Gorakhnath And The Kanphata Yogis
THE cult of the Känphata Yogis is a definite unit within Hinduism; but the ideas and practices of the sect reach a much wider distribution than the order. In this study of these Yogis what may seem like undue attention is given to legend and folklore in general, and to the description of institutions, but this has been necessary in order to create the proper background for the understanding of the special Yoga of the sect. The study has been carried on in the midst of regular tasks, both in India and in this country, over a long period of time. A good deal of the data supplied by others has been checked as the author has met with Yogis in many places, and with some Gorakhnäthis many times. The analysis of the subject-matter of this study has been made so that the first two sections of the book may serve to illustrate the third. The assumption has been maintained throughout, that folklore and tradition are indispensable to an understanding of the growth and influence of the sect; and that popular views concerning Yogis are as essential for an understanding of this phase of the religious life of India as are the formulated texts of the sect. The use of various spellings of names and places corres ponds with practice, in different areas. The Sanskrit text here presented has not been, so far as the author knows, heretofore translated into English. There are, in other works, quotations including in all practically every verse of the Goraksasataka, but the English translations of those verses are often in very free renderings. The translation here offered has been checked with the extensive commentary by Lakşmi Nārāyaṇa, attached to the 'Poona' copy of the Goraksasataka. The translations of passages from other Sanskrit texts of the sect are also by the author.