Mark Dyczkowski: "My Learning of Kashmiri Shaivism"

Dychkovski portrait
Dr. Mark Dyczkowski is one of the world’s foremost scholars on Tantra and Kashmiri Trika Shaivism and has lived and worked in India for close to forty years. Both a scholar and a practitioner, he was initiated by the great Indian teacher Swami Laksmanjoo in the year 1976. He has an undergraduate degree from Banaras Hindu University and a Ph.D. from Oxford University, where he researched Kashmir Shaivism under the guidance of Professor Alexis Sanderson. Mark has published extensively including the 14 volume Manthanabhairava Tantra (Manthānabhairavatantram Kumārikākhaṇḍaḥ. The Section concerning the Virgin Goddess of the Tantra of the Churning Bhairava, translated and annotated by Mark S.G.Dyczkowski.) and is considered to be one of the world’s leading authorities on Tantric Shaivism. He is affiliated with several major academic institutions in India and has lectured in Universities in Europe, the States and India.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Mark has studied sitar throughout this period, and his present teacher is the great maestro Budhaditya Mukherjee. During these years of musical study he collected over 1,500 compositions for sitar, and, since the mid 1970s, has given public performances in many countries, including India.
 

 Interview with Mark Dyczkowski   - June 2014

"My Learning of Kashmiri Shaivism" 

 

 

Questions: Ilya Zhuravlev, Nataliya Vasylieva

Interview Nataliya Vasylieva

 
Kashmir Shaivism the Central Philosophy of Tantrism and one of the six main schools of Shaivism, was founded by Vasugupta in about 850. The part of Kashmir Shaivism line (especially schools kula and karma) are mostly Sakty according the way of practice, than Shaiva, and very close to Tantric Shaktism the kaula school)
The scriptures, which relies on Kashmir Saivism, divided into three groups: Agama Shastra (shivaist and Shakta Agama, Tantra and Siva-Sutra), Spanda Shastra (Spanda-karikas and commentary thereto) and Pratyabhidzhnya Shastra (Ishvara pratyabhidzhnya , Pratyabhidzhnya-Hridaya etc.). And Kashmir teachers have always been famous for their learning. They wrote many important treatises on Tantra and Shaivism: Tantraloka and Tantrasara Abhinavagupta, Mahartha Manjari Maheshvaranandy, comments Kashmir Shaivism Kshemaradji to Shiva Sutra and other texts.
Markji please tell us how you started to study Indian culture and philosophy, how felt interest?
 
My history is the history of studding of Kashmir Shaivism.
I was born in 1951 in London and I felt an interest in India since my childhood.
And when I was 17 after finishing skcool in 1969 I go to Indiya in order to finde a Guru who show a true Path.
 
At the time I’ve started my studies only very few people knew that Kashmir Shaivism even existed. Outside Kashmir, there were just a few people in India and a few in Europe, like A. Padoux and Lilian Silburn in France, Sanderson in Oxford and Gnoli in Italy that had knowledge about Kashmir Shaivism. They used to be scholars themselves at this time. And the main was K.C. Pandey and his student Rastogi in Lucknow.
 
In those early days of Kashmir Shaivism, Gopinath Kaviraj from India just had found about it by himself.
He was a scholar and librarian in Sampurnanand Sanskrit University in Varanasi. Later on, he joined the Tantra and Yoga Department in Sanskrit University where he wrote a number of very important books about Kashmir Shaivism in Hindi and Bengali. Some of them have been translated into English. Gopinath Kaviraj was an extremely famous and distinguished scholar.
On the spiritual side, he was a disciple of the man called Swami Vishuddhananda who was a great tantric. His ashram in Benares still exists.
Gopinath Kaviraj was on one side a very distinguished person with his scholars and on the other side a person who had a deep knowledge in all spiritual matters.
Many people came to find him, scholars and spiritual people, to talk about spiritual development and ask him for advices. It was a kind of man who lived in both way - in academicals and ashram.
 
Gopinath Kaviraj discovered Kashmir Shaivism and understood its importance already in the late 50s and early 60s. He knew that Swamiji Lakshmanjoo was a unique spiritual and also intellectual individual of the Kashmir Shaivism Tradition.
In 1965 he decided to invite Swami Lakshmanjoo to give a lecture which was dedicated to the Kundalini. It found greater resonance by the community of scholars in Benares. Due to his contributions in Sanskrit and Tantra Swamiji was given an honorary doctorate degree from the Varanasi Sanskrit University.
 
One of Gopinath Kavirajs students, whose name was Swami Rameshvar Jha, went to meet Swamiji in 60s. He also became one of his great scholars. He is one of the major figures known among the pundits in Benares. He was also very interested into Advaita-Vedanta, Nyaya and Grammar - especially the philosophy of Bhatrithari.
Rameshvar Jha, under his own terms, produced a number of very distinguish scholars by himself. Every summer, he went to visit Swamiji and study with him sitting near his feet.
 
When the people came back to Benares, he already brought with him the Kashmir Shaivism tradition. So most of his students and the main K.D. Tripathi who begun learning together with him in 1976 and he is 75 years old now. He is known as a very distinguished scholar and also one of the major intellectual pundits of India in Kashmir Shaivism, Bhardithari and more. Rameshvar Jha could be understood as a successor of Swamiji, as he is standing in a direct connection to Swami Lakshmanjoo.
 
One of the students of Gopinath Kaviraj was Pandit Hemant Chakravarti, who was my first teacher in Sanskrit.
So Swami Chakravarti studded with Gopinath Kaviraj the Kashmiri Shaivism for forty years and it was a very privilege for me and I was extremely laky. So he was my teacher and I was a very first student and we maintained a very close relationships - I mean right to the time of his death which was a couple of years ago.
I was learning Sanskrit and we read some texts on Sanskrit I mean without of people. I remember how we read Mahartha-manjari and some other texts of Kashmir Shaivism.
 
Almost simultaneously, I don't know exactly, but maybe it was at the end of the 60s and/or the beginning of the 70s when Swami Muctanada discovered Kashmir Shaivism as well.
He said, that he found a book and that this book was very inspiring for him. He experienced many things through it for the inside and also for practice and that this book was teaching Kashmir Shaivism, was rather a coincidence.
He adopted Kashmir Shaivism as the path, which was the best for his own experiences. In 1976 he edited a short booklet containing the explanation of the Shiva Sutra and told all this to his disciples, which came numerous (around two or three million disciples) to learn about Kashmir Shaivism being the highest path according to his experiences.
When I first heard about Muktananda and all of that was already going in 1976 and I was in London in that time.This is something I really regret, that I didn’t come to see it.
So it was Muktatnanda that had a large number of people to know about the existence of Kashmir Shaivism. It started to move out of the very small and confidential group of a few specialists knowing about it.
I’ve joined the Oxford University in 1975 and did my PhD under the guidance of Alexis Sanderson. I was one of his first students. Since then, Sanderson produce dozens of the very best scholar on this field.
People like Dominic Goodall, he was the director of The Pondicherry Center of Indology, Somadeva, Vasudeva, Yangavan that were also Professors of the University there, Soroh who is teaching in a University in France and so on.
I went to Kashmir and stood there for the time of half year together with Swami Lakshmanjoo who gave me an initiation. I continued to learn from Alexis Sanderson till the 80s. Kashmir Shaivism was not very known back in this time, because there was only a little of it translated into English. There was K.C. Pandey who published a big book of Abhinavagupta in the 60s. Besides that, there were not really many more books available in English. Years before that, I read a book of Tattvas that I could read in Italian. There were a lot of things translated in Italian about Tantra by  Gnoliy like Tantasara., Tantraloka, sections of Shiva Drishty and in 1994-1995 Para-Trisika-Vivarana.
It was glad, that I am able to read in French that giving me also access to Lilian Silburn’s works. All the rest had to be redirect from Sanskrit, which still made the majority of all manuscripts available.
 
So back in that time, in the 70s, most of these books, or a majority of them were still unknown. We didn't know whether they even existed or not … and not much had been edited or published - I mean in Sanskrit. They have published the Kashmiri Series that was all, but we wanted to know more about Abhinavagupta and the other people who mastered it.
 
In 1970 we were very lucky, because the German scholars received a huge funding for photograph manuscripts of Tantric texts in Nepal. The first thing they did with it was to photograph all the manuscripts of the Royal Library of Nepali's Kings and then they let the Manuscripts presented subsequently on the National archive of Nepal in Katmandu. Thousands of books, amongst them, some manuscripts that belonged to the 6th or 7th century A.D. including an impressive amount of manuscripts dated even before 11th century. They were completely unknown to India before. The oldest manuscripts known in India went back to the 14th century. And the oldest Sanskrit manuscript in existence was the Bower Manuscript. It have been founded in some cave near Pakistan and goes back to the 5th century A.D. It was an extremely unique case.
Otherwise manuscripts dated prior to the 14th century just didn’t exist anymore in India. What we discovered in Nepal was indeed a huge treasure by all means. The Nepalese had a great interest and love into Tantra and they copied everything they could find in the texts, from the very beginning.
 
Hari Prasad Shastri had made a preliminary catalog of the collection of books from Durbar Library - the Royal Library of Nepal, in the beginning of the 20th century. Gopinath Kaviraj realized that there would be probably more texts and manuscript in Nepal that were unpublished, that could contribute a major understanding of the history of Tantra to mankind.
I remember in the 70s when we had no real knowledge about the history of Tantraism, because we didn't have the resources. All the oldest texts we had access to, came from the Kashmir series. Everything else in Tantra belonged to the period after Abhivinagupta, from 12th century. Now all suddenly we were granted access to all these texts. Sanderson inspired me, Goodall and some other of his students to look at the manuscripts, to make additions and publish them in Sanskrit. And we really had a very big intension to make studies of them.
In the 80s I finished working with books about Kashmir Shaivism and started to pay more attention to the manuscripts in Nepal and to find them very interesting.
 
One of the most popular book in English as introduction in Kashmiri Shaivism practice is your “The Doctrine of Vibration” –  please tell us breathly about it, as it’s not translated on Russian yet. And also about your work under other your publications.
 
To comply with the Oxford University for the PhD dissertation it had to be an original and authentically piece of work with a substantial contribution to knowledge. The lack of sources in English gave me a hard time during my PhD. It was really difficult to introduce into Kashmir Shaivism in English. Probably this is one of the main reasons, why it was read by so many people subsequently. And so “The Doctrine of Vibration” became like an introduction book for many years.
Now the subsequent years, which I didn't know after The Doctrine of Vibration was published, it became the most sold book about Kashmir Shaivism in English. I think it was one of few with about 20 to even 30 reprints in India and in America. So that’s one of the books that sold more than any other on the topic of Kashmir Shaivism. And for me it was really, very surprising, and I didn’t know about all that until relatively recently. I finished my PhD course in 1979-1980. I did it rather quickly and moved back to India stay there. I came back from India for the timeframe of 3 to 4 months every year and the rest of the year, I stay in Benares where I live.
 
It was a fortune for me, as in that times there were still many extremely good pundits. I mean the kind of people who not imagine themselves as pundit, but belong to them by their great minds. I had a very good fortune to seat near them, learn from them in different aeries, from Sanskrit Grammar, Sanskrit Literature and many other things. And I had two major sources of inspiration, one was Swamiji and the people in India (pundits, scholars, etc.) and the second were the western scholars and professors in the universities, primarily Sanderson.
 
So, then I started publishing in the beginning of the 80s. I’ve published four books and the first one was The Doctrine of Vibration, and then along with two texts it were independent texts, one was the Shiva Sutra with the commentary by Bhaskara and the other was Shiva Sutra with commentary by Kshemaraja - that was better by my opinion. Another one was the Spanda Karika that is one of the best texts and almost everybody uses it in West – the Dr. Jaideva Singh translation is a very extensive and descriptive version of it.
 
In the beginning of the 80s Sanderson inspired me like many of his students, to read and to recover lost Shaiva texts. When you read Kashmir Shaivism texts, you soon see that Abhnavagupta and Kshemaraja and Buddhist people they connote from many books and Tantras mostly including  commentaries of independent works.
 
I had such an obsession with this and created then the manuscript library in India and made a catalogue of the manuscripts of Tantras, Shastras and so on. In this time I was around 30 years old. Once to three times in the year, I went to Nepal to look at the manuscripts and make copies to work on and start having them titled.
 
We started to type it. And than computer came we started to do it in the computer. We started from one person and in two years we opened an office with five people working in the late 80s, in order to have all the manuscripts typed into computers. It was a full time job for about 15-20 years. We typed the Tantras manuscripts which was the good sources. We had Siddhanta manuscripts, and Bhairava Tantras, and Kala works and Grammar so on.
                                       
I’ve also found people interested into collecting, at that time, unwritten manuscripts.
You can find many mistakes by reading them. So it is necessary to compare one manuscript with another to see through. I have done many works of collections done by these people and begun to make many rough editions. There are still many of them left on my computer, a lot of them are still unpublished. I use them sometimes to explain things here and there.
When I got married in the 80s, Alexis Sanderson gave me two manuscripts as a wedding gift. One of them was the Tantrasadbhāva, which is important in Trika Tantra. And the other one was a Kubjika Bata. The Kubjika Bata is the main Tantra of the Kubjika School and tradition. I found and selected many manuscripts in Nepal and many texts belonging to the Kubjika tradition.
I came back from Nepal with the texts of Kubjika traditions to seek for practitioners and did some anthropological services and collected some data. Some of them have been published but most of them are still unpublished on my computer.
 
The translation out the of the Tantric text – “Manthanabhairava Tantra” have 14 volumes with my explanation that were published by me for the Indira Ghandy National Centre of Arts. It is just a small part of what is still on my computer, well 90 percent is still there and I hope that maybe one day, I’ll find some young person with a lot of enthusiasm and the right skills to begin editing it first into Sanskrit.

Dichkovski MBT 1

I finished and published the work on Kubjika in 2007.
The work on Kubjika Tantra was an immense amount of work. It completely paralyzed me. I couldn’t do anything else beside that to bring the devastating and huge amount of work to an end. It took me 20 years of life time. Over 700.000 references where made in that book. So when it was finished, it let me be free.
I started to do a little bit more of teachings.
 
I spent the whole time, I mean decades sitting and playing sitar and that was my sadhana with all – no having a sparkle of an idea that anybody could be interested into what I was doing and working on. The change came in 2007 when a lot of people came to find or invite me to do works for them. And I was told by them, that I am a very well-known man and I just said – “Really? How was that?”. And they replied – “Yes, all the Muktananda disciples, all of them know your name and many of them have your books”.
 
And in 2004 some people came from Muktabodha Indological Research Institute associated with Swami Muktanada’s Ashram and they asked me to produce a database e-texts library of about Shaivism in Sanskrit. We set up an office with some people to do all the typing and we produced a lot of works over the years. About 400-500 texts typed on the website of Muktabogha. And we went to Pndicherry and photograph about 300.000 sheets and transcripts of manuscripts that make N.R. Bhatt who was the director the Centre of Indology. He made these transcriptions over 40 years from manuscripts that were allocated in southern India of Shaivism tradition and Shaiva Siddhanta.
 
I am glad I had the good luck to live most of all my life in India. Till present time, I’ve always been very concerned and interested into sharing about disappearing Indian traditions. 

Home entrance dychkovski

After almost 20 years work under translation and annotation to Kubjika Tantra, what is the sphere of your present scientific interest?
 
From 2007 on, I’ve just been focusing on the translation and editing of the Tantraloka from the Sanskrit texts, making many explanatory notes and all kind of expositions of the teachings.
My students also produced a website that was launched in 2007 and another one was just released one year ago www.anuttaratrikakula.org
 
My basic orientation was to preserve and recovery the lost Shiva traditions. And in order to preserve, or the ultimate sense of preserving it was through books and libraries so that people could access it and become a repository of the culture and tradition by themselves, preserving the cultures and traditions.
For this reason I also started teaching. Now I become more systematically do it after finishing all the work under the Kubjika Tantra.
 
I also started slowly with the translation of Trantaloka by Kheramadja, which requires a tremendous amount of explanation. It will be published very soon including about 650 pages. The bigger problem remains, that the whole thing is about 8 volumes of 500 pages each in size. There is a lot of explanation that needs to be remarked.
Swamiji has also explained commentaries to Tantraloka and what he explained is also coming out authentically. I am trying to work closer with Swamiji’s direct disciples keeping it in harmony with their opinions and to have them liking this work. This way I can feel, that what I do, will receive the blessing of Swamiji.
 
Everything I do, I don’t do it in some kind of great way. I just work very hard or worked very hard. I produced a good amount of things. I don’t have such a great mind to make something marvelous, fantastic or extraordinary great work. But so many people with different kind of abilities, we work all together on the spiritual side and that makes the difference. 
 
I am just an ordinary person with a great passion for my spiritual life as for my academicals scholar and as a musician, too. It has nothing of excellence or extraordinary at all. What I can do is limited, but I try to fulfill my needs as a musician, as scholar and my spiritual needs. All these needs we all have. We can meet with people that have the same needs – so we can meet each other and support each other on the fulfillment of it.
The Tantraloka lessons and the Kashmir Shaivism lessons in my house where done for this reason, for my own spiritual needs as I have to share it with others and also for their spiritual benefits – I hope. So it goes up into different ways and levels.
 
The last few years, I started touring, which I wanted to do just for a month or two because I want to be with my wife and family. So I go to Europe and to USA every year once and to other countries. For example this year, I go to Australia. Everything I do is being recorded and published on my website.
 
Over the past few years, I’ve experienced something new for me. It is some kind bidirectional, deeper relationship and affection that. I feel for my students giving me some kind of silence and I am very grateful for them. 
 
You are the famous performer on sitar. So, for most listeners your performance is like a deep dive in feelings or a meditation. What does it means for you to play the sitar?
 
All that time, along with my studies for Kashmir Shaivism I was also very inspired to learn more about music.
In my childhood, I did not get to hear a lot of music because I didn’t have much access to it till I was 12. As soon as I discovered the music I liked it and started to play it. First with a very simple guitar and when I was 14, after discovering the Indian music, I directly started to learn sitar. I was very lucky in some way that I lived all the years in India having the fortune to find good teachers and even some of the great masters to teach me. It  has been a matter of my own imitation skills, when you know how to play music.
 
So I can feel a small difference inside. I don’t want to say that the quality and the depth of the work that a person does will extend – that is just God’s gift. Some people can play the marvelous music, sublime music and some others can do it just like small children, practicing their whole life without being able to play even half of what others did. So there are many facts that belong to that.
 
The music for me is essential. I work much better as a scholar or a teacher of Tantra, Kashmir Shaivism and such things, than as a musician and that frustrate me then.
I suppose that it was inevitable, because I am a much better scholar then a musician. When I had a choice to be a musician or a scholar, I would be glad giving up all other things to be a musician. But it’s a choice to be a musician or a scholar. So I can’t imagine myself living without music. I suppose that one of the reasons why I felt so attracted with Kashmir Shaivism is because of Abhinavagupta that said a lot about the beauty and about the experience of beauty, the arts and the nature.
 
The sitar music operates out of your mind. Your intellect even doesn’t reach it, it is not there. With music you are dealing with feelings, emotions and when you are using your intellect you are dealing with ideas. I think ideas without feeling are dry and feelings without idea are blind. In the categorical way we can have deep feelings and profound ideas – that together would be one kind of greatness. It is a greatness which very few people have. The waste majority of us have no idea of this kind of greatness. I am talking about the greatness of people like Abhinavagupta or ShankaraChari, Jagjavalkja, Platon, Aristotle, Mozart or Beethoven. They all have been also great musicians. They are like huge mountains and every day we try to learn something from them, listening to what they play and try to get it deeper and closer to our hearts.
On my work, the music sustains me and it gives me rest from all this thinking. I can’t be without thoughts and it’s the pleasure of some absolute or higher realities, deeper realities and music. They both are going hand in hand for me.
 
You have experience in studying by European way and by Indian pandits way as well. So, in order to understand Tantric texts is the academic way of learning enough or anyway without Guru there is no possible to understand the meaning of texts?
 
I went to India looking for a Guru because I had many spiritual means. My interest in Sanskrit and Indian culture is based and inspired by the spiritual needs inside my head from the beginning. It was abnormal for me to approach Kashmir Shaivism and all the Indian religion.  And also on this way I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the spiritual status that would be required to really become the successor of my Guru Swami Lakshmanjoo as a Guru myself.
 
 If you really want to know things and develop your spirituality, you have to search and you will find that somebody. The person can be within you, like inside of you, yourself or it can be outside of you as a Guru. I have found my Guru because I needed to have them, because I was desperate for them. Those who have that kind of need, they will be led by Lord Shiva’s grace and will find the right person or just somebody who will be the best way for you to find knowledge and develop your spirituality.
 
The deeper understanding of a text means to be liberated.
It is like a scripture, you can read the Bible hundreds of times or thousands of times and you will find always, a new interpretation and understanding of what you read. As if you go through a biblical scholarship you can start to explain about one simple passage for hours and hours connecting them to other passages in the same book. This is a process and it is part of our spiritual life.
 
The Dalai Lama is a very learning man and so is the Pope a very learning man. There are many spiritual people, well not all of them are, but there are many different kinds of them. They are learning the spiritual traditions in depth of the last four centuries. What they are learning is the result of what is coming from some higher source. For deeper understanding of where it comes from it requires two kinds of knowledge – one is your intellect and the other is spirituality.
So there are two kinds of incomprehension that may grow – intellectual ignorance and spiritual ignorance. They also feed each other and they grow up on each other.
 
The scriptures, the words of our teachers work together with our personal inside, our own understanding and growth of intellect and spirituality. So we need to grow up for full understanding of the ultimate reality. This is not a thing that can told by a book or understood by learning Sanskrit or any different language, or with the understanding of metamorphose and symbols. We automatically understand what has been said by the growth and development of our intellect and spirituality, without excluding each other.
 
Some people come to me and tell me, that they have read all these things and ideas and it is all just theory and they like telling that they are having spiritual experiences.
 
It is very common to have spiritual experiences. I mean, of all the people who are praying to God in mocks, temples, all the millions and millions of people have a spiritual experience, some more, some less.
What make a real difference for us individually are our life and how much we spend with our spiritual life. So reading about Kashmir Shaivism, Buddhism and Christian and so on, anything of this is automatically what it is about. It is about developing our spirituality and have a deeper understanding of what they been taught. The spiritual experience and understanding  support each other and they do not exclude each other.
 
Every religion is the same in this way. It is a commitment, the degree of commitment that you have. To that degree of commitment you bring for a deeper relationship with the divine. Some people you meet in a party, some of them are your friends, one of them can be your husband or wife and can make a family with you and all of this is a level or degree of commitment.
 
My little experience as a teacher over years and years also as a student – I have seen that some people have a lot of commitment, some more and others have less. It is equal for Christians or Buddhists and so on. That does not depend on me. The people come to me and I seat and watch them and later on they go. Also take note that I am not a Guru too.
 
Shaivism is not a missionary religion, we don’t have as Gurus going out and teaching people or having them to believe in them in order to take you into a supreme state. Guru in India will not come and ask you to follow in order to have you liberate like in other traditions. Guru will not do that.
 
There exits opinion that with Swami Lakshmanjoo was finishing alive Tradition of Kasmir Shaivism as he didn’t appoint a successor after him. So, how you think do this line as alive Tradition is still exists? 
 

Swami Lakshmanjoo

 
Unfortunately my Guru Swamiji did not appoint a teacher after him. Tibetans are much better about that tradition, they have absolute unbroken lineages in Tantra traditions. And we have is a try to recover the lost, to manage without a living Guru at present. This is why there is so much sub confusion. I have no comments about that, I really don’t know.
I just go on in my own life and my own ways as I do. Just trying and believing what I am doing is a good motivation with altruistic feelings. I do it as part of my sadhana.
 
The books, teachings and all the rest, like sitting in meditation or making pujas.
When people ask me questions, I try to give them answers. Fortunately there are not so many, but there are is still a good amount that did not give up the time for that.
 
I am not a Guru if you come and I am a reincarnation of Lord Shiva – as everybody is a reincarnation of Lord Shiva. I am not special and I don’t have any great intelligence. I have worked hard all my life and managed to write few books and managed to play some music – and that’s all. I am very happy that way.
 
As for teaching it becomes a little bit of a responsibility for me since there is anybody left. The astonishing thing is, I really don’t have the time to teach people Sanskrit. I could do it, but it takes time and I don’t know how people will manage that. People keep coming to India to study but it’s difficult to find somebody here. If you don’t speak Hindi it is very difficult to find somebody for teaching, except Vagish Shastry who taught me Sanskrit for many years.  I studied Sanskrit grammar with him for 7 to 8 years like Panini and all those things. Now he is aged, I mean he still has a lot of energy but he lives isolated.
 
I feel the need and the responsibility to take care of this situation, because I don’t know what will happen after me. This whole situation also makes me feel very sad. There were only a few people initiated in this tradition. I mean direct initiation by the Guru. There are several people who were initiated by Muktananda, but Muktananda was not a directly part of this tradition. He entered Kashmir Shaivism by reading the books and finding inspiration. His teachings are not only about Kashmir Shaivism. Sanderson also took initiation together with Bettina Bäumer. They gave it to their scholars. So did John Hughes and his family. They all were direct disciples of Swamiji.
 
I felt like, I must do something about it. This is why I’ve started the teachings and the recording of the teachings to make everything available on the website at any time.
 
What is your vision of the future of Kashmir Shaivism. (I understand that this is a political conditional name, but still). It can be seen that the young generation of India are less interesting in spiritual questions. At the same time in the West since the 60s adapted forms appear in the form of neo-Hindu religious associations.
 
What happened in India? Two surprising things happened on the West and other parts of India. First of all it was one of the most astonishing things for me and even funny I would say – so much interest into Kashmir Shaivism.
I remember in the early 80’s when I was sitting in the Library in Oxford and thinking how fun it would be if Kashmir Shaivism would become as well known as the Tibetan Buddhism. I mean, it was a thought of that time and it was absolutely inconsiderable.
 
Things were developing in a rather surprising way in India and the West. In India there is a huge decay that is going on and there is much loss of knowledge and interest, because the young Indians are not interested into becoming Sanskrit scholars and going the Royal traditional way of the culture. They rather like to be modern people and just quiet.
 
So it was very surprising for me, I mean it is still a minority of people if you see all the population in the West. But we are still talking about millions of people all from over the world, from Russia to Australia, over Europe and America.
I could never imagine such a thing to ever happen. You should remember that a few years ago I was living in India and then I also in Europe, in Italy were my family resides. I was totally unknown and almost nobody knew about it.
So what will happen in a few years? Benares used to be the Oxford for Indian, but the Pundits became fewer and fewer ever since there. There is hardly anybody left. That’s why I started to study as well.
My class gets a sufficient amount of listeners, not too many but a good amount. It is not important to really have many people at any matters. I just need some people because I can’t just talk to myself alone in an empty room. So, if just even one or two people are sitting in – I can do my work. It’s nobody value it’s very much, just everybody who lives in India. Some other live in Moscow, some in Paris and I just happened to live in Benares.
 

Yantra

Mark Dyczkowski web-site - www.anuttaratrikakula.org
 

Comments