Kiss of the Yogini, 5



Power of the Yogini : Tantrik Actresses

123 to 159

5.1 pp. 123-5 Tantric Theories of Kingship

5.1 p. 125 Tantrik basis of political authority

the Tantric practitioner is a crypto-potentate, transacting like a king with the boundless energy of the godhead that flows fronm the elevated center of his worship man[.]d[.]ala.

Here, then, … the Tantric man[.]d[.]ala may serve both to ground legitimate royal authority and power when the king is a Tantric practitioner,

as well as to subvert illegitimate power or create a covert nexus of power when the wrong king or no king is on the throne.”

5.2 pp. 126-33 Kings & Goddesses

5.2 pp. 127, 129 heavenly nature of royal sexuality

p. 127

Among ras.t.ra-devata-s ('state-deities') in Nepal is "the goddess Taleju, the personal, tutelary, and lineage goddess (kuladevata) of the rulers of the kingdom."

[p. 306, n. 5:18 : "Taleju Bhavani played an identical role among the Marathas of Maharashtra : Toffin [1993], p. 43 n. 22. Cf. Dyczkowski [2000,] p. 10, and Weinberger-Thomas [1999], p. 87, for a Rajasthani parallel."]

p. 129

In the classical Tamil poe:m, "the queen, who lies naked, awaiting the oblation of ... semen from her husband ..., ... embodies

the an.anku (a Tamil term ... s`akti in Sanskrit)".

{Is this term cognate with the Hellenic goddess-name /An-anke/ (so prominent in Neo-Platonic metaphysics)?}

Toffin 1993 = Ge'rard Toffin : Le Palais et le temple ... dans la valle'e du Ne'pal. Paris : CNRS Editions.

Weinberger-Thomas 1999 = Catherine Weinberger-Thomas (transl. from the French by Jeffrey Mehlmann & David Gordon White) : Ashes of Immortality. U of Chicago Pr.

5.2 p. 129 various goddesses regarded as supreme

the great Goddess emerges most prominently in a hymn to Vindhyavasini … in the ninth-century C.E. Gaud.avaho of Vakpati, in which the description of this goddess mirrors

that of Can.d.ika and her shrine in the seventh-century Kadambari of Ban.abhat.t.a as well as

that of Camun.d.a in the eighth-century Malati-Madhava of Bhavabhuti.”

"according to Mark Dyczkowski, the present-day royal cult of the goddess Taleju in fact masks that of Kubjika. Kubjika's myth ... links her to the royal power of the Kadambas of Konkan.a (present-day coastal Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnat[.]aka) ... . A sage named Siddhanatha comes to the Kadamba capital of Candrapura and initiates the king, named Candraprabha, into the cult of Kubjika, admonishing him that he have his subjects do the same. [Dyczkowski 2000, pp. 20-1]

Another such goddess is Khod.iyar, "She Who Limps," a goddess worshipped throughout modern-day Gu[r]jarat ... . ... Firstly, she is a goddess born in the house of a [Caran.a], a gift of the great Goddess Jagadamba, "Mother of the Universe"; second, she is one of seven sisters who are … Yoginis”. (Tambs-Lyche 1997, pp. 23-5)

5.2 p. 130 goddesses having deformed bodies

Kubjika and Khod.iyar are not the sole Tantric goddesses marked by a physical deformity.

There are aslo a number of goddesses whose names denote deformed eyes ([Virupa-aks.i], [Vikat.a-aks.i]). It is tantalizing to see in these deformed goddesses a continuation of ... earlier ambiguous female figures”.

5.2 pp. 132-3 putative encountres of kings with Yogini-s

p. 132

"the twelfth-century [Chr.E.] Jain poet Hemacandra's Dvyas`raya-Kavya ... describes an encounter beween the Gu[r]jarati king Jayasimha and a group of Yoginis. These latter, protecting ... their shrine on the Sipra River, ... Jayasimha wins ... over." (Desai 1996, p. 83)

p. 133

[quoted from Forbes [1878], vol. 1, p. 238, citing the Dvyas`raya-Kavya :] "[At night,] the king ... goes forth, sword in hand, alone ... beyond [the city] walls to some spot frequented only by ... the Yogeenee [Yogini] and the Dakin [D.akini], female sprites, whom he compels to reply to his questions and inform him of future events."

Desai 1996 = Devangana Desai : The Religious Imagery of Khajuraho. Mumbai : Franco-Indian Research Ltd.

Forbes 1878 = Alexander Kinloch Forbes : Ra^s-ma^la^ : Hindu Annals of ... Gujarat. London : Richardson.

5.3 pp. 133-6 Royal & Tantrik Consecration

5.3 pp. 133-4 royal Tantrism

p. 133

In South Asia {Bharata} the royal courts of Hindu and Buddhist kings have often consituted the privileged clienteles of Tantric specialists. This symbiotic relationship between Tantric “{supramundane-}power brokers” and their {mundane-}power-wielding royal patrons is particularly apparent in Tantric rituals of initiation (diks.a), and consecration or empowerment (abhis.eka).”

p. 134

This was emphatically the case in Malla[-dynasty] … Nepal, in which a king's Tantric initiation into the use of the goddess Taleju's mantra was what effectively gave him the power to rule over the men as well as many of the divinities of his kingdom.” (Toffin 1993, p. 45)

Toffin 1993 = Ge'rard Toffin : Le Palais et le temple … dans la vale'e du Ne'pal. Paris : CNRS Editions.

5.3 p. 135 sacred yoni-diagram

certain Kaula groups represented the S`ri Cakra as a yoni surrounded by eight lesser yonis.” [p. 307, n. 5:50 : “Karpura-man~jari by Kaviraja Rajas`ekhara, ed. Suru (1960), pp. 137-38 (note to line 22); and referring to the same play, Sharma, ed., Kalacuri, vol. 2, p. 279.”]

5.4 pp. 136-40 Royal Patronage of Tantrik Temples

5.4 pp. 136-7 Bhera-ghat.a, an instance of a royal Yogini temple

p. 136

Perched atop a strategic high point at Bheraghat stands a massive Yogini temple that was … the greatest religious edifice built in the history of the entire Kalacuri dyansty. … Also known as the Golaki Mat.h (“Circular {globular} Lodge”), the renown of this temple … extended southward across the entire Deccan plateau … . Built in the first years of the eleventh century …, it is unique among extant Yogini temple ruins in that its circular inner course is comprised of not sixty-four but eighty-one niches, each containing the image of a Yogini. [Sharma 1978, p. 5] … The sculptures filling these eighty-one niches document … the practices of the “Circles of Mothers” (matr.cakras) in which their royal builders were likely the main participants.”

p. 137

The Bheraghat temple is particularly rich in its depictions of the cremation-ground practices of the Yoginis. … Each seminude, multiarmed Yogini is seated on an animal, bird or … preta vehicle, and their heads are likewise animal, avian, or human. … Most are cremation-ground scenes, populated by a supporting cast of … jackals, birds, and … “human” Yoginis or Yoges`varis. … The human Yoginis … are often figured with severed human appendages in their hands or mouths …; a certain number of emaciated but ithyphallic male figures … are the sole references to sexuality”. (Dehejia 1986, pp. 63, 137)

p. 307, n. 5:60 “A similarity of architectural style and epigraphy, found among the temples of Bheraghat, Shahdol, and Mitauli, indicates a common … school of sculpture for these temples.”

5.4 p. 137 other instances of royal patronage of Yogini temples

Yogini temples … become popular in royal and aristocratic circles in the early medieval period. … from east to west, these include [such local dynasties as] the Cal.ukyas of Badami, the Chandellas of Khajuraho, the Kalacuris of Tripuri, and the Somavams`is of Orissa. … Hirapur temple was constructed by a ruler of the Bhan~ja dynasty, while the Mitauli temple was commissioned by the Kachchhapaghata king” (Desai 1996, p. 83).

5.4 pp. 139-40 erotic stone carvings on temples

p. 139

No South Asian {read “Bharatiya” (“South Asian” would include at least <arabian)} temple built in the medieval period is without erotic sculpture on its walls, and

many of the sexual practices so depicted – because they are condemned in the Indian tratises on erotics (kamas`astra) -- are likely depictions of Tantric rituals. [Donaldson, Hindu Temple Art of Orissa, vol. 3, p. 1160]

{Both the Kama-s`astra and the temple-carvings are sponsored by the same political states. The Kama-s`astra literature is the overt official stance of the potitical states, while the stone carvings depict the actual covert personal activies of the nobilities.}

In Orissa, where the earliest maithuna motifs appear on late-sixth-century S`ailodbhava period temples, explicit depictions of sexual activities multiply significantly near the beginning of the tenth century and are frequently arranged in a sequential manner to imply stages of prescribed rites. They appear on S`aiva, Vais.n.ava, and S`akta structures alike …, for example at the Varahi temple at Caurasi … in

p. 140

an eight-stage kamakala ritual … [Donaldson 1986, p. 180)]. Many of the couples portrayed in the maithunas carved into the great royal temples of Bhubanes[`]var and Konarak in Orissa are clearly aristocrats … down to their royal headdresses. [Desai 1975, p. 79] But … in orgiastic scenes portrayed on the eleventh-century temples of Modhera and Roda and the twelfth-century Galtes`vara temples, ascetics are shown making particular hand gestures … . … Elsewhere, an an erotic scene on the south joining wall of the Vis`vanatha temple of Khajuraho ... seems to represent a religious ritual in which kings and Tantric specialists participated.” (Desai 1996, pp. 190-1)

5.5 pp. 140-7 Kings & Tantrika-s in Mediaeval Narrative

5.5 p. 141 frame-story of the Katha-sarit-sagara ('Story-river-sea')

"Indeed, the outermost frame story of the entire cycle is that of Prince Nara[-]vahana[-]datta, a "fallen" Vidyadhara who recovers his semidivine rule over the atmospheric realm ... through a multitude of amorous conquests of women who nearly always turn out to be Vidyadharis, his spouses or lovers from former lives." [p. 309 n. 5:89 : " Naravahanadatta has married nineteen {the # sacred to Baha>i} semidivine or human women (KSS 15.2.114-18) by the end of the epic ..., in which he also realizes his destiny as a Vidyadhara king and a universal conquerer (cakravartin)."

5.5 p. 142 ritual communication of king with tantrik deity

in medieval Nepal, … Malla kings maintained intimate relationships with their tutelary goddess Taleju and communicated with Tantric deities … in dreams.

Also in Nepal, the king continues to legitimate his power … through a direct exchange of swords with the Tantric deity Pacali Bhairava. This is of a piece with enthronement rituals in Maharashtra and Rajasthan, where the throne itself communicates the goddess's s`akti to a prince, thereby empowering him to rule.” (Toffin 1993, pp. 48, 72, 250; Gupta & Gombrich 1986, p. 132)

Gupta & Gombrich 1986 = Sanjukta Gupta & Richard Gombrich : SOUTH ASIA RESEARCH 6, no. 2 (Nov. 1986) : pp. 123-38.

5.5 p. 143 installation of idol of tantrik goddess

series of dances, performed by women clad as goddesses” :

[quoted from Karpura-man~jari 4:15 :] “bearing in their hands offerings of human flesh and terrible with their groans and shrieks and cries and wearing masks (pad.isisa) of night-wandering ogresses, are enacting a cemetery scene.”

5.5 p. 146 royal yogini-s in Kas`mir

"King Hars.a (1089-1101) ... was offered slave girls as Kaula "goddesses" ... . He worshiped them, had sexual intercourse with them, and "... they granted him ... hundreds of years to live." {Which would be for him to live, only in the heaven whereto they would convey him.} [p. 309, n. 5:113 : "Rajatarangin.i 7.1129-32, quoted in Goetz [ 1974,] p. 118 and n. 32."]

Goetz 1974 = Hermann Goetz : "The Historical Background of the Great Temples of Khajuraho". In :- Hermann Kulke (ed.) : Studies in the History, Religion, and Art of Classical and Medieval India. Wiesbdan : Steiner. pp. 108-21.

5.5 pp. 146 the dating of temples at Khajuraho; Kapalika peafowl-imitators at Khajuraho

At Khajuraho, "The dedicatory inscription of the ... speaks of ... Kira (Kashmir) ... . This provenience, together with the iconography ..., are evidence of a likely tenth-century Pan~caratra presence at Khajuraho". [p. 309, n. 5:114 : "Desai [1996], p. 1, ... she indicates ... temple architectural references to the PC : ibid, pp. 181-89."] [p. 310, n. 5:114 : "Woodward ([1989,] p. 31) hypothesizes a "lost prototype" of the PC."]

"the historical Prabodhas`iva, whom Goetz identifies as a "Kaula missionary," was ... a leader of the Matta[-]mayura[-]s ("Drunken {or 'insane'} Peacocks" {as worshippers or imitators of Skanda's vehicle}), from the ... S`aivasiddhanta order. There is ... documentation ... that the Mattamayuras were patronized ... by the Kalacuri kings. ... Even ... the PC itself mentions "a Somasiddhantin in Kapalika garb," a reference to the practice of Tantric ...

adopting of double or triple sectarian identities".

{Likewise, double sectarian identities are commonplace in Japan; and even triple sectarian identities in Singapore.}

Woodward 1989 = Hiram Woodward : "The Temple, Khajuraho, and Its Meanings". ARS ORIENTALIA 19:27-48.

5.6 pp. 147-51 Tantrik E'lites

5.6 pp. 147-8 official Kaula/Tantrik religion of political goverments

p. 147

"When ... the ruler himself is a Tantric practitioner or client, then the man[.]d[.]ala ... stands as the mesocosmic template ... overt and hegemonic. When the king is Tantric practitioner, Tantric ritual provides a protective shield around the space of his kingdom, with his Tantric specialists standing as the bearers of religious authority. ...

Until recent times, Tantric ritual constituted a bulwark for the state in

p. 148

the Indianized and Sansritized monarchies of Asia, from Nepal to Bali. Reciprocally, it has especially been through royal support ... that Tantric {religious} orders as well as {Tantrik} independent specialists have been empowered ... to propagate their ... teachings ... . ... It is only in Nepal, however, ... that the relationship between the tantrika and his king has remained in official forceto the present day." [p. 310, n. 5:124 : "A similar situation obtains in Buddhist {Vajrayanist} Bhutan."]

5.7 pp. 151-5 Documentation on Kaula-s & Kapalika-s

5.7 pp. 152 & 311 Kapalika books

p. 152

p. 311, n. 5:144

Few works have survived that were authored by persons calling themselves Kapalikas; with the term “Kapalika” in their title; or with the “Kapalika doctrine” as their subject.”

A lost Ayurvedic work is entitled Svargavaidya-kapalika …. . Two late south Indian manuscripts, entitled Kapalika Tantra, are alchemic works : MSS no. 772, University of Mysore; MASS no. 7475, University of Travancore.”

5.7 p. 154 Kaula Kapalika-s, & Kaula Pas`upata-s

A “character of the Karpuraman~jari is called a Kaula Siddha; a later commentator on this work refers to the same figure as a Kapalika.”(Dehejia 1986, p. 86)

An “inscription from the Shekhavati region of eastern Rajasthan states that … a preceptor of the Samsarika-kula order was a disciple of … the preceptor of the Pan~carthika branch of the Pas`upata order. … the Bheraghat Yogini … of the Kaulas … was taken over by the Pas`upatas”.

5.8 pp. 155-7 Tantric Dissimulation in the 18th Century Chr.E.

5.8 pp. 155-6 early French awareness of the rite of s`akti-puja

p. 155

the Abbe' Dubois … toward the beginning of the nineteenth century … chronicled [1825] in a dispassionate … way, in a work that has become a classic : Moeurs … de l'Inde.”

p. 156

Sylvia Murr has demonstrated … that Dubois' celebrated ethnography was plagiarized {imitated, perhaps with permission – the Church (or appropriate religious order) could have routinely authorized the imitation} from the writings of a late-eighteenth French regular[-order priest], Father Coeurdoux.” (Murr 1987)

Dubois 1825 = Jean Antoine Dubois : Moeurs, Institutions, et ce're'monies des peuple de l'Inde. Paris : Imprimerie Royale.

Murr 1987 = Sylvia Murr : L'Inde philosophique entre Bossuet et Voltaire. 2 voll. Paris : Ecole Franc,aise d'Extre^me Orient.

5.9 pp. 157-9 Tantrik Turn in the Strategy of Dissimulation

5.9 p. 159 after decline of political domination by Kaula-inclined governments : dissimulation by Kaula practitioners

[quoted from Sanderson 1986, p. 16] "Behind ... outer conformity the S`aiva householder initiated into the Trika could experience ... worship that involved ... sexual intercourse."

"Dissimulation was a means to do what one {overtly} said one was not doing -- ... to do what one {covertly} said one was doing, when the saying was done in a secret language so encoded as to obscure from the uninitiated the true nature of the practice it was describing (i.e., partaking of the "sexually transmitted messages" of the silent Duti)."

Sanderson 1986 = Alexis Sanderson : "S`aivism in Kashmir". In : Encyclopedia of Religion, vol. 13.


David Gordon White : Kiss of the Yogini : "tantric sex" in its south Asian contexts. U of Chicago Pr, 2003.