Varanasi: Prachya Prakashan, 1986. First English language edition. Hardcover. Octavo. Eccentrically paginated. vii + xiii + 94pp, & approx. 156pp. Plain red cloth binding. SANSKRIT text with ENGLISH translation. The first English language translation of this important work in the Nath tradition. This copy from the library of British artist, writer and musician DAVID TIBET (founder of the music group Current 93) with his OWNERSHIP SIGNATURE on the first blank. From the publisher: "As well as having great importance in delineating major elements of the Nath tradition, the present work shows, most clearly, that the Natha's were closely connected with the foundation of the Kaula Schools. The identity of this work seems complete. As examples may be cited the importance given to Hamsa, the colour red, the concept of Svecchacara, the triple Saktis-Iccha, Janana and Kriya, and numerous other close similarities. An important point of emphasis in the Kaulajnananirnaya is the esteem in which the Guru is held. As a realized being, he embodies Siva and can therefore assist others on this path.
The Kaulajnananirnaya is ascribed to Sri Matsyendranath, a Siddha of the Nath Sampradaya, who gives under various colloquial names such as Maccbendrapada, Macchindrapada, Matsyohara and Macchaghna. Over the centuries Matsyendranath and his disciples have become well known throughout India, and many legends are associated with each. This is possibly due to the extensive wanderings of Sadhus connected with the various Panthas.
The Translation of the work presented here is the first in any language and may go a long way towards making the hitherto one of the very important yet obscure Texts accessible to the English speaking community."
The translator, Michael Magee (b. 1949) is a journalist and writer, who is most widely known as a former editor of Sothis magazine, and more recently for his books on tantra and translations of tantric texts. In 1978, he travelled to India and met Dadaji: Shri Paramahamsha Mahendranath (born Lawrence Amos Miles: 1911-1991), was an Englishman who is said to have had a youthful acquaintance with Aleister Crowley and who in later life embraced Indic religion and Tantrism, becoming a guru of the northern Indian Uttarakaula Tantric Order having received initiation under Shri Pagala Baba of Ranchi, Bihar. Magee was given instruction and initiation into the Order by Dadaji, and took the tantrik name of Lokanath. He was also given a charter to teach and form his own group, which he did back in England, where in 1982 he founded "Arcane Magical Order of the Knights of Shambhala (AMOOKOS). Magee began his study of Sanskrit in 1976, and since has devoted much of his time to the study of the language and the translation of tantric texts
The book has the typical rather shoddy South Asian book production quality of the time. Endpapers darkened and splitting a little at the gutters, a few creased page corners, otherwise just light shelfwear. A solid, clean VG copy in mylar protected VG dust jacket (jacket a little rubbed, chafed around the edges). Quite scarce in this edition. Item #68457