Photographer's Note

In the east of Junagadh town, at a distance of 6 km situated Mount Girnar which is considered holy by Hindus and Jains. Girnar has five principal peaks Ambaji, Gorakhnath, Guru Dattatraya, Oghad Ansuya and Kalka.

Gorakhnath Peak:
This is the highest peak (3666 ft. above sea level.) of Girnar Hill on which is the Dhuna of Gorkhnathji, the famous and renowned saint of Nath seet.

About Gorakhnath:
From medieval times onward, Gorakhnath (Goraksa Natha) is the well-known wonder-worker and master Yogi of northern and western India; and he, and members of his order, are celebrated in legend and song in countless villages. From Nepal to Rdiputana, from the Panjab to Bengal, from Sind to the Deccan, tradition and folklore are full of allusions to Gorakhnath and recount his wonderful deeds. He is the famous saint and worker of miracles; the founder' and out­standing teacher of the kivite sect of ascetics, practicers of the Hatha Yoga, who are also called Nath Yogis; the great teacher of the Saivite faith, and finally the patron saint and tutelary of the state of Goraksa whose royal house used to rule in Nepal .

Gorakhnath has long since been deified, and, in popular religion, is considered a representative, even an embodiment, of siva. His name is also given to Siva. He is the creator in the dice-throwing ordeal in the Rasalu legend he is petitioned as a god.9 In the story of Hir and Ranjha he is worshipped with a platter of Milk and rice. And he is invoked elsewhere as a god."

A legend is current to the effect that Gorakhnath was born of dung and was found by Matsyendranath who made him a disciple." From Nepal comes the story that Siva after he had recited the Yoga doctrine to Parvati, standing on the sea shore,' while Matsy­endra (in the form of a fish) was listening, gave something to a woman to eat, with a promise that she would obtain a son. The woman did not eat the substance, but-cast it upon a dung-hill. Twelve years later, Matsyendra passed by the same spot and asked to see the child. He heard what the woman had done and ask to search in the dung heap. She there discovered a boy of twelve years. That boy was named Gorakhnath. Matsyendranath became his spiritual master and he served as dutiful disciple.

There are variants of these stories. A devotee of Siva, desiring offspring, received, at Parvati's intercession, ashes from Siva's dhuni. The devotee's wife was to swallow them. She did not, but threw them upon a dung-hill. Eventually a child was found there who was taken to Siva, and, by him, named Gorakhnath.

Another version of this legend relates that, when Gorakh­nath was seeking a teacher, he offered a loaf of bread on a pipal leaf at the seashore. A fish swallowed the offering and, twelve years later, gave a child in return. Siva named this child Matsyendra, and he afterwards became Gorakhnath's guru, or spiritual teacher.

The estimation in which the people hold the deeds and powers of Gorakhnath may be formed from a study of the more famous of the innumerable traditions and legends describing him and his disciple.
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