I give obeisance to the Cosmic Spirit and the Nath Kula Kaula, to the 4 Directions and the 3 Worlds… and to Earth Mother, who gives us form and substance to work out our Karmas in this life. I humbly and heartily thank All beings and elementals who have aided in the creation of this object. Guru Om.
The inspiration for this creative work came 3 winters ago, when I felt that the time had arrived to fashion an appropriate magickal tool to aid sadhana. In the east, the Trishula has many forms and represents the Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna Nadi within the human body and it is also the adamantine weapon of Shiva. It is both an operative and symbolic object that is synonymous with the Wizard, or Yogi, Himself. During frequent forays in the home smashana, I began to catch glimpses of its shape in flashes across the stilled surface of my mind’s eye. Sketching commenced, and within a few days a working drawing appeared. As the form was refined on paper, I set about gathering the necessary materials to carve a wax model.
This was to be a masterful work combining form and function that would likely outlast the earthly vessel of its creator, so naturally the timeline would only be revealed as the work progressed, evolving of its own accord. When inspiration struck, I carved, and amidst the small chaos of worldly life, several household moves and some structural design changes, it took shape. The completed Trishul continued to visit during puja, a magickal companion thinly veiled in the aether, waiting to be fully born.
Intimations of Kula ancestors have frequently come to me at the Dhuni and reach back into the mists of time upon the continuum of spirit. Echoes of voices; chanting, their shadows appearing and disappearing in the flickering firelight, speak to me of the spartan lifestyle of those primal sadhakas. Longing for progressive realization and contemplation, haunting burning grounds and other desolate places to carry out their initiatic rites and experiments, occasionally fending off wild dogs, carrion eaters and devils yet more strange, inspired me to build such a tool as to stand up the ages as well as the rigors of martial ardor that may be required of it one day.
After some time, the remaining materials and final construction became discernible as the wax head piece slowly emerged from the lapis colored block. Once the wax pieces were completed, everything else fell into place in typical Nath fashion, with omens pointing the way and synchronicity at every turn.
Such synchronism coalesced around the particulars of the process. I needed a place to cast the metal parts, that had the right tools and know how available, as well as being sympathetic to its purpose. I was pleased soon after, when I bumped into an old colleague whom I will refer to henceforth as the Earth Mage. After catching up on mutual interests, I told him of the project. Upon hearing the purpose of the piece, he generously offered up his workshop and expertise at such time may be auspicious to cast the piece in Ancient Bronze. For the shaft, a fine grained South American hardwood was chosen from a local craftsman who advised me of its properties and worked it into proper shape, having just enough time before being swamped with other projects. With these pieces of the puzzle affixed, I contacted Khadga Devi, a dear friend and Nathess skilled in the art and science of Jyotish, from whom I obtained an appropriate Muhurta to bring forth the crowning realization of this endeavor. In response, two dates were given; the first, for the casting of the metal parts and the second, for the inaugural ritual. At which time, all main components must be affixed.
The Astrological alignments had been designated and so, with renewed focus and a prayer of thanksgiving, I worked into the wee hours for three consecutive nights in the catacombs of Earth Mage’s shop. The spirit of transformation presided over the processes of our work, and obstacles were disintegrated almost as quickly as they arose. On the third night, after appropriate preparations and purifications, I tossed 3 pinches of Ash, the refined essence of more than a dozen Dhuni rituals, into a crucible of bronze casting grain, and transmuted it to liquid in the dragon mouth of super heated flame. Intentions crystallized and mantras were offered as we poured molten metal into the investment flask that, one day before, had solidified around the wax models of the Trishul’s head and tail pieces.
After cooling, the newly born triumvirate and its counterweight were freed of their embryonic casings for clean up and final heat treat, giving the pieces a two-tone finish. Bright, high polish on the bevels and a dull, hammered patina on the center eye. This eye, also symbolic of the Primordial Plenum of Cosmic Yoni, disgorges Shakti as seen in the raised, oblong ingot sliding further down the ferrule – alighting upon the opened crowns of the sadhaks after
performing evocations and excitations on the helical orbit. The main modes of magick used in the Nath Kula are that of Projection of Will/Intent and the subsequent Absorption of Divine Grace in the form of the subtle energy called Shakti. The Keys for success in such an enterprise are Concentration and Attunement with a nod to Intensity and Frequency of practice.
After securing the head piece and end cap to the staff with pins of the same Bronze, I began the leatherwork portion. Spiral wrapping the center shaft, first with black leather and then Brass wire, I drew the color of the metal between tip and tail. Completing the detail of the Central Nadi are Turk’s Head Knots fashioned with red leather thong; three passes below and two above.
The Inaugural Rite with the newly constructed Trishul was a grand success, and it proves to be every ounce effective in its purpose. To complete its installment in the Zonule, I tapped two other craftsmen to make a leather cowl for the head piece and a steel base stand, nearly completing my vision of the project.
As I wend my way in to the mountain valley, her sentinels of Cedar, Fir and Hemlock speaking quietly to one another, I hear the Shaman’s rattle and smell incense as I approach Umbra Caelestis Dhuni…. The brush of a Tengu’s* wing welcomes me back into the Sacred Circle and I plant the Trishula fimly in the Earth at her rim, next to the Dragon Seat – where the Alchemagick of Becoming begins again with a deep prostration, a focused Will, and a spark.
Om Shri Nivritti Marga Paramahamsaji Namaha
*note: Tengu (as they are known in Japan) are powerful but reclusive and occasionally benefic spirits that protect and reside in the forested mountains. Described as winged and beaked, or ruddy and long-nosed, these magicians represent formerly human spirits in transition to higher, more subtle realms of being – closely akin to the Garuda of South Asia.
Affectionately known as Dadaji, Shri Gurudev Mahendranath was born on April 29th, 1911. Today’s date marks the 100th year of his birth. This birthday finds Dadaji relaxing in Costa Rica at the Alchemical Lounge. Born in London, Shri Mahendranath was a cosmopolitan and interdimensional traveller all of his life. While his physical body is no longer with us, the Samadhi and reliquary shown here continue to emanate the blessings and Wyrdglow vibrations for which he is so beloved.
Happy Birthday Shri Mahendranath!
One wonders where he may pop up in 2061 …
A beautiful new chapter has begun for the Seattle area Naths, with the recent creation and inauguration of Umbra Caelestis Dhuni (the name Umbra Caelestis means celestial shadow kingdom), located in the north Cascade Mountains of Washington State. The site features a sweeping view of the heavens afforded by its prime location within a clearing next to a river in the center of a wide valley. Already the ground has become hallowed through several enthusiastic pujas by Naths and friends from the northwest United States and Canada.
This photo shows the river and a slice of surrounding countryside:
Timiosnath carves out the ritual circle:
Dhruvanath assembles stones to line the Dhuni:
The Dhuni is bathed in weirdglow:
Down to a bed of embers and still the sparks are flying:
I’m still enjoying Costa Rica. The weather is warm, the air is fresh and we’ve met a number of really nice people. The better part of the first epoch in our newly adopted country has been a strong focus to find the place where we will be living for the next period – whatever the next period may be. A place to call our own, at least as property owners and stewards of Nature.
Our criteria was rather specialized, (I’ll spare you the details) however the Nature element, privacy and considerable size were among the chief requirements.
I’m pleased to report that our Costa Rican corporation recently purchased a really unique piece of real estate near the charming city of Santiago de Puriscal. The property is about 80 acres in size and we have our own mountain, meadows, springs, waterfalls, rivers and even a bat cave with cute little bats. There are of course, many trees, birds and critters on the property including Omar, a large iguana who lives in a tree in our immediate backyard. We are not sure where he got that name.
Below is a picture of part of the property taken from the backyard of where the main house is situated.
Another picture, below the house where two of the three rivers comes together.
A third picture of one of the many refreshing cascades. Very soothing …
We look forward to planting more fruit trees and eventually having the property dotted with yogi and yoginis producing weird and wonderful vibrations. More pictures and updates as time permits …
We had a pleasant Guru Purnima here in Costa Rica. Kapilnath, Robert Svoboda and I enjoyed the warm weather and delightful vibrations. After the puja, we were able to see the Moon and Jupiter in a magnificent display in the night sky. We observed the Moon for hours that night, watching the unusual cloud formations interact with the bright moon light. Eventually the clouds parted to display a double corona around the moon. Selected moments of the viewing were recorded on the video below. Enjoy!
After 50 years of residing primarily in the United States I have retired from my professional career, liquefied most of my assets and moved to Costa Rica.
This transition is part of a long term plan to live in a place with a tropical climate and to be independent of the requirement to work for a living. The idea is thatÂ ifÂ something of deep interest presents itself, I will have the time and resources to pursue a deeper look into it.
In the past 18 months or so I have cut back on writing here and to the INO elist. Preparations for this transition have been the main reason. We shall see what the next 18 months or so may hold in store.
In the darkness of life a brilliant ray;
The most precious thing in the world today;
Above ambition and struggle for fame;
Aloof from the world of form and name;
Beyond the hunger of want and desire;
The Guru sits calm by his sacred fire.
Disciples at the teacher’s feet did learn,
Until they all were Gurus in their turn;
From Gurus of a past beyond all time,
There came the truth in one unbroken line;
So Gurus that have been but now are gone,
Have known the Science of God and passed it on.
Reformers dream their dreams, so very nice,
To turn the world into a paradise;
The Guru knows that though the world is old,
Man has no power to recast or remold;
And though long centuries do pass away,
Men never learn and dream new dreams today.
He knows the mass will never give him ear,
Prefer their life, its hazards and its fear;
To dream that sometime they will have the price,
To turn the world into a paradise.
The Guru sees the world of name and form,
A sorry mess in which men are reborn.
He does not seek to wander far and wide,
Or ever crave for someone at his side;
For he who knows the Absolute, the One,
Knows there is little more which need be done,
But use some particle of time each day,
To guide a soul and help it on its way.
But who can prophesy or warning give
When fast mad world will never give it ear?
How nature bleeds, her work is all undone
And nothing knows of harmony the more.
Is he not lucky, who while there was time,
By yoga travelled to the other shore?
The short story is that the Naths and Hatha Yoga as propounded by Yogi Swatmarama only overlap on certain points. Certainly asana and removing obstruction from the nadis is important, but this is only a comfortable sitting posture for most Naths.
The focus on a Nath adept, male or female or devotion and concentration on a particular Siddha being or Guru was and is an approach by which one is seeking transference of the Shakti and knowledge of that being into oneself and life stream. This is a feature of many of the Siddha traditions.
The 64 Yoginis are Shaktis. Some people worship them in the same manner as above. In a yoga to absorb their potency.
With respect to the physical immortality story, Kaya Siddhi, while many yogis lived an extended span, most do not and did not. There is no evidence of human physical immortality and never has been. It is a myth. The real idea behind the concept is related to That which does not decay, the Spirit aspect of the human being. The concept of immortality in the Nath sect has always been a spiritual concept. A true Nath or Siddha is indeed immortal, though they may no longer inhabit a body, having cast it off at death.
It is this spirit continuum of the living and departed which is engaged as a part of the Nath yoga and tradition.
Shakti can be described in a number of ways. The straight definition is that Shakti is the energy or power by which the Cosmic Spirit manifests itself. Now I will go through some hypothetical definitions and respond to each:
A power to be controlled and utilized?Â That is siddhi. To the extent that the individual spirit has realized a deep connection to the Cosmic Spirit, Shakti can be expressed through the Will of the magician.
A divine being to be worshipped?Â Yes, absolutely for sure. That’s how the connection is made and expanded.
Pure individualized self devoid of ego?Â You must mean pure UNindividualized self devoid of ego, otherwise it’s a contradiction, a self-contradiction, so to speak. Anyway, that’s a description of the Absolute, or Cosmic Spirit, and yes, Shakti is Cosmic Spirit made tangible to the refined and trained mind.
A Goddess and/or an intelligent and aware force?Â In mythology Shakti is usually thought of as a Goddess, consort of Shiva, and often worshipped as the Divine Mother as a way of going back to the Source from which we came. But let’s not get stuck on gender – Shakti can be generated and accessed through worshipping Shiva and other “male” god forms too. Shiva and Shakti are flip sides of a coin, inseparable, dual aspects of the One. Yes, Shakti is an intelligent and aware force. It is consciousness, after all.
Blind force, something which can be possessed, transfered, or lost?Â No, not blind force but quite the opposite, and “possessing” Shakti is just a casual manner of speaking where one might hear that such-and-so a siddha “has a lot of Shakti,” but of course the meaning is not to imply literal ownership, as it is the siddha who is a devotee of the Shakti (and he must be a good devotee if people are saying he has a lot of Shakti).
Shakti can be transferred to another person if they are properly receptive, which is the basis of an initiation lineage like the INO. It can be projected into an object as well. It is not the same as prana. Prana is life force associated with the body; Shakti is a cosmic spiritual force. Every living person experiences prana every moment, fewer experience Shakti.
While sitting for puja, the Nath subsumes his/her prana into the Shakti as an integral part of the yoga, however ultimately it must be remembered that Clinging To Life is an obstacle to spiritual liberation. Once attained, Shakti can be lost by allowing Kleshas to proliferate unchecked.
The accompanying one minute video clip (in .wmv format) presents a moment deep into a Dhuni ritual. By this point the Nath sadhaks have been immersed in worship for hours. The air is thick with fragrant smoke from smoldering fire offerings, mixing with the swirling, expanding, multi-layered mantric vibrations.
In the video, we first see the flame of a nearby torch. The picture slowly pans to reveal a trishul in its natural habitat. The three-pronged scepter of Shiva represents mastery over the three Gunas (tamas, rajas, and sattva). Pure consciousness is free and unfettered by the appearance of any qualities.
Next we see the embers which fill the Dhuni, sparks sent flying about from passionate fanning. The purpose of the ritual is to exalt the sacred fire pit, therefore the ritual would not be complete without puja of Lord Bhairava, for what could please Her more that to receive the Lingam of Lord Bhairava?
Bhairava is the Lord of Magick, the Lord of Permissions, Granter of Siddhi Shakti. He lords over the yogic processes. If pleased, He grants success in the yogic processes by allowing transference of the Siddhi Shakti to the properly aligned recipient Microcosm. Lord Bhairava is easily pleased by those who approach with sincerity, but can only grant Siddhi Shakti in proportion to the quality of one’s yogic alignment. Thus, attainment unfolds in accordance with the aspirant’s efforts.
In His capacity as Lord of Permissions, Bhairava guards and protects the Inner Sanctum, barring those who are unfit to enter. For those who gain permission to proceed, He is known to be rather ruthless in stripping away impurities. For this reason He is sometimes experienced as fearsome, although such a reaction to His blessing is merely indicative of uncontrolled Kleshas.
The flame in the Dhuni is the Lingam of Lord Bhairava. In this coition is the transference of the Divine. Bhairava is the Light of Consciousness, His approach is the gateway to the ultimate spark of Awakened Awareness. His Reality is the nature of the Great Awakening.