Shri Gurudev Mahendranath



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Fast Facts
mahendranath.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Lawrence Amos Miles
Function: 
Guru
Traditions: 
Siddha Maha Yoga, Nath Sampraday, International Nath Order
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
April 29, 1911
Place of Birth: 
London, UK
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
August 30, 1991
Ancestor Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Shri Sadguru Lokanath

Biography

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath was a British occultist, mystic, writer, poet, sannyasi, tantric guru, Avadhut and founder of the spiritual organization known as the International Nath Order.

Born Lawrence Amos Miles in London, England on April 29, 1911, his interest in spirituality and Paganism began at an unusually early age. During his childhood, he had a number of unusual experiences which began the course of his inner development and later led to his spiritual attainment and recognition.

As a young man, Shri Mahendranath met Aleister Crowley. Personal experience and Crowley's advice prompted him into a deeper study of meditation and the I Ching with Indian and other Asian Masters.

After some years, Shri Mahendranath arrived in India in 1953. On the auspicious occasion of Guru Purnima, he was given initiation (diksha) as a sannyasi into the Adinath Sampradaya by 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, and Malaysia. He also received initiations as a Bhutanese Lama, Meditation Master in Soto Zen, as well as into Taoism and both Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism.

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath died on August 30, 1991. His last residence was his hermitage—Shambhala Tapowan—near the Vatrak river, in the state of Gujarat, India. It was his stated belief that he was the last guru of both the Adinath sub-sect of the broader Nath Sampradaya and the Uttara Kaula tantric sub-sect into which he had been initiated; both of these sub-sects became defunct with his passing.

International Nath Order

In 1978, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath founded an organization now known as the International Nath Order (originally the Western Nath Order) in order to share his own spiritual development with other sincere people in the West. As a sadhu, bhikkhu, and sannyasin, Shri Mahendranath received many initiations during his years of travel in India and Asia. Among these traditions, Shri Gurudev's greatest personal interests have been with the Adinath and Uttara Kaula sects. It was Shri Mahendranath's stated belief that he was the final Guru and Sannyasi member of both these sects.

As Guru of these ancient sects, Shri Mahendranath resolved not to pass on the Indian Sannyasi initiation into these sects. He made no new Indian sadhus. This decision was made in response to changes in Indian socio-religious patterns and the difficulty experienced by sadhus of tantric traditions to be welcomed and supported outside of areas where they were well known and loved. The spiritual pattern of sadhu or sannyasi life and its support by a broad public is foreign to the social structures of the West and most other countries of the world.

To meet this situation and to give occult spiritual pursuits greater expression in Western lands, Shri Gurudev put into motion the formation of the International Nath Order. The Guru tradition and initiation which he has passed on includes not only wisdom teachings from Indian, Bhutanese, and Soto Zen sources, but also includes gems of Taoism, and such wisdom as is rediscovered by the science and yoga of meditation and contemplation.

Teachings

Shri Gurudev Mahendranath wrote numerous articles and essays on tantra and the spiritual life, including the Twilight Yoga Trilogy, which mentioned the concept of Svecchachara, where the Nath acts in accordance with his will, the Levogyrate Tantra, and The Londinium Temple Strain, subsequently collected under the title The Scrolls of Mahendranath in 1990. These works present the essentials of spiritual life and the tantric path in a humorous, non-dogmatic and non-sectarian manner. In 2002, an expanded online version of The Scrolls of Mahendranath & Other Writings was published by the International Nath Order. This online version contains Gurudev's poetry and earlier essays which were not included in the original print edition.

Con Opinions

Avadhuth How?

Nathyogi's picture

1. He took initiations from many masters. How can one serve more than one Guru? Refer Mathews 6:24.