Moonday Mythology: Gorakshasana – Consequences for misuse of Yogic Powers

The asana of sage Goraknath

Sunday night is full moon night. Here is a story of misuse of super powers gained through yoga.

It is said that the father of yoga was Shiva who came into the world in a human form as Matsyendranath (Ardha Matsyendrasana of the secondary series). He had a great disciple named Goraknath, who would become renowned as one of the greatest yogis. However Matsyendranath realized that with Goraknath’s intensity of his asana practice, his mind was becoming like that of a warrior’s and not that of a yogi. Therefore Matsyendranath asked Goraknath to go to the Himalayas and meditate for 14 years. Upon coming back from the Himalayas, Goraknath demanded one of Matsyendranath’s junior disciples the location of Matsyendranath, with eagerness to see his Guru. When the disciple refused to tell him, Goraknath used his occult powers to read the mind of the disciple.

Now, when Matsyendranath found this out, he told Goraknath to return to the Himalayas and practice meditation for another 14 years for misusing his yogic powers. Goraknath asked his Guru how this time can be shortened, to which Matsyendranath replied, “By staying in an intense pose with the moola bandha constantly engaged”. This pose came to be known as Gorakshasana or Moolabandhasana. Here is a video.

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