søndag 25. oktober 2015

The Term "Alakshyanath Sampradaya"

I was reading through the "Amoral Way of Wizardry" the other day, enjoying as always Dadajis way of wording and explaining the Kaula Nath Path, when my eye stopped at the word "Alakshya" in the title:


I have read this title many times since I often go back to the Twilight Yoga Trilogy in order to keep the basics of the Kaula Nath Path fresh in my mind. After many years on the path I am quite familiar with the central terms in the sanskrit language but now I stopped, not being shure what the term "Alakshya" really ment.

After a quick search on the website Sanskrit Dictinary for Spoken Sanskrit I got the results: "Insignificant in appearance", "Unmarked", and "Invisible". There were other translations also but in regard to Dadajis title these struck me as the relevant ones.

In the Kaulopanishad there are some paragraphs warning us as to what to share with others about our work, saying:
One should not reveal this. One should not discuss this with pashus. Even weak argument may contain the truth. One should not make distinctions. Do not speak of the secret of self. One may speak of it to a pupil.
Within a Shakta,  outwardly a Shaiva, in the world a Vaishnava. This is the rule Liberation comes from knowledge of self.
 This I understand as to not talk about what we do to the uninitiated since there are so many elements of our practice that is difficult to understand for the uninitiated. If one is under the spell of the conditioned ideas inherited from parents, school and culture what we do may seem quite strange, and our work and symbols might frighten them. People that get frightened generally want to get rid of the element that scares them. If this goes far enough, who knows what will happen? History has too many examples of how bad this can end for people of New Think, Inovation, and Fresh Perspective.

In the last two sentences the upanishad suggests that we should act as Vaishnavas in the world. This does not mean that we should sing Hare Krishna Hare Rama, but that we should act in accordance with the general consensus concerning laws and culture in order not to get into any unnecessary trouble that would shorten our lives or block our opportunity to do our Great Work.

I have also read somewhere (not remembering where at the moment of writing) a version of this statement saying "In the world a Vaishnava, in private a Shaiva, in secret a Shakta".

Concerning to be a Shaiva in private I understand this as meaning that we may openly practice meditation, study of philosophy, religion, and so forth in our homes, and that there is no restriction concerning this.

When it comes to Shakta practice we are encouraged to keep this within and in secret and the reasons for this are given above. Being a magician means to live life consciously, making conscious decisions and conscioulsy directing our will towards our individual goals. When most people live their lives unconscious of their own potential and decisionmaking, experienceng the world as a chaotic and mean place, our natural, free and amoral way of life may com across as foreign and frightening.

In the west there has been a strong tradition to persecute innovative thinkers and people with other perspecitives than the ruling class, therefor it has become part of the western tradition to work in secret and meet in private. In the eastern traditions there has generally been more tolerance to different approaches to life and the indians often displayes outward sign in order to show their spiritual affiliations.

Still, as Mahendranath points out in his writings, and as can be understood by reading the Kaulopanishad, we see that not all approaches to enlightenment and liberation has been readily accepted, and some level of secrecy was kept in regard to Tantrik and Kaula practices.

Concerning the introduction of his own "Aeonion Transmission" Mahendranath explains in the charter where he gives the Initiation and Parampara to Lokanath, that:
"I, [Mahendranath] do hereby ordain by that Supreme Authority which rests with me, that the Adinath Sampradaya shall henceforth become an International and Cosmopolitan Order of all worthy people, students and householders above the age of 18 years, who may occopy a normal life and pursuit of livelihood; provided they accept the 3 basic aims and objects of the Nathas, to wit: Real Peace, Real Freedom, Real Happiness"
When he passed on the spiritual stream that he had been initiated into to his europeand disciples, he metamorphosed the ancient indian order of  renunciates into a western tradition of housholder yogi-magicians that "may occupy a normal life and pursuit of livelihood". He demanded no excentric lifestyle or orange dresses, no need of showing any outward signs of affiliation, only to "accept the 3 basic aims and objects of the Nathas, to wit: Real Peace, Real Freedom, Real Happiness". Thus he metamorphosed his branch of the Adinath Sampradaya into an Alakshyanath Sampradaya - a Tradition of the Invisible Lords and Ladies, keeping us safe from the self righteousness of mediocre minds and small thinking.

The Alakshyanath Sampradaya established in the west by Mahendranath has sprouted into a big family tree with many branches. As in all families there are different perspectives and standpoints, but they all share common roots. Lokanath, Vilasanath, Shambhalanat, Siddanath, Kapilnath, Adityanath, Trishulnath, Svabhavanath, Pratyakshanath and others, I love them all for their work and their expressions of The Great Work.

The Will to Love is the Law to Live!

- Svacchandanath

lørdag 14. mars 2015

A glimps of the Journey from "Visarganath" to "Svacchandanath"

I was contemplating to write something about my journey from Visarganath to Svacchandanath and explain why this blog has been silent for so long.

As can be seen in my earlier entries I have used some of these years to study kundalini yoga with a western swami.

I meet this swami for the first time in 2005 at a lecture he held about "Trika Yoga". At the time I was running Moss Yoga School in my home town and was contacted by the swami wondering if I was intrested in teaching Hatha Yoga at a retreat he was going to hold. I would not get payed but get the retreat for free. I agreed.

I participated at a retreat but was not immediately impressed of his outline of Trika Yoga. Mostly he talked aout his guru, Swami Chetananda, and his guru's guru, Swami Rudrananda, or Rudi, but he himself seemed like a nice fellow.

I did not have any further contact for him for several years.

In early 2009 I was at a place where I felt exhausted by being a solitary yogi. I contemplated who I could work with and remembered the friendly swami that I shared the common interest for Trika Yoga with. I contacted him and started to study with him.

In the beginning many things started to happen with me which I felt was of great value. I hade some new and exiting experiences that inspired me to go all in with the swami and I soon became a close disciple, maybe also a friend.

The initiatory line the swami was part of goes back to Bhagavan Nityananda of Ganeshpuri, through the american maverick yogi, Swami Rudrananda, commonly known as "Rudi". Even though the line is independent of Muktananda of the Siddha Yoga group, it in many ways has let itself be influenced by it. Rudi himself only become a “swami” in order to get the necessary respect he needed in order to get the teachings he wanted. Rudi always showed great independence, free thinking and had his own peculiar ideas as to how a teacher-student relationship should be like.

Many of Rudi's students seems to have missed this and use a lot of energy becoming a “respectable lineage”. Even though Rudi broke with Muktananda his students has adopted much of Muktanandas flavour and guru worship.

Anyway, “giving it my all” I made the decition that I would play the teacher/student game he was outlining and for 3 years I put my own thinking on pause, adopting the teachings of the “lineage”. Since I was not a total neophyte I quicly became an intructor, center leader, and in january 2012, on a retreat in India, I was made an “Acharya” of the “Rudrananda Panth”.

During these 3 years (2009-2012) my attitude changed without me noticing it. It seems like the attitudes, thoughts and ideas of the swami sneaked into my mind and was adopted as my own. In time I felt great love for him, and I felt he was my closest friend, confidant, guru, and so on, so when I was initiated as an Acharya I felt that now my life's real purpose was abot to be fulfilled.

Then life came in and corrected my fantasy!

Shortly after coming back from India in 2012 I started to see things in the swami's behaviour that made me question his Level of realization and showed me that the so-called “unconditional love” that he had for me and the other students in reality was very conditioned. In the months after we became back from India I was approached by a femal student that complained to me about approaches made towards her by the swami. She was greatly distressed and I tried to mediate in situation. The response I got from the swami felt like a blow to the ribs and I certainly felt no “unconditional love” in the situation. I felt he was acting immaturily and egoistically, showing no concern for anybody else than for himself and his own needs.

The situation lasted for some months and I was in great distress, though acting outwardly that everything was “buissiness as ususal”. But the pleasant image of his persona and "wisdom" that I had projected on the swami started to crack and finally I made the decicion to leave the swami and his organisation. I felt I could not be part of his show and be a recruiter to his game so in mai 2012 I left.

In the years after I left the swami I have strugled with symptomes like those described by people that have been part of destructive cults. Even though I have never regretted my decicion to leave the swami I have emotionally struggled with it. So much of my life was had been related and connected with the swami that I felt I had to totally reorientate myself in my life.

In that reorientating process I traced my life backwards, quiestioned my history, my ideas, my practices, relationships, etc., trying to see how I could learn from my experience.
Some of the things that I learned was the value of friendship, the healing energy of nature, the impossibility of planning, the joyfulness of existing, the unimaginable possibilities of life and much more...

In that retreacing process I also made some realizations that reconnected me with my nath past, but in a new way. Through the 3 years With the swami and during the 3 years that has passed after me leaving him I have learned some valuable lessons:

I have learned that:

Never again will I ignore the silent voice of my own conscience.
Never again will I let another suggest to me how to act, feel and think.
Never again I will let an idea go unchecked by my own intelligence

And I have realized this statements to be true:

Through the Mind and Body of every Human Being
Through the Intellect, Feelings and Sense Expressions
The Creator Enjoys the World and Cosmos thus Created.

And this I know without a doubt:
I am closest to my own Self!
I am the Creator of my own existence!
I am Svacchandanath!

6 years of chaos sadhana, 3 years in, 3 years out, has brought the result of nothing!

What a blessing!

Peace, Freedom and Happiness to All!
Love from Svacchandanath!

tirsdag 11. mai 2010

Shri Krishna as Kali

(From Shri Lokanath Maharajaji's website http://www.shivashakti.com/)

O daughter of the snow-capped mountain! That Ananga whose bow is of flowers, whose bow string is of a row of bees, who has five arrows, who has as his feudatory Vasanta, and the Malaya breeze as his chariot, he, even though thus equipped, having obtained some grace from thy side glance, conquers all this world single-handed - Saundaryalahari, 6

In places in the tantrik tradition, the Krishna avatar of Vishnu is often identified with Kali. This reaches a peak in the Tantrarajatantra, where it is said that having already charmed the world of men as herself, Lalita took a male form as Krishna and then proceeded to enchant women. In this work, Krishna has six forms, identified with the six senses (including Mind). They are Kamaraja Gopala, Manmatha Gopala, Kandarpa Gopala, Makaraketana Gopala and Manobhava Gopala. Their meditation images (dhyana according to the same work, describes them as being like dawn, with six arms, holding flute, noose, goad, sugar cane bow and a bowl of curds. These are the five arrows of Lalita and the bow and here Krishna is identified with Kameshvara, the Indian god of love, who is otherwise called Ananga, and, like Cupid, is armed with a bow.

The Kalivilasa Tantra, a Bengali work, states Krishna was born as the son of Devi who was golden (Gauri) and turned black when he was excited by passion. In the Todala Tantra, each of the ten Mahavidyas, forms of the supreme Goddess, has her own male counterpart and here Krishna is said to be the spouse of Kali. There are many images of Krishna in India which show him as black. An Indian commentator to the hymn to Kali called Karpuradistotra, goes further and says that there is a connection between the bija mantra of Kali which is Krim, Krishna and Christ. Whatever the truth of that identification, it is certain that to many ordinary folk in India, Krishna and Christ do have a resonance. Often you will see contemporary images of Krishna and Christ together in the inside of houses. Krishna (and his tantrika counterpart Kameshvara) are moved by love (prem).

In the Brihat Tantra Sara, a large compilation of tantrik rites, Krishna appears as a fully-flowered tantrika devata, with his own yantra, gayatri, mantra and puja or ritual which uses this yantra (click on this image for full size yantra). In the hexagon in the centre of the yantra, the following words appear: Krishnaya Govindaya Klim sadhya Gopijanavallabhaya Svaha. In the corners of the hexagon are the bija mantras Hrim and Shrim. Outside the hexagon is the Krisna mantra which runs: Klim Krishnaya Namah. In the petals of the yantra is a longer mantra Namah Kamadevaya Sarvajanapriyaya Sarvajansammohanaya Jvala Prajvala Sarvajanasya Hridayamavamsham Kurukura Svaha. Around the eight petals are the Matrikas or letters of the Sanskrit alphabet while in the angles of the protecting wall are bija mantras Hrim and Shrim, once more.

Although commonly associated with Shaivite and Shakta concerns, in reality there is no sectarianism in the tradition. In many of the texts of the tradition, it is stated that it is only a fool who makes any distinction between the two. The forms of Vishnu, however, often have a more emotional tinge to them than those of Shiva, who can be portrayed as a highly terrifying figure. Trailokyamohana Vishnu, for example, in the Prapanchasara Tantra, is meditated upon as in the middle of a garden of Aeon Trees, scented with flowers and musical from the sound of bees, with his shakti Shri Lakshmi. She is bathed in sweat from her passion for him while around them both are the women of the household, all pierced by the arrows of Kama, god of sexuality, all shameless with their passion.

Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1996-2006. Translations are © Mike Magee 1996-2006. Questions or comments to mike.magee@btinternet.com

Maha Mantra, Shakta Style

Adesh! Adesh!

Just want to share these thoughts:

A good friend of mine participated in the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Teacher Training Program a couple of years ago. In her training manual I came upon a very interesting mantra that is very similar to the Vaishnava Maha Mantra Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare!

It goes like this: Shiva Durga Shiva Durga Durga Durga Shiva Shiva Shiva Kali Shiva Kali Kali Kali Shiva Shiva!

I have always enjoyd the rhythm of the Vaishnava Maha Mantra, and after reading Rolf A. Jacobsens explanation of Krishna and Rama, I have also chanted this mantra with great joy.

According to this understanding Rama symbolizes the aspect of pure divine awareness, while Krishna symbolizes the perfect manifestation of the divine in human form. So chanting the Vaishnava Maha Mantra bear for me the meaning: Force of the divine, manifesting as the multi-faceted being Krishna, Force of the divine manifesting as the light of pure awareness.

The Shiva Durga Shiva Kali mantra is even more significant for the tantrik yogi. Shiva is the divine masculine state of pure awareness, Durga the divine feminine in Her creative and powerful aspect, and Kali the divine feminine in her destructive aspect of eternal time-space.

Chanting Shiva Durga Shiva Durga Durga Durga Shiva Shiva Shiva Kali Shiva Kali Kali Kali Shiva Shiva my mind get tuned into the tantrik concept of ultimate reality. Shiva is the eternal omnipresent awareness of the Self, Durga is the eternal unfolding of creative Shakti (and Kundalini in the individual), and Kali, the great mother, the eternal time-space where in all is unfolding.

Jai Kali Ma!

Love from :nath

lørdag 3. april 2010

The Living Body Yantra

This week I had the great pleasure of arranging a retreat with Swami Ganeshananda. I also made some contributions to the retreat by holding a Kirtan workshop and a Yantra paining class. In the class we painted the simplified "Body" Yantra. I wanted to share this beautiful symbol of the Time-Breath process from the Kaula Nath tradition with the other students of Baba Ganeshji.

(Picture 1: One of the participant's painting of the Body Yantra)

At the time when I hooked up with Baba Ganeshji I had been working with the Body Yantra for a short time, but I think it might have been because of this work that I really understood the value of his Open Eyes Class, or formal Darshans.

The thing that I realized was that Baba Ganeshji was sitting infront of me as a living manifestation of the Body Yantra. In him I saw the interplay of Shiva and Shakti manifesting in a conscious living being.

(Picture 2: Baba Ganeshji in front of his teacher's shrine.)

Philosophically I know this to be true for every living being. We are all living manifestations of the Body Yantra. But to sit there and watch, seense, feel, experience and interact in a direct way with all that which is represented in the Body Yantra was something that had powerful impact on me. It also made me realize why all tantrika masters have stressed the importance of the spiritual teacher. It is not so much what the teacher says or do, but what he or she embodies and emits by their mere presence that is important. Baba Ganeshji is a loving, caring, easy to get along with person, but in Open Eyes Class he reveals his true state of spiritual presence, a presence that can be so powerful that it shocks your entire system and leaves you on the ground in a dazed and confused state of bliss and bewilderment.
Through this contact with a living "Kalachakra Yantra" many significant things has happened and a deep process of transformation and transmutation has started withing me. Through this contact I have had the fortune to experience that life is som much more than I ever could imagine (and I think that I have a quit vivid imagination :-), and that I still have som much to learn. It has humbeled me and I think that for a "jnana" yogi like me this is very healty. I have been locked in the notion of ultimate enlightenment, but through contact with Baba Ganeshji I understand that the process of growth is an unending unfolding. You can grow with an enlightened mind, or you can grow with an unconscious mind, but growth and unfoldment will continue no matter what. It is the wish and will of Adinath and Ma that this Chidvilasa continues and unfolds in its innumerable ways. This is the divine Leela!
Love from Visarganath

onsdag 17. juni 2009

Kundalini Yoga Meditation Practice

For the last few months I have intensely been practicing the kundalini yoga meditation practice I have learned from Swami Ganeshananda. I must say that my idea of kundalini yoga has changed drastically. Dadaji Mahendranath of our lineage spoke not much about the "raising" or "awakening" of the kundalini shakti. In fact, I think he at one point rejected kundalini yoga as a fraud. But I must say that from what I have learned from Swami Ganeshananda, kundalini yoga can be something very practical and useful.

I have myself been a ardent practitioner of Zazen Meditation, especially as taught by Thick Nat Hanh, Osho and the Kwan Um School of Zen, and I still am of the opinion that these are true, effective meditation practices. Also Dadaji Mahendranath gives a similar practice in his instructions for meditation.

But there is one fundamental aspect of the Kundalini Yoga Meditation Practice taught by Swami Ganeshananda that I have really come to appriciate. Something I in the beginning was suspicious of, since I have been of the opinion that everything that is added to just sitting silently is something that is besides the point.

Since my initiation into the Nath Sampradaya I have become more and more aware of the world as a play of energies, but learning the Kundalini Yoga Meditation has made me experience more and more the play of energies in myself. I feel I have developed in this short time a much stronger sensitivity as to how these energies play within myself.

I have aslo had a powerfull experience of the interplay of energies between to individuals that have really surprised me. I have always been suspicious of the jumping around, crying and fainting due to the shaktipat given by the teacher or guru. Now, I know beyond doubt, that these happenings are real. I was amazed when it happened to me, since I have been a sceptic to these events, but nevertheless they happened.
I feel enriched and healed by my experiences and have come to appreciate the value of the teacher or guru in a way that I never thought I would. This does not mean that I buy into the "guru buissiness" as a whole, but I definitely am more open. The flow of love and energy I feel between myself and Swami Ganeshananda is undeniable real, mysterious and wonderfull. I find it so amazing to relate with another individual in this way. He has his personality, which is very ordinary, friendly and accessable, and at the same time reveals a fathomless depth and presence of energy in his formal Darshans (called Open Eyes Class).
I do not feel these things contradictionary to the Kaula Nath Path, rather, I feel that Swami Ganeshananda embodies the essence of our individual path of Svecchachara. He never lays down any rigid rules or give commandments. everything he teaches he puts forward as a friend and fellow traveler. Even though he is a Sannyasi, he stays in the world, does his own thing and live according to his own heart and own intelligence. As his own teacher, Swami Rudrananda (Rudi), he is still a buissiness man, at the same time not attached to the riches he accumulate. His own home he offers as a center of yoga and meditation, and he is alwayas giving, never asking for anything. I feel that in Swami Ganeshananda I have found a teacher that embodies the qualities I seek as a nath.
- Visarganath

lørdag 6. juni 2009

Sri Lalita Puja

The Will to Love is the Law to Live!

Just wanted to write something so that you know that I am still alive :-)

Lately I have been deepening my practical application of the principles that I learned as my initiation into the Nath Sampradaya. Even though my practice have been in the spirit of Shaktopaya (Jnana Yoga), I still maintain my practice of performing pujas and rituals that I learned as part of my Anavopaya (Kriya Yoga) practice. It is very important to have a solid foundation in Bhakti Sadhana (Devotional Practice) in order to have the trust needed to start with Vira Sadhana (Heroic Practice).

This spring my daughter and I have been performing pujas to Sri Lalita in order to greet Her and creative powers.My daughter is a very good pujari, and my heart was overflowing with joy when she was singing the mantras, sprinkling the altar and presenting the offering. It is a very nice thing to do together. As Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh says (ore something like this, giving the same point :-): "When you are able to tell your child the deepest truths, then you can say that they are a integral part of you". This is my way of trying to share something I hold to be both true and important: reverence for life and total trust in existence.

Love from Visarganath