Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
The Magick Path of Tantra
The Orgasm of Ecstasy
(Libido Libretto for Organ Grinders)
The Preposterous Exordium
This manuscript is not a history of Tantra, although it will dwell much on the past, and also write a new history for future generations (if there will be any future generations). This manuscript is more in the nature of a perfunctory peep at a remarkable phenomenon in Mankind’s progress and development. The spark of Tantra was ignited in India, but was exported and burst into flame in other countries. Although Tantra had a firm spiritual basis, it was not so much a religion as a way of life. There are now many indications that several Tantrik communities existed in different parts of India, communities which shared vast areas with other Hindu communities, and lived in harmony with them.
Tantra and Tantrik, as applied to a unique way of life, are a fairly modern expression and development. Tantra means a treatise, but a treatise or manuscript dealing with occult and esoteric subjects like astrology, secret medicine, numerology, and spiritual expressions of sex. The words KAULA or NATHA were originally used for the unique way of life or lifestyle we now know as Tantra. This word has now established itself, and appears in all modern dictionaries and literature. For this reason, we will continue to use the words Tantra and Tantrik in this manuscript. Thus Tantra, as a word, still relates to the Naths and Kaulas, and has now become synonymous.
Tantra, as a way of life, is the golden thread which runs through all the manuscripts I have written for the International Nath Order, and these include the Trilogy of Twilight Yoga – Ecstasy, Equipoise, and Eternity; The Magnum Opus; and The Esoterikos. I have frequently titled my manuscripts with Greek words, as I think the Tantrik Way of Life was also expressed in the pastoral paradise of Pan, though without the final attainment, but where gods mixed with man and man mixed with gods. We don’t know whether the esoteric aspects of enlightenment were experienced in other nations, at other ages. Insight would indicate that it must have been so.
India was unique in proposing various methods, philosophies, and theories relating to enlightenment. This Supreme Attainment (Atma Jnan: self-realization, or Moksha: enlightenment) was the greatest spiritual concept which emerged among humans. It is the process of the development of the human spirit until it becomes one, and unites with the Infinite Cosmic Spirit. To assist lesser minds, this Great Cosmic Spirit was symbolized and made more tangible as Gods and Goddesses, male and female, positive and negative, and aggressive and receptive aspects. In Tantra, the Lord Shiva and his Shakti Parvati dominated. These deities also symbolized the love, tenderness, affection, and enduring partnership which permeated the Tantrik way of life.
All this was bound up with the supposition that the spirit was constantly reborn as god, man, or animal, and that this rebirth process had to be brought to an end. Rebirth on the earth plane, whether as man or animal, was a fate one tried to overcome. Tantriks did not claim to know much about rebirth as a god or celestial. It was only temporary, and rebirth as an animal or human could still take place again and again. All three are sensory planes of pain and suffering, and all relate to the material cosmos.
Tantra lore maintains that only enlightenment, attained by meditation and breath control, culminating in Self-Realization, could end rebirth and bring about reunion of the Spirit with the Supreme Spirit of the Cosmos – the PURUSHA (Cosmic Spirit). But Tantra claims there is another secret method by which this self-realization is attained easily.
The supreme moment when the mind awakens to this realization can also be attained at the moment (or seconds after) the attainment of a super orgasm at the termination of sexual intercourse. The expectation is that the yogi and his shakti both attain this at approximately the same time. That is why Tantra insists on a “trained shakti”, as both are entitled to enlightenment; this is hardly possible with a casual woman who may think of sexual intercourse as only a sensory joy to be extended as long as possible, but who may know little of it as a medium of spiritual attainment.
The relationship of a yogi with his shakti is also unique. Although they both accept a standard of sexual equality, ability and entitlement; yet still the yogi will treat, worship, and think of his shakti as his goddess and a personification of the Earth Mother. Tantra develops in the three aspects of higher thinking – Insight, Intuition, and Imagination. By these, developed in mediation, the mind awakens to understanding and union with the Cosmic Purusha, and rebirth on the Earth Dimension is no more.
From the Cosmic Spirit we came,
to the Cosmic Spirit we must return.
Historically, there was something odd about these Tantrik Nathas, and the communities in which they lived. They thought that peace, freedom, and happiness were the rational aim of human life. Undoubtedly, the supreme orgasm which exploded into the awakening was their ultimate aim and ideal, but many were not ready for this yet. So it was quite in order and practical that the human ideals of peace, freedom, and happiness were turned into reality and enthusiastically maintained.
These ideals were symbolized by Gods and Goddesses. In time, their way of life became a tradition which others followed. A tradition must be more than mumbled prayers, or prayer flags fluttering in the breeze; it must have substance, reality, and strength, and become an integral part of our lifestyle.
A disciple once asked, “Dadaji, is it better to be reborn as a woman or as a man?” Dadaji answered, “It is better not to be reborn at all.”
The Tantrik, Nath, or Kaula way of life is based on the profound knowledge that men and women are not machines, animals, or robots. They are not pawns in a cosmic game or order, nor must they accept the face value of the cards dealt out by the “Dealer”.
For most, the general program of their lives is a routine they accept, and most of it is easily predictable. Too many people are resigned to this, and when some event bursts in their face, or shatters the roundabout routine, very few are prepared to manipulate the event, or have the thinking ability to control it. As their general life routine becomes more complicated, their “Think Power” diminishes. They become more and more one of the crowd, willing to be carried on the wavecrests of convention and corruption. They become the people who vote in haste, and repent at leisure.
The future well-being and welfare of human society is much in our own hands, on both material and spiritual levels. Second only to the supreme orgasm, Tantriks and Nathas learned the power to develop their way of life. Tradition and custom were useful guidelines, but a spiritual way of life, its magick, mantras, and fantastique patterns, must be realized in the mind and created from practical thinking. The Naths did not have to hunt through old manuscripts, or turn the pages of ancient volumes, to find the methods or formulæ for their magick to make life more delightful, or give them the power to work wonders.
They knew that by simple meditation, breath regulation, and a relaxed attitude to the world, they could create and formulate their own mantras and powerful vibrations to transform the sordid into the most beautiful. They energized the will and made things happen. They made madness a spiritual observance, and insanity an escape syndrome. They knew that life was an enigma, and that divine grace could often be grotesque and dangerous. The most reliable method was for mankind to solve their problems, and set out their own practical way and lifestyle.
A Tantrik is not dedicated to serve God or religion.
The only goal is to attain Enlightenment.
Enlightenment is an expression of divine equality.
Most of the older Kaula Tantras were composed in the form of a dialog between Shiva and his Shakti. As we are dealing with a period when all texts were handwritten on palm leaves, we must realize that we are also probing a period when interpolation or alteration of the original text was a routine procedure. Fortunately, the Nath Tantriks value the development of the three super-psychic faculties of Insight, Intuition, and Imagination, and can determine errors and incongruities with astonishing rapidity. These three super-faculties or master powers also enable them to create their own texts, mantras, and rituals, all having utility and being in harmony with Cosmic Law. The faculties of Insight, Intuition, and Imagination are the building blocks on which we build our occult world and magick way of life.
The Tantra or Nath way of life can best be described as a state of mind. In no way can it be mistaken for an agglomeration of rules, morals, or prohibitions. It assumes that human beings can and want to live without them. Even when it advises you to do or not to do something, it is not a rule but a guideline to spare you trouble and pain. But you are still free to do and think as you wish.
Of course, our way of life has many physical aspects, but our minds still determine the success or pleasure of an act. Our life should have a plan and purpose, since most people blunder their way through life and generate misery for themselves and for others too. Our aims in life are to enjoy peace, freedom, and happiness in this life, but also to avoid rebirth onto this Earth plane. All this depends not on divine benevolence, but on the way we ourselves think and act.
The Metamorphosis of a Nath Tantrik
The personal attitude, determination, and outlook of a man or woman can bring about their successful transformation from a mundane clod or rat-racer into a magician. A magician, in the sense in which I use the word, is one whose life and living is not occasioned by the exterior world and environment, but one who is able to manipulate the world and live a life of peace, freedom, and happiness.
While I have a tendency to shun autobiographical notes, there are occasions when they may serve as guidelines to others who want to experience the explosive awakening into our spiritual reality. The Nath-Tantra-Kaula way of life is a state of mind, and only positive powerful “think” can guide us to success.
I have communicated to the International Nath Order my experiences in self-realization, and included essential, practical know-how about meditation and vital mental attitudes in earlier manuscripts. I have not, as yet, revealed my personal experiences of Tantra and enlightenment by orgasm. The experience was not planned, but developed as part of my meditative hermit’s life.
It came about this way. I long looked for a small town where the traditional “peace of mind” was a part of the environment. I was living with a Brahmin family in Ahmedabad, the Garden of Ahmed, who set himself up as Raja of the city. Ahmedabad was, until recent times, the capital of Gujarat.
Raja Ahmed had a younger brother Mehmad, to whom he gave a small kingdom of which Mehmadabad was the capital. Mehmad built his palace by the Vatrak river which flows by Mehmadabad. A group of disciples took me from Ahmedabad, and put me in a hut by that same Vatrak river.
Mehmad was unique. He was outwardly a Muslim, but was well known as a sincere devotee of the Goddess Mahakali. When he was a baby, his mother practiced the art of Mithradatism on him, giving him small but increasing doses of poison to give him immunity against the action of any intending poisoner. In those days, a flask of wine or a plate of food could sometimes be your last. The name is taken from Mithradates VI (“The Great”) King of Pontus (120-63 B.C.E.), who developed immunity to poison by taking gradually increasing dosages.
The Kings Ahmed and Mehmad, in order to move troops to assist each other if their towns were besieged, built an underground road between Ahmedabad and Mehmadabad, which must have been a great triumph of engineering in its time. The road still exists, but both ends have been closed. Hindus and Muslims, as well as other minor religions, have all lived in peace and tranquility, and no conflicts or race riots have been known in Mehmadabad. This town has been my home for fifteen years.
One Sunday, a Parsee disciple brought a taxi-load of Western people to my little hut by the river. The distance by road is only thirty kilometers, and it is surprising the number of people they can get into an Indian taxi. They had come to Ahmedabad to take a course of training for people working in nursery schools. They all invited me to visit them the following weekend.
The visit took place, and was very eventful. Many of them, mostly the ladies, asked me to give them a Sanskrit name. One of them asked me to sleep in a spare room, next to her own. I gave her the name Shakti Devi. Some complicated plan was developing, and Shakti made a bed for me in the room next to her. Unfortunately a clash matured. Shakti awoke in the night and found my bed empty. She found me in bed with another girl. Fortunately, Shakti was a clever girl. She took a holiday from the course, and stayed with me in the hut for a couple of weeks. I still did not related Shakti to my Tantrik way of life.
Further events confirmed the expectation. Shakti dropped out of the course at Ahmedabad, and returned to America. Many months passed in silence. Quite unexpectedly, a letter arrived bearing the postmark of the Virgin Islands in the West Indies. I pondered for a while, because I could think of nobody I knew who would be qualified to live in a place of that name. When I opened it, I saw it was from Shakti Devi. She was working in a hotel as a barmaid, but was very unhappy. Could she come to Mehmadabad and live with me in the kutir by the river? She had enough money to support herself, and an answer by return was imperative. I replied, “Come at once, or even sooner.” Shakti came, and the curtain arose on a new drama.
Sometimes I think that before swine I’m casting
Great pearls of Tantra and Joy everlasting;
Gentle the art of the Magick Connection,
Glean from the Cosmos the supreme selection.
Sometimes I must that when Vishwakarma, the Celestial Architect, made Aphrodite, he must have chosen Shakti as her model. Shakti was not only a superb beauty, but her figure was perfect; a combination which would drive most men mad, and enlarge their organ until it cast a shadow. Fate had, for me, devised a protecting gulf, as I was ever conscious of the fact that I was treble her age; and although I was in my sixties, I had never, however much I tried, fallen deeply in love with any woman. When I saw the pathos of attachment all around me, I had cause to ponder. It was fortunate for me that Shakti’s affection was like a monkey, jumping from stump to stump. But I saw clearly that it was time to manipulate the unique situation for my big experiment.
A Leap into the Cosmos
I will be ever grateful to Shakti for stimulating my second great experiment in attaining realization or enlightenment. My first experiment was made after World War II. I volunteered for service as soon as war was declared. I served in the Royal Army Medical Corp as a physiotherapist and occupational therapist. Due to the grotesque and bizarre paradoxes of the British Army, I only held the rank of Corporal, though serving as an unpaid, acting Sergeant. I was recommended for a commission five times, but as I had earlier fought in Spain with the International Brigade, I was suspected of political associations which I did not hold. If you criticized blunders and muddle, you would be classified as a dangerous agitator. I took the opportunity to investigate the occult world, and practice some spasmodic meditation, several times in the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx Temple at Gizah, as well as at many other ancient locations in the Australian West Desert and in Italy.
After the war, I had the use of a small field at High Beech, on the edge of Epping Forest. I lived in a tent of three years. Near this field, on a vast tract of land owned by the Salvation Army, I noticed a small memorial. I climbed the locked gate and read the inscription. It marked the spot where Queen Boadicea took poison after her defeat by the Roman troops. She knew that if captured alive, she would be taken to Rome, to suffer the indignity of being sold, and of serving as a slave. What a woman!
Walking a path without guidance, and one about which I had no previous experience, I assumed that realization would take place during one of my meditation sessions. It was not to be. As I had to attend to some mundane chores, I returned to my small flat for the weekend. I took a hot bath, then went to the lounge, put on the gramophone, and went back to the bathroom to collect a few oddments. It was a self-contained flat, so I was wearing no clothes.
It was time for the freak-out. As I returned to the lounge and was crossing the carpet in the centre of the room, everything seemed to vanish, and I was floating above the houses. Before me there was a dense cloud. As I looked at it, it seemed to evaporate and to reveal a giant image of Shiva made of ice or some other transparent material. I looked down to see the dark grey slate roofs of the houses, only to find myself suddenly standing on the carpet in the middle of my lounge. I felt I knew everything, but most of all, I knew I had to go to India.
There was to be some delay. I went to Australia to enjoy their delightful climate, and to save some money, I went on a population expansion which required one to pay only ten British pounds for the trip. After this delay, I did not arrive in Bombay until Guru Purnima, Sunday, the fourteenth of July, 1953.
Shakti solved a great problem. I installed her as my goddess in my hut by the Vatrak river in Mehmadabad. I had already found this location unique among all the places in India. I mused many times on the people in foreign lands who craved peace of mind, and the place in which they could attain it. Mehmadabad was such a place, and I had found it.
I talked to Shakti about the Nath Tantra, but Shakti’s interest was only in sex and not the trimmings. She had overstated her financial position, and had only one thousand rupees when she arrived. Six hundred of these rupees see spent in the first few days on coloured photographs.
I manipulated her visit into a Cosmic event. I would have liked to have shared this with Shakti, but our objectives moved in two different directions. In a bid to try for the supreme orgasm of ecstasy, I had to ration my own sexual expression without starving Shakti. It was easier than I had anticipated. At twilight on the third day, Shakti received my oblation, and I expanded into the Cosmos. My feeling and awareness were identical to the occasion when I had attained Atma Jyan in London.
Shakti’s visa was now running out, and she had an urge to return to the States. A disciple took her to Bombay and the airport, and an interesting and delightful frolic came to an end. Shakti’s visit was just another trip, but I had gained a treasure that I would keep and enjoy forever.
The way of life of Tantra is constructed with a mind boggling uniqueness which is flavoured with the divine and miraculous. Sex is a normal activity among humans, and is essential to good health. But Tantra does not advocate promiscuity, homosexuality, or lesbianism. Tantra is based on natural sexual enjoyment between men and women. If this is not easily available, men and women can release their pent-up sex energy by masturbation (auto-eroticism).
Although Tantra has based the supreme orgasm of ecstasy on the He and She business, experiment might yet prove that some aspects or degrees of enlightenment can be attained by auto-eroticism. After all, even though Tantra bases enlightenment on the orgasm attained in heterosexual union, we must not overlook the fact that the goal is essentially a mind process and transformation, and other things are only incidental in relation to how much the mind has developed. Nath Tantriks are people of sound common sense, and do not have to be told of the dangers of promiscuity and the diseases which might be contracted through casual sex partners.
Meditation, breath regulation, and relaxed sitting are part of an Indian science known as Yoga, a Sanskrit word meaning union (in the sense that it can unite the soul or spirit with God). In India, God has the meaning of the “Cosmic Soul” or “Cosmic Spirit”, from which the human spirit originally came, and to which it must eventually return. Delay in this return is caused by the spirit being reborn on the Earth plane again and again.
The Nath Tantrik way of life is permeated with gems of wisdom. These are intended to prepare the mind to escape form rebirth on any sensory plane. This is the Magnum Opus of enlightenment. This enlightenment or Atma Jyan can also be realized in several stages, in so much as it is seldom completely attained at one event or experience.
Tantra can be described as an amoral lifestyle. The things we do or accept in its unique pattern are neither moral nor immoral. This, in turn, requires a neutrality in the thinking process which is beyond discrimination. In modern society, sex has become obscenity, something to be hidden; but even though, to be exploited as some subversive activity. Young people are less guilty of this than adults. It is now a far cry from the clean and natural way of life that Mother Nature must have intended.
In Spiritual Yoga, a simple natural life and even nakedness have always been the ideal to pave the way to realization. The teachers of great religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism lived this oh so simple life and went naked. There are many, but we can name a few, such as Rishabha, Sukhdev, Jadabharata, Dattatreya, Gautama the Buddha, Mahavir, and a host of others.
Although Jains in modern India seldom appear in public completely naked, it is maintained by both sects of Jains – the Digambar and Swtambar – that nudity is still essential to obtain enlightenment. Now the new “moral outlook” and modernization have weakened religious and spiritual life, so the real sages and yogis have vanished also. Sex abnegation was a development of Vedic doctrines. We find no such teaching in the ancient patterns of spirituality. But Nathas and Tantriks must always remember that a superior way of life is not restricted or determined by any current social patterns or moral superstitions.
Transmission by Tantra
In 1963, I was involved with several groups of people. This lasted some weeks. The most interesting of these people was a pen salesman who was fairly prosperous because he was a good salesman, and fountain pens were in great demand. He conveyed to me the request from his guru that I should come to Ranchi and stay in his ashram for some days. The guru himself had a great desire to meet me, and there were also a large number of local residents in Ranchi who wished me to do the same.
This nice salesman was going to Ranchi with large quantities of his fountain pens. He asked me to accompany him. He would look after the fare. We went. It was only after we had been in Ranchi for several days than I learned that he had contacted his guru through the post, and had never met him. But I was used to surprises in India, and especially to situations not being up to expectations.
The guru also called himself a doctor, and kept a medicine shop. Having heard about me, he developed the ambition to get be as a “foreign” disciple. The situation was ludicrous. Everyone saw the joke. No wonder I was amused. I stayed for a short time with a Sikh Raja which came from some western province at the time of the Partition, when the nation became Pakistan and India. It was from this gentleman that I learned that the last surviving Tantrik guru of the Uttara Kaula sect lived on the edge of Ranchi.
From this Sikh, I learned the recent history of Pagala Baba and his Tantrik ashram. He was only known as Pagala Baba, which means “Mad Father”. He refused to tell people his initiation name, and made the excuse that he had forgotten it. It was also revealed to me that many people, including sadhus and even the mahants of big ashrams had come to him for his Tantra diksha (initiation), and that all had been refused. Opinion was that I would get the same refusal, but events turned out different from expectation.
A disciple had gone to Pagala Baba’s ashram the day before, and a suitable time for my visit had been suggested. I entered his room, and felt his eyes probing my inner self. I put my head on his feet and made the customary salutations. He did not try to hide his own feelings of happiness, and the crowd of people already in the room hummed to express their approval. He invited me to sit by his side. I wanted to sit on the floor, but he insisted; so I sat on his ghaddi at a discrete distance.
He spoke a quaint but easily understandable English. He asked me many questions about my nationality, my sannyas initiation and name, my guru, how long I had been in India, and the places I had visited. Then the questions became more positive and related to Tantra, and were framed in such a way that they not only probed my own knowledge, but sought my opinions. I have met many sadhus in India, but I did not feel in harmony with anyone as I did with Pagala Baba. We liked each other, and it must have been obvious to everyone.
Then came the inevitable cup of tea and biscuits. All Indian hospitality is based on the assumption that the visitor is dying of thirst and hunger. I presented my request for initiation into the Uttara Kaula (Northern Tantrik) sect. He did not reply but changed the subject, and asked about where I was staying and the accommodations. Then he asked me to return tomorrow at the same time. I readily agreed, and humbly took my leave. The elation I felt remained with me for the rest of the day. In more than twenty years, the psychic link we forged has never been broken.
The clock struck five hours. I was already half awake, and I anticipated that I was on the fringe of an ultra-metaphysical experience of the fourth dimension, and was soon to stand on the threshold of Shambhala. I was to enter into a numinous situation where Creation, Preservation, and Destruction were indivisible. I entered the ashram alone at the appointed time.
Baba was waiting for me, but I was disconcerted to find the room full of people. I need not have worried about this. After I approached the guru and made my salutations, I put a box on his ghaddi filled with things I knew he liked. As I did so, Baba pointed to the door and said, “Nathji, go into the Kali temple and meditate for one hour.” I bowed to him, and a boy came to lead me, and also to lock me in.
I entered the little temple, and the door was locked on the outside. The floor was stone, and cold, so I removed my kuftan, folded it up to form a seat, and sat naked before my Cosmic Mother. Within seconds the Cosmos was shining in my eyes. I put my hands up as if they could shut out the weirdglow of brilliance, but the instruction was “Close your eyes and then you too will shine.” I laughed to myself, thinking “He who has the honey of the bees does not crave the sugar of the cane.”
I knew that the temple was filled with beings large and small, but all from another plane or celestial kingdom of peace, harmony, and happiness. Some part of me was far away in space, yet I could look down to see myself sitting on the floor before the image of Mahakali. I felt like reproaching myself for this adventure, and reminded myself that I should not only be in my body, but in deep meditation. I heard the sound of a key turning in a padlock, and daylight flooded in as the doors opened. Surely this must be an emergency. I was sure I had not been in the Temple more than ten minutes, but the voice of the boy called out, “Mahatmaji, one hour finished.” I returned to the guru.
Metamorphosis for Magicians
As I entered Pagala Baba’s room, I saw that the crowd of people had left, and only the guru was sitting on his ghaddi, and two brahmins who attended to the daily puja were sitting on the floor to his left. We all exchanged salutations. As I approached Baba, he said quietly, “Take off your kuftan.” As I did so, he extended his hand and took it, and placed it at the right side of his ghaddi. He pointed to the other side of the room, saying “Go and sit down.”
I saw the large square cushion which he was indicating, and moved over to place myself upon it. The two Brahmins were chanting in a low voice. Then Baba began some shlokas or mantras for a while. I could not detect the words, but they were different from the shlokas of the Brahmins. He fell silent for a while, and then stood up and called me to come and receive Diksha.
I rose, walking the traditional seven steps and more. I stood before him to receive and repeat the Sannyas Mantra, and when it was concluded the guru marked my body with kum-kum paste in the seven places. Then the guru, now my Guru, said “Mahendranath, you are now a Tantrik of the Uttara Kaulas, and by the rules of Parampara, my successor.” He sat down. I put my head on his feet, and he handed me my robe, saying “Om, tat, sat.” The rite was ended.
Initiation has its own specific vibes from which peculiar and dynamic experience explodes. I think it is essential for progress in our occult world and the Nath way of life. They have done much to help, even in different religions under inconsequential gurus. Initiation seems to open up new fields of investigation, and a deeper insight into origins and motives. For two or three days, my mental impression was that I was walking about two inches above the ground, although I knew that physically this was not so.
A complication arose. The Sikh wanted me to live in his big room, and put on a big guru scene. Pagala Baba wanted me to live in his ashram, but I feared for my safety there, as there we people waiting to take over the ashram when he died, and I, as successor, would frustrate these hopes. The Sikh proposal was impossible, for I could not have a separate trip so near one who was now my Guru. I also found that the Sikh was collecting considerable sums of money for my support from local businessmen.
I told Pagala Baba that I wanted to go to Kashi (Benares) to do puja. In sadhu life, puja is a word used to express an idea, a notion in the mind, but something we do not wish to put into exact words. A sadhu will think it bad form to question for more detail, and knows that the speaker will only remain vague if he does so.
Fortune smiled on me for the five million and ninety-ninth time. I came to the boil, and had to leave the Sikh. His greed left me without any money. Fortunately, I had a visitor, a Rani, who was the widow of the late King of Assam. She had been to Ranchi to sanctify some sacred society in their holy work, and was leaving for Calcutta that night. She was a lovely person, and to crown her royal virtues, invited me to visit here in Calcutta. I explained how all my money was in the pockets of the Sikh, and a hundred rupee note was pushed under my feet. I had anticipated leaving in two or three days, but the Sikh came in as Rani left, and asked if she had given and dakshina. I only said, “Don’t worry about the money. It’s in safe hands. I must go to see Pagala Baba.”
I told the Baba that I was leaving for Benares, but staying in Calcutta for two or three days. He wrote short note to a Sindi Mahant in Benares, put it in an open envelope, and wrote name and address on the cover. He thought it would be the best place for me to stay. This mahant had been to Pagala Baba for Tantrik Diksha, but had been refused. Baba wrote another address on a separate piece of paper. It related to two sadhus, also Tantriks, who lived in Benares. They, too, had been refused diksha by Pagala Baba.
Benares contains an area called Kashi. The name Benares is a corruption of the town area between the rivers Varuna and Asi. Hence the present name Varanasi, which the British called Benares. Varanasi is a number one pilgrim center on the north bank of the Ganges, which itself is the number one sacred river to the Hindus. Varanasi can be called the town of a thousand ashrams. The Brahmins have a lovely superstition that if they die in Kashi, the sacred town of Lord Shiva, they will immediately go to heaven. The whole town overflows with tradition and religion, but indications of real spiritual life and purpose are hard to find.
I found the two Tantrik sadhus with much difficulty. The place they occupied appeared to be only a room, and was probably part of a larger building or ashram. Both were delighted to see me, and made me ever so welcome. They had never seen a western sannyasi before.
The conversation developed, and turned to initiation. They admitted quite openly that neither of them had received authentic initiation from a Tantrik guru, but both had been ordained in a Nath sect in Maharashtra. Both were experts in Aryuvedic medicine, and patients came from long distances to consult them. I found them most delightful people.
Then came the idea that I take diksha from them. I did hesitate for a moment, only because I was always cautious about new involvements, but now I agreed and was pleased at the idea. After the ceremony, a woman came with a tiffin-carrier full of food, and we all, including the woman, sat down to enjoy the meal. The atmosphere of happiness and harmony was so thick, I think I could have cut it with a knife. I wrapped some rupees in a piece of paper, put it on their shrine, and stayed the night.
The next morning I was on the train to Hardwar. It was my second eventful visit to Varanasi, and some day I may tell the full story. Enough now if I tell that it was on my last evening, while I sat beside the Ganges after my bath, that I realized the essential code words to understanding and attainment were based on INSIGHT, INTUITION, and IMAGINATION. In the train to Hardwar, I wrote the detail in the form of an invocation and puja to the Cosmic Spirit – the Purusha – which is both time and self.
That scroll is called The Puja of the Three Super Faculties, and can be found in The Scrolls of Mahendranath. There are three occult faculties and powers of magick, and these are the thaumaturgy which will transmute you into a world of wonder. Imagination can guide our tools, pens, tongues, hands and feet to turn wasteland into forest, battlefields into playgrounds, and slums into garden cities.
The five things required for puja represent the five elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth, and these are surrendered as the five senses; to wit: sound, touch, sight, taste, and smell. In the puja, we symbolize the five senses with: a bell or gong, kum-kum or red powder, a lamp or candle, a glass or bowl of water, and incense sticks or a brazier.
The Scroll of Esoteric Nath Wisdom
The basic thought in the Nath Order is that a conscious thinking power (Purusha) permeates the entire infinite universe or cosmos. This being so, everything visible and invisible must also contain a particle of this Cosmic Spirit. From this follows the conclusion that all human beings on earth must also contain a particle of this Supreme Spirit.
Spiritual life, attainment, and enlightenment are all based on this knowledge. Therefore our magick becomes possible when we realize and develop a closer relationship, and the ability to manifest and use the power of the Cosmic Spirit. This also means that we have a personal material body, and also a personal divine spark of spirit. Think on these things.
The International Nath Order has no rules, superstitions, or dogmas. Even after receiving initiation into the Nath Order, people are not bound to accept anything they wish to disbelieve and cannot harmonize with their own thinking. Teachings in the Nath Order are only guidelines to assist you develop your own thinking: the transmutation of “think” onto a higher level.
If the body is impermanent and the spirit permanent, there must be a continuum into a fourth, fifth, or even higher dimension after the death of the body. The phenomenon of self-realization, awareness, permits some qualities of a higher dimension, even while we are still living within the physical body. Examples of this are demonstrated in the lives of Dattatreya, Rishabha, Mahavira, the Buddha, and numerous other Naths in history and record.
Although there is a tendency to think of the spirit re-uniting with the Cosmic Spirit at death, the real position is that they have always been united, and in no way ever separated. It is the body and senses which relate to pain, suffering, anguish and trouble, which make life on the earth plane so undesirable. Ancient Yoga philosophy stresses the need to avoid rebirth on the earth plane, but we can only end this misery by terminating the causes of rebirth.
Herodotus, the Greek historian, aptly observed more than two thousand years ago that “The trials of living and the pangs of disease make even the short span of life here too long.” Most of our great literature not only deals with the troubles and vicissitudes of life, but tells how any innocent person or even an onlooker can be unexpectedly involved in trouble and turmoil. Of course, if a life-span is to be lived, we must try to make it as pleasant as possible, and not develop a sick mind or sink into despondency. In the face of the inevitable, we must stand up and fight the negative aspects.
How can we be sure of ending the rebirth process and of entering a higher dimension? The answer is simple, but achievement is difficult. We must literally change our lifestyle and get rid of the subtle brainwashing by religions and social customs which keep us in bondage. The kleshas (ob-blocks) taught in yoga are as follows:
The five pain-bearing obstructions,
The root cause of trouble and strife,
Ego, Ignorance, Repulsion,
Attachment, and Clinging to Life.
Most of the problems of life I have solved by simple living, and developing the faculty of tranquility, and trying as much as possible to be in harmony with natural environment and natural law. We have to meet or associate with people, things, and ideas, but these tend to be always changing, so attachment to any of them may bring sorrow and instability. It is best not to think too much about these things alone, but to discuss them freely in groups of the Nath Order.
Sunset and Silence
It is rare to see a sadhu run. I had been spending several hours in the smashan near Ganganath Temple, and was returning to the market. Suddenly I noticed a sadhu running toward me. As he came up to me, he asked “Dadaji Mahendranath?”
“Yes,” I replied, “and what is your hurry?”
“I have been looking for you all over Mehmadabad,” he said.
We returned to the temple and sat down.
“I have some news from Calcutta,” he said, “Pagala Baba is dead. I saw him before he died, and he told me to go to Gujarat and tell you that he was giving up the body. He wanted you to know, but it has taken more than a month to find you, as he thought you might be living in Ahmedabad.”
It was a touching moment for me to hear that Pagala Baba had thought of me in his last moments. I felt indebted to the sadhu for the part he had played in this sad drama, but when he spoke again, he only created a confusing situation.
“Dadaji,” he said, “I want the initiation into the Uttara Kaulas. Please grant this to me.”
I remained silent.
The passing of Pagala Baba had created a unique situation. It now meant that, although I was an Englishman by birth, I was now the only sadhu holding authentic initiation and guru status as a Tantrik or Kaula in the whole of India.
Later, in 1977, I was made to realize that I was the only living Paramahamsa in India, also. The ancient spiritual pattern was now dead, and the bright galaxy of yogis and saints had passed away, perhaps forever. This I tried to compensate for this the following year by founding the International Nath Order. Much information and religion is still to be found in books, but the intimate know-how and guru instruction may be tactfully presented to the world in a few English manuscripts. This work has been done and is completed, and so I now rest content.
I had to explain to the sadhu that there were two obstacles preventing me giving him Tantrik Diksha. The first obstacle, which could not be overcome, was that I could not give diksha in the Uttara Kaulas to one who had been refused this diksha by my guru. Secondly, I had decided not to initiate anyone of Indian origin into the Uttara Kaula or the Adi-Nath Sampradayas. As sannyasi or sadhu, there was the danger that after I had entered Mahasamadhi and was unable to deny, that someone might claim that they had been given Sannyas Diksha, and claim authority as guru by succession.
The sadhu who brought me the message was not a great problem. I took him to Shambhala Tapovan, and we took a good meal. I gave him a few rupees for travel, as he wish to return to the Ganges area where he knew so many people.
I have always thought of myself as a cosmopolitan, not limited by any ideas, and not part of the social, political, or intellectual world. The world is my city; the Cosmos my land. The word cosmopolitan was first used by Diogenes, the naked Greek Cynic philosopher who lived about 400 B.C.E.
When will the human race grow up to recognize that there are many people who are not nationalists, and want to be free of labels and locations? Why, in this modern day and age is it expected that all humans should grow up and conform to the patterns and ideas of the country and zone into which they are born? Though we are really still a long way from being a civilized and advanced culture, may the International Nath Order lead the way into more advanced social patterns, to the benefit of the Naths and Mankind in general.
Om Shanti Om!
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