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Lesson I -II Principles of Kaula

Study guide to Matsyendranath Kaulajnananirnaya.

Certain amount of theory before more practical material introduced.

If not already familiar with main tenets of Hinduism then you might benefit from
looking at following books:

A L Basham/The Wonder that was India
Geoff Samuel (2008) The Origins of Yoga & Tantra , Cambridge
Kaulajnananirnaya of Matsyendranath
Mogg Morgan/Tantra Sadhana
AMOOKOS-Lokanath/Tantra Magick (when available)

AMOOKOS = Ancient & Magical Order of the Knights of Shamballa.

An East / West magical group, founded in 1978 after consultation between Shri
Gurudev Dadaji Mahendranath ("Dadaji") and his named successor Lokanath

Our charter states that the Adinatha Sampradaya shall henceforth become the
East West group AMOOKOS. The language used does not, and indeed can not,
exclude other manifestations of the current.

"Adinatha" means "primal or first lord" and is the name of the Hindu god Shiva or
indeed those who worship him. Historically the Adinathas were a very diverse group,
some were complete "renouncers" others were "householders".

"Sampradaya" means: initiatory line or lineage.

The founder of this lineage is called "Matsyendranath". He lived a long time ago in
about the 9th century CE. His name probably indicates that he was a humble
fisherman although over time his name acquired some figurative meanings. I’d say
there are at least two sources of his ideas.

One is the Hindu intellectual and religious tradition.

The second is a heavily disguised connection with an "international" magical culture
that extended from the Mediterranean to the Far East. For example, consider for a
moment what is would be like if a man such as Matsyendranath were to describe a
Greek astronomical instrument such as an astrolabe. 1200 years later we attempt to re-
translate his words into our own language. The result might be a very obscure
"cosmological" text.

Matyendranatha’s name (Fisherman) may also be a clue to the "international" nature
of his ideas. We should also bear in mind the contention that there is no "esoteric"
tradition in Hinduism. "Kaula" may be difficult without being "esoteric". There is no
"heresy" in Hinduism - no "Office of the Inquisitor" to decide which doctrine is
"right". There are competing interpretations of the truth.

Matsyendranath’s teacher was called "Adinatha" and this may mean that the name of
his mortal teacher was "Adinatha" or that his original teacher was the god Shiva.

"Kaula" is the name of the doctrine or practice established by Matsyendranath (more
of this shortly). For this reason, members of AMOOKOS may be called "Nathas";
"Adinathas" or "Kaulas"

Kaula doctrine
The core of Matsyendranath’s Kaula doctine is set out in his book "The Kaula Jnana
Nirnaya (KJN)" - "Investigations of the doctrines of the Kaulas". In one chapter he
describes several other schools of Kaula and then the precepts of his own "Yogini
Kaula" brand. In the last few centuries of the first millenium, "Kaula" grew out of an
earlier, perhaps more extreme "Kula" school. [The vowel mutation from "u" to "au" is
one way of expressing this drift.

The KJN is a difficult book to understand. The introduction is missing. The ideas are
complicated and obscure, especially for anyone who is not a part of that milieu - ie
most of us. Lokanath has made a heroic effort at translation but even so the meaning
is not always clear.

According to Lokanath’s preface the core doctrines are

i. importance of the mantra "Hamsa"

ii. importance of the colour red.

iii. The concept of "Svechacara" - "path of ones own will"

iv. The three shaktis -

Iccha (desire),
Jnana (knowledge) and
Kriya (action).

v. etc.

Matsyendranatha wrote that there were two paths within Kaula -
i. The artificial ie Kundalini Yoga.
ii. The spontaneous (Sahaja) ie. "samarasa" or equipoise
or balance of sun and moon;
male and female;
Shiva and Shakti.

The first, fragmentary chapter concerns "cosmology".
It is framed as a dialogue between Shiva and his goddess consort.

He discusses the ultimate source of manifestation, the "fire at the end of time".
This is said to be under the toenail of the primal being.
In Hinduism the foot of the primal being is said to be orientated toward the north. The
"nail" is the polestar. So near to the beginning of the KJN, Matsyendranatha indirectly
alludes to the Polestar and the constellation Ursa Major as our ultimate source. This is
a good example of the international language of magick.
(see Mogg Morgan/Tankhem Trilogy sq).

Next issue?? help needed?
Still on the comological theme -
the KJN introduces the concepts of Kula and Akula.
"Kula" means family, cluster, clan.
It is said to preceed "Akula" - the unclustered, the differentiated.
Perhaps it is another way of saying that some sort of singularity or cluster precedes
the differentiated world.
Out of the single comes many.

Ultimate Reality (Param Shiva)
"Shakti dissolves within Shiva,
Shiva dissolves within Kriya
Kriya dissolves within Jnana
Jnana dissolves within Icchas
Iccha dissolves within the fire of the Supreme [form of] Shiva (Parashiva)" (KJN

The KJN then introduces the idea of the three "shaktis" or primary particles.
These are the ground out of which everything in our universe evolves.
The KJN seems to say that everything comes from them and that they cannot be
reduced further.
They are fundamental.
This is in line with Hindu philosophical ideas such as early Samkhya dualism.
It also has something in common with the "international" atomic ideas of Greek and
indeed ancient Egyptian cosmology.

"As Above, So below"
This important principles of Hermetic philosophy is also found within Hinduism. The
cosmic principles just described are also reflected in the body - hence the Kaula
practice of meditating on the inner body. The KJN rejects the external worship of
physical cult objects in favour of a "internal" or "astral" meditation on the [body]
lingam. The sadhaka should offer one or more of the following "mental flowers":

i. non-killing
ii. restraint of the senses
iii. generosity
iv. right disposition
v. compassion
vi. kindness
vii. meditation
viii. knowledge

The list of either ethical principles shows Buddhist influence eg: compassion and non-

“Drawing down the Plough” or Seven Sages (Ursa Major)

Vibration of mantra “Hamsa”

What is cosmology?

Peace, freedom & Happiness to all beings

Sahajanatha (Mogg)