Image of a Sadhu (Shiva devotee) holy man

Image of a Sadhu (Shiva devotee) holy man
©Gurkha Museum

Guru Gorakhnath (also known as Gorakshanath) was a legendary warrior-saint and yogi - a holyman and follower of the god Shiva who is said to have lived around the 8th Century CE (Common Era or 'AD'). Legend suggests that Prince Bappa Rawal, who went on to rule the Indian Mewar Dynasty, was a disciple of Guru Gorakhnath and that he was the first person to be given the title 'Gorkha' (from the Prakrit words 'go rakkha' meaning 'cow protector', an allusion to the fact that cows are sacred to Hindus) by Guru Gorakhnath.

People disagree about when and how long Guru Gorakhnath lived, but what is known is that descendents of Bappa Rawal later migrated north into Nepal and founded the kingdom of Gorkha, from where Prithvi Narayan Shah set out to conquer and unify Nepal with his Gorkhali army. The city of Gorakhpur in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh also takes its name from Guru Gorakhnath.

The Guru's Curse: a Prophecy of Doom?

According to Nepali folklore, Guru Gorakhnath appeared to Prithvi Narayan Shah in the form of a meditating sadhu (holy man) around the time of the Unification of Nepal in 1768. Prithvi Narayan Shah made an offering of 'dhuy' (yoghurt) to the sadhu, who ate ate it and spat some out, which he in turn offered to the the king as 'prasad' (blessed food or sacrament) for him to eat. The king, insulted and offended by the holyman's suggestion dropped the dhuy and, according to legend, it spilt on his bare feet.

Guru Gorakhnath, a patron 'saint' and guardian to the Shahs, was enraged and laid a curse on the proud king, saying that his dynasty would last 10 generations, one for each of his toes, after which it would be no more.

At the time of the abolition of the monarchy in Nepal in 2008, the Media were quick to seize on the story of Guru Gorakhnath's curse and to point out that the deposed king Gyanendra was indeed the 11th Shah king - if you discount Prince Dipendra, widely-acknowledged as the perpetrator of the 2001 Royal Massacre, who was named king while he lay dying in a coma for 3 days, and Gyanendra himself who was named king aged 3 in 1950 by the then Rana regime in a bid to oust his grandfather, King Tribhuhvan.

PDF Save as PDF Print Print
Comments (7)
  • Pratistha Karki  |  'King Dipendra of Nepal'
    I could like you to consider your words of accusing Late King Dipendra as the Prepetrator of the 2001 Royal Massacre.It is such a disgrace that the media and the people in POwer at the time of the ungrateful event used the then Crown Prince as a Scapegoat.There wasnt enough Evidence provided to prove that the Crown Prince was to be Blamed.It maybe that Crown Prince was himself a Victim of the Massacre.
  • admin  |  ''King Dipendra of Nepal''
    Pratistha Ji, thank you for your comment. I have re-worded the entry to take into account your feedback. What we are putting forward here is the widely-accepted account of the Royal Massacre - of which more of which can be read here: Regards whether there was a conspiracy or not is not for us to decide. As members of the former royal family who were present - and wounded - have identified Dipendra as the killer then until there is evidence to suggest otherwise this will remain the official story. Please see the interviews in this Channel 4 documentary to hear their testimony: Dhanyanbad.
  • neha  |  'that cant be'
    how can we believe on their words they might b false also. n there is no such evidence that prove that dipendra killed his own family we habnt seen n we cant believe on others word coz they might b wrong. chor le kahile pani ma chor hu bhanera bhandaina.
  • Durga Thapa  |  'i think you need to update more things about guru'
    hai i m durga thapa chhetri male i am sad tht this site has too few things about guru gorakhnath he is the rastra guru of nepal and jagatguru and he wasnot a follower of shiva but was himself shiva who incarted for yoga marga prachar our nepali paper notes still have his name and it was in coins too but later kings removed tht n kept there name i guess we nepalese even dont know who is our real guru n god who is shiva gorakhshya our ancestors knew his imporantance he had given many lessons to god krishna and his existance is forever i hope u will find them and update i wish i could help u to say more ok later bye
  • guru dev  |  'guru'
    gorkhnathko utpati nepalko gorkha jillama vaeko ho ra adhyamic pracharko kramma biswako bivinna thanuma binna swarupama vraman garnu vayo ra yug nirman garnu vayo.
  • purna bikram khand  |  'about guru gorakhnath'
    Actually guru Gorakshnath was born in Nepal at present Gorkha district. But there are many more false story in google. If you wants to no more about Guru Gorakshnath please contact us. We tell you truth story by devine about Guru Goraksha nath.
  • NepaMe  |  'the curse'
    According to historians, I think the curse of 10 generation was given to PN Shah by JayPrakash Malla, after PN shah had seized Nepal. PN Shah went to pashupatinath, where jayprakash malla had taken shelther after being dethroned anf urged the malla king to accept a place in the palace.
Add your own comment
Your Contact Details:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.

Era 1: Mythic Beginnings


Sign up for the Ayo Gorkhali newsletter.

Timeline Menu

top of page