Guru Gorakshanath is a preceptor of Hatha Yoga, who was considered as the third Guru in the Nath Sampradaya, who came in succession after Mahendranath, his mentor and Adinath, the mentor of Mahendranath. Nath Sampradaya is said to have had five gurus before Adinath. There are also legends conveying that there were nine of them among the Nath cult gurus and Gorakshanath was the ninth.
Gorakhanath is also referred as Gorakhnath, the city Gorakhpur situated in Uttar Pradesh named after him, wrote his first books on Laya Yoga, the art of controlling mind and breath to raise the principal energy in human being called Kundalini. He also professed that Hatha Yoga which is a practice to keep the body purified is important for one to practice Laya Yoga.
Gorakshanath is believed to have lived in a number of caves doing meditation, all of them now converted to temples of worship, and it is said that he breathed his last in the place where Nath Mandir in Ganeshpuri , Maharashtra. There is also a temple for Gorakhnath in Majarsubha hill, located in Ahmednagar District which is called Gorakhnath Gad.
The name Gurkha for the Nepali cult and the historically important place Gorkha have emerged after Gorakshanath, while there are sources of literature in the southern most part of India, Tamilnadu, conveying that Gorakhshanath had lived in a number of caves in that region, referring him as a Siddha named Korakkar, who has written lyrics on Medicine, Philosophy and Alchemy. It is believed there that he was the direct disciple of Agathiyar who taught him the secrets of Alchemy.
Gorakshanath, also called as Gorakhnath, was an Avadhuta who had lived during 8th Century AD as described in an ancient literature on Hatha Yoga called Siddha Siddhantha Padhaati.