Kiss of the Yogini, 8.1-3



Sublimation of the Yogini : High Hindu Tantra

219 to 257

8.1 pp. 220-4 Praehistory of the Cakra-s

8.1 p. 222 abodes of Yogini-s & of S`akti-s, according to “Ks.emaraja's eleventh-century commentary to Netra Tantra 19.71”

Citing the Tantrasadbhava, Ks.emaraja … specifying that unlike Yoginis, who dwell in the worlds of Brahma, Vis.n.u, and Indra, …

S`aktis all dwell within the body.”

8.1 p. 222 powers to be gained from activating the cakra-s, according to the Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya

from the __ cakra

is acquired __


the eight supernatural powers (siddhis)”


the power of attraction”


entering {as walk-in?} into the body of another person”

8.1 p. 223 groups of deities within the macrocosmic body, according to the Kaula-mata Tantra

five- “cakra” system comprises groups of devis, dutis, matr.s, yoginis, and khecari deities aligned along the vertical axis of the yogic body”.

The lowest group, the Devicakra, identified with the element earth, is … one hundred in size, with the other, higher groups a thousand, hundred thousand, 10 million, and 1,000 million …, respectively.

These are … in the tenth chapter of the Svacchanda Tantra … surrounding spheres of water, fire, air and ether.”

{These #s may denote, in the KM, the # of goddesses in each cakra, despite the commentator. They could not indicate any diametres of concentric sphaires in yojana-s, for such sphaires are necessarily excluded by their being stacked (“aligned”) vertically in planes.

The concentric sphaires (in the SvT) could, instead, refer to the maya-kos`a-s.}

p. 326, n. 8:49 Outside the Kubjika-mata, “passages … that refer to these cakras are KJn~N 7.2a, 7.32a, 14.20a, 19.1a, and 24.5a.” There is also “mention of the devi cakra together with the fourfold adhara and the brahmagranthi – in KJn~N 14.20, 24”.

8.2 pp. 224-9 [Historic] Emergence of the Cakra-s

8.2 p. 224 various mentions of cakra-s stacked within the body

The earliest accounts of the cakras as … “wheels” of subtle energy located within the yogic body are found in the Caryagiti and the Hevajra Tantra [2:4:51-5], two circa eighth-century Buddhist Tantric works that locate the cakras within the human body at the levels of the navel, heart, throat, and head. These cakras are identified with the four geographic sites (pit.has) … .

This tradition is repeated in … the Nath Siddhas, whose twelfth-century founder Goraks.anatha identifies [Siddha-Siddha-anta-Paddhati 2:1c, 2b, 8b, 9c] the same set of four pit.has aligned along the spinal column … .

The TA [29:39, 59:63] offers a … list of pit.has “in the world,” before locating the same within the yogic body.”

8.2 pp. 225-6 stacked sites within the body, according to the Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 17:2b-4b

p. 225

The … (4) downturned lotus (padma) in the heart,

(5) the cakra of breath and utterances (samira[-]stobhakam) [.e., the throat],

(6) the

p. 226

cooling knot (granthi) of the uvula,

(7) the root (or tip) of the nose, and

the (8) End of the Twelve [dvadas`a-anta] [p. 325, n. 8:35 : “some other subtle center, within the contours of the body, is intended.” {Because in the Taoist physiology, the Twelve-Storeyed Pagoda is the neck, therefore this “End of the Twelve” may be the upper end of the nape of the neck.}];

the (9) [site] located between the eyebrows;

(10) the forehead; and

the brilliant (11) cleft of brahman, located at the crown of the head :

it is … [this] elevenfold [system]”.

8.2 p. 226 sites within the body, according to the Tantra-aloka and the Trika system

Abhinavagupta's system also features a trident (tris`ula), located at the level of the fontanel,

and a thousand-spoked End of the Twelve.

However, … the cakras of the subtle body in Trika … are whirling spoked wheels that, in the body of the nonpractitioner, become inextricable tangles of coils called knots (granthis) because they knot together spirit and matter.” [p. 325, n. 8:39 : “Discussed in Silburn 1988, pp. 25-35.”]

Silburn 1988 = Lilian Silburn (transl. by Jacques Gontier) : Kun.d.alini : Energy of the Depths. Albany : SUNY Pr.

8.2 p. 226 sites within the body, according to both the Netra Tantra & the Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya

The Netra Tantra's presentation of yogic practice combines …

the piercing” of knots and the central channel,

the raising of the “S`akti who is filled with one's semen” the length of the channel [Netra Tantra 7:18-19], and the internal production of the nectar of immortality [Netra Tantra 7:47-9].”

The Netra Tantra and the KJn~N both locate the

at __.

textual references

Kala-agni ('Time-Fire')

the tips of the toes”

NT 7:17a; KJn~N 2:2

Matsya-udara “Fish-Belly”

the level of the genitals”

NT 7:32a; KJn~N 22:12b

8.2 pp. 226-7 the idiosyncratic nomenclature in Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 7:28b-29b for the 6 cakra-s in the body


__ cakra

is located in the __.



place of generation”









Bindu {'dot'} [p. 325, n. 8:44 : “between the eyebrows” acc. to Ks.emaraja]


Nada (“reverberation”) [p. 325, n. 8:44 : “forehead” acc. to Ks.emaraja]

The sole source to mention any one of these cakras is the eighth-century Malati-Madhava, in which it is the nad.i-cakra that powers Kapalakun.d.ala's flight.”

8.2 p. 227 a sequence of sthana-s ('sites') within the body, for which the # of appendages is mentioned

Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 3:6a-8a “describes eleven of these in terms of their spokes, leaves, and petals (dalas) : in order, they are the”


8-spoked, 12-spoked, 5-spoked, 16-spoked,




kot.i-petaled, half-kot.i-petaled, 3-kot.i-petaled

Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 3:9-12 “then goes on to discuss a number of other subtle sites (vyapaka, vyapini, unmana, etc.), located in the upper cranial vault, that one finds in … the Svacchanda Tantra [cap. 4] and Netra Tantra [cap. 22].” [p. 325, n. 8:48 : “See Padoux's discussion … in … (1994), pp. 225-30.”]

Padoux 1994 = Andre' Padoux : L' E'nergie de la parole, cosmogonies de la parole tantrique. Paris : Fata Morgana.

8.2 p. 227 arcane mudra-s ('sigils') & argala-s ('bolts') within the body, according to the Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya and the Kubjika-mata

Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya's “fourteenth and longest chapter … comprises a rambling account of supernatural powers realized by “working the mind” through a sequence (krama) of yogic bodily locations, variously called cakras and kaulas … .

KJn~N (14.92) evokes “this seal, which is called 'Unnamed'” (anama nama mudreya),

{Aequivalent to A-nami Loka ('Unnamed World'), the highest heaven according to the Radhasoami?}

and states that “sealed with the five seals … one should pierce that door whose bolts are well-fitted.” [p. 326, n. 8:52 : /argala/ 'bolt']

One finds similar language in the KM, for which “Unnamed” is [p. 82, with p. 296, n. 3:91, citing Kubjika-mata 6.100b-1a] one of the names of the goddess Kubjika. Here, the statement “applications of the bolts on the openings of the body,” [Kubjika-mata 23:112b] occurs at the … discussion of “upward progress” ([ud-kranti]) … . … having fitted bolts in these place (i.e., the nine 'doors' or bodily orifices), one should impel the 'crooked one' (kun~cika) upward.” [Kubjika-mata 23:113b-14a] …

Bhairava, the divine revealer of the KM, next states that he will provide a description of … the “bolt-practices” of the knife (ks.urikadyargalabhasa) …, which effect upward progress ( in him who is empowered to use it”.

8.2 pp. 227-8 Yogini-s of the internal bodily cakra-s, according to the Kubjika-mata

p. 227

In order, their names are Kusuma[-]malini (“She Who

{These are the Yogini-s of the cakra-s, listed from Sahasra-ara downward.}

p. 228

Is Garlanded with Flowers”),, S`ankhini, Kakini, Lakini, Rakin.i, and D.akini.

These Yoginis are named … in the eighteenth chapter of the S`rimatottara Tantra [18:8-57] … . Here, the names listed are D.akini, Rakin.i, Lakini, Kakini, S`akini, Hakini, Yakini, and Kusuma.

{These are the Yogini-s of the cakra-s, listed from Mul-adhara upward. The Yogini added, Hakini, praesideth over Ajn~a cakra; which cakra is actually to be activated first, prior to Mula-adhara, so that it is really out-of-place in this S`ri-mata-uttara Tantra list.}

They are listed in the same order in Agni Puran.a 144.28b-29a. In this last case, their names are enumerated in instructions for the construction of the six-cornered Kubjika man[.]d[.]ala, with the ordering proceding from the northwest corner.

This man[.]d[.]ala is identical to the Yoginicakra, the fourth of the five cakras of the Kubjika system, located at the level of the throat, as described in the fifteenth chapter of the KM itself.”

[p. 326, n. 8:60 : “The KM locates the Yoginicakra in the ghat.asthana, the “Place of the Jar” in the throat region.”]

8.2 p. 228 one's own body-tissues offered {by way of gCod} to each of the Yogini-s of the bodily cakra-s, according to Kubjika-mata 23:140:1-7


bodily tissue to be offered to her


“ “prime bodily constituent,” that is, semen”













8.2 p. 228 regentesses of the 6 “fortresses”, according to Kubjika-mata 15:49b-54a


her fortress

D.amari {'Kettledrum'}


Raman.i {'Delightful; Dalliance'}


Lamba-karn.i {'Suspended Ear [Earlobe]'}


Kaki {'She-Crow'}


Sakini {'Female Vegetable'}


Yaks.ini {'Female Tree-Spirit'}


8.2 p. 229 Kusuma-mala; Yakini

Kusumamala, who is missing from this listing [in the Rudra-yamala Tantra], is located in the feet in the [S`ri-mata-uttara] Tantra [capp. 19 & 27];

{perhaps related to frequent Bauddha descriptions of deities' walking on waterlily-blossoms growing in ponds}

other works place a figure named Yakini at the level of the sahasrara.”

{Yakini would be the feminine countrepart to god Yaka ('Who') = Ka ('Who?'); and to [<ibri^] Yahh, accounted as supreme.}

8.2 p. 327, n. 8:69 later texts' (Vidya-arn.ava Tantra & Saundarya-lahari & Lalita Sahasra-nama) alterations in tissue- and cakra-assignments of the Yogini-s


bodily tissue























8.2 p. 327, n. 8:71 #s of “portions” [= later “petals”] assigned to the cakra-s, according to the Kubjika-mata {N.B. The discussion in this text is directly in the reverse order from the preferred sequence of activation of the 6 cakra-s.}


# of portions

Kubjika-mata __











12 {in later texts 10}



10 {in later texts 12}





8.3 pp. 229-34 Kun.d.alini & the Channeling of Energies

8.3 pp. 229-30, 327 churning by means of the divine serpent

p. 229

In KM 5.84 … “[s`akti] having the form of a sleeping serpent [is located] at the End of Twelve. …

Nevertheless, she is also to be found dwelling in the navel. ...” … A later passage (KM 12.60-67) describes the … churning (ma[n]thanam) … that occurs in the man.ipura cakra”.

{related to the serpent-god An-anta whose body was used as the rope of the churn for churning the Ocean of Milk?}

p. 230

[Tantra-sat-bhava Tantra, as quoted in Ks.emaraja : S`iva Sutra Vimars.ini 2:3, and in Jayadratha's commentary on Tantra-aloka 3:67 :] “This energy is called supreme, subtle, transcending all … . … Enclosing within herself the … (bindu) of the heart, her aspect is that of a snake lying in deep sleep … she is awakened by the supreme sound whose nature is knowledge, being churned by the bindu resting in her womb. … Awakened by this [“luminous throbbing”], the subtle force (kala), Kun.d.ali is aroused. … By the union of the Churner and of She that is Being Churned, this [Kun.d.ali] becomes straight.

This [S`akti], when she abides between the two bindus, is called Jyes.t.ha. …

{This name /Jyes.t.ha/, Vaidik /JAYiS.t.ha/, is etymologically cognate with Avestan /JEH/ and with Hellenic /GAI[H]a/.}

In the heart, she is said to be of one atom.

In the throat, she is of two atoms.

She is known as being of three atoms when permanently abiding on the tip of the tongue. ...””

p. 327, n. 8:75

Even so, her energy dwells in the svadhis.t.hana … . This is … the cervix at the base of the womb … . … Dyczkowski … [2000], p. 32 n. 90.”

8.3 pp. 230-1 Mother-goddesses who are situated in the subtle knots of the body

p. 230

Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 20:11ab “evokes the following goddesses in succession as the Mothers (matr.kas) who are … located in “all of the knots” (sarvagranthes.u) of the subtle body :

Vama, Kun.d.ali, Jyes.t.ha, Manonmani, Rudra-s`akti, and Kamakhya. …

In another passage [17:23] KJn~N describes Vama as having an annular {'coiled', not “annular”} … form (kun.d.alakr.ti) and extending from the feet to the crown of the head : the raising of this goddess from the rectum culminates with her absorption at the End of the Twelve. ...

In S`aivasiddhanta metaphysics, the goddess Jyes.t.ha(devi) … is described as assuming eight forms, by which she represents eight tattvas : these are

Vama (earth), Jyes.t.ha herself (water), Raudri (fire), Kali (air), Kala[-]vikaran.i

p. 231

(ether), Bala[-]vikaran.i (moon), Bala[-]pramanthini (sun), and Manonmani (S`iva-hood). This group of eight are … the s`aktis of the eight male Vidyes`varas of the S`aivasiddhanta system, the deifications of the eight categories of beings that separate the “pure” worlds from the “impure.””

p. 328, n. 8:82

[quoted from Sanderson 1995, p. 35, citing Is`ana-s`iva-guru-deva-paddhati (Siddha-anta-sara) “Kriyapada” 17:217c-19b; and Svacchanda Tantra 10:1142c-46b :] “A wife ascends [{after death} “the hierarchy of the ancestors”] in step with her husband.

She is a Rudran.i ('wife of Rudra') until incorporation (

Then she becomes first a Balavikaran.i,

then a Balapramanthani, and

finally a Bhutadamani.

These three are the highest of the eight goddesses that surround the goddess Manonmani on the thirty-second cosmic level (s`uddha[-]vidya[-]tattvam)”.

p. 231

Finally, this list of deities … is complemented by the Mother named Kun.d.ali whom the KJn~N [20:11ab] locates between Vama (earth) [in Adhara] and Jyes.t.ha (water) [in Svadhis.t.hana].”

Sanderson 1995 = Alexis Sanderson : “Meaning in Tantric Ritual”. In :- Anne-Marie Blondeau & Kristofer Schipper (edd.) : Essais sur le Rituel, III. Louvain-Paris : Peeters. pp. 15-95.

8.3 p. 231 {naks.atra-}goddess Jyes.t.ha

Jyes.t.ha (“Eldest”) is a goddess whose cult goes back to the … Baudhayana Gr.hya Sutra. [Rao 1914-16, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 390] … she is a dread goddess who is … identified with … inauspicious (alaks.mi) astrological configurations … . Jyes.t.ha's names and epithets are … “Ass-Rider[ess],” “Crow-Bannered,” and “Bad {'Unlucky', not “Bad”} Woman” (Alaks.mi) – and she is depicted … with a sweeping broom” [Rao 1914-16, vol. 1, pt. 2, p. 395] … . Jyes.t.ha belongs to an early triad of goddesses – the other two being Vama and Raudri – who would later become identified with the three S`aktis (Iccha-, Jn~ana- and Kriya-) …, as well as [with] the goddesses Para, Apara, and Parapara of the Trika pantheon. References to Para, Apara, and Parapara in the Malinivijayottara Tantra (3.30-33) [p. 328, n. 8:87 : “discussed in Sanderson … (1990), pp. 55-56.”] indicate that this triad was an appropriation of an earlier threefold division of classes of Mothers :

those that liberate souls (aghorah.),

those that impede souls (ghorah.), and

those that drag souls downward (ghoratarah.).”

Rao 1914-16 = T. A. Gopinath Rao : Elements of Hindu Iconography. 2 voll. in 4 tomes. Madras.

8.3 p. 232 earliest characterization of goddess Kun.d.alini

[quoted from the Jayadratha-yamala 3rd ('hexad') fol. 169b] “Maya is the mother of the phonemes and is known as the fire-stick of the mantras. She is the kun.d.alini S`akti, and is to be known as the supreme kala. From that spring forth … the separate clans, and likewise the Tantras”.

8.3 p. 233 god Hamsa ('Gander') {the vehicle of Brahma}

[quoted from Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya 17:18b-20a] “From below to above the gander sports, until it is absorbed at the End of the Twelve. Seated in the heart it remains motionless … . … Neither supporting nor supported, it is omniscient, rising in every direction. … Knowing its essence, one [is freed] from the bonds of existence.”

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