Somananda’s lineage stems mainly from a Tantric line and history, but not only. He has had several initiations from other traditions such as Buddhism, Kriya Yoga and even Christianity.
Somananda Tantra School’s teachings and curriculum are therefore a potent mix of various Tantric and non-Tantric teachings and initiations. This diversity provides a rich spiritual tapestry for piercing through the illusion and ultimately realizing one’s true nature.
The core basis of all teachings under the STS umbrella is Kashmiri Shaivism. Our Kashmiri Shaivism lineage can be traced all the way back to the great masters and sages of Kashmir such as Abhinavagupta from the 12th century and those that came before him.
Some of the teachings and knowledge of Kashmiri Shaivism were lost over the centuries, but the foundational teachings were preserved and maintained. The primary mode for carrying forth the wisdom was via the oral method of initiation between guru and disciple. This was oftentimes done in a covert way and only granted to select practitioners who demonstrated the necessary attributes and were deemed worthy by the enlightened masters.
The last known master and lineage holder of the great oral teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism was Swami Lakshman Joo (1907-1991). He did not leave behind an official legacy of disciples to carry on the Shaivistic tradition.
There were several scholars and sanskritologists, however, that became aware of the Kashmiri Shaivism tradition and went to study under Lakshman Joo. The most well-known of which was Lilian Silburn (1908–1993) who was the first to translate from the Sanskrit language core scriptures such as Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, and others, and make these teachings accessible to the West. Additionally, she personally authored her own literary works including, “Kundalini: The Energy of the Depths” and “A Comprehensive Study Based on the Scriptures of Non-Dualistic Kashmir Shaivism”. To many she was considered a modern mystic.
Somananda’s lineage and that of STS stems from Swami Lakshman Joo through Lilian Silburn and her channels. These Kashmiri Shaivism teachings were then transmitted to gurus from Eastern Europe and eventually imparted to Somananda and Dharmananda to continue to carry on the torch.
The Kriya Yoga tradition – stemming from the great lineage of Babaji, Lahiri Mahasaya, Sri Yukteswar, Yogananda, and later, Sri Shankarananda Giri – was also an influential part of Somanandas’s spiritual heritage.
The Somananda Tantra School lineage was further enriched by initiations stemming from the Patanjali Yoga tradition, Hatha Yoga tradition, Kundalini Yoga tradition – all in line with the Nath tradition (Goraksanath and Matsyendranath). Somananda gained further grace from initiations in Christian rites and prayer methods.
More recently, Soma enjoyed rites of passage from modern masters such as Ajan Po, an advanced Anapanasati meditation of the Buddhist lineage in Thailand; as well as Sri Yogiraj Ramesh Jagadguru Agamachari Sri Sri Egajarat Sri Pitam from Allahabad, India, who taught Soma advanced techniques of Tantra and shared secrets for uniquely activating the Third Eye.
The teachings of Somananda Tantra School embody the sum total of all of these lineages and initiations into a powerful, balanced and well-trodden path for reaching the ultimate in terms of self-realization and spiritual success.