In 1971, John Hughes traveled to Kashmir, India to prepare his PhD thesis. When he arrived he was given the rare opportunity to record and preserve the unknown English translations of Kashmir Shaivism, which is the tradition he was studying. He remained in Kashmir for fifteen years completing this work. During this time, in order to provide for himself and his family, he established an export/import company Kashmir Valley Arts specializing in hand loomed and hand embroidered upholstery fabrics. The venture proved to be very successful selling upholstery fabric to many of the largest and most important furniture manufacturers in the United States. In it’s heyday John’s company employed over 750 Kashmiri artisans.
Because of the escalating political violence in the Kashmir Valley Mr. Hughes was forced to leave the country with his family in 1986. Back in the United States he established a computer consulting firm MacMagic specializing in the newly introduced Macintosh computer.
Drawing on what he learned from his fabric import/export business he concentrated on providing Macintosh computer based business and accounting solutions. Through providing computer consulting services to many businesses including several large legal and entertainment firms this approach proved to be very successful and lucrative.
During the intervening years Mr. Hughes never lost interest in the work he did while in Kashmir recording and preserving the translations of the ancient Kashmiri manuscripts.
In 1997, he associated himself with a non-profit the Universal Shaiva Fellowship, an organization dedicated to preservation and publication of Swami Lakshmanjoo’s revelations of these ancient Kashmir Shaiva texts. By 1979, he had published two books from these ancient manuscripts, “Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening” and “Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme”. At that point Mr. Hughes received separate funding to aid him in the continued publishing of these works. To accomplish this, for the past number of years, he has continued to work closely with the Universal Shaiva Fellowship helping them prepare a number of important texts for publication. With his help as editor to date they have been able to publish 8 books along with 35 hours of video. The list of these books are 1) Shiva Sutras: The Supreme Awakening, 2) Kashmir Shaivism: The Secret Supreme, 3) Bhagavad Gita: In the Light of Kashmir Shaivism (video study set), 4) Abhinavagupta’s Paramarthasara: The Essence of the Highest Reality (video study set), 5) Vijnana Bhairava: The Manual for Self Realization, 6) Hymns to Shiva: The Shivastotravali of Utpaladeva, 7) The Mystery of Vibrationless-Vibration in Kashmir Shaivism: Vasugupta’s Spanda Kārikā & Kṣhemarāja’s Spanda Sandoha, 8) Self Realization in Kashmir Shaivism; The Oral Teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo.
At the end of 2015, Mr. Hughes was requested by the Lakshmanjoo Academy, an educational branch of the Universal Shaiva Fellowship, to become the project leader for the editing and publication of an important new series entitled “Light on the Tantra of Kashmir Shaivism, the Tantrāloka of Abhinavagupta” and he agreed. This highly anticipated project is welcomed by everyone aware of its importance.