's Gorakhbaa.nii.

Whether even the Gorak.sazataka (GZ) was written by Gorakhnaath is a
matter of debate. The text can be found in several different recensions
and under many different names. The oldest (pre-1700 CE) mss and
references to the text call it Vivekamaartaa.n.da (VM). This work varies
in length from 157 to 201 verses in its various recensions. The mss and
editions of the Gorak.sazataka in 100 verses are clearly incomplete
(having introduced the six aNgas of yoga, they stop half-way through
explaining the second, praa.naayaama). The confusion over the name of
the text may have arisen due to the existence of an altogether different
text called Gorak.sazataka (pre-1450 CE---the Ha.thapradiipikaa borrows
from it).  This text is unpublished (there are at least 4 mss of the
work) but eighty of its hundred verses were used to compose the first
chapter of the Yogaku.n.dalyupani.sad.

I suspect that most if not all of the Sanskrit texts now ascribed to GN
were done so retroactively.

> 2. May I assume that the title Siddha Siddhanta
> Paddhati the same as the Gorak.sa Paddhiti?

No. The SSP is a text on Naatha yoga and metaphysics from the
Maraa.thii-speaking region, quite different from the
Gorak.sapaddhati/VM/GZ. Like the VM, it can be dated to pre-1363 CE
since it is quoted (without attribution) in the ZaarNgadharapaddhati.
Gorak.sapaddhati is one of the many names by which the
Vivekamaartaa.n.da/Gorak.sazataka has been called.

> 3. Is the Siddha Siddhanta Paddhati a later
> commentary on the Gorak.sa Zataka,

No, see above.

> or is it supposed
> to be composed by Gorakhaanth?

Most of the colophons of manuscripts of the SSP ascribe it to
Gorak.sanaatha, but some ascribe it to Nityanaatha. The text has been
edited and published by K.Mallik (1954: Poona Oriental Book House).

I hope this is of some help.

James Mallinson.

Balliol College.
Oxford University.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list