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 Tantric communities existed in different parts of India, communities which shared vast areas with other Hindu communities and lived in harmony.
‘Tantra’ and ‘Tantric,’ as applied to a unique way of life is 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 Tantric in this manuscript. Thus Tantra, as a word, still relates to the Naths and Kaulas, and 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 the higher grade Magickal Order of MAGIKOS and these include the Trilogy of Twilight Yoga: Ecstasy, Equipoise and Eternity, The Magnum Opus and Esoterikos. I have frequently titled my manuscripts with Greek words as I think the Tantric 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 jnana ‘self-realization’, moksha ‘enlightenment’) was the greatest spiritual concept which emerged among humans. It is the process of development of the human spirit till 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, 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 Tantric 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. Tantrics 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 that there is another secret method by which this self6realization 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 and 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 and 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, Imagination. By these, developed in meditation, 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 and to the Cosmic Spirit we must return.
Historically, there was something odd about these Tantric 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 Tantric, 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 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 wave-crests 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, Tantrics and Nathas learned the power to develop their way of life. Traditions and custom were useful guidelines but a spiritual way of life, its magick, mantras and fantastic 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 formula for their magick and 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 own 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 dialogue 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 Tantrics 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, rituals etc. 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 guide-line 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 the pleasure from 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 and MAGIKOS 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 experience 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 Maha Kali. When he was a baby, his mother practiced the art of Mithradatism on him and gave 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 BC) who developed immunity to poisoning by taking gradually increasing doses.
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 but by the river. The distance by road is only 30Km. and it is surprising the number of people they get in 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 woke 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 relate Shakti to my Tantric way of life.
Future 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 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 muse 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, as Shakti’s affection was like a monkey jumping from stump to stump. But I saw clearly that it was the 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 (no jokes please about Physio the rapist). Due to the grotesque and bizarre paradoxes of the British Army I only held the rank of Corporal though serving as an unpaid Sargent. 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 Giza as well as at many other ancient locations in the Australian Western Desert and 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 for 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 center of the room, everything seemed to vanish and I was floating above the houses. Before me there was a vast dense cloud. As I looked at it, it seemed to evaporate and to reveal a giant image of Shiva made of ice or some 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 scheme which required one to pay only ten British pounds for the trip. After this delay I did not arrive in Bombay until Guru Purnima, July of 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 trip 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 she spent in the first few days on colored photographs.
I manipulated her visit into a Cosmic event. I would have liked to share 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 Jnana in London. Shakti’s visa was now running out and she had an urge to return to the USA. 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 I would keep and enjoy forever.
The way of life of Tantra is constructed with a mind boggling uniqueness which is flavored 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 release their pent-up sex energy by masturbation (autoeroticism). Although Tantra has based the supreme orgasm of ecstasy on the He and She business, experiment might yet prove some aspects or degrees of enlightenment can be attained by autoeroticism. After all, even though Tantra bases enlightenment on the orgasm attained in bisexual 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/Tantrics 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, 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/Tantric way of life is permeated with gems of wisdom. These are intended to prepare the mind to escape from rebirth on any sensory plane. This is the Magnum Opus of enlightenment. This enlightenment or atma jnana 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 not moral or 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. Their are many but we can quote 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 Digambara and Swetambar – 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 the Vedic doctrines. We find no such teaching in the ancient patterns of spirituality. But Nathas and Tantrics 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 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 that I learned 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 expectation.
The guru also called himself a doctor and kept a medicine shop. Having heard about me, he developed the ambition to get me 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 who 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 Tantric 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 Tantric 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 Tantric Diksha (initiation) and that all had been refused. Opinion was that I would get the same refusal but events turned out different to 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 gaddi 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 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 Kaulas (Northern Tantrics) sect. He did not reply but changed the subject and asked about where I was staying and the accommodation. 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 on the fourth dimension and was 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 gaddi 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 kaftan, 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 Maha Kali. 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 the crowd of people had left and only the guru was sitting on his gaddi and two Brahmins who attended to the daily puja were sitting on the floor on 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 his right side on the gaddi. 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 shiokas 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 kumkum paste in the seven places. Then the guru, now my Guru, said ‘Mahendranath, you are now a Tantric 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 from 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 he feared for my safety as there were people waiting to take over the ashram when he died and I, as successor, would frustrate these hopes. The Sikh proposal was also 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 will know 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 her 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 the Rani left and asked if she had given any 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 a 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 Tantric Diksha and had been refused. Baba wrote another address on a separate piece of paper. It related to two sadhus, also Tantrics, 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 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 and put it on their shrine. I stayed the night and 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.
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, viz. sound, touch, sight, taste and smell. In the puja we symbolize the five senses with: a bell or gong, kumkum or red powder, a lamp or candle, a glass or bowl of water and incense sticks or a brazier.
The Scroll Called:
‘THE PUJA OF THE THREE SUPER FACULTIES’
Prostrations and salutations to the Supreme Lord of the Universe, the Cosmic Manipulator of Creation, Preservation and Destruction who is denoted by the mystical syllable OM, who is the Cosmos Itself and yet beyond it as the Unmanifest. I bow to the Cosmic Enigma, the Spirit of Infinity and Time, The Everlasting Energy of Movement and Action.
Salutations to our Divine Pantheon of Galaxia Gods
The Power which now is, ever was, and ever will be.
Grant me to speak the word of weirdglow wonder.
Here is the scroll where wisdom curls in sleep.
The polychrome rainbow is spanning the welkin.
The bright Sothis star does measure the year.
All hermetically sealed within the Cosmos,
Only the churls and dull have real cause to fear.
Thou art the Gods of wisdom and the wise.
This paean of devotion, the latria of worship,
The trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma,
The Lords of liberation, maya and wisdom.
Each like a mirror, reflecting formations,
Osiris and Isis and Thoth the magician,
Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos the life span,
Chaos, Erebus, Kronos, Zeus and Hermes
Aphrodite, Venus, Athena and Eros,
The supreme gurus who taught life and living.
The great Cosmic Architect formed and constructed
A galaxy of stars and a galaxy of Gods,
A natural Cosmos with joys so delightful
And natural laws in harmony blooming.
All this and more I crave to inherit.
Salutations to the faculty of Insight
Apprehending the nature of all things.
Let us praise this faculty and mental vision,
The discernment of the supreme awakening,
Deep penetration and divine understanding,
The faculty of Insight, a real cosmic treasure.
Let us praise and work for the development
Of the wonder efficiency of this faculty.
Let us win the power to apprehend the nature
Of vibrations of people, things and ideas.
Let us gain that awakened understanding
And penetrating vision of Insight to see
Reality, truth and not the delusions of maya.
We work to acquire and derive discernment
And mental vision to penetrate the Cosmos
And all its aspects, forms, energies and patterns,
To obtain Insight and to possess the divine pristine truth.
May the Cosmic Supreme be gracious to my wish.
Salutations to the faculty of Intuition
Direct perception of truth and reality
Independent of any reasoning process
And with the third eye profound, see with intensity
Immediate apprehension and accuracy
The true knowledge without any delusions
Having that awakened understanding of mind
Seeing all the particles of the cosmic order
And how we can manipulate this cosmic power
And adapt to our own life this divine treasure
Of natural law and the phantasmagoria of magick.
Salutations to the faculty of Imagination.
Let us praise and gain the faculty of Imagination
And produce ideals, consistent and fantastic,
In harmony with magick and the cosmic harmony.
Let us develop this faculty, enjoy and share
Our creations that they will expand the Nath Order,
That Humanity will enter a new pattern of life
And elevate its being on to a higher level.
This faculty has the potency to reconstruct all
The world of nature and change mortals into gods
And even formulate a new environment for
A life of Peace, Freedom and Happiness.
OM OMEGA: THE PUJA IS ENDED
Guidelines for the Neophyte: These are the three occult faculties and powers of magick and are the thaumaturgy which will transmute 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 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 this 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 (INO) has no rules, superstitions or dogmas. Even after receiving initiation into the INO people are not bound to accept anything they wish to disbelieve and cannot harmonize with their own thinking. Teachings in the INO are only guidelines to assist you to develop your own thinking, the transmutation of ‘think’ on to 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 still are 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 has 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 causes 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 International 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 towards 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. 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 Tantric or Kaula in the whole of India. Later, in 1977, I was made to realize 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 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 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 Adinath Sampradayas. As sanyassi 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 a guru by succession. I wanted the International Nath Order to have gurus and leaders who were in office by assent or election. The modern age demands this. The sadhu who brought me the message was not a great problem. I took him to Shambhala Tapovan and we took a good meal and I gave him a few rupees for travel as he wished to return to the Ganges area where he knew so many people.
Circumstances in India and the world have periodically forced me to confess that I am an Englishman by birth and have a British passport. This has not always been pleasant as I have always regarded the British as a backward race. I have in fact, always thought of myself as a cosmopolitan and 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 about 400 BC 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? We are really still a long way from being a civilized and advanced culture.
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