P. Ramanathan

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Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan, K.C. (1851-1930), was Solicitor-General of Sri Lanka, and became the Shaivite guru Sri Parananda after his retirement. He taught Yoga to his employee Allan Bennett, who then taught it to his friend Aleister Crowley.

Ramanathan was a cousin of Ananda K. Coomaraswamy, with whose wife, Ratan Devi, Crowley had an affair.

References to P. Ramanathan in Crowley's Writings

From The Equinox of the Gods:

In Ceylon Frater Perdurabo found Frater I.A. (Allan Bennett), with whom he went to Kandy, where they took a bungalow named Marlborough, overlooking the lake.
I.A. had himself been developing on similar lines under P. Ramanathan, the Solicitor-General of Ceylon, known to occultists under the name of Shri Parananda. (He is the author of commentaries on the Gospels of Matthew and John, which he explains as containing many of the aphorisms of Yoga.)

From The Confessions of Aleister Crowley:

The Solicitor-General of Ceylon, the Hon. P. Ramanathan, engaged Allan as private tutor to his younger sons. This gentleman was a man of charming personality, wide culture and profound religious knowledge. He was eminent as a yogi of the Shaivite sect of Hindus (he was a Tamil of high caste) and had written commentaries on the gospels of Matthew and John, interpreting the sayings of Christ as instructions in Yoga. It is indeed a fact that one of the characters who have been pieced together to compose the figure of "Jesus" was a yogi. His injunctions to abandon family ties, to make no provision for the future, and so on, are typical.
From this man, Allan learnt a great deal of the theory and practice of Yoga. When he was about eighteen, Allan had accidentally stumbled into the trance called Shivadarshana, in which the universe, having been perceived in its totality as a single phenomenon, independent of space and time, is then annihilated. This experience had determined the whole course of his life. His one object was to get back into that state. Shri Parananda showed him a rational practical method of achieving this. Yet Allan was not wholly in sympathy with his teacher, who, despite his great spiritual experience, had not succeeded in snapping the shackles of dogma, and whose practice seem in some respects at variance with his principles.

From The Gospel According to Saint Bernard Shaw:

The Bible itself testifies to the universality of the wandering `holy man', and his aptitude for the founding of sects and communities. (Acts XXI, 38, and elsewhere) The evidence that Jesus was such a `holy man' or `yogi' has been worked out in the utmost detail by another of the same guild, known to the initiated as Shri Parananda, and to the profane as the Hon. P. Ramanathan C.M.G. Solicitor General of Ceylon, in two commentaries, one on Matthew and one on John. These books are unquestionably the most illuminating ever written on the life of Jesus, being written, as it were, from inside information. Any doubt of the truth of the theory put forward in this essay that may remain in the mind of any unprejudiced thinker must immediately be dispelled forever by a study of these two books.

Books in Print by P. Ramanathan

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  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.