Kiss of the Yogini, 8.4-9

8.4 pp. 234-5 Transformations in the Art of Love

8.4 pp. 234-5 gnosis of resounding luminosity

p. 234

the absolute godhead, which is effulgent pure consciousness, communicates itself to the world and especially to the human microcosm as a stream or wave of phosphorescent light … . And because the universe is {continuously} brought into being by

a divine outpouring of light and


the Tantric practitioner may return to … this pure consciousness by meditatively recondensing those same photemes of light and

phonemes of sound into their higher principles.”

p. 235

Through meditative practice

of mantras (phonematic, acoustic manifestations of the absolute) and

of yantras … (photemes, i.e., luminous, graphic, visual representations of the same),

the consciousness of the practitioner is uplifted and transformed to gradually become god-consciousness.”

8.5 pp. 235-41 S`ri-vidya Practice of the Kama-kala

8.5 pp. 236-7 the kama-kala

p. 236

The simplest translation of the term [/kama-kala/] might well be “The Art (kala) of Love (kama).” … The S`ricakra is portrayed as a “drop” (bindu) located at the center of an elaborate diagram of nine nesting and interlocking triangles …, surrounded by two circles of lotus petals, with the whole encased within the standard gated frame, called the “earth citadel” (bhupura). ...

p. 237

It is, then, a phosphorescing (sphurad) drop of sound (bindu) that animates this cosmogram and the universe”.

8.5 p. 240 flashing & throbbing

The absolute flashes forth, in phosphorescent effulgence (sphuratta; ullasa). [p. 330, n. 8:120 : “sphurad is the cognate of pho-sphoresc-ing; and urmi of welling or swell. The term sphurad[-]urmi is found in YH 1.55.”] … The Goddess is luminously conscious (prakas`amars`ana) … . She is “throbbingly incarnate” (spandarupini)”. (Padoux, “Introduction” to Yoginihr.daya, p. 15)

8.5 p. 241 contemplating a woman's nude body in meditation

a maiden's naked body was used as the meditational substrate. [Ramacandra Rao 1989, p. 68-9] A number of S`rividya commentators, led by the venerable seventeenth-century master Bhaskararaya, insisted on the literal use of this meditational support, together with the referents of the five M-words, all of which smacked of the Kaula practices.” (p. 330, n. 8:123 : “Brooks [1990], p. 82, referring to Tripura 11-12, with the commentary of Bhaskararaya.”)

Ramacandra Rao 1989 = S. K. Ramacandra Rao : S`ri Cakra. SRI GARIB DASS ORIENTAL SER. Delhi : Sri Satguru Publ.

Brooks 1990 = Douglas Renfrew Brooks : The Secret of the Three Cities : … Hindu S`akta Tantrism. U of Chicago Pr.

8.6 pp. 241-5 Mantrik Decoding & Kama-tattva

8.6 p. 242 ritual sexual union

This is the explicit teaching of the (twelfth-century?) Vatulanatha Sutra (VNA) and its commentary by the sixteenth-century Anantas`aktipada, according to which the mystic is effortlessly initiated by … “Yoginis.” … It is in this way that the overtly sexual language of the fifth sutra, “From the sexual union of the Siddha and the Yogini the great mingling (mahamelapa) arises,” [Silburn 1995, p. 89] is … semanticized by Anantas`aktipada :

By virtue of this embrace, an uninterrupted “great mystic union” (mahamelapa) occurs; … and everywhere in the ether of transcendent consciousness, … the duality of subjectivity and objectivity has melted away.”

Here, the ritualized and sexualized Kaula “minglings” (melapas) of flesh-and-blood Yoginis and Siddhas … took place on isolated hilltops on new moon nights”.

Silburn 1995 = Lilian Silburn (transl.) : Vatulanatha Sutra avec le commentaire d' Anantas`aktipada. rev. 2nd edn. PUBLICATIONS DE L'INSTITUT DE CIVILISATION INDIENNE, fascicle 8. Paris : DeBoccard.

8.6 p. 244 the body of the goddess, and her vulva in particular

The Goddess is said to have a “body composed of letters” (lipitanu), which renders the act of reading them an audiovisual {and putatively voyeuristic} voyage of sorts through her body. …

the phoneme E, whose grapheme, in the Sanskrit {Deva-nagari} alphabet, has the form of a downturned triangle. Because of its form, E is considered to be the privileged grapheme of the Goddess, … As … the Goddess's or Yogini's vulva, which is called a site of creation and joy and “beautiful with the fragrance of emission”” (Dyczkowski 2000, p. 43 n. 125; citing Jayadratha's commentary on Tantra-aloka 3:95a).

Malini … : “Now, it is true that the Goddess … is described in the high Hindu Tantras as bhinnayoni [p. 331, n. 8:142 : “With specific reference to the goddess Malini … : Padoux [1994], pp. 165-71.”], “she whose vulva is spread” … .

This depiction … is indeed found in a discussion, by Abhinavagupta, of Malini … :

[quoted from Tantra-aloka 3:199ab, translated in Skora 2001, p. 151 :] “And this [Little Mother], by banging together …, becomes … whose vulva is spread.””

This … is made explicit in Kubjika traditions, which locate the Goddess's yoni at the level of the End of the Twelve of the subtle body, impaled there upon a subtle S`iva linga”.

8.7 pp. 245-7 Masculinization of Tantrik Initiation

8.7 p. 245 males' ro^les as performers in Kaula rites

a Yogini lay at the heart, … the source, of Kaula initiation and ritual. At the same time, many of these ritual brought a male actor into play in the person of the teacher or master (guru or acarya),

[p. 331, n. 8:150 : “Whereas a guru can initiate a disciple into various Kaula … practices, only an acarya can consecrate …, that is, empower … to initiate or consecrate”.]

{This is the distinction between a priest/presbyteros (who can initiate by baptism-and-confirmation) on one hand, and a bishop/episkopos (who can consecrate, empowering to initiate or to consecrate) on the other.}

with the combined sexual emissions of the pair transforming the initiand”.

8.7 p. 247 guru, either male or female (Hayes [2000], p. 312; and Openshaw [1988], pp. 10-13)

Bengali traditions of

the diks.a guru (… of initiation)

and the s`iks.a guru (teaching …).

In both Sahajiya Vais.n.ava and Baul traditions,

the former, who is a male transmitter of mantras, plays a secondary role

to the latter, who is female and whose “teaching” is received through her sexual emissions.”

Hayes 2000 = Glen Hayes : “The Necklace of Immortality : a seventeenth-century Vais.n.ava Sahajiya text”. In :- David Gordon White (ed.) : Tantra in Practice. Princeton U Pr. pp. 308-25.

Openshaw 1988 = Jeanne Openshaw : “Anti-hierarchical Tendencies of 'Bauls' of Bengal”. CONTRIBUTIONS TO INDIAN SOCIOLOGY n.s. 32:1:1-19/

8.8 pp. 247-53 Praescriptive Dreams & Visions

8.8 p. 248 shamanic vocation (“recruitment”) in Simhala & its parallelism in tantric ritual

Most often dreams and visions involve possession by a demonic {divine} being, which can be … {appeased} by a narrativized interpretation (… in these cases, Tamil or [Simhal]ese) followed by a dramatic ritual … {appeasement} either improvised by the dreamer or choreographed by an independent ritual specialist, or cami. These camis, generally low-caste individuals, do not choose to practice their charismatic calling. Rather, they have been “recruited” by a deity, generally a goddess; that it, they too have been objects of repeated possessions, invasions of their person, by a foreign being. It is their prior and ongoing possession experience that empowers them to diagnose and cure other similarly possessed persons. [Nabokov 2000, pp. 23-4]

{This (the appeasement of, with abject submission to, any possessing-deity; undertaken under initiative by a fully-empowered shaman who had received guidance in the same way for the same reason) is likewise the usual mode of vocation into shamanhood in Siberia and elsewhere.}

In this role, camis are similar – if not identical – to tantrikas. As Michel Strickmann has observed [1996, p. 322], the Tantric mantra master is a person who is enveloped by his dreams and visions, with the goal of Tantric ritual being to generate … (wakeful) dreaming”.

{There is, howbeit, usually some distinction between becoming spirit-possessed, versus dreaming or having visions.}

Nabokov 2000 = Religion Against the Self : an ethnography of Tamil rituals. Oxford U Pr.

Strickmann 1996 = Michel Strickmann : Mantras et Mandarins : le Bouddhisme tantrique en Chine. Paris : Gallimard.

8.8 pp. 248-50 from chapter 45 of the Brahma-yamala : how one can succeed in interacting, during one's current life, with the couple whom one had as parents in a praevious life (whatsoever distant worlds they may be residing in as of now)

p. 248

the practitioner seeks to know his past lives – in order to discern whether … those lives may be creating impediments to the success of his Kaula practice in his present life – by …

p. 249

the vulvas of a circle of ritual consorts. These rites therefore involve the “viewing of ...” … at once the vulva that is his meditation support and the womb of {the woman whom he formerly had in that era as mother} of the prior existence he is seeking to know.

Concerning the 'viewing of his own {former-life mother's} yoni,' … It is the bestower of … the [“eight supernatural powers”] beginning with atomicity.”

{Perceiving how one entred into the embryo of a praevious life would entail shrinkage of one's [subtle] body's size, even unto the dimension of an an.u (properly quarkicity, rather than atomicity) – this tiny dimensionality being perhaps needful in order to fit into the interdimensional wormhole. Rotating (like a cakra), such a wormhole is “this interdimensional vortex” (IPh, p. 160) disclosing the “purpose of life” (IPh, p. 161). “Call it a quark” (IPh, p. 214), “he is living directly in the middle of this … interdimensional vortex.” (IPh, p. 215)}

Here, the practitioner is instructed to take a group of eight women, “... who have authority over the pure stream {of transmission of the empowerment?} … .” … Then [“on the second day of the practice, following an initial day of preliminary rituals” (p. 332, n. 8:175)],

he sexually arouses his S`aktis in succession, “effecting as many 'rebirths' … as his energy allows. … Having aroused the eight S`aktis by day,

{The sexual acts would have been intended to re-enact (in a way noticeable to the redincarnation-providing deities) the sexual acts between the parents which he had in a praevious life, which sexual act of theirs enabled his incarnating into a body for that life.}

the practitioner eats with them by night. In this way, he “sees the vision of his own {former-lives' mothers'} yoni, going back over eight births.” …

{“secrets … of the past lifetimes … express themselves … for the different Meats” (VGW, p. 190).}

The male practitioner, who is “sealed in” here by a circle of … women, now experiences …

the great obstructors … .

He … sees a fearsome serpent that seems to be devouring [“him”].

He sees a she-cat with sharp teeth and a deformed body. …

He sees a very terrifying she-rat, with the body of an obstructor. …

[There will be] buck-toothed S`aktis licking [“him”] with their tongues. …

p. 250

While this is taking place, …

His supernatural power, pervading the triple-world, will manifest itself. …

He becomes a Virile Hero, surrounded by yonis.”

This he has succeeded in doing through his “dream work,”

{“Meat of Type I : … the dream life of the spirit” (VGW, p. 188)} {“The Meat … is tied up with … past … lifetimes” (VGW, p. 189).}

through … hordes of demonesses … with … long tongues … . This is the modus operandi of the modern-day tantrika, a visionary who induces … – … the vision of – a divinity, through a series of “spiritual exercises” by means of which … usually demonesses, are … brought under control by the higher god”.

IPh = Ruth Norman : Interdimensional Physics. Unarius Publ, El Cajon (CA), 1989.

VGW = Michael Bertiaux : The Voudon Gnostic Workbook. 1988.

8.8 pp. 251-2 from Soma-s`ambhu-paddhati

p. 251

the highest S`aivasiddhanta initiation, called nirvan.a-diks.a” : “instruction to the Tantric guru to “install … his disciples [“for the night”] … . After having prayed to the God of Dreams, he leaves them.”” (SS`P, ed. by He'le`ne Brunner, 3rd pt., p. 219)

p. 252

the aim of this initiation rite is to stimulate dreams in the initiands through the teaching of the mantra of the “Little Dream Man” (svapna[-]man.avaka)”. (SS`P, ed. by He'le`ne Brunner, 3rd pt., p. 216-7, nn. 131, 132) [p. 333, n. 8:184 : “The svapnaman.ava[ka] is attested to in … the KSS (1.6.137 and 12.5.103)”.]

8.9 pp. 253-7 Sublimation of the 5 “M”-Words

8.9 p. 253 meat-eating is recommended

the [Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya] enjoins the Kaula practitioner to eat “the flesh, clarified butter, blood, milk, and yoghurt of a cow,” … with an orthodox requirement (three of the pan~cagavya, the five pure products of the cow)”.

The Viravali Tantra, quoted by Jayadratha in his commentary to TA 4.243, … stating that “the ancient ate both beef and human flesh””.

8.9 p. 254 yaugik interpretations (according to the Agama-sara) of the 5 M-words


its signification

Madya 'liquor'

the nectar … in the cranial vault at the culmination of yogic practice”

Mamsa 'meat'

practitioner's tongue in … khecari mudra

Matsya 'fish'

absorption into the medial channel of the breaths {psychic energies – cold and hot} moving in the right and left channels of the subtle body (these breaths {psychic energies}, styled as two fish swimming in the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, are to be swallowed into the central sus.umna channel ...)”.

Mudra 'gesture'

dawning of inner knowledge in the sahasrara cakra

Maithuna 'copulation'

supreme essence (paramatattva), from which siddhis and knowledge of the absolute arise”


Tantra for the New Millennium

258 to 272

9.1 pp. 258-63 Periphery of the Man.d.ala

9.1 p. 259 exclusion of daimones from worship-area

the “citadel of mantras” constructed to protect sleeping initiands from demonic invasion, … is of a piece with

a standard preliminary ritual called “binding of the directions” (digbandhana), by which hostile demonic forces are fenced outside the worship man[.]d[.]ala.”

9.1 p. 261 spread of tantra from royalty to commoners

As Michel Strickmann has argued [1996, p. 43], the data throughout medieval Asia indicate that Tantra was the province of the the highest strata of Asian society – of kings and pretenders to kingship – and that it therefore spread downward and outward … to the lower echelons of society located at the periphery. … In other words, the low-caste, rural margins of medieval South Asian religious society would have adopted the Tantric practices of their rulers as a means of social uplift”.

9.1 p. 261 Atharvan Veda similar to Kaula literature

An examination … of the hymns of the Atharva Veda shows that over half of these are devoted to protection against disease …, or for sorcery … .

One finds the same preoccupations in much of the earliest Kaula literature”.

9.2 pp. 263-7 Interview with a Tantrika

9.2 p. 266 Bhopa-s

The gods and goddesses … controlled by the Bhopas, the low-caste or tribal “shamanic healers”” : “the Bhopas would “embody” these divinities by becoming possessed by them”.

{“As a Bhopa is possessed of the spirit, his body starts convulsing and jerking in a curious way. The Bhopa, under influence of the deity, answers questions, suggests remedies for ailments, and acts as a fortune-teller. The institution of Bhopas in Rajasthan is widespread” (PF&FP, p. 29).} {3-stringed musical instrument for singing to god Nara-ayana : “After preparing a new jantar, the Bhopa performs the initiation ceremony of the new instrument” (PF&FP, p. 33).}

{“Even when women consult bhopas to interpret dreams ..., a bhopa is ... possessed … by a deity (almost always Bheru or Dharmaraj)” (R&RW, p. 136).}

PF&FP = Om Prakash Joshi : Painted Folklore and Folklore Painters of India. Delhi : Concept Publ, 1976.

R&RW = Lindsey Harlan : Religion and Rajput Women. U of California Pr, Berkeley, 1991.

Among most of the Bhopas, the

predisposing experiences were similar:

uncontrollable trembling, especially head, feeling

of light physical sickness (fever, impression that

the body was light, but not feeling much pain);

conviction that their condition was caused by a

specific god or spirit, dreams in which their gods

gave them orders and taught Mantras. This

experience always occur in private and only after

successfully performing a seance will the person

be recognised as a Bhopa. Everything is learned

from the tutelary spirit which can be called upon

any time by offering Dhoop (incense), any types

of leaves or flowers and applying some ash on

his forehead and Trishul (trident). The spirit

enters the body of Bhopa through his head which

begins to shake, called Bhav-ka-ana. Then ... the

spirit speaks through him.” (Veena Bhasin : “Traditional Medicine among Tribals of Rajasthan”, p. 159a. J. SOC. SCI., 6(3): 153-172 (2002). )

The bhopas use a painted textile called a phad as a backdrop to their performances. The phad was a ford linking one world with the next, a crossing place from the realm of the human to the realm of the divine.” (William Darymple : “Homer in India”. The NEW YORKER Nov. 20, 2006 )

9.2 p. 266 activities by poltergeists etc.”

documentation of the spirit world … . Pages … with strange shoadowy characters from no known script traced across their surface : this was “ghost writing that would appear on paper inside the private homes of his clients. …

Women with their hair chopped away at crazy angles – again, the work of bhut-prets … .

The roof of a factory covered with stones that had rained down on it, the work of demons.”

{In Bali, “my workers and I got up on the roof and ... We found it covered with sand and rocks. We don’t put sand and rocks on our roofs. The big god was here” (FG, p. 169).}

FG = Bradford Keeney : The Flying Drum : the Mojo Doctor’s Guide. Beyond Words, Hillsboro (OR), 2011.

9.3 pp. 267-72 Yogini-s of the New Millennium

9.3 p. 267 witches (Jogni-s, i.e. Yogini-s) ride through the air on wooden rods {similar to European witches' riding through the air on wooden besomsticks}

in the Kulu region of Himachal Pradesh, Jognis are dread goddesses {= Yaks.ini-s} of the uninhabited “jungle” to whom elaborate blood offerings must be made whenever one of their trees is cut down. … every February, all the Jognis of the entire region, from as far away as Chamba and Tibet, come to the village of Lahaul, each straddling a roof beam as she flies through the air, carrying a sacrificial animal (a yak, ibex, dzo …) to consume at the feast.” (Desirens 1991, p. 67)

Desirens 1991 = He'le`ne Desirens : “Les Yogini de la haute valle'e de Kulu”. BULLETIN D'ETUDES INDIENNES 9, pp. 61-73.

9.3 p. 268 mortal human d.akin.i-s, divine yogini-s

In Bengal d.ains (a vernacularization of the term d.akini) are human witches who serve as accomplices to the … supernatural Yoginis.” (Carrin 1997, pp. 94-6, 113)

in many other parts of village India, … aged, widowed … women are accused … of consorting with the Yoginis”.

[p. 334, n. 9:10 : “a dhyana of the medieval Tantrasara ... states that any woman who takes this … “not only becomes a d.akin.i along with other, but, losing her husband and son, she becomes a perfected Yogini who can move about at will” : Donaldson [1987], p. 349, n. 11.”]

Carrin 1997 = Marine Carrin : Enfants de la De'esse. Paris : CNRS Editions.

9.3 p. 270 prostitutes as Yogini-s

the Jogammas (“Yoga-Mothers”) of Karnataka, … the female servants of Yellamma, the south Indian goddess of sterility” : “low-caste families continue the custom of offering … a daughter, to Yellamma, to serve as her servant … . [Assayag 1992, pp. 160-5, 308] … Jogammas are, like Yellamma, sterile …, who offer their … sexuality without reproduction : Jogammas never become mothers. This is of a piece with their role in Karnataka society, where they are prostitutes.”

Assayag 1992 = Jackie Assayag : La Cole`re de la de'esse de'capite'e. Paris : CNRS Editions.


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