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Guru Nanak's meeting with Gorakhnath, from a manuscript of the Janam Sakhi (Life Stories)
Place of Origin: India, perhaps Bengal region
Date: approx. 1800-1850
Object Name: Manuscript page
Materials: Pigments on paper
Dimensions: H. 8 in x W. 6 3/4 in, H. 20.3 cm x W. 17.1 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the Kapany Collection
Department: South Asian Art
Collection: Books And Manuscripts
Object Number: 1998.58.41
On Display: No
Culture: Sikh

Description

Label:

The master yogi Gorakhnath is closely associated with the development of hatha yoga, a variety of ancient Indian physical techniques aimed at achieving liberation (moksha) through control of the breath and mind, and other methods of bodily purification. The later followers of Gorakhnath, known as the Nath (Lord) yogis, were the Hindu ascetics who most actively engaged with Guru Nanak in matters of philosophical debate. These interactions constitute an important section of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib.

This painting shows Guru Nanak conversing with Gorakhnath. It is unlikely that Nanak actually met with the historical Gorakhnath, as he probably lived during the eleventh or twelfth centuries in South India, several hundred years before Nanak's time. The Nath guru is depicted wearing the attire associated with this ascetic order—a patchwork robe, a pointed hat, a small horn suspended on a cord around the neck. By the 1800s, Gorakhnath was also shown wearing large earrings, seen here as well.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Holy Madness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas", Rubin Museum of Art, 2/11/2006 - 7/17/2006
Label:

The master yogi Gorakhnath is closely associated with the development of hatha yoga, a variety of ancient Indian physical techniques aimed at achieving liberation (moksha) through control of the breath and mind, and other methods of bodily purification. The later followers of Gorakhnath, known as the Nath (Lord) yogis, were the Hindu ascetics who most actively engaged with Guru Nanak in matters of philosophical debate. These interactions constitute an important section of the Sikh scripture Guru Granth Sahib.

This painting shows Guru Nanak conversing with Gorakhnath. It is unlikely that Nanak actually met with the historical Gorakhnath, as he probably lived during the eleventh or twelfth centuries in South India, several hundred years before Nanak's time. The Nath guru is depicted wearing the attire associated with this ascetic order—a patchwork robe, a pointed hat, a small horn suspended on a cord around the neck. By the 1800s, Gorakhnath was also shown wearing large earrings, seen here as well.


Exhibition History: "Holy Madness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas", Rubin Museum of Art, 2/11/2006 - 7/17/2006