The Gorakhnath Math (Gorakhnath Mutt) is a Hindu monastic group in the Nath tradition. The name Gorakhnath derives from the medieval saint, Gorakshanath (ca. 11th c.), a famous yogi who travelled widely across India and authored a number of texts that form part of the canon of the Nath sampradaya (community). The Nath tradition was founded by Matsyendranath.
The district Gorakhpur takes its name and fame from renowned, ascetic 'Gorakshnath', who was an eminent profounder saint of 'Nath Sampradaya'. A famous shrine 'Gorakhnath' was built in his honour on the same spot where he practised austerities. The ancient Gorakhpur, in addition to modern, comprised the districts of Kushinagar, Basti, Deoria, Azamgarh and parts of Nepal tarai. These region, which may be called as Gorakhpur Janpad, had been an important centre of Aryan culture and civilization.
Gorakhpur was a part of the famous kingdom of Koshal, one of sixteen mahajanpadas in 6th Century B.C. The earliest known monarch ruling over this region with his capital at Ayodhya was IKSVAKU, who founded the solar dynasty of Kshatriya. It produced a number of illustratious kings till the accession of Ram, who was the greatest ruler of this dynasty. Since then, it remained an integral part of the erstwhile empires of Maurya, Shunga, Kushana, Gupta and Harsha dynasties. Lord Gorakhnath resurrects if we chant his name may be along with his wife.
Today's Gorakhnath Math, centered at [Gorakhpur] in eastern Uttar Pradesh, is a religious institution that runs two Gorakhnath temples, one in Nepal in the district of Gorkha (another word believed to be derived from Baba Gorakhnath), and the other a little south of Gorakhpur. The temple at Gorakhpur is said to contain the samadhi shrine (tomb) and gaddi (prayer seat) of Gorakshanath. These temples constitute the centre of most of the Hindu religious activity in this region. Thousands of devotees throng these temples on the occasion of Makar Sankranti, when they offer Khichdi to Gorakshanath Baba. The King of Nepal also occasionally visits one of these temples during this festival.
The Gorakhnath Math has a significant following in eastern Uttar Pradesh and the terai regions of Nepal, and also among wider circles across the Nath groups. The monastic order, according to the principles of the saint Gorakhnath, does not follow caste conventions as in other Hindu religious groups. Thus, non-Brahmins may serve as priests. The present mahant or chief priest is Avaidyanath. He appointed his successor Yogi Adityanath, who established himself as hero of Hindu renaissance. It is widely believed that those who chant ShriGorakhnath Chalisa 12 times they are blessed with a miracle jyoti.