In The Sufis, published in the 1960s, Sufi Idries Shah disclosed that many of the Templars’ early mentors were the Sufis, the enlightened adepts of Islam who had previously accompanied the Moslem juggernaut in its march to eastern Asia and then returned to the Middle East with hundreds of exotic scrolls and mysteries related to alchemy and the Holy Grail mysteries. Apparently, from the moment King Baldwin II gave the Templars the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount to reside within and administer, the knights had been in frequent contact with Sufi adepts, including many members of the Al-banna, the Masonic Sufi Order that built the nearby Dome of the Rock. Shah’s information has since been found to be supported by credible historical sources, such as signed treaties, that indicate that the knights were indeed allied with many fringe Sufi sects, some of which are known to have taught occult alchemy and the Holy Grail mysteries.
One such “Holy Grail” sect was the Assassins, a mystery order founded by the Sufi Hasan-i-Sabah, a renowned alchemist from Persia. The Persian Assassins, who often allied with the Templars against a common foe, such as Saladin, acquired the Holy Grail mysteries from Cairo’s “House of Wisdom,” a Sufi mystery academy of which Hasan had been an initiate, as well as from their Persian forebears. For thousands of years, a tradition had existed in Persia regarding ancient alchemists and Narts, or “Knights,” who had dedicated their lives to finding the Nartmongue, or Holy Grail, while in the service of certain Persian kings, such as King Key-Khosrow of the 19th century B.C. The Templars no doubt learned much from the Assassins and other Sufis, but we also know that there was at least one important non-Sufi “Holy Grail” influence that influenced the Templars.
In the 19th century, it became public record through the works of various European Knights and occultists, such as Eliphas Levi, that while in the Middle East the Knights Templar had been initiated into a Johannite or Holy Grail lineage of spiritual adepts that originated in the East and included in its ranks such illustrious spiritual giants as John the Baptist, Jesus, and John the Apostle. When the Templars were formed, the first Templar Grand Master, Hughes de Payen, was initiated into this Holy Grail lineage as its sixty-eighth Grand Master. Then, from that time onward, the ancient Holy Grail lineage became synonymous with the Templars and each Templar Grand Master became the principal patron and Guardian of the Holy Grail.
Thus, if the Templars were indeed in the possession of a Holy Grail it was no doubt acquired from this ancient lineage. But what form did their Holy Grail take? Was it a secret, a power, or an object? And from where in the East did it and the Holy Grail mysteries originate? Records show that John the Baptist was part of a lineage of Holy Grail masters known as the Mandean Nasurai that did indeed originate in the East. This lineage began its journey on the paradisaical island of Sri Lanka before traveling west and eventually settling on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in southern Iraq.Thus, for the Mandeans, Sri Lanka was the Garden of Eden, a notion that has also been promoted by certain world religions, such as Islam, which in addition recognizes the island as the home of the Water of Life or Fountain of Youth.
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