Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Interview with Dr. Jonn Mumford

The Llewellyn Journal discusses the subject of Tantra with Dr. Jonn Mumford (Swami Anandakapila Saraswati), the author of books such as A Chakra & Kundalini Workbook and Ecstasy Through Tantra. Dr.Mumford is a genuine Tantric initiate and has been writing and teaching for four decades. After reading this interview, you will know about Tantra than many long-time practitioners.
The Llewellyn Journal: Dr. Mumford, your initiated name is Swami Anandakapila Saraswati. Your first book, Psychosomatic Yoga, was published in 1962. At that time there was very little interest in the spirituality of the East, although it exploded during that decade. Why do you think the popularity of Eastern spirituality has grown over the past 40 years?

Dr. Jonn Mumford: The 1960s represented a tremendous opening of the Western mind to concepts of Yoga, particularly through the popularization of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his popular Transcendental Meditation or "TM" movement.

However, the soil in America had already been richly fertilized by Swami Vivekananda visiting at the turn of the nineteenth century and then by Swami Rama Tirtha who visited America shortly after Vivekananda. It is also worth remembering that American counter-cultural movements from the transcendentalists to the beats were drawn to Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. But it was not until the 1960s that teachings became widely available to the general public.

There is a popular belief is that no one, outside India, attempted to practice or integrate Tantra until the Post World War II period. However in 1906 the "Tantrik Order In America" published the International Journal: Tantrik Order. The copy I saw was a lush, 200-page journal. It had a cover in rich red, gold, and black, and was full of translations of Tantric texts and articles eulogizing love. Read more

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