Matsyendranatha, Matsyendra-natha, Matsyendranātha: 2 definitions



Matsyendranatha means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.

In Hinduism

Shaivism (Shaiva philosophy)

[«previous next»] — Matsyendranatha in Shaivism glossary
Source: DSpace at Pondicherry: Siddha Cult in Tamilnadu (shaivism)

Matsyendranātha (मत्स्येन्द्रनाथ) or Mīnanātha refers to the third representation of the nine navanātha reliefs in the Ulsūr Someśvara temple. Matsyendranātha is believed to have lived in 9th - 10th centuries C.E. According to legends, he is the first incarnāte teacher of the Nātha-yogi movement and the reputed founder of the Haṭha-yoga system, along with his disciple Gorakṣanātha. He composed an important Tāntric work Kaulajnanirnaya, and also found one of the Kaula schools called Yogini-Kaula

According to Skanda Purāna, Matsyendranātha was born as Lokeśvarā on an inauspicious day, so his family threw him into the sea, where he was swallowed by a fish and overheard the secret, conversation about yoga between Śiva and Pārvati, on the shore of an island. Pārvati had fallen asleep but Lokeśvarā heard everything. In this version of the legend, Śiva is pleased and, as Lokeśvarā comes out of the fish, he gives him the name Matsyendranātha, “Lord of the Fishes”. Later versions of the legend say that Pārvati became angry with Lokeśvarā and banished him to Kadali, the Kingdom of Women, to forget the secrets of yoga.

Source: Nirvāṇa Sundarī: A Note on Kula and Kaula Tantra

Matsyendranātha (मत्स्येन्द्रनाथ) is the name of the Kula-tantra Guru in the kaliyuga.—Abhinavagupta describes four Gurus for Kula Tantra based on the Yuga. Khagendranātha in satyayuga, Kūrmanātha in tretāyuga, Meṣanātha in dvāparayuga and Matsyendranātha for kaliyuga. During the Gurumaṇḍala Krama, one worships Khagendranātha and Vijjāmbā in East, Kūrmanātha and Maṅgalāmbā in the South, Meṣanātha and Kāmamaṅgalāmbā in West and Matsyendranātha and Koṅkaṇāmbā in the North.

Matsyendranātha had six sons who were also his disciples and they propagated his teachings:

  1. Amaranātha,
  2. Varadeva,
  3. Citranātha,
  4. Alinātha,
  5. Vindhyanātha
  6. and Guṭikānātha.

Through these six sons authorized by Matsyendranātha, the Kula santati is known to have propagated. The word ‘kula’ or ‘clan’ thus originally refers to the clan of Matsyendranātha.

Shaivism book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of matsyendranatha in the context of Shaivism from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: