A personal statement

This has been written in an attempt to cast some light on the situation that has arisen and divided the Concord since Dadaji exploded his "Splendor of the Bright Shining" bombshell. My authority, such as it is, for entering this fray rests on a letter from Dadaji in 1980 in which he asks me to "float over" the Concord "to stop the boys from fighting". He offered me written authority and a suitably grandiose title if I felt the need for that. In fact the letter seemed to me authority enough and the country district where I lived and worked was already misinformed by a drug firm whose computer had got me mixed up with a knighted major-general (retired) of the same name. I must make it clear that what Dadaji had in mind was only an older and maybe cooler head, that this did not imply any initiated status that would justify interfering in the affairs of any of the bodies under the wing of the Concord or of the Concord itself.

I began a correspondence with Dadaji in 1978 after reading the SOTHIS articles and this continued more or less fortnightly up to his death and I spent time in his company during his year in Sudbury where Ramesh and Shaku kindly asked me to stay. The first Guru Purnima had been held at the house where I lived in Holderness and on the deserted North Sea coast near it and there Mike had given me Nath Diksha. I already had the name Indradhanush from Dadaji and after the diksha, which he said he had hoped Mike would give, he addressed letters to Indradhanush Nath. Mike I had known before this, though only through correspondence about points of recent "occult' history and the like.

Over subsequent years I had occasional correspondence or telephone conversations with some of the other Concord groups, had some copies of their journals sent to me and met some at the occasional Guru Purnima. As a result I was one of the recipients of the "Splendor".

It was with increasing astonishment that I read it. Sentence after sentence was false regarding fact to my certain knowledge or seemed so unlikely as to be almost certainly false. Over the years Dadaji's letters had been critical of Mike's handling of things but only on peripheral matters like the way in which his manuscripts were published or circulated. This was a volte face without warning. Some subsequent letters from Dadaji expressed other even odder ideas about Mike's activities. Some phoning around to some of the AMOOKOS group found much bewilderment and resentment there. The possibilities seemed to me that either Dadaji was performing a brutal training gambit on Mike rather in the way that Marpa kept knocking down the house that he had Milarepa build for him until Milarepa finally achieved enlightenment, or, alternatively, Dadaji had flipped his lid. The truth maybe lies somewhere between. Certainly Dadaji said Bright Shining was a magickal script intended to "tickle Mike between the sphericals", and he expressed continuing concern for Mike's advancement up till his death.

The problem, of course, is that the accusations were so wildly off target that they provoked a variety of unfortunate reactions. Mike, not surprisingly, found it hard to believe that Dadaji could say such things of him and harboured suspicions that the whole thing might have been rnanufactured in Seattle.

Mike's AMOOKOS people were disturbed by an attack on their immediate guru - few of them having anything much by way of direct contact with Dadaji. Letters were sent, maledictions exchanged, much distress generated thereby.

The explanation for all this, I think, lies in Dadaji's state of health. I was in no way his doctor but his letters generally commented on his current state and what the Mehmadabad doctors were doing for him. As early as 1978 he was having episodes of vertigo lasting a day or two and at the time said they were due to shortage of blood to the brain. In fact, arteriosclerosis of the arteries in the neck can result commonly in episodes of this nature by restricting blood flow to the brain. Dadaji was trained and spent his early life as a physiotherapist and was pretty certain to have been familiar with this. Over the years he had many such attacks and other episodes highly suggestive of the same sort of pathology which he called "the crumps". In 1981, when Lalita visited him in Mehamadabad she found him recovering from a minor stroke and completed a letter to me he had started to write but couldn't finish. Some of these episodes were followed by lasting disability. He had difficulties with writing. For a long time he was unable to write in his cursive hand though he could manage in block capitals. Sometimes his words became rather chaotic. He had episodes of difficulty with speech. He had to wrap his pen in layers of paper to be thick enough for him to grip at all. In the last year or two of his life he had fits which were epileptic in type at the onset but which were the precursors of coma lasting two or three days. After these he tended to have extensions of his disabilities from which recovery was rather slow and probably incomplete.

All of these episodes are most likely to have been caused by disturbances to blood flow to parts of his brain and some at least to actual infarcts where patches of brain tissue die as a result of loss of blood supply. His doctors locally must have come to this conclusion because they were treating him with a drug combination appropriate for this and for nothing else. Such episodes will result in the loss of an area of brain cells each time they happen. The end result of a long series of these can include memory loss and the pattern that this takes is quite different from that seen in, for instance, Alzheimer's disease, It is patchy. Small areas of memory are lost. The subject is not aware that he has forgotten because the gaps are filled with false data that the brain cooks up without there being conscious awareness of this and these are perceived as true memories. This process is referred to as "confabulation". The result is that the subject has "memories' stored that have no relation to fact but he is serenely unaware that there is anything wrong with them. Dadaji had the necessary pathology of his brain and its blood supply to result in this type of memory disturbance and I feel pretty convinced that it explains what has happened. The situation is roughly similar to a computer with the processor functioning well enough but some areas of RAM containing corrupt data. Garbage in, garbage out applies to both.

All this was pretty hypothetical, judged from thousands of miles away and it was very desirable to test it out as far as this was possible at a distance. Luckily there was some evidence readily to hand which was independent of the disputed territory. There are several accounts of Dadaji's visit to Pagala Baba of Ranchi from whom he had sannyas diksha in the Uttara Kaula Sampradaya. Dadaji clearly regarded this occasion as one of the most important happenings in his life as a holy man. The most extensive of these accounts is in his Tantric Guru series printed in John Spiers' Values which was published in India during the seventies (TG) and there is another account, also from this period in another Indian published magazine which was republished in 1979 in Phoenix in the UK, as a photolitho reproduction of the original article.(NPI)

This article is also included in Scrolls of Mahendranath but there the sections describing Dadaji's meeting with Pagala Baba have been omitted. This episode is covered instead in a much more recent script, The Magick Path of Tantra. (MPT) I have the original script of this last which Dadaji had sent me for typing. If the early accounts of the meeting with Pagala Baba are compared with this very recent account some quite striking differences emerge.

In TG the request for diksha came after several visits to Pagala Baba and was refused as "quite impossible". In MPT the request was at the first visit and met with a change of subject and an invitation to return the next day. In TG, after the initial blank refusal there was an unexpected summons by messenger next morning to attend for diksha.

The reason for the initial refusal - the death of the two previous recipients of this diksha - is given and four reasons for Pagala Baba's change of mind. One of these was a prediction in Meru Tantra that the paramparya would pass to a guru whose mantra was in the English tongue. In the TG version and in NPI the diksha process is spread over three days on one of which the proceedings were and have remained secret. In MPT the whole thing is compressed into one day. In NPI, in the complete version, Pagala Baba spoke only Bengali and the conversation was conducted through a householder interpreter who was also the messenger, who was unable to follow the sense of their discussions because of not having the initiated background information. In MPT Pagala Baba is said to speak quaint but understandable English. In TG the contact ends with Pagala Baba giving Dadaji six secret slokas and there is an account of his cutting the manuscript into six pieces for different translators. These were to be revealed when Dadaji had a sign that the time was ripe. This episode was omitted altogether from the MPT version. I have summarised these differences in the table below. The discrepancies between the early and late accounts of this episode disturbed me when I was typing the manuscript and I asked Dadaji about the refusal episode and got a rather curt rejoinder to the effect that Pagala Baba had never refused diksha to anyone. Occasionally I had asked Dadaji about minor things that looked like slips of memory and the response was on the lines of "thanks for reminding me". The implication of the response on this occasion was that Dadaji had not only forgotten his original account but had an alternative version in memory. The differences are not central to the account but nevertheless the two versions are incompatible and the episode described is one quite central to Dadaji's career as a holy man. In the ordinary way one would not expect such incompatibilities to occur. There have since been a variety of occasions when Dadaji's memory seemed to have become pretty unreliable though nothing as confirmatory as what I have described.

It was not long later that Bright Shining exploded on us. It was all too apparent at any rate in the UK that it was based on a series of misapprehensions and it is now my contention that these, like the discrepancies I have been describing, were the unfortunate result of Dadaji's illness.

The Parampara given to Lokanath in 1978 clearly states that the Adinath Sampradaya is to become an International and Cosmopolitan Order whose members live a normal life but are not discouraged from becoming sannyasis or hermits. N.B. is to become. The Adinath sect was to be continued as the Western Nath Order, through Mike and was not expected to survive in India.

When Dadaji gave sannyas diksha to Siddhanath, rather against his will, he wrote to me that "He will be my successor as Adinath Guru when I fuck-off. This has nothing to do with Lokanath as his trip is not a sannyas way of life and I no longer believe that sannyas is necessary or possible in the West. So Mike will be the Western High Potentate Potential and India will go her own way as ever was." In the same letter he asked for copies of Levogyrate for Siddhanath to translate into Gujerati. In a letter of 1983 he spelled out Mike's territory as "The Americas, Canada, UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Isle of White (sic). A month later he wrote to say "I have cleared up the point about Mike and the future Guru of the Adinaths. There will be none and the Adinaths as a subsect was terminated soon after Mike returned to London....Siddhanath, my only sannyas disciple knows the situation of the fact that the Adi-naths was dissolved before he was initiated. He has no desire for succession and is only interested in the spiritual life."

In the Bright Shining, Dadaji says "I have never initiated anyone in to the Adinath Sannyas Sampradaya either in India or the West'.

There would appear to be some degree of confusion somewhere. Meanwhile, Mehmadabad seems to have taken decisive action. When Dadaji was cremated, the Ghaddi was cremated too so presumably no-one can occupy it.

Nowhere in AZOTH can I find any suggestion that Mike had claimed to have been initiated as a sadhu or sannyasin. That he had been identified as Dadaji's successor in the reconstituted sampradaya is fully borne out by the letter quoted above.

The accusation that Mike had contracted a respectable marriage at a Christian based ceremony over two years ago is simply untrue. Mike and Jan had a civil marriage in 1979, before Dadaji's London year and before the formal setting up of AMOOKOS and the writing of the Grade Papers. The suggestion of a Christian based ceremony and subsequent graceful dropping out of a pagan organisation is wholly and entirely false. As I understand it, Mike, under considerable pressure at work which was leaving him with virtually no free time, had made arrangements for some others of his group to conduct the day to day affairs but in no way had he withdrawn. At worst, he seems to have been a trifle remiss over correspondence.

Dadaji's subsequent letters to me sometimes made even more bizarre accusations against Mike. It was suggested that he was using a Sanskrit formula to initiate people into the Brahmo Samaj. This was a reformist Hindu sect which saw the light of day in the early nineteenth century and which so far as I know is wholly extinct. I don't think Mike had any knowledge of it at all and it is more than doubtful if it had any initiations anyway, being a devotional monotheistic setup. The account of the sect that Dadaji sent to Seattle was quite inaccurate and unhistorical. The tone of some of his letters displayed a disturbingly paranoid response to almost anything in the area of the problem. He claimed never to have seen the AMOOKOS Grade Papers. In fact I was present when he was handed the script of the first of them and he read it and handed it on to me. In a letter later he spoke highly of subsequent Grade Papers which had been sent to him and cited them as evidence of Mike's advancement. He eventually suspected that Mike was suppressing Dadaji's scripts with the intention of publishing them as his own Sanskrit translations after Dadaji had died. In fact Mike had published in one way or another practically all of Dadaji's scripts and at Dadaji's demand had ceased making Sanskrit translations anyway. No suppression was required because there was hardly any interest in the scripts outside the membership of the Concord. When John Power and myself published a group of Dadaji's Tantras, only one occult supply house would actually stock them and though they were given space and a tempting blurb in their publicity fliers, only a dozen or so copies were shifted.

Following the Bright Shining the misunderstandings spread and multiplied among Naths on both sides of the Atlantic and previously unexpressed tensions started to manifest. Mike's group appears to have been incensed at the injustice of what had happened to Mike. Most of them had only known Mike as immediate Guru and had little if any direct contact with Dadaji. Many things were written which were regrettable. The consensus at a Guru Purnima since Bright Shining has been that the initiation through Mike had not lost its validity and the group has carried on its activities though Mike has withdrawn at present as Dadaji had required.

I had some inkling of the state of affairs with Dadaji from Bright Shining on. I conveyed my belief to Mike in some detail because he was the one suffering distress but not to anyone else. Mike was warned to keep my view strictly to himself. It was clear from my experience of this sort of problem following multiple strokes and from a discreet probe or two in letters to Dadaji that he had no insight into his memory problem at all. Any challenge to what he "remembered" would have been yet further evidence that his people were being disloyal and in alliance against him. The result would only have been distress for Dadaji and nothing gained. There was nothing to do but wait.

As I see it, the outcome of all this has been the near destruction of what Dadaji had set in motion in 1978. It has all arisen out of the sheer inadvertence of Dadaji's failing health disturbing his memory and as a result his judgements and there is nothing or no-one to blame. In a queer way it has presented us all with a test which may be an initiation in itself. I would not wish to suggest the right response to anyone but Dadaji's utterances and actions in the last year or two of his life must be regarded with great caution. We have each to decide on how to react to this for ourselves.

But don't forget that Dadaji had realised a god who is among other things a trickster, the joker at the heart of things.

Tantric GuruMagick Path
Several visits before diksha requestedRequest at first visit
Outright refusalMet with silence, change of subject and appointment for next day
Reason for refusal given
Unexpected summons to diksha next day
Diksha spread over three days
Four reasons for change of mind by Pagala BabaWhole of diksha in one day
Secret six slokas given
Notes on Pagan India
Pagala Baba spoke only BengaliPagala Baba spoke quaint but understandable English
Communication by interpreter, a householder who did not understand what Dadaji and Pagala Baba were saying to each other