MACHHINDARNĀTHA (Matsyendranātha), also known as Mīnanātha, i.e. Fish-Lord; Mīnapā, Luipā (in Tibet), and Avilokiteśvara (in Nepal), who flourished in the 10th century AD, was one of the eighty-four siddhas or Perfect ones of Tāntric Buddhism. According to Tibetan-Buddhist belief, he was a fisherman who, while devoured alive by a large fish (matsya or mīna in Sanskrit and machchhī in Punjabi), was initiated by Mahādeva or Ādinātha himself. He in turn was the Gurū of Gorakhnāth, the founder of the Nāth cult. The Janam Sākhīs mention Machhindarnātha as having met Gurū Nānak and conversed with him. The reference may be to a contemporary adherent of his school of yogīs. The name does not occur in Gurū Nānak's Sidh Gosṭi, but another of his hymns in Rāga Rāmkalī is addressed to a yogī, there mentioned as Machhindra. The Gurū says that true yoga meant not austerities but overcoming the Five Evils; that the true avadhūta, i.e., renouncer or recluse, is [not one who renounces the world but] one who remains absorbed in contemplation; and that such a one begs for [not alms but] devotion, rejoices in the invaluable gift of contentment, and fixes his mind on the True Name (GG,877).


  1. Śabadārth Srī Gurū Granth Sāhib. Amritsar, 1964
  2. Bhallā, Sarūp Dās, Mahimā Prakāsh. Patiala, 1971
  3. Dviwedī, Hazārī Prasād, Nāth Sampradāya. Varanasi, 1966
  4. Briggs, George Weston, Gorakhnath and the Kanphata Yogis. Varaṅasi, 1973

Gurnek Siṅgh