Preface by Sri Kapilnath
During my long and continuous apprenticeship as spiritual seeker and occult investigator, I often times imagined and dreamed about learning of the mystic arts and wisdom essence from the Siddha Adepts and Masters of Pagan India. It was through my researches of dusty and arcane volumes that I first read of Guru lines where the wisdom and power of many interesting, ancient traditions were preserved and perpetuated. Following a timeless pattern of succession through Guru to Chela mind transmission and wisdom guidance, these traditions or lineages intersected a colorful dreamtime of myth and legend, but still exist today.
Of all the fantasmagoria I encountered, none fascinated or intrigued me more than the Nath and Tantrik traditions. In both of these lineages, and especially in the Guru figures who represented an amalgamation of both schools, I read of human beings who blurred the line of demarcation between Gods and men. In their display of Magick Power, ability to favor and punish, and living a lifestyle of both enjoyment and liberation, these exalted souls stood as an unparalleled example of spiritual and occult attainment. Free from convention and doing what they willed, these rare saints sported in the world, but mostly chose to remain aloof of unnecessary worldly entanglements.
It is for this reason that contacting such a Guru is no easy task. Their needs for the most part are simple and practical, and their preference for seclusion keeps them from drawing undue attention to themselves. My first attempts at trying to locate such a Guru were fruitless, despite my exhaustive search of all known leads and contacts. Despite my first round defeat, I carried on undauntedly, for it was my experience that anything really worthwhile was only attained after due effort and patience.
I spent many hours imagining my meetings with such Gurus. Sometimes upon reaching their hermitage or encampment, I was cursed at in a strange language and sent away; but other times it would seem I had passed the entry test and was admitted into a psychic wonderland of power and peace beyond my wildest dreams. Many times I was told that these lineages were dead and the knowledge and power, if in fact it had ever really existed, was now but a memory of a distant past. My only hope for recovering this lost thread was to seek out adepts from any tradition who, by their attainments or lack of them, might give my search direction and supply me with important clues.
I visited Tibetan Lamas and received, among other things, initiations and empowerments into the twenty-one forms of the goddess Tara. The Lamas’ suggestions in the Magickal application of these initiations were helpful in my own Work, but much of their wisdom teachings, for the most part, seemed clumsy and overly complicated. From an East Indian Adept of the Shaivite tradition, I learned the importance of meditation for higher realization, but again many pieces of his teachings did not fit together to form a realistic picture. From a Chinese Adept who was of the “secret school” of both Chinese Buddhism (Nyingma/Bonpo) and Taoism, I received a colorful initiation and learned the virtue of practicing hard, and that relating my experiences could be profitable. There were many more interesting characters that I have met in my wanderings, but it was in these delightful Adepts just mentioned where I first found evidence and proof of true Magickal ability and spiritual attainment.
Of course, it was much more likely for me to pick up pointers on what not to do from the many people I encountered, learned from, and grew with, than it was to find true spiritual and Magickal gems, but I have always enjoyed a challenge and, so, kept on digging. It was only something that I would call divine guidance which saved me from wasting too much time in any one of these trips I ran across, but instead I learned to use what I could and continue my experiments.
It was about this time that by certain occult manipulations I received a message suggesting a process whereby after a specific number of applications, I would gain something of great value. I began this series of experiments, and at the end of the allotted time, indeed many signs of success were evident, plus a second message detailing another process whereby after a lengthy round of applications, I would gain contact to my Guru.
Once again it looked like I was on a collision course with the funny farm, but Magick is like that sometimes; humor having its place, as Magicians always have the last laugh. Anyway, I began this second experiment, and the signs of success were incontestable. It was about half-way into my experiment when by curious circumstance I met a man who, after much questioning and prolonged preliminaries said, “Yes, such a Guru does exist.” As it turns out, this Guru, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath by name, was not only the chief and Guru of the ancient Adi-Nath tradition, but also a genuine Tantrik Guru of the Northern Tantrik lineage as well. When I learned that on top of his titles and attainments that he also spoke perfect English, I knew that I had hit the cosmic jackpot.
My psychic bubble was quickly burst, however, when my informant told me that I could write him, “Here’s the address”, but he would probably not write me back, since he (Gurudev) was advanced in years and had retired some time back. Nevertheless, I went home and, mustering all the sincerity and using my best penmanship, sent a missive to the Master.
Due to friendly advice, I rather forgot about the letter as the weeks wore on, but managed after much amusing toil to finish my Magickal Experiment. I was quite content with the signs of success I had seen, and was quite forgetful of vague promises. Stumbling to my mailbox one morning, I found the usual junk mail, but also a strange blue aerogram. Turning it over, I noticed the sender’s name Shree Gurudev Mahendranath. Recovering from the shock and excitement, I quickly opened the letter and relished the contents: contact had been made! From that point on there ensued a gradual awakening an delightful exchange of letters and vibrations.
After about a year and a half, I flew off to India to physically meet with Mahedranath and continue my spiritual gem hunt. Patience dear readers, by this time I suspect you are all wondering where this is leading, and what this has to do with the Phantasikos manuscript.
Well, upon reaching Gurudev’s Indian Hermitage, I was, as luck would have it, welcomed on in and, as in some of my better dreams, admitted to an astounding energy zone and psychic wonderland. Talking with Shree Mahendranath and absorbing the divine spiritual vibration he radiated was all I had hoped for, but there was more.
One afternoon, while I sat at his feet, Gurudev picked up a clipboard with numerous loose leaf pages on it and said modestly, “I’ve been doing a little writing lately, perhaps you or others might find this useful.” The manuscript he handed me is the one you are about to read, Phantastikos.
Of course, there is much more of interest I could relate concerning this tale, but it can wait for another time and place. The important thing at this point is to make this manuscript available to all who are interested. You have heard some of my exertions leading up to presenting this delightful booklet, so I hope that all who are new to this trip do not run up and thank me for my trouble all at once.
Better to pause a moment and think, for the distance between an amusing read and tangible attainment is shorter than you may imagine, but the footsteps must be taken by yourselves. There is much help for the sincere on this path, but little is gained without initiative, interest, and perseverance. Perhaps I have said too much even now, but if I have managed to shed some light on a lead to the source of much wisdom and wonder, I feel privileged and have little to add but … Tally Ho!
By Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
The scroll revealing a thousand light years
of tradition and hagiology
which was transformed by metamorphosis into
the International Nath Order,
the super way of life.
Your journey through the Cosmos,
limited only by eternity,
into our fantastic world,
wrapped in three layers of
Insight, Intuition, and Imagination.
An antique pagan tradition to think and know for oneself,
nurtured and brought to new life by Dadaji.
Truth is the tiny golden thread running through a spurious history of a false world which never was, and this truth is mankind’s most closely guarded secret. It is easier than you think. 90 percent of man’s brain cells are never used from birth to death. Preachers, teachers, and founders of religions and holy trips have taught mankind what to think, do, and believe, but none have ever taught mankind to think for themselves.
Mind explosion is best in small quantities. Wisdom is won from real life and mind awakening, not from education or books. Many people mistake religion for spirituality, so many also mistake wisdom for book learning and time tables.
We have now reached a stage in human degeneration where some awakening is needed for a cleaner and safer environment. The vital need for a higher mind and body outlook combined with a more relaxed and contented attitude to life and living is essential. Who but an idiot will spurn a new and more fantastic outlook and way of life? Is it not time to listen to the tinkle vibes of the sistrum of the Divine Sister of Osiris and the murmur indication of gods who were ancient when the rocks and stones were but protons and neutrons?
See the Gnosis in new brilliant colors through the transparent screens of Insight, Intuition, and Imagination, and hear the divine methods of construction while in meditation, seated relaxed on your Dragon Zonule. Think with your own mind and brain. No tradition is perfect enough to copy; nor can it fit into the time in which we now live. We need a new Yoga. We need a new pattern of think. Most of us need a new face. A million years of fight and fencing, graveyards in profusion, yet the fundamental problem has not been solved.
On 14 July 1953, I landed in Bombay to start a long sequence of happenings. I have enjoyed my life in India, but in the period of 33 years, I have witnessed the evaporation of the joy and contentment of the Indian people, unbelievable poverty and suffering, as well as the decline of religion and the change of sincere Sadhu life into a blatant money trip.
At the age of seventy, I retired from public life, but thought much about the decline and what was to happen to India’s ancient patterns of wisdom and the true Gnosis which was revealed to me during my travels.
I had been initiated in 1953 as Sannyasi in the Adi-Nath sect. The Adi-Nath was just one of many Nath sects. I was ordained by the aged Shri Lokanath, the Avadhoot from Uttara Kashi, but it seems there was no special teaching or outstanding patterns of the Adi-Naths to be learned. They had only the general Nath pattern and were opposed to the caste divisions of Vedic Brahmanism and its superstitions. But I must state that as a Sadhu, I have lived much on my own, done what I wanted to do, and revolted against any sect patterns and ideas; and with this, other people’s likes and dislikes. My brain cells were only my own, and what I thought and taught was based only on my own think, experiment, and experience.
I was never impressed with the Vedas or Vedic religion, but took careful note of the more ancient Indian paganism of which the Natha and Tantrik tradition form the greater part. This takes us back in time to a period when Dattatreya, Rishabadev, Sukadev, and many others lived in India not less than four to five thousand years ago. No authentic writings exist about these people, but we learn so much from the key words passed down through the millennia. They are like pieces salvaged from a giant jigsaw puzzle which has been lost, but the few key pieces have been found and yet are enough to tell us most of the whole picture. Of course, these keys are the words: Svecchachara, Sama, Samarasa, and Sahaja.
These key words form the basis of the Nath way of life, and are explained in fuller detail in the manuscript Ecstasy, Equipoise, and Eternity, which, in turn, is one of the three manuscripts forming the work Twilight Yoga. This will make the reader understand more fully the magick of applying Insight, Intuition, and Imagination, and from tiny clues see a vast fantastic way of life and also a possible guide to today’s problems and the solution. Yet the International Nath Order is not intended to solve the world’s problems or the problems of any one nation. Our intention is to promote a new pattern and way of life for individuals or couples who are finding no happiness in the way they are enmeshed in confused ideas and the pseudo-moral restrictions of modern living.
Of course, it is easy for people to break away from established patterns and do something different, but most need a better pattern of thinking to go with their new life and give it strength. We must remember in recent history (about the late sixties) a group of young people who rejected established institutions and current values, to seek spontaneity and direct personal relationships with mankind, in order to express their love and deeper emotions, and develop an expanded consciousness. They took to meditation, incense sticks, and holy garb, but the real vital know-how was missing. Quickly the scaffolding fell away and the edifice fell apart, and the living flame of the movement blinked awhile and finally died out.
It was during this period that I was seeing the Hindu philosophy crumble, and the people transform into people different from the lovely companions I had known in the past. The problem was clear. The people are transforming and changing, and the Hindu philosophy which had fortified them for thousands of years was now being discarded. As an individual, I could do nothing about this, and I believe that people should “do their own thing” anyway. If the East did no longer want Eastern wisdom, I knew that it would be welcomed and preserved with more utility and advantage in the West. I devised the concept of a western Nath Order as a suitable vehicle to extract the magick and occult concepts, which were more advanced in the East, to the West, where they were little known.
In the Orient, the vehicle keeping this knowledge and passing it down from generation to generation had been mostly homeless, ragged Sadhus living an ancient pattern of life, and supported by disciples or charity. This would be impossible in the West, where the people are meaner by nature or inclination and charity is thought by some to encourage laziness. The International Nath Order would have to be for Western people and adapt itself to the Western patterns, especially while in its infancy. The actual event of Sir Michael Magee visiting my Tapovan residence at Mehmadabad has been expanded elsewhere, and he himself plans to write of his adventures someday. But I initiated him as the first western Nath of the New Order, and appointed him a leader with the responsibility of spreading it and the initiation transmission in all Western lands.
Some weeks later, I realized the old occult rat race for many centuries had been going round and round in circles and nobody had gotten anywhere. This happened to me. It had happened to Sir Aleister Crowley also. I remember during one of his visits to my Brighton flatlet that we both seemed to explode and talk freely. Crowley, usually calm and reserved, freely admitted his mistakes, while I confessed my own.
The occult rat race included ancient Egyptology; Drs. Dee, Kelly and “Enoch”; Kabbala or Cabala, a system of mystical method devised by Jewish rabbis between the seventh and eighteenth centuries, but eventually repudiated by orthodox Jews; and a host of recent writers including “The Magus” by Francis Barrett. All to wade through until you were weary and had to confess that nothing was won from these trips, and all were a waste of time which could have been more profitably used.
Mark well, the International Nath Order does not prohibit others from being interested in one or more of the many fringe facets of the occult world. Many do not in any way overlap. It is for leaders of zonules and constellations to withhold ordination from those still enmeshed in involved crackpot trips which refute the freedom and self-think of the Nathas. It is difficult to ride two donkeys at the same time. Opinions Crowley wrote in earlier books were repudiated by him in later life.
Another triad of the Nath Order – the first is the super basic:
- Think your own thoughts.
Thus, thinking must be based on your own thoughts and ideas, and not based on the secondhand ideas of others, nor on brainwashed patterns and ideas implanted in your mind by others. Experimentation in magick rites, meditation, and projection or construction is essential for development. There is a right way to project the mind as willpower; the right knowledge to make all aspects of our way of life bloom to reality. Lastly, documentation will not only produce records for us to refer to and measure our progress, but provide useful guidance for other Naths. Thus, a new basis of new thinking and a new way of life is of vital necessity to overcome the absurdities and paradoxes of modern life.
It is usual in the International Nath Order to give a new name or cryptonym at initiation. This is useful in many ways and can be used to identify one with essays and articles when it is undesirable to make one’s ordinary name public. Whenever possible, the cryptonym should relate to the neophyte. Names of gods in living religions should be avoided. Thus, the thoughtless gift of a cryptonym of “Shivanath” or “Ramanath” would offend not only all Indians, but all devotees of Shiva and Rama. In translation, Shivanath can only mean Lord of Shiva or Shiva’s lord, and that might not only offend but be thought to be tops in ego.
Women in India frequently have goddess names, but that is because all women are, in theory, personifications of the goddess. Thus, in the International Nath Order, women are usually called Devi and rarely a Nathess. Padma Devi, Kali Devi, Snug Devi sound so nice. Please use your Insight, Intuition, and most of all, your Imagination. We are dealing with infinity and eternal values of our Cosmos.
I have explained, even stressed, that the building bricks of the International Nath Order come from recycling the wisdom from many lands and their customs or thinking. But I still have to confess that in the final filtering the best and most precious have come from ancient India. These seldom come in orderly compact teachings that do not need more think, revelation, and insight to understand. It is a blessing that this is so, for if these gems of wisdom were too simple to understand, they might fall into the hands of politicians and evil people and be used as weapons against mankind. Some of these gems can be classified as spiritual or magick power and qualities which should only be in the hands of Natha magicians and their ladies (Shaktis).
The further we go back in time in Indian tradition, the more wonderful these gems become, and we are taken into a dreamtime of legend and myth from which all the scriptures of the world were derived. However, in this time-contracting trip into the past and beyond it, we develop a deep sense of wonder at the mad magick and mountains of energy and the vortex of vibrations which India still retains under the obscuring crust of modern barbarism. Indeed, a fascinating land to wander and seek. Here was a vast kingdom of gods, divine wonders, saints, Sadhus and sagas, and holy places which were mountains, hills, rivers, lakes, and locations of a sacred history long before men learned to build temples, pagodas, and tanks. They climbed mountains and hills, and offered and arranged flowers and stones, thus making these offerings into sacred and significant patterns. They lit fires, and the flames turned wood into ashes. “Ishwarapranidam” might have been the very first spiritual precept: Resignation to God. The alpha to omega of the spirit and its journey through the Cosmos.
In spite of interpolation, distortion, and plain bloody lies in Indian literature, Dattatreya still remains the earliest but most predominant Guru figure in the Indian tradition. We have yet to find a significant culture where a naked Guru and naked divinities are not held in the highest esteem and given the highest place. That is why the International Nath Order retains the ancient tradition of initiation being given by naked Guru to naked Sishya.
Nudity is also practiced at some rites and fests. This, of course, especially in the open, has to be modified with the rise and fall of temperature, but the essential point is that modesty and shyness are unnatural to human beings and only valid among people of extreme ugliness or guilt. Many ancient sects had Shri Dattatreya as their cult deity and example. Datta is given the name Niminatha in Jain sacred legends, while Rishabadev is common to both the Jain and Hindu tradition. He is also the zodiac sign of Taurus. He was an ancient king of an ancient past who gave up his throne and became a naked Sadhu. Nine of his sons, who were born while he was king, also became naked Sadhus.
After my initiation, my Guru, Shri Lokanatha the Avadhoot, told me the story of another Avadhoot who was also the cult deity. It is said that King Yadu, while hunting in the forest, came unexpectedly upon Shri Dattatreya sitting naked beneath a tree. Kneeling to pay his respects, the King, after some preliminary discussion, asked Datta about his Guru and what he had been taught. The question was not answered in the conventional manner, but instead the saint claimed to have 24 Gurus, and he told the King that common objects and creatures had been his Gurus. This, of course, is in line with the Nath tradition to think and learn. The actual 24 Gurus differ in different Hindu scriptures, but this is not important. The real value is that we can learn all the important spiritual foundation substance from being observant and seeing the virtues behind natural laws and the amoral way of life of nature.
The story of Dhuniwalla Dadaji has already been published by the International Naths. Before Dhuniwalla died, he told his disciples that he would return to them as an English Sadhu. At that time, the British ruled India. To his disciples visiting him at Kandwar, this was thought impossible. It was not until many years after, when I was living in Ahmedabad doing a seven year stint as a naked Sadhu, that disciples of Dhuniwalla found me and remembered the promise. From then on I became known as “Dadaji”, and visited some areas in West Maharastra and celebrated festivals. It was often one naked Sadhu and five or ten thousand devotees from the surrounding villages, a heavy trip I learned to avoid. There is nothing like Sadhu life to teach one the real value of seclusion.
Of course, the International Nath Order is not a society of hermits, and one must face with resignation that long periods of Yoga in meditation is less possible to a western Nath than to an Indian Sadhu (providing he has periods where he is undisturbed by the public). After all, the Sadhu life is to win some spiritual attainment, and too much public is only an impediment and time wasted. Sex-abnegating cults and priesthoods are a recent feature in mankind’s history. The distant past suffered from under population, but after the right of private property and legal ownership of land and things which rightfully belonged to everyone, sex began to be controlled into narrow and restrained channels. It now became important for property to pass on to one’s legitimate children. Religions and gods began to preach “thou shalt not commit adultery”, and sex outside of marriage became a horrible sin.
During my life I have presented many new and sometimes odd ideas, yet never met with any disagreement until I mentioned the three evils of mankind. It seemed to upset many people, and conflict with their vain ideas of a life of naughts and worship of crosses. Only one word exploded into a mental blackout: the word was religion. I have never followed any religion myself, but remained tolerant of the religious beliefs of other people. In practice, I feel that if any individual wanted to live and copy the example of a good man or religious character – even if the character was fictitious – it was not a bad thing.
I submit that the three greatest evils in the world today are racism, religion, and nationalism. Hooligans, at the wink of an eye, will beat the hell out of other people because they belong to a different national group, a different religion, or have a different colored skin. If we peruse the vague records of history, where can we read of any war, slaughter, or mass assassination which was not based on racism, religion, or nationalism? Even within the same race, the same religion, the same nation, there are wars, conflicts, and the desire of men to beat the hell out of each other, and where even women and children are not exempt from the slaughter.
The three evils divide nations and continents and are the prime active factors which divide mankind. All these three are bogus and have no real reality. They are man made trips which fragment our ideals of peace, freedom, and happiness.
Racism, religion, and nationalism are three evils of mankind. Please do not confuse religion with spiritual life because real spiritual life is for attainment, and has no scriptures, rules, or dogmas. Think on these things.
The cage is open if you want to get out …
In the late 1970’s, the International Nath Order was born, and it was not only based on my own research, experiment, and realization, but embraced the Nath tradition and the few sparks from the life and example of the super-Guru, the Lord Datta. I myself have been an initiate and the final Guru of the Adi-Naths, one of the many subsects of the Great Natha stream and ancient tradition. With the birth of the International Nath Order, the Indian Adi-Nath sect became defunct, and I myself retired from public life. The Adi-Nath subsect did not have any separate or special teaching of its own and, in general matters, followed the general trend and customs of the Nathas in general.
I myself believe the Naths were the oldest and earliest Sadhu sect in India, and their traditions associated with Shiva, Dattatreya, and the Mother Goddess goes back to about, and not less than, 4000 years ago. Age itself does not mean or imply that something old must be more correct than something new; far from it. The value of an old tradition or wisdom only lies in the fact that wise men realized or devised these ancient truths at a time when mankind was less polluted by religious superstitions or corrupted by false social and economic values. There may have been more individual think and common sense in ancient days than the widespread gullibility we observe today.
This means that, in practical terms, the western Naths can be guided by tradition and Gurus, but the main task is to make and compound an order of higher thinking and higher spirituality which is practical in all its aspects. Without this progress, there will only be stagnation. When mental movement ceases, there will be no insight, intuition, imagination, and no new levels.
Perhaps the most important aspect of the western Naths is not to brainwash the fraternity into anti-brainwash concepts and patterns and make a new rat race convention of what to believe and what not to believe. Contemplate on people, things, and ideas and see their inner potential. In this way we can reshape the way of life for humans, based on reality and not on dogma or theory.
Afloat in the Cosmos
The International Nath Order is intended to be a superior way of life and is not a religion. We adapt ourselves and this way of life to the practical considerations of our environment, as well as to our means and ability to survive in the world. To be successful, this requires a freer and higher type of unconditioned thinking. The Naths, therefore, avoid political and religious involvement and their fixed patterns. We conduct no campaigns against any religion or political institutions. Although we may not accept their rules, dogmas, and ideas, we maintain the right of people to enjoy their superstitions and economic thralldom if they wish to do so. If a Natha sees some beautiful aspect or pattern in any religion, they are free to adopt it and make use of anything they wish, and even develop it in their own Zonules. No way of life can be valid unless it is based on common sense. But still, we must know which is the real, and which is only a mind reflection; what are the tools of our craft, and what are only toys. You yourself must decide on these things, as they are important parts of your individual life.
First one must think, and decide how you can think differently or approach segments of life from a different angle. It is not easy to see or value past brainwashing and conditioning with a brainwashed mind doing the thinking. The secret is that this is only done with inner realization born of meditation and periods of contemplation. Physical and mental relaxation alone can produce that mirror-like placid surface which reflects the spirit-gnosis of realization in its depths.
One word of caution – to prevent the sincere from wasting precious time – things seldom occur or mature during your meditation moments. More often they occur at some unexpected moment when you are thinking about something unrelated. I have found also that most of the events in spiritual development and progress seldom come in the routine pattern we expect or think they should occur. This need for you to be alert for the unexpected seems to be part of the cosmic pattern where the mind intersects other dimensions, thus making them tangible. Although the Natha or Nathess may have many varied and delightful experiences, it is often difficult, sometimes impossible, to explain or convey them to others in terms of normal speech or writing. Yet it is accomplished by meditation and Guru-chela mind transmission.
Sufficient has been expounded in this section to form a firm foundation for thinking relating to initiation. I deal here only with the transmission of our modern constellatus (cluster of stars), in its form as the International Nath Order and their Twilight Yoga method. I liken it as to a brooch or pendant of gold. Although the pendant is new, the metal of which it is made is millions of years old. The human mind cannot comprehend any original place or location in the cosmos where the metal might have originally been formed. Even less so can we conjecture the origin of the atoms of which the gold is formed. The unknown period of man and his past far exceeds our known history about our own species. We can only be certain that long before any religion or human civilization appeared on this earth, man was aware of spiritual vibration, spirits, and celestial beings, the mystic relationship between nature and the cosmos, and the supreme substance which is both plan and planner. Thousands of years ago rites developed, ceremonies took form, and special people lived apart to practice their yoga magick; hills, mountains, and rivers became sacred places to congregate and worship. With this basis the spiritual pattern of life evolved, and the art of converting men and women into Gods and Goddesses began.
The passage of wisdom and knowledge through the generations required the mystic magick phenomenon of initiation, which is valid to this day in the initiation transmission from naked guru to naked novice by touch, mark, and mantra. In this simple rite, the initiator passes something of himself to the one initiated. This initiation is the start of the transformation of the new Natha. It must not be overlooked that this initiation has been passed on in one unbroken line for thousands of years. Once you receive the Nath initiation, it is yours throughout life. No one can take it from you, and you yourself can never renounce it. This is the most permanent thing in an impermanent life. Once you receive it you can pass it on to some other worthy person. And so, peace, freedom, and happiness can enter the lives of other people. These levels of spiritual ecstasy have nothing to do with financial or social standards. The search within can be more inspiring than building temples and palaces; our way of life is more constructive and joyful than the death and decay syndrome of modern living.
However, the most important aspect of a Natha’s thinking is the constant awakening awareness that the spirit existed long before you took human birth, and will be after the human life span is ended. The spirit is in fact the gnosis and is all that was, is, and ever will be. It is both wise and profitable for a new Natha, after receiving initiation, to spend two or three days in solitude.
Give the planet a new name and sell it as cosmic scrap
“The mind nature of a Natha becomes as 1000 mirrors.” Genuine madness is more delightful than crass stupidity! One of the resulting patterns of religion – as distinct from yoga or spiritual life – is the importance given to temples, churches, mosques, priests, and preachers. You are told what to do, but never to do your own thing; what to believe, but never to think for yourself. Religions cost money, but they solve no problems of the poor. Every civilization seems to have started with spiritual ideals, but degenerated into organized superstition and religion. This has been because true spiritual life and higher yoga require thinking and effort, and so it remains only for the few. The masses prefer not to think, and need only gestures, short prayers, and that which is handed to them on a small plate, even if they have to pay a high price for it.
Spiritual factors are based on fact and experience, determination, and a certain conviction of practical values. Spiritual yoga is independent of priests and organizations and their structures. In pagan days, you could have found an harmonious mixture of religious fantasy and spiritual yoga existing side by side, or even in the same spot. Yoga insists that nothing is true except that which you discover for yourself as the result of reason, experiment, and patience. Religions demand that you believe things taught to you by priests and holy men, even if common sense tells you it is absurd and useless to help you live a normal life. As a Guru, I can only tell you what I accept as true; I can only teach the things which have culminated in my own success. If these help the Nathas, well and good, but I cannot present them as dogmas.
The diverse charismata of the Gods
Indian imagination has, in the past, transcended all other aspects of human thought in all aspects of life. They had their theological battles, but the Gods always won; debates over the cosmos, but the universe remained unmoved. From this emerged the most varied fantastique yet lovable pantheon of Gods and Goddesses which was ever invented, created, or born spontaneously. They are here for you to embrace or reject. Most of them had names which were very meaningful in the animistic fantasmagoria in which they belonged, but now the meaning of most of these names is entirely lost; and we cannot avoid suspecting that many deities came, shone with brilliance, died and were forgotten, or were left to float like clouds in our dreamtime of primordial memory. Never anywhere in human life was there ever such a parade of beauty, desire, lust, and loveliness as the Hindu Goddess. Where can we find such supergods who taught a basic code of conduct for mankind and the four legitimate aims for all householders and cave dwellers, as the four correct and desirable human pursuits for all Hindus and related peoples, as Kama (sense-enjoyment), Artha (wealth), Dharma (amoral duty and obligation), and Moksha (liberation from the earth plane, rebirth, and misery), with the final attainment of divinity or immortality on a higher dimension?
Krishna hit the jackpot and married 15,000 wives. Ganesh, bless him, had a human body with an elephant’s head. Hanuman, half monkey/half man, had magick and divine powers. The Goddess of Lord Shiva (Mahadev) appears in so many lustrous forms and names that we are bewildered but content. The Hindus gave us the first divine trinity – Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu – of destruction, creativeness, and preservation, and the avatars which made them tangible to mankind.
The sun, moon, and planets were deified and the science of astrology was born in India thousands of millennia ago. Mahat is the cosmic mind on which the matter of the universe is superimposed, thus giving the illusion of form to the formless. When we look into a mirror, we see form reflected. It appears to be there beyond the layer of glass, appearing to be real although we know nothing is really there. Thus Gods have appeared to men and man has walked among the Gods, but man and Gods are only reflections of the one cosmic mind, and so the mind becomes inter-related with divinity; but illusion and reflection keep them apart, and this Maya makes them appear separate. Thus Moksha, liberation, self-realization, Atma Jnana: enlightenment is only the recovery of a natural potential which was already there.
Vishwakarma and the mechanical God
Where Indian records of Gods, written or whispered, end, we are presented with a spectacular array of super beings. Here it is difficult to see the line of demarcation betwixt Gods and men. Thus we arrive at one of the great characters in the cosmic records by the name of Vishwakarma, the celestial architect whose fantastique design and construction was limited to our own solar system.
One pleasant day in the seventh millennium of the pre-history aeon, a murmur of many tongues muttered and mumbled round the earth. Vishwakarma had designed and built the first dolmen. It was the first flat roofed erection seen by mankind, and would enable the shaman, yogis, and magicians to perform their rites comfortably in very sunny or very wet weather. Umbrellas were still only talked about, and not yet on the production line. It was better than smelly dark damp caves, and mankind was well on the way to building huts, temples, and places of correction. In spite of this important event, the dolmen did not develop into a proper temple until the second century B.C.E. Indians tended to cling to open air shrines and energy centers, and festivals were regulated according to the climate and the rhythms of hot, wet, and dry seasons. The palace, temple, house, and enduring structure had come to stay, but much important activity is still done in the open air both day and night. In India, many people still live and sleep in the street.
If Vishwakarma caused a stir with the dolmen, he literally shook the earth with his deus ex machina, a mechanical God. The celestial architect noticed that not all prayers to deities were promptly answered, and a more reliable and responsive machine was badly needed. The machine became a complicated contrivance. The central and upper mechanism was in the form of a God, dressed in his best clothes and wearing a generous smile. There was a pot between the feet for offerings, but there was a hole in the bottom so that money fell into the cellar below. But the deity showed the greatest intelligence and did not give the devotees material trash or filthy lucre, but by some miraculous means manipulated the situation and thus resolved the complications of life by his supernatural intervention. Vishwakarma went down is history, so far down that most Nathas have never heard of him. But he was truly a remarkable and gifted celestial.
An essential motive for the foundation and formation of the Naths is to encourage members not only to think, but for this thinking to develop into sensible and desirable action. Yet, at the same time, the International Nath Order has no other rules or stipulations. In most things as an Order we are neutral, and we cannot advise people whether to take modern medicine or use herbs; whether to use cigarettes, pipes, or snuff; whether to be vegetarian or non-vegetarian; nor whether to take drugs, or whether to kill yourself, or whether to stay alive. People must determine these things for themselves, but it would be inconsistent with the spirit of our Order to try to influence the habits of other people in these matters.
In the Sanatana Dharma Gita, in 147 shlokas or verses, the Natha and Nathess are presented with the essence of Indian spiritual life and higher yoga. Dharma is used in the sense of duty or amoral common sense conduct which is most beneficial to our own individual attainment. I wrote this gita, or truth in song, to express a pagan way of life which is practical for the Western world, and very easy to understand. Sections of the gita or individual verses are very suitable for contemplation in the quiet periods, or during puja and occasions when paying homage to the absolute.
I wrote The Londinium Temple Strain as the first introduction to the Nath way of life which was destined to have its origin in London. It relates the ancient Nath tradition and simple but practical guides to meditation and personal energy Zonules. It is suitable as first reading for Nathas entering the International Nath Order. The Levogyrate Tantra will also serve the Nath order, as it relates sexual values as part of mundane and spiritual life giving both enjoyment and liberation, which is essential to human happiness.
The main document of the Nathas is the three manuscripts combined with the title of Twilight Yoga, a term which embodies all my personal teachings and expressed as a yoga. Twilight Yoga contains the manuscripts of The Magnum Opus; The Esoterikos; and Ecstasy, Equipoise, and Eternity. The third manuscript contains all that is known and reliable of the ancient Nath tradition and the life of Shri Dattatreya, and the four key words to a way of life which has been preserved and remembered for several thousand years.
The three manuscripts of Twilight Yoga can render you great profit. First, it will help you establish part or perfect contact and even communication with your guardian spirit. Secondly, it introduces you to experimental work, to the subtle vision and awareness of the alpha ovule. Thirdly, it will give you powerful and wonderful knowledge so that if you do not attain in this life span, the wisdom will go with you to help and develop you in the next life in whatever dimension rebirth takes place. These are the most essential rewards of the Nath way of life, and are most expressed in the individual as peace, freedom, and lasting happiness.
Om Shanti Om
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