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Vishvayogi Svami Machindranath
Other names Swami Machindranath, Matsyendranath, Macchindranath
Known for Founder of Natha Pantha

Matsyendranatha (Assamese: মৎস্যেন্দ্রনাথ-Motxendronath, Sanskrit: मत्स्येन्द्रनाथ-Matsyendranātha, Bengali: মৎস্যেন্দ্রনাথ:Motshændronath) or Machindranath (9th-10th century) was one of the eighty-four Mahasiddhas. He was the guru of Gorakshanath, with whom he founded the school of Hatha yoga. He is considered as the author of the Kaulajñānanirṇaya ("Discussion of the Knowledge Pertaining to the Kaula Tradition"), one of the earliest texts on Hatha Yoga in Sanskrit.[1] He is revered by both Hindus.[2] Machindranath is believed to be the founder of the Natha Pantha. Machindranath is called "Vishwayogi" because his teachings are universal.[3]

Early life[edit]

Giuseppe Tucci states, on the authority of two Tibetan works viz "Grub To'b" and the "Bka ababs bdun ldan" that the noted Buddhist Siddha Matsyendranath, who was looked upon in Tibet as an avatar of Avalokiteswara, was a fisherman from Kamarupa.[4] The statement of Mahamohopadhya Pandit Haraprasad Sastri that Minanatha was a native of Bengal belonging to the "Nath" or weaver caste is evidently incorrect.[5]

Minanatha is supposed to have been the author of a work known as Akulaviratantra and he is mentioned in the Sabaratantra as one of the twenty four Kapalika siddhas.[6]

The fact that Minanatha, one of the 24 Kapalika siddhas, hailed from Kamrup leads one to suppose that the very revolting religious practices associated with the Kapalikaas, perhaps to some extent exaggerated by their opponents, were at one time in vogue in Kamarupa, at least among the lower classes of society, such as the fishermen. What connection these Kapalikas had with the votaries of the Sahajia cult is not known. There is however evidence to show that the Kapalika sect existed as early as the time of Asanga and Hari Varman about the fourth century A.D. Evidently both of these sects were off-shoots of Tantrik Buddhism and both practised similar rites.


According to the popular belief, Swami Machhindranath was created from a fish. But the fact is that neither was he created from a fish nor was he born from a womans' womb because Lord Shiva wanted to create him from absolute purity and absolute purity can be found in the five elements of life: fire, water, sky, earth and air. Lord Shiva took a certain percentage from each of the 5 elements and created Swami Machhindranath and gave Him a human form . Since Swamiji was created from the 5 elements he is indestructible. After creating Swamiji Lord Shiva gave him all his knowledge, thoughts, philosophies. Swamiji is a Sanyasi in the true sense because apart from being born out of purity he was endowed with pure qualities like 'Tyag' or 'Sacrifice'. 'Bhakti and Shraddha', 'Gyan or Knowledge', 'Yog and Rishimayta'.

Spiritual Seats[edit]


Machindranath Temples[edit]

  • Toyu (white) Machindranath temple in Kathmandu.
  • Macchendranath Guru Peeth in Sri Guru Parashakthi Kshethra, Madyar, Mangalore.
  • Hyangu (red) Machindranath temple in Patan[7]
  • Vishwayogi Swami Machindranath Mandir, Mitmita, Aurangabad [8]
  • The samadhi place of Machindranath is in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh
  • Mayamba Temple (Garbhagiri Pravat as mentioned in Navnath Grantha) at Shri Kshetra Machindranath Devasthan at Sawargaon, Tal: Ashti, District: Beed.
  • Machhindra Nath Mandir, Inside Ambagate, Amravati.
  • Machindra Nath Tapobhumi,Devacho Dongar, Kudal, Maharashtra, Dist Sindhudurg.(This Holy place is mentioned in the 6th Chapter of Navnath Grantha )Lord Shiv Shankar Bholenath & Lord Machindra Nath have both together meditated at this place for three days.

Popular culture[edit]

In Dasam Granth, Guru Gobind Singh narrated a huge discourse between Matsyendra Nath and Paras Nath on Intuitive(Bibek) and Non Intuitive Mind(Abibek). Parasnath subdued kings of world and turn egoistic which was broken by Matsyendra by his spiritual preachings. This granth is regarded among Spiritual warriors of Khalsa Panths called Nihang Singhs.

There are a few films about this legend in Indian cinema.


  1. ^ Larson, Jerald James; Ram Shankar Bhattacharya (2008). Yoga: India's Philosophy of Meditation. Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies. Vol. XII. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 436. ISBN 978-81-208-3349-4. 
  2. ^ An Introduction to Hinduism; Gavlin Flood; 1996; pg. 98
  3. ^ Tridal, Publication by Shree Pratishtan Trust, Mitmita, page:5
  4. ^ J.P.A.S.B (New Series) - vol. XXVI (1930), no.1, p.133-141
  5. ^ M.M Pandit H.P Shastri, Bauddha Gan O Doha
  6. ^ J.P.A.S.B, vol.XXVI (1930), p.133-141
  7. ^ Lalitpur city official website - historical monuments
  8. ^ Last cover page of Tridal Book
  9. ^ Maya Machhindra, 1932 film at IMDb.
  10. ^ Maya Machhindra, 1939 film at IMDb.
  11. ^ Maya Machhindra, 1945 film at IMDb.

External links[edit]