Shri Gurudev Mahendranath
Shri Gurudev Mahendranath (April 29, 1911–August 30, 1991) was a British occultist, mystic, writer, poet, sannyasi, sadhu, tantric guru, and Avadhut. He was introduced to Thelema by Aleister Crowley and espoused the tantric philosophy of Svecchachara which he considered the Sanskrit equivalent of Thelema.
Born Lawrence Miles in London, England on April 29, 1911, his interests in the area of spiritual investigation and the Pagan way of life began at an unusually early age. During his childhood, he had a number of unique experiences which began the course of his inner development and later led to his spiritual attainment and recognition by a vast public. He was initiated by his Great Aunt Madam Clay Palmer, the Witch of Rottingdean, near Brighton, England, into her line of Hereditary Witchcraft when he was in his early teens and he knew Gerald Gardiner, founder of Modern Witchcraft, or Wicca, was active in Gardiner's Bricket Wood coven in Hertfordshire, and informed Gardiner of traditional rites, which seem to have otherwise been borrowed from Aleister Crowley's writings.
As a young man, Shri Mahendranath met and exchanged ideas with the advanced thinker and mystic, Aleister Crowley. Personal experiences and the advice of Mr. Crowley suggested that he might gain valuable insight by the deeper study of meditation and the I Ching oracle with Indian and other Asian Masters.
After some years, and a detour to Australia where he was recorded as being active in Witchcraft, Shri Mahendranath travelled back across South East Asia and arrived in India on Guru Purnima, July 14, 1953. On this auspicious date, he was given initiation as a sannyasi into the Adinath sampradaya by H.H. Shri Sadguru Lokanath, the Avadhut of the Himalayas. He was later given Tantric initiation by Shri Pagala Baba of Ranchi into the Uttara Kaula sect of Northern Tantrics and became his successor.
During his life as a sannyasi, Shri Mahendranath traveled to Ceylon, Thailand, Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Australia. He also received initiations as a Bhutanese Lama, Meditation Master in Soto Zen, Taoism, and both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.
He founded Amookos and the International Nath Order (originally Western Nath Order) to present and promote his own synthesis of the tantric teachings of the Adinath and Uttara Kaula lineages as a spiritual path for the western householder. Initiates of his International Nath Order and Amookos are known as Naths.
Shri Gurudev Mahendranath left his body and achieved Mahasamadhi on August 30, 1991. His last residence was his hermitage—Shambhala Tapowan—near the Vatrak river, in the state of Gujarat, India. He thought he was the last guru of both the Adi-Nath and Uttara Kaula tantric lineages, but was unaware that Pagala Baba's guru in the Uttara Kaula line, Thakar Kalachand had also initiated a female yogini, Mahaswari Ma who had in turn initiated Kulavadhut Sampranand, who survives into the 21st Century. C.E., alongside the Westernised groups Shri Mahendranath started. He was therefore not in a position to merge the Uttara Kaula and Adi Nath traditions. The Adi Nath tradition is to rest in another Nath lineage as well as continuing in the various Westernised groups with Adi Nath origins that were begun with Shri Mahendranath's initiatives.
Shri Gurudev Mahendranath wrote numerous articles and essays on tantra and the spiritual life, including the Twilight Yoga Trilogy, the Levogyrate Tantra, and The Londinium Temple Strain, subsequently collected under the title The Scrolls of Mahendranath. These works present the essentials of spiritual life and the tantric path in a humorous, non-dogmatic and non-sectarian manner.
- The Scrolls of Mahendranath (http://www.mahendranath.org/)
- The International Nath Order (http://www.mahendranath.org/order.mhtml)
- Amookos http://www.sivashakti.com/
- Fellowship of Uttara Circles of Kaulas http://www.johnpowerweb.jimdo.com