- Mahendranath, Sri
- (Lawrence Amos Miles)(1911–1991)tantric teacherSri Mahendranath was a British-born student of a great variety of Eastern religious movements. He founded an ashram to teach his syncretic system of twilight YOGA. Lawrence Amos Miles was born on April 29, 1911, in London, England. As a child, he was interested in spiritual questions and the pagan way of life, and as a young man he had a series of unique experiences that forecast his devotion to the inner life.In his early 20s Miles met Aleister Crowley (1875–1947), who suggested that he study the I Ching with Asian adepts. Miles went to India in 1953 and was initiated into SANNYAS (renuncia-tion) by Sadguru Lokanath, a teacher in the Adi-nath branch of the Nath Sampradaya School (see NAT H YOGIS). This tantric order (see TANTRISM) is unorthodox in its practices, which include wan-dering and nudity. During his 30 years as a renun-ciant in India, Miles studied with other GURUS and was initiated into two other schools, the Kaula and the Sahajiya, both of which are “left-handed” tantric sects, meaning that they use the impurities of life as a means of SELF-REALIZATION. He also went to Bhutan, where he was initiated into Tibetan Buddhism; to Malaysia, where he became a Tao-ist priest; and to Sri Lanka, where he became a Theravadin monk.In 1975, he founded an ashram in Gujarat and began to teach a spiritual system called twilight yoga, which included elements of the I Ching, Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, and SHAIVISM. In 1978 he established an East-West tantric order, the Arcane Magickal Order of the Knights of Shambhala/AMOOKOS. As a sannyasi, Mahendranath traveled to Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and Australia. He died at his ashram near the Vatrak River in the state of Gujarat on August 30, 1991.Further reading: Lokanath Maharaj, “The Guru of Twilight Yoga,” Yoga Today 6, no. 10 (February 1982): 10–12; Sri Gurudev Mahendranath, The Amoral Way of Wizardry (Oxford: Mandrake, n.d.); Muz Mur-ray, Seeking the Master: A Guide to the Ashrams of India (Spearman Jersey, the Channel Isles: Spearman, 1980).
Encyclopedia of Hinduism. A. Jones and James D. Ryan. 2007.