Origins of Yoga and Tantra, 11-13



Subtle Bodies & Internal Alchemy


p. 276 expansion of consciousness

[quoted from Sanderson 1988, p. 680] “orgasm itself ... is a privileged means of access to a blissful expansion of consciousness in which the deities of the Kula permeate and obliterate the ego of the worshipper.”

Sanderson 1988 = A. Sanderson : “S`aivism and the Tantric Traditions”. In : The World's Religions. London : Routledge. pp. 660-704.

p. 277 the two basic texts on physiological alchemy in India

Kaula-jn~ana-nirn.aya (Bagchi & Magee 1986)

Kubjika-[mata-]tantra (Heilijgers-Seelen 1994)

Bagchi & Magee 1986 = P. C. Bagchi & M. Magee : Kaulajn~ananirn.aya of the School of Matsyendranatha. Varanasi : Prachya Prakashan.

Heilijgers-Seelen 1994 = D. Heilijgers-Seelen : The System of Five Cakras in Kubjikamatatantra 14-16. Groningen : Egbert Forsten.

p. 279 terms for exercise conducing to physiological alchemy

known in various versions as

daoyin … in the Chinese context,

as hat.ha yoga in the S`aiva context, and

as >phrul >khor in the context of Tibetan Vajrayana.”

fn. 13 “the >phrul >khor exercises are … known to … Loseries-Leick 1997.”

Loseries-Leick 1997 = Andrea Loseries-Leick : “Psychic Sports … in contemporary Tibet”. In :- H. Krasser; M. T. Much; E. Steinkellner; and H. Tauscher (edd.) : Tibetan Studies. Wien. vol. 2, pp. 583-93.

p. 280 description of the Adhara cakra

[quoted from 8-11 (Woodroffe, pp. 340, 343, 346-7)]

Near the mouth of the Nad.i called Vajra, in the pericarp …, there constantly shines the … lightning-like triangle which is Kamarupa, and known as Traipura. There is … the Vayu called Kandarpa, who is … red … and resplendent like ten million suns.

Inside it (the triangle) is Svayambhu in His Linga-form, beautiful like molten gold, with His head downwards. … The Deva who resides happily here as in Kas`i is in forms like a whirlpool.

Over it {the whirlpool?} shines the sleeping Kun.d.alini … . … Like the spiral {helix} of the conch-shell, Her shining snake-like form goes three and a half times around …, and her lustre is that of a strong flash … . Her sweet murmur is like the indistinct hum of … bees. … She … maintains all the beings of the world by means of” respiration.

Woodroffe = John Woodroffe : Serpent Power. 7th ed. Ganesh, Madras, 1964.

p. 282 sexual intercourse as a homology for sacrificial ritua

late Vedic texts treat sexual intercourse as symbolically equivalent to the Vedic sacrifice … . This theme occurs in the Jaiminiya Brahman.a (Hartzell 1997:86-7) and the Chandogya (5.8.1)”.

Hartzell 1997 = J. F. Hartzell : Tantric Yoga. PhD diss, Columbia U.

p. 282 such correlations according to Br.had-aran.yaka 6:4:3 (Olivelle 1998, p. 88)

her __

is the __


sacrificial ground”

pubic hair”

sacred grass”

labia majora”

the Soma-press”

labia minora”


p. 283 the uprising of goddess Kun.d.alini within one's own body

[quoted from Silburn 1988, pp. 25-6] “During the rising of Kun.d.alini, since the yogin experiences a vigorous whirling at the level level of the centres located along the central axis, the latter are called 'whirling wheels'. …

In ordinary persons these wheels neither revolve nor vibrate, they form

inextricable tangles of coils,

{the tangled self-contradictions of materialism}

called accordingly 'knots' (granthi), because they knot spirit and matter,

{the knots are hypotheses of materialism, which tie the soul into materialist delusions}

thus strenghtening the sense of the ego. …

{materialism resultant in extreme egotism}

Together they constitute the unconscious complexes (samskara)

woven by illusion, and

{weaving of the valkyrja : illusions of materialistic greed}

the weight and rigidity of the past offers a strong opposition to the passage of spiritual force.

{rigidity of materialist conservatism is obstructive to spiritual progress}

Each knot, being an obstruction, must be loosened,

{Each metaphysical hypothesis of materialism must indeed be abandoned,

can be absorbed by the the Kun.d.alini and thus regain its universality.”

so that the divine nature contained in the convocations of deities can be absorbed into one's fravas^i (guardian-spirit, guardian-angel), and thereby connect with the universal government of divine communism.}

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

p. 284, fn. 20 the five bodies (selves) of each person, according to Taittiriya 2:1-5


anna-maya (“formed by food”)


pran.a-maya (“made of vital breath”)


manas-maya (“made of mind”)


vijn~ana-maya (“made of consciousness or intellect”)


ananda-maya (“made of biss”)


a central channel through the body and

the possibility of movement in different directions from that central channel.”

{The nad.i-s entail possibilities of movement outward from (and returningly into) the central channel.}

p. 284 as sheaths

These bodies were later developed by Vedantic writers into five 'sheaths' or kos`a obscuring the inner self (e.g. in S`ankara's Viveka[-]cud.aman.i).”

{They are divinely designed for us in order that we be shielded by means of them from the hideous evil of capitalist materialism.}

p. 285, fn. 23 Lalon Fakir

in the songs of the nineteenth century Bengali saint Lalon Fakir and his fellow 'Bauls' we find the internal practices rewritten in Islamic terms (Salomon 1991).”

Salomon 1991 = C. Salomon : “The Cosmogonic Riddles of Lalan Fakir”. In :- Appadurai; Korom; & Mills (edd.) : Gender, Genre, and Power in South Asian Expressive Traditions. Philadelphia : U of PA Pr. pp. 267-304.

p. 286 names of the cakra-s according to the He[la]-vajra Tantra

location (p. 284)

__ cakra

bhru-madhya ('eyebrows-middle')

maha-sukha ('great bliss')

kan.t.ha ('throat')

sambhoga ('enjoyment')

hr.daya ('heart')


nabhi ('navel')


pp. 288-9, fn. 30 luminosity endingless and beginningless

[Guhya-samaja Tantra 7:33-4 (quoted from Freemantle 1990, pp. 109, 113)] “In accordance with the pledge, … attain supreme perfection. … All are naturally luminous, unarisen, uninfluenced; there is … no end and no origin.”

Freemantle 1990 = F. Freemantle : “Chapter Seven of the Guhyasamaja Tantra”. In :- T. Skorupski (ed.) : Indo-Tibetan Studies. Tring : Institute of Tibetan Studies. pp. 101-14.



Tantra & the [Political] State


pp. 302-3 status of women in tantrik society

p. 302

women took a central role in Tantric Buddhist practice … (M. Shaw 1994).”

p. 303, fn. 7

The Shangs-pa bka>-brgyud … go back to a series of women teachers in India, including Sukha[-]siddhi … (Kapstein 1980, 1997, 2005). Sukhasiddhi is … to Tilopa … the source of bar do (intermediate state) and consciousness-transference practices … (Mullin 2006:28-9). … In the modern South Asian context, Tantric sexual practices seem … of relative equality (e.g. among the Bauls, McDaniel 1992)”.

Shaw 1994 = Miranda Shaw : Passionate Enlightenment. Princeton U Pr.

Kapstein 1980 = Matthew Kapstein : “ Shangs-pa bKa>-brgyud”. In :- Michael Aris & Aung San Suu Kyi (edd.) : Studies in Honour of Hugh Richardson. Warminster : Aris & Phillips. pp. 138-44.

Kapstein 1997 = Matthew Kapstein : “Journey to the Golden Mountain”. In :- Donald S. Lopez Jr (ed.) : Religions of Tibet in Practice. Princeton U Pr. pp. 178-87.

Kapstein 2005 = Matthew Kapstein : “Conundra in the Life of Khyung-po-rnal->-byor”. J OF THE INTERNAT ASSN OF TIBETAN STUDIES 1.

Mullin 2006 = Glen H. Mullin : The Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa. Boulder (CO) : Snow Lion.

McDaniel 1992 = June McDaniel : “Embodiment of God among the Bauls of Bengal”. J OF FEMINIST STUDIES IN RELIGION 8:27-39.

pp. 304-5 the gandharva Tumburu

p. 304

the Vin.a[-]s`ikha … corresponds to and is spoken by one of the four faces of the deity Tumburu. …

p. 305

In 1973, Teun Goudriaan summarized the then-available sources on Tumburu (Goudriaan 1973). … He is described in several S`aivite … texts (Yoga[-]vasis.t.ha, Vis.n.u[-]dharmottara Puran.a, Agni Puran.a, S`arada[-]tilaka,[-]karma[-]dipika, etc.) as ... (usually) four-headed, always in association with four or seven Matr.ka-type goddesses who are his consorts, and

he occurs in one Buddhist Tantric text (the Man~jus`ri[-]mula[-]kalpa), where he is accompanied by four goddesses described as his sisters. … .

the Vin.a[-]s`ikha Tantra … takes the usual form of a dialogue between S`iva and his consort, who are seated on Mount Kailasa, 'surrounded by Gan[.]a[-]s (headed by Maha[-]kala), Siddhas, sages and other supernatural beings' … .”

Goudriaan 1973 = Teun Goudriaan : “Tumburu and His Sisters”. WIENER ZEITSCHRIFT FU:R DIE KUNDE SU:DASIENS 17:49-95.

p. 306, fn. 11 satire

Another [in addition to the Vin.a-s`ikha Tantra (satirically described on p. 304 supra)] Kashmiri text, Ks.emendra's Samaya[-]matr.ka, provides a further range … of the use of Tantric ritual, again told in satirical style (Wojtilla 1984).”

{In both these texts, that which is being satirized is the royalty (and, by implication, royalties and political states which are dominated by royalties, more generally). Perhaps such tantra-s were composed with the intent of seducing royalties into various egotistical fancies, so that they could be used for royalty-satirizing narratives.}

Wojtilla 1984 = G. Wojtilla : “A Study of Ks.emendra's Samayamatr.ka”. In :- Ligeti (ed.) : Tibetan and Buddhist Studies Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Alexander Csoma de Ko:ro:s. Budapest : Akade`miai Kiado`. vol. 2, pp. 381-9.

pp. 306-7 divine military generals of Bhais.ajya-guru

p. 306

successful performance of Bhais.ajyaguru rituals for members of the ruling family led to state patronage of Bhais.ajyaguru and of the

p. 307

Tantric ritualists associated with his cult. However, … Bhais.ajyaguru himself … has his own man.d.ala of

yaks.a generals who will protect those who reverence him”.

{In China, state-sponsored religious (Confucianist) mythology is replete with divine military generals. Is this an indication that Bhais.ajya-guru is an originally Confucianist deity who hath been artificially assimilated into Vajra-yana?}

pp. 309-10 officially political-state-protecting vaipulya-sutra-s

p. 309

The Suvarn.a[-]prabhasa Sutra … was in fact classified in Japan as one of the three 'State Protecting Sutras'. The other two were the Saddharma[-]pun.d.arika … and the so-called Renwang Jing … .

Thus, in Chapter 6 of the Suvarn.aprabhasa Sutra, the Four Great Kings, the four yaks.a-style deities of the four directions …, … proclaim that should a king of men who has heard this sutra protect and support monks …, they, the four Great Kings, along with their twenty-eight yaks.a generals and numerous hundreds of thousands of, will protect and assist that king and assure him peace and welfare.”

p. 310

The Renwang Jing's full ntitle can be translated as The Prajn~aparamita Sutra Which Explains How Benevolent Kings May protect Their Countries. It is extant in two Chinese translations, the first by Kumarajiva, dating from 401, and the second by Amoghavajra, dating from 765. … . … this text, which is described as being preached to the sixteen kings of the mahajanapadas, led by Prasenajit of S`ravasti, was to become an {officially} important text both in China, and also in Japan.”

p. 309, fn. 13

Whalen Lai has suggested that the Suvarn.aprabhasa might have been used as the basis of 'a pact among early {mediaeval} Buddhist kings …, in early Mahayana Northwest India.' It was … used in this way in the Northern Dynasties in {mediaeval} China. The Renwang Jing was used in a similar way. (… book review of Wang Zhenping's Ambassadors from the Islands of Immortals, published … 2006.)”

p. 311 Korean state-patronage of Tantrism

Korean monk Myongnang is said to have studied Tantric ritual in China … . After Myongnang's return to the Korean kingdom of Silla, he was responsible for the Silla state's ritual defence … . His rituals were successful”.

pp. 311-2 Chinese state-patronage of Taoism and of Tantrism

p. 311

Gaozu, the first T>ang emperor, was pro-Daoist … .

The second T>ang emperor, Taizong (620-49) … decreed … that Daoist monks and nuns should take precedence … . … .

the next significant emperor, Xuanzong (712-56) … was, however, interested in Tantric

p. 312

Buddhism, and it was during his reign and that of his two immediate successors, Suzong (756-62) and Daizong (762-79), that the main translations of Tantric texts were undertaken. …

The later 'Anuttarayoga' Tantric material, in which the fierce S`aivite gods and goddesses move to the centre, thus did not reach China or Korea until it arrived with the Mongol court some … centuries later”.

pp. 314-5 overlapping religious identities in Nepal

p. 314

Goddess “Hariti, … an important deity of Gandhara … . She remains a significant figure in the

p. 315

Kathmandu Valley, where she is linked to a Tantric healing cult … (Iltis 2002; Merz 1996). The principal temple of Hariti, on the hill at Svayambhu, nowadays has a second identity for Hindu worshippers as a temple of S`itala, one of the principal disease-goddesses”.

Iltis 2002 = Linda Iltis : “Grandmothers, God Families and Women Healers in Nepal”. In :- Santi Rozario; Geoffrey Samuel (edd.) : The Daughters of Hariti. London : Routledge. pp. 70-89.

Merz 1996 = B. Merz : “Wild Goddess and Mother of Us All”. In :- Axel Michaels; Cornelia Vogelsanger; & Annette Wilke (edd.) : Wild Goddesses in India and Nepal. Bern : Peter Lang. pp. 343-54.

p. 315 the three sets (of eight goddesses each) in the Newar Valley of Nepal

the Valley had been divided for some time into three small Newar kingdoms, each with a chief town (Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur) and a palace complex centred on the temple … . … Each of these cities is surrounded by circles of temples, including sets of the eight Matr.ka deities (Slusser 1982; Gutschow ... 1993; Gutschow and Basukala 1987).”

Slusser 1982 = M. Shepherd Slusser : Nepal Mandala. 2 voll. Princeton U Pr.

Gutschow 1993 = N. Gutschow : “Bhaktapur”. In :- Howard Spodek & D. M. Srinivasan (edd.) : Urban Form and Meaning in South Asia. Hanover (NH) : U Pr of New England. pp. 163-83.

Gutschow & Basukala 1987 = N. Gutschow & G. Man Basukala : “The Navadurga of Bhaktapur”. In :- Niels Gutschow & Axel Michaels (edd.) : Heritage of the Kathmandu Valley. Sankt Augustin : VGH Wissenschaftsverlag. pp. 135-66.

pp. 315, 319, 321 spirit-possession

p. 315

the masked ritual dances through which the As.t.amatr.ka deities are embodied in the Kathmandu Valley. … The dancers are in a trance”.

p. 319

the teyyam rituals of Kerala and the bhuta rituals of southern Kannada. In both of these cases, ferocious deities … are held to possess masked low-caste dancers.”

p. 321, fn. 19

there are also indications in early South Indian material … of spirit-possession cults … (e.g. Hart 1975).”

Hart 1975 = George Luzerne Hart : The Poems of Ancient Tamil. U of CA Pr, Berkeley & Los Angeles.

p. 332 Natha Siddha-s as Jaina Tirthankara-s

two Nath subgroups … are named for two 'sons' of Matsyendranath, Nimnath and Parasnath … (Briggs [1938] … :72). These are the names of the Jaina tirthankaras, Nemi and Pars`va.”

Briggs 1938 = George Weston Briggs : Gorakhnath and the Kan.phat.a Yogis. Calcutta : YMCA Publ House.


Geoffrey Samuel : Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Cambridge U Pr, 2008.