From The Flower Raj Encyclopaedia
Nicholas Villiers Studdert Douglas (born Yorkshire UK, 4 November 1944 - died New York City USA, 28 July 2012).
A published writer & devotee of Tantra, Nik was a collector of fine art and antiquities from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. He was a consultant and agent for museums, galleries and private collectors around the world.
Early life and education
Nik Douglas was born on 4 November 1944 in Yorkshire, England, with an elder sister, Gina. His father was a civil engineer and his mother was an artist, writer, dance teacher and spiritualist. Nik was brought up in the Middle East until 1955 and he finished his schooling in 1957 at Bembridge, an English public school on the Isle of Wight. From an early age he studied ancient cultures, archaeology and anthropology specializing in Egyptology.
During the early 1960's Nik managed and produced the Moody Blues. Through this period he became enthralled with esoteric knowledge and occult/paranormal phenomena, experimenting with LSD and other mind-altering substances.
By early 1964 he had become interested in Tantra. This led him to travel overland to India. Between 1966 and 1972 Nik spent most of his time in Asia. He studied Hindu and Buddhist philosophies and practices, researching Oriental medicine, art, sculpture and mysticism, studying with Hindu yogis, Buddhist lamas, Ayurvedic doctors and Tantric experts. At this time he met his lifelong teacher Gangotri Giri (Gangotri Baba).
From 1968 to 1977 he had a relationship with Eva Bjurenstam, (Uma Giri) and had two children, Tara (born in India in 1969) and Nyima (also born in India in 1971). Eva and Nik lived in Kathmandu, a time associated with his Tibetan studies and his walk to the Dolpo region of Nepal.
He had an uncanny ability to recognise the quality and integrity of cultural artefacts, resulting in the beginnings of a vast and ever-growing collection of art and antiquities.
In 1968 Nik filmed at the Kumbha Mela festival in Hardwar and at several Tantric sites across India resulting in his film, Tantra: Indian Rites of Ecstasy , (1969). Nik also published the first issue of Chakra: A Journal of Tantra and Yoga at this time.
Nik and Eva returned overland, with their small children, via Cyprus moving briefly to London and then settling in Ibiza, where Nik worked on writing books and cataloguing his collection. Nik's first book was Tantra Yoga (1971). This was followed by Karmapa, the Black Hat Lama of Tibet (1976 with Meryl White), The Book of Matan (1977), and Tibetan Tantric Charms and Amulets (1978).
Separating from Eva he moved back to London in the late 1970’s where he met Penny Slinger. They produced the Secret Dakini Oracle (1977) followed by Mountain Ecstasy (1978), Sexual Secrets (1979), The Pillow Book (1981), The Path of the Mystic Lover, Baul Songs of Passion and Ecstasy (1993, with Bhaskar Bhattacharyya) and The Erotic Sentiment (1997). In 1997 Nik published Spiritual Sex: Secrets of Tantra From the Ice Age to the New Millennium (1997).
Nik lived in New York with Penny from 1978 to 1981. They then moved to the Caribbean, first to Trinidad, moving on to Tortola (British Virgin Islands) and finally settling in Anguilla in 1982. In Anguilla he produced four albums for Reggae singer Bankie Banx and the Roots and Herbs and arranged his performance at the Reggae Sunsplash festival in Jamaica in 1983. He was also involved in revitalizing the Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society, organising a number of archaeological digs and documenting the Fountain, an important ancient Arawak site. He bought land near the Fountain in Shoal Bay Anguilla and imported antique houses from Thailand from which he constructed his family home.
Nik became interested in African art when he met Christi met, married, and had three children. Nik and Christi travelled extensively in Asia.
In his final years Nik returned to his lifelong interest in Hindu and Buddhist antiques. He organised and curated a major exhibition at Tibet House in New York entitled Out of Uddiyana in 2010 and was planning an exhibition for November 2012 in London, entitled On the Silk Route.
Nik was a collector of fine art and antiquities from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. He had an amazing memory and rejoiced in bringing together related objects and building art collections which told a cultural story. He has been a consultant and agent for museums, galleries and private collectors around the world.
- The Flower Raj Photos album of Nik Douglas.
- Algerian Adventure with Nik Douglas by Neil Rock, on The Flower Raj Blog.
- 'William Forbes (Swayambhu Billy) wrote:
"I didn't know that Nick Douglas consciousness had merged with Consciousness. I always admired his work and perspicacity. Before I left America, Michael Hollingshead gave me directions to Nick's abode In Almora. When I got there, I never got off Crank's Ridge to see him over there. Lama Govinda, Sunya, Mary Oppliger and others copped my attention."
- 'Neil Rock wrote:
"Nik and I knew each other in London through both being friends of Graham Bond. I moved to Ibiza in September 1964. Nik came from London to Ibiza with me in 1965 following our trip in North Africa and we shared a house in Figueretas and Playa den Bossa for the summer."
- 'Sadhu' George Farrow wrote:
"The only time I met Nik Douglas was in Nainital in the late 70's during the late winter season. I forget why I was there but I stayed in a small English style hotel on the tal, the lake, there."
"But I have a very good 'darshana' at the pitha, the 'seat' of the Goddess Nani there and was blissed out by the energy of that 'seat'."
"Later I went to Almora to visit the temple of the Goddess Nani there and even made a difficult journey into the hills to the famous joti-lingam temple set in the forest as well as to a very fine pre-10th century Surya temple."
"In the bazaar of Nainital I heard that the tantric ascetic Gangotri Baba was staying in town. So that afternoon I decided to take darshana of this Baba. He was staying in a very small house in the lower bazaar."
"I was told that this seemingly ascetic tantric Baba had a very young, pretty consort of maybe 13 years old or so, who was reported to go into trances and was also a medium to tell 'important things' to devotees/disciples."
"When I went to this very small house, Nik was also in attendance."
"Nik was an old friend of the Baba and as I was a friend of Jasper we all got along very well talking about the possibility of the consort entering into a trance state and giving us a reading."
"So we were smoking chillums and having fun in this very small house when this consort first entered."
"She was in a good, mirthful mood and had the eyes of a nymph that burned with eroticism. Here she was flirting with all of us."
"But her flirting made the Baba somewhat angry and he entered into a sour mood and called a day on the proceedings."
"Nik said that that he was going to Delhi in the morning and we parted in a friendly manner but that was the only time I ever met Nik..."
- "Karmapa, the Black Hat Lama of Tibet" by Nik Douglas and Meryl White (1975) ISBN 0-7189-0187-8
- "Sexual Secrets: The Alchemy of Ecstasy" by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger, 1978.
- "The Path of the Mystic Lover - Baul Songs of Passion and Ecstasy" by Bhaskar Bhattacharyya, Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger, 1993.
- "The Erotic Sentiment in the Paintings of China and Japan" by Nik Douglas & Penny Slinger, ISBN-13: 978-0-89281-495-4 ISBN: 0-89281-495-0 .
- "The Tantric Dakini Oracle" by Nik Douglas & Penny Slinger, ISBN-13: 978-0-89281-137-3 ISBN: 0-89281-137-4.
- "Tibetan Tantric Charms and Amulets: 230 Examples Reproduced from Original Woodblocks" (Dover Pictorial Archives) by Nik Douglas.
- "The Erotic Sentiment in the Paintings of India and Nepal" by Nik Douglas and Penny Slinger.
- "The pillow book: The erotic sentiment and the paintings of India, Nepal, China, & Japan" by Nik Douglas.
- "The Book of Matan: Automatic Writings from the Brink of Eternity" by Nik Douglas.
- Obituary - The Anguillian Newspaper An obituary prepared and submitted by his wife, Mrs. Christi Douglas, for publication in The Anguillian.