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A study discussing the broad basis for the devotional and yoga approaches of the 'six' acara-s, 'styles' of the overall deity system of the Hindu, sanatana-dharma tradition, geared to the sensibility of the three types of devotees/ practitioners. Part one

Article Submitted By: GeorgeFarrow
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2013 Time: 2:58 AM

This study is copyrighted by George W. Farrow.

Please note that the font used here does not include the diacritical marks necessary to correctly reproduce or vocalize the English Sanskrit words used in this study. Sorry!

A study, in three parts, discussing the broad basis for the devotional and yoga approaches of the 'six' acara-s, 'styles' of the overall deity system of the Hindu, sanatana-dharma, the tradition of the Eternal Doctrine, geared to the sensibility of the three types of devotees/practitioners.


  Part One: The Introductory and Preliminary Remarks.

 Part Two: The proto-deity 'styles' of the arcane Indo-Dravidian tradition and via that 'style', the gradual evolution of the orthodox Vedic/Brahminical tradition on towards the deity 'styles' of the Brahminical Trinity .

Part Three: The deity 'styles' of the classic Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shatka traditions.

 

 

  The Introductory and Preliminary Remarks.

   The contents of Part One.

   The Introductory and Preliminary Remarks deal with the 'six styles', the 'degrees of inner sensibility' etc; Shri Sarva-ananda Nath's sarvollasa-tantra; basic definitions of the aims of bhakti and yoga as found in Natha yoga manuals; Natha yoga manuals; the founders of the Natha lineage; dating the 'seven instruction lineages' of the Maha Siddha-s; Samkhya/Vedanta cosmology; karma, sensory cause and effect and the deha-vada, importance of the finite body/mind in the overall system of emanation and yoga etc., etc.

 

(1.,) The initial, basic remarks regarding the 'six styles' etc.  

(1a.,) The Ninth Chapter [of the sarvollasa-tantra, (SO.T.,)] regarding the sat-acara-s, the ‘six styles’, the caturbhaava, the ‘four degrees of inner sensibility’ and the kaulajñana, the ‘Knowledge of the Kaula’.

(1b.,) Bhaava, 'being' or the 'degrees of inner sensibility'.

(1c.,) Two chapters from the SO.T., regarding the bhaava-s, the degrees of being or inner sensibility.

 (2.) Sri Sarva-ananda Natha's sarvollasa-tantra (SO.T.,), the Treatise [regarding the nature of] ‘All Delight’.

(2a.) Shri Sarva-ananda Natha’s own table of contents regarding each chapter of the sarvollasa-tantra, the Treatise [regarding the nature of] ‘All Delight’.

(3.) Basic but succinct definitions and characterizations regarding of the inner method of bhakti or devotion as well as the wider esoteric/cosmic yoga system offered to the ista-devata, the 'chosen deity' offered by quotes from Natha yoga manuals.

(3a.) The yogi-orientated Natha tradition.

(3b.,) The founding adept masters of the Natha lineage tradition.

(3c.,) An historical view of the mixed lineage situation of the early pre-10th., century AD., Natha tradition.

(3d.,) An attempt at the rough dating of the Shaiva/Buddhist maha-siddha-s, Great Adepts by examining and assessing the data drawn from Tibetan histories such as Taranatha's 'Seven Instruction Lineages' etc.

(3e.,) The decline of tantric Buddhist lineages in northern and eastern India.

(4.,) The cosmology of the major sectarian traditions of the  Eternal Doctrine.

(4a.,) An extract from the Third Chapter of SO.T., that offers the tantric version of the cosmic processes of creation and dissolution then upheld during the medieval period by the tantric, Bengali Natha lineage .

(4b.,) The utility of cosmology as a means towards approaching the inner emanation and yoga system.

 (5.,) The deha-vada, the Doctrine of the refined, divine Body or rather the kaya-sadhana, the 'efficient application of the body', that is common within all sectarian yoga and tantric yoga traditions.  

(5a.,) An approach to the 'middle' yoga nerve.

 (5b.,) The ulta-yoga, 'reversed yoga' and the general mode of the ulta-sadhana, the 'reversed mode of efficient application'.


       The Introductory and Preliminary Remarks.

    '[The system of] the Veda is superior to all [non-Brahminic systems], the Vaisnava [system] is superior is to the Veda and the [orthodox] Shaiva [system] is superior to the Vaisnava. Daksina [Shaiva/Shakta system] is superior to the Shaiva [system] and Vama [Shaiva/Shakta system] is superior to the Daksina. Siddhanta [Shaiva/Shatka system] is superior to the Vama [and] the Kaula [Shaiva/Shakta system] is superior to the Siddhanta [system]. There is nothing superior to the Kaula [system]. '

                                                                                                                   kula-arnava-tantra (KA.T.,) 2.7.

 

     The guru, the adept lineage holding master.

    'The syllable 'gu' signifies 'darkness' [and the syllable] 'ru' is that which dispels 'darkness'.

    'He who dispels the darkness of ignorance is the guru, the 'master'.

                                                                                                                                                         KA.T.,17.5.

  (1.,) The initial, basic remarks regarding the 'six styles' etc.

        “ The vaisnava, [‘style’] of Visnu is superior to the vaidika, [the ‘style’ of] the Vedic tradition; the Shaiva, the [‘style’ of] Shiva is superior to the [‘style’ of] Visnu; the Shakta, the [‘style’ of] Shiva/Shakti is superior to the [‘style’ of] Shiva....'.

                                              jñanadvipa-tantra (JD.T.,) as quoted in sarvollasa-tantra (SO.T.,) 9.7-10.

    Clearly the quotation from the tantric, Kaula treatise, JD.T., beginning with ‘the Vaisnava [style] is superior to Vaidika [style]...’ and ending with ‘Shiva/Shakti is superior to the [‘style’ of] Shiva...’, does offer the slim possibility of a mature, efficient tantric practitioner of emanation and yoga applying some or even all the 'six' deity 'styles' of the Hindu, sanatana-dharma, the Eternal Doctrine tradition, within a long-term, graduated approach deemed necessary within one lifetime to finally realize and attain non-dual knowledge .

       The SO.T., 9.10., further states that:

       “ The kaula-acara, the ‘Family Style’ is the seed of all [other] ‘styles’.                                       

      “ The universe is pervaded by [the non-dual nature of] the ‘Family Style’.

   Here, as listed in the quotes from the KA.T., and the SO.T., the 'six styles' are the orthodox Vaisnava 'style', the unorthodox Shaiva 'style' and the four tantric Shaiva/Shakta 'styles'. Here the graduated approach within some or all these ‘six styles’ is deemed necessary to attain tat, 'that' or rather the the immanent, non-dual knowledge of the melded male resonance/female radiance of the kaula, the divine 'Family’.

    In accord with the view of the mixed Samkhya/Vedanta philosophical tradition, historically applied by the Natha yogi tradition, the ninth chapter of the S.O.T., indicates that the Kaula, the tantric adept of the Family 'style', has the possibly to realize and attain the immanent, transcendental, non-dual consciousness that 'marks' and pervades the cosmos, including the consciousness potential inherent to humanity.

    Here after successfully applying the culminating tantric Shaiva/Shakta Kaula system, that includes correctly offering the 5M's, the 'five sense' sacraments, when the purified central 'middle' yoga nerve is 'sealed', the consciousness of the Kaula adept enters within the macrocosmic/ microcosmic divine sphere. Here the Kaula adept can directly experience the melded aspects of the prakrti, the Nature, the radiant shakti, the energy/capability, the divine life force ‘of everything’ and the quiescent, resonant purusha, the first cosmic Being. 

   From the tantric Kaula point of view the graduated 'six styles' are related to the gradual cultivation and attainment of the bhaava-s, the degrees of 'being' or 'becoming' or rather here in this context the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’. There are basically four ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ to be cultivated by devotees, ascetics and tantric practitioners when applying the graduated orthodox, unorthodox and tantric deity 'styles'.

    In the SO.T., the basic four ‘degrees of sensibility’ are initially characterized as the pashu, the 'bound' degree of inner sensibility and the vira, 'heroic' degree of inner sensibility. But the 'bound' and 'heroic' degrees of inner sensibility each have two types, the sabhaava, ‘with [the attained] degree of inner sensibility’ and vibhaava, ‘without [or rather developing] the degree of inner sensibility’ thus making 'four' types or degrees of inner sensibility.

  But the ninth chapter the SO.T., also mentions a ‘fifth’ degree of inner sensibility as the divya-bhaava, the ‘divine degree of inner sensibility’ of the accomplished tantric Kaula practitioner.

  Clearly the concept of the systemic graduation to some or all the 'six' deity 'styles', necessary under the Kaula view to fully attain the inherent non-dual knowledge of the divine 'family', is not suited to nor has little to do with the limiting, orthodox sectarian ritual and devotional approaches as applied by ‘bound’ orthodox devotees. Within the supposedly more tolerant, sectarian context of the overall tradition of the Eternal Doctrine, historically orthodox sectarian devotional treatises etc., and especially the orthodox Brahminic treatises, can be uncompromising and unflattering in their dislike and criticism of the other major but unorthodox and tantric traditions within or allied to the Brahminical Trinity.

    According to the SO.T., the outer approach of the orthodox 'bound' devotees is based upon performing the vaidika yajña, ‘fire sacrifice according to the Vedic rules’, after having a particular desire or objective in mind. Here under Vedic style 'there is no eating of fish etc., no thinking of women, no desire for the things of other people and no thoughts of enjoyment'. Under this approach the ‘chosen’ deity is 'deliberated upon' with 'austere concentration'.

   Orthodox 'bound' devotees are reminded that 'shudra-s are not to be looked upon' and 'crooked actions and gambling are to be avoided'. The chosen deity must be 'worshipped during the three sandhya, the junctures’ of the day at dawn, noon and dusk and also 'mantra recitation should be performed at the three junctures’. Orthodox 'bound' devotees are reminded that 'yantra-s, diagrams and mala-s, rosaries, should not be handled at night'. Also 'no idle chatter' or speculations regarding the nature of the 'virasadhana, the heroic practices’ should not be made etc.

  In order to explain that the innately pure soul/self is concealed under the veils of the often negative, individual karma, dualistic sensory case and effect, the approach of outer sectarian devotion is sometimes based upon the concept of maya, the female power of 'illusion' or lila, or divine ‘sport’ played on devotees by the cosmic deities. These approaches further rely upon concepts of dualism, and also qualified non-dualism as well as polytheistic cosmology, myth, and superstition etc.

   Outer devotion to the ista-devata, 'chosen' deity, as generally applied by priests, householders and by all ‘bound’ devotees 'without the degree of inner sensibility', is through the daily and periodic modes of propitiation/worship offered to the 'chosen' deity. Or after initiation into the cycle of the 'chosen' deity, propitiation/worship is offered by way of mantra recitation etc. But outer devotion and mantra recitation is only performed in the day and is geared to the conventions of ritual purity and austerity inherent to the orthodox social/religious system.

   Historically for ascetic/householder practitioners possessing the more subtle degrees of inner sensibility and who aspire to gradually realize and even perhaps attain the immanent macrocosmic/ microcosmic, 'essential nature' of the ‘chosen’ cosmic deity certainly requires much more than simple faith and belief in ritual purity and austerity as well as belief and faith placed on doctrinal conceptualization and rote propitiation.

    In SO.T., 9.14.. states:

    “ The disciple, who is seeking after [non-dual] knowledge [should] go from master to master like a bee desiring honey goes from flower to flower.”

    This quotation from the SO.T., does infer and suggest the utility of a graduated systemic approach offered by the 'styles' of the 'chosen' cosmic deities. The 'styles' of the 'chosen' cosmic deities can include those of Visnu, Shiva or Shakti. The proposed outlook of this verse does suggest the view held by the ascetic/householder practitioner who has attained and possesses the 'bound or heroic 'with' [the attained] degrees of inner sensibility'.  

    The view of this quote from the SO.T., infers and proposes the necessity for the ascetic/householder devotee/yogi, to seek further for lineage holding masters. After acceptance of the 'worthy' disciple, the lineage holding master can impart sufficient initiation and consecration  in order that the disciple can be both skilled in ritual and periodic rites offered to the 'chosen' deity as well as be gradually instructed on the specifics of the processes of the inner emanation and yoga method.

  But as mentioned the graduated approach of some or all the 'six styles', via the orthodox 'style' and on towards the culminating tantric kaula ‘style’, is hardly acknowledged or appreciated because of social/cultural considerations and requirements as well as the limitations of view and vista of the outer approach of worship and propitiation suited to 'bound' devotees/ practitioners.

   Nevertheless, clearly the broader vista of the 'six styles' goes beyond the confines of orthodox/social, householder sectarian devotion. Under vista of the 'six styles' a number of instructors and adept masters are required by the devotee/practitioner in order to master the modes of ritual/propitiation; to gain initiation into family/orthodox sectarian mantra-s as well as to subsequently gain acceptance and entry into the tantric adept master's circle to further gain consecration into the methods of the various tantric deity cycles.

  Via consecration from adept lineage holding yoga masters, devotees/practitioners, possessing appropriate degrees of inner sensibility, can receive tantric deity mantra-s, instruction on emanation and tantric yoga techniques etc., according to the graduated tantric ‘styles’. Here the dally attitude that the ‘heroic’ tantric devotee/practitioner should adopt is characterized in the controversial and generally misunderstood KAT.,11.68., that states:

     "Kaula by heart, apparently Shaiva and [or] a Vaisnava in the midst of ordinary men.

   "In this manner O Goddess, like water in a coconut the Kula [approach of tantric devotee/practitioner] should be kept secret [in accordance with the tantric vow given to the consecrating master at the time of tantric consecration]."

    Further SO.T., 9.5., states that in the context of applying the overall, graduated stages of the deity styles 'every practitioner' who follows any of the 'six styles' is in effect 'actually a Kaula' or a follower of 'the Family' style because even the preliminary 'styles' are like 'rivers flowing into the ocean'.

     Here by possessing the necessary inner sensibility, earned by past, positive cause and effect, the 'worthy' devotee/practitioner, who is firmly dedicated to realizing non-dual knowledge, actually does need a number of instructors and masters. Efficiency in the inner devotional, emanation and yoga systems of the 'six styles', that are indicated from this and from the earlier quotations, suggest that a broad approach is applicable when applying the various unorthodox and tantric esoteric 'styles' of the Eternal Doctrine tradition. As mentioned, these include the 'six styles' of the 'chosen' deities that include the devotional, emanation and yoga systems of the  Vaisnava, Shaiva, and Shaiva/Shakta sectarian traditions.

    Thereby, even in one life time, the keen and dedicated devotee/disciple/yogi can gradually receive the preliminary stages of initiation etc., and to go on to then receive full tantric consecration from a variety of lineage holding masters. Here a keen and dedicated devotee/ disciple/yogi can perhaps then become confident, efficient, skillful and self-contained in order to apply, pass through and accomplish some of the graduated, comprehensive systems of particular 'styles'. The particular 'styles' that 'worthy' disciples must apply, pass through etc., accord with their initial 'chosen' cosmic deity.

    But by cultivating and perfecting the inner means of devotion, emanation and yoga of some or even all these 'styles', an efficient, accomplished practitioner can perhaps finally attain the strong degree of inner sensibility. But achieving the strong degree of inner sensibility is both very difficult and very rare to achieve because of the conditioning grip of the ever arising emotional habits of the mind leading to the trends of action, all stemming from attachment to dualistic sensory cause and effect. But even in one life, the efficient, very auspicious practitioner can perhaps successfully pass through and accomplish the 'six' deity 'styles' and actually attain the non-dual knowledge of 'that' .

    In this respect the SO.T., 9.6., states:

    'It the [nature of the] ‘adept of the Family’ is beyond duality, beyond ‘activity’ [and] is even without [any differentiated] ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

    ' The interest of the Kaula [the adept of] the Family is in [altruistic] action and he is free of [karma, dualistic cause and effect normally accruing to] actions as well.'

 

      (1a.,) The Ninth Chapter [of the sarvollasa-tantra, (SO.T.,)] regarding the satacara-s, the ‘six styles’, the caturbhaava, the ‘four degrees of sensibility’ and the kaulajñana, the ‘Knowledge of the Kaula’.]

     1. In another treatise the Goddess said [asked]:

     “ O Lord tell me [about] the sat-acara, the ‘six styles’, the caturbhaava, the ‘four degrees of sensibility’ [of the devotee/practitioner] and the kaulajñana, the ‘knowledge of the Family’.”

    2-3. Shiva said [in reply]:

    “ Pashu-acara, the ‘bound style’ is of three types [by excluding the non-tantric Vedic ‘style’]; [similarly] the vira-acara, ‘heroic style’ is of three kinds and the male and female worshippers of deities have four ‘degrees of inner sensibility’.

   “ [Here] there is the pashukaula, the ‘bound’ [worshipper by] the ‘Family’ [‘style’], the pasuvaidik, the ‘bound’ [worshipper by] the ‘Vedic’ [‘style’], the pashuvaisnava, the ‘bound’ [worshipper by] the ‘Vaisnava’ [‘style’] and the pashushaiva, the ‘bound’ [worshipper by] the ‘Shaiva’ [‘style’].

   “ Then there is the virakaula, the ‘heroic’ [pratitioner of] the ‘Family’ [‘style’], the viravaidik, the ‘heroic’ [practitioner by] the ‘Vedic’ [‘style’], the viravaisnava, the ‘heroic’ [practitioner by] the ‘Vaisnava’ [‘style’] and the virashaiva, the ‘heroic’ [practitioner by] the ‘Shaiva’ [‘style’].

   4. “ [Further] the ‘bound’ [practitioner of the tantric system] is of ‘two’ types sabhaava, ‘with degree of inner sensibility’ and vibhaava, ‘without [or rather developing] the degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ [Similarly] ‘heroic’ [practitioners of the tantric system] is of ‘two’ types ‘with [the attained] degree of inner sensibility’ and ‘without [or developing] the degree of sensibility’. Hence ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is of ‘four’ types [and] the ‘fifth’ is the divyabhaava, the ‘divine degree of inner sensibility’.

  5-6. “ [However in the context of applying the overall, graduated stages of the tantric system] every [type of] practitioner is actually a Kaula [or follower] of the Family [system] like rivers flowing into the ocean.

  “ O Goddess [the melded nature of] the Kaula [the adept of] the Family is prakrti, the [underlying] ‘nature’ [the radiant condition of shakti] ‘of everything’ and purusha, the [quiescent resonance of the] ‘cosmic Being’, united.

  “ It the [nature of the] ‘adept of the Family’ is beyond duality, beyond ‘activity’ [by attaining the intrinsic non-dual divine nature] is even without [any differentiated] ‘degree of sensibility’.

  “ The interest of the Kaula [the adept of] the Family is in [altruistic] action and [but] he is free of [dualistic cause and effect normally accruing to] actions as well.

  7-10. Now the [view] of the Kaula [lineage tradition] and [or vis-a-vie] the other traditions.

  [Here] the jñanadvipa-tantra says:

   “ The vaisnava, [‘style’] of Visnu is superior to the vaidika, [the ‘style’ of] the Vedic tradition; the Shaiva, the [‘style’ of] Shiva is superior to the [‘style’ of] Visnu; the Shakta, the [‘style’ of] Shiva/Shakti is superior to the [‘style’ of] Shiva.

   The [‘style’] of Shiva/Shakti is of two kinds vama, ‘left’ and daksina, ‘right’. Here ‘left’ is superior to the ‘right’ [‘style’].

  “ [However] the siddhanta, the ‘culminating/definitive’ [Shiva/Shakti ‘style’] is superior to the ‘left’ [‘style’].

  “ [But] the Kaula, ‘family’ [Shakti ‘style’] is superior to the ‘culminating/ definitive’ [‘style’] and beyond the ‘family’ [Shakti ‘style’] there is nothing [superior as it is unsurpassable etc].

  “ The kaula-acara, the ‘Family Style’ is the seed of all [other] ‘styles’.

  “ The universe is pervaded by [the resonance/radiance of the divine ‘family’ attained by the practitioner from application to] the ‘Family Style’.

  “ The ‘Family Style’ is [attained from the cultivation and accomplishment in the] ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ [But the intrinsic non-dual nature is the attained accomplishment of] the kaula, the ‘Family’, is without [or is beyond the limitations of] ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  11-13. Now [a discussion of] the ‘bound style’.

   In the samaya-acara-tantra Shiva said:

  “ Performing the vaidika yajña, the ‘fire sacrifice according to the Vedic rules’, after having a particular desire [or objective] in mind, is the Vedic ‘style’. That is also the ‘bound style’.

  “ [Under this ‘style’] there is no eating of fish etc., no thinking of women, no desire for things of [or owned by] other people and no thoughts of enjoyment.

 “ [Under this approach the ‘chosen’] deity is deliberated upon with [utmost, austere] concentration.

  “ [Such deliberation should be performed] by the ocean shore, in a forest, on a mountain, under a Bilva tree, in a lonely place [or] in a sanctified temple and [such] deliberation is performed with a ‘pure’ mind.

  “ Shudra-s are not to be looked upon, crooked actions and gambling are to be avoided.

  “ The [chosen] deity is to be worshipped during the three sandhya, the ‘junctures’ [of the day, dawn, noon and dusk] and [also] mantra recitation should be performed at the three ‘junctures’.

  “ [Under the ‘bound style’] yantra-s, ‘diagrams’ and mala-s, ‘rosaries’ should not be handled at night. No idle chatter [or speculations] regarding [the nature of] the virasadhana, the ‘heroic practices’ should be made. No disrespect of the guru, the ‘master’ should be made.

  14. In regard to disrespect of the master the guru-tantra states:

  'Disrespect [of the master] is very bad [and contradicts all vows etc].

  ' [However] the ‘disciple’, who is seeking after [ritual and applied] knowledge [can] go from master to master [who can instruct upon such knowledge] like a bee desiring honey goes from flower to flower.

  ' According to their function [as masters of family, ritual and applied lore/knowledge etc] there are [essentially] ‘two’ kinds of master, the diksaguru, the ‘initiation master’ and the shiksaguru, the ‘master [instructing] on texts’ [also language and music etc].

 ' [However] the ‘bound’ devotee should not have [too] many masters.”


  Thus ends the Ninth Chapter [regarding the sat-acara-s, the ‘six styles’, the caturbhaava, the ‘four degrees of sensibility’ and the kaulajñana, the ‘Knowledge of the Kaula’.

  

    (1b.,) Bhaava, 'being' or the 'degrees of inner sensibility'.

    “ Pashu-acara, the ‘bound style’ is of three types the vira-acara, ‘heroic style’ is of three types and the male and female worshippers of deities have four bhaava-s, ‘degrees of inner sensibility’.

                                                                                                                                                            SO.T., 9.2

    Historically the siddha-s, the accomplished 'adepts' of the tantric Kaula lineage, only accepted 'worthy' disciples via following the doctrine of the bhaava-s, the different, graduated stages of 'being' or rather the 'degrees of inner sensibility'. Under the view of the tantric Kaula lineage the 'degree of inner sensibility' is also applied to the different grades of devotees/practitioners applying the various deity 'styles' within the different sectarian traditions of the Eternal Doctrine .

   Under the historical view held by the post-15th., century, Bengali tantric Kaula tradition, within the orthodox Vaisnava, unorthodox Shaiva and tantric Shaiva/Shakta sectarian traditions, the different grades of devotees/practitioners included those of the pashu, the 'bound' devotee; the vira, the 'heroic' and the divya, 'divine', the accomplished practitioner. Further the devotees/ practitioners of the Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta traditions are graded into Vaisnava 'bound' and 'heroic' devotees/practitioners possessing these 'degrees of inner sensibility' as well as as Shaiva 'bound' and 'heroic' also possessing these 'degrees of inner sensibility' etc.

   However in addition to grading Vaisnava and Shaiva etc., devotees/practitioners in this basic manner, in practice there are actually four 'degrees of inner sensibility' applicable within the three 'styles', the Vaisnava 'style' etc. There are in fact two grades each of 'bound' and 'heroic' devotees/practitioners. Here the 'bound' and the 'heroic' devotees/ practitioners are further graded as possessing 'with the [attained] degree of inner sensibility' and 'without [or developing] degree of inner sensibility'.

   Thereby the devotees/practitioners of these three basic sectarian 'styles' of the Eternal Doctrine can be graded into four 'degrees of inner sensibility' in addition to the 'fifth' grade, the tantric, accomplished 'divine' practitioner. Under the tantric Kaula vista, as set out in the Shri Sarva-ananda Natha's SO.T., in fact there is finally only ‘one’, divine state of 'being'. Here this non-dual, divine state is known as the uncreated, intrinsic mahabhaava, ‘great being’.

   'Great being' is also known as the para-brahman, the ‘supreme essence/principle’ and is the tat, 'that', the ‘one’ macrocosmic/microcosmic nature of ‘being’ that 'marks' and is intrinsic to the consciousness potential of the finite human body/mind. Once a sadhaka, the 'efficient practitioner' has successfully applied the tantric emanation and yoga method, the attained nature of non-dual consciousness, the 'great being' is the destroyer of all obstacles, afflictions etc., caused by the dualistic conditioning of the trends and the habits of individual karma, sensory cause and effect.

  Here by way of the various differentiations of/from the resonance/radiance of the melded aspects of the divine, prakrti, the Nature of the divine life force and quiescent, purusha, the first cosmic Being, who 'thought' and created manifold cosmos, the divine uncreated nature of 'great being' became defused within the 'many', the created finite sentient beings, as the various types of ‘being/degrees of inner sensibility’.

   Nevertheless, while living, the consciousness potentiality of the finite, human body/mind is ever 'marked' by the melded, divine nature of 'great being'. But normally the imminent, transcendental, macrocosmic/microcosmic, non-dual consciousness of 'great being' is concealed by the various ‘degrees of inner sensibility’, that manifested via the differentiations of/from the supreme, primordial 'great degree of being’. Here the various ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ are essentially comprised of the ‘three’ types of already listed above.

   In order to stress the importance of understanding the utility of the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’, the SO.T., states that 'all tantra-s', the treatises/systems of the Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta deity 'styles' as well as the texts relating the 'vidya-s', the various mantra ‘sciences’, all allude to the necessity of attaining the 'degrees of inner sensibility’. In the context of the Shaiva/Shakta lineage tradition, the 'degree of inner sensibility’ are related to with the kriya, ‘activity’, the application of the mantra activities etc., as well as with the stages of the tantric emanation and yoga system 'like gold molded into an ear ring'.

    In this manner, within the 'styles' of the Shaiva/Shakta tradition the necessity of attaining the graduated 'degrees of inner sensibility' is of 'foremost importance'. Here sadhana, the ‘efficient application’ to the stages of the graduated system of the 'styles' is just the reflection/ manifestation of the corresponding ‘degree of inner sensibility’. From attaining the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ the SO.T., states that the 'efficient practitioner' can become a bhavavan, here meaning the ‘one possessing all' the 'degrees of inner sensibility’.

   The SO.T., again stresses that without resorting to the graduated ‘styles’ of the tantric deity system, the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’, characterizing the evolving 'being' of tantric practitioners, cannot 'manifest' nor can the efficient, accomplished practitioner become a acaravan, ‘one possessing [all] the styles’

  Thereby under the view of the SO.T., the 'degrees of inner sensibility’ are the dharma, the 'nature' of the 'mind. Here the 'being' or the 'degree of sensibility’ of the mind is 'not just a word or a sound' simply attained from intoning a mantra or seed syllable or ' a concept to be discussed' within the treatises of the tantric 'styles'. Here in the SO.T., the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ of the mind are 'just like the sweetness of sugar is known by the tongue' from tasting sugar so also the ‘degree of inner sensibility' can be equally known and assayed 'by the mind'.

   Within the SO.T., a series of definitions and metaphors  the 'degrees of inner sensibility’ are characterized as being in the mind and the 'degrees of inner sensibility’ merge or are dissolved 'within the mind'. Being of the mind the 'degrees of inner sensibility’ are characterized as being like the 'origin, continuation and destruction of trees, creepers etc is from the earth'. Further, just as 'an image' seen 'in water dissolves into the water' so similarly the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ arises 'in the mind and dissolves into the mind'.

    Within the mind notions/concepts arise. Here the notions/concepts of 'purity and impurity' originate from the ‘degree of inner sensibility’. Also the notions/concepts of bondage and liberation are both according to the ‘degree of inner sensibility’. The nature of the consecrated ‘bound’ devotee, the ‘heroic’ practitioner of tantra, the accomplished ‘divine’ practitioner and the kaula, ‘adept of the Family’ style are all attained by efficiency in the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

   Certainly 'all sin and meritorious' compassionate actions etc., are the consequence of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’. Also 'fame and infamy, happiness and sorrow, the jiva-atma, the ‘individual soul/self’ and the para-atma, the ‘supreme soul/self’ are all gained/attained' as a consequence of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’. Similarly ‘joy and no joy, drinking and not drinking, eating and fasting' are all gained/attained by the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

   The SO.T., further states that without ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’ no language/resonance 'is capable of manifesting. The 'degree of inner sensibility’ is the root of all sound/resonance and is also thereby the root cause 'of all things'. Here from the conditioning of the trends and habits of sensory cause and effect, the individual 'acts' and 'gains fruits' according to the state of ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’. So also the four castes etc. Similarly the tantric practitioner is governed by the 'degree of inner sensibility' where 'speech' or rather the manner of reciting mantra-s, can give success in attaining identification, visualization and emanation with the 'chosen' deity.

  When a potential disciple wishes to enter the tantric lineage circle, the first thing that the lineage holding master must do is to assay the potential disciple’s state of ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’. If the potential disciple possesses the necessary acceptable 'degree of inner sensibility’ and if the lineage holding master then accepts this disciple, the master can consecrate the disciple into the appropriate, graduated stages of emanation and yoga ‘activities’ stemming from the tantric processes of the Shaiva/Shatka ‘styles’.

  But if the individual practitioner seeks 'to become effective' in efficient application of a ‘style’ without attaining the appropriate ‘degree of inner sensibility’ he is 'like a eunuch' attempting to 'give erotic delight to his wife'. The SO.T., stresses that the disciple should know that within the context of the ‘efficient application' the 'degree of inner sensibility’ is the root of all the ‘activities’ of the 'styles' and these ‘activities’ are derived from the root of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  By gradually attaining the necessary 'degree of inner sensibility', the individual tantric practitioner can 'gain fruits' from the ‘efficient application’ of a particular tantric ‘style’. Further from attaining 'degree of inner sensibility’ the individual practitioner can attain the strongest qualities or rather be firmly determined/deliberate in performing the ‘activities’ of tantric emanation and yoga.

   The SO.T 7.12., confirms that:

   ‘Activity’ is the foundation of ‘degree of inner sensibility’ and ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is the foundation of ‘activity’. 'One without the other is not possible...'.

   But if the various inner 'activities' are not performed without the appropriate 'degree of inner sensibility' no fruits can be gained. This is true 'even if a lot' or the appropriate number 'of japa, ‘recitations’ of a mantra offered to the 'chosen' deity or 'if homa, fire sacrifices’ are performed to gain the outer 'activities' of a mantra science, that even in their performance can 'cause pain to the body' of the practitioner, there are 'no fruits gained so long as there is no appropriate ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  This is equally true for a number of tantric 'activities' such as vira sadhana, ‘heroic efficient application’, pitha puja, ‘worship of the [deity] seat’ and feeding/enjoying with kumari-s, ‘virgins’ etc., etc.

   In conclusion the SO.T., 7.16-17 states:

   ' Knowing the joy, the taste of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ the individual [practitioner] can become a yogi or a poet.

  ' Even a dull mind can attain higher states by tasting the bliss of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

 

   (1c.,) Two chapters from the SO.T., regarding the bhaava-s, the degrees of being or inner sensibility.


   “ O Goddess you have mentioned the acara-s, ‘styles’ and the bhaava-s, [state of] ‘being /degrees of sensibility’ please now discuss them in greater detail.”

                                                                                                                                                        SO.T., 7.1.

 

     The Seventh Chapter regarding the bhaava-s, ‘being/degrees of inner sensibility’ and their characteristics.

 

  1. Now [a discourse on] the importance of bhaava, ‘being/degrees of inner sensibility’.

  In the nigama [treatise] kalpa-ananda Shiva said:

  “ O Goddess you have mentioned the acara-s, ‘styles’ and the bhaava-s, [state of] ‘being /degrees of INNER sensibility’ please now discuss them in greater detail.”

  2-3. The Goddess said [in reply]:

   “ All tantra-s, treatises/systems and vidya-s, [mantra] ‘sciences’ allude to the [necessary] 'degrees of inner sensibility’.

  “ But in [the context of] the Shakti systems this [the degree of inner sensibility] is of foremost importance.

  “Sadhana, the ‘efficient application’ [to the stages of the graduated system] are just [the reflections/manifestations of the corresponding] ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ With [or from attaining] the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ the individual [the efficient accomplished practitioner] becomes a bhavavan, ‘one possessing [all] the degrees of sensibility’.

  “ But without [resorting to the] ‘styles’ [the graduated deity 'styles' of the tantric system] the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ [characterizing the evolving 'being' of tantric practitioners] do not manifest.”

   4. [Then] Shiva said [asked the Goddess]:

  “ From where [or how] does the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ arise and where does the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ dissolve?

   “ How does the individual [efficient accomplished practitioner] become the bhagavan the ‘one possessing [all] the degrees of inner sensibility’ and how does the individual [efficient adept practitioner] become an acaravan, ‘one possessing [all] the styles’?”

   5-7. The Goddess said [in reply]:

   “The  ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is the dharma, ‘nature’ of the mind.

  “ The 'degree of sensibility’ is not just a word or a sound [or attained simply from intoning a seed syllable] or a concept to be discussed.

  “ Just like the sweetness of sugar is known by the tongue [from tasting sugar so also the] ‘degree of iner sensibility’, O Deity is to be known by the mind.

  “ The ‘degree of sensibility’ arises in the mind and dissolves into the mind.

  “ It is located in the mind and merges with the mind.

  “ O mahesha, Great Lord, like the origin, continuation and destruction of trees, creepers etc is from the earth so also ‘degree of inner sensibility’  is from the mind.

  “ [Further just as] an image [seen] in water dissolves into the water so similarly ‘degree of inner sensibility’ arises in the mind and dissolves into the mind.

  “ The 'degree of inner sensibility’ is related/directly linked with kriya, ‘activity’ [or the application of the various stages or aims of the system] are like gold molded into an ear ring etc.”

  8. [Now] the importance of ‘degree of inner sensibility’ [as discussed] the Agama [textural tradition].

   In the bhavacudamani the Divine Goddess said [asked]:

  “ O Lord of the Deities, the granter of ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’ to [beings in] the world, how do men gain good/positive fruits [from performed actions]?”

  9-11. Shiva said [in reply]:

  “ Without ‘being/degree of inner inner sensibility’ no language/resonance is capable of manifesting.

   “ The ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is the root of sound/resonance and is also the root [cause] of all things.

  “ Men act [and gain fruits] according to the [state of] ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’ of an individual’s speech [or even perhaps the manner of reciting mantra-s etc].

  “ First [the master should] know the [disciple’s state of] ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’ and then [let him] perform the [appropriate] ‘activity’ [from the graduated ‘styles’].

  “ If a man [the individual practitioner seeks] to become effective [in efficient application of a ‘style’] without [an appropriate] ‘degree of inner sensibility’ it is like a eunuch [attempting to] give erotic delight to his wife [or a woman].

  “ [Know that within the context of ‘efficient application’] ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is the root of ‘activity’ and ‘activity’ is the root of ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ O Goddess, the individual [practitioner] who gains fruits [from ‘efficient application’ to a ‘style’] is he who is strong [determined/deliberate] in ‘activity’ and firm in ‘degree of inner sensibility’.”

  12-17. [Continuing] the Goddess said [asked]:

  “ O Lord, you suggest that ‘activity’ is the root [the foundation] of ‘degree of inner sensibility’ but how is there ‘activity’ without ‘degree of inner sensibility’?”

  Shiva said [in reply]:

  “ ‘Activity’ is the foundation of ‘degree of inner sensibility’ and the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is the foundation of ‘activity’. One without the other is not possible [just] like knowledge and the known.

  “O Goddess even if a lot [an appropriate number] of japa, ‘recitations’ [of a mantra]; if homa, ‘fire sacrifices’ [is performed for the] activities [of a mantra science] that in [their] performance cause pain to the body, no fruits are gained so long as there is no ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “What is the use of having instruction for vira sadhana, ‘heroic efficient application’, of the kaula marga, the [advanced] ‘Family Path’ etc., [without the  ‘degree of inner sensibility’].

  “ Or what is the use of performing pitha puja ‘worship of the [deity] seat’; feeding/enjoying with kumari-s, ‘virgins’, worshipping owns own or somebody else’s wife [without the ‘degree of inner sensibility’].

  “ Or [what is the use of] behaving like one who has conquered his senses or performing kulacara kriya-s, the ‘activities’ of the Kula ‘style’ if there is no [attained] ‘degree of inner inner sensibility’.

  “ If there is no ‘degree of inner sensibility’ what is the use of nyasa, [internally] ‘placing’ [mantra-s] of all kinds, [what is the use of] bhutasuddhi, ‘purification of the elements’, of worship etc., without possessing [an appropriate] ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ Knowing the joy, the taste of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ the individual [accomplished practitioner] can become a yogi or a poet.

  “ Even a dull mind can attain higher states by tasting the bliss [associated with or] of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

[Continuing Shiva further stated that:]

  18-19. “ Notions/concepts of purity and impurity originate from ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ Bondage and liberation are both [according to] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ The [nature of the consecrated] pashu, ‘bound’ [devotee], the vira, ‘heroic’ [practitioner of tantra], the divya, ‘divine’ [accomplished practitioner] and the kaula, the ‘adept of the Family’ [system] are all attained by [efficiency in] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ And [certainly] all sin and meritorious [pious/religious] actions are the [consequence of] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ Fame and infamy, happiness and sorrow, the jiva-atma, the ‘individual soul/self’ and the para-atma, the ‘supreme soul/self’ are all gained/attained [as a consequence of] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ 'Joy’ and ‘no joy’, drinking and not drinking, eating and fasting are all gained/attained by the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.”

  20-21. “ O Goddess the [four] castes, Brahmin, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Shudra are all obtained [and exist] as a consequence of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ and by the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ they are destroyed [as in the context of the ascetic/tantrika who is without caste].

  “ Big, small, Shiva and Shakti, the worshipped, worship and the worshipper are all a consequence of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’.

  “ [But] when the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is not present [by the attainment of non-dual consciousness] they [all these mentioned categories] are [or become] non-existent!”

  22. [Then] the Goddess said [and asked]:

  “ I see [appreciate] that [an individual's view on] the whole universe is only [according to] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ and [the uncreated divine 'being] is the cause for [the cosmic process of] creation, preservation and destruction.

  “ [However] among all these ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ tell me [which is] the most superior?”

  23. Mahadeva, the Great Deity said [in reply that]:

  “ [In fact] ‘degree of inner sensibility’ is [characterized] by four types and [therefore] acara, ‘style’ is [also] of four types [Vedic, Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shakta].

  “ But [in practice] the generally revealed number of ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ and [the number] of ‘styles’ are only three [Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shakta].”

  24-25. Now [Shiva describes in a different way] the characteristics of the four ‘degrees of inner sensibility’.

   “ The ‘lowest’ [grade of animal, or rather animal-like human beings] do [perform actions from] the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ of [or simply from the gross stimulus of] the body.

   “ The ‘middle’ [grade] do [perform actions] from of the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ [relating] to the jiva, the ‘existent being’ [according to cause and effect].

  “ The ‘higher’ [or actual practitioners within the tantric system] do [perform] from the ‘degree of inner sensibility’ of [or leading to] moksa, ’liberation’ and the ‘highest’ [the Kaula, adept of the Family system] is beyond ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ [by being firmly establishment within non-dual consciousness].

  “ The ‘lowest’ [grade] follows his traditional family ‘style’, the ‘middle’ follow the shruti [Vedic] ‘style’, the ‘higher’ perform the ‘style’ leading to liberation and the ‘highest’ [from being established within non-dual consciousness] follow their own desire as [their] ‘style’.

   26. “ The ‘lowest’ worship an image; the ‘middle’ perform mantra recitation and [worship] with the stotra, invocation, hymns of praise [etc.,]; the ‘higher’ follow internal [mental observation and] worship and the ‘highest’ simply perform worship with [the mantra of the purified breath] so’ham, ‘I am that’.

  27. “ The ‘lowest’ see [envisage only] the obvious things [of conventional life, being absorbed in selfishness, pursuit of material objects, political power etc]; the ‘middle’ see [envisage] all times [in terms of the consequences of actions affecting the past, present and future and] the ‘higher’ see [envisage the way to] liberation.

  “ [But] the ‘supreme’ [the adepts, the ‘highest’] see [envisage] nothing [by being beyond desire, grasping, fear etc]. “

  28-29. “ The ‘lowest’ are fearful of karma, [dualistic] ‘cause and effect’ [and perform outer rituals, worship etc].

  “ The ‘middle’ are frightened by [or towards] bhakti, ‘devotion’ [and apply themselves to devotion]; the ‘higher’ are frightened by [bondage and seek] ‘liberation’ and the ‘highest’ are beyond all fear.”

  29. “ The human birth is ‘low [from an animal]’; the incarnation into an [elemental demi-] deity is the ‘middle'; to be incarnated as a jñani, ‘wise one’ is ‘higher’ and the ‘highest’ is not to be incarnated [by being beyond the cycle of cause and effect, birth etc].

  “ The ‘lowest’ are born innumerable times; the ‘middle’ a few births; the ‘higher’ incarnates [only] once and the ‘highest’ is never born [again].”

  30. “ The ‘low’ use artificial [drawn] yantra-s, ‘diagrams’, the ‘middle’ use [sanctified] flowers as [the means to form] the ‘diagram’; the ‘higher’ is the yoni yantra, the [consort’s] ‘womb/source diagram’ and the ‘highest’ use ‘all’ as the ‘diagram’.”

  Thus the Seventh Chapter regarding the bhaava-s, ‘being/degrees of sensibility’ and their characteristics.

   An extract from the Eight Chapter of the SO.T., regarding the ‘three’ types of ‘being/degrees of inner sensibility’ and [three kinds] of ‘styles’.]

  1-3. Now [a discussion on] the ‘three’ types of ‘being/degrees of inner sensibility’ and [of the ‘three’ types] of ‘style’.

  In the samaya-acara-tantra Shiva said:

  “ O Goddess ‘degree of sensibility’ [within the tantric context] is of ‘three’ types, divya, ‘divine’, vira, ‘heroic’ and pashu, ‘bound’.

  “ [Also] acara ,’style' is of ‘three’ types and in due course I will elaborate [further] on that [topic].

  “ O Beloved [in fact] there is only ‘one’, the mahabhaava, the ‘great [intrinsic nature of] being’ but [through the differentiation of manifold creation] it becomes [variously defused] as [‘degrees of innner sensibility’ within the] ‘many’.

  “ [Nevertheless] the ‘degrees of inner sensibility’ that manifest [emanate] from the mahabhaava, the ‘supreme primordial great degree of being’ are [essentially comprised of] the ‘three’ [types already listed].

  'The parambrahman, the ‘supreme essence/principle’ is the ‘one’ [intrinsic nature of] ‘being’ and [once attained] is the destroyer of all obstacles [limiting the ‘three’]. “

  The extract from Eight Chapter of the SO.T., ends at the third verse.

 

  (2.) Sri Sarva-ananda Natha's sarvollasa-tantra (SO.T.,), the Treatise [regarding the nature of] ‘All Delight’.

      “ O Lord tell me [about] the sat-acara, the ‘six styles’, the caturbhaava, the ‘four degrees of sensibility’ [of the devotee/practitioner] and the kaulajñana, the ‘knowledge of the Family’.”

                                                                                                                                                          SO.T., 9.1.

    In addition to the discussions on the 'six styles' of devotional, emanation and yoga approaches of the overall Hindu sanatana-dharma, the Eternal Doctrine, this detailed study will also offer a wide range of yoga and tantric yoga texts originally composed in Sanskrit and translated into English. Sri Sarvananda Natha's SO.T., was translated and edited by Indu Menon and the author. Other complete or chapters and verses from yoga and tantric yoga texts were mostly translated into English and edited by the author or in co-operation with Indu Menon.

    But in the main these discussions regarding the 'six' deity 'styles' are based on the authoritative view of the SO.T., the Treatise [regarding the nature of] ‘All Delight’. This tantric treatise was composed by the 15th., or 16th.,   century AD., siddha, accomplished 'adept', Sri Sarvananda Natha of the unorthodox Shaiva, Natha tradition.

    According to various Bengali sources the Natha adept Shri Sarva-ananda Natha, was either born in 14th., 15th., or even the 16th.,      centuries AD. But all sources say that Shri Sarva-ananda Natha hailed from the town of Mehar in Tippera district within what is now modern Bangladesh. Bengali sources state that the tantric Kaula adept, Shri Sarva-ananda Natha definitely attained the para-vidya, the 'supreme science' in c.1425 AD.

   This auspicious event occurred by way of direct darshana, 'sight' or the divine 'appearance' of the maha-devi, the Great Goddess. At night, within the cremation grounds, whilst being seated on a corpse performing shava-sadhana, ‘efficient application with a corpse [seat]', Shri Sarva-ananda Natha was given this direct vision of his 'chosen' form of the Great Goddess. In addition to realizing the 'supreme science' Sarvananda Natha is further said to have attained knowledge of the sarva-vidya, or 'all sciences', by way of his intuitive relationship with the Great Goddess.

  Here the tantric adept Shri Sarvananda Natha attained the accomplishment to clearly understand 'all styles' and their related systems and from this clear knowledge then went on to compose the SO.T. This tantric treatise is comprised of brief but succinct and authoritative chapters on the 'six styles' and their related systems, stages and activities etc., that comprise the overall modes of devotion, emanation and yoga etc., that are offered to the Great Goddess as well as to the other male cosmic deities of the Trinity of the Eternal Doctrine etc.

  This very important Bengali tantric treatise offers a basic but certainly the informed vista of medieval Bengali tantricism regarding a variety of tantric, allied semi-tantric even non-tantric topics. In this way Sarvananda Natha's tantric treatise, the SO.T., acts as a collection or a digest on the various stages of devotion and yoga. In all this treatise contains succinct information on the Bengali Natha Shaiva/Shakta tantric system as well as succinct information on devotional, yoga and tantric yoga subjects that relate to all the rest of the 'six' deity 'styles'.

  As suggested the basic vista of this text is derived from the ‘applied’ point of view of an accomplished tantric yoga adept rather than from the mere sophistry of a pundit. A list of the chapters of the SO.T., will be given later at the end of this section.

   Despite the words ‘all delight’ within the title of the SO.T., one topic is not discussed in extant versions of this text. Here the guru/deity mantra that Sri Sarva-ananda Natha recited while performing ‘application with a corpse [seat]’ is not revealed. Today, the written versions of SO.T., inherited from the lineage of yogi-s and devotees of the Bengali Natha tradition, now only comprises some sixty-three ullasa-s, chapters, of the sixty-four chapters that originally comprised this work.

   The 64th.,  chapter, that is understood to have contained a discussion on this tantric adept’s guru mantra, was not past down within the extant mss., copies of the SO.T. This chapter was probably only passed down within the guru/disciple relationship of the oral Bengali Natha lineage. The 64th.,  chapter was omitted because of the need to uphold tantric lineage vows and to certainly uphold the potency of this particular guru/deity mantra etc. But the remaining chapters of Shri Sarva-ananda Natha's SO.T., are certainly very informative on a variety of tantric ritual topics as well as yoga and tantric yoga topics. So despite the omission of the 64th.,  chapter regarding Shri Sarva-ananda Natha's guru mantra, the SO.T., fully typifies and upholds the vista held by the lineage adepts of the late medieval Bengali Shaiva/Shakta Kaula tantric system.

  The SO.T., names the '64' tantric texts of the late medieval Bengali tantric textural tradition, many of which are still extant. The then accepted Bengali regional canon of ’64’ tantric treatises/systems as listed by the SO.T., are characterized as the ‘most significant’ Bengali tantric treatises within the then wider Bengali Shaiva/Shakta tantric canon etc.

  Further the SO.T., certainly offers basic views on a variety of subjects pertinent to this study including very information on bhaava, 'being' or rather the 'degree of inner sensibility'. Ascertaining the degree of being or rather 'inner sensibility' was/is always required by tantric yoga masters when assessing the capabilities orthodox and tantric disciples. Further subjects include information regarding the actual doctrinal parameters of the graduated six 'styles'.

    Here the SO.T., infers the necessary degrees of lineage consecration that was/is required by disciples. From this inference, the SO.T., also indicates the need to uphold lineage secrecy by consecrated Bengali tantric practitioners. Lineage secrecy was/is always required within the context of the various tantric rituals and rites, including the offering of the 5M's to the senses etc., as well as describing the basis of the esoteric/cosmic yoga methods of the Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta lineages.

 

     (2a.) Shri Sarva-ananda Natha’s own table of contents regarding each chapter of the sarvollasa-tantra, the Treatise [regarding the nature of] ‘All Delight’.

1. In the first I will explain the characteristics of prakrti, the underlying ‘nature’ condition of everything; the manner of making an image of the [‘chosen’] deity according to the textural tradition and the characteristics [or differentiation] of nigama and agama [systems, texts].

2. The names of the [various] tantra-s, ‘treatises/systems’ are listed by me in the second [chapter].

3. In the third, fourth and fifth chapters, I give details regarding ‘creation’ and ‘origination’.

4. In the sixth [chapter I further discuss] ‘creation’ and its [manner of] ‘destruction’.

5. In the seventh the bhaava-s, ‘being/degree of sensibility’ and their characteristics.

6. The acara, ‘style’ [of graded, graduated degrees] of application in the eighth. [Within] the eighth also details regarding the various types of kumari-s, ‘virgins’.

7. In the ninth I give further details of ‘being/degree of inner sensibility’.

8. In the tenth the [manner of] dhyana, concentration on the guru, master and in the eleventh his [the master’s] characteristics.

9. In the twelfth [I discuss] the vaisnava-acara, the Visnu ‘style’ and in the thirteenth bhakti, ‘devotion’ is dealt with.

10. In the fourteenth bali, the ‘sacramental offering’ [to the demi-deities etc.,] is described.

11. In the fifteenth [the view on] the shaiva-acara, the Shaiva ‘style’, the asta-anga-yoga, ‘eight-limbed yoga’, and [a further view on] the vaisnava-acara, the Visnu ‘style’ are given.

12. In the sixteenth the characteristics of the vibhava vira, the ‘developing heroic degree of sensibility’ and the pashu, ‘bound’ devotee; [as well as] the pañca-tattva-s, the ‘five principles’ the substitutes for the pañcamakara, the ‘five Ms’ and the tilaka, sectarian ‘mark’ are described.

13. In the seventeenth the characteristics of yantraraja, the ‘king of [sacred] diagrams’ is given.

14. In the eighteenth the shakta-acara, the Shakta ‘style’ of the daksina-acara, the Right ‘style’ [of the Shaiva/Shakta lineage] and the vama-acara, Left ‘style’ of the Shakta-s are described. The pashuvira, the ‘bound heroic’ [devotee, sometimes known as the ‘higher bound’ devotee] are also described here.

15. In the nineteenth the signs of the sadhaka, the ‘efficient practitioner’, the characteristics of the divya cakra, the ‘divine [practitioner’s] circle’ and the vira cakra, the ‘hero circle’ are described.

16. In the twentieth the location of the cakra, ‘circle’, the asana, ‘seat’, the [manner of] entry into the middle of the ‘circle’ and the characteristics of the deva cakra, the ‘deity circle’ are given.

17. In the twenty-first I describe the non-existence of caste in [the context of] the ‘circle’, the [required] ingredients for [the Rite of the Circle], their [appropriate] placement within the shri-cakra, the ‘auspicious circle’.

18. In the twenty-second the shripatra, the ‘auspicious [skull] cup’, it placement and its support [also] the ‘five ingredients/principles’ are described.

19. In the twenty-third the first ‘ingredient/principle’ [of the ‘five Ms’, wine] and its greatness [within the context of the sanctified Rite of the Circle] is described.

20. In the twenty-fourth the three [different] types of dravya, ‘liquor’ and the shaktisuddhi, [ritual] ‘purification of the consort’, are described.

21. In the twenty-fifth the purification of ‘wine’ and the dhyana, [process of] ‘concentration’ and mantra of ananda, ‘blissful’ Bhairava and Bhairavi are given.

22. In the twenty-sixth further details of the [means to ritual] purification of ‘wine’ are described.

23. In the twenty-seventh the [suitable] characteristics and [the means for ritual] purification of mamsa, ’meat’, matsya, ‘fish’ and mudra, ‘parched grain’ [but also the consort] are described.

24. In the twenty-eighth the characteristics of the shakti, the ‘consort’, are given.

25. In the twenty-ninth the purification of the ‘consort’ is described.

26. In the thirtieth the details regarding samvida, ‘bhang’ [or a paste made with fried or crushed dry cannabis and other herbs] and its method of preparation are given.

27. In the thirty-first I describe the shricakra patra, the ‘cup of the divine circle’ and its [appropriate] base [or stand].

28. In the thirty-second the ‘efficient practitioner’s cup’ is described.

29. In the thirty-third [details relating to] the ‘sacramental offering’ to Vatuka [an aspect of Shiva] etc., are given.

30. The thirty-fourth gives details regarding nyasa, the ‘placing’ [of mantra-s in the body] and tarpana, the ‘offering of libations’.

31. In the thirty-fifth patra puja, ‘cup worship’ is described.

32. In the thirty-sixth the characteristics of the ‘cup’ are described.

33. In the thirty-seventh the [method of] ‘concentration’ on the shri-guru, the 'auspicious master’ is given.

34. In the thirty-eighth the details of madhu dana, ‘offering wine’ is given.

35. In the thirty-ninth the [preliminary erotic] play with the ‘consort’ [during the Rite of the Circle] is described.

36. In the fortieth details of [ritual, sanctified] maithuna, ‘intercourse’ and [erotic] play [with the consort] are given.

37. In the forty-first the maithuna-ananda, ‘bliss of [ritual, sanctified] intercourse’ [within the Rite of the Circle], is described.

38. In the forty-second the sadhaka-ananda, the ‘bliss of the efficient practitioner’ is described.

39. In the forty-third the navapatra ananda, the ‘bliss of the nine cups’ is described.

40. In the forty-fourth the [auspicious] signs of [ritual, sanctified] ‘intercourse’ [within the Rite of the Circle] are described.

41. In the forty-fifth the Ananda Stotra, the ‘invocation of bliss’ is given.

42. In the forty-sixth the procedure for abhisheka, ‘consecration’ is given.

43. In the forty-seventh the dakshina-acara, the Right ‘style’ is described.

44. In the forty-eighth the vama-acara, the Left ‘style’ is described along with the pushpa, ‘flower’ signs.

45. In the forty-ninth the pushpa suddhi, the ‘purification of the flower’ is described.

46. In the fiftieth the kulayoshita, the ‘family women’ [capable of application to the Family system] are described.

47. In the fifty-first the signs of [auspicious] ‘intercourse’ are given.

48. In the fifty-second the [description of the nature of] shakti-jñana, ‘knowledge of the energy/capability’ is given.

49. In the fifty-third the siddhanta-acara, the Culminating/Definitive ‘style’ is described.

50. In the forty-fourth the signs of maithuna-ananda, the ‘bliss of [ritual, sanctified] intercourse’ are given.

51. In the forty-fifth purna-ananda, the ‘complete bliss’ is described.

52. In the fifty-sixth the signs of shakti-ananda, the ‘bliss of the energy/capability’ are described.

53. In the fifty-seventh the shakti-maha-atmya, the ‘greatness of the essence/self of the energy/capability’ is described.

54. In the fifty-eighth the characteristics of the hamsa bija, the ‘seed syllable of the swan’ [of the purified breath free of emotional patterns of breathing] are given.

55. In the fifty-ninth the greatness of three kinds of ‘concentration’ are described.

56. In the sixtieth the divya-acåra, the ‘style’ [of the practitioner possessing] ‘divine’ [sensibility].

57. The kaula-acara, the [accomplished] Family ‘style’ is described in the sixty-first, the signs of the underlying ‘nature’ condition of everything are [further] given in the sixty-second.

58. The [nature of] knowledge of Brahman, the ‘essence/principle’ [of the quantum field underlying time and creation] as well as the jivanmukti, the ‘liberated being’ are described in the sixty-third.

59. [Here the text] concludes at [the end of the sixty-third without] the sixty-fourth chapter.


    (3.) Basic but succinct definitions and characterizations regarding of the inner method of bhakti or devotion as well as the wider esoteric/cosmic yoga system offered to the ista-devata, the 'chosen deity' offered by quotes from Natha yoga manuals.

          'Therefore [despite sensory conditioning] things [or finite matter-based forms etc.,] to not exist [in terms of absolute reality]. Only the One [supreme soul], that allows the manifestation of them, alone exists.'

                                                                                                                                                           S.S. 1.87.

     Intense personal devotion offered to attain a 'vision' or even the non-dual nature/self of the  the ‘chosen deity', such as the Hindu cosmic deities Visnu, Shiva or Shakti, the Goddess or another ‘chosen’ deity, certainly always requires much more than simple belief, conceptualization and mere rote daily worship and propitiation etc. Devotion to the 'chosen' deity is in itself a very exacting, intense, emotionally refined form of selfless, intuitive yoga/union.

    In this sense the late 17th., century AD., Bengali yoga manual, the gheranda-samhita succinctly defines In 7.14-15., the gathered stabilized meditative state of bhakti, intense 'devotion' as follows: 

        'Let him [the devotee/practitioner] contemplate within his heart the 'chosen' deity. 

         'Let him be full of ecstasy from such contemplation.

        ‘Let him shed tears of joy and by doing so [being filled with selfless devotional love] he will become entranced [within the divine relationship].

       ‘This [in itself] can lead to the gathered stabilized meditative state and to [the state of] manon-mani, no-mind.’

   Historically a complete and ordered yoga regime was applied to overcome all dualistic attachments, all emotional trends and all entrenched habits leading actions within the sensory world etc., of the sensory mind. By these means a mature yogi could gradually release the mind into the flow of undifferentiated consciousness in order to eventually attain the sahaja, the 'innate' non-dual knowledge, kevala, 'alone'.

    Such knowledge of the 'innate' or 'natural' non-dual consciousness can only be realized by way of abhyasa, 'application' and vairagya, 'non-attachment' coupled together with deep bhakti, 'devotion' as well as with the cultivation of the positive emotions of daya, 'sympathy', kripa, 'mercy' and karuna, 'compassion'.

   An ordered yoga regime was/is further necessary in order to uphold orthodox and tantric yoga vows. A well ordered yoga regime can only be successfully applied by upholding the exoteric disciplines as well as upholding esoteric vows and observations etc., that are always made in connection with consecation into the emanation and yoga processes of any sectarian yogı lineage.

   According to the classic definition of the term ‘yogı’, the daily purpose of ‘worthy’, consecrated orthodox and/or tantric yogi-s is to certainly perform 'applied' devotion to the non-dual nature of the 'chosen' cosmic deity by way of processes of the four stages of yoga. These four stages comprise the asta-anga, the 'eight' limbs of the esoteric/esoteric system of yoga that are common to all the various Hindu sectarian, yoga lineage traditions.

The preliminary, exoteric portion comprises 'two' limbs and the esoteric portion of four stages, is divided into sat-anga-s, or 'six' limbs. Altogether the orthodox yoga system is known as the 'eight' limbs of yoga. The esoteric/cosmic yoga system of 'six' limbs, as generally applied today by the various sectarian lineages of Hindu yogi-s, was historically rationalized and formulated in the pre-10th., century AD., era from the system formulated by the seminal Buddhist/Shaiva Great Adept, Goraksa-natha.

    From the first half of the 1st., millennium, within the northwestern region and then within other regions etc., a loose situation of inter-play etc., between Shaiva, Shaiva/Shatka and Buddhist yogi lineages had existed. Hence the reverence offered to a number of seminal Buddhist/Shaiva maha-siddha-s, Great Adepts. But this period of inter-play only lasted until the 8th., or even the 9th.,   century AD., when the tantric yogi lineages were more strictly differentiated in purely sectarian terms.

    From the post-10th., century AD., period Goraksa-natha's original Buddhist orientated, tantric yoga system was revised and transformed by later generations of Goraksa-natha's lineage into a somewhat Brahminically inclined Shaiva lineage. Goraksa-natha's system was revised and transformed from this time because the vista of his original system possibly still proposed Buddhist atheism, no soul etc., as well as the view of the Buddhist tantric processes that rested on the propitiation and emanation of the atheistic 'wisdom' deities of the historic Vajrayana/ Mantrayana tradition etc.   

   According to the later Natha lineage tradition the earliest of the four main Natha yoga manuals, the hatha-yoga-pradipika (HYP.,) is understood to most closely reflect the outlook of Goraksa-natha's now lost work simply entitled hatha-yoga. This treatise was lost during the early Middles ages during the period of the transformation of the Natha lineage.

   But within the Tibetan medium Tanjur collection there is a Tibetan translation of a treatise composed by Goraksa-natha entitled vayu-tattva-bhavanopadesa. An English translation of this treatise could more clearly indicate the yoga stance of Goraksa-natha’s early lineage that was free of Hindu polytheism and free from all Brahminic influences. But this yoga text still awaits translation into English.

  The loss of Goraksa-natha's seminal treatise hatha-yoga can possibly be attributed to the potential Buddhist doctrinal outlook of this work. Without doubt the possible prominence of Buddhist doctrinal and tantric systemic views etc., within this work would have been anathema within the Shaiva yogi polytheistic milieu by then dominated by an admixture of the outlooks of Samkhya polytheism with Vedanta monism as well as more or less upholding the Brahminic social outlook of caste and caste duty.  

   The revised Shaiva Natha system geared by the theistic Samkhya doctrine etc., and purged of all tantric Buddhist influences etc., was historical set out in the yoga manuals of the purely Shaiva Natha tradition from the post-10th., century AD., and the later medieval period. These texts include the early Goraksa-natha's sataka composed during 11th., or 12th.,    centuries AD., and his goraksa-vacana-samgraha (GVS.,) as well as the hatha-yoga-pradipika (HYP.,), and the 14th., century AD., goraksa-paddhati (GP.,) as well as the 15th., century AD., shiva-samhita (SS., ) and the later geranda-samhita (GS.,) etc

    Despite the pervasive influence of Goraksanatha's Buddhist background, the later and still comprehensive but far more orthodox yoga system, as set out in later yoga manuals mentioned etc., was certainly adapted from an earlier mix of tantric Buddhist and Shaiva emanation and yoga processes that were formulated during  the second half of the 1st., millennium AD.

   Being less tantric and more orthodox in character, Natha yoga manuals tend to follow the basic orthodox yoga system as first outlined in Patanjali’s yoga-darshana, Yoga Exposition. But in turn this orthodox yoga text was actually formulated from the processes, methods and techniques used in the far earlier Indo-Dravidian tantric yoga lineage tradition originating in the north-western Indus Valley civilization of the Indian sub-continent. The Indo-Dravidian tantric yoga tradition arose during the second half of the 3th.,  millennium BC. But this indigenous tantric yoga tradition was in turn adapted to the orthodox mores of Indo-Aryan ascetic tradition from c.12th., century BC., and Patanjali only orally composed his now recorded text during the 4th., century BC.

     As mentioned the Great Adept Goraksa's classic yoga system continues to exert a major doctrinal influence in the contemporary context and the historic Natha texts as well as Natha yoga manuals certainly offer a clear view of what defines a comprehensive exoteric/esoteric yoga approach.  

       Here within these texts etc., the preliminary exoteric stage is known as the karma-kanda, the preliminary Division of [modes to discipline and harness] Activities. The further esoteric stage is known as the jnana-kanda, the Division of [intuited] Knowledge.

        In regard to the two limbs forming the preliminary Division of [modes to discipline and harness] Activities, 1.21-23., of the Natha yoga treatise, the S.S., states:

       ' The karma-kanda is twofold, consisting of injunctions and prohibitions. Prohibited acts when performed will certainly bring sin or demerit. From the performance of [the necessary] enjoined acts merit certainly accrues '.

      According to another influential Nath› yoga treatise, the HYP., the exoteric limbs of the preliminary Division of [modes to discipline and harness] the Activities are formed by the categories of yama, moral conduct, niyama, [foundation doctrinal] observances.

      In regard to 'moral conduct' and observances, HYP., 1.17-18., states:

      ' The ten rules of moral conduct: [The stance of physical and mental] non-injury [towards all beings], truth, non-theft, celibacy, forgiveness, endurance, compassion, humility, sparing diet and cleanliness. '

      ' The ten observances mentioned by those proficient in the knowledge of yoga are: [Physical and mental] asceticism, patience, belief in the causal deity, charity, devotion to the causal deity, listening and studying discourses on the principles of the doctrine, shame, intellectual insight, the practice of [mild daily] austerity and fire sacrifice.'

      If 'worthy' yogi-s possess the required 'degree of inner sensibility', they can receive the graduated consecrations into the 'four' stages within the overall yoga method. These 'four' stages actually encompass the esoteric processes of the system of the sat-anga, ‘six’ limbs. These 'four' graduated stages include those of mantra-yoga, Union with the resonance of Mantra then hatha-yoga, the Union of the Sun and Moon, followed by laya-yoga, Union by Absorption and finally raja-yoga or complete Union with the Regal (or divine, non-dual consciousness) etc.

     But graduation into one or more of these stages depend on the disciple's bhava, the 'degree of inner sensibility'. The first, 'mantra' stage entails that the 'worthy' initiated/consecrated yogi must already be proficient in the disciples of the 'two' exoteric 'limbs' of the overall yoga system. An initiated yogi must also be somewhat proficient in breath regulation etc.

      During the application of the basic first ‘mantra’ stage the yogi must mentally visualize the deity form of the ista-devata, the 'chosen' deity whilst correctly reciting and then emanating the resonance the sectarian mantra. In a more advanced context the yogi should also apply the mentioned stages of mantra recitation while applying the yoni-mudra, the Seal of the Source.

      Mantra recitation whilst applying this internal seal was especially required in some sectarian tantric yogi contexts, including the Kaula tradition, in order to perform 'mantra activities'. The yogı is devoted to the advanced mantra stage with a view to eventually receive darshana, 'sight' of the 'chosen deity' and with deity's blessing become accomplished in emanating the resonance the 'chosen' deity's mantra and then externally wielding the powers of this mantra etc.

      According to the HYP., the second, the esoteric stage, known as the Division of [intuited] Knowledge is comprised of the applied stages within the yoga system. The Division of Knowledge is comprised of sat-anga, 'six limbs'. These ‘six limbs’ are comprised of asana, posture, mudra, seal, pratyahara, abstraction [or emanation], pranayama, breath regulation, dhyana, concentration and samadhı, gathered stabilized meditative state.

       ‘Posture’ is initially applied to make the body subtle and to strengthen the limbs for the eventuality of applying sitting postures for long periods. ‘Posture’ is further applied to especially straighten and strengthen the nadi-s, the channels or yoga nerves through which the activated and invigorated vayu-s, winds or degrees of electromagnetic energy, as well as later the coiled-up energy/capability will be channeled.

       'Abstraction’ can be in terms of concentrating on external and internal objects as well as in terms of visualization and emanation techniques applied to calm the emotionally tossed mind and related breath patterns in order harness the winds so as to be ready to apply breath regulation.

      'Breath regulation’ is applied to purify the nerves and subsequently to blend the winds according to the master’s instructions from and within particular principle nerves at the level of particular spinal centers.

       ‘Seals’ including bandha, ‘bonds’ are applied to fix, seal the blended winds within the principle nerve at the level of particular spinal centers. Once the winds are ‘sealed’ together with the bindu, the pent-up libido energy of the semen the normally coiled-up energy/capability can be awakened within base spinal center and be channeled into and up the central nerve. Thereby the essential nature of degrees of undifferentiated consciousness inherent to the purified bhaga, womb or spinal ‘sources’ can be intuitively appreciated and known within the lotuses of the spinal centers.

      'Concentration’ refers to complete and undistracted attention given to the degrees of undifferentiated consciousness that can appear within the spinal lotuses.

      'Gathered stabilized meditative state’ refers to establishment within the state of prolonged attention given to these degrees of undifferentiated consciousness up to the advent of total establishment within the non-dual consciousness of the radiance/ resonance of the quantum field.

      The utility of the esoteric trend comprised of the ‘six limbs’ is succinctly defined in SS., 1.33 that states:

      '...The spirit ought to be perceived [by applying such systemic means]....'

     But a further tantric yoga cosmic process basically separates orthodox yogi's from tantric yogı-s. Hindu tantric yogı-s apply a further and culminating process known as kula-yoga, Union with the Family. Here once the kundalini-shakti, the normally 'coiled-up energy/capability' of the optimum life force is aroused and channeled in and up the 'middle' nerve, the accomplished tantric yogi can then apply the kula-yoga.

      By means of the kula-yoga the tantric yogı can attain the accomplishment of non-dual knowledge from correctly offering the 'five' sense sacraments of the 5M's. The 5M's, the 'five' sense-based sacraments, all beginning with Devanagri letter 'm', were offered during the gana-cakra-puja, the 'circle of initiates' rite.

      The 5M's used in this rite are parched grain, meat, fish, alcohol and the erotic union performed by the yogi and his consort, the yogini. As mentioned, within the cosmic process the offerings to the five senses were made while the mature and/or the adept tantric yogı is maintaining undifferentiated consciousness within the purified and activated 'middle' nerve. Within the purified 'middle' nerve the activated undifferentiated consciousness is formed there by the melding and harnessing the Mother's shakti, the released Energy/Capabilty of the life force together with the Father's linga, the 'characteristic' or the resonance of the primal mantra. 

    Within the GVS., a 'collection of the sayings of Goraksa', the Great Adept Goraksa-natha offers the Natha lineage vista on the 'essencial nature' of the para-brahman, the Supreme Essence/Principle, from the view point of a realized adept:

   '' Some desire [the nature of] the para-brahman to be non-dual and others believe the supreme to be dual.

  "[But] they do not attain the para-brahman which is characterized by neither duality or non-duality.

  " If the para-brahman is omnipresent, permanent, complete and constant, maya, the great delusion is the false notion of duality and non-duality.

   " The para-brahman is beyond existence and non-existence, beyond origination and destruction, beyond all conceptions.

   " It [the para-brahman] is free from causal chains and is beyond any description.

   " It [the para-brahman] is beyond the range of the mind and intellect etc.

   " Those [adepts] who know the truth it [the para-brahman] is known as vyoma, 'space', vijnana, discriminating knowledge and ananda, 'bliss'."

   

         (3a.) The yogi-orientated Natha tradition.

         'The maha-siddha-s, who have [individually] broken the circle of death [and are fully liberated from cause and effect are able] to roam the universe.'

                                                                                                                                                          HYP., 1.9.

          Even today the yogi-orientated, unorthodox, Shaiva Natha tradition is still a popular 'all India' ascetic and householder sect, the early origins of which emerged during the early centuries of the second half of the 1st.,  millennium AD. As such the yogi-oriented circles of the Natha tradition formed a part of the unorthodox and tantric multi-sectarian siddha, 'adept' and maha-siddha, 'great adept' lineage movement that emerged during the early centuries of the 1st.,  millennium AD.

         The term 'siddha' generally means 'accomplished' or inwardly 'fulfilled'. The early definition of this term indicated that '84' thousand semi-divine 'siddha-s' inhabited the bhuvar-loka or the sky/space sphere between the earth and the heavens. But within the overall Siddha tradition and especially within the Natha lineage context, a siddha is an 'adept' 'accomplished' in the system of emanation and yoga. By means of accomplishing the system of emanation and yoga the 'siddha' is free of sensory cause and effect. By releasing the latent kundalini-shakti, the 'coiled-up energy/capability' of the life force within the 'middle' yoga nerve, the 'siddha' can potentially attain non-dual consciousness.

         Within the popular devotional context the accomplished 'siddha-s' attained and could wield the eight 'siddhi-s', the psychic accomplishments as well as the sat-karma-s, the 'six activities' arising from mantra recitation and fire sacrifices etc. From these accomplishments, devotees of the Natha tradition worshiped the siddha-s as a semi-divine beings who are free to roam the world and the universe at will.

         But being based on the system of emanation and yoga the unorthodox Natha tradition is primally a yogi-orientated, ascetic tradition and not a shamanistic tradition. The Natha tradition is an unorthodox Shaiva tradition and despite some social compromises, Natha yogi-s are not really concerned with the social/ religious goals of the Brahminical social system, that is based on caste and caste duties. Here Natha yogi-s have historically sought accomplishment from attaining the goals of the system of emanation and yoga and moreover especially prize fulfillment from attaining psychic accomplishments.

       In this vein the overall Natha tradition contains some lineage streams, like the Bengali stream, which are far more tantric in color. But the various lineage streams of the Natha tradition all revere and worship Shiva and the aspects of the Great Goddess as well as the lineage of the nava-natha-s, Nine Lords and the '84' Great Adepts. The lineage of the nava-natha-s, Nine Lords and the '84' Great Adepts are said to be the seminal founders of the early and later lineage streams of the overall Siddha tradition.

       In Sanskrit the name 'natha' means 'protector' or rather a 'lord'. Here in the context of the Natha tradition this name can imply the Natha yogi tradition that is considered as the upholder or even the 'protector' of macrocosmic/microcosmic non-dual knowledge attained by the system of emanation and yoga. This name furthers implies the lineage of adept yogi-s who as accomplished adepts are the 'lords' of this macrocosmic/microcosmic knowledge as well as the possessors of the 'eight' psychic accomplishments etc.

       More general information on the Natha tradition such as the order, the divisions of the order, sacred places etc., can be found in G.W. Briggs volume 'Gorakhnath and the Kanphata yogi-s'.


      (3b.,) The founding adept masters of the Natha lineage tradition.

    Today, despite some signs of decay, the yogi-oriented Shaiva Natha tradition still retains a degree of popularity and a degree of lineage importance among the mass of devotees living within eastern, central, northern and and northwestern regions of the Indian sub-continent. This degree of popularity and devotion etc., comes from the influence of bhakti, devotion, offered to Shiva and the maha-devi, the Great Goddess as well as to devotees revering the past and contemporary adept lineage masters of the Natha tradition.

     The yogi-orientated Natha tradition was founded by the tantric Shaiva/ Buddhist Great Adept Goraksa-natha during the late 10th., or early 11th., century AD. But some western scholars even date Goraksa-natha to 8th., century AD., but some other Indian scholars date Goraksa-natha to the 11th., and 12th., centuries AD.

      The pan-Indian, unorthodox Shaiva Natha tradition initially emerged from the north-eastern areas of the northern region of the Indian sub-continent and quickly spread into eastern region Indian sub-continent etc. With the exception of the extreme souther region of the Indian sub-continent the Natha Yogi tradition had spread to all the five regions of classical India by the 15th., century AD.

        The example of the adepts of the Natha tradition, who attained non-dual knowledge and were reputed to wield mantra powers etc., played an influential role in the spread of the Natha tradition. Also the composition of Natha yoga 'collections' written in a simple style of Sanskrit helped the formulation and spread of the classic 'eight-limbed' yoga regime that is applied today by a number of other sectarian traditions.

          However there are only very few definitive recorded histories of the non-Buddhist Siddha tradition dating from early pre-10th., century AD. But there are a number of histories of the Buddhist Maha-Siddha lineage tradition within the Tibetan tantric tradition that were derived from earlier Indian histories. Among these histories translated into English included a Tibetan translation of Abhayadatta's 11th., or 12th., century AD., catur-asti-siddha-pravritti (CSP.,) as well as Taranatha's 'Seven Instruction Lineages' composed in the 17th., century AD.

          The Tibetan historian Taranatha indicates that he derived his historical view from now lost Indian historical mss., sources. Taranatha indicates that he created his overall account of three vehicles of Indian Buddhism entitled History of Buddhism in India (H.B.I.), with the aid of the works of three principle Indian Buddhist historical writers. These three writers were the pundit Ksemendrabhadra of Magadha, the warrior caste pundit Indradatta and the Brahmin pundit Bhataghati. Taranatha mentions a now lost work by Indradatta entitled the buddha-purana.

       But within the Natha tradition the character of this yogi tradition as well as the character of the early lineage personalities of the Natha yogi lineage were orally passed down within the songs and myths of northern and eastern Indian folk lore. Also this the case within the folk lore of the Newars of the Katmandu Valley as well as by the folk lore of other ethnic groups elsewhere in the modern state of Nepal. Also over the centuries, since the medieval era these oral legends etc., have also been collected and have been recorded within the vernacular tradition of these regions. These include the Gorakh Bani etc.

         Even today at festivals held at the principle Shaiva temples etc., of Nepal and in the temple sites of northern and eastern India, Natha ascetics as well as wandering singers/devotees still sing songs and recount the many legends and myths relating to Goraksa-natha and his principle lineage disciples as well as regarding Goraksa-natha's lineage guru, 'master', Matysendra-natha and particular seminal lineage masters of the '84' Great Adepts.

          However a majority of contemporary devotees and yogi-s of the Natha tradition as well as many Indian scholars are ignorant of or even biased about the fact that the yogi tradition of Goraksa-natha and the Eighty-four Great Adepts as well as the doctrinal and systemic roots of Natha tradition are historically linked with the tantric Yogini Kula tradition and Buddhist Mantrayana/Sahajayana tradition as well with elements from the Rasayana tradition.

     According to later medieval Natha yoga texts as well as the popular folk tradition Goraksa-natha was the disciple of the East Indian or rather the Assamese tantric Kaula/Buddhist, Great Adept, Matysendra-natha/Machendra-natha.

        Matysendra-natha/Machendra-natha founded the Saiva/ Shakta Yogini Kula of Assam and eastern India in the c.9th., century AD. However the early extant yoga treatise the goraksa-sataka (GS.,) said to be composed by Goraksa-natha during the immediate post-10th., century AD., rather names Mina-natha as the actual master of Goraksa-natha

       In this respect the GS., actually reflects and upholds a Buddhist view on the genealogy of the Natha lineage. Within Abhayadatta's CSP., Mina-pa is considered as Goraksa-natha's master. However to be fair, other lineage streams within the Buddhist Indo/Tibetan hagiographic tradition consider Matsyendra-natha/Machendra-natha to be Goraksa-natha's consecrating master. Certainly to this day both Matsyendra-natha and Mina-natha are annually honored in the Buddhist/Hindu Red Bodhisattva/Red Matsyendra-natha chariot festival held on the streets of the Newar city of Patan in the Katmandu Valley of Nepal.

      In regard to the identity of Goraksa-natha's consecrating master GS.2., quotes Goraksa-natha as stating:

      ' ...In whom...the ocean of bliss of knowledge took form...[who] is superior to qualities both manifested and hidden, to him Sri Mina-natha, I continually revere.'

     However in contrast the author of the 12th., century AD., hatha-yoga-pradipika (HYP.,) Swatmarama indicates in HYP., 1.4., that:

     ' Matsyendra, Goraksa etc., knew the hatha-vidya, the Science of Strenuous Deliberation [or the Science of the Sun and the Moon] and by their favor Yogi Swatmarama also learnt it from them.'

      Most likely the intent of this unit is to suggest that these two Great Adepts were foremost, seminal masters in the transmission lineage of hatha-yoga/raja-yoga. This supposition is perhaps borne out in the HYP., by the subsequent listing of early seminal masters comprising the lineage of the Eighty-four Great Adepts.

       In this respect HYP., 1.5., states:

     ' The following adepts said to have existed in former times are said to be:

     Sri Adinatha, Matsyendra, Natha, Sabar, Anand, Bhairava, Caurangi, Minanatha [and] Goraksanatha...'.

       Here the adinatha, the 'original lord' refers to an aspect of the cosmic deity Shiva from whom both the Yogini Kula lineage and the Natha lineage arose and flowed from. In the tantric Buddhist Vajrayana/Mantrayana tradition the name adinatha refers to Vajrasattva and/or Heruka.

       The positions of Matsyendra, Mina-natha and Goraksa-natha within the lineage table offered by the HYP., infer that Matsyendra-natha was certainly of an earlier generation than Goraksa-natha and that the master immediately preceding Goraksa-natha was Mina-natha. By way of the usual conventions of lineage precedence this position could well suggest that Mina-natha was potentially the consecrating master of Goraksa-natha within the Shaiva Natha lineage etc.

      Within the context of the Indian Buddhist tantric tradition, the applied emanation and yoga modes of the extended lineage of the Eighty-four Great Adepts were transmitted by Seven Instruction Lineages. Among the seven lineages listed in Taranatha's S.I.L., is the Instruction Lineage of the Various Precepts. Matsyendra, Caurangi, Mina-pa and Goraksa are included as important masters with the Instruction Lineage of the Various Precepts.

      A sub-lineage of hatha-yoga/vayu-yoga within the overall Instruction of the Various Precepts actually commences from Mina-pa. The hatha-yoga/vayu-yoga sub-lineage lineage commences from Mina-pa, to Machendra-pa, Caurangi-pa, Goraksa-natha, Karnari-pa, Nago-pa, Golen-natha, Onkara-natha, and Ratigupta. Later within a following section we will try to offer a rough dating for Mina-pa and for the masters of this sub-lineage.

      Mina-pa was apparently considered as the earliest master of the four seminal lineage masters of the Natha tradition. Mina-pa was also an important lineage master of tantric alchemy within a sub-lineage commenced by the seminal master Vyali-pa. This lineage includes the later seminal lineage holder Lui-pa also found within the Lineage of the Instruction of the Great Seal etc.

       The outlook of some works within the Indian tantric Buddhist hagiographical tradition, reflect the view the CSP., and indicate that the lineage master of Goraksa-natha was Mina-pa. Within the CSP., Mina-pa is also known as Acinta and Vajrapada. The CSP., recounts the initial details of the hagiography of Goraksa-natha in the context of the hagiography of the Great Accomplisher Caurangi. Within this hagiography the consecrating master of Caurangi is named Acinta. Just as in the lineage of the HYP., the CSP., indicates that Caurangi held an earlier position in the tantric Buddhist hatha-yoga lineage.

      However this brief hagiography does not clearly differentiate whether this Acinta is Mina-pa or another Great Adept of the same name. However elsewhere the CSP., gives Acinta as an alternative name for Mina-pa. In addition to this fact are the well known associations of Mina-pa, Matsyendra-natha with Caurangi and Goraksa-natha that could suggest that the Acinta mentioned in Caurangi's hagiography is in fact Mina-pa.

   In regard to the hagiographies of the Buddhist Great Accomplishers Caurangi and Goraksa-natha the CSP., states that within 'the eastern region' of the Indian sub-continent 'lived a king named Devapala'. But from this text it is not sure whether this Devapala is the the historical Devapala of the Buddhist following Pala dynasty.

       The historical Devapala ruled the multi-regional Pala Empire and the Indian historian Jhunu Bagchi dates his reign to c.810 to 847 AD. If this is the Devapala of the Pala dynasty, the events featured in this hagiography can roughly date Caurangi and Goraksa-natha to the first half of thr 9th., century AD., or a little later.

        The hagiography continues with the fact that king Devapala 'had only one son' named Caurangi. When Caurangi was 'twelve years old' his mother became ill. Just before she died the queen mother gave 'her last testimony' to her son. At this crucial juncture, the wise, Buddhist following queen mother stated to Caurangi:

       "All the happiness and misery of living beings arise from meritorious and unmeritorious actions. Even if acting from merit means you lose your life do not perform anything unmeritorious."

      Then Caurangi's noble mother died. Devapala was full of grief at her death but his ministers advised 'the king to marry a [new] queen'. Although they found a suitable young noble woman for Devapala and the king was married again, Devapala was still grief stricken at the death of his noble wife and 'went to the forest to dispel his grief'.

       Unfortunately the new young queen was left alone in the king's palace and on 'seeing the young prince' allowed 'lust to arise'. But mindful of his mother's last advise 'the prince refused' her advances. The new queen was 'embarrassed' that her lustful advances were refused and became angry and even afraid. The new queen subsequently thought of a plan to ease her fears and get her revenge on the noble prince and decided to carry 'out a deception'. On the return of the Devapala from his forest retreat the new queen feigned a sexual assault by the young prince. She 'cut herself...and lay naked' and disheveled 'on her bed'.

       The king did not question her explanation of a sexual assault by Caurangi and gave orders to his executioners to 'take the prince into the deep forest and cut off his hands and feet'. In the forest the executioners considered that it was 'not right to kill a prince' and decided to kill one of their own sons in his place. But the noble prince Caurangi rejected this course of action and by remembering what his mother had said on her death-bed he ordered the executioners to 'cut off his hands and feet'.

       Meanwhile 'in that country was a great yogi named Acinta'. The adept yogi Acinta 'went among [some] herdsmen saying...there is a man with his limbs cut off...who is willing to go to him'. Among then was 'a small boy', Goraksa 'the son of an incense seller ' was 'willing to go' to see if he could help this injured man.

     Goraksa saw the injured man and on returning to Acinta Goraksa said:

     " It is as you say...."

     Then Acinta replied: 'What do you have to eat and drink?

     [Goraksa replied] " The master of the herdsmen gives me enough to eat and drink I will take half to that man..."

     [Acinta replied] " Good. Take good care of him. His name is Caurangi."

     In carry out this task, Goraksa was proved to be a compassionate man as well as a caring servant who helped Caurangi for twelve years. During the final day of this last year Goraksa 'saw the prince standing' and 'asked how this could be...'.

      Caurangi replied:

       "A perfected master, skilled in means, brought me to realize [the intuitive experience of] emptiness [sunya, voidness]. How wondrous it is to know the true nature of existing things and so be without [attachment to the dyads of] pleasure and pain!"

       Then Caurangi rose up in the air and said to the cowherd Goraksa:

      " You have been given instructions by me now practice them! "

      However Goraksa replied: " I do not wish instructions. I [already] have a master who asked me to make [service and] offerings to you and I have acted accordingly."

      Then Goraksa returned to guard his herd and then he awaited Acinta to return. On his return Goraksa recounted his experiences with Caurangi and this adept yogi rejoiced. Then Acinta consecrated the cowherd Goraksa and gave him the complete instructions. Goraksa meditated for a number of years and 'obtained the mahamudra-siddhi, the Accomplishment of the Great Seal'.

    When this auspicious event happened Acinta returned again and said to Goraksa:

    " Do not depart from this world until you awakened to enlightenment a hundred times a hundred living beings."

 

      However by reflecting on the various opinions regarding these lineage adepts held within the Tibetan hagiographic tradition, the 17th., century A.D., Tibetan historian Taranatha takes a different line than the CPS., in recounting the hagiography of Caurangi and Goraksa-natha within his historical work, The Seven Instruction Lineages (S.I.L.). Here he recounts a very similar hagiography for Caurangi but with Matsyendra-natha in the role of Mina-pa/Acinta.

     From his lineage point of view Taranatha further indicates any other hagiographical data relating to Mina-pa and Goraksa as fallacious. Apparently Taranatha disagrees with the suggestion that Mina-pa, characterized in the S.I.L., as a Shaiva yogi, was the 'heart' master of Goraksa-natha rather than Matsyendra-natha. Taranatha recounts this fallacious view of Mina-pa by stating that:

    ' Mina-pa supported by Mahesvara [Shiva], gained ordinary siddhi levels. Goraksa begged him for upadesa-s of psychic breath and...meditated...[But] the insight wisdom of the maha-mudra was born spontaneously within him...'

     In respect of what he considers to be the actual hagiographic data of Mina-pa, Taranatha recounts data that in many respects echoes the popular legend, still current within ethnic Newars of Nepal, that is linked to Matsyendra-natha etc. Here Mina-pa is characterized as a fisherman in Kamaru, modern Assam, then lying on what were the extreme eastern borders of the Brahminic cultural sphere.

      Interestingly this hagiographic account certainly confirms that yogic breath techniques were prevalent among lower caste groups and were never merely restricted to an upper caste ascetic milieu. Apparently these techniques played a part in the ritual propitiation of local deities in order to be empowered by these local deities and the breath techniques were also utilized as a means for gaining mental stability; for maintaining good health and physical endurance etc.

     In respect of what Taranatha considers to be the correct hagiographical data of Mina-pa, the S.I.L., states that 'Mina-pa was a fisherman from Kamaru in eastern India and that 'he meditated a little on the psychic winds [method] as performed by fishermen'. Whilst fishing a huge 'fish dragged him into its throat and swallowed him. But 'because of the power of his karma...[he] meditated on the psychic winds...[and] he did not die'.

     On 'the Rohita' the Brahmaputra river, is 'a rocky hill known as Umagiri'. The present site of the Shaiva/Shakta Kamakhya temple as well as the historical kamakhya-pitha are located on Umagiri. The S.I.L. recounts that here 'Mahesvara was preaching yoga of the psychic wind to [his consort] Uma'. Mina-pa was still 'in the fish's belly' when he 'heard this teaching' and whilst in the fish's belly, meditate and 'attained some excellent realization'.

      Later some fishermen caught and killed the fish and Mina-pa finally emerged after twelve years 'from the fish...at the very spot...a king had [previously] died'. Some 'thirteen years had passed' since the fisherman Mina-pa's son had been born. So 'both father and son went before acarya Carpati-pa and begged for upadesa-s'. Both father and son 'attained siddhi' and 'the father became known as siddha Mina-pa and the son...the siddha Matsyendra'.

   ' Mina-pa's [disciples]...Hali-pa...Mali-pa and Tiboli-pa...became siddhas...[The] pupils of Matsyendra...were Caurangi and Goraksa...'

      According to the S.I.L., the principle disciples of Goraksa were Tirtha-natha, Kala-natha and Brahma-natha. The hagiographic line adopted by Taranatha undoubtedly reflects the outlook of his Indian master Buddha-gupta. According to the S.I.L., Taranatha states:

     '...My guru Buddhagupta...has seen many [Indian] siddha-s in the flesh, these siddha-s who are like the treasury of the complete upadesas of Goraksa...'.

 

      
(3c.,) An historical view of the mixed lineage situation of the early pre-10th., century AD., Natha tradition.

       "Minapa supported by Maheshara, gained the ordinary siddhi levels...".

                                                                                            Taranatha's The Seven Instruction Lineages.

 

     Such textural references from texts of the tantric Buddhist historical tradition certainly connect seminal masters of the historical Natha hatha-yoga/raja-yoga lineages, such as Matsyendra, Mina-pa, Caurangi and Goraksa with the instruction lineages of the Buddhist tantric Mantrayana tradition. In other textural traditions these masters are certainly also linked with the instruction lineages of other the Shaiva and Kaula tantric traditions.

      These incidences connecting these masters with a number of tantric yoga traditions can serve to point towards trends of positive interplay between supposedly hostile, competing sectarian tantric yoga traditions during the classic pre-10th., century period of Indian tantricism.  

     In order to appreciate just how seminal Buddhist/Shaiva Great Adepts, such as Goraksa-natha and Matsyendra-natha etc., came to be revered by both Shaiva and Buddhist yogi-s and devotees, the historical/political events at the end of the last millennium BC., etc., should be considered. These political events played an important role within the rise and doctrinal development of the multi-sectarian Siddha and Maha Siddha lineages of the greater northern region.  

   Although tribal shamanism/tantricism was present within all the regions of the Indian sub-continent from the pre-historic era, the origins of the classic tantric period initially arose from the efforts of generations of yoga adepts at first only living within the northwestern region of the Indian sub-continent. The rise and momentum of the historic north-western Shaiva/Shakta and the Vajray›na/Mantrayana yogi lineage traditions enabled the rise of the historic classic, tantric period during the second half of the 1st., millennium AD.

       The initial arising of the historic, classic tantric period within the northwestern region roughly occurred during the period when the multi-regional, Magadhan Mauryan Empire fell in 180 BC., to 318 AD., when the Magadhan Gupta Empire arose. During this 'dark' era, the political history of the northern region is marked by the ebb and flow of alien ethnic and tribal invasions.

      Within this 'dark' period the recorded history of the various local and regional kingdoms set within the greater north Indian region is often very fragmented. Only sketchy historical records, often in the form of temple inscriptions etc., recount the invasions and conquests of alien ethnic groups and Central Asian tribes. These invasions and conquests by alien ethnic tribes etc., came from the direction of eastern Persia and via now modern Afghanistan etc., from Central Asia.

       These sketchy records together with some of the later texts of the Brahmanic Purana textural tradition etc., give a very unclear or even a biased view of the changing political, social and religious trends. During this period, foreign invading ethnic groups and Central Asian tribes included the Bactrian Greeks as well as the Scythian/Shaka-s, Munda-s, Kushan/Kushana-s etc.

      The Bactrian Greeks and Kushans already possessed advanced sedentary cultures and favored Buddhist approach to religion already exported from India into Central Asia. But even the Central Asian Scythian tribes possessed a semi-sedentary culture. The movement of ethnic/tribal invasions during this period occurred as a consequence of the ethnic and political chaos that already possessed Central Asia.

        During this 'dark' era each of these various organized ethnic/tribal groups went on to create successive regional even multi-regional empires within the region of greater north India. For some time these empires encompassed region of greater north India as well as trans-Indus provinces normally dominated by the Persian empire as well as provinces extending back into southern regions of Central Asia. Thereby throughout this 'dark' and chaotic period, the history of the northwestern, northern and western regions of greater north India was marked by the ebb and flow of invasion and conquest from the west etc.

       However at the end of this long five hundred year period a more stable political interlude was generated with the rise of the indigenous Indian, Magadhan Gupta dynasty. During the 4th., and 5th., centuries AD., the indigenous Madaghan Gupta dynasty re-established a multi-regional empire throughout the northern/central half of the Indian sub-continent and even beyond. But by the 5th., century AD., the Gupta Empire was confronted, checked and set back by the invasion of the barbaric Central Asian Huna-s or White Huns arriving from the northwest and west.

       The White Huns were just part of the whole historic movement of Hunish tribes out of Central Asia. The movements of Hunish tribes out of Central Asia towards the west and southeast not only negatively affected the Gupta Empire but similarly negatively affected the Persian Empire and even the far off Roman Empire of western Europe.

       The White Huns were not impressed with Indian caste-based civilization and despite later adopting Shaivism they pillaged northern and central regions of India for more than a century. The prolonged period of conflict between the Gupta empire and the White Huns only ceased with the complete defeat of the White Huns in c.532 AD., by the Gupta feudatory Yasodharman.

        During this initial five hundred year period and later during the period of the Gupta Empire etc., the political chaos affecting greater northern region also negatively affected the social organization of orthodox Indian religions. The political chaos affecting this whole region allowed the various, more loosely-formed, regional yogi and tantric yogı traditions to arise and then even to flower.

       This flowering etc., especially occurred within the remote north-western hill kingdoms of greater Gandhara and Kashmir. Here within these remote and now isolated hill kingdoms, the existing ancient Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta yogı lineages as well as the newly founded Buddhist tantric yogı lineages arose and flowered. The flowering of these lineages led to a renaissance in the further development of the tantric doctrinal view of emanation and yoga as well as gave flower to the composition of important works forming the tantric textural traditions.

        In part the cause motivating this renaissance of the ancient indigenous tantric tradition of the northwest region occurred because the various sectarian yogı-s lineages that developed in the hill kingdoms were isolated by this long period of political chaos. Here within these hill kingdoms this prolonged period of political chaos positively enabled the further development of the tantric system without the strictures of religious orthodoxy.

     Being free from the strictures of religious orthodoxy gave rise   to an unusual amount of adept yoga practitioners per generation. This arose because of the unusual amount of suitable practitioners ready to apply the various systems of tantric yoga. The unusual amount of suitable tantric practitioners, that occurred during this era, via the momentum generated by the rise of the unorthodox religious tradition, that included the Buddhist tradition, from c.500 BC. In this way the various yoga and tantric yoga lineages did not wither during this long period of isolation caused by political chaos and in fact from being isolated from the continuing influences of religious orthodoxy, the yoga based tantric lineage traditions of the northwestern region were able to flower.

     By the 4th., and 5th., centuries AD.,  the various emanation and radical tantric yoga systems of the various sectarian deity cycles, developed by the adepts of the early tantric tradition of the northwestern region, were able to spread and flower within all the 'five' regions of classical India.This process occurred via the ancient pilgrimage/yogı circuits.

      The Shaiva/Shakta Kula/Kaula tantric text, the KAT., lists the four principle ‘seats’ of the deities, that were suitable for pilgrimage and the application of rites etc., both by yogi-s and householders The four principal seats listed in this important treatise of the Shaiva/Shakta, Kula/Kaula tradition exactly correspond to the principal ‘seats’ listed in the Buddhist Mantrayana tantra, the H.T. Thereby this common listing of principle ‘seats’ could well confirm a degree of mutual lineage affiliation/origin as well as a then  concurrent, mutual use of these sites situated on ancient yogı propitiation/pilgrimage circuits during the 1st., millennium AD.                              

     According to KAT., 5.25., these principal ‘seats’ of the deities, placed on the ancient yogı propitiation/pilgrimage circuits, are:

      '...Uddiyana-pitha...kamarupa-pitha ...jalandhara-pitha ...purnagiri-pitha ...'.

      These principle tantric ‘seats’ placed on  the ancient yogı propitiation/ pilgrimage circuits, are located in the northwestern, northeastern, northern and southern regions of classical India. But in a slightly different order the H.T.,1.7.12-18 similarly lists these four principal ‘seats’ as prime locations suited for the application of tantric vows and the system of this Buddhist ‘wisdom’ tantric deity cycle. The far flung locations of these four principal ‘seats’ created a very wide ranging tantric propitiation/pilgrimage circuit that was apparently applicable to the Buddhist yogi lineage who applied the tantric Mantrayana system of the  H.T., as well as for the Kula/ Kaula lineage of the KAT.                                                                               

      As the H.T., was already composed during the 8th., century AD., the locations of these 'seats' offer a potentially clear indication of the geographical range of the various tantric deity cycles by this date as well as the potential diffusion of the northwestern Shaiva/Shakta and Buddhist tantric yogı lineages by this time.

      

        Within the northwestern kingdoms of greater Gandhara etc., during this 'dark era' of alien ethnic/tribal invasions, the lineage of seminal Siddha-s and Mah›siddha-s went on to found the early mixed Buddhist, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta tantric yogı lineage streams. The earlier flowering of these tantric sects of the northwestern region allowed the influence of their sectarian tantric doctrines to be spread by the yoga ascetics throughout all the regions of of classical India.

       The later lineages streams founded by seminal Siddha-s and Mahasiddha-s included the tantric Buddhist 'Seven Lineages', the Shakta 'Five Handed-down' lineages and the later tantric Shaiva/Shakta Kashmiri lineage. From the second half of 1st., millennium AD., the flowering and spread of the various sectarian systems of tantra via the pilgrimage circuits, has left a lasting impression on the approach towards Indian religious devotion as well as on the methods of the various applied sectarian yoga and tantric yoga systems. This impression still lasts even up the modern era.

       Before the advent of the five hundred year 'dark' period the ordering of the Indo-Aryan orthodox religious/social traditions within the local or regional kingdoms of the northern region had rested on regal patronage. But during this five hundred year 'dark' era of alien conquest etc., the previously existing political situation of indigenous local and regional kingdoms as well as the more or less fixed order of the caste-based social system stemming from the orthodox Brahmin 'family' religious traditions, gradually ceased to fully function.

      Here the ancient even pre-historic Shaiva tradition was already well established in the northwestern region. In this way within the plains kingdoms and hill kingdoms organized popular religion went back to its roots. Here popular religion only continued to function by catering to indigenous local/tribal deities or even alien deities introduced by the new rulers of the kingdoms situated on the plains.

         Here during the 'dark' era, ancient Shaivism became a crucial religious force within the development and formation of the tantric yoga doctrines of classic tantricism. During this protracted period of political chaos the mode of decentralization allowed the ancient Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta yoga milieu to gradually re-assert itself from the strictures of the Brahmin caste-based 'family' tradition. This occurred because the popular and especially the ascetic, tantric yoga-based lineage traditions were now more localized and headed by successive generations of realized adept lineage holders.

       Similarly within the Buddhist yogı situation the cessation of previous regal patronage together with gradual cessation monastic ordination, the influence of the more centralized, monastic Buddhist lineage also waned in favor of the tantric yogı approach. From being isolated, generations of adept Buddhist yogı-s only transmitted the doctrines of tantric emanation and yoga. These inner doctrines were related to the tantric Buddhist deity cycles ruled by the Buddha-s of Concentration.

       The early Buddhist Vajrayana tantric doctrines are recorded in seminal tantra-s, treatises, of the early Buddhist tantric textural tradition such as the seminal 6th., century AD., guhya-samaja-tantra etc. From inferences within the later Tibetan historical works, at this time there existed mixed tantric lineages which had adepts and disciples who practiced tantric emanation and yoga by following either a theistic Shaiva line or a atheistic Buddhist line of deity devotion and yoga.

      W ithin the northwestern hill and plains kingdoms of greater Gandhara during the early centuries of the 1st., millennium AD., refined yogi-s belonging to the early yogi lineages were consecrated into the overall tantric emanation and yoga system by the early Siddha-s and Maha Siddha-s of the Shaiva, Shaiva/Shakta. and the tantric Buddhist lineages. 

       Even the Tibetan historian Taranatha admits that during the early centuries AD., there was evidence of mixed Shaiva and Buddhist tantric lineages operating within the northwestern hill region. Well known western academic writers on tantra such a Gray and Sanderson have explored the debate concerning the degree in which the Buddhist tantric cycles and the composition of Buddhist tantra-s were influenced by the doctrines of the ancient Shaiva tantric traditions of the northwest.

        The principle root treatises of the Shaiva/Shakta and Buddhist tantric traditions describe the kind of mantra rites and the emanation and yoga-based methods that had their basis within orally transmitted tantric lineages that existed from early centuries AD. 'Worthy' and refined disciples entered these different lineages because they were devotionally and doctrinally inclined towards Shaiva theism or to Buddhist atheism. But despite these differences these yogi-s still applied mutually recognizable emanation and yoga process aimed towards attaining the uncreated sahaja, or the non-dual cosmic nature of consciousness.

      In later tantra-s and yoga manuals, the nature of non-dual consciousness is characterized as the maha-shunya, the 'great void' or the 'space-like' bliss/void etc. Although the various Shaiva, Shaiva/Shakta and Buddhist tantric lineages were separated by fundamental views on theism, no-soul or no individual soul, no-self etc., nevertheless a minority refined yogi-s within these lineages did not apply the basic and mutual tantric yoga method to simply attain the eight psychic powers or the 'six activities' of mantra. More refined yogi-s were only concerned with attaining the sahaja, the innate and 'natural', non-dual consciousness.

      From this similar refined goal, apparently at first, the refined yogi-s of the newly emerging Buddhist tantric yogı lineages were then able existed side by side with the refined yogi-s from a variety of sectarian tantric yogı lineages that included the very ancient Shaiva and the Shaiva/Sh›kta lineages. But later with the spread of various tantric lineages to all the regions of classical India there was intense competition between these tantric lineages for doctrinal paramountcy stemming from the need to gain regal patronage etc.

       From the previous discussion, during the early northwestern period, the sectarian differences between Siddha-s etc., upholding the various sectarian tantric lineages became burred. Apparently the early generations of Siddha-s etc., of this period had closer relationships than in later centuries and because of this closeness these yogi lineages inter-played with each other allowing disciples from different lineages to receive consecrations into their emanation and yoga 'specialties'.

        In effect, for a time, there were actually mixed Shaiva/Buddhist tantric yoga lineages. Hence the inclusion and reverence offered to the Shaiva/Buddhist Great Adepts within Indian and Tibetan religious historical works. Tibetan historical works certainly record that during the Indian period of the Buddhist tantric tradition, the various Buddhist tantric lineage 'streams' were the vehicles for progressively and comprehensively instructing ‘worthy’ yogı disciples.

        This was the case because particular adept yogı-s would initially consecrate and instruct disciples of their circle into their lineage ‘specialties’ etc. Where necessary and in order to gain further comprehensive instruction adept yogı-s would also send their disciples to other yogı circles. These other yogı circles were also headed by adept masters who had directly proved different emanation specialties and yoga techniques. Suitable and ripened disciples could then progressively graduate and where needed could be passed from one circle to another circle in order to receive detailed instructions on a number of specialties etc., within the systemic approach of their deity cycle.

        Thereby disciples could obtain a complete course of instruction from a variety of adept masters accomplished in the 'specialties' of a number of instruction streams. In this manner from the inter-play of the Shaiva/Shakta and Buddhist Vajrayana/Mantrayana lineages a particular yogı would have one principle, ‘heart’ master from own particular lineage but he could also well have other accomplished masters for particular ‘proven’ systemic specialties from another lineage.

        Certainly a broad process in the development and formulation of Shaiva/Shakta and the Buddhist regional tantric lineage systems can be initially marked with the emergence of a variety of yogi lineage streams from the northwestern region. Within the Shaiva/Shakta context these lineage streams were a part of an overall lineage collectively known as the panca-amnaya, the ‘five orally handed-down' lineage streams.

       Some lineage texts within these ‘five’ traditions indicate an affinity with the Buddhist tantric yogi lineage and include the Buddhist tantric tradition within the overall lineage as a ‘sixth orally handed-down' lineage stream. The 8th., century Kashmir Shaiva/Shakta treatise, the svaccanda-bhairava-tantra as well as some early Shaiva Agama treatises etc., suggest the early lineage affiliation of the northwestern Shaiva/Shakta Kashmir lineage with the early northwestern lineages of the Vajrayana/Mantrayana tradition.

       Thereby the gradual process of the evolution of tantric emanation and yoga within the Buddhist yogi lineages was possibly, in part, the product of inter-play and the adaptation of the systems upheld by the ancient Shaiva/Shakta tantric yogi lineage traditions.

      However the 9th., century AD., commentary, the yoga-ratna-mala (YRM.,) composed by Krishna-acarya, in commenting upon the hevajra-tantra (HT.,) 1.1.1., indicates that the Buddhist systemic/doctrinal tantric approach must be certainly differentiated from the 'orally handed-down traditions' that formed the geographically designated Kula and Yogini-Kula lineage streams etc. While this is no doubt correct in purely Buddhist doctrinal terms and in terms of their unique atheistic approach to emotional ‘counter-action’ by means of emanating the 'wisdom' deities etc., the earlier inter-weaving and mixing of the Adept and Great Adept yogi lineages, as suggested in Shaiva/Shakta texts, cannot be flatly denied because of sectarian biases.

      However, by the 11 th., century, the tantrically-influenced but apparently adaptable lineages of the Natha tradition founded by Goraksa-natha had already commenced the move away from their tantric Buddhist lineage roots. In religious terms this move away from Buddhist tantric roots should be put within the context of the marked decline of Buddhism in the face of the further revitalization of post-Gupta Brahminism generated by the missionary efforts of Sankara during the early 9th., century AD.

      Within the political context, the decline of Buddhism was further hastened by the rise and spread of Islamic political power from the western region of classical India after the 10th., century A.D. The late 12th., century A.D., saw the destruction of the principle Buddhist monastery/universities of northern and eastern India that had hitherto maintained the monastic-orientated Mahayana and the yogi-orientated Mantrayana/ Sahajayana doctrinal positions.

      Undoubtedly the destruction of the monastery/universities by Islamic arms accelerated the final demise of the already unraveling Buddhist monastic infrastructure and further hastened the movement of orthodox and yogi elements within the Buddhist tradition towards the Vaisnava, Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta sects of orthodox and tantric Hinduism.

     The lineage adepts of the Natha tradition probably initially commenced a movement towards Saivism from the early 11th., century AD. With the destruction of the Buddhist Great Monastries at the end of the 12th., century AD., the Natha tradition finally emerged in eastern and northern India as a Shaiva orientated ascetic sect.

      However Taranatha maintains that Goraksa-natha actually always remained a Buddhist yogi. In coming to this opinion Taranatha is apparently quite content to overlook historical religious and political trends that contributed to the erosion and final demise of Buddhism in northern and eastern India. By such omissions Taranatha simply suggests that only later groups of yogi-s belonging to Goraksa-natha's lineage, both in Nepal and in eastern India, converted to Shaivism out of a sense of greed after being attracted by the patronage offered by the then Hindu rulers etc.

      Contrary to Taranatha’s optimism on the state of Indian Buddhism at this time, certainly, by the post 13th., century A.D., period, the possibility for a continuing interplay between aspects from the Buddhist, Indo-Tibetan tantric yogi/monastic lineage traditions with the Indian yogi lineages founded by the Buddhist/Saiva Great Adept Goraksa-natha etc., was completely ended by fundamental political changes.

     The general demise of a widespread, semi-independent Buddhist yogi tradition was certainly caused by the rapid decline of monastic Buddhism in northern India rather than by any opportunistic conversion of hitherto Buddhist yogi groups to Saivism. In fact any movement towards conversion was the direct, long-term effect of the loss of Buddhist doctrinal input over a number of generations.

      Subsequently from the 13th., century A.D., during the long period of continuing Islamic political ascendency within the western, northwestern, northern and eastern regions, the flexibility and appeal of the Natha Yogi lineage tradition, in the face of these changes in social/political circumstances was demonstrated by the Natha tradition's ability to be able to attract and accommodate even Muslim devotees and yoga practitioners.

      

      (3d.,) An attempt at the rough dating of the Shaiva/Buddhist maha-siddha-s, Great Adepts by examining and assessing the data drawn from Tibetan histories such as Taranatha's 'Seven Instruction Lineages' etc.

             ' [The] muddled view of the different origins of the Mantrayana needs to be examined.'

                                                                                           Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India.

       The seminal founding lineage masters of the Natha tradition Mina-pa, Matsyendra-natha, Caurangi and Goraksa-natha were revered both by Shaiva yogi-s and the devotees of the early Siddha/Natha tradition as well by the monks, yogi-s and devotees of the Indian tantric Buddhist Mantrayana/Sahajayana tradition. Other Great Adepts revered by both Shaiva and Buddhist devotees include Jalandhari-pa, Viru-pa, Raja Bhartahari, Gopicandra etc.

       But any attempt to assess the genealogy as well as offer a rough dating of individual adepts of the Great Adept lineage is of course reliant upon the data provided by Tibetan histories such as Taranatha's History of Buddhism in India (H.B.I.,) etc., tempered by the researches of modern Indian and western historians. In order to make a greater and efficient use of the genealogical lineage tables of adept tantric masters and other data as offered in Taranatha's S.I.L and the Life of Krishnacarya (L.K.) etc., there are actually some authentic dates for a limited number of Indian Great Adepts as well their immediate Indian and Tibetan disciples.

       Also there are a few other but authentic, more or less precise dates that can be gleaned from other reliable Tibetan historical sources especially 'Gos the Translator's B.A., and within Bu-ston Rinpoche's earlier History of Buddhism in India and Tibet (H.B.I.T.) as well as from books written by western researchers of Tibetan Buddhism etc. But any attempt to create a dating for the various Great Adept instruction lineages as well as offering a rough dating for particular Great Adepts is for the most part reliant upon data provided by Tibetan historians. But from some points of view this data can be seen as being unreliable or even biased when seen from the objective data provided by the researches of modern historians.                                               

        From the S.I.L., some important data regarding the early lineage streams of Great Adepts, can be gained by way of reference to the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal, the Instruction Lineage of the Seal of Ritual and the Instruction Lineage of the Innate Radiance.

      According to the S.I.L., the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal commenced from Saraha, Nagarjuna, the younger, Shavari, Lui-pa, Dengi-pa, Tilli-pa [Tilo-pa], Naro-pa, Dombhi-pa and Kushalibhadra.

     The Instruction Lineage of the Seal of Ritual commenced from Raja Indrabhuti, snr., of Oddiyana to his disciple Sahajasiddhi Yogini, Mahapadmavajra, Anangavajra, middle Padmavajra, middle Indrabhuti, Jalandhari, Krishna-acarya, Kalyananatha, Amitavajra, Kushalabhadra.

     The Instruction Lineage of the Innate Radiance commenced from Ashvapada to Vinapa, Vilsayavajra, Vajraghanta-pa, La-va-pa, Jalandhari-pa, Krishna-acarya, Buddhasri-jñana-pada, Tanti-pa, Viru-pa the younger, Raja Bhartahari, Gopicandra etc.

    Other instruction lineage streams include those of the Goddess Candika, the Process of Generation etc.

     The Instruction Lineage of the Goddess Candika commenced from Viru-pa to his principle disciples Kalaviru-pa, Vyadali, Dombhiheruka. From this point on the lineage becomes somewhat confused. According to the S.I.L., Kalaviru-pa was a contemporary of Jalandhari-pa but the S.I.L., does not list a sub-lineage from this Great Adept. Further the sub-lineage from Vyadali only lists one disciple Kushalibhadra.

       Essentially the main lineage of the Instruction of the Goddess Candika continues from Dombhiheruka to his four principle disciples Dombhiyogini, Alayavajra, Hemala-vajra and Ratnavajra. Dombhiheruka also had five minor lineage holding disciples Nags-khrod-pa, Garvari-pa, Jayashri, Durjayacandra, Rahulavajra. The lineage continued from Dombhiyogini to Ratavajra, Krishna-acarya etc.

     The Instruction Lineage of the Process of Generation commenced from Buddhasrijñana to his four principle disciples Dipamakarabhadra, Prashantamitra, Maha-sukha-padmakara and Ksatriya Rahula. The main lineage continues from Dipamkarabhadra, Vaidya-pada, Avadhuti-pa, Ratnakarashanti-pa, Mahavajra-asana-pa, Kushali. Anoother sub-lineage starts via Vaidyapada, Buddhashrishanti, Mahavajra-asana-pa.

     Within the Instruction Lineage of the Various Precepts the lineage of rasayana, alchemy, commences from Vyali-pa. This lineage includes the significant later lineage holder Lui-pa and will be geared later to his dating.

     The alchemy lineage commences from Vyali-pa to Carpati-pa, Kakkuti-pa, Lui-pa, Mina-pa, Hali-pa, Mali-pa and Tiboli-pa. A sub-lineage of hatha yoga and vayu yoga commences from Mina-pa, to Machendra-pa, Caurangi-pa, Goraksa-natha, Karnari-pa, Nago-pa, Golen-natha, Onkara-natha and Ratigupta.

 

       When considering the question of offering any possible chronology for the genealogy of the seminal adepts of the Maha-siddha lineage traditions, the historical significance as well as the linkage with the patronage of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty should also be recognized and even somewhat emphasized. Important monarchs of the Pala dynasty, known as the 'seven Pala-s', maintained the monastically-orientated Mahayana tradition as well as giving patronage to the unorthodox, yogi-orientated tantric Mantrayana/ Sahajayana traditions of Indian Buddhism.

      Within the Buddhist historical work the H.B.I. the Tibetan historian Taranatha certainly approaches and orientates this history by way of the historical patronage of the three vehicles of Buddhism offered by various Indian regional and multi-regional ruling dynasties. Through a regional and multi-regional historical perspective and within the structure created by the regal lineages of the various pro-Buddhist dynasties, the H.B.I., relates the hagiographical and anecdotal data regarding the monks and adept yogi-s, who propagated and maintained the Buddhist Doctrine.

       Here the era of political power and political/religious influence of the Pala dynasty coincides with and corresponds to the prime Indian period of the tantric Buddhist, Vajrayana/Mantrayana/Sahajayana traditions. After a century of political disintegration, internal conflicts and repeated foreign invasions etc., at the beginning of 7th., century AD., the independent local rulers and tribal chiefs of eastern Bengal recognized the military power and the suzerainty Gopala I. The domains of the conquering Pala dynasty initially spread into the eastern region of Indian sub-continent and then with further conquests into the north/central regions etc. The era of the political power etc., of the multi-regional Pala Empire lasted from 8th., century AD., to early the 13th., century A.D.

        The monarchs of the Pala dynasty were the last major royal patrons of Buddhism in north/central and eastern India and therefore the important facts of the history of the final major stage of Indian Buddhism, occurred within the regions and provinces still controlled by the Pala dynasty. Important but generally often imprecise historical data regarding the rulers who comprised the lineage of this dynasty form the framework of chapters twenty-eight to thirty-seven of the H.B.I. This framework provides a back-cloth for offering brief hagiographic data regarding both the orthodox and tantric Buddhist masters who propagated and maintained Buddhism in north/central and eastern India.

       Within this imprecise historical framework, formed by the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty, these chapters of the H.B.I., briefly introduce data regarding important events etc., of the later history of Buddhism, such as the foundation and endowment of the Great Monasteries/Universities of eastern India and the other major monasteries etc. As mentioned these chapters include brief hagiographies and anecdotal material regarding the important lineage holders of both the Buddhist sutra-based and tantra-based traditions who flourished within eastern India and elsewhere during the era of the Pala dynasty etc.

      This association of Buddhist monastic and tantric lineage masters within an imprecise historical framework, formed by the brief accounts of the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty, can potentially allow the possible rough verification for the dates for the lineage genealogies of the Great Adepts provided by the other Tibetan histories etc.

       However, this avenue producing and verifying a possible chronology for the lineage holders of the instruction lineages hinges upon producing a plausible chronology for the genealogy for the various monarchs who comprise the lineage of the Pala dynasty. Here there are some problems with the traditional Tibetan historical view of the chronology for the genealogy of Pala dynasty vis a vie the chronological and genealogical view offered by modern Indian historians.

       The H.B.I., certainly offers and attributes a precise number of years for each monarch of the Pala dynasty. Taranatha indicates that he created and geared his overall account of Indian Buddhism, framed within the context of the various pro-Buddhist regional dynasties, that include the East Indian Pala dynasty etc., with the aid of the now lost works of three principle Indian Buddhist historical writers mentioned earlier.

        But this Tibetan historical view differs from the data offered by modern researchers of Bengali history etc. Here the data produced from researches of modern Indian scholars such as R.C. Majumdar, N.R. Roy, and especially from Jhunu Bagchi etc., tends to differ considerably from and even directly contradicts the Tibetan historical view regarding the genealogy and dating for monarchs of the Pala dynasty.

         Differences and contradictions occur not only in terms of the duration of the particular reigns of monarchs of the Pala dynasty but more significantly also occur in terms of the names of individual monarchs who are thought to comprise the lineage of this dynasty. From these differences modern researchers are generally dismissive of Taranatha's history. But even so, some of the most important historical dates and facts regarding the history of the spread of Indian Buddhism to Tibet do offer some inferences and even a bare minimum of required fact that can aid in a rough confirmation of the genealogy of the Pala dynasty used within the traditional-based Tibetan historical line.

       First a genealogy of the Pala dynasty is offered according to the researches of Jhunu Bagcchi. This chronology of the genealogy of the Pala dynasty is quite different from the traditional Tibetan historical line. 

        Bagcchi's genealogy is as follows:

1. Gopala I, c.750-775 AD.

2. Dharmapala c.775-810 AD.

3. Devapala, c.810-847 AD.

4. Surapala, c.847-860 AD.

5. Vigrahapala I, c.860-861 AD.

6. Narayanapala, c. 861-917 AD.

7. Rajyapala, c.917-952 AD.

8. Gopala II, c.953-972 AD.

9. Vigrahpala II, c.972-977AD.

10. Mahipala I, c.977-1027 AD.

11. Nayapala, c.1027-1043 AD.

12. Vigrahapala III, c.1043-1070 AD.

13. Mahipala II, c.1070-1071 AD.

14. Surapala II, c.1071-1072 AD.

15. Ramapala, c.1072-1126 AD.

16. Kumarapala, c.1126-1128 AD.

17. Gopala III, c.1128-1143 AD.

18 Madhanapala, c.1143-1161 AD.

19. Govindapala, c.1161-1165 AD.

20. Palapala, c.1165-1200 AD.

        But under the traditional Tibetan historical line, the Pala dynasty was founded just prior to the date when Buddhism was formally introduced into Tibet. Buddhism was informally introduced to Tibet in 641 AD., by king Songtsen Gampo, following the request of his favorite, the Buddhist following, Nepali Newar queen. But the formal introduction of Mahayana/Vajrayana Buddhism only happened when the Tibetan Emperor of greater Tibet, Trisong Detsen, invited the Kashmiri monk/pundit Shantarakshita as well as the former gate-keeper of Nalanda monastery/ university, the tantric Vajrayana adept, Padmasambhava of Uddiyana to Tibet in c.775 AD. The Tibetan Emperor Trisong Detsen reigned from c.755 to c.795 AD.  

      Shantarakshita founded the first Tibetan Buddhist monastery at Sam-Yes where the foundation stone was laid in c.775 AD., and the first monastery was completed by c.779 AD. The tantric Vajrayana adept Padmasambhava went on to subdue the elemental demons, titans etc., of Tibet as well as more importantly subduing the religious/political opponents to the introduction of Buddhism. These religious/political opponents  were formed by the shamans/adepts of indigenous Bon-po religion and by the Tibetan noblemen who supported the Bon-po religion. From these actions and from his founding of the yogi-orientated Nyingmapa sect etc., Padmasambhava became known in Tibet as Guru Rinpoche, the 'precious master'.

         Under the Tibetan historical view, the life span of Shantarakshita, c.680-740 AD., or c.720-780 AD., spanned the reigns of Gopala I., and the fourth monarch of the Pala dynasty, Dharmapala. So under the imprecise Tibetan historical view the founding of the Pala dynasty would be placed around the second half latter half of the 7th., century AD.

        The first of the following genealogies, was formulated while accepting Taranatha's traditional Tibetan line on the genealogies of the Pala dynsty without setting aside the often very vexing questions of the precise chronology for the genealogy for the Pala dynasty etc. Here the modern Indian researcher S.C. Vidyabhusana follows the traditional Tibetan historical line. According to S.C. Vidyabhusana the genealogy and dating of the Pala dynasty, as based upon a somewhat modified view of the traditional Tibetan genealogy of the Pala dynasty but geared by Taranatha’s duration of reigns of the Pala monarchs is as follows:

1. Gopala I, reigned for 45 years, c.660-705 AD.

2. Devapala, 48 years, c.705-753 AD.

3. Rasapala, 12 years, c.753-765 AD.

4. Dharmapala, 68 years, c.765-829 AD.

5. The regent Masurakshita, 8 years, c.829-837 AD.

6. Vanapala, 10 years, c.837-847 AD.

7. Mahipala, 52 years, c.847-899 AD.

8. Mahapala, 41 years, c.899-940 AD. 9.Shamupala, 13 years, c.940-952 AD.

10. Shrethapåla or Praisthapala, 3 years, c.952-955 AD.

11. The regent Canaka, 29 years, c.955-983 AD.

12. Bhayapala, 32 years, c.983-1015 AD.

13. Nyapala, 35 years, c.1015-1050 AD.

14. Amrapala, 13 years, c.1050-1063 AD.

15. Hastipala, 15 years, c.1063-1078 AD.

16. Ksantipala, 14 years, c.1078-1092 AD.

17. Ramapala 46 years, c.1092-1138 AD.

18. Yaksapala, 1 year, c.1138-1139 AD.

    

        A far more satisfactory group of facts surrounds the date of the accession of the Pala emperor Neyapala/Nyapala. This more satisfactory group of facts surrounds the accession of the Pala emperor Neyapala/Nyapala is inferred by a letter sent by the adept monk Atisha to Neyapala/Nyapala from Nepal in c.1041. This letter was sent after Atisha’s departure from Vikramshila monastery in east Bengal for Tibet in c.1040 AD. These facts derived from reliable Tibetan textural sources stand more independently on their own merit and do not really need the aid of any modern research in order to gain any initial focus. These facts clearly possess a far more obvious relevance to gearing a chronology for Taranatha's genealogy of the Pala dynasty than the previous set of data regarding the introduction of Buddhism into Tibet.

          In chapter thirty-five of the H.B.I., the chapter that deals with the reign of Neyapala, the H.B.I. indicates:

         ' ...That he [Neyapala/Nyapala] became king shortly before Jo-bo-rje [Atisha] left for Tibet. There also exists a letter sent (by Atisha) to him from Nepal [c.1041 AD.].'

         Within the Tibetan historical tradition, Atisha, the abbot Vikramshila Great Monastery is understood to have left this ‘great monastery, accompanied by his Tibetan disciples Nag-tsho etc., in c.1040 AD., in order to avoid being obstructed by the Pala king to visiting and even residing in Tibet. Here Atisha rather announced his intention to make a pilgrimage to the renowned stupa of Swayambhunatha overlooking the city of Katmandu in the Nepala valley. Leaving Vikramshila in the dead of night Atisha then resided for a year in the Nepala Valley to somewhat acclimatize himself prior to journeying in the court of king Ye-ses-'od of mNa'-ris in western Tibet. Atisha is understood to have arrived there in c.1042 AD. Atisha chose to remain in Tibet until his passing in c.1054 AD.

          A Tibetan translation of the letter sent to Neyapala/Nyapala, known as vimala-ratna-lekha, still exists and is contained in the Tan-'gyur collection. Atisha sent this letter to Nyapala from the Nepåla Valley in c.1041 AD. From the snippet of information contained in chapter thirty-five of the H.B.I., the reign of Neyapala/Nyapala can be considered as having commenced his reign just prior to c.1040 AD. According to A. Chattophadhya's critical study, Atisha in Tibet: ’...The accession of Nayapala [Nyapala] is generally accepted to be AD. 1038 '.

    From this information the commencement of the reign of Neyapala/Nyapala can be ascertained with some degree of certainty. Thereby the dating applied to Taranatha’s lineage of the Pala dynasty can be geared by the ‘generally accepted’ date of Neyapala/Nyapala's accession to the throne in c.1038 AD. In this way the traditional Tibetan lineage table based upon the names and duration of the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty listed in the H.B.I., that will be used in this study, are geared by the accepted date of Neyapala/Nyapala's accession in c.1038 AD. This genealogy is as follows:

1. Gopala I, reigned for 45 years, c.677-722 AD.

2. Devapala, 48 years, c.722-770 AD.

3. Rasapala, 12 years c.770-782 AD.

4. Dharmapala, 68 years, c.782-850 AD.

5. The regent Masurakshita, 8 years, c.850-858 AD.

6. Vanapala, 10 years, c.858-868 AD.

7. Mahipala, 52 years, c.868-920 AD.

8. Mahapala, 41 years, c.920-961 AD.

9. Shamupala, 13 years, c.961-974 AD.

10. Shreshtapåla or Praishthapala, 3 years, c.974-977 AD.

11. The regent Canaka, 29 years, c.977-1006 AD.

12. Bhayapala, 32 years, c.1006-1038 AD.

13. Nyapala, 35 years, c.1038-1073 AD.

14. Amrapala, 13 years, c.1073-1086 AD.

Four regents, 8 years, c.1086-1094 AD.

15. Hastipala, 15 years, c.1094-1109 AD.

16. Kshantipala, 14 years, c.1109-1123 AD.

17. Ramapala 46 years, c.1123-1169 AD.

18. Yakshapala, 1 year, c.1169-1170 AD.

The four Sena-s, 80 years, , c.1170-1250 AD.

       This approximate chronology can be applied to the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty, as found in the H.B.I. This chronology can be somewhat further confirmed by other historical references found within the H.B.I. These references relate to historical persons and to events for which reliable dates can be found elsewhere etc. With contrasting results the H.B.I., relates data regarding two important kings of the Tibetan Yar-klung dynasty, whose dates are reliably known elsewhere, in connection with two important monarchs of the Pala dynasty.

         According to the H.B.I., the important monarch Shri Dharmapala reigned for 68 years. From the last chronology by way of working backwards from the date offered for the beginning of the reign of Neyapala/Nyapala the reign of Dharmapala can be approximated to c.782-850 AD.

        According to the H.B.I.,:

      '...On a rough calculation he (Dharmapala) was a contemporary of the Tibetan King Khri-sron-lde-bstan'.

        King Khri-sron-lde-bstan, better known as Trisong Detsen, is generally thought to have reigned from c.742-798 AD., or c.755-795 AD. Such data confirming an overlapping of the reigns of these monarchs suggests that these two kings could indeed have been contemporaries. This would appear to bear out the approximate dating offered for Dharmapala in the chronology based upon the lineage listing of the H.B.I. Further in his History of Ancient Bengal, R.C. Majumdar offers the dating of c.770-810 AD., for the reign of Dharmapala.

         However, in contrast, chapter thirty-one of the H.B.I., states that:

        ' Mahipala...ruled for fifty-two years...roughly the time of the death of this king was...that of the Tibetan King Khri-ral (Ral-pa-can)'.

        Mahipala is thought to have reigned from c.868-920 AD., and Ral-pa-can from c.815-836 AD., leaving a discrepancy of eighty odd years between the death dates of these two monarchs etc.

        Further the general gearing that can allow a chronology for the H.B.I.'s lineage genealogy of the Pala dynasty can be somewhat further confirmed by a correlation with data in regard to the commencement of the Indo-Tibetan renaissance period of Tibetan Buddhism, known in the Tibetan historical tradition as the Subsequent Propagation of the Doctrine.

        In this regard chapter thirty-three of the H.B.I., states:

        ' On a rough calculation the second half of the life of king Mahapala synchronized with the Subsequent Propagation of the Doctrine in Tibet'.

     Mahapala is thought to have reigned from c.920-961 AD., and the beginning of the Indo-Tibetan renaissance period, known in Tibet as the Subsequent Propagation of the Doctrine, is thought to have commenced in c.977 AD. This era commenced when the Tibetan Rin-chen-bzan-po and his twenty companions began their pilgrimage to India in search of pundits and teachings on the ‘three turnings’ of the Wheel of Doctrine from the ‘great monasteries’ of eastern India.

         In this manner from the view of the H.B.I. '...On a rough calculation...' the '...second half of the life of king Mahapala...' does appear to roughly coincide with the beginning of the Indo-Tibetan renaissance period.

       As mentioned for the purposes of chronology of the Pala genealogy etc., the number of years for the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty, as offered by the H.B.I., will be used in this study. But this genealogy of the Pala dynasty, as give by the H.B.I., is not entirely satisfactory. As consequence the chronology of Taranatha's genealogy of the Pala monarchs will be augmented by referring to Jhunu Bagchi's more reliable genealogy of the Pala dynasty.

                   

      From various Tibetan historical sources more or less reliable dates can be offered for some Indian adept masters and for their adept Tibetan disciples. These include the seminal Great Adepts, Tilo-pa, 988-1065 AD., and Naro-pa, 1016-1100 AD., as well as the Bengali adept monk and reformer, Atisha, known in Tibet as the Venerable Master, 982-1054 AD. Also there are known dates for the adept Maitri-pa c.1007/1010 -1085/1088 AD., and his disciple Vajra-pani, known as 'Indian Pani' who was born in c.1017 AD.

     Tibetan disciples of Indian lineage holders for whom reliable dates can be ascertained include Rin-chen-bzan-po the Translator, 958-1055 AD., 'Br-og-mi the Translator, 992-1072 A.D., Mar-pa the Translator, 1012-1096 AD., and the renowned Tibetan yogi, Mi-la-ras-pa, 1040-1123 AD., as well the renowned yogini of the second propagation of Buddhist tantra in Tibet, Ma-gcig 1062-1150 AD. etc.

     However, among these various dates for life spans for Indian and Tibetan lineage holders of the Buddhist tantric tradition as well as the available dates for other early Tibetan lineage holders, the known dates of Tilo-pa and Naro-pa are undoubtedly the most significant and crucial. The significance of the dating of Tilo-pa and Naro-pa are crucial because of the fact that these seminal ‘great adepts’ feature within the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal.

      From this the precise dating of adept lineage master Tilo-pa and his disciple Naro-pa can be crucial for the rough dating of the other important Great Adepts of the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal etc., as well as be pivotal for rough dating the Great Adepts of the other lineage lines who are connected to Tilo-pa and Naro-pa within this lineage and who feature in a number of other lineage lines.

      From these brief remarks, there are considerable contradictions between the researches of modern scholars into the history of the Maha Siddha-s and the history of the Bengali Pala dynasty etc., vis a vie the traditional Tibetan historical point of view. These considerable contradictions cannot be really fully answered at this time. But here it must be said that these difficulties and problems are posed in terms of whether some lineage tables of the Great Adepts are in fact abridged and whether all the lineage holding masters of a particular instruction lineage are listed in a particular table.

       Further possible difficulties are posed by being unsure as to whether the lineage of a particular instruction lineage is always passed down or recounted as being passed down chronologically from one from 'lineage generation' to another or if in some instances the lineage is actually being passed from one master to another within the same 'generation' etc.

         Answers to these contradictions and difficulties are not clearly indicated when consulting with the Tibetan lineage histories nor are answered when gearing the genealogies of the instruction lineages from the very scanty known information regarding birth/death dates of important lineage masters etc. These contradictions and difficulties are the cause for many of the apparent confusions and doubts met by the author with when trying to roughly date the seminal lineage masters of the Buddhist orientated lineage of the Great Adepts etc.

         Just the mention of a few of these contradictions and problems here, makes our very approximate genealogies and the approximate dating of important lineage masters of Great Adepts somewhat unreliable and suspect. Therefore all the calculations, dating etc., that will be made and offered later can at best only be considered as very rough approximations that serve to point to the half century or century time frame of the early lineage holders of the Buddhist tantric tradition and Natha tradition etc.

        In order to make any use of the reliable dating offered for the Great Adepts Tilo-pa and Naro-pa, who were master and disciple of successive generations, an understanding of what constitutes a ‘yogi’ generation within a yoga lineage stream has also to be considered and quantified. A yoga lineage 'generation' clearly cannot be simply equated with the usual twenty-five year span normally separating family generations.

          Normally the time needed for gaining spiritual maturity attained by a potential lineage holding master together with the span of his subsequent ministry undoubtedly requires a longer time span than that of reaching biological maturity within the context of a family blood line. Therefore a yogi lineage 'generation' could be considered as potentially possessing a longer time span than that of the family generation. Here we have used fifty years for a 'yogi' generation.

            However does our estimate for the time span of a yogi 'generation' hold up? The birth dates of Tilo-pa and Naro-pa are some 30 years apart. Also the known birth dates of the prominent Indian and Tibetan lineage holding disciples of the Great Adept Naro-pa were not some fifty years after the birth of the adept master Naro-pa. Here Mar-pa was in fact a contemporary of Naro-pa. Similarly Maitri-pa, the Indian contemporary of the translator Mar-pa, who was the disciple of Shanti-pa, was contemporary of Naro-pa. But the birth dates of principle disciple of Mar-pa, the yogi Mi-la-ras-pa, 1040-1123 AD., as well as prominent disciples of Mi-la-ras-pa, such as the monk, Gampo-pa, 1079-1153 AD., and the yogi, Ras Chung-pa, 1083-1161 AD., were each born around forty years after their respective lineage masters etc.

           Thereby although the birth dates of these known master/disciple relationships do not necessarily match, nevertheless our estimate of a fifty year 'yogi' generation can in general influence the approach of this study in determining what approximately constitutes a yogi lineage 'generation'. Here for the purpose of this attempt at approximately dating major, adept instruction lineage holders of the Seven Instruction Lineages, a span of fifty years between each major, yoga lineage 'generation' will be utilized.

          By way of gearing the chronology of these lineage streams to the birth dates of Tilo-pa and Naro-pa and to the other lineage masters of the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal and by giving a fifty-year span between each yoga lineage 'generation' potentially opens up portions of the the S.I.L., to a rough chronological evaluation. But this chronology and approximate dating still relies on the lineage lists as perceived by Taranatha's S.I.L.

         Our approximate dating of the adept masters belonging to the 'seven instruction lineages' can perhaps be enhanced when these very approximate genealogies etc., are further compared and viewed within the context of the lineage of the Bengali Pala dynasty. As mentioned the lineage genealogies of th Pala dynasty were created from offering an approximate dating for this regal/imperial dynasty by the Tibetan historical lineage together the approximate dating offered by the modern Indian scholars of Bengal history.

         But again, the genealogy etc., offered for the Pala dynasty by Tibetan histories does not rest on firm ground because of the contradictions that exist between the traditional Tibetan historical perspective and the perspective of modern historical research.

         In any attempt at arriving at an approximate dating for the century or even the half-century periods of principal lineage masters rests on the establishment of a chronology for the lineage instruction streams by way of the scanty information on individual tantric Great Adepts. Here the firm historical dating of the Great Adept Naro-pa is crucial.

        According to the S.I.L., the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal commenced from the Great Adept Saraha to his disciple the Great Adept Nagarjuna the younger. The chronology that will be offered for the lineage holders of the Instruction of the Great Seal and other instructional streams will be arrived at by way of gearing the duration of each fifty year long 'yogi' generation set from the dates of the adepts Tilo-pa and Naro-pa to c.950 AD., and c.1000 AD.

        Here the chronology of this and other lineage streams have been created by way of working backwards and forwards from c.950 AD., etc. From this dating it is possible to roughly calculate the era of other important lineage holders of the Seven Instruction Lineages including the seminal Natha Great Siddha-s Matsyendra-natha, Caurangi, Mina-pa and Goraksa-natha.

 

        By means of this rough and approximate mode of calculation the possible chronology for the Instruction Lineage of the Great Seal is as follows:

        Saraha, c.700 AD.; Nagarjuna, the younger, c.750 AD.; Shavari, c.800 AD.; Lui-pa, c.850 AD; Dengi-pa, c.900 AD; Tilli-pa (Tilo-pa), c.950 AD.; Naro-pa, c.1000 AD; Dombhi-pa, c.1050 AD.; and Kushalibhadra, c.1100 AD.

        According to chapter thirty-one of the H.B.I., that deals with the reigns of the regent Masurakshita, c.850-858 AD., Vanapala, c.858-868 AD., and Mahipala, c.868-920 AD., the Great Adept Tilli-pa ' belonged to this period'. In the context of chapter thirty-one the latter part of 'this period' is formed by the reign of Mahipala, c.868-920 AD. But Bagchi does not even mention the first two rulers in her genealogy of the Pala kings and give the dates of 977-1027 AD, for the reign of Mahipala I. Even so the traditional Tibetan date for Mahipala I., would roughly confirm the dating of Tilo-pa's ministry to c.950 AD.

          Naro-pa, c.1016-1100 AD., is mentioned in chapter thirty-three of the H.B.I., in connection with the 'Six Door-keeper scholars [of Vikramashila]. Naro-pa was the 'northern door-keeper'. The ‘door-keeper scholars’ are mentioned within the context of the reign of the regent Canaka, c.977-1006 AD. This data regarding the early monastic career of the Great Adept Naro-pa does not conform to our time frame of his ministry and would appear to not confirm Taranatha's genealogy outlook.

        In terms of the lineage of the Instruction of the Seal of Ritual the genealogy offered for the lineage holders who comprise the lineage has been arrived at by way of gearing the duration of each generation from a date offered for Raja Indrabhuti, senior. This date set at c.650 AD., has been arrived at because this seminal adept is placed one generation earlier than his disciple Saraha despite a further lineage generation being indicated in the BA., in connection within the transmission of the cycle of the guhya-samaja-tantra (GS.T.).

          The genealogy of the Instruction Lineage of the Seal of Ritual is as follows: Raja Indrabhuti, senior, of Oddiyana, c.650 AD.; Sahajasiddhi-yogini, c.700 AD.; Mahapadmavajra, c.750 AD.; Anangavajra, c.800 AD.; middle Padmavajra, c.850 AD.; middle Indrabhuhti/Kukuri-pa, c.850 AD.; Jalandhari-pa, c.900 AD.; Krishna-acarya, c.900 AD.; Kalyananatha, c.950 A.D.; Amitavajra, c.1000 AD., and Kushalabhadra c.1050 A.D.

          In terms of the lineage for the transmission of the instruction of the Innate Radiance the genealogy offered for the lineage holders who comprise the lineage of this instruction is more complicated. The genealogy for this lineage has been arrived at by way of gearing the duration of each of the fifty year long generations from the date offered for Jalandhari-pa, set at c.900 AD., in connection with the Instruction Lineage of the Seal of Ritual. Also here the Great Adepts Vajraghanta-pa, La-va-pa and Jalandhari-pa as well as Krishna-acarya and Buddha-shrijnana-pada are considered as belonging to the same yogi ‘generation’.

          From this gearing the chronology for the Instruction Lineage of the Innate Radiance is as follows:

         Ashva-pada, c.750 AD, Vina-pa, c.800 AD, Vilasyavajra, c.850 AD, Vajraghanta-pa, c.900 AD, La-va-pa, c.900 AD, Jalandhari-pa, c.900 AD, Krishna-acarya, c.900 AD; Buddhashrijnana-pada, c.900 A.D.; Tanti-pa, c.950 A.D; the younger Viru-pa, c.1000 A.D; Raja Bhartahari, c.1050 A.D., and Gopicandra, c.1100 A.D.

        According to chapter thirty of the H.B.I., Dharmapala, c.782-850 AD., '...Accepted as preceptors Haribhadra and [Buddhashri]jñanapada...'.

         The H.B.I., indicates that Haribhadra died ' more than twenty years' after the accession of Dharmapala. This would place his death somewhere around c.800 AD to c 820 AD. But Bagchi dates the reign of Dharmapala to 775-810 AD., and these dates would place the death of Haribhadra to around c.795 and would seemily confirm the possibly date the commencement of his ministry to the latter part of the 8th., century AD., and into the 9th., century AD. This data potentially suggests that the time frame for Buddhashrijñana-pada, the creator of the more orthodox system of the GS.T., can be approximated to the first half of the 9th., century AD. Our calculation of c.900 AD., is consistent with data offered by the Taranatha and Bagchi.

         The chronology offered for the lineage holders who comprise the Instruction Lineage of the Goddess Candika that commenced from Viru-pa, has been arrived at by way of gearing from the date offered earlier for a seminal lineage holder of the Instruction of the Innate Radiance, Jalandhari-pa, c.900 A.D. According to the S.I.L., Jalandhari-pa was a contemporary of Viru-pa's disciple Kalaviru-pa.

          From this gearing the chronology for the Instruction Lineage of the Goddess Candika is as follows:

         Viru-pa, c.850 AD., Kalaviru-pa, the contemporary of Jalandhari-pa c.900 AD., Vyadali, c.950 AD., Dombhiheruka, c.1000 AD. Dombhiheruka c.1000 AD., had four principle disciples Dombhi-yogini, Alayavajra, Hemalavajra and Ratnavajra all dated to c.1050 A.D. Dombhiheruka also had five minor lineage holding disciples Nags-khrod-pa, Garvari-pa, Jayasri, Durjayacandra, Rahulavajra who all can be dated to c.1050 AD.

        The genealogy offered for the lineage holders who comprise the Instruction Lineage of the Process of Generation that commenced from Buddhashrijñana, c.900 AD., can possibly be arrived from the date offered earlier for this seminal lineage holder. In the context of this lineage the date for Buddhajñana-pada/Buddhashrijñana has been set at c.900 AD.

           According to chapter thirty of Taranatha's H.B.I., Buddhajnana-pada/ Buddhashijñana was the disciple of Haribhadra. Haribhadra was the preceptor of king Dharmapala c. 782-850 AD., or c. 775-810 AD., in regard to the prajñaparamita. The H.B.I. indicates that Haribhadra '...passed away more than twenty years after king Dharmapala ascended the throne' suggesting that in accord with the dating offered for Dharmapala he possibly passed during the last decade of the 8th., century AD.

         According to the H.B.I., the disciple of Haribhadra, Buddhashrijñana:

         '...Started preaching the Doctrine around the period when Haribhadra passed away. After some years he became the king's preceptor'.

         In this manner the ministry of Buddhashrijñana can be approximately set to the latter part of the 9th., century AD., and consistent with the gearing for the Instruction Lineage of Process of Generation established by him to c.900 AD.

        Therefore the somewhat complicated Instruction Lineage of the Process of Generation commences from Buddhashrijñana in c.900 A.D., and continues to his four principle disciples Dipamkarabhadra, Prashantamitra, Mahasukhapadmakara and Ksatriya Rahula all of whom can be dated to c.950 AD. Buddhashrijñana was also the master of Padmavajra, the younger, and is dated c.950 AD.

        The lineage continues from Dipamkarabhadra, c.950 A.D., to his disciple Vaidyapada, also c.950 A.D., to Avadhuti-pa, c. 1000 AD., Ratnakarashanti-pa, c.1050 AD., Mahavajrasana-pa, c.1100 A.D., and Kushali 1150 AD.

       According to the S.I.L., Vaidyapada also studied under Buddhashrijñana and can be considered as a contemporary of his master Dipamkarabhadra c.950 AD.

       Chapter thirty-three of the H.B.I., that deals with the reign of the regent Canaka, c.977-1006 A.D., states that:

        ' During this period, among the Six Door-keeper Scholars the eastern door-keeper was acarya Ratnakarashanti...'.

        This time frame would tend not to confirm the approximate dating of Ratnakarashanti at c.1050 A.D.

      Avadhutipa/Ratnashila of Kamaru, c.1000 AD., established a sub-lineage to his contemporary Kayasthavriddha, c.1000 AD., known as the 'Old Scribe'. This sub-lineage is comprised of Avadhutipa/Ratnaßila of Kamaru c.1000 AD., Kayasthavriddha, c.1000 A.D., Bhavaskandha, c.1050 A.D., Durhari, c.1050 A.D., Mahavajrasana, c.1100 AD., the middle [Maha]Vajrasana/ Ratnakaragupta/Sauri-pa c.1100 AD.

        A sub-lineage commences from the middle [Maha]Vajrasana/ Ratnakaragupta/Sauri-pa c.1100 AD., to Abhayakaragupta, c.1150 AD., Subhakaragupta, c.1200 AD., Dashabala, c.1250 AD.,Vajrashri, c.1300 AD., Dharmabhadrashri, c.1350 AD., etc. According to the S.I.L., Kayasthavriddha 'was scribe' to King Dharmapala c.782-850 AD., and 'after he was eighty years old became ordained at Nalanda'. After receiving tantric consecration from Avadhuti-pa of Kamaru, Kayasthavriddha subsequently attained accomplishment within three years, at the age of eighty-three and later became the preceptor of Mahapala c. 868-920 AD.

          But Bagcchi's genealogy of the Pala dynasty does not mention the reign of Mahapala and only mentions the six month reign of Vigrapala 860-861 AD., and Narayanapala 861-917 AD., and puts the reign of Dharmapala to 775-810 AD. Within the genealogical date offered for Taranatha's lineage of the Pala dynasty these facts indicate that Kayasthavriddha could have well been born in c.800 AD., and have acted as a scribe for Dharmapala before the king died in c.850 A.D.

         Here the 'old scribe' was ordained in c.880 A.D., and could have have attain accomplishment in c.885 A.D. Further the 'old scribe' could have acted as preceptor to Mahipala prior to c.900 AD. etc. Because of the advanced age of this lineage holder he can be considered as contemporaries of Avadhuti-pa. But here in this genealogy there is an inconstancy of one or even two 'yogi' generations

        A further sub-lineage commences from Vaidyapada, c.950 A.D., Buddhasrisanti, c.1000 A.D., and Mahavajrasana-pa, c.1050 A.D.

 

         The Lineage of the Instruction of the [Sacred] Word is also rather confused containing a number of major streams s well as sub-lineages. According to the S.I.L., the Lineage of the Instruction of the [Sacred] Word is synonymous with the ' Lineage of Tantra exposition'. In this respect the S.I.L., indicates that the Great Accomplisher Naro-pa and the siddha Maitri-pa, who were crucial figures within the process of the introduction of advanced Buddhist Mantrayana tradition into Tibet as as such ' are [lineage holders] in the tradition of Tantra exposition'.

       The main Lineage of the Instruction of the [Sacred] Word commences from Nagarjuna, the younger, c.700 A.D., to Aryadeva, c.750 A.D., Rahula, c.800 A.D., Candrakirti, c.800 A.D., Prabhakara, c.850 A.D., Janakirti, c.900 A.D., and Santi-pa, c.950 A.D.

        Another lineage stream commences from Jnana-pada/Buddhasrijnana c.900 A.D., to Prasantamitra, c.900/c.950 A.D., to Prasantamitra's four disciples Shrisena, Cilu-pa, Krsnajata, Vaidyapada, c.900 A.D., Manjusrijnana, c.950 A.D., Maha Amoghavajra, c.1000 A.D., Siddhivira, 1050 A.D., Atisha 1050 A. D., etc.

        A sub-lineage within this stream commences from Cilu-pa, c.900 A.D., Thagana, c.950 A.D., Santi-pa, c.950 A.D., Jnanasrimitra, c.1000 A.D., Atisha, c.1050 A.D., [Maha-]Vajrasana, the elder, c.1100 A.D., and [Maha-]Vajra-sana, the younger, c.1150 A.D.

        From the dates that set Atisha to c.1050 A.D., and Mahavajrasana to c.1100 A.D., could possibly suggest that these lineage streams apparently contain quite a few lineage holders who were in fact contemporaries. Mahavajrasana, the younger is also known as Ratnakara-gupta/ Sauri-pa c., 1100 AD., and was the master of Abhayakaragupta c.1100 or c.1150 A.D.

        Chapter thirty-six of the H.B.I., that deals with the reign of Ramapala, c.1123-1169 A.D., (or Bagchi 1072-1126 AD.,) offers some details regarding Abhayakaragupta.

         In regard to Abhayakaragupta the H.B.I., states:

        ' Shortly after he became king, the great acarya Abhayakaragupta was invited to act as the uphadhaya of the Vajrasana...'.

         This data would suggest that Abhayakaragupta became the chief professor at the Vajrasana sometime in the second decade of the 12th., century A.D., and thereby his ministry should be set from the beginning of the 12th., century A.D. etc. According to the Tibetan historian Sum-pa, Abhayakara-gupta passed away in c.1125 A.D.

         A further lineage stream commences from Kukuri-pa/Middle Indrabhuti c.850 A.D., Padmavajra, 900 A.D., Tilli-pa, 950 A.D., Naro-pa, 1000 A.D., and Santi-pa, 950 A.D. The S.I.L., indicates that Kukuri-pa/Middle Indrabhuti was the master of Padmasambhava who together with Santaraksita were instrumental in the initial introduction of Mahayana/Mantrayana Buddhism into Tibet during the latter half of the 8th., century A.D. This hard evidence would suggest that the era of Kukuri-pa/ Middle Indrabhuti should in fact be placed at least one or even possibly two generations earlier to c.750 A.D.

         Another lineage commences from Pito-pa, c.950 A.D., to his disciples, Avadhuti-pa, Bodhisri, Naro-pa, all c.1000 A.D. The lineage continues from Avadhuti-pa to Sauri-pa c.1050 A.D., to Abhayakaragupta, c.1100 A.D. Subhakaragupta, 1150 A.D., Dasabala, 1200 A.D., Vikirtideva, 1250 A.D., Sakyasribhadra, 1300 A.D., Buddhashribhadra, c.1350 A.D., etc., on to Santigupta c.1500 A.D., the master of Taranatha's Indian consecrating master Buddhagupta-natha c.1550 A.D.

        The dates offered for Sakyasribhadra, 1300 A.D., Buddhasribhadra, c. 1350 A.D., are in conflict with historical data and would appear to be approximately one or two generations ahead of their actual eras. Apparently this lineage stream again possibly contains lineage holders of the same generation etc. Within the Instruction Lineage of the Various Precepts that lineage of tantric alchemy commences from Vyali-pa. This lineage includes the later lineage holder Lui-pa.

        A dating for Lui-pa has been set within the Lineage of the Instruction of the Great Seal to c.850 A.D and a potential gearing for the alchemy lineage stream within the Instruction Lineage of the Various Precepts can be attempted by way of the dating set for Lui-pa.

        Vyali-pa, c.700 A.D., Carpati-pa c.750 A.D., Kakkuti-pa, c.800 A.D., Lui-pa, c.850 A.D., Mina-pa, c.900 A.D., Hali-pa, c.950 A.D., Mali-pa, c.1000 A.D., Tiboli-pa, c.1050 A.D.

       A sub-lineage of hatha yoga and vayu yoga commences from Mina-pa, c. 900 A.D., to Machendra-pa, c.950 A.D., Caurangi-pa, c.1000 A.D., Goraksa-natha, c.1050 A.D., Karnari-pa, c.1000 A.D., Nago-pa, c.1150 A.D., Golen-natha, c.1200 A. D., Onkara-natha,c. 1250 A.D., and Ratigupta c.1300 A.D.

        Under the view of the S.I.L., the seminal masters of the Natha tradition, Mina-pa, Machendra-pa, Caurangi-pa and Goraksa-natha can be roughly dated to 10th., and 11th., centuries AD.

 

      (3e.,) The decline of tantric Buddhist lineages in northern and eastern India.

          
          '...On reaching the Vajra-asana he [Dharmasvamin] found that there was no one there...'.

                                                                                                                                      The Blue Annals.

 

         As mentioned within a previous section, during the early centuries AD., there was a steady process in the evolution of a distinct Buddhist tantric lineage that produced historic and well known adept, tantric Buddhist/Shaiva yogı-s. The rise of the Buddhist tantric lineages occurred from the inter-play and the further adaptation of the radical systems stemming from the much earlier even pre-historic Indo-Dravidian Shaiva/Shakta tantric yogı lineage traditions that originated from the north-western region of the Indian sub-continent.  

        The applied view of the krama-s, the 'processes', of the Buddhist Vajrayana /Mantrayana tantric lineage were gradually created from a long-term process of tantric systematic percolation and adaption within the tantric tradition of the north-western region. Within the Buddhist Vajrayana/ Mantrayana tantric lineage this process of percolation etc., was under the control of the overall Buddhist Mahayana doctrinal milieu together with the basic emanation and yoga methods that were initially related to the ancient deity cycles and methods derived from the non-Buddhist tantric yoga traditions.

        Further, by the second-half of the 1st., millennium AD., the still spreading and evolving milieu of the ancient Shaiva/Shakta tantric yoga lineages were collectively known in some Shaiva/Shakta tantra-s as the panca-amnaya, the ‘five’ Orally Handed-down lineage streams. The ‘five orally handed-down traditions' were the creation of the gradual spread of classical tantricism from the northwestern region via the pilgrimage/propitiation routes of the 'seats' of the deities. Within the tantric textual tradition the ‘five orally handed-down traditions' were formed by the 'five' geographically designated Kula, Yoginı-Kula and Kashmiri Shaiva/Shakta tantric lineage streams etc.

       Some of the Shaiva/Shakta tantric lineage texts of the second half of the 1st., millennium AD., composed within these ‘five’ traditions still indicate their affinity with the Buddhist tantric Vajrayaya/Mantrayana lineage. Here some these texts include the overall Buddhist tantric tradition as a ‘sixth’ oral stream. From suggestions within the Kashmir Shaiva/Shakta svaccanda-bhairava-tantra etc., the early lineage affiliation of the Kashmiri Shaiva/Shakta tantric lineage with Buddhist tantric lineage was established. Certainly from Shaiva/Shakta side this continuing lineage affiliation still existed when this treatise was composed during the second half of the 1st., millennium AD.

         But according to some later Tibetan historical works from the Medieval period, although the Buddhist yogı-orientated lineage arose within hill kingdoms of northwestern region these Buddhist yogi lineages never historically shared any notion of an affiliation with the historic lineage traditions of the tantric Shaiva/Shakta tradition. Nonetheless, despite the bias of Tibetan historical works, perhaps arising from the need to fully inculcate Tibetan devotees into an exclusive Mahayana/Mantrayana Buddhist religion free from any other theistic religious views, the Indian Buddhist tantric lineage did share with the non-Buddhist tantric yogı traditions the outlook of the potential of fully purified human consciousness to realize of the nature of non-dual consciousness.

         Despite differences on theism, the non-self/soul nature etc., the Buddhist view of non-dual consciousness, as well as the similar Shaiva/Shakta view, were drawn from the adept's svasamvedya, direct personal experience, of non-duality. From this direct personal experience the adepts and great adepts proposed the non-dual vista and taught the emanation and yoga systems held by the various tantric lineages. Here the Buddhist/Shaiva Great Adepts such as Viru-pa, Caurangi, Mina-natha, Matsyendra-natha, Goraksa-natha etc., were important lineage holders who transmitted the tantric emanation and yoga processes as well as the teachings regarding non-dual consciousness etc.

        Thereby the possibility of an early lineage affiliation of the early Buddhist tantric tradition with the tantric Shaiva/Shakta tradition can be convincingly made. This view of early lineage affiliation is reinforced by the mutuality of similar emanation and yoga processes, such as the ulta-sadhana, 'reversed efficient application' of emanation and yoga, deemed necessary to free the sensory mind into the 'natural', pristine non-dual consciousness.

       The view of mutuality is reinforced, where yogi-s from both tantric traditions frequented similar pilgrimage circuits as well as shared yogı accoutrements. Yogi-s from both traditions shared the importance of mutual yoga terminology; the basic yogı modes of daily observance and discipline and even shared a similar mode in the formation of mantra-s offered to tantric deities etc. Further both these tantric traditions applied a very advanced cosmic process, where the 'five sense sacraments' of the 5M's were offered to the senses in order to free the advanced yogi's consciousness of any residue cause and effect.

    From these remarks, the seminal pre-10th., century AD., Great Adepts of the early Buddhist/Shaiva Natha tradition seemingly did enjoy a working relationship with the yogi circles of other the Great Adepts belonging to the more mature tantric Buddhist Mantrayana/Sahajayana tradition of Bengal and the eastern region of the Indian sub-continent. However, by the advent of the 11th., century AD., the effects of the spread of Islamic political power and especially from the effects of the resurgence of orthodox Brahmin traditions that also included the resurgence of the orthodox inclined Shaiva and Vaisnava traditions, generated a gradual but ever more increasing decline in the influence of orthodox monastic Buddhism and even of the tantric traditions of Buddhism. Orthodox Shaivism and Shaiva/Shakta ascetic monasticism spread up from south India since the 9th., century era of the great Shaiva reformer Shankara.

       During this period, the Bengali Buddhist monk Atisha saw the political and religious 'writting on the wall' and prepared for the coming demise of Indian Buddhism. Atisha resided in Tibet from c.1042-1054 AD., where he successfully reformed the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, so that an exclusive Mahayana/Mantrayana religion could flower. However, the decline of orthodox Buddhism in northern and eastern India can be noted from contemporary Tibetan accounts.

      In marked contrast to the descriptions of active, thriving monasteries/universities of the eastern region, offered by the accounts of pre-8th., century AD., Chinese pilgrims as well as by the accounts left by later 10th., century AD., Tibetan pilgrims, this decline can readily understood from late 11th., century AD., Tibetan accounts. Characterizations of the sorry state of two of the Great Monasteries/Universities left by the Tibetan disciple of Atisha, the scholar and translator, Tsul-khrims-rgyal-ba of Nag-tsho, also known as Jayashila, can serve to indicate and characterize the marked decline of Buddhism in the eastern region.

        In respect of the Great Monasteries/Universities, Odantapuri and Vikramashila, that were recorded to have housed several thousands of monks in earlier centuries, Nag-tsho simply states:

        ' At Odantapuri there were 53 monks. At Vikramasila there were about a hundred monks.'

        Initially the gradual process of decay within the orthodox traditions was certainly caused and created by the resurgence of Brahminism. The resurgence of Brahminism commenced from the era of the Magadhan Imperial Gupta dynasty during the 5th., and 6th., centuries AD. Even with the gradual decline and eventual collapse of the Gupta Empire by the 7th., century AD., the impetus generated by the Gupta patronage of Brahminism led to the emergence of the so-called ' golden era' of classical Brahminical culture.

       The impetus of this resurgence of Brahminism was subsequently further maintained from the 9th., century AD., by the emergence from south India of the pan-Indian system of monastic Shaivism founded by the ascetic/yogi Shaiva reformer Sankara. The advaita, the non-dual Vedanta philosophical view propagated by Shankara was apparently heavily influenced by the Mahayana doctrinal outlook. Remarkably within some Brahminical circles Shankara was often denounced as being a crypto-Buddhist.

       But after the fall of the Gupta Empire, within the eastern region of the Indian sub-continent saw the rise of the Buddhist following Pala dynasty. By way of the long term patronage of the Pala dynasty, the three 'vehicles' of Buddhism were still maintained. The period of the political influence of the multi-regional Pala Empire began from the 7th., and only declined after the 10th., century AD. But the remnants of Pala rule only finished during the early the 13th., century A.D. The pre-10th., century AD., period of Pala rule coincides with and corresponds to the prime Indian period of the tantric Buddhist, Mantrayana/ Sahajayana tradition.

        The monarchs of the Pala dynasty of eastern India were the last major royal patrons of Buddhism in north/central and eastern India and therefore any history of this final major stage of Indian Buddhism can be recounted upon a framework afforded by the reigns of the monarchs the Pala dynasty etc. As mentioned within latter chapters of the tantric portion of Taranatha's H.I.B., he recounts this portion on a framework provided by the reigns of the monarchs of the Pala dynasty.

       But the acceleration in the process of the decay of the overall northern/eastern Indian Buddhist tradition can be further marked the from 11th., and 12th., centuries onwards with the rapid ascendancy of Islamic political power. From Muslim conquests by the early 13th.  century the most important northern and eastern Indian centers of Buddhism such as the Vajra-asana and the Great Monasteries/Universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila etc., were either destroyed or were in a state of near desolation.

       A description of the Vajra-asana is offered in the 'Gos the Translator’s B.A., in a section dealing with the hagiography of the renowned Tibetan adept and scholar Chags Chos-rje-dpal. Chags Chos-rje-dpal is perhaps better known as the younger Dharma-svamin or Chags the Translator, 1194-1264 AD. The younger Dharmasvamin commenced an eight-year stay in Nepal from c.1216 AD., and made a pilgrimage to India from c.1224 AD. The BA., gives his account of the condition of the Vajra-asana and Nalanda during the period of his pilgrimage to India.

        Here the B.A., states:

        '...On reaching the Vajra-asana he [Dharmasvamin] found that there was no one there, all having fled from fear of the Turuska [Muslim] troops.

       ‘ For a long time he was unable to see the Mahabodhi image [for the doors of the temple were blocked with bricks].

       Later he saw the image, made offerings to the Mahabodhi.

       '...At Nalanda he met the pandita Rahula Shribhadra...[but] the Gar-log [Muslim] troops arrived there, all the natives and the [local] king fled away...'.

      Apparently the state of gradual but inevitable decline occurred because the continuation and maintenance of the overall Buddhist tradition relied upon the system of monasteries and monastery/universities. Certainly unlike the 'family' traditions of Brahminism, the impetus of the heterodox Buddhist doctrinal system was rather derived from and relied upon the intellectual and applied efforts of the monastic community.

        In contrast Brahminism was in part founded upon a broadly accepted, deeply entrenched and very difficult to uproot caste-orientated, social/religious system. This social/religious 'family' system was founded on a deeply entrenched, ancient indigenous religious folk tradition centered on family, local and regional deity cycles. Within these deity cycles, the mass of devotees still prized emotional devotion to ancestral theistic deities. Therefore despite the past conversion to Buddhism by local or regional rulers, the mass of devotees still preferred to performed their ancient festivals with emotional devotion to theistic deities as well as to perform passage rituals and rites offered to local or family deities etc. Here emotional devotion ran counter to the view offered by dry Buddhist Mahayana intellectualism and Buddhist atheism.

         However so long as the network of Buddhist monasteries and monastery/ universities were maintained and continued by the patronage of local and regional Buddhist kingdoms as well as by the local Buddhist community, the Buddhist Doctrine endured and even flourished. As this network of Buddhist monasteries and monastery/universities were of obvious social/religious significance in the maintenance and propagation of the Buddhist Doctrine they subsequently became marked targets for the forces of Islam in their attempt to conquer and subjugate the kingdoms of the northern and eastern regions of the Indian sub-continent.

         So during the 11th., century and especially during the late 12th., and early 13th., centuries AD., with the destruction of the network of Buddhist monasteries and more importantly the destruction of the Buddhist monastery/universities of the eastern region by conquering Islamic armies, the intellectual and applied impetus propelling the innovative northern and eastern Indian Buddhist tradition finally started to run out of steam and dissipate.

         Subsequently the family and caste groupings who had traditionally followed the Buddhist Doctrine, from the example of regional and local rulers, slowly and gradually fully reverted to their own family and ancient regional religious traditions. Also here the mass of devotees drawn from the caste-based family traditions and the unorthodox religious traditions were again fully rejoined with the mainstream Brahminical social/religious milieu because of threat posed by Islamist political power and by the dangers posed by the missionary efforts of the Muslim religion.

        Subsequently, from the 14th., century AD., within northern and eastern India, the arising of partly Buddhist-colored devotional cults set within a Brahminically orientated social/religious context arose. These included the Bengali Dharma cult; the cult of the ten incarnations of Visnu, that include the Buddha; the Bengali Vaisnava Sahaja tradition; the Sahaja-based aspects of the Baul sect etc.

        From this Buddhist influence even sects within the originally heterodox, anti-caste and devotionally-based, north Indian Vaisnava Sant tradition, such as the Kabir Panth, the early Rama-anandi Sect etc., sometimes characterized the nature of their principle deity Rama in the non-dual terms of the sahaja, the innate 'natural' consciousness. But even so lower caste devotees and even other higher castes were attracted by the Sufi method of Islamic devotion as well as the possibility of social improvement under Islamic political rule.

        Similarly the Indian Buddhist tantric yogi groups were gradually assimilated within the then contemporary Shaiva and Shaiva/Shakta ascetic/tantric groups. This process led to the emergence of sects with mixed doctrinal origins such as the Buddhist influenced and geographically widespread Shaiva Natha lineage tradition and the equally widespread unorthodox, Shaiva/Shakta tantric dashamahavidya traditions etc. Undoubtedly doctrinal influences inherited from the tantric Buddhist tradition were felt in the shaping of the applied outlook of deity cycles within aspects of the early Bengali, Goddess-orientated of the tantric Shaiva/Shakta, dasmahavidya, the 'ten great sciences'.

        Within the Bengali dasmahavidya tradition, tantric Buddhist Goddesses such as Kali, Tara and Chinnamasta were incorporated and adapted within that overall system. According to even late, 18th., century Hindu tantric treatises of the dasmahavidya tradition the Goddess Tara can only be worshipped according to the Buddhist style. Further obvious Buddhist influences can also be noted by the inclusion of Aksobhya, one of the 'five' Buddha-s of Concentration, as the seer who presides over the wrath deity family within some Hindu tantric deity cycles of the dasmahavidya tradition etc.

 

        However, despite the destruction of the major north and east Indian monastery/ universities the still Sanskritized Buddhist Mantrayana tradition nevertheless continued and even for some centuries actually flourished in the mid-Himalaya, Nepala Valley, the modern Katmandu Valley. Tantric Buddhism flourished in the Nepala Valley through the interplay of local ethnic Newar and Indian adept masters, pundits and translators with their fully ripened Tibetan disciples. Just prior to the destruction of Nalanda monastery/university and the destruction of the nearby monastery/university of Odantapuri in c.1193 AD., and the further destruction of the Vikramashila monastery/universities in c.1197 AD., the renowned ethnic Newar pandit and adept master, Buddhashri, returned to his home in the Nepala Valley from eastern India accompanied by his disciples.

        Buddhashri is known to have brought back a comprehensive library of Mahayana and Mantrayana mss., and thereby augmented the mss., libraries that already existed in the Nepala Valley. Prior to and subsequent to the 13th., century AD., Indian, Nepali Newar and Tibetan translators continued the mammoth task of translating into Tibetan, Sanskrit sutras, root tantric treatises, explanatory tantric treatises and commentaries that comprise the Mahayana/ Mantrayana canon. This task in all probability continued well into the 16th., century AD.

        Further, within isolated pockets, limited Buddhist intellectual groups as well as localize householder/ascetic yogi circles continued the Mantrayana/Sahajayana tradition. By these means tantric Buddhism simply survived in parts of modern Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, Orissa, Assam as well as in the Chittagong Hills of modern Bangladesh etc. The remarkable survival of a few, very rare and fragile palm leaf mss., of Mantrayana root tantric treatises etc., that are now deposited in the mss., archives of various Indian and UK., university libraries, tend to confirm this supposition.

       A copy of the yoga-ratna-mala, a very important panjika commentary of the hevajra-tantra composed by the the Bengali Mahasiddha Krishna-acarya is now deposited in the University Library, Cambridge. This copy of the YRM., was first researched by Cecil Bendall. In addition to being a fine copy of this commentary written in the early Bengali script, the colophon of this commentary is also an historical record that indicates the date of the fall of the already reduced Pala empire to Islamic forces.

        This well copied commentary was transcribed in c.1200 AD., by one Kasrigayakara during the thirty-ninth year after the reign of Govindapala (c.1161-1165 AD.,) commenced. In the colophon of this mss., that is as normally devoted to the brief details of the lineage line of the kings who ruled the kingdom where the mss., was copied, succinctly describes the state of Pala empire. Here this colophon describes the Pala empire as a 'vinastarajye' a ruined realm.

      According to the Indian historian Jhunu Bagchi, Govindapala was the second to last recorded ruler of the of the Pala dynasty. From Kasrigayakara's colophon, which suggests the ruined state of Pala realm, this commentary was actually re-copied around the actual period of the fall of the remaining Pala domains to the Islamic forces at the start of the 13th., century AD.

        Already by the mid-11th., century A.D., the Palas had already lost major portions of their previously multi-regional empire. During this period they further lost the ancient kingdom of Magadha to the usurping Senas. The Sena family had previously acted as ministers and advisors to the Pala monarchs. Therefore by the time of the Islamic conquest of eastern India during the late 12th., and early 13th., centuries A.D., the Pala domain of Govindapala and the last Pala ruler, Palapala (1165-1200.,) was essentially restricted to the ancient kingdom of Varendra, situated in the northern portion of modern Bengal. Their writ also probably extended into western portions of modern Assam.

         By the reign of Govindapala (c.1161-1165 AD.,) the principle seat of the Palas had already moved from Magadha to Ramavati the capital of Varendra. Ramavati was founded in the late 11th., century by King Ramapala (1072-1126 AD.,) and although surviving the Islamic conquest of eastern India was subsequently abandoned and left to fall into ruin sometime during the 14th., or 15th., centuries A.D.

       According to Cunningham and Bagchi, Govindapala (c.1161-1165 AD.), Ramapala's decedent, is understood to have ascended the the throne of the circumscribed Pala realm in c.1161 A.D., and therefore the mss., of the yoga-ratna-mala, written in the early Bengali script, can be possibly dated to c.1200 A.D. That the remaining Pala domains were fully conquered at the end of the 12th., century is furthered confirmed by the known dates of the destruction of major monastery/universities situated in Magadha and west Bengal.

    The conquering Islamic forces were those of Ghiyas-ud-din-Muhammad of the Afghan Ghazna-vid dynasty based in Dehli. These forces were commanded by the feudatory of the Ghaznavid's, Ikh-tiyar-ud-din-Muhammad. By the end of the 12th., century A.D., Ikhtiyar-ud-din-Muhammad defeated both the Sena and Pala dynasties, conquering and occupying major portions of what is now modern Bihar and Bengal.

      Despite these conquests and the imposition of Islamic political power the limited continuation of tantric Buddhism within Bengal etc., is confirmed by the remarkable survival of some other palm leaf mss., of important Mantrayana root treatises. Some of these very rare palm leaf mss., are deposited in the University Library, Cambridge as well as elsewhere in the archives of east Indian Universities etc.

      Very rare palm leaf mss., of Mantrayana root treatises lodged in the archives of the University Library, Cambridge include well preserved versions, written in the early Bengali script, of the hevajra-dakini-jala-samvara-tantra and the kala-cakra-tantra. The version of the H.T., has been dated by Bendall, through paleographic means, to the 15th., or even the early 16th., century A.D. But the version of the kala-cakra-tantra can be exactly dated by information contained in the colophon to vikramaditya-samvat 1503 or 1446 A.D., a full two centuries and more after the fall of Bengal to Islamic forces etc.

       Such confirmations of a limited continuation of tantric Buddhism in Bengal by way of these and other surviving palm leaf mss., would tend to reinforce the view of probable continuing tantric Buddhist influences within the formulation of the doctrines of the early medieval Bengali, Shaiva/Shakta tantric traditions.

    That a limited number of east Indian adept masters and pundits of the Sanskritized Mantrayana/Sahajayana tantric tradition maintained the tantric Buddhist lineage tradition in eastern India even into the 17th., century. This fact is confirmed in Tibetan historical works. Later pundits include the important lineage holder and translator Vanaratna. Vanaratna who composed renowned commentaries on Mantrayana root tantric treatises etc., passed away in 1468 AD., at the famous Svayambhunatha stupa in the Kathmandu Valley. He is characterized in the BA., as the 'Last [Indian] Pandita'.

       Within the S.I.L., Taranatha indicates that his consecrating lineage holding master was the Indian Buddhagupta-natha. Buddhagupta-natha belonged to the direct lineage of the important, later lineage master maha-siddeshvara Shanti-gupta. Shanti-gupta is though to have lived around the beginning of the 16th., century AD., and his hagiography indicates that during his ministry he roamed the regions of eastern and central India. The fact that Buddhist, tantric yogi lineage holders and their circles of consecrated tantric practitioners existed within eastern India into at least the 16th., century AD., and possibly later, is confirmed from these references within works of the Tibetan historical tradition.

           However, after the 17th., century AD., the lineage of Mantrayana Buddhism had all but died out in eastern India The causes for the demise of tantric Buddhism in eastern India from this century was due in part due to the dominant rise of popular, heterodox, anti-caste orientated, Hindu as well as Islamic devotional sects and because of the doctrinal accommodations that the remaining Buddhist yogi lineages circles had apparently made with more vital Hindu tantric traditions.

          From the 17th., century AD., Sankritized Mantrayana Buddhism basically only continued among the Newar community of the Nepala Valley. However, even during the 16th., century AD., Taranatha indicates in the S.I.L., that even in the Nepala valley Buddhist tantric yogi-s were also gradually converted to Hindu tantric and orthodox yoga-based sects because of their greed for lavish royal patronage and because thereby of the lure for possible wider name and fame etc.


     (4.,) The cosmology of the major sectarian traditions of the  Eternal Doctrine.

   “And at the time of creation the brahman, the Essence/ Principle became [the embodied] Nature and the Supreme Being ."

                                                                                                                                                          SO.T., 3.4.

    Within the South Asian, sanatana-dharma tradition devotees/ascetics/yogi-s in general hold the popular vista of polytheism. But from the cosmological point of view of both the Vedanta and mixed Samkhya/Vedanta philosophies, the sanatana-dharma tradition in fact does not hold polytheistic cosmological vista but rather upholds a henotheistic cosmological vista.

    Here the henotheistic vista of the sanatana-dharma tradition is based upon the impersonal 'one' supreme deity, the naguna-brahman, Brahman 'without form', the monad, whose 'thoughts' initially emanated and created the first saguna-brahman, the Brahman 'with form' or rather the bipolar primeval male/female Beings, who in turn created the bipolar, male and female cosmic deities of the Brahminical Trinity.

  The impersonal Brahman 'without form', the monad, is the divine 'one' essence/ principle whose uncreated nature consists of the genderless, melded resonance/radiance. Here the impersonal Brahman is known as being 'without form' and as 'that' which pervades or rather envelopes the emanated hiranya-garbha, divine sphere of the 'golden egg' which contains the other lesser spheres of the created cosmos.

    Here the impersonal Brahman 'without form' is the para-atman, the 'supreme soul'. The nature of the 'supreme soul' is absolutely non-dual and transcendently imminent. For these reasons the impersonal, melded genderless resonance/radiance of the 'supreme soul' equally envelopes or 'seals' the 'divine sphere' within which appear the saguna-deva-s, 'deities with form'. These include the 'first' bipolar male and female Beings as well as the cosmic deities Vishnu and Shiva that they created etc..

      Nevertheless the uncreated, melded resonant/radiant aspects of the infinite divine nature of Brahman is always transcendently kevala, 'alone'. The impersonal Brahman is 'alone' within the sphere-less and time-less, transcendental, 'divine now'. Here these melded radiant/resonant, genderless aspects of the nature of Brahman 'are', being ever tranquil, calm and in equipoise.

     The Brahman's infinite, uncreated 'one' essence/principle, the nature of the 'supreme soul' consisting of melded, genderless resonance/radiance 'seals' or rather 'marks' the consciousness potential of the 'first', bipolar, male and female Beings and also 'marks' the bipolar Brahminical Trinity as well as the various classes of deities, titans, anti-deities and even 'marks' consciousness potential of finite sentient beings etc.

   The non-dual divine nature of the Brahman that 'marks' the first, bipolar, male and female Beings; that 'marks' the bipolar Brahminical Trinity and 'marks' all of creation cannot really be conceived by the dualism of the sensory mind. Within the GVS., the Great Adept Goraksa-natha states that "in reality, in all creation resonances/radiates the one samvit, 'consciousness'. Here in truth the supreme greatness of the one counsciousness resonances/radiates...".

     This non-dual consciousness 'marks' the consciousness potential of all subtle and gross sentient beings. As the nature of the 'one consciousness' of the para-atman, the 'supreme soul', is absolutely non-dual and transcendental imminent there is no real rationale for a personal, individually created atman, soul. Normally the individual soul is that in which the individual collects the aggregate of karma, emotional/sensory cause and effect and the individual task is to purify the soul of this aggregate.

     Under this vista, from being being 'marked' by resonance/radiance of supreme soul, the jiva, the 'existing being' can intuitively know the 'supreme soul' by purifying consciousness potential of the finite body rather than a 'soul'. Purifying the consciousness potential of the finite body can be possible only after successfully applying the complete system of devotion to the 'chosen' deity and by successfully appying the emanation and yoga system. Accomplished adepts can realize the macrocosmic/microcosmic nature of saguna-brahman, Brahman 'with form' in terms of attaining the melded divine aspects of male resonance/female radiance as sat-cit-ananda or rather true being-absolute non-dual consciousness-bliss.

  The late Vedic text, Aitareya-upanisad (AU.), characterizes the monism of the essence/principle, the Brahman, 'alone' within the 'divine now', as:

     ‘...In the beginning, only 'one'. Nothing else whatsoever winked’.

    The Brhadaranyaka-upanisad (BAU.,) 1.2.1., significantly commences with a description of the hiranya-garbha, the 'golden egg', the measureless divine sphere, created by the initial differentiation of the Brahman's resonance/radiance where the 'thoughts' of Brahman created the first, bipolar male and female Beings, by stating:

    ' There was nothing whatsoever here in the beginning...He [Brahman] created the mind, thinking let us have self...'.

     While the Brahman 'without form' remained ever 'alone' within the sphere-less, time-less, 'divine now', the 'one' consciousness of the Brahman 'thought' and then emanated an initial differentiation of the primal resonance/radiance in order to create a measureless, divine sphere, the hiranya-garbha, or rather the 'golden egg'. Within this measureless divine sphere, the 'golden egg', a second differentiation of the now tempered resonance/radiance occurred where Brahman created the 'first' male and female primordial divine Beings which were bipolar in nature and relied on each other.

     Here from these two differentiations of the primal resonance/radiance, the formless Brahman created the resonating male purusa, the quiescent Supreme Being and his consort, the radiant female prakriti, the Nature or rather the optimum 'energy' of the primal live force. Here these bipolar male and female primordial divine Beings are described and pictured as being in 'erotic union' with the quiescent male 'supreme being' underneath the energized female 'nature'.

      As described, under the cosmological vista held by the Samkhya/Vedanta philosophical tradition these bipolar male and female Beings are the embodied gender aspects of the divine, primeval resonance/radiance of Brahman 'with form'. Here the bipolar, male purusa, 'supreme being', is always pictured in cosmic 'erotic' union with female prakriti, the 'nature'. The bipolar male and female primordial divine Beings are 'marked' by the resonance/radiance of the impersonal Brahman without form.

     In turn within the infinite divine sphere of the 'golden egg', the ever unified 'first' male and female divine Beings emanated a third differentiation of the tempered resonance/radiance. Here this third differentiation went on to cause the three, bipolar male cosmic deities and their female 'energies' of the trimurti, the Brahminical Trinity as well as lesser spheres in which the Trinity had play. The male and female cosmic deities/goddesses of the Trinity were similarly 'marked' with the formless Brahman's nature consisting of melded resonance/radiance.

     By way of a fourth differentiation etc., of the resonance/radiance, within the lesser spheres contained within the measureless divine sphere of the 'golden egg', the cosmic deva-s, deities and devi-s, the goddesses of the Brahminical Trinity had play to create space, finite time and the material elements etc. With further differentiations of resonance/radiance, the Trinity created their 'helpers' or the cosmic artisans, who in turn ordered and shaped space, finite time and the material elements into galaxies, star systems, solar systems etc., as well as created subtle and gross astral and planetary realms populated with a multitude of finite subtle and gross sentient beings etc.

     These 'helpers' included the male and female daitya-s, titans as well as the sura-s, the positive male and female demi-deities and the asura-s the negative male and female demi-deities and together with their retinues. who ruled subtle and gross realms populated with finite sentient beings. But all created things and finite, long lived or short lived, beings were equally 'marked' with the transcendentally imminent but uncreated, melded nature of the formless Brahman consisting of resonance/radiance.

     Here within these lesser realms contained within the measureless divine sphere of the 'golden egg', the cosmic activities of the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe are performed by the bipolar three male cosmic deities together with their female 'energies', the goddesses, that form the Brahminical Trinity.

    The Trinity of bipolar three male cosmic deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and three female 'energies', the goddesses, Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga are generally the 'chosen' deities of the Hindu devotees/ascetics/yogi-s who follow the sat-acara-s, the 'six' deity 'styles' of the sanatana-dharma. Among these six male and female deities, the most popular are the male cosmic deities Vishnu, the maintainer and Shiva, the destroyer, together with their consorts Lakshmi and Durga/Kali. The popularity of the Trinity of these cosmic deities/goddesses arose from the early Brahminical era starting from the early centuries of the first half of the 1st., millennia BC.

    Within the Brahminical cosmological vista, the creation, maintenance and destruction of the universe, caused by the cosmic play of the bipolar deities/goddesses of the Trinity, occurs within the radiant, 'waves' of the 'cosmic breath' that resonates from the pranava, primal mantra, aum. The resonant/radiant primal mantra aum 'is' uttered by 'first' male/female divine Beings who were directly 'marked' with 'one' mahabhaava, 'great being' of Brahman .  

    Within the measureless divine sphere of the 'golden egg' the play of Brahma/ Saraswati is the 'in' breath of cosmic creation; the play of Visnu/Lakshmi is the 'holding of the breath' of cosmic maintenance; play of Shiva/Durga is the 'out' breath of cosmic destruction and the 'fully exhaled breath' of non-existence is the darkness after/before the 'wave' of the 'in cosmic breath' starts again within the measureless divine sphere.

     But within the divine sphere, the darkness of the pralaya, cosmic annihilation occurs at the command of the male and female Beings. These primaval, divine Beings meld within each other until only a spark or the bindu, 'drop' of radiance/resonance of the first male and female divine Beings remains. The spark or drop of the melded male and female Beings, in terms of the divine aum, the ‘primal mantra/energy of the life force’, always existed 'before', 'during' and 'after' the ‘waves’ of the ‘cosmic breath’. This spark or drop of the radiant/resonant nature of the first male and female divine Beings acts as a causal catalyst for the play of 'creation' to begin again, which eventually facilitates the 'maintenance' of the cosmos that in turn allows the eventual destruction of the lesser spheres and the material universe back into the radiant/ resonant tiny atom sized 'drop' ad infinitum.

    Under the vista of Samkhya/Vedanta cosmology, within the measureless divine sphere, the 'drop' of the divine essence of the male and female divine Beings allows the bipolar male and female Trinity to operate the ordered play of the cosmic processes of creation, maintenance and destruction. In turn this ordered play acts within the lesser spheres where the Trinity's created 'helpers', the bipolar male and female titans, the bipolar male and female demi-deities and anti-deities order and operate the overall expanding process of cosmic creation and maintenance of the material universe.

     The material universe endures until the advent of the destructive counter ‘wave’ of the 'cosmic breath' when the energy of the cosmic 'erotic' desire of the 'first' male and female Beings ceases. Here the Trinity of cosmic deities and goddesses as well as space, time, the titans and demi-deities etc., and the material cosmos are re-gathered into a single atom 'drop' until sent out again in an ordered manner so that play of the male/female deities/ goddesses of the cosmic Trinity can again occur.

 

    The Brahminical cosmological vista of the Upanishad-s, as well as the variants on this basic theme are also echoed within the early sectarian Brahminic Purana texts. In some ways the ancient Brahminical cosmological line is the closest ancient religious cosmological theory to be somewhat roughly in line with some aspects of modern scientific cosmological theories. Here the quasi-scientific theories of ancient Brahminical cosmology surrounding the throwing out and re-gathering of the elements of the material universe from and into a single tiny atom somewhat echoes the modern scientific 'big bang' theory necessary to start or even re-start the process of cosmic creation.

     The view of the Vedic Upanishad-s and the sectarian Purana-s is based upon vista of the rg veda. But the rg veda only very roughly describes the origin of the universe. Only under the view of the later Upanishad-s, the universe was created by the 'thought' of the Brahman, the impersonal, divine essence/principle. From this 'thought' an initial differentiation of the divine resonance/radiance occurred leading to manifestation of the resonant, primal vak, 'mantra/ word', aum, and to the initial radiant emanation of the ever melded 'cosmic breath'. Here the 'cosmic breath' created the hiranya-garbha, the 'golden egg', the measureless divine sphere within which the universe was subsequently created.

    The texts of later Brahminical Purana tradition also dramatically offer the view that possibly within the single 'golden egg' not only one universe was created but a series of multi-universes could also be created there. But Brahminical Purana texts always asserts that the single universe or even the multi-universes created within this divine sphere are created, maintained and destroyed by the bipolar Trinity of cosmic deities/goddesses and then again to be re-created ad infinitum by the play of the cosmic Trinity within an infinite series of 'waves' or cycles of the resonant/radiant 'cosmic breath'.

     In regard to multi-universes the Bhagavata Purana 6.16.37., states that:

     '...There are innumerable universes besides this one, and although they are uncountable, they move like atoms within you [Visnu]. Therefore you are called the immeasurable...'.

         Under the view of Brahminic cosmology, a single universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 earthly years. This immense period of earthy years only represents one kalpa or a single cosmic day of the deity Brahma, the cosmic creator of the Brahminical Trinity. Then on the completion of one cosmic day the universe is destroyed by the fire or water elements at the command of Shiva. This event is known as the pralaya, cosmic 'dissolution'.

     At the point of cosmic dissolution Brahma rests for one cosmic night, that is similar in length as the cosmic day. Within the lifespan of Brahma, the cycle of Brahma's cosmic days and nights repeats itself for 100 Brahma years or 311 trillion, 40 billion earthly years. At the end of Brahma's life he dies and the maha-pralaya, the 'great dissolution' begins where all the spheres of cosmic creation etc., just return into the atom-sized bindu, or spark of resonance/radiance of the melded male/female Beings to await the ordered re-birth of a Brahma to occur. When this event occurs then the whole process of creation begins once again.

     Although Brahma is known as the creator within the Brahminical Trinity, Brahma is not normally worshiped as a 'chosen' deity because he is subject to death and also is subject to the commands of the infinite deities Visnu and Shiva.

     These mathematical calculations represent the most understandable factual theories and ideas/notions of classical Brahman cosmology/astronomy. But many of the other cosmological/ astronomical ideas and so-called quasi-scientific theories put forward by the the early Brahminical textural tradition bear no relation to now proven facts of the modern disciplines of cosmology and astronomy.

     But even so ancient Indian cosmologists of the first millennium BC., describes their vista of the universe as having fourteen parallel spheres/realities on multiple levels, all existing and intersecting within the created material universe. This vista directly contradicts the long held Judeo-Christian cosmological dogmas that the Earth is flat and that the Sun and the stars course around the Earth. These historical dogmas were only finally superceded by western scientific advances during and from the 18th., century AD.

    Also from the middle half of the last millennium BC., this is clear evidence that ancient South Indian social/religious civilization was exported into south-east Asia by south Indian seafarers, traders and Brahmin priests. These South Indian seafarers charted their course to south-east Asia and eventually to China by using accurate astronomical, even heliocentric calculations for both Earth and celestial cycles of stars etc.

   These astronomical, even heliocentric calculations for both Earth and celestial cycles of stars indicate that even by 1st.,millennium BC., some Brahmin cosmologists and astronomers understood that the Earth was not flat and that the Sun is placed at the center of the solar system and that the Earth was in fact orbiting around the Sun. Trigonometry was already known to Indian mathematicians and astrologers from the 4th.,  century AD., Gupta era and the text the surya-siddhanta offers tables of the sine etc.

     But the South Indian, Keralan Aryabhata, 476–550 AD., a seminal Indian master of mathematics and astronomy, did calculate the size of the Earth as well its elliptical orbit around the Sun etc. From the genius of Aryabhata there were now realistic mathematically supported proofs of the heliocentric theory.

   Aryabhata clearly proposed a mathematically supported heliocentric theory a millennium before Copernicus and Aryabhata recognized that the orbit of the Earth is spherical. Independently from the earlier 2nd  century BC., Egyptian/Greek Eratosthenes, Aryabhata calculated the circumference of the Earth to be the equivalent of 24,835 miles, an excellent approximation of the now accepted circumference of 24,902 miles. The Egyptian/Greek Eratosthenes was nearly 20% off on his calculations. Aryabhata also computed pi to 3.1416 a millennium before the 18th.,  century AD., European mathematician Lambert.

     Contrary to the opinions of Egyptian/Greek Eratosthenes and other Greek and Indian mathematicians Aryabhata did not see the position of the Earth as fixed and from his researches Aryabhata appreciated that the seeming rotation of the celestial bodies around the Earth was rather due to the constant axial rotation of the Earth around the Sun. With a reasonable degree of accuracy Aryabhata calculated the circumference of planetary orbits by way of the initial calculation of the earth/sun orbit. Aryabhata certainly conceived of these planetary orbits in terms of their rotation around the sun.

    However many of Aryabhata’s Indian peers and later Indian mathematician/astrologers thought his theories on the nature of our solar system were foolish, incorrect and later even went so far as to alter the text of his solely surviving work the aryabhattiya to make this text to conform with then accepted notions. However versions containing the original text did survive. Aryabhata's text the aryabhattiya, written in 499 AD., extensively uses algebra, known as bijaganitam, in its astronomical calculations.

    From trading with India the Arabs picked up on Aryabhata's unrevised text. This aspect of mathematics was named by them al-jabr. In turn under the influence of Arab mathematicians/astrologers, such as Al-Bitruli, algebra was gradually introduced into the west. Arab intellectuals translated Aryabhata’s aryabhattiya into Arabic and subsequently by the 13th., century AD., the Arabic version was translated into Latin and was circulated among European mathematicians.

    Previously during the 6th., century AD., Varahamihira theorized that that objects remained on the Earth’s surface due to an internal force of attraction, or rather the power of gravity etc. There is a Sanskrit word for 'gravity' is guru-tva-akarshan, literally meaning ‘attracted by the master/ ruler’.

    Further during the 7th.,  century AD., Brahmagupta also already anticipated Newton's theory of gravity etc. Brahmagupta’s work brahmasphuta-siddhantain addition to planetary longitudes, problems of diurnal rotation, eclipses, conjunctions of planets etc., further discusses positive and negative numbers as well as the nature of zero etc.

 

     The previous few paragraphs give a very brief idea of the findings of the successful researches performed by classical Indian mathematicians and astronomers/astrologers. Taken together with other Asian traditions of scientific and of empirical investigation, these successful researches had a profound influence on formulating the theories of these disciplines that actually led to the rise and later to the further advances of western science. But the reaction to these profound advances of the Indian mathematicians and astronomers/astrologers etc., only gave rise to the cultural/ racial bias has allowed the Western World to readily forget or even be completely unaware, ignorant of the incidence and influence of the earlier Indian and Chinese scientific and empirical disciplines.

     This reaction is also true with the ready dismissal of the Chinese discovery of the west coast of the New World prior to Columbus or the western surprise of the Chinese discovery of gunpowder or the Chinese invention of the rudimentary compass etc. Here the modern western world is not only forgetful of the ignorance of the post-Roman ‘dark ages’; forgetful of the reactionary and ignorant nature of Christianity during the Middle Ages as well as being equally forgetful of the essential Arab input that allowed rise/flowering of the 16th., century AD., Renaissance within Italy and the nations of Western Europe. Here the modern western world is also equally unaware of even the existence and the earlier input of the Asian scientific disciplines and empirical research which had earlier allowed Arab scientific disciplines and empirical research to flourish from the pre-10th., century AD., era

    Coming to such an objective appreciation of the Asian scientific disciplines and empirical research is certainly difficult from a western perspective. The western view on the origins of empirical investigation and on the evolution of scientific knowledge etc., has historically been culturally mired in historical racist/cultural biases and was conditioned since the 16th.,  century AD., by the prevailing Graeco-centric tendency. Here due to ingrained cultural arrogance, due to the history of the racism of the European colonialism, reinforced by the conditioned ignorance of the Graeco-centric tendency, all these tendencies have until quite recently excluded the possible validity, utility even the very existence of the other Asian traditions of science and empirical investigation.

    This was especially the case during and from the European colonial era of 19th., century AD. The western cultural tradition has been simply schooled, conditioned into the assumption of the ancient Greek origins for not only for the ancient basis of science but also for democracy, social philosophies, the rational analysis of thought and even in the cultural/racial discipline required for empirical scientific research.

    However unbiased modern and contemporary research indicates that significant scientific disciplines etc., originated within the Indian, Chinese and Islamic cultural traditions. These certainly indicate that significant progress was made earlier within the disciplines of mathematics, astronomy, chemistry etc., as well as with numerous very significant inventions and also geographical information via Indian/Chinese exploration.

   Thereby from these objective researches, modern students of the history of science will of necessity have to confront the myopia, the historical bias, the racism implicit to a limiting western view of the emergence of civilization/culture; confront the historical western view of the narrow cultural origins of scientific investigation and to the extent of scientific knowledge actually existing in Asia prior to and during to the classical era of the Greeks and the Romans. Such a confrontation of various western biases will also have to include an appreciation of the potential influence of these empirical and scientific discoveries on the classical Greeks made earlier in eastern Asian cultures etc.

 

 (4a.,) An extract from the Third Chapter of SO.T., that offers the tantric version of the cosmic processes of creation and dissolution then upheld during the medieval period. by the tantric, Bengali Natha lineage 

  
   “ O Lord of the deities, the granter of liberation to all, inform me regarding the greatness [of the divine process] of creation?”

                                                                                                                                                         SO.T., 3.1.    

   1. Now the origin of srsti, creation is mentioned.

    In the jnana-dvipa-tantra Shri Parvati asked:

 
“ O Lord of the deities, the granter of liberation to all, inform me regarding the greatness [of the divine process] of creation?”

    2. Shiva replied [with a rhetorical question]:

    “ How will laya, dissolution occur without [you] O maheshvari, Great Lady, and without dissolution there [at that point], what will be created?

    “Without a seed there is no tree and without a tree there is no seed! “

   3. [Shiva continued:]

   “ So O devi, Goddess, [the processes of] creation and laya, dissolution are [both] perpetual as well as transient.

  “ By an ordered arrangement, creation takes place and by an ordered arrangement dissolution [also takes place].

  “ [But] the [surpassing] greatness of creation and dissolution cannot be [easily] described. “

  4. “ [Now] out of love [for you] I will explain to you some of the [divine] aspects [involved in the processes of creation and dissolution].

   “ Prakrti, the [radiant female creative] Nature [the divine shakti, 'energy/capability' of the life force] and purusha the [quiescence, resonance, male] Supreme Being are [only] subtly present within the formless, dense, un-illuminated [divine] sphere [created by the thought of Brahman].   

  “And at the time of creation the [impersonal, formless] brahman, the Essence/ Principle [whose nature is the melded aspects radiance/resonance went on to transform/ differentiate these two subtle female and male aspects and they] became [the embodied] Nature and the Supreme Being .

  “ Here [initially at that time] the Nature and the Supreme Being are in the form of chick-pea [seeds].

  “ Some [devotees] call the [feminine] Nature [the 'first' divine Being] others call the Supreme Being [the 'first' divine Being] and still others say that [the 'first' divine Beings] are both [the bipolar] Nature and the Supreme Being.”

   5. ” [But] all this [or these descriptions] are the saguna, 'deities with form' [the Nature and the Supreme Being] that are beyond speech or inexpressible as [the bipolar nature of the Nature and Supreme Being] are [ever] pristine.

  “ It [the various descriptions of the Nature and the Supreme Being with form] are beyond mind, action and speech.

  “ O Goddess [but] for the sake of the knowledge/understanding of the sadhaka, the efficient practitioner, I have explained it [the various descriptions of the Nature and the Supreme Being, deities with form] as being like this or that.“

[The creation of the mandala of the dasamahavidya-s, the Ten Great Personifications of Shakti, the divine Energy/Capability that are worshipped by the Bengali Shaiva/Shakta lineage tradition.]

  6. 'By the Nature [the bipolar energy/capability of the divine life force] all things are created when in the presence of the Supreme Being.

  'So also it can be said that all things are created by [the bipolar nature of] the Supreme Being in the presence of Nature.'

  'Inflamed with the [cosmic] 'erotic' desire [to create], which leads to total bliss, Nature [at the time of cosmic dissolution] becomes the opposite [to 'erotic' desire by being sated] and [so Nature] becomes known as mahakali, the [female] Great Destroyer and then sadashiva, the Always Happy/Auspicious One [the Supreme Being] is [then] known as mahakala, the Great Destroyer.

  '[At time of the completion of dissolution] mahakala is so called because he is dissolved into mahakali and [also] mahakali is so called because she is dissolved into mahakala.

  ' [Here] Great Lady [by being completely melded] they [mahakali and mahakala] are beyond knowledge and ignorance and beyond [the range of] bhava, 'becoming.'

   7. 'Based on the [point of view of] shakta bhava, 'the energy/capability of becoming', creation [of the primal mandala of the dasamahavidya-s, the Ten Great Personifications of the Goddess] is explained.

   'The [ordering of the] arrangement/process of creation is [or arises from the] shakti, 'energy/capability' and [arises from] the bhava, 'of coming into existence' [that] is [necessary] for the awakening [of mahakali and mahakala into the divine mode of creation].

   ' The understanding of the Energy/Capability is the understanding of bhava, 'existence' [of mahakali]. The state of abhava, 'non-existence', is [the characteristic of] the Supreme Being [mahakala], who is the [ever] pristine, detached witness.

   ' Melded 'existence' and 'non-existence' is [the divine characteristic of] the Nature and the Supreme Being in union.'

  8. ' [From the union of mahakali and mahakala] a second [shakti/mahavidya] to emerge was [the goddess] Tarani, the 'one who saves' those who [are mired in] desire.

  ' Then the Goddess Tara asked [Great female Destroyer]:

  “ Give me a husband O Universal Mother, I am full of [or overwhelmed with] kama, 'erotic desire' [to create]'.

  ' Hearing this mahadeva, the Great Deity, gave her a purusha, a 'lord' from his own body.

  'Approaching him [her created Lord] this mahavidya, a Great Personification [of the Energy/Capability] resorted to viparita rati, a reversed [emotional] position from erotic passion [by containing her erotic desire].'

  9. 'The third [mahavidya] to be created [by the union of the Nature and the Supreme Being] was sodashi, the Sixteen Year Old who is rajarajeshvari, the Supreme Female Monarch, the vidya, the Personification [of the energy/capability] worshipped by all the deities.

  ' With her eyes are full of 'wine' or [intoxicated] with kama bhava, the 'state of erotic desire' she said:

  “ Give me a husband O Great female Destroyer!”

  ' Hearing this Shiva gave her daksinamurti, the Right-sided Image from this right side.

  ' All things made of the elements consist of [the melded mixtures] the right and left [the negative and positive components].

  'On the left side is Sixteen Year Old and on the right is [her] eternal Lord.'

  10. 'The universe is eternal as well as transient.

   ' For the benefit of the bliss/joy of the efficient practitioner, the creation is radiant in its unfolding brilliance.

  ' [Here] the Great Personification [of the Energy/Capability] tripuradya, the Three Cities has eight aspects [including herself].

  'These [aspects] are [Great Personifications of the Energy/Capability] Bhuvanesi, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, Matangi and Kamala.'

  11. ' Sadashiva is [at center] with these eights shakti-s [which are placed] in the eight directions. ' Initially beginning with the south, clockwise the eight shakti-s surround Shiva.

  ' O Beloved this is said to be origin of creation, the [intuitive] knowing of which [the unfolding radiance/resonance] gives liberation to the individual whilst being alive....'

   This extract from the Third Chapter of the SO.T., ends at the 11th., verse.

 

   (4b.,) The utility of cosmology as a means towards approaching the inner emanation and yoga system.

    'By the Nature [the bipolar energy/capability of the divine life force] all things are created when in the presence of the Supreme Being.

                                                                                                                                                          SO.T., 3.6.

    The uncreated 'one' divine essence/principle, the Brahman, is characterized as the impersonal monad. Here the ultimate goal of ascetics within the late Vedic/Brahminical yoga tradition of the 1st.,   millennium BC., was to realize the uncreated, melded divine resonant/radiant nature of Brahman, tat, 'that' was ever 'alone,' as the imminent, transcendental, non-dual nature of the supreme self/soul.

   According to the theory of divine creation and cosmology related by the mixed Samkhya/Vedanta philosophical tradition, that is upheld by the unorthodox Natha yogi lineage tradition, the uncreated, resonance/radiance nature of the impersonal and transcendental Brahman, the 'that' remained undiminished 'alone' within the unique divine harmony or divine equipoise of the sphere-less 'divine now'. But the 'thoughts' of Brahman caused the creation of the measureless divine sphere of the 'golden egg'.

   The divine sphere was caused by a first differentiation of the primeval resonance/radiance of the essence/principle. Within the measureless divine sphere a second differentiation of the primeval resonance/radiance caused the creation of the primordial Beings, the bipolar, male purusa, the quiescent Supreme Being and the female prakriti, the Nature or rather the optimum shakti, 'energy' of the divine live force, his consort. These original primordial male and female divine Beings are the personifications, embodiments of the uncreated radiance/resonance of the essence/principle. They are characterized as always being 'in union' and are 'marked' by the direct knowledge of the nature of the uncreated essence/ principle of the monad.

    In other South Asian sectarian traditions the primordial divine Beings, the male purusa and the female prakriti can also be associated with the 'chosen' sectarian deities/goddesses Shiva/Shakti as well as Visnu/Lashmi. The purusa and prakriti are characterized as being 'in union' in order that creation can begin.

    Within  GVS., the Great Adept Goraksa-natha offers the Natha lineage vista on the primordial divine Beings, the male purusa and the female prakrti as is now associated with the 'chosen' sectarian deity/godess, Shiva and Shakti. 

     " Shakti is within Shiva and Shiva is within Shakti and the difference between them cannot be known, like the Moon and moonlight.

     "Shiva without Shakti is not capable of doing anything.

    " When Shiva is united with his Shakti be become the progenitor of all things.

    " Being the bearer of the undiminished shakti, the energy/capability he resonances/radiates in all forms but again in the same form [as the first Being] remains as one [the quiescent, unchanging first Being].

     "[Here] the akula, 'no-family' conceives the kula, the 'family' and the kula desires the akula...". 

   Wider creation began within the measureless divine sphere as the third differentiation of the tempered resonance/radiance that arose out of the 'union' of quiescent male purusa and the energy of the female prakriti. The primordial 'union' of the quiescent male resonance and the radiant female Shakti or radiant energy of the optimum life force went on to create the cosmic Brahminical Trinity. Here the bipolar cosmic Brahminical Trinity is comprised of Brahma, the cosmic deity of creation; Visnu, the cosmic deity of maintenance and Shiva the cosmic deity of deity of destruction along with their 'energies' the three cosmic goddesses Saraswati, Laksmi and Durga/Kali.

   All these bipolar cosmic deities and goddesses are equally 'marked' with the direct awareness of 'that' or rather the bipolar nature of the uncreated radiance/resonance of the essence/principle of the 'supreme soul'. The bipolar cosmic deities and goddesses of the Trinity were created to direct the cosmic processes of the creation, maintenance and destruction.

    By a fourth differentiation of the tempered resonance/radiance originating out the primordial radiance/resonance, the bipolar, subtly formed Goddesses and Deities of the cosmic creation, maintenance and destruction in turn created the vast realms of space, finite time and elemental/atomic matter. Having made the spheres for space, finite time and elemental matter these so formed bipolar cosmic deities wished to create the positive and negative male female Titans and demi-goddess and male demi-deities who would occupy the immensity of space and finite time, filled with elemental matter etc., in order to make order out of the cosmic chaos.

    So with the fifth differentiation of the tempered resonance, the subtly formed, bipolar cosmic deities created bipolar male and female Titan and demi-deities and demi-goddesses to order and decorate the cosmos with galaxies, filled with stars, planets etc., all made out of mixes of elemental matter and gases.

   Here, even once primordial creation has started by way of these various differentiations originating from the melded, uncreated radiance/resonance etc., the divine 'clothes' of 'that', the 'one' Brahman, still covers and 'marks' the consciousness/essential nature of the purusa/prakriti as well as the bipolar cosmic deities of creation, maintenance and destruction and even the male and female Titans and demi-deities/ goddesses etc. Similarly 'that' marks the consciousness potential of all the finite sentient and insentient matter creations various deities created that are present within the continuum of the cosmos etc., etc.

    Thereby the culminating goal of the overall orthodox and unorthodox systems of devotion, emanation and yoga was/is that purified, 'worthy' devotees is aimed at intuitively knowing or rather attaining the knowledge 'that' or the essential uncreated, non-dual nature of the infinite Brahman.

   Here the macrocosmic/microcosmic non-dual nature of the monad is considered to be ever uncreated, transcendent and omnipresent. From this basic cosmological/doctrinal vista the various sectarian traditions of the sanatana-dharma taught that salvation or liberation from dualistic sensory consciousness and from the dualistic often negative trends active in the sensory/material world hinged upon unveiling and attaining the imminent, intuitive knowledge of 'that', the non-dual nature of the formless and impersonal monad, Brahman, the supreme soul.

     But also this task can also be applied to attain the 'essential nature' of the bipolar, primordial divine Beings, the male purusa and the female prakriti as well as the formed, personal 'chosen' bipolar male deities and female goddesses of the Brahminical Trinity who as mentioned are similarly 'marked' and endowed with the gift of awareness of the direct knowledge of the radiance/resonance of the supreme soul.

    In this way the radiance/resonance of the 'one' supreme soul or 'essential nature' of fully purified consciousness is the knowable divine 'birthright' of finite humanity as well as being the consciousness potential latent within all humanity. This potentially can only be realized by purified, 'worthy' devotees and practitioners who have cultivated and have successfully applied the 'six' deity 'styles' relating to the systems of devotion as well as emanation and yoga methods to the 'chosen' deities from the Brahminical Trinity etc.

     In this way the graduated avenues of the 'six' deity 'styles', that have historically offered exoteric/esoteric/cosmic teachings to 'worthy' devotees/disciple, have done so on the understanding they must 'fight against the deluding current' of individual and mass sensory cause and effect in order to finally or not, intuitively realize the non-dual consciousness.

     Here the 'worthy' disciple must live in a disciplined, moral and ethical manner in order to overcome the delusive power dualistic sensory cause and effect while at the same time conceiving the sectarian 'chosen' task of devotion, emanation and yoga. Then after a life-long task of purifying consciousness with the sectarian 'chosen' but comprehensive emanation and yoga system, the 'worthy' devotee/pratitioner can possibly finally realize or not, the transcendental, non-dual consciousness always inherent to the consciousness potential of all humanity.


    Some of the important texts forming the Upanishad-s textural tradition give details of the macrocosmic processes of creation/destruction of the universe in order to allude to and infer the very basic microcosmic process of emanation and yoga necessary to unveil the consciousness potential of 'worthy' consecrated practitioners. These processes are in terms of alternating ‘waves’ of the 'cosmic breath' within the macrocosm and in terms of alternating ‘waves’ of the 'life-supporting breath' within the microcosm of the finite body/mind.

    But both these macrocosmic and microcosmic processes are ever set within 'that', the resonant/radiant nature of the impersonal, formless Brahman which ever 'marks' the 'first' male and female Beings and 'marks' the measureless divine sphere, the 'golden egg' as well as 'marking' the bipolar male and female Trinity etc.

   This vista, founded upon cosmological speculations surrounding cyclic interplay of ‘waves’ of light/dark within an overall process of cosmic creation/destruction, echoes the Hermetic aphorism from the very early Eyptian Emerald Tablet ‘as it is above so it is below’. By way of understanding the full import of this aphorism, the cosmological vista of the Upanishad-s has a further utility to infer and propose the basis for the emanation and yoga system that is applied to purify the microcosmic finite body/mind.

   The utility of these cosmological speculations was to point towards the microcosmic/ macrocosmic potentiality offered from purifying/harnessing the 'waves' of the 'life supporting breath' in order to bring the energy of the life force to the optimal level. Here, from purifying the 'waves' of the breath, the optimized life force can be known in terms of the cosmic Mother's kundalini-shakti, the normally coiled-up Energy/Capability or the 'secret fire'.

    Manifesting the ‘secret fire’ by these means, is necessary in order to really assay the consciousness potentiality offered within the finite body/mind. The inherent consciousness potentiality of the finite body/mind can be possibly assayed by unlocking the 'secret fire' and by the balanced, but protracted entry into undifferentiated mind flow, the very nature of the abstracted mind.

   Here the necessary stages of controlling the breath can occur from an applied appreciation of the inner ‘erotic metaphor’. The attained 'erotic metaphor' is from the union of the 'waves' of the 'in' ‘mother’ breath, the 'held breath', the 'out' ‘father’ breath and the fully 'exhaled breath' that can lead to the conception of the divine 'great being' of the son or daughter or rather the unveiling of the consciousness potential of the adept of emanation and yoga.

    But the true nature of the divine 'great being' of the adept can occur only when the breath is naturally placed in balanced equipoise by being fully freed from any and all dualistic emotional/sensory attachment. From the breath naturally held in balanced equipoise, the abstracted, undifferentiated mind flow can assay and then perhaps can eventually attain the actualized state of non-dual resonance/radiance which is transcendently imminent and 'marks' all macrocosmic/ microcosmic creation.

    This systemic approach to the breath was/is by breath restraint and by the abstraction of the mind can lead, during protracted meditation, to detachment from the emotional/desire orientated activities of the sensory mind. From this arises a consequent radical reduction of the number of breaths taken. By detachment to the ‘arising’ cycles of sensory desire, calmness and balanced equipoise of the breath can arise and the inner vista of the efficiency of the finite body/mind can be attained etc., potentially allowing the ignition and manifestation of the ‘secret fire’. Subsequently within protracted undifferentiated mind flow, the ‘secret fire’, the characteristic nature of the optimized life force, can be appropriately channeled and ‘sealed’ within central nerve of the spinal column.

 

    (5.,) The deha-vada, the Doctrine of the refined, divine Body or rather the kaya-sadhana, the 'efficient application of the body', that is common within all sectarian yoga and tantric yoga traditions of the 'six styles'.

 

     '...The Ida [yoga nerve] is the Ganges and the Pingala [yoga nerve] is the daughter of the Sun [the Jamuna] in the 'middle', the Sushumna [yoga nerve] the Saraswati. This is the place where all three [can] join...'.

                                                                                                                                                     S.S., 5.133

   The discussions of earlier sections have certainly connected the seminal founding masters of the pre-10th., century AD., Hindu Yogini Kula and Natha lineages traditions, Matsyendra-nath, Mina-pa, Caurangi and Goraksa-natha with particular yogi lineages within the 'seven instruction lineages' of the Indian, Buddhist tantric Mantrayana/ Sajahayana tradition.

   Incidences connecting these masters with a number of sectarian tantric yoga traditions can serve to point towards trends of positive interplay between supposedly hostile, competing sectarian tantric yoga traditions during the classic pre-10th., century period of Indian tantricism. This positive interplay between supposedly hostile, competing sectarian tantric yoga traditions was based upon the cultivation of the consciousness potential inherent to the finite body/mind.  

     Here 9.30-32., of the tantric Buddhist Mantrayana tantra, the CMR.T., the Bhagavan Buddha sums up the ideal of the consciousness potential inherent to the finite body/mind.  

    “[Knowledge of the inherent but normally concealed 'natural' state is inherent and always present while the finite body/mind lives but] one can die by being poisoned by one's own imaginings. But still, even without any [mental] poison [but still not having attained this concealed knowledge] one can die, going to [astral] heaven realms or to the lower realms.  

    “Knowing the [poisonous] nature of the world to be thus, the wise [seek to] attain the Release.

    “This Release is the emptiness after the [flame of] the lamp [or rather dualistic consciousness] is blown out by the [gathering of the yoga] winds.

     “[However] when the lamp [or rather the body] is broken [dead], the flame [of consciousness] also dies and cannot not lead [the 'worthy' practitioner] to enlightenment [of the consciousness potential inherent to the finite body/mind].

     “Therefore, relinquishing all things [attachments to the arisings and delusions of relative dualistic mind] the vow-holder should only be devoted to realizing enlightenment [of the innate non-dual consciousness]....”.  

   A foremost tantric treatise of the Shaiva/Shakti, Yoginı Kula tantric tradition, the KAT., emphasizes in 1.11-12., the need for the disciplined culture of the unique potential of the finite body/mind to either attain the eight psychic powers or to finally realize the innate sahaja, the 'natural' non-dual consciousness. Here this text, composed or compiled during the early centuries AD., from oral origins, introduces the general basis for the deha-vada, the Doctrine of the Body and/or the kaya-sadhana, the 'efficient application of the body' b y stating:

    Of the eighty-four hundred thousand [types] of physical form [within this world], the human body is the most important because it is this form where one [the practitioner] can gain [direct] knowledge of the essence.

     ‘ This knowledge of the essence cannot be attained in any other physical form other than in the human form [because of its consciousness potential of the finite body/mind] ’.

    Further in this respect, the 14th., century AD., yoga manual of the later unorthodox, Shaiva Natha yogı tradition the SS., stresses the importance of the inner yoga components of the finite human body/mind 2.1-4 stating that:

    'In this body mount Meru, [the spinal column and the 'middle' yoga nerve] is surrounded by seven islands [the seven spinal centers].

   'There are rivers [the yoga nerves], [cosmic] oceans, mountains [centers where the prime deities abide] as well as the Lords of the [deity astral] fields.

   ' In the body there are seers and sages as well as all the stars and planets. There are sacred pilgrimages, shrines and the presiding deities of the shrines.

   ' The sun and moon [the principle mandala-s as well as] the agents of creation and destruction [as the aspects of the bipolar microcosmic/macrocosmic breath which] move within the body. [The elements] of ether, air, fire, water and earth are also there.

  'All [the positive and negative natures of the six types of] beings that exist in the Three Worlds [or spheres] are also to be found in the body[/mind].

  '[All these spheres, beings etc.,] are surrounding the Meru and are engaged in their respective functions'.

   The inner outlook of the importance of the body/mind proposed in the quotes from these tantric and unrthodox yoga treatises is in contrast with some of the purely outwardly orientated, devotional systems of the orthodox Brahminic tradition and/or the West Asian Semitic traditions etc.

   Here the divine svabhava or the uncreated 'essential nature' is innate to the consciousness potential of the whilst finite body/mind lives. The macrocosmic/microcosmic 'essential nature', the sahaja, the 'natural' non-dual consciousness is 'that' which is uncreated, unlimited and immanent and is always transcendent to the veils imposed by the limits the emotional/sensory mind.

  But under everyday, emotional/ sensory conditions the limiting dualism inherent to the impure, 'unnatural', sensory mind conceals the nature of the non-dual consciousness and in the main the mass of individuals and even a very large majority devotees and consecrated disciples of the various yoga lineages still remain in ignorance of the attained nature of non-dual consciousness. Devotees and unaccomplished disciples can only first believe in the concepts of the existence of the non-dual nature and can only put their faith in a proven emanation and yoga system handed down by the lineage of accomplished adepts.

   However, from the previously mentioned vista, the applied Doctrine of the Body and/or rather the 'efficient application of the body', maintains that the finite body/mind is the only location to apply the system of emanation and yoga necessary in order to finally achieve direct knowledge of the divine 'essential nature' of 'that'.

    By means of the 'efficient application of the body/mind' a skillful and accomplished yogi can first apply the inner method of identification with and then by the visualization and emanation of the 'chosen' deity form, in order to begin to 'reverse' the trends of the dominant sensory mind. After awakening to the 'space-like' nature of the undifferentiated mind the skillful yoga can then fully apply the methods of ulta-yoga, 'reversed union', typified by the inner 'erotic metaphor', in order to finally attain the essential, microcosmic/macrocosmic non-dual nature of  'that'.

    As mentioned within both the Buddhist and Shaiva/ Shakta tantric traditions the knowledge of the 'essential nature' of consciousness, is known as the sahaja, the innate 'natural' consciousness. Thereby the common aim of these various sectarian tantric emanation and yoga methods were/are to realize this non-dual, microcosmic/macrocosmic 'natural' consciousness by going beyond and completely transcending the cause and effect of the elemental/emotional trends of dualistic sensory consciousness that are normally dominant and what are daily experienced by individuals within the finite body/mind.

    Under the cosmic doctrine of these sectarian lineage traditions, the essence of the 'natural' non-dual consciousness is considered by the atheistic Buddhist tantric tradition as being the 'space-like' vajra, 'adamantine' nature. The vajra nature can be possibly attained by adepts from applying the 'reversed' yoga method of 'erotic metaphor' finally involving the attainment of the conscious melding or union within the uncreated 'radiance' of the female Wisdom and the 'resonance' of the male Means. 

    Within the various Shaiva and the Shaiva/Shakta theistic sectarian tantric traditions the essence of 'natural' non-dual consciousness, 'that' can be known by individual practitioners as the para-atman, the innate 'supreme soul that 'marks' the bipolar cosmic deities, saguna, 'with form'. Here devotees can attain the intuitive realization of the uncreated, svabhava, 'essential nature' as the non-substantial or void 'self-nature' of the 'chosen' deities of the Trinity. Here accomplished practitioners can realize the melded resonance/radiance of mahadeva, the Great Deity Shiva, or the radiance/resonance of the mahadevi, the Great Goddess etc.

     In the more orthodox Brahminical yoga contexts the resonant/radiant nature of non-dual consciousness is known as 'that' or the 'supreme essence' of the Brahman. 'That' is the 'one' supreme soul/self of the impersonal monad that 'is' naguna, 'without form' and ever 'alone' etc. But within all these the 'six' deity 'styles' of the lineage traditions of the sanatana-dharma, the 'self-nature' of the supreme soul, 'that', can be achieved by applying the 'reversed' yoga method of 'erotic metaphor' finally involving the attainment of the melded, uncreated divine aspects of resonance/radiance etc.

 

     The KAT., continues in the previous vein and echoes the later Tibetan tantric tradition’s outlook of the necessity for individuals to apply themselves wholeheartedly to tantric lineage and the applied emanation and yoga system. As mentioned, application to the overall method of emanation and yoga is necessary in order to purify and harness the full consciousness potential of the body/mind.

     The KAT., infers that a refined tantric emanation and yoga system, centering on the central 'middle' yoga nerve of the finite body/mind, can save and free 'worthy' individual practitioners. Here the tantric system of emanation and yoga can free 'worthy' practitioners from the dualistic cause and effect consequences of the delusive ignorance of the emotional/ sensory trends of consciousness and from the underlying ignorance of the 'natural' state of consciousness that arise from the clinging to the resonance of the primordial or elemental sensory dyads of fear/security, pleasure/pain, attachment/aversion etc. Since the embryo state these primordial or elemental sensory dyads have in effect controlled the sub-conscious mind.

     Here the normal flow of the emotional/sensory mind, caused by the imprint of the primordial sensory dyads of the sub-conscious mind and the subsequent arising of personal 'in character' emotional trends of the fully formed ego, can be known as 'unnatural' dualistic consciousness. From the embryo stage within the mother's womb the imprint of the primordial, elemental sensory dyads etc., etc., forms the dualistic trends and habits of sensory consciousness and with the dualistic veil of ignorance regarding the consciousness potential of the body/mind, in turn acts to conceal the recognition of the existence of the uncreated, non-dual 'essential nature'.

    Nevertheless the macrocosmic/microcosmic uncreated 'essential nature' is still inherent and 'marks' the consciousness potential of the finite body/mind. Within the Buddhist tantric tradition the concealing veil of dualism is known as pratıtysamutpada, 'dependent causation'. 'Dependent causation' impels ignorance of the non-dual consciousness or the absolute essence of the imminence of the 'divine' non-dual mind.

   Again 'dependent causation' occurs within and from the early fetus stage and the chain of dependent causation is always linked to the emergence of unconscious ignorance of the non-dual 'natural' state and acts as the basic net for the veiling of non-dual consciousness. Within the mother's womb, the conceived embryo gradually and unconsciously creates the trends of 'unnatural' dualistic consciousness from the reactions to primal desires and from the sensory trends and the primordial dyads relating to sense of touch etc. During this stage the foundations of 'unnatural' consciousness gradually appear from the feelings of hunger, feelings of primal fear and from the need for feeling secure etc.

    In turn these primordial reactions to primal desire and reaction lead to the ever arising trends of the dyads. The reactive habits of unconscious elemental sensory thought are linked the arising of the limiting primordial dyads and to the arising of primordial often negative and reactive emotions leading to the imprisonment of embryonic mind/consciousness within these so created veils. On birth the dominance of particular primal dyads etc., directs the trends active within the continuum of the arising primordial emotions of the sub-conscious mind.

    Then in turn these primal trends of 'unnatural' consciousness lead to the firm ignorance or the complete veiling of the innate, non-dual consciousness. Here the cause for ignorance is not by any outer inimical force, such as mara or maya etc., but from the individual's personal trends of karma, 'cause and effect' that from the embryo stage in effect binds, limits and controls the sensory mind.

    But when the baby is growing up and despise this veil of ignorance, the still developing sensory mind feels as sense of loss or rather feels an unconscious separation from the innate non-dual 'essential nature' of macrocosmic/microcosmic consciousness. From this unconscious feeling of separation, the sensory mind is impelled to slowly create a fully separate ego to make up for this sense of loss.

    Once created, the ego always hides the full potential of consciousness etc., by filling the mind with emotional/sensory desires, emotional reactions etc. But the consequences of the deep mental conditioning by way of the sub-conscious mind etc., and by way of the emotional trends of ego, that arise during the embryonic state and from birth etc., generally only leads to the cycles and trends of sensory desire and selfish/sinful action as well as furthering the sense of aloneness and a feeling of ever deepening separation.

    A life build on a sense of a separate ego and aloneness, that normally concentrates on the emotional trends of actions surrounded the greed, lusts and delusions of relative world etc., can only finally offer bodily/mental suffering as well as ongoing ignorance of the consciousness potential of the finite body/mind etc. Also, a life time spend in selfishly, successfully or not, indulging in the lusts and greed offered by the relative sensory world, does not bring any lasting fulfillment or contentment just the continuing, unfulfilled thirst of desire.

     The cause and effect consequences of merely following and acting on the dualistic trends of the gross sensory mind, that arise from acting on the aims of the sensory/social world, generally in old age often only offer a complete sense of separation or being completely alone, without any comfort. In old age many individuals live within a personally created mental 'hell realm' filled with regrets, guilt and unfulfilled desires.

   Again the sad, inauspicious consequences of dualistic cause and effect are caused by the reactions and conditioning of the sub-conscious mind, that is active from the embryonic state, leading to unconscious but very deep attachment to the primordial dyads etc. Unconscious reactions to these dyads etc., inexorably lead to the conditioning trends of the emotional governed sensory mind.

     A long term but successful application to the overall emanation and yoga system by dedicated 'worthy' disciples can perhaps finally cure these various layers of unconscious but very deep seated mental conditioning.

   Here KAT., 1.15-16., further states: 

    ‘Endowed with the human form as a ladder for liberation if the individual does not [seek to attain] the liberation of the soul/self [from ignorance, desire and suffering etc.,], then who can be a greater sinner...

    ‘No creature in any other physical form than the human form can pursue the higher goal of life [in this planetary context].

  'Therefore endowed with the precious wealth of a human body one should perform virtuous/aupicious actions [in order to create a positive cycle of cause and effect necessary to meet an adept master as well as being suitable to receive consecration and instructions to apply the lineage method].'

    Thereby after being accepted and consecrated by the adept lineage master, the 'worthy' disciple should apply the lineage instructions necessary in the pursuit of the 'essential nature', innate to the consciousness potential of the body/mind. Here once accepted, consecrated etc., the tantric yoga practitioner as well as the orthodox yoga practitioner should seek to be essentially internally self-reliant and self-contained all the while maintaining detachment from the delusive trends of the social/sensory world.

    By being self-contained etc., during the long process of purifying and cultivating the perceptive potentiality inherent to the finite body/mind, a mature, accomplished yogı can perhaps create the  chance to realize the goal of non-dual knowledge.

    In this sense KAT., 1.21., states:

   ' If the individual himself does not seek to find the means for release for the soul/self who else is there to seek the means favorable for the release?’

    Here under the esoteric/cosmic doctrinal line of the 'efficient application of the body' applied within the overall early Siddha and Mahasiddha tradition, mature practitioners had/have the chance to gain success and accomplishment in the emanation and yoga method by way of the ulta-sadhana, the 'reversed yoga mode of efficient application'.


   However for the most part the theories of Doctrine of the divine Body and orthodox and tantric yoga approach are mostly dismissed out of hand by modern scientists as well as by modern religious researchers concerned the various theistic religions founded in west Asia. But even if these theories are even examined they are simply viewed as being a primitive approach to understanding the working of the central nervous system etc.

   This could well be true but for the significance of the harnessed activities of the inner electromagnetic energy of the prana or vayu, the 'winds', crucial within the theory of the 'middle' approach of orthodox and tantric yoga systems. Here  the author has himself, from time to time, experienced the harnessed winds which hastens the protracted 'natural', drug free, entry into the undifferentiated mind flow.

  Nevertheless, breath control and the harnessed use of the 'winds' etc., still remains unrecognized or is readily dismissed within modern science and medicine as being just an unsophisticated inner approach arising from primitive tribal religion etc. The same can said of a similar harnessing of the 'chi' within the Chinese Taoist yoga-like system or the various east Asian martial arts systems.

  Therefore the various but comprehensive bipolar orthodox and tantric emanation and yoga systems of the 'six' deity 'styles' based on the approach to the central, 'middle' yoga nerve and geared by the 'erotic metaphor' or the inner weaving of the aspects of the yoga components, are readily dismissed by modern science and more especially by the sectarian doctrinal view of non-Indian theistic devotional religion.


      However, under the theory of the Doctrine of the refined, divine Body, the significance of harnessing the breath and harnessing the system of spinal centers and the yoga nerves and winds etc., clearly hinges upon successfully cultivating the positive emotions, like friendliness, compassion, joy etc., and by thoroughly applying non-attachment as well as applying the purifying techniques of the breath etc. But the utility of the purified degrees of perception, arising from successfully applying the emanation and yoga system in order to harness the winds, the bipolar components etc., always remains unknown to faith-based, non-Indian devotional religion etc.

    For yoga practitioners the prime theory relating to the central, 'middle' yoga nerve approach, fully accepts and posits the harnessing and utilization of the aspects of the bipolar breath in conjunction with the electromagnetic energies of the winds etc. Once these purified bipolar inner components etc., are coupled with the gathered bio-kinetic energy of the pent-up libido an accomplished, efficient yogi has the possibility to awake the generally latent kundalini-shakti, the 'coiled-up energy/capability', the life force.

    Therefore the utility of the orthodox and tantric processes of the 'middle' yoga nerve approach are certainly in terms of ascertaining the efficient use and the perceptive potential of the finite body/mind with the initial prime aim of awakening the coiled-up energy/capability of the life force, the 'secret fire' etc. When the spinal column of the body is purified and harnessed by the channelled 'secret fire', the finite body/mind is then considered as potentially being a microcosmic transmitter/receiver within and with the various gross and subtle astral realms of the macrocosm.

     Under the tantric theory of the 'middle' yoga nerve approach, individually and as a unified aggregate the four main spinal centers etc., can upon purification. potentially offer intuitive experience of the various macrocosmic astral realms etc. These can include the various astral/heaven realms of the 'chosen' deities 'with form' as well as the absolutely unconditioned, 'formless' state of total 'release' within the radiance/resonance of 'that'.

    Explanatory Shaiva yoga digests as well as the explanatory treatises of the tantric Buddhist Mantrayana textual tradition, such as the samvara-ottara-tantra (SVO.T.,) etc., clearly indicate that the purified nerve circuits and the purified complexes of the spinal centers together with the other parts of the finite body connected with the spinal centers, present within the finite ‘meru’, central spinal column, are considered as being mirrored reflections of the nature of subtle astral deity realms and beyond. 

    But these astral spinal realms are named in accord to the deity lineage tradition and to the resonance of the given lineage mantra-s. According to the lineage system and the associated lineage mantra-s there are different and various 'chosen' bipolar deities of 'form' which can have macrocosmic deity astral realms linked to the purified spinal centers etc. Here within the charged resonance/radiance the adept practitioner can possibly make astral voyages etc., to the planets and to the deity astral realms etc., of gross and subtle macrocosm or even become a medium for expressing the radiance/resonance of the formless, transcendental non-dual consciousness of the divine quantum field whilst the finite body/mind lives.

    From re-focusing and re-tuning the finite mind/body, the efficient yoga practitioner can perhaps intuitively attain and experience the different stages of radiance/resonance relating to various astral spheres of the bipolar male/female deities of 'form' and their accompanying retinue. Via the unified centers of the spinal column joined by the 'middle' yoga nerve, the fully accomplished practitioner has the possible inner link to the 'space-like' quantum field of 'that' in addition to the inner links encompassing all the possible astral realms of the gross and subtle macrocosm. The divine spheres of the 'chosen' male/female 'six' deity 'styles' are microcosmically linked to individual spinal centers once the efficient practitioner has purified the central, 'middle' yoga nerve. 

   But the unique system of spinal centers are potentially capable of even more subtle experience than simply accessing the spinal, astral bipolar deity spheres. Here the mature, ripened practitioner can attain the very advanced stages of completion yoga by achieving the total unity of the spinal centers. As mentioned the purified and unified spiral centers of the microcosmic finite body/mind can be potentially linked within the non-dual consciousness of the unconditioned 'space-like' or 'formless' monad, 'alone'. The nirvana, the 'release' into the non-dual consciousness of the monad, 'that', is transcendent and beyond any and all the deity astral realms etc., of the gross and subtle macrocosm.


    But the author again stresses that attaining the necessary purity of the central 'middle' nerve and then harnessing the 'sealed' 'middle' yoga nerve is absolutely necessary to consciously operate the inner aspects and activities of these fundamental bipolar yoga components. But from this, the efficient and skillful yoga practitioner directly appreciates that the finite body/mind, generated from gross cause and effect, can eventually be a medium for the natural experience of prolonged undifferentiated consciousness and even be a medium to experience 'that', the transcendent, non-dual, macrocosmic/microcosmic infinite field ever present within the consciousness potential of the finite body/mind.

    Here the inner 'erotic metaphor' associated with the symbol sat-kona, the six-pointed star can be progressively employed within the bipolar system of emanation and yoga. By means of applying and harnessing inner 'erotic metaphor' associated with the symbol of the six-pointed star to attain the bipolar emanation and yoga method, the spinal centers of the finite body/mind can perhaps be made fully awake and aware by way of arousing the 'secret fire' of the life force. Here the 'erotic metaphor' etc., is applied by way of the successful union of the bipolar breath; the union of the two main winds and principle three yoga nerves etc. The union of these inner components etc., can lead to the unfolding and experiencing of the undifferentiated nature of the purified principle 'middle' nerve etc.

    Once 'sealed' within the central, 'middle' nerve, the 'secret fire' can 'burn away', with undifferentiated ‘bliss’, the roots of the cycles of cause and effect further allowing all the knots blocking the centers situated on the 'middle' nerve to be undone and the spinal centers to be unified. When the roots of the cycles of cause and effect are completely 'burnt up' and once the spinal centers situated on the 'middle' nerve are united, the resonance of the finite body/mind is raised to the optimal level within the uncreated cosmic resonance.

   Once both 'secret fire' and the resonance of the finite body/mind are raised to the optimal level, the consciousness of the efficient adept finally realizes the divine nature of the consciousness potential of the finite body/mind. Here the consciousness of the adept attains the imminence of the microcosmic/macrocosmic nature and enters within the uncreated, non-dual radiance/ resonance which ever 'marks' the 'first' bipolar Beings who rule the measureless divine sphere, the 'golden egg'.

    Here, whilst finite human body/mind lives, the adept of emanation and yoga can be a conscious mirror for the ultimate experience of transcendental, non-duality. In this respect the Great Adept Goraksa comments that this ultimate divine experience of the finite body/mind is neither dual or non-dual but this state can only be described as 'divine unity within sensory diversity' whilst the finite body/mind is still alive.

 

(5a.,) An approach to the 'middle' yoga nerve.

 

    ‘...A yogi who [intuitively] knows the tri-linga, the three ‘characteristics’, [the characteristics of the three principle spinal centers] and has penetrated the sat-cakra, the six spinal centers, should come to the pitha-sthana, the ‘location of the seat’ and roam within the forest of the maha-padma, the Great Lotus.’

                                                                                                                                                  KAT., 4.105.,

    The prime goal of the tantric 'middle' yoga approach, centering on the central yoga nerve, hinges on unveiling the consciousness potential of the finite body/mind and intuitively making apparent 'that' or rather the immanent divine non-dual nature of the melded radiance/resonance that 'marks' all creation. Thereby, the goal of the applied system of orthodox or tantric yoga is not just geared towards outer propitiation or even on the absolute reliance upon the externalized intervention of personified female and male deities. The advanced and the adept yogi must become self-reliant by application to the 'chosen' lineage emanation and yoga system can perhaps lead to a vision of the 'chosen' deity or simply to the altruistic accomplishment of the internal sectarian system.

     This is certainly the case with the internalized 'middle' or central yoga nerve approach, despite the later obsessions within the Brahminized, regional orthodox and tantric traditions towards offering overly complex outer propitiatory ritual. Also this equally the case, despite the historic obsessions of the tantric regional 'folk' and yoga traditions with the performance of other more inimical rites seeking to propitiate external deities of 'form' in order to have mastery over the psychic powers and the sat-karma, the 'six activities' accruing from mantra recitation and fire offerings.

    Here an efficient practitioner of tantric 'middle' approach to emanation and yoga has to initially choose and decide what is main task of emanation and yoga. Under the 'middle' approach the 'worthy' practitioner must choose an altruistic avenue to seek to access the energy/capability of the life force etc., rather than being mired in the relatively easier quest for mantra powers. The quest for mantra powers etc., is generally selfish and ignoble and just gives the ego of the yogi more chances for negative cause and effect because the mind of this type of practitioner is still not purified.

     After receiving appropriate degrees of initiation, consecration and instruction by the lineage holding yoga master, a mature orthodox yoga practitioner or a mature tantric yoga practitioner should consider the finite body/mind as a self-contained field. By way of success in the orthodox yoga and tantric yoga emanation and yoga processes, mastery of the finite body/mind can potentially lead to the purification the bipolar inner yoga components etc., and to the re-focusing of consciousness away from dualistic cause and effect which in the future affords the possible of attaining the natural, intuitive manifestation of undifferentiated mind flow and even intuitive, non-dual knowledge.

     Under the 'middle' approach the orthodox and tantric yoga practitioners must first clear and purify the mind of the limiting veils of primeval elemental/emotional conditioning and the deluding vista of personal sensory/emotional tendencies and related actions. The veils of primeval elemental/emotional conditioning etc., are like ocean foam that in a constant strong gale forms a veil of spray over wind-tossed waves.

   Here this mental veil is formed by the non-purified mental resonance of the dyads of the unconscious mind that since the embryo state has supported and continuously upholds up the mental natures, traits and habits of the arising, emotions of the impure, unnatural, dualistic sensory mind. By the support of impure elemental resonance and from the daily habits of the emotional natures and their allied tendencies and traits etc., the individual and even the immature devotee/yogı is held fast within the illusions and delusions of dualistic, so-called separate and personal states of sensory consciousness etc.

   But the refined yoga theories of the orthodox and tantric 'middle nerve' approach opine that the consciousness potential offered by the finite body/mind can be quite logically considered as the prime field of yoga endeavor and inner activity. Here the field of the body/mind has to be cultivated, disciplined, purified by the emanation and yoga processes. Thereby under the 'middle' tantric approach to emanation and yoga, the conscious potentiality offered by the disciplined, re-focused body/mind must always be considered above all else.

    However, the perceptive limitations of the senses and the ever ‘arising’ cycles of emotionally driven desire, do in general hide the potential for an intuitive appreciation of these unique, inherent stages towards radiance/resonance. For ordinary individuals the outer relative world is totally real after by being conceived through the imperfect medium of the senses and the limited, vista of the sensory/relative mind. But from deliberate and protracted effort of the 'worthy' practitioner within the finite body/mind, the potential stages towards the aspects of radiance/ resonance can be made apparent. Thereby the graduated orthodox or tantric, 'middle' approach of emanation and yoga offers the potentiality to purify and harness the gross and subtle bipolar components of the body. 

    These components to be harnessed and mastered include harnessing the bipolar aspects of the breath or rather the inner bipolar spinal sources of the the 'mother' and 'father, in and out breaths; the circuits of the nadi-s, the yoga nerves, the principal two the vayu-s, the 'winds' etc. The harnessing and mastery of these components etc., the spinal storehouses of the trends and habits of dualistic sensory cause and effect can be tamed and purified.

    All this can be attained only after first cultivating mercy, compassion etc., as well as devotional love for the master, the lineage etc., as well as from a thorough detachment from the tendencies of the senses and the ‘arising’ mental drives of sensory cause and effect. The initial process of detachment from the tendencies of the senses can only be gradually attained by initially building a foundation of moral and ethical discipline.

    Success in this initial foundation can calm the emotionally tossed mind. Then in conjunction with application to the orthodox or tantric system of purifying emanation techniques, the normal but 'unnatural' emotional and sense orientation of the mind can be gradually re-focused and re-directed. These initial techniques can slowly re-focus the mind towards the intuitive appearance of the undifferentiated mind stream and away from habitual attention being paid to the differentiated ‘arising’ emotional tendencies and traits of the limited sensory mind stream.

  Mastery of the techniques identification, visualization emanation with non-substantial or 'space-like' nature of the 'chosen' deity that can generate ‘mental asceticism’ and allow an habitual tendency towards focusing on undifferentiated mind flow. From the cultivation 'mental asceticism' this allows the safe application of the actual stages of the vayu-yoga, the 'yoga of the winds' that include perfection of yoga postures; application to breath restraint in company with the bonds, seals etc.

    Eventually from careful, protracted and very arduous effort, the totality of the system of emanation and yoga can potentially lead to the awakening of the energy/capability, the ‘secret fire’. Once awakened and correctly channeled within the 'middle' nerve, the ‘secret fire’ together with linga, the 'characteristic' of the primeval mantra, can burn with bliss/joy all mental obstructions. From this purification, the potentially to make apparent the realms of the deities of 'form' located within the spinal centers of body can become apparent, perhaps leading to a vision of the 'chosen' deity etc.

    Further the ultimate radiance/resonance of the non-dual quantum field, 'that', can only be attained by the conscious union of the spinal centers. This final purification of the 'middle' nerve of the body/mind comes from unification of these centers. Then this unification mirrors the 'natural' consciousness of the non-dual state. 

    Clearly upon harnessing the actually ‘non-personal’ energy/capability in company with the attained the resonance of the primeval mantra, the efficient yoga practitioner does not really need to resort to the external ritual or propitiation of deities in shrines and temples or even visions of the deities with form etc. In this fully esoteric context images and symbols clearly only have a relevance and utility to suggest the inner means. Advance dualistic devotion by these means, the finite body/mind of the devotee is in touch within the underlying, non-dual quantum field of 'great being' and can see the object of 'chosen' devotion as well as the divine nature of 'all things' by way of the realization of the samarasa, the 'flavor of essential similarity'.

 

   (5b.,) The ulta-yoga, 'reversed yoga' and the general mode of the ulta-sadhana, the 'reversed mode of efficient application'.

      '...He who does not know the secret of this reverse process cannot find the eternal...'.

                                                                                                                              jnana-sagara of Aali-raja

  The uncreated macrocosmic/microcosmic non-dual consciousness of the Brahman, the 'supreme soul', can only be described in dualistic terms. The dualistic esoteric/cosmic description of the nature of the samvid, the 'one consciousness' of the 'supreme soul' in terms as being the melded divine aspects of female, 'radiance' and male 'resonance'. The 'one consciousness' of the 'supreme soul' is beyond dual and non-dual characteristics but can be realized by the efficient and accomplished yogi as 'divine unity within sensory diversity' whilst the finite body/mind lives.

   Within the tantric Kaula lineage tradition, the SO.T., characterizes the uncreated divine nature of these two blended aspects of resonant/radiant 'supreme soul' in terms of 'great being'. Generally within the 'six' deity 'styles' these two melded divine aspects are often further characterized as the melded nature of the Nature's 'radiance' and the first Being's 'resonance'. Here these melded aspects are the embodied, divine forms of the female Nature or shakti, the 'radiant' energy/ capability of the divine life force and the resonance of the male primordial first Being or Shiva.

    Images of the embodied divine male and female divine Beings show them engaging in 'divine erotic union' necessary to create the cosmos. The 'essential nature' of the melded female 'radiance' and the male 'resonance' 'marks' all creation and is thereby 'marks' consciousness potential of beings and even 'marks' all the spheres containing all material things. But under the doctrinal view of the Natha yogi tradition within this world only humanity is gifted with the consciousness potential and the inner degrees of sensibility to directly known the 'essential nature'.

   Human beings all have this consciousness potential that is innate and immanent while the finite body/mind lives. For efficient yogi-s the body/mind can act as a finite medium to inwardly explore and consciously manifest the stages towards revealing the transcendent nature of the 'essential nature' etc. But when the microcosmic body 'dies' or returns to its constituent elements, the uncreated and transcendent 'one consciousness' remains unchanged and is ever transcendently present within the macrocosm.

   Thereby the refined emanation and yoga traditions of the 'six' deity 'styles' hold that after the purification of consciousness, 'worthy' devotees/disciples have the potentiality realize the transcendent 'one consciousness'. This 'one consciousness' can potentially be realized and attained by orthodox and tantric adepts from successfully applying ulta-yoga, the 'reversed yoga'.

   But a devotee/practitioner would be completely wrong to assume that knowledge of that transcendent 'one consciousness' simply originates or is created from the transitory, finite body/mind, that was originated by the sensory cause and effect of the parents. But nevertheless all finite bodies/minds are ever permeated, 'clothed' by this concealed transcendent 'one consciousness'. The unity of the divine radiance/resonance is ever transcendent and is not involved in the processes of individual or mass material cause and effect nor in the biological process leading to the creation of the finite body/mind.

  But the uncreated transcendent 'one consciousness' is nevertheless 'innate' to all finite bodies etc., because the nature of the non-dual 'one' consciousness permeates all finite bodies and spheres etc. Here the uncreated 'one consciousness' characterized as melded divine radiance/ resonance, can only be considered as the impersonal transcendent factor underlying the elements, atoms etc., of the body/mind. From a dualistic point of view this means that the very rare experience of 'divine unity' attained by the accomplished yoga adept can occur while the adept still exists within sensory/material 'diversity'.

  But this impersonal 'essential nature' or the 'natural state' of 'one consciousness' should not be just confined and conveyed way of popular devotional religious concepts, external beliefs etc. Ultimately the existence of the transcendent 'one consciousness' should and can only be known directly by the individual accomplished yoga practitioner. Here the transcendent 'one consciousness' should be intuitively realized by way of svasamveda, 'direct personal experience' from attaining the innate 'one consciousness'.


    The innate, 'natural' one consciousness is always independent and free of any and all dualistic sensory cause and effect. But this divine potential is normally veiled by individual sensory cause and effect etc. Here relative or 'unnatural' dualistic mind is always ruled by the cause and effect of sensory, emotional attachments, afflictions and obstacles that are the cause of suffering and ignorance, as well as by the dualistic delusions of social and religious 'reality'.

    The inward 'applied' emanation and yoga tasks can only be made apparent only after thoroughly re-focusing the mind flow of consciousness. The thorough re-focusing of the mind is set by way of success in the refined stages of tantric emanation and yoga. By these processes a thorough re-focusing can occur which will then thoroughly turning consciousness away from the vista of attachment or from the dualism inherent to the 'unnatural' relative mind.

   As mentioned dualistic, sensory consciousness is formed since the embryo stage by adhering to the dyads of the sub-conscious mind and then by adhering to the arising emotional trends of the dualistic sensory mind etc. The processes of emanation and yoga were formulated in order to 'fight against the current' of individual dualistic sensory cause and effect in order to finally and naturally attain undifferentiated mind flow etc.

    Again the 'worthy' disciple, whether ascetic or householder, must always 'fight against the current' presented by the desires and delusions offered within the social world. Therefore over the long term the 'worthy' disciple must live in a discipline manner in order to first conceive and then after a life-long task of purifying consciousness from applying the comprehensive method, to possibly finally realize or not, the divine, uncreate and transcendental 'one consciousness'.

    Here the consecrated yogi, who possesses the necessary degree of inner sensibility, should apply the 'reversed', bipolar system of emanation and yoga within the body/mind that are necessary to purify the bipolar female and male aspects of the breath and to purify the similar bipolar female and male components of the various inner components etc. The 'reversed yoga' and the 'reversed mode of efficient application' is accomplished by way of the successful application of the inner 'erotic metaphor' in order to attain the divine, melded male/female 'essential nature' symbolized by the unified womb/phallus symbol or the six-pointed star.

    By the 'reversed mode of efficient application', the mind stream of the deliberate practitioner can be slowly unattached to the trends of 'unnatural' dualistic consciousness. Then mind flow of the practitioner can gradually become unattached to primal fear, primal desire etc., and become detached from the dyads of the sub-conscious mind as well as the emotional trends that normally control sensory consciousness.

    Here the bipolar breath can begin to be freed from all the trends and patterns of emotional breathing etc., by means of the successful identification, visualization and emanation of the non-substantial, 'space-like', 'chosen' deity form etc. Only then can the deliberate practitioner  attain the necessary degree of detachment to apply the 'reversed yoga mode of efficient application' via the vaya-yoga, the 'yoga of the winds'. Here the yogi can perhaps release the optimum energy of the life force.

    The fully consecrated and mature yoga practitioners of the early Mantrayana, Yogini Kula and Natha lineage traditions etc., certainly practiced the 'reversed mode of efficient [emanation and yoga] application' towards the aim of internally unveiling the optimum life energy or 'radiance' of the candali, the 'fire of the cremation girl' and/or the kundalini-shakti, the 'coiled-up energy/capability' of the life force .

    By way of success in the identification, visualization and emanation of the 'chosen' deity and by way of vayu-yoga, the 'yoga of the winds' etc., the skillful and efficient practitioner can perhaps release the normally latent the 'coiled-up energy/capability' of the optimum life force. By way of the emanation and yoga processes of the 'reversed mode of efficient application', necessary for the release of the 'coiled-up energy/capability' of the life force, the tantric yoga adept can channel the optimum life force and 'seal' consciousness within the 'middle' yoga nerve.

    But without seeming to cognize the ever-present, natural 'one consciousness' most individuals are held fast by ignorance and by the continuous arising of the habitual trends of the 'unnatural', sensory mind. Here in order to re-focus the mind a 'worthy' Yogini Kula/Kaula tantric yoga practitioner will first resort to the techniques of identification, visualization and emanation of the 'chosen' deity by way of the kadi-mata process. Similarly for the Buddhist Mantrayana, tantric yoga practitioner they will resort to the emanation techniques etc., of the Process of Generation.

    Once the emanation techniques etc., are gradually and successfully applied a degree of 'mental asceticism' can be achieved. Here the focus of the sensory mind can become malleable and undifferentiated. With the habit of undifferentiated mind, the task of fully undoing, 'reversing'  the veil of ignorance towards directly appreciating the nature of non-dual mind can be possibly achieved.

   Here the tantric yogı can use the attained degree of undifferentiated mind within the ongoing dangerous and arduous task of the yoga of the winds. This very difficult yoga task can continue occur either within the Shaiva/Shakta hadi-mata system or the Mantrayana Process of Completion.

     Then the tantric yogı continues by starting the internal yoga techniques of ‘reversing’ or rather purifying and harmonizing the aspects of the bipolar breath giving the yogi a chance to 'reverse' the normal but unnatural flow of the two main vayu-s, the 'winds'. By 'reversing' the unnatural flow of the two main winds the skillful tantric yogi can in turn  harness the bipolar inner components, the spinal centers of the 'sun' and the 'moon'. By these stages of the yoga process of 'reversal' the skillful tantric yogi can further re-focus the inner vista of the undifferentiated mind etc.

  By way of the stages of the efficient tantric yoga method relating to the yoga nerves, winds and the spinal centers etc., the process of further 'reversing' and 're-tuning' the resultant undifferentiated  consciousness, laying in the 'lotus' of the purified root spinal center, can perhaps eventually establish the finite body/mind within the microcosmic macrocosmic 'great breath' or the cosmic life force. 

    After having gained efficiency in the process of tantric yoga method, that is centered within the 'middle' nerve, the yogı can spontaneous awaken the optimum life force normally laying dormant in the root spinal center. Here success in the 'reversed' method the 'yoga of the winds' can awakening and release of the kundalinı-shakti, the 'coiled-up energy/ capability, the ‘secret fire’ of the Shakt, cosmic Mother.

   Once the 'secret fire' is awakened and correctly channelled and consciousness is 'sealed' within the 'middle' yoga nerve the skillful and accomplished tantric practitioner can offer and apply the 5M's or rather the 'five sense sacraments' including the erotic union, to the five senses. Here accomplishment in offering the 5M's can lead to the full release from dualistic cause and effect.

   The method of 'sealing' consciousness within the 'middle' nerve whilst offering and enjoying the 'five' sense sacraments is necessary in order to 'burn off' with the mahasukha, the 'great bliss' any and all attachment to relative cause and effect. The very advanced process is known in the tantric Buddhist Mantrayana lineage tradition as the Process of Perfection. In the Yogini Kula/Kaula lineage tradition this process is known as  kula-yoga, 'family yoga'.

     By 'burning off' any and all attachment to relative cause and effect can lead the 'coiled-up energy/capability' being fully channeled within the 'middle' yoga nerve, where the skillful adept can perhaps break the knots covering the spinal centers and can perhaps be able to unify the four or seven cakra-s the 'spinal centers'. Here by unifying the spinal centers, the tantric Kaula adept can possibly attain the uncreated 'one consciousness' of the 'supreme soul', that is symbolized by the unified womb/phallus and/or by the six-pointed star. Here the Kaula adept becomes an avadhuta, one who has ‘shaken-off’ all sensory obstacles, afflictions and all dualistic, sensory conditioning.

 

The SO.T., was translated and edited by Indu Menon and George W. Farrow.    

The GVS.,  was translated and edited by Indu Menon and George W. Farrow.

The CMR.T., was translated and edited by Indu Menon and George W. Farrow.

The KA.T., was translated and edited by George W. Farrow.

About the Author

The author was raised in the UK., and thanks to the efforts of my parents I received a good education. Also allied with that I was born and brought up in the freest era of human social history etc. But now thanks to the rise of the fascist US., 'empire' that era is well and truly finished. Apart from the normal interests of youth etc., I was also very interested in literature, psychics, history, jazz, art as well as travel  and eastern philosophy etc.

     Since the '60’s I had the opportunity to travel in North Africa, the Middle East as well as South and Southeast Asia. I first traveled overland to India in '70 and made further visits there etc., in order to explore South Asian ‘applied’ yoga doctrines and the various sectarian systems of emanation and yoga. I went to India in order to make further sense of my personal explorations of consciousness aimed towards the innate 'one' nature.


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