GORAKHNATH: A MAHAYOGI

Gorakhnath, a mahayogi, was not a philosopher… in the sense that he did not seek Absolute Truth in the path of speculation and logical argumentation. He was not so interested in logically proving or disproving the existence of any Ultimate Noumenal Reality beyond, behind or immanent in the phenomenal world of our normal experience or intellectually ascertaining the nature of any such Reality.

He never entangled himself seriously in controversial metaphysical discussion. He never made a display of his intellectual capacities as the upholder of any particular metaphysical theory in opposition to other rival theories. He knew that in the intellectual plane, differences of views were inevitable, especially with regard to the Supreme Truth, which was beyond the realm of the normal intellect. Gorakhnath did not attach any primary importance to philosophical speculations and controversies as a means to the realisation of the Ultimate Truth.

But he considered them valuable as modes of intellectual discipline and helpful in the path of search for Truth, provided that they were carried on with sincerity and earnestness and humility, and without any bigotry, arrogance, prejudice or blind partiality to any particular school of thought. Unbiased pursuit of Truth in the path of philosophical reflection was, to him, a very effective way to the progressive refinement of the intellect and its elevation to higher planes, leading gradually to the emancipation of consciousness from the bondage of all intellectual theories and sentimental attachments.

Tattva-Vicara or philosophical reflection was therefore regarded as a valuable part of yogic self-discipline…. aiming to make the individual free from all kinds of bias and prejudice, narrowness and bigotry, all sorts of pre-conceived notions and emotional clingings, and to raise it to the pure supra-mental, supraintellectual spiritual plane, in which it may be blessed with the direct experience of the Absolute Truth by becoming perfectly united with it. It was with this object in view that Yogi Guru Gorakhnath taught what might be called a system of philosophy for the guidance of truth-seekers in the path of intellectual self discipline… Yoga is a method of systematic discipline of all external and internal organs of the physical body, of all senses and vital forces, nerves and muscles, of all psychical functions, natural propensities, subtle desires and passions and of the entire intellectual ideas and judgements and reasonings with a view to the establishment of perfect control over and harmony among all of them… Gorakhnath would teach that Truth was the same, in whatever forms of language. It might be expressed and in whatever paths the intellect might approach it. The mind must seek for the Truth with sincerity and earnestness and must not be led away by undue attachment to particular forms of language or methods of thinking. The Ultimate Truth reveals itself in a plane of consciousness higher than those in which these speeches and thoughts move… linguistic forms are only means to purification and enlightenment, concentration of empirical consciousness and its elevation to higher planes. Gorakhnath himself feely made use of the terminology and nomenclature current among other schools of philosophical thinking and religious discipline as well and pointed out that their inner significance and purpose were the same. He would often make use of poetic imageries, similes, metaphors and figures of speech and analogical arguments for giving expression to his inner thoughts and experiences, which really belonged to higher planes.

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