Goraksha, aka: Gorakṣa, Go-raksha; 8 Definition(s)
Goraksha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
The Sanskrit term Gorakṣa can be transliterated into English as Goraksa or Goraksha, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).
Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)
1) Gorakṣa (गोरक्ष) is the disciple of Vikarāla: a teacher to whom the Kāpālika doctrine was revelead, mentioned in the Śābaratantra. The Śābara-tantra is an early tantra of the Kāpālika sect containing important information about the evolution of the Nātha sect. It also lists the twelve original Kāpālika teachers and their disciples (eg., Gorakṣa). Several of these names appear in the Nātha lists of eighty-four Siddhas and nine Nāthas.
2) Gorakṣa is the name of one of the eighteen Siddhars mentioned in the Abhidāna-cintāmaṇi, a 12th century lexicon by Hemacandra. The Siddhars refers to ancient intellectuals of Tamil Nadu and are the teachers of Siddha medicine: an ancient practice of South-India claiming to over 8,000 years old.
According to tradition, Nandi and Agastya learnt the Siddha system of medicine and Śivayoga from Śiva, and imparted it to a number of disciples (eg., Gorakṣa). These Siddhars are united by their philosophy, accepting the human body as the microcosm of the universe, and seeing the human evolution as the ultimate accomplishment of the regenerative power of the Universe.Source: Wisdom Library: Śaivism
Goraksha (गोरक्स्ह) literally means protector of herd. He has the distinction of founding the largest sect of yogins in India. The followers of Gorakṣa are popularly known as nāths, yogis (jogis), Gorakhnāthis and Kānphaṭas. They are very familiar for their large ear-rings, usually of bone, that give them the name ‘Split ears’ (Kānphaṭa).Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaivism)
Shaiva (शैव, śaiva) or Shaivism (śaivism) represents a tradition of Hinduism worshiping Shiva as the supreme being. Closely related to Shaktism, Shaiva literature includes a range of scriptures, including Tantras, while the root of this tradition may be traced back to the ancient Vedas.
Yoga (school of philosophy)
Gorakṣa is one of the eighty-four Siddhas associated with eighty-four Yogic postures (āsanas), according to popular tradition in Jodhpur, Rājasthān. These posture-performing Siddhas are drawn from illustrative sources known as the Nava-nātha-caurāsī-siddha from Vȧrāṇasī and the Nava-nātha-caruāsī-siddha-bālāsundarī-yogamāyā from Puṇe. They bear some similarity between the eighty-four Siddhas painted on the walls of the sanctum of the temple in Mahāmandir.
The names of these Siddhas (eg., Gorakṣa) to 19th-century inscription on a painting from Jodhpur, which is labelled as “Maharaja Mansing and eighty-four Yogis”. The association of Siddhas with yogis reveals the tradition of seeing Matsyendra and his disciple Gorakṣa as the founders of haṭhayoga.Source: Wisdom Library: Yoga
Yoga is originally considered a branch of Hindu philosophy (astika), but both ancient and modern Yoga combine the physical, mental and spiritual. Yoga teaches various physical techniques also known as āsanas (postures), used for various purposes (eg., meditation, contemplation, relaxation).
Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
Gorakṣa is the name of a mahāsiddha, of which eighty-four in total are recognized in Vajrayāna (tantric buddhism). His title is “the immortal wowherd”. He lived somewhere between the 8th and the 12th century AD.
These mahāsiddhas (eg., Gorakṣa) are defined according to the Abhayadatta Sri (possibly Abhayākaragupta) tradition. Its textual origin traces to the 11th century caturāsiti-siddha-pravṛtti, or “the lives of the eighty-four siddhas”, of which only Tibetan translations remains. Mīnapa (and other Mahāsiddhas) are the ancient propounders of the textual tradition of tantric or Vajrayana Buddhism.Source: Wisdomlib Libary: Vajrayana
Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.
Languages of India and abroad
gōrakṣa (गोरक्ष).—m S Popularly gōrakha or gōrakhanātha The name of the celebrated Hindu reformer.
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gōrakṣa (गोरक्ष) [or गोरक्षक, gōrakṣaka].—m (S) A cowherd. 2 The tutelar deity of cattle.Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
gōrakṣa (गोरक्ष).—m A cowherd. The tutelar deity of cattle.Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
1) a cowherd.
2) keeping or tending cattle.
3) the orange.
4) an epithet of Śiva. °जम्बू (jambū) f. wheat.
Derivable forms: gorakṣaḥ (गोरक्षः).
Gorakṣa is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms go and rakṣa (रक्ष).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
(-kṣaḥ-kṣā-kṣaṃ) A cow keeper, the cherisher or preserver of kine. m.
(-kṣaḥ) 1. The orange. 2. Keeping or tending cattle. 3. A name of Siva. f. (-kṣī) A small shrub. E. go a cow, and rakṣa who preserves.Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
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