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HH Shri Paramahamsha Mahendranath (Dadaji)
Mahendranath (Dadaji), the 23rd Adiguru (chief guru) of the Adinathas, was born in London in April 1911, died 1992. From his early youth he had a deep interest in the spiritual systems of the world and in his twenties knew Aleister Crowley, meeting him after the infamous Justice Swift libel case. Crowley advised the young seeker to learn about the patterns of the East. But the Spanish Civil War, in which Dadaji fought in the International Brigade, and then the second world war, intervened.
It was 1949 before he left the shores of Britain to arrive penniless in Bombay. Here he was introduced to his guru in the Natha tradition and initiated as a sadhu (holy man). A sadhu may make only three demands — for shelter the shade of a tree; for clothing rags and for food leftover scraps. In this the sadhus emulate the guru figure of all India, Dattatreya. He (see below) is the legendary founder and guardian spirit of many if not most of the Natha subsects.
For the next 30 years Dadaji wandered south east Asia as a penniless sannyasi. His travels took him to Bhutan where he received initiation as a lama of the Kargyupta Sect; Malaysia, where he became a Taoist priest and studied the I Ching; Ceylon where he was for a time a bhikkhu of Theravada Buddhism; and Thailand where he lived as a hermit. He was also initiated into the Uttara Kaula tantrik sect and the Sahajiya cult of Varanasi. Dadaji produced the following document to outline his spiritual background in the early 1980s.
See also It all falls apart….
(The following is a manuscript sent to me by Dadaji after my return to the UK after initiation.)
This segment of our wisdom archives deals with the esoteric initiations and transmissions which were conferred on and received by Shri (Dadaji) Gurudev Mahendranath and those departments of the Cosmic Initiations which have now become established in the United Kingdom to prepare for their expansion on an international level where the wisdom of our ancient people and ancestry will become an old way of life revived for the well-being of the whole world.
The Esoteric Initiation of Shambhala and the Nine Secret Chiefs, (The Navanathas) Lords of Wisdom, was passed on to Shri Gurudev Mahendranath from his first Indian Guru, Shri Lokanatha the Avadhoot of Uttarkashi (U.P.), India. This appointment did not pass on until the Guru’s death. Its grade required the holder to collect experience and retain the Secret Wisdom relating to the means of Communication — both terrestrial and extraterrestrial. This was the Fifth in number among the Nine Masters and the knowledge was known as the Fifth Book. Historically the Nine Chiefs or Lords began in the very early days of civilization. They were reorganized during the reign of King Ashoka, the great Hindu King (273 BC) and have continued ever since.
Shri Dadaji Mahendranath received the first Pagan Initiation in 1922 from his great great-aunt “Clay” who used her initiatory name throughout her life. “Clay” was said to mean “Sword .’ She gave this initiation when the patriarch was only 11 years old, in her cottage at Rottingdean, near Brighten in Sussex. Her disciple was given the initiation name of “Rainbow.”
In Asia, Dadaji received his first initiation in India into the Sampradaya (sect) of the Adi-natha, on the occasion of the full-moon day of Gurupurnima (the day reserved for the homage to the Guru), July 1953. The day was therefore very auspicious and it could be of great importance also to the Western World as Dadaji was the first Englishman to become an Indian Sannyasin. The Guru was Shri Lokanatha the Digambar-Avadhoot of Uttarkashi (U.P.), India, who passed away in 1960. The succession Rites of the Adi-Nath Sampradaya have been passed on to Sir Michael Magee who was given the initiation name of Shri Lokanath Maharaj in honour of his first Indian Guru and because it was his own wish that the leadership of the Adi-Naths should be in the West where its real value will be appreciated.
The next important initiation was given by Shri Pagala Baba (“The Mad Father”) of Ranchi, Bihar, India into the Uttarakaula Order (The Northern Order Of Tantriks) and also his succession when he died. He was at that time recognized as the last surviving Kaula and authentic tantrik Guru in India.
The Titles of Paramahamsa– The Supreme Swan, meaning a realized Soul; Dadaji, meaning Patriarch; and Guru Dev, meaning literally Divine Guru, came later in his work in India and were the recognition of the Indian people themselves. They are not given at initiation but by the people to express their own acknowledgement of one’s Spiritual development.
Other initiations, but which are regarded as being of lesser importance were as follows:
Dadaji is a Maha Lama of the Karguyt Pas sect and was given the lama initiation and the name Thalwai Wangpo Rinpoche by a Bhutanese Guru.
Initiated through a Japanese Guru into the Soto-Zen sect, Dadaji was at this time recognized as a Meditation Master of considerable standing in Asia.
In Penang, Malaysia, initiated as a Taoist Monk/Priest and given the initiation name Lung T’ien Shih.
Also in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, initiation into the Chinese branch of Ch’an. The Chinese Guru was also his teacher and instructor of the Book of Changes (I Ching).
In Ceylon (Shri Lanka) he was given the higher ordination into the Ramanaya Nikaya, a Theravada Buddhist Sect of which he is now a Maha Thera. Given the initiation name of Bikku Mahinda, which by a coincidence was the Pali equivalent of his earlier initiation name of Mahendra, yet this was something unknown to anyone in Ceylon at the time. Dadaji has never been a Buddhist but took the initiation as a Samanara and the higher ordination at their own prompting. Dadaji, in fact, has never belonged or accepted any religion but remained aloof from them all. His sole interest in life has been Spiritual Values and their practical aspects, especially those found in the secret teachings of the Tantrik, Kaula, Vama- Marga which is not a religion but a practical, natural Spiritual Way of Life.
More details of these and other less important initiations will be revealed later. Their importance lies in the fact that they represent an unbroken transmission passed down through thousands of years and their real fulfilment is yet to be made manifest. A New Age is to begin and the old bottles must now contain new wine and new occult vitality.
See also It all falls apart….
Artwork is © Jan Bailey, 1975-2022. Translations are © Mike Magee 1975-2022.Questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org