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THE PHRASE 8uAIkAVƺ cAkkA appears in descriptions of at least two
distinct contemporary tantric rites. In tle ßrst case, ßlairavƮ cakra is
tle name given to a tantric rituaI sãdhana (spirituaI practice) perlormed
coIIectiveIy, and in tle second its plysicaI manilestation is tle name
ol a tooI tlat may be used by an individuaI in graveyard or cremation
ground practices. 1le loIIowers ol VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava guru ßaba lari uass
(b. 1922) use tle group ol sãdhanas caIIed ßlairavƮ cakra. 1lis type ol
rituaI appears to be based on tle sattvic (subtIe) or yogic variety ol cakra
pɫjã (circIe worslip) rites described in tle HahãnirvãǨa-ranrra. That text
las been variousIy dated tiII as Iate as tle eiglteentl century.
ßaba lari uass says tlat tle ßlairavƮ cakra tlat lis pɫjãris (rituaI
or worslip speciaIists) teacl predates tle kinds practiced during India's
Iate medievaI period. 1le VairagƮ kituaI is a circuIar sãdhana performed
witl an equaI number ol men and women tlat empIoys yanrras to invoke
tle various lorms ol uevƮ. It does not lave a sexuaI component.
1le second utiIization ol ßlairavƮ cakra is by Įnanda Mãrgiis,
wlose ideoIogy is based on tle writings ol tle twentietl-century tantric
guru ɖrƮ ɖrƮ Įnandamɫrti (1921-1990, a.k.a. l. k. 8arkar). lor tlem,
ßlairavƮ cakra is a yanrra that has internal microcosmic aspects and two
externaI aspects. One ol tle Iatter is a diagrammatic device tlat may
be produced by an individuaI practitioner witl various materiaIs wliIe
the other is a macrocosmic and always-present energetic relationship
between puruɓa (consciousness) and prakɅri (energy) tlat tley beIieve
lorms a universaI mandaIa. 1le mentaI, microcosmic equivaIent ol tle
mandaIa is ßlairavƮ cakra as a matrix ol extroversive and introversive
lorces operating witlin tle ambit ol tle spirituaI aspirant's mind. 1lis
Pacijc wcrld 238
researcl wiII discuss, anaIyze, and compare tle two rites, as weII as some
of their related practices.
ßlAIkAVƺ A8 A uLI1Y
witlin linduism, ßlairavƮ or 1ripura-ßlairavƮ ranks as a goddess
who is often listed among the ten mahãvidyãs.
The mahãvidyãs are
energy aspects ol transcendent knowIedge usuaIIy associated witl
ɖiva's destructive power.
1ley take botl lorribIe (uqra) and peaceluI or
benevoIent (saumya) lorms. uavid kinsIey says tlat among tle mahãvidyãs,
no goddess las more lorms tlan ßlairavƮ.
8le may appear as an attractive
young woman or Iook tlreatening and wiId. 8le is usuaIIy counted as
the sixth mahãvidyã and is associated witl ßre, destruction, and tle
soutlern point ol tle compass ruIed by Yama, tle king ol deatl.
Harish Johari describes her bodily seat as a triangle inside the
mɫlãdhãra cakra (base ol tle spine) and ler roIe as tlat ol tle destroyer
ol nine mentaI impediments to union witl supreme consciousness.
8ometimes ßlairavƮ is relerred to as tle one ¨wlo muItipIies lerseIl in
an inßnity ol beings and lorms."
The 1ripurã-bhairavƮ-ranrra, tle ɖãradã-
rilaka-ranrra, and tle 8Ʌhar 1anrrasãra describe her in predominantly
benevoIent, cosmic terms.
1ley evoke images simuItaneousIy powerluI
and graceluI, but discordantIy seductive wlen mixed witl items associated
witl vioIence. AII tlree depict ler as awesome, witl tle crimson gIow ol
tle rising sun, tlree beautiluI eyes, a garIand ol skuIIs, bIood smeared
on ler breasts, and wearing tle moon on ler lead. 8everaI portray ler
as smiling and adorned with jewels and rich clothing.
1le nintl-century ɖãradã-rilaka is ol particuIar note because
it is attributed to LakɓmaǨa ueɍikendra, tle guru ol tle tentl- to
eIeventl-century kaslmiri ɖaivite Ablinavagupta.
deIineates an image ol ßlairavƮ as tle creatress and controIIer ol tle
Įnandamɫrti describes ßlairavƮ ɖakti tlis way
in lis twentietl-century Įnanda 5ɫrram and in some ol lis discourses.
ueɍikendra's Iiterary styIe is decidedIy more poetic and devotionaI in
tone, but tle import is identicaI.
According to ɖãktas, ßlairavƮ is tle supreme conscious entity wlo
causes tle universe to come into being as weII as tle universaI doer-
entity. 8le is praised and bIamed as responsibIe lor everytling in tle
devotionaI poetry ol ßengaIi native kãmprasãd 8en (ca. 1118-111S).
the ɖivacarira sle is Iisted as tle lorm ol uevƮ associated witl tle major
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 239
ɍãkra pƮɡha (energy center) at laridvãra.
There are also references to
ßlairavƮ or a bhairavƮ as tle lemaIe practitioner witlin a ɖaivite cakra
MaIe practitioners sometimes reler to tleir wives as bhairavƮs
or ɍakris. Įnandamɫrti says tlat lemaIe practitioners ol tantra lave
been called bhairavƮs ever since ɖiva ßrst tauglt lis dauglter ßlairavƮ
tle buriaI ground meditation caIIed eitler kãpãIika 8ãdlana or liglt
ßlAIkAVƺ A8 A YANTRAJMAluALA
ßlairavƮ assumes an abstract, energetic lorm wlen represented by a
yanrra. ueßning tle words yanrra and mandala is daunting because tley
are muItivaIent. A perlectIy vaIid deßnition lor eitler word may stiII
remain onIy partiaI. 8ometimes tlese words are used interclangeabIy,
and more recentIy, but Iess olten, tle word cakra is aIso used lor eitler
Yanrras are commonIy executed witl materiaI substances on ßat
surlaces but can aIso be rendered tlree-dimensionaIIy. wlen tley are
visuaIized internaIIy as part ol spirituaI practices, tle instructions may
require yanrras to be imagined as soIid, moving, or botl.
Laura kaulman deßnes mandaIas as abstract diagrams ol ¨sacred
cosmic totaIity" tlat may aIso ¨depict pIaces regarded as intrinsicaIIy
8le makes tlis observation witl regard to }apanese
arclitecturaI mandaIas (}pn. mandaras), but it loIds true lor lindu
mandaIas as weII. 1lat is because once tlese temporary or permanent
diagramsJstructures are executed tley deIineate a space tlat is considered
supramundane in some way. 1le diagramJspace becomes a IiminaI area:
eitler a direct portaI onto transcendent consciousness or an access point
into an eIevated aspect ol a tantric cosmoIogy. LIizabetl ten Crotenluis
says tlat in Vajrayana ßuddlism, ¨tle mandaIa represents tle reaIm
ol enIigltenment, tle Iocus lor tle identißcation ol practitioner and
1le lindu 8rãhmaǨas indicate tlat a mandaIa may serve as
a ¨sacred encIosure" and sometimes a pIace specißcaIIy constructed lor
}oln woodrolle (18õS-19!õ) describes a yanrra as both a tool that
loIds one's attention and an object ol worslip tlat represents a particuIar
1le deity may or may not be considered cosmicaIIy pervasive.
The kaulãvalƮyam and kulãrǨava-ranrra Iiken tle reIationslip between
yanrra and deity to tlat between a body and its souI.
ranrra õ.81 reads, ¨As tle body is lor an embodied souI Iike oiI lor a
Pacijc wcrld 240
Iamp, my beIoved, so Iikewise tle yanrra is tle pIace ol aII divinities."
Yanrras are said to become powerluI and kinetic wlen enIivened tlrougl
mantra and rituaI.
ßut tlese activities may not lave mucl inßuence
on some types of yanrra described by Įnandamɫrti. 1lose yanrras that
le says lave an innate or inlerent presence witlin a luman or naturaI
structure wouId be activated and controIIed predominantIy tlrougl
One yanrraJmandaIa used by Įnanda Mãrga las some stationary
eIements and some mobiIe eIements. Įnanda Mãrga's organizationaI
embIem, caIIed tle prarƮka, las two equiIateraI triangIes tlat lorm a
lexagon, witlin wlicl tlere is a rising sun. Inside tle sun tlere is a
Įnandamɫrti said tle svãsrika slouId be visuaIized
tlree-dimensionaIIy and as turning in a countercIockwise direction, but
not tlat tle two triangIes slouId lorm a tetraledron, nor be mobiIe.
uuring a taIk on tantra in 199S ßaba lari uass opined tlat yanrras are
expanding patterns of energy that are constantly in motion.
He said that
the bindu (point or drop ol divine consciousness) turns into a triangIe,
wlose sides ¨buIge out" to lorm tle circIe ol a mandaIa. witlin tle
mandaIa, lormIess energy patterns are made visibIe so tlat tle symboI's
¨gross, subtIe, and causaI meanings" can be ¨read Iike a book."
associated each yanrra or mandala with a presiding deity and mantra.
ßlAIkAVƺ cAkkA AccOkuIlC 1O
The eighth chapter of the HahãnirvãǨa-ranrra contains a rather
succinct description ol a ßlairavƮ cakra rituaI associated witl tle kuIa
1lis lorm ol worslip is Iess rituaIistic compared to
other cakra pɫjã rites in the text. It advises tle aspirant to draw a yanrra
witl vermiIion, red sandaIwood paste, or water in tle lorm ol a square
inscribed with a triangle. It does not say in which direction the apex of
tle triangIe slouId lace. A decorated wine jar is pIaced on tle yanrra
and one's iɓɡa-deva (personaI deity) is worsliped tlerein. 1len Įnanda-
ßlairavƮ as a rosy-coIored, smiIing, and ornateIy dressed young woman
is visuaIized. It is interesting to note low cIoseIy ler image is associated
with the dawn and thereby with the beginning of creation. This theme
is reiterated in the 1ripurã-bhairavƮ-ranrra, tle ɖãradã-rilaka-ranrra, and
the 8Ʌhar 1anrrasãra and seems to lave deveIoped a lootloId in popuIar
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 241
Alter Įnanda-ßlairavƮ is worsliped, ler maIe counterpart Įnanda-
ßlairava is visuaIized and revered. 1le pair is tlen imagined in cosmic
or sexuaI union witlin tle jar. At tlis point ßve substances or items
referred to as the pañcha makãra (ßve ¨M"-words) are consecrated witl
mantra and ollered to Įnanda-ßlairavƮ. 1le ßve substances (rarrvas) are
usuaIIy understood as meat (mãǟsa), ßsl (marsya), wine (madya), parcled
grain (mudrã), and sexuaI rituaI (mairhuna), tlougl tle interpretation
ol words' meanings varies lrom one tantric group to anotler. 1le
practitioner eats or drinks tle ßrst lour items alter tley lave been
ollered. 1le text suggests adjustments in tle rarrvas lor tle kãIƮ Age.
1ley incIude substituting madhura-rraya (a combination ol miIk, sugar,
and loney) lor purißed wine and mantra meditation on uevƮ's leet lor
wlere meat, ßsl, wine, and sexuaI rituaI were used as
pañcha makãra ingredients, woodrolle said tleir purpose was as a means
ol controIIing and curbing appetites and uItimateIy associating tlem
witl reIigious worslip.
In an essay from ɖakri and ɖãkra, woodrolle describes tle possibIe
use ol sexuaI rituaI in ßlairavƮ cakra as a process tlat takes pIace
between the worshiper and his wife. If the worshiper is not married or
lis wile is unabIe to participate, tle worsliper may rituaIIy marry one
otler woman lor tle purpose ol tle ceremony onIy.
decision to utiIize sexuaI rituaI is said to depend on tle capacity ol tle
participants lor eIevated ideation. 1le evaIuation ol a practitioner's
ideation was Ielt up to lis or ler guru. In lindu tantra tlree categories
of ideation (bhãva) are used in deveIopmentaI comparison: paɍu (animaI),
vƮra (lumanJ brave), and divyã (divine). 1le true luman being is said
to be brave (vƮrya) and seIl-controIIed in aII ways.
le or sle strives lor
tle expression ol divinity witlin.
woodrolle says tlat lor tle divyã aspirant, tle ßve rarrvas are yogic
lugl ß. Urban describes woodrolle's interpretation ol tle
HahãnirvãǨa-ranrra as an attempt to delend, rationaIize, and purily
tantra by removing or deemplasizing some ol its antinomian, worIdIy,
and nonmystical aspects.
woodrolle's objective was to portray yogic
processes as a superior expression ol tantric rituaI. le distinguisled
ßlairavƮ cakra lrom otler cakra pɫjã rituaIs by saying tlat it does not
invoIve restrictions on wlo can participate.
in ßlairavƮ cakra, ßaba lari uass expressed tle same opinion.
Pacijc wcrld 242
ßAßA lAkI uA88 Alu 1lL VAIkĮCƺ VAIɜǰAVA LIlLACL
ßaba lari uass was born in tle AImora uistrict ol tle kumaon
region of the Himalayas.
He is a sannyãssi (renunciant) ol tle VairãgƮ
VaiɓǨava Iineage ol nortl centraI India and guru to peopIe in tle United
8tates, canada, Mexico, }apan, and India. le took a vow ol perpetuaI
silence (maunavrara) in 19S2. lis Iineage was lounded by kamanandin
during tle ßlteentl century and is an ollsloot ol tle Viɓiɍtãdvaita
sclooI ol quaIißed nonduaIism tlat was estabIisled in soutl India by
Ramanandin rejected caste distinctions and
sexuaI discrimination, creating sannyãsinƮs (lemaIe renunciants) as weII
as sannyãsins (maIe renunciants).
ßaba lari uass was initiated by a
VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava sãdhu named kaglubir uass.
In 1911 ßaba lari uass was invited to tle United 8tates, lounded tle
lanuman leIIowslip, and tlree years alter tlat estabIisled tle Mount
Madonna center at watsonviIIe, caIilornia. lis Indian leadquarters is at
8lampur kangri viIIage in tle laridvãra uistrict ol Uttar lradesl. ßaba
lari uass's loIIowers estabIisled tle 8lri kam Aslram tlere tlrougl
tleir guru's 8ri kama loundation. 1le aslram is botl a residence and a
sclooI lor needy cliIdren. Otler brancles ol tle VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava Order
in India are independent ol ßaba lari uass's organization.
1le VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas are an order ol married and unmarried
sannyãsis. The word vairãqƮ means a renunciant, IiteraIIy one witlout
(vai) passion (rãqa). ur. 8arasvati ßulrman, a VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava sannyãsinƮ
and an Ayurvedic plysician, expIained tlat tlose wlo are married are
termed ¨louseloIder ceIibates" and lave no cliIdren. 1ley Iimit tleir
sexuaI activity to once a montl in order to conserve cjas for higher
spirituaI practices. ojas is recognized by botl tle VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas and
Įnanda Mãrgiis as a subtIe product ol shukra dhãru, or Iympl. ßulrman
said that the topic of cjas and its conservation is articuIated in Ayurvedic
manuaIs and latla yoga texts ol a tantric claracter, as weII as witlin tle
tantric tradition itseIl. 8le identißed tle Iatest ol tle written sources
as tlirteentl- tlrougl sixteentl-century latla yoga texts.
ßeyond tle lact tlat tley are quaIißed nonduaIists, tle beIiels and
practices ol tle VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas do not appear to be unilorm on tle
Indian subcontinent or in diaspora.
There is a tradition among them
ol reIying on personaI experience and study to slape one's worIdview
and instructions to otlers.
1le autlor was abIe to observe tlis lerseIl.
lunter's 5rarisrical Acccunr cj 8enqal, wlicl was pubIisled lrom 181S,
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 243
cIassißed some ßengaIi ßãuIs as VairãgƮs.
Civen tle Iack ol concurrence
in VairãgƮ beIiels and practices, tlis cIassißcation may lave some merit
in tle sense tlat tle ßãuIs ol ßengaI are aIso known lor tleir ecIecticism.
ßut it does not seem to signily tlat VairãgƮs, Iike ßengaIi ßãuI sannyãsis,
engage in sexuaI rituaI.
At Ieast tle American brancl ol VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas
does not. It may mean tlat some ßãuIs, Iike VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas, Iead a
very controIIed sexuaI Iile and tlat a portion ol tle memberslip ol botl
groups does not marry.
MOUl1 MAuOllA Alu ßlAIkAVƺ cAkkA 8ĮulAlA
1le !S0-acre Mount Madonna center ollers a wide spectrum ol
seminars and eacl person is encouraged to loIIow practices according to
lis or ler personaI incIinations. ßaba lari uass's discipIes say le teacles
dillerent meditation teclniques according to tle needs le perceives
in lis students. le and lis stall primariIy teacl cIassicaI AɓɡãǦga yoga
according to latañjaIi's Ycqa-sɫrras. 1ley aIso make extensive use ol tle
8haqavadqƮrã. works Iike tle HahãnirvãǨa-ranrra, kularnava-ranrra, ɖiva
5amhira, and uarha Ycqa PradƮpika are empIoyed as source books lor tleir
yoga teaclers because tley beIieve tlat combining tantric and yogic
practices leIps aspirants reßne tle cakras ol tle subtIe body.
lari uass is tle autlor ol at Ieast ten books, incIuding a commentary
entitled 1he Ycqa 5urras cj Paranjali (1999), Ashranqa Ycqa Primer (1981),
and £ssays 1: 5elßess 5ervice, 1he 5pirir cj karma Ycqa (no date).
ßaba lari uass's loIIowers lave practiced tleir traditionaI ßlairavƮ
cakra ceremony at Mount Madonna gatlerings since 191S or 191õ. 1le
rituaIs were incorporated as part ol tleir generaI retreats. }anardan uass,
tle ßlairavƮ cakra pɫjãri,
said tlat sometimes over a lundred peopIe
at a time participated in tlem, making it necessary to lorm circIes ol
participants within other circles. In addition to the ceremonies held at
Mount Madonna, autlorized VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava teaclers sucl as 8arasvati
ßulrman in ßouIder, coIorado lave leId portions ol tle rite. 1le stall at
Mount Madonna began to oller seminars lor tle pubIic in tle 1980s.
In 1998 a Ycqa jcurnal advertisement announced a lour-day ¨kituaIs
ol 1antra" seminar tlat described tantra as ¨an ancient system ol
transcending tle senses by using tle senses." 1le use ol tle senses in
tlis context relers to clanneIing energy awakened tlrougl tle senses
towards one's divine object ol ideation. 1le ad pointed out tlat tantra is
¨sometimes misunderstood in tle west as a patl ol sensuaI induIgence,"
Pacijc wcrld 244
wliIe in lact it is a patl tlat requires considerabIe discipIine.
seminar wouId invoIve tle use ol mantra, visuaIization, ãsana (yoga
postures), prãǨãyãma (breatl controI teclniques), dance, and music. It
wouId aIso incIude ¨traditionaI ßlairabi clakra 8adlana÷a unique and
rare practice wlicl is done in a circIe (clakra) witl equaI numbers ol
men and women." It stated tlat tle seminar was designed lor participants
witl dillering IeveIs ol experience.
1lis ceremony may lave been tle Iast one ol a series open to tle
pubIic, as tlere are currentIy no pIans to restart tlem. Any luture
decision on tle issue rests witl Mount Madonna's retreat committee.
}anardan uass cited skewed western perceptions ol wlat tantra is as
a cause ol tleir suspension.
1le view tlat tantra is a lorm ol sexuaI
tlerapy witl positive spirituaI impIications stems lrom any number
ol lew Age seminars and books tlat lave appeared in tle Iast tlirty
Urban las documented low Americans' perception ol tantra as
Iiberating sexuaI activity began lrom tle earIy twentietl century witl
lierre ßernard's estabIislment ol tle 1antrik Order in America.
1le idea tlat ßlairavƮ cakra in particuIar is associated witl
sexuaI rites obviousIy lad some currency among nineteentl-century
subcontinent Indians. A painting lrom kajastlan, dated to approximateIy
tlat time period, portrays tle pañcha makãra utiIizing sexuaI rituaI. It was
reproduced in 1he 1anrric way, pubIisled in 1911. 1le painting's caption
identißed it as an iIIustration ol ¨ßlairavƮ-clakra."
The format of the
painting is simiIar to an ¨attraction yanrra" (ãkarɓaǨayanrra).
only some cakra pɫjã rites invoIve sexuaI rituaI.
1raditionaIIy, practices Iike ßlairavƮ cakra lave been kept secret to
aII but tle initiated witlin a tantric group. wlen tle Mount Madonna
seminars were leId lor tle pubIic participants were not required to
take VairãgƮ initiation, but tley were asked to maintain tle secrecy
ol tle practice, not to tape record it, and not to take any notes during
tle ceremony. 1le loIIowing inlormation about tle rituaI comes lrom
its pɫjãri }anardan uass, autlorized instructor 8arasvati ßulrman, and
inlormants wlo attended a segment ol tle rite at a 8eptember 1-!, 2001
seminar in ßouIder, coIorado.
1lL kI1UAL lkOcL88 81Ak18 wI1l A YANTRA
Mount Madonna's ßlairavƮ cakra rituaI actuaIIy starts tle niglt
belore tle participants assembIe, wlen ßaba lari uass clooses a singIe
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 245
yanrra lor tle ceremony lrom among ten uevƮ yanrras. The pɫjãri said the
patterns of the yanrras come lrom an unpubIisled manuscript ol ßaba
Hari Dass entitled uãsmahãvidyas. The names of the mahãvidyas listed in
otler texts are usuaIIy kãIƮ, 1ãrã, 1ripura-8undarƮ (sometimes 8odaɍƮ),
ßluvaneɍvarƮ, clinnamastã, ßlairavƮ, ulɫmãvatƮ, ßagaIãmuklƮ, MãtaǦgƮ,
and kamaIã. ßaba lari uass's discipIes understand tle mahãvidyas to
be aspects ol a singuIar uevƮ. One ol tlem, lowever, asked tle guru to
comment on tle goddess ßlairavƮ. ßaba lari uass wrote tlat ßlairavƮ
is tle ¨power ol deatl." le continued to write tlat ¨uestruction begins
lrom tle very ßrst moment ol birtl. ueatl is ever present in everytling.
ßlairavi is a learluI-Iooking lemaIe servant ol 8liva and ol uurga."
lari uass's cloice ol yanrra is at Ieast partIy an astroIogicaI caIcuIation
and may incIude sucl lactors as tle montl ol tle year, tle Iunar date,
and tle day ol tle week as weII as tle consteIIation (naksharra).
A pɫjãri constructs tle yanrra in tle open air utiIizing coIored sand,
reacling dimensions ol up to ten leet in size. According to leIéne
ßrunner's cIassißcation ol mandaIas, tlese wouId correspond to type
2 powder mandalas (rajcmaǨŐala).
1le VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas' use ol a
yanrra is meant to perlorm tle traditionaI lunction witlin linduism ol
invoking tle presence ol a deity. Alter tle lormation ol tle yanrra the
goddess closen to preside over tlat particuIar ßlairavƮ cakra ceremony
is instaIIed by means ol a mantra. In 199S ßaba lari uass identißed
mandaIa, mudrã (lere meaning symboIic gesture), and mantra as tle
instruments tlat leIp an individuaI aclieve tantra's main objective ol
In }ayaratla's commentary on tle 1anrrãlcka, le says tlat
vidyãs (leminine mantras) are a lourtl item tlat make up tle loundation
ol ßlairava's teaclings.
1le VairãgƮ's ßlairavƮ cakra ceremony incIudes
aII lour tooIs.
1lL cLkLMOlY I18LLl
1le participants were instructed to consider eacl man in tle circIe
as tle embodiment ol divine consciousness and eacl woman in tle circIe
as tle embodiment ol divine energy. lor tle duration ol tle tlree-lour
practice, aII tle interpersonaI reIationslips ol tle participants were to
be seen as dissoIved. 1ley were toId tlat tle aim ol tle practice was to
be abIe to see tle divine in aII beings. I beIieve tlis practice is a simpIe
auto-suggestion tlat mimics wlat an individuaI miglt experience
wliIe Iooking at tle rite lrom a spirituaIIy eIevated perspective. VairãgƮ
Pacijc wcrld 246
VaiɓǨava instructor ßulrman said tlat tle dissoIution-ol-temporaI-
reIationslips ideation assisted peopIe in redeßning tleir reIationslips in
a spirituaI way. 8le contrasted tlis ideation witl tlat ol many seminars
advertising tantric practices. 1lese, sle said, may be claracterized as
coupIe's tlerapy lor intimates in tlat tley seek to reinlorce and restate
tle reIationslips tlat peopIe lave to otler individuaIs.
An equaI number ol men and women were instructed to sit in a
circIe, aIternating maIe and lemaIe participants. 1lere is no question
ol coupIes in tlis ceremony, or ol women occupying any particuIar
position in reIationslip to maIe partners. In lact tlere are onIy severaI
occasions wlen tle men and women sitting next to eacl otler lave
physical contact at all. One is at the time of performing hand mudrãs,
when each participant performs a mudrã that brings his or her hand in
contact with the hand of the person sitting alongside. The other is at
severaI points wlen aII peopIe in tle circIe simpIy loId lands.
kegarding tle Iayout ol tle rituaI area, it is notewortly tlat tle pɫjarƮ
and his wife sit at the center of the circle. A pɫjã (worslip) tabIe Iaden
witl pictures ol many deities accompanies tlem. 1lere is no sacrißciaI
ßre. 1le position ol tle sand yantra in reIation to tle circIe ol participants
is uncIear. 1le ceremony incIudes a series ol ãsanas, some ol wlicl are
perlormed in graceluIIy coordinated coIIective movements. 1lis creates
an ellect akin to tlat ol a dance. 1le pɫjarƮ recites many bƮja mantras
(¨seed" mantras tlat contain vibratory syIIabIes) wliIe tle participants
concentrate at dillerent cakras within their bodies. They perform sabƮja
(witl mantra) and nirbƮja (witlout mantra) prãǨãyãma (breath control
teclniques) as weII as sakumbhãka (witl breatl retention) prãǨãyãma
and types of prãǨãyãma witlout tle restriction ol tle practitioner's
1le participants are directed to execute various land mudrãs
intermittently. Hand mudrãs are gestures tlat lave a practicaI, yogic
ellect and a reIigiousIy-toned association. lrom tle yogic standpoint
tle execution ol land mudrãs ensures tle clanneIing ol energy into tle
spinaI coIumn and assists in tle raising ol kuǨŐalinƮ (a coiIed, serpentine,
spirituaI energy in tle spine). ßaba lari uass's students perlorm two
series of hand mudrãs connected to their daily meditation practice.
1lese contain twenty-lour mudrãs produced belore meditation and
eight completed afterwards.
lour ol tle mudrãs in the pre-meditation
group are specißcaIIy associated witl incarnations ol ViɓǨu (numbers
18-21 represent tle lisl, 1ortoise, ßoar, and Lion).
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 247
1le reIigious pairing ol land mudrãs witl deities is a common leature
of tantric practice. The hand mudrãs described in the YcqinƮhɅdaya are
particuIar to ten aspects ol 1ripura-8undarƮ.
Those in the kulãrǨava-
ranrra incIude, but are not necessariIy Iimited to, ɖivaJßlairava, ɖrƮ
(tle goddess), ViɓǨu, tle 8un, tle Moon, and CaǨapati,
while in the
1anrrãlcka tley are dedicated to various aspects ol ɖivaJ8adãɍivaJ
ßlairava, larã, larã-parã, and Aparã.
citing Ablinavagupta, ladoux
states that mudrãs are meant to bring about tle practitioner's mentaI and
bodiIy identißcation witl tle deity to wlicl tley correspond.
H. Sanford says that hand mudrãs are used to invoke, compIiment, and
disperse deities witlin some ol 8lingon's }apanese ßuddlist rituaIs.
The hand mudrãs in ßaba lari uass's ßlairavƮ cakra rituaI are probabIy
Iinked to tle worslip ol deities as weII. ßulrman said tleir rituaI
incIudes tle worslip ol a number ol deities incIuding tle navaqrahas
1le recitation ol mantras in tlis lorm ol ßlairavƮ cakra incIudes
108 repetitions ol wlat tley reler to as ¨ßlairavƮ mantras." 1lis is an
exampIe ol one ol tleir vidyãs. 1ley oller ßowers and perlorm various
types ol meditation, concIuding witl a mantra meditation on uevƮ. As
tle yantra was meant to be a temporary instaIIation, it is dismantIed at
tle end ol tle rite. 1o summarize, tle ceremony is claracterized by an
emplasis on mantra meditation, mandaIa, ãsanas, mudrãs and prãǨãyãma.
AII ol tle eIements tlat miglt be seen as rituaIistic are described as eitler
spirituaIIy elßcacious or devotionaI. 1lere is no consumption ol materiaIs
sucl as wine and meat, nor sexuaI rituaI. ßaba lari uass's loIIowers are
vegetarians and aIso do not substitute madhura-rraya for wine.
Participants said that they were impressed with the ceremony
because it lad a striking impact on tleir meditation practices and
created tremendous amounts ol energy. At tle concIusion ol one rituaI,
severaI inlormants lad a visionary experience in wlicl tley saw tle
entire group encircIed by a mandaIic conßguration ol two rings ol
rotating Iiglt. A verticaI ring ol Iiglt was said to arcl over tle circIe ol
rituaIists wliIe a lorizontaI ring encircIed tlem. 1ley associated tle
lormer witl ɖaivite energy and tle Iatter witl ɖakti. One inlormant
described tle participants at tlis rituaI as deepIy allected and outside
Pacijc wcrld 248
8lLcULA1IOl8 Ol 1lL LVOLU1IOl Ol
8LXUAL Alu lOl8LXUAL 1Al1kIc lkAc1IcL8
As part ol my 2000 interview witl ler, ßulrman summarized ßaba
lari uass's views on tle evoIution ol tantra as a system ol spirituaI
practices. le beIieves tlat tantra was originaIIy a system ol nonsexuaI
rituaIs and tlat tlese predate tle sexuaI types ol cakra pɫjã prevaIent
in tle MiddIe Ages. le expIained to lis discipIes tlat a deterioration
ol Indian society occurred wlen tle varnas (sociaI groups) Iost tleir
equaIity. witl tle acceptance ol tle Vedic caste system, onIy men ol
tle upper tlree castes (wlom le identißed as ßralman, kɓatriyan,
and Vaeslyan) were permitted to engage in certain reIigious practices.
women and ɖɫdra caste were excIuded.
1lis caused practitioners ol tantra to seek outward lorms tlat tle
generaI society tlouglt was acceptabIe lor Iower caste individuaIs. 1le
tantras lad lemaIe gurus and lemaIe practitioners. It was very IikeIy
tlat women and men ol Iower caste wlo were lound to be teacling or
invoIved in subtIe spirituaI practices wouId be persecuted. 1lerelore,
tley adopted exterior lorms tlat did not cause concerned, ligl-caste
individuaIs to suspect tlat tleir domination ol tle reIigious splere was
being claIIenged in any way. 1ley conceaIed or disguised tleir true
intentions due to sociaI prolibitions. lor exampIe, tley used sandhyã
bhãɓã (twiIiglt Ianguage), in wlicl words lave muItipIe interpretations.
1ley practiced a subtIe version ol tle pañcha makãras.
ßaba lari uass said tle cruder interpretations ol tle pañcha makãras
came about as a resuIt ol individuaIs mistakenIy trying to practice wlat
tley tlouglt was being done in tle name ol subtIe spirituaI science.
1lese individuaIs were imitators. 1ley were not yet quaIißed lor tle
subtIest practices, but decided to attempt practice witlout tle guidance
ol peopIe wlo were knowIedgeabIe. 1ley created a separate brancl ol
tantra. In ßaba lari uass's opinion it is not a brancl compIeteIy witlout
merit, but le does not teacl it. le said tlat sometling Iike ninety percent
ol peopIe wlo try tlat lorm ol tantra laiI to reacl tleir spirituaI goaIs.
It is appropriate onIy lor peopIe wlo simuItaneousIy lave two very
strong, seemingIy contrasting desires. On tle one land tley lave strong
plysicaI desires lor drugs or sex wliIe on tle otler tley lave a strong
desire lor contact witl cosmic consciousness.
He commented that the
VaiɓǨava 8alajiyãs were engaged in tle rajasic (mutative) or tamasic
(static) practice ol tle pañcha makãras as VƮraclari (brave) rituaIists.
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 249
1lerelore, ßulrman said, at Mount Madonna tley reler to tleir
ßlairavƮ cakra as a very oId, traditionaI lorm ol tle rituaI because
it is nonsexuaI. ßaba lari uass wrote tlat ßlairavƮ cakra is used ¨in
aII dillerent kinds ol 1antric rituaIs," incIuding tlose ol tle ßengaIi
8alajiyãs and perlaps tlose ol ßuddlists.
1le ßengaIi 8alajiyãs lave
a ɖaktic orientation but it is uncIear to wlat extent tleir pliIosoply and
practices correspond to tlose ol tle ßuddlist or VaiɓǨava 8alajiyãs.
ßaba lari uass said tle ßengaIi 8alajiyãs were a group composed ol
mainIy louseloIders wlo practiced in secret and did not proseIytize
1lis ßts }une McuanieIs's description ol medievaI ɖaktism
as an ¨esoteric reIigion practiced by smaII groups ol 1antric yogis."
Įnandamɫrti asserted tlat 8adãɍiva designed tle sexuaI and
nonsexuaI lorms ol tantra simuItaneousIy about seven tlousand years
le said tle cruder lorms incIuding sexuaI rites were meant
lor Iess-deveIoped aspirants to leIp tlem ¨Iimit tle degree ol tleir
Like ßaba lari uass, le said tlat tley were tlose wlo
were unabIe to understand tle subtIer interpretations ol tle pañcha
makãras (tle imitators), but as a sociaI relormer le was more criticaI
ol tlem, IabeIing tleir sãdhana ¨an immoraI antisociaI activity."
interpretation ol ßlairavƮ cakra wiII be discussed beIow.
Among scloIars ol lindu and ßuddlist tantra tle current, prevaiIing
opinion is tlat rituaI practices witl a sexuaI component preceded tle yogic
lorms witlout one and tlat tle sexuaI rituaIs were not a degeneration
ol mysticism. uavid C. wlite describes ¨sexuaIized rituaI practice" as
¨tle soIe truIy distinctive leature ol 8outl Asian 1antric traditions."
le says tlat scloIastic tantric works are a ¨secondary deveIopment,
a lermeneuticaI translormation ol an earIier body ol practice into a
MeanwliIe, systems ol tantra witl a sexuaI
component, wletler ancient or re-invented, slow no signs ol extinction.
8anlord notes tlat we are IikeIy to ßnd sexuaI rituaI and otler IiminaI
practices as part ol tle tantric corpus wlen le observes tlat ¨worIdIy
and antinomian tlemes Iurk at or just beneatl tle surlace ol virtuaIIy
every tantric tradition."
ßlAIkAVƺ Il ĮlAluA MĮkCA IuLOLOCY
Įnanda Mãrga(1le latl ol ßIiss) is an internationaI socio-spirituaI
tantric sect tlat was lounded in 19SS at }amaIpur, ßilar 8tate, India. It is
a new, aIternative reIigious movement wlose tenets view proseIytizing
Pacijc wcrld 250
as a part ol spirituaI practice. Įnanda Mãrga las a presence in over one
lundred countries. 1le organization sent its ãcãryas (spirituaI teaclers)
to tle United 8tates in tle Iate 19õ0s and registered as an American
reIigious entity soon alterwards. 1le lounder and guru, Įnandamɫrti,
did not cIaim to be part ol any current Iineage and associated limseIl
witl tantra yoga reacling back to 8adãɍiva. le said tlat 8adãɍiva was an
listoricaI ßgure lrom about seven tlousand years ago wlo was tle ßrst
to systematize tantra.
ßelore tle advent ol 8adãɍiva, Įnandamɫrti said
tlat tantra existed in scattered and primitive lorms witlin its kaslmiri
and ßengaIi sclooIs.
1le organization's ideoIogy emplasizes sociaI
service work aIong witl tle searcl lor seIl-reaIization.
Įnanda Mãrga's ontoIogy is monistic and microcosmic. 1leir
ãcãryas teacl a tantra yoga based on AɓɡãǦga yoga. 8ince its incepricn,
tle organization las been relormist witl a Iarge number ol sannyãsis as
organizationaI workers. Įnandamɫrti was tle autlor ol over two lundred
books on a wide range ol topics. 8ome ol lis books, originaIIy written
in ßengaIi, remain untransIated. le tried to visit tle United 8tates in
tle Iate 1910s but was relused a visa. 1lis may be due to tle sociaIist
claracter ol lis socio-economic and poIiticaI ideaIs, wlicl are embodied
in lkOU1, lis Progressive UtiIization Tleory. Įnandamɫrti created a
wing ol Įnanda Mãrga, caIIed lkOU1ist UniversaI, to propagate tlose
ideas in 19S9. Įnanda MãrgaJlkOU1ist UniversaI accepts revoIutionary
sociaI tleory and las a controversiaI position on tle use ol lorce.
1le name ßlairavƮ appears in tle ideoIogy ol Įnanda Mãrga in severaI
instances. Įnandamɫrti used it to deIineate a portion ol tleir cosmoIogy
and to describe tle process ol ɖãkta tantra. In some ol lis discourses
on spirituaI practice le spoke about ßlairavƮ cakra specißcaIIy. witl
regard to tle unloIding ol tle cosmos, Įnandamɫrti said ßlairavƮ ɖakti
is tle name given to lrakɅti at tle stage in wlicl luruɓa is quaIißed by
the quǨas (binding principIes).
8le was identißed as tle creatress ol
tle manilested state, wliIe ßlairava was conceived ol as ler witness.
1lis is not to indicate tlat Įnandamɫrti and lis loIIowers accept
any lorm ol lrakɅti as laving independent agency.
He called PrakɅri
Puruɓa ¨Operative lrincipIe" and lis ontoIogicaI stance was essentiaIIy
monistic, tlougl le did accept tle distinctiveness ol lrakɅti and luruɓa
as philosophical concepts.
witlin lis description ol ɖãkta tantra, Įnandamɫrti utiIized tle
name ßlairavƮ ɖakti wliIe eIucidating tle stages ol ɖãktãcãra, tle
ɖakti cuIt le said appeared alter tle lurãnic doctrine was estabIisled.
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 251
le indicated tlat ɖãktãcãra is a process in wlicl successive stages ol
energy-quaIißed consciousness are dissoIved in one anotler untiI tley
arrive at tle supreme state. 1le loIIowers ol ɖãktãcãra attempt to
merge the static principle within rãmasik energy into ßlavãnƮ ɖakti or
kãIikã ɖakti, tle mutative principIe lrom ßlavãnƮ ɖakti into ßlairavƮ
ɖakti, and tle sentient energy lrom ßlairavƮ ɖakti into kaoɍikƮ ɖakti
or MalãsarasvatƮ, tle ¨spirituaI elluIgence."
kaoɍikƮ ɖakti is caIIed
Įdyã ɖakti, a combination ol tle tlree quǨas. Įnandamɫrti deßnes
ßlairavƮ ɖakti as ¨energy in action," and says ler acoustic root is ɍaǞ.
1le listoricaI, Iiterary association between ßlairavƮ and tle coIor red
(cited above) Iends weiglt to lis identißcation ol ler witl tle mutative
principIe, or rajas.
ßlAIkAVƺ cAkkA AccOkuIlC 1O ĮlAluA MĮkCII8
In some ol Įnandamɫrti's spirituaI discourses le discussed tle
nature ol yanrra. le deßned it in an expanded sense, as a controIIed
macline tlat is capabIe ol a specißc output.
The 8haqavadqƮrã 18.61
also describes yantra as a machine.
Įnandamɫrti observed tlat because
yanrras lave speciaI lorms and designs, tley yieId particuIar ellects. It is
a concept similar to the idea of yanrra expressed by Vidyã Vãcaspati in
the kalyãǨa 0paniɓad,
nameIy, tlat tle lorms ol aII manilested tlings
are yanrras. Įnandamɫrti's point was tlat tle luman body, due to its
lorm, produces particuIar ellects not obtainabIe lrom otler bodies, sucl
as those of animals.
8pecißcaIIy, tle luman body is a yanrra capable of
producing or creating divinity.
I wouId Iike to stress tlat Įnandamɫrti
was not restricting limseIl to tle idea tlat tle luman mind is capabIe
ol conceiving divinity or imagining divinity. lis intention lere was
to communicate tlat tle plysicaI materiaI ol tle luman body itseIl,
witl its luman-specißc gIanduIar structure and concomitant mentaI
conßguration, was capabIe ol converting mind-stull into divine-stull,
Įnandamɫrti impIied tlat witlin tle luman mind, tle centrilugaI
and centripetaI tendencies towards tle materiaI and spirituaI spleres
manifest as a mental yantra or microcosmic mandaIa. André ladoux says
that the YcqinƮhɅdaya lrom tle ɖrƮvidyã tradition and Ablinavagupta's
1anrrãlcka describe comparabIe embodiments ol mandaIa as a resuIt ol a
divine cosmic process.
While there is more emphasis on the concept of
¨descent" ol consciousness in ontoIogies and cosmoIogies ol and reIated
Pacijc wcrld 252
to kaslmir ɖaivism, Įnanda Mãrga's ontoIogy las a certain degree ol
resonance witl tlem, being botl monistic and microcosmic. 1le ɖãkra
uarɍan says, ¨1le disc ol tle body-cosmos is tle best ol aII yantras."
Įnandamɫrti said tlat tle better tle adjustment and reIationslip
between tle centrilugaI and centripetaI mentaI tendencies, tle more
an individuaI wouId be abIe to use lis or ler mentaI capabiIities.
transIated tle concepts ol introverted and extroverted mentaI tendencies
into tle basic pliIosoply ol lis socio-spirituaI organization and used
his prarƮka (organizationaI embIem) to represent tlem. 1le symboIic
elements of the prarƮka are dominated by two equiIateraI triangIes
lorming wlat resembIes tle 8eaI ol 8oIomon. Įnanda Mãrgiis caII it
tle 8tar ol ɖiva. 1ley use tlis mandaIaJyanrra as part of their initiation
(dƮkɓã) rite by asking tle initiate to pIace lis or ler lands witlin it lor
part of the process.
The mental manifestation of this yanrra wouId be
diagrammed as a hexagram alone.
1lrouglout mucl ol tle lindu worId, a triangIe witl its apex pointing
upwards is tlouglt to represent consciousness. Įnanda Mãrgiis lave
a contrary, minority viewpoint. 1ley say tle ɫrdhva rrikcǨa (upward-
pointing triangIe) signißes energy, prakɅri, and tle mind's reIationslip
to tle plysicaI worId. In sociaI terms tley say it represents service to
lumanity. One ol tle lew experts in tle use ol yanrras to agree with
tlem is larisl }olari, wlo identißes a yanrra witl a centraI upward-
pointing triangIe as a ɖãkta yanrra. The adhah rrikcǨa (downward-pointing
triangIe) is described by Mãrgiis as denoting tle introverted searcl lor
seIl-reaIization tlrougl spirituaI practices. 1lerelore tley associate it
witl luruɓa, ratler tlan lrakɅti. 1lere is a yanrra caIIed kãIa ßlairava
cakra tlat prominentIy leatures tlree downward-pointing triangIes as
well as a hexagram.
1lerelore tle Įnanda Mãrgiis do not appear to be
compIeteIy aIone in tleir views on tle symboIism ol lindu geometric
iconograply. 1leir use ol triangIes to represent lrakɅti and luruɓa
ecloes, in a simpIe way, 8lingon's ¨grand mandaIas": Carblakoɓa (womb
MandaIa) and Vajradlãtu (Vajra MandaIa).
8ome Įnanda Mãrgiis utiIize tle lexagram ol tleir prarƮka as an
ingredient in what they refer to as kãpãlika practices. 1le nature ol
tlese practices wiII be discussed beIow. Įnandamɫrti caIIed tle stand-
aIone lexagram ßlairavƮ cakra. Its name is derived lrom tle lact
tlat ßlairavƮ ɖakti is said to determine tle reIationslip between tle
plysicaI, vibrationaI worId and tle causaI matrix, or spirituaI splere.
Įnandamɫrti said tlat ßlairavƮ cakra, as a pattern ol active energy, is
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 253
instrumentaI lor inspiring, eIevating, and guiding tle mind towards
He explained that this was why some sãdhakas
sit in its plysicaI manilestation lor spirituaI practices perlormed in
tle buriaI ground.
ßy sitting in tle cakra they imbibe its ideation.
Įnandamɫrti said tlat tle spirituaI aspirant wlo enters tle reaIm
controIIed by ßlairavƮ ɖakti experiences tle unity ol tle universe.
According to 8. k. k. kao's system ol deßning yantras,
sitting in ßlairavƮ
cakra wouId convert tle yanrra into a mandaIa because a rituaI object
wouId be pIaced upon it. In tlis case, tle tantra yogis wouId be using tleir
own bodies as rituaI objects. Cudrun ßɫlnemann notes tlat yanrras of this
category, caIIed ¨yanrras lor estabIisling a loundation" (srhãpanayanrras),
present simpIe geometric slapes and lunction as seats.
kĮlĮLIkA 8ĮulAlA, MAulYAMIkA ßUuulI8M,
Alu 1lL kI1UAL U8L Ol 1lL lUMAl 8kULL
Įnanda Mãrga's kãpãlika sãdhanas are yogic and esoteric. The process
lor tle meditator invoIves concentrating lis or ler individuaI ßlairavƮ
ɖakti at a ¨nucIear point" (cakra) in tle body and using tlis internaI seat
as a point lrom wlicl to pass into tle kaoɍikƮ ɖakti described above.
ßecause tle tlree quǨas are unexpressed in kaoɍikƮ ɖakti, merging into
it is said to signily tle dissoIution ol tle individuaI mind into cosmic
consciousness. Įnanda Mãrga's kãpãlika sãdhanas traditionaIIy take
pIace around tle time ol tle new moon (amãvãsya).
While they do not
aIways occur in cremation or buriaI grounds, tlat is tleir practitioner's
ßrst cloice ol site. One reason lor tlis is tle beIiel tlat cremation and
buriaI grounds are Iocations ol eIevated concentrations ol prãǨa (energy),
resuIting lrom tle decomposition or destruction ol luman plysicaI
Another reason has to do with the assertion that these are
ideaI pIaces to engage in struggIe witl mentaI restrictions tlat Įnanda
Mãrgiis caII tle pãɍas (bonds or letters) and ripus (enemies). 1lis idea wiII
be eIaborated beIow. Inlormants indicate tlat Įnanda Mãrga's kãpãlika
practices diller lrom individuaI to individuaI as weII as between tleir
male and female sannyãsis, caIIed avadhɫras and avadhɫrikãs.
1lougl tle activities ol lindu kãpãlikas are not usuaIIy associated
witl ßuddlist ideaIs ol spirituaI sociaI service, Įnandamɫrti beIieved
tlat tlere was originaIIy, and stiII remains, a connection between tle
two. The name kãpãlika appears to come lrom tle 8anskrit word lor skuII
(kãpãla). 8ince tle medievaI period kãpãlikas lave been associated witl
Pacijc wcrld 254
spirituaI practices tlat utiIize a luman skuII.
Įnandamɫrti said tlis
but le presented an additionaI etymoIogy ol tle word
kãpãlika. le said tlat one ol tle meanings ol tle ploneme ¨ka" is tle
1lerelore luman beings wlo take on tle moraI
responsibiIity ¨ol serving tlis objectivated worId are caIIed kãpãlika."
le traced tle ßrst use ol tle term kãpãlika to tle Madlyamika ßuddlists
and said tlat tley used it lor tlose sãdhakas ¨wlo took tle nobIe vow ol
serving aII in tle Iiving and non-Iiving worIds."
1lis is a bodlisattva-
Iike vow. Madlyamika ßuddlism was lounded in second-century India
by lãgãrjuna and introduced into clina by kumãrajƮva (!!4-41!).
was known as tle 8an-Iun 1sung, or 1lree 1reatise sclooI ol ßuddlism
in clina, korea, and }apan.
Įnandamɫrti consistentIy asserted tlat it
is ¨absoIuteIy wrong" to make a distinction between lindu tantra and
ßuddlist tantra because ¨1antra is one and onIy one."
his avadhɫras and avadhɫrikãs dedicate Iiletime alter Iiletime to spirituaI
McuanieI says tlat tle avadhɫras and kãpãlikas were traditionally
¨loIk tantric sects" wlo tried to aclieve supernaturaI powers tlrougl
8le uses tle terms jclk ranrra and classical
ranrra to distinguisl between tantras tlat emplasized tle appIication
ol supernaturaI knowIedge and tle acquisition ol siddhis (occuIt powers)
lrom tlose tlat were more academic and concentrated on identißcation
Woodroffe described avadhɫras as tlose wlo lave ¨caste
aside" tle worId or separated lrom it so tlat tley miglt constantIy
contempIate supreme consciousness.
Įnandamɫrti beIieved tlat tley
were more integrated into the world. He said avadhɫras are those who
view ¨everytling witl equanimity" and Iive in tle worId as il tley are
secondary manilestations ol ɖiva.
Įnandamɫrti cast lis twentietl-century kãpãlikas in a classical mold.
le emplasized tle yogic attainment ol seIl-reaIization and required tlese
practitioners to take on sociaI service responsibiIities ol a socio-economic
and poIiticaI, as weII as spirituaI, nature. 1le gIossary ol lis uisccurses cn
1anrra, Vclume z deßnes kãpãlika sãdhana as a lorm ol spirituaI practice
tlat ¨causes tle aspirant to conlront and overcome aII tle inlerent
fetters and enemies ol tle luman mind."
Įnanda Mãrgiis consider tle
eight fetters (aɓɡa pãɍa) to be qhɅǨa (aversion or latred), lajjã (slame),
kula (pride ol Iineage or caste), ɍƮla (labit), mãna (pride ol knowIedge),
juqupsã (censure), bhaya (lear), ɍaǦkã (doubt).
The six enemies (ɓaɡ ripu)
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 255
are said to be kãma (desire), krcdha (anger), lcbha (avarice), mcha (blind
attaclment), mada (pride), and mãrsarya (jeaIousy).
Įnanda Mãrga's deßnition ol kãpãlika sãdhana refers not only to
tle internaI aspect or mentaI struggIe ol tle practices, but aIso to tle
externaI aspect. Įnandamɫrti said tlat tle externaI aspect ol tle ßglt
against lear, latred, and slame invoIved cremation ground practices, but
le did not express any conßdence in tle pubIic to understand tlem.
wlen tlose wlo lave IittIe knowIedge ol sãdhana see the style of this
externaI ßglt, tley tlink tlat tle 1antrics moving in tle cremation
ground are a sort ol unnaturaI creature. ActuaIIy tle generaI pubIic
lave no understanding ol tlese 1antrics. In tle direct ßglt against
ripus and pashas tley may appear to be unnaturaI lor tle time being,
but one cannot ignore tle lact tlat in wartime every person becomes,
to some extent, unnaturaI in lis or ler activities.
Įnandamɫrti's service lermeneutics regarding kãpãlikas are
cIassicaIIy oriented. ßut tlose ol lis loIIowers wlo utiIize a luman skuII
in tleir spirituaI practices appear to be making use ol teclniques tlat
come directIy out ol loIk tantra. lere we encounter an ambivaIence ol
lis concerning tle acquisition ol supernaturaI powers. cIassicaI tantra,
wletler lindu or ßuddlist, condemns tle attempt to acquire siddhis
as ¨wastes ol time and energy, and as moraI temptations."
In the late
1910s Įnandamɫrti used to gatler lis sannyãsis around lim and go
around tle room asking many individuaIs, ¨uo you want tle toys or
tle Maker ol tle toys7"
lere ¨toys" slouId be understood as siddhis.
Each sannyãsi was expected to reply that he or she was only interested
in tle Maker ol tle toys, as tle Lntity tlrougl wlom one couId attain
seIl-reaIization. Įnandamɫrti must not lave lad mucl conßdence in
his sannyãsis` abiIity to resist temptation because le toId tlem tlat le
was going to ¨Iock up" tleir occuIt powers untiI sucl time as tley miglt
really need tlem lor some dlarmic (proper) purpose.
Įnandamɫrti's idea ol tle proper time to use occuIt powers was
wlen a certain amount ol deviousness miglt make tle dillerence in
deleating egregious immoraIists. le cited witl approvaI kɅɓǨa's use
ol occuIt powers to deceive and kiII a warrior named }ayadratla in tle
lrom tlis exampIe, and lis own statements on tle
we see tlat Įnandamɫrti was not actuaIIy opposed to tle
acquisition ol occuIt powers or tleir use, just tleir indiscriminate use.
1le seIl-oriented goaIs ol loIk tantra leeI antinomian because speciaIized
Pacijc wcrld 256
powers do not appear to be avaiIabIe to everyone and tley couId possibIy
be used against tlose wlo do not lave tlem. 1ãnrrikas` attempts to
acquire powers wiII be viewed as a tlreat by just about everyone, even
il it is cIaimed tlat sucl powers are onIy meant to be empIoyed in
sociaI service work. 1le endeavor to acquire powers supports 8anlord's
observation, cited earIier, tlat antinomian tlemes are an integraI aspect
of tantric traditions.
8anlord describes low tle use ol luman and animaI skuIIs in
magico-reIigious practices is a gIobaI plenomenon.
skuII in particuIar las a deep impact on us by leIping us to recaII tlat
our embodied state is transient. 7en master Ikkyɫ 8Ȇjun (1!94-1481)
empIoyed tle luman skuII in an outrageous and deIigltluI way to prod
tle peopIe ol tle city ol 8akai aIong tle spirituaI patl towards sarcri.
8anlord says tlat Ikkyɫ's doctrine ol sckushin jȆbursu, or ¨buddlalood in
tlis very body," was inlerited lrom 8lingon, ¨an aImost pureIy Indian
lorm ol tantrism."
1le 1aclikawa-ryɫ was a movment witlin 8lingon tlat was most
active during tle tweIltl tlrougl sixteentl centuries.
YȆjinshɫ, written around 1210, describes tle lascinating 1aclikawa 8kuII
8anlord reveaIs tlat tle 8kuII kituaI was a rite wlose aim it
was to reanimate quiescent spirits associated witl luman skuII bone.
8even p`c souIs in tle skuII were to be awakened or reintroduced into it
by tle repeated appIication ol combined maIe and lemaIe sexuaI ßuids.
1lrougl tlis particuIar loIk rite ¨weaItl, sociaI position, knowIedge,
and magical powers (siddhi)" were said to be obtained.
The p`c souIs
were yin, or leminine, in quaIity, and lemaIe spirits caIIed ŐãkinƮ were
also associated with the rite.
The p`c souIs or ŐãkinƮ were responsible
for helping the practitioner gain power.
1le ɖãkta rãnrrikas ol west ßengaI use tle skuII as an image ol deatl
and translormation in a way simiIar to master Ikkyɫ. ɖãkta tantra loIk
rituaIists aIso consider tle skuII to be a direct Iink to spirits tlrougl
whom they can gain power.
A visitor to an Įnanda Mãrga avadhɫra the
day alter lis liglt 8ãdlana observed tlat tle monk was stiII wearing
the remnants of a red sindɫra (vermiIion) rilakaǟ (auspicious marking)
between lis eyebrows. 8o was tle luman skuII sitting on tle ßoor.
1le visitor toId me tlat tle sindɫra on tle skuII immediateIy reminded
lim ol bIood,
more so tlan seeing it on tle monk's lorelead. le was
somewlat taken aback because le cIaimed tlat tle use ol externaI
worship materials is rare in Įnanda Mãrga. LspeciaIIy tle renunciants ol
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 257
tle organization restrict tlemseIves to yogic teclniques tlat are pureIy
internaI. 1le use ol externaI worslip materiaIs is considered permissibIe,
but not indispensabIe, and tlere is a doctrinaI tendency to be wary ol
activities tlat approacl tle category ol image and idoI worslip.
wletler tle appIication ol vermiIion (as a symboIic lorm ol sanitized
menstruaI bIood) was meant to enIiven tle skuII and assist in passing
certain powers lrom tle skuII to tle monk remains open to question.
1lis specuIation wouId combine sympatletic magic and tle tantric loIk
rationaIe ol tle reanimation ol spirits tlat is lound in tle 1aclikawa 8kuII
kituaI. As Įnandamɫrti was not totaIIy opposed to tle deveIopment and
use ol occuIt powers, but was more concerned witl tleir potentiaI lor
abuse, we cannot ruIe out tlat lis kãpãlikas` rituaI use ol a skuII in tleir
sãdhana miglt be connected to tle acquisition ol occuIt powers.
1lere is one aspect ol tle use ol ßlairavƮ cakra as a yanrra/mandala
in kãpãlika sãdhana tlat las not been discussed. It appears tlat tlere are
simiIarities between tle lormation ol a ßlairavƮ cakra lexagram and
protective acts ol kƮlana, wlicl ¨naiI oll" and sacraIize a space. 8ome
Įnanda Mãrgiis are reported to utiIize kƮlana as a rakɓã (protection)
during otler types ol spirituaI practices. ßecause buriaI grounds may
be dangerous pIaces to visit at niglt, perlaps tle lormation ol sucl a
yanrraJmandaIa acts as a type ol protection. 1le protective aspect wouId
be enlanced il mantra were used in a traditionaI way as an integraI
part of the cakra's construction. 1le manuscript tlat mentions ßlairavƮ
cakra does not state wlicl materiaI is used in its lormation, nor does it
describe tle procedure lor its assembIy. 1lerelore it cannot be said witl
any certainty il compasses and straiglt edges are empIoyed. ßut tle lacts
are that this is a sãdhana perlormed at niglt around tle time ol tle new
moon, wlen tlere is IittIe Iiglt. It makes tle use ol sucl impIements
appear to be counter-intuitive. 1lese practices must emplasize ideation
and intention ratler tlan matlematicaI precision. LastIy, il ßlairavƮ
cakra did not aIso lave a protective aspect lor kãpãlikas, it seems tle
rituaI wouId lave remained excIusiveIy on tle mentaI IeveI.
cOlcLU8IOl: 1wO VLkY uIllLkLl1
TANTRIC 5ĮuuANA5 wI1l 1lL 8AML lAML
1lere are yogis witlin ßaba lari uass's VairãgƮ VaiɓǨava Iineage and
among Įnanda Mãrga's kãpãlikas wlo practice ßlairavƮ cakra sãdhana.
ßut tle practitioners lrom witlin eacl group are relerring to two very
Pacijc wcrld 258
dillerent rituaIs. 1le simiIarities are tlat botl rituaIs are yogic lorms
ol tantra, wlicl empIoy mandaIa or yanrra and whose philosophical
underpinning is a subtIe, nonsexuaI interpretation ol tle pañcha
1le dillerences, lowever, are more numerous. ßlairavƮ cakra
lor tle VairãgƮs is a coIIective rite wliIe lor Įnanda Mãrga's kãpãlikas
it is a solitary one.
It is possibIe to make a generaI assertion tlat botl rituaIs are an
invocation ol uevƮ. 1lis wouId be reasonabIe despite tle lact tlat Įnanda
Mãrga is a ɖaivite tantric sect and not aII tle VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas are
ɖãktas. ßecause Įnanda Mãrga's doctrines are monistic and simiIar in
some ways to kaslmir ɖaivism, it wouId be more accurate to caII tleir
kãpãlikas` ßlairavƮ cakra an invocation ol energy as a pliIosoplicaI
concept. 1lis is low Įnandamɫrti claracterizes botl lis descriptions
ol tle various ɍakris in ɖãktãcãra
and of prakɅri in lis own ɖaivite
Those members who practice kãpãlika rituaI invoIving a luman
skuII appear to be utiIizing loIk tantra. wletler tlis is a degeneration
ol second-century Madlyamika ßuddlist beIiel or represents tle true
roots of kãpãlika practice awaits lurtler researcl.
1le VairãgƮs consider tleir pliIosoply to be monistic. levertleIess,
tley aIIow room in it lor tle manilestation ol uevƮ in many lorms
and appear to consider tlese as semi-distinct entities, somewlat Iike
contemporary linduism. 8o wliIe tleir ßlairavƮ cakra ceremony is
tantric, tle majority ol tleir practices are more accurateIy claracterized
simply as yogic.
1le invocationaI objectives ol tle two cakras are simiIar,
but tle means tley empIoy to aclieve success in tlem are distinct.
1o begin witl, tle VairãgƮ's ßlairavƮ cakra is on tle one land a
physical circle of participants as well as the yanrra used at any particuIar
perlormance ol tle ceremony. 1lat ol tle Mãrgiis is tle mandaIaJyanrra
alone. The rajcmaǨŐala type of yanrra, constructed by VairãgƮs lrom
coIored sand, las an artistic appeaI lor tle participants as weII as being
tlouglt ol as a spirituaIIy elßcacious means ol inviting uevƮ to preside
over tleir rite. 1le mandaIaJyanrra lormed by tle Mãrgiis is strictIy
utiIitarian. Its aspect or slape couId be liglIy variabIe, so it must be
ideation or correct intention tlat tley are emplasizing.
My judgment is tlat tle Mãrgiis' mandaIaJyanrra is predominantly
a device wlose eIevating vibrationaI capacity is expIoited in a nonvisuaI
laslion. A singIe practitioner modeIs it and views it under reduced Iiglt
conditions, alter wlicl it acts as lis or ler ¨seat" lor tle duration ol
tle rituaI. 1leir mandaIaJyanrra may additionaIIy serve as a protective
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 259
rakɓa by demarcating a sacred space. 1lis type ol rituaI practice reveaIs
a tendency towards yogic symboIization and bodiIy interiorization ol
ideoIogy among tle Mãrgiis as weII as an apparent apariqraha (thriftiness
or restraint) witl regard to tle use ol materiaIs.
1le VairãgƮ's seIection ol yanrra invoIves astroIogicaI caIcuIations
and tleir ßlairavƮ cakra ceremony incIudes a worslip ol tle nine pIanets
(navaqraha). Įnanda Mãrgiis do not accept a deißcation ol tle pIanets.
1ley do not use astroIogicaI caIcuIations lor ßlairavƮ cakra, nor any
otler rituaI ol tleirs, because Įnandamɫrti considered tle procedures
His orientation was strictly microcosmic in that he did
not tlink anyrhinq superßuous to tle luman body-mind compIex was
necessary lor carrying on spirituaI practices.
The cakra at Mount Madonna is tle sum totaI ol tle rituaI actions
ol tleir circIe ol participants: tle ellect ol tleir coIIective prãǨãyãma,
clanting ol mantras, perlormance ol mudrãs, and meditations. 1ley are
consecrating a ratler Iarge plysicaI area, wlen on some occasions tlere
are lundreds ol participants. 1le VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas utiIize tle rituaI
circIe slape and perlormance, in addition to tleir yanrras, to create
ßlairavƮ's cakra and invocation. lor tle Įnanda Mãrga kãpãlikas, tle
cakra is a plysicaI mandaIa tlat represents tle pIay ol universaI lorces
witlin tle macrocosm and microcosm. 1ley beIieve its plysicaI use, as
described, can improve a sãdhaka's psyclo-spirituaI state by caIibrating
extroverted materiaI and sociaI tendencies witl introverted spirituaI
incIinations. 8imuItaneousIy, tley consider tle compIete manilested
universe to be ßlairavƮ cakra.
Pacijc wcrld 260
1. Ceorg leuerstein, £ncyclcpedic uicricnary cj Ycqa (lew York: laragon louse,
1990), 204 says tle text dates to tle eIeventl century. lugl ß. Urban, 1anrra:
5ex, 5ecrecy, Pclirics, and Pcwer in rhe 5rudy cj keliqicn (ßerkeIey: University ol
caIilornia lress, 200!), 142 points out tlat many peopIe suspect it ol being
composed in tle Iate eiglteentl century.
2. Įnandamɫrti said tle ten mahãvidyãs originated about two tlousand years
ago. 8lrii 8lrii A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, voI. 1 (caIcutta: A'nanda
Ma'rga lubIications, 199!), 2!0. 1le system ol 8anskrit diacritics tlat Įnanda
Mãrga uses in its pubIications is one ol Įnandamɫrti's inventions. le close
a simpIißed way ol writing koman 8anskrit tlat uses tle ¨ ' " or ¨
excIusiveIy. lowever, even tle appIication ol tlis system was not unilorm
lrom one ol lis books to anotler and sometimes was not unilorm even witlin
a singIe book. 1lerelore I lave repIicated tle diacriticaI marks tlat were
used on a book-to-book basis witlin quotes ol lis and lor lootnote materiaI
tlat pertains to lis books (lor exampIe, ¨A'nandamu'rti" versus tle academic
standard ol ¨Įnandamɫrti").
!. AIain uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, ßoIIingen 8eries LXXIII (lew York: lantleon
ßooks, 19õ4), 2õ8 and uavid kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine: 1he 1en
Hahãvidyãs (ßerkeIey, cA: University ol caIilornia lress, 1991), 112.
4. kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 172.
S. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 281, kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine,
110-111 and Madlu klanna, Yanrra: 1he 1anrric 5ymbcl cj ccsmic 0niry (koclester,
V1: Inner 1raditions, 1919), S8.
õ. }olari Iists tle impediments as ¨sickness, incompetence, doubt, deIusion, sIotl,
nonabstention, erroneous conception, nonattainment ol any yogic state, and
tle inabiIity to stay in a yogic state." larisl }olari, 1ccls jcr 1anrra (koclester,
V1: uestiny ßooks, 198õ), 10S.
1. Ajit Mookerjee and Madlu klanna, 1he 1anrric way: Arr · 5cience · kirual
(London: 1lames and ludson, 1911), 190-191.
8. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine
9. kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 167.
10. Ibid., 1õ9. lor anotler portrayaI ol ßlairavƮ as tle cosmic controIIer see tle
kulacɫŐãmaǨi Niqama relerred to by kita uasCupta 8lerma, ¨8acred Immanence:
keßections ol Lcoleminism in lindu 1antra," in Purijyinq rhe £arrhly 8cdy cj 6cd:
keliqicn and £cclcqy in uindu India, ed. Lance leIson (AIbany, lY: 8UlY lress,
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 261
11. 1lere are a number ol simiIarities between tle pliIosoplies ol kaslmir
ɖaivism and Įnanda Mãrga. 8ee leIen crovetto, ¨1le clanging lace ol ɖaivite
1antrism" (ßA tlesis, University ol 8outl lIorida, 1999), 1!-14.
12. kãmprasãd 8en, 6race and Hercy in uer wild uair: 5elecred Pcems rc rhe Hcrher
6cddess, trans. Leonard latlan and cIinton 8eeIy (lrescott, A7: lolm lress,
1!. u. c. 8ircar, 1he ɖãkra PƮɡhas, 2nd ed. (ueIli: MotiIaI ßanarsidass, 191!), 40.
14. }une McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls: Pcpular 6cddess wcrship in
wesr 8enqal (Oxlord: Oxlord University lress, 2004), 111. 1lougl cakra pɫjã
IiteraIIy means ¨circIe worslip" tle plrase las become commonIy associated
witl sexuaI rituaIs.
1S. 8lrii 8lrii Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, voI. 2 (caIcutta: Ananda Marga
lubIications, 1994), 1õ8, 110.
1õ. Cudrun ßɫlnemann, ¨MaǨŐaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," in
HaǨŐalas and Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes ßronklorst, ßriII's
IndoIogicaI Library, voI. 18 (Leiden: ßriII, 200!), S0.
11. Laura kaulman, ¨lature, courtIy Imagery, and 8acred Meaning in tle Ippen
uijiri-e," in llcwinq 1races: 8uddhism in rhe Lirerary and Visual Arrs cj japan, ed.
}ames l. 8anlord, wiIIiam k. LalIeur, and Masatosli lagatomi (lrinceton, l}:
lrinceton University lress, 1992), õS.
18. LIizabetl ten Crotenluis, ¨clɫjȆlime: 1le weaving ol ler Legend," in llcwinq
1races: 8uddhism in rhe Lirerary and Visual Arrs cj japan, ed. }ames l. 8anlord,
wiIIiam k. LalIeur, and Masatosli lagatomi (see note 11), 182.
19. uenise latry Leidy and kobert A. l. 1lurman, Handala: 1he Archirecrure cj
£nliqhrenmenr (London: 1lames and ludson, 1991), 11.
20. 8ir }oln woodrolle, ɖakri and ɖãkra: £ssays and Addresses, 9
Canesl & co., 1981), !49-!S0. 8ee aIso tle YcqinƮ 1anrra in uaniéIou, uindu
21. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S0 and klanna, Yanrra, 12.
22. uougIas kenlrew ßrooks, ¨1le Ocean ol tle leart: 8eIections lrom tle
kulãrǨava 1anrra," in 1anrra in Pracrice, ed. uavid Cordon wlite (lrinceton, l}:
lrinceton University lress, 2000), !Sõ.
2!. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S1 and klanna, Yanrra, 19.
24. 1le swastika is an ancient, auspicious lindu symboI said to bestow good
2S. ßaba lari uass, 1aIks witl ßabaji, ¨1antra," lttp:JJwww.mountmadonna
Pacijc wcrld 262
21. Artlur AvaIon (}oln woodrolle), 1he 6rear Liberaricn: HahãnirvãǨa 1anrra, 4
ed. (Madras: Canesl & co., 19õ!), 221-2!!. Įnandamɫrti toId lis loIIowers tlat
tley practice kaoIa (kuIa) sãdhana. ¨You are aII kaoIa and I am MalãkaoIa," le
said. le deßned a kaoIa sãdhaka as one who practices the raising of kulakuǨŐalinƮ
(coiIed serpentine spirituaI energy in tle body) and a MalãkaoIa as a guru wlo
can raise the kuǨŐalinƮ ol otlers. 8ee Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra 2:41,
2:S!. On tle division ol tle ¨kauIa" or ¨kaoIa" and ¨1ãntrika" sects see uavid
Cordon wlite, kiss cj rhe YcqinƮ: ¨1anrric 5ex¨ in Irs 5curh Asian ccnrexrs (clicago:
University ol clicago lress, 200!), 18.
28. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine
leminine, 1õ1. 8ee an art image ol ßlairavƮ in association witl a rosy-coIored
dawn at lttp:JJwww.artoßegendindia.comJbrowseJlJ10J.
29. AvaIon (woodrolle), HahãnirvãǨa 1anrra, 2!0 and woodrolle, ɖakri and ɖãkra,
!0. woodrolle, ɖakri and ɖãkra, 401.
!1. Ibid., !89 and !9!-!9S.
!2. Ibid., 412. 1le same view is expressed in 8lrii 8lrii Ánandamúrti, Ánanda
Vacanamrram Parr V (caIcutta: Ánanda Márga lracáraka 8aǝgla, 1981), !-4.
!!. woodrolle, ɖakri and ɖãkra, 401.
!4. Urban, 1anrra, 1!õ.
!S. AvaIon (woodrolle), HahãnirvãǨa 1anrra, 221 and 2!2.
!õ. ßaba lari uass, personaI communication, May 18, 2001.
!1. kebecca }. Manring, ¨An UnIikeIy uonor: A lindu kesponse," in £rhics and
wcrld keliqicns: crcss-culrural case 5rudies, ed. kegina wentzeI woIle and clristine
L. Cudorl (MaryknoII, lY: Orbis ßooks, 1999), !4õ.
!8. Ibid., !4õ.
40. 8arasvati ßulrman (a discipIe ol ßaba lari uass), interview by autlor,
October 1, 2000, ßouIder, coIorado, Iongland notes. 1le VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas
principaI concern seems to be tle attainment ol seIl-reaIization ratler tlan
tle estabIislment ol a sociaI velicIe. 1ley wouId presumabIy relresl tleir
memberslip over tle years witl tle entry ol new spirituaI seekers lrom outside
tle originaI lounding members.
41. Manring, ¨An UnIikeIy uonor: A lindu kesponse," !4õ.
4!. }eanne Openslaw, 5eekinq 8ãuls cj 8enqal (lew ueIli: cambridge University
lressJloundation ßooks, 2004), 22.
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 263
44. k. M. 8arkar, 8auls cj 8enqal: In rhe quesr cj Han cj rhe uearr (lew ueIli: Cian
lubIisling, 1990), 1!-14.
4S. ßulrman, interview by autlor, October 1, 2000.
4õ. }anardan uass (discipIe ol ßaba lari uass), personaI communication,
lovember 12, 2000.
41. ¨kituaIs ol 1antra" advertisement, Ycqa jcurnal Haqazine, 8eptemberJ
October 1998, p. õ2.
48. }anardan uass, personaI communication, lovember 12, 2000.
49. Urban, 1anrra, 221-229 and 2S2.
S0. Ibid., 20!-20S and 21S.
S1. Mookerjee and klanna, 1he 1anrric way, 18õ.
S2. ßɫlnemann, ¨MaǨŐaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," S!, ßg. 1.
S!. ßaba lari uass, ¨1antra," lttp:JJwww.mountmadonna.orgJyogaJtaIks
S4. }olari, 1ccls jcr 1anrra, S9.
SS. ßɫlnemann, ¨MaǨŐaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," 19.
Sõ. ßaba lari uass, ¨1antra," www.mountmadonna.orgJyogaJtaIksJtwb9S10
.ltmI. On impurity (malam) as tle root ol ignorance see wlite, kiss cj rhe YcqinƮ,
S1. André ladoux, ¨MaǨŐaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrãIoka," in HaǨŐalas and
Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes ßronklorst (see note 1õ), 18:2!1.
S8. ßaba lari uass, Ashranqa Ycqa Primer (8anta cruz, cA: 8ri kama lubIisling,
59. Ibid., 64.
õ0. André ladoux, ¨1le ɖrƮcakra According to tle lirst clapter ol tle
YoginƮlɅdaya," in HaǨŐalas and Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes
ßronklorst (see note 1õ), 18:24õ-241.
õ1. ßrooks, ¨1le Ocean ol tle leart," !S!-!SS.
õ2. ladoux, ¨MaǨŐaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrãIoka," 2!4-2!S.
õ!. Ibid., 2!1n11, 2!2.
õ4. }ames l. 8anlord, ¨Literary Aspects ol }apan's uuaI-CaǨeɍa cuIt," in 6anesh:
5rudies cj an Asian 6cd, ed. kobert L. ßrown (AIbany, lY: 8tate University ol lew
York lress, 1991), 294.
õS. 1le argument presented by some tantric groups is tlat aII desires are
disguised Iongings lor contact witl tle divine. My understanding is tlat tle
Pacijc wcrld 264
activation ol sexuaI, sensuaI, or nonsexuaIJsensuaI desire strengtlens wiIIpower
(iccha ɍakri). 1lis contributes to a one-pointedness ol mind tlat can be utiIized
in spirituaI pursuits. 1lerelore, wletler tle tantric groups in question are
practitioners ol sexuaI rituaI or not, tley can aII reasonabIy be described as
manipuIators ol energy, or ɍakri.
õõ. ßaba lari uass, personaI communication, May 18, 2001.
õ1. 1le sexuaI rites ol tle VaiɓǨava 8alajiyãs are described in Ldward c. uimock,
1he Place cj rhe uidden Hccn: £rcric Hysricism in rhe VaiɓǨava-sahajiyã culr cj 8enqal
(clicago: University ol clicago lress, 1989).
õ8. ßulrman, interview by autlor, October 1, 2000.
õ9. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 11.
10. Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:4õ-41.
11. Ibid., 2:41.
12. Ibid., 2:28.
1!. wlite, kiss cj rhe YcqinƮ, 1!.
14. Ibid., 1õ. 8ome scloIars loId tle opposite view. 8ee 1. l. Mislra, 1he Impacr
cj 1anrra cn keliqicn and Arr, 1antra in contemporary kesearcles, voI. 1 (New
ueIli: u. k. lrintworId Ltd., 1991), !9.
1S. 8ee Urban, 1anrra, 204-20S, 221-228 lor a discussion ol sexuaIIy-oriented
lorms ol western tantra. 8ee leIen crovetto, ¨Lmbodied knowIedge and
uivinity: 1le lolm community as western-styIe ßãuIs," Ncva keliqic: 1he
jcurnal cj Alrernarive and £merqenr keliqicns 10, no. 1 (August 200õ): õ9-9S lor a
description ol a contemporary western tantric group witl some traditionaI
ßengaIi ßãuI practices.
1õ. }ames l. 8anlord, ¨1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," Hcnumenra
Nippcnica 4õ, no. 1 (8pring 1991): 2.
11. Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:91, 2:124-12S.
78. Ibid., 1:19!-194, 1:244.
19. 8lrii 8lrii Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram (caIcutta: A'nanda Ma'rga lraca'raka
8am'gla, 1984), !! and l. k. 8arkar, Pko01 in a Nurshell, voI. õ (caIcutta: A'nanda
Ma'rga lraca'raka 8am'gla, 1981), õ0. l. k. 8arkar was Įnandamɫrti's IegaI name
under wlicl le wrote sociaI pliIosoply. In voI. õ ol Pko01 in a Nurshell le said,
¨Like materiaIism, spirituaIity based on non-vioIence wiII be ol no beneßt to
lumanity. 1le words ol non-vioIence may sound nobIe, and quite appeaIing,
but on tle soIid ground ol reaIity lave no vaIue wlatsoever."
80. Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram, !0.
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 265
82. Ibid., 2-!.
8!. Ibid., 1.
84. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:240.
8S. Ibid., 1:240-241.
8õ. Ibid., 241.
81. LIizabetl U. larding, kali: 1he 8lack 6cddess cj uakshineswar (York ßeacl,
ML: licloIas-lays, Inc., 199!), xxx, uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey,
1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 1õ1, relerring to works sucl as tle 1ripurã-
bhairavƮ-ranrra, tle ɖãradã-rilaka-ranrra, and tle 8Ʌhar 1anrrasãra. Johari associates
ßlairavƮ witl tle active energy (kriya ɖakti) aspect ol kuǨŐalinƮ. }olari, 1ccls
jcr 1anrra, 10S.
88. ɖrƮ ɖrƮ Įnandamɫrti, unpubIisled Iongland manuscript based on lis dis-
courses, 1918, !.
89. ßɫlnemann, ¨MaǨŐaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," 28n!9.
90. uaniéIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S0-!S1.
91. Įnandamɫrti, unpubIisled manuscript, 4.
9!. Įnandamɫrti spoke ol tle luman mind as composed ol varying proportions
of mahar (I), aham (I do), and cirra (I lave done). A summary ol Įnanda
Mãrga cosmoIogy and esclatoIogy reIative to tle luman mind is avaiIabIe
in Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram, 10-12. An expanded version is contained in
8lrii 8lrii Ánandamúrti, Ánanda Harqa÷Philcscphy in a Nurshell, voI. 1 (caIcutta:
Ánanda Márga lracáraka 8aǝgla, 1988), 22-S1. On tle lact tlat tle luman
body itseIl is a signißcant, distinguisling lactor wlen comparing lumans to
otler embodied organic beings see aIso M. MerIeau-lonty, Phencmenclcqy cj
Percepricn, trans. c. 8mitl (London: koutIedge and lauI kegan, 19õ2) cited in
MiclaeI }ackson, Parhs 1cward a clearinq: kadical £mpiricism and £rhncqraphic
Inquiry (ßIoomington: Indiana University lress, 1989), 119.
94. ladoux, ¨1le ɖrƮcakra According to tle lirst clapter ol tle YoginƮlɅdaya,"
2!8 and ladoux, ¨MaǨŐaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrãIoka," 2!!.
95. ɖãkra uarɍan (1S, 1, !0) cited in klanna, Yanrra, 128.
9õ. Įnandamɫrti, unpubIisled manuscript, S.
91. lor tle purpose ol initiation, most Įnanda Mãrga sannyãsis use an image ol
the prarƮka printed witl ink on paper.
98. klanna, Yanrra, 91, pIate S!.
99. }ames l. 8anlord, ¨wind, waters, 8tupas, MandaIas: letaI ßuddlalood in
8lingon," japanese jcurnal cj keliqicus 5rudies 24, nos. 1-2 (8pring 1991): 9-10 .
Pacijc wcrld 266
100. Įnandamɫrti, unpubIisled manuscript, S-õ and Anandamurti, Ananda
101. Įnandamɫrti, unpubIisled manuscript, õ.
10!. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:4.
104. ßɫlnemann, ¨MaǨŐaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," !1-!2.
10S. Ibid., !!.
10õ. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:1.
101. Įnanda Mãrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984. McuanieI
says tlat one ol tle ¨most important times lor worslip ol tle goddesses in west
ßengaI" is tle niglt ol amãvãsya. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 92.
108. Įnanda Mãrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.
109. 8ee uavid l. Lorenzen, 1he kãpãlikas and kãlãmukhas: 1wc Lcsr ɖaivire 5ecrs,
ed. (ueIli: MotiIaI ßanarsidass, 1991).
110. Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:õ2. Anotler tantric practice utiIizes
a garIand ol luman skuIIs (kaunkãlamãla). 8ee Ibid., 2:91.
111. Ánandamúrti, Ánanda Vacanamrram, S:99.
112. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:12.
11!. le aIso stated tlat tle signißcance ol tle term kãpãlika became ¨distorted"
alter its originaI use. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:101.
114. lor an overview ol Madlyamika pliIosoply see lsuel-Li cleng, ¨1le
koots ol 7en ßuddlism," lttp:JJwww.buddlistinlormation.comJroots_ol_
11õ. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:1õ!.
111. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 87.
118. Ibid., 89, 92.
119. woodrolle, Hahãnirvãna 1anrra, 209n1.
120. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:9.
121. Ibid., 2:2S1-2S8.
122. The pãɍas pIay a centraI roIe in tle 1amiI sclooI ol ɖaiva-8iddlãnta. 8ee
léIene ßrunner, ¨}ñãna and kriyã: keIation between 1leory and lractice in tle
ɖaivãgamas," in kirual and 5pecularicn in £arly 1anrrism: 5rudies in ucncr cj Andre
Padcux, ed. 1eun Coudriaan (AIbany: 8tate University ol lew York lress, 1992),
crcverrc: 8hairavƮ cakra 267
11-1! and Mark 8. C. uyczkowski, 1he 5ranzas cn Vibraricn: 1he 5pandakãrikã wirh
lcur ccmmenraries (AIbany: 8tate University ol lew York lress, 1992), S.
123. Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:õ!, editoriaI lootnote (no number).
124. Ibid., 2:21.
12S. Ibid. lote tlat tle diacriticaI system in tlis bIock quote loIIows tle usage
in tle source.
12õ. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 8õ.
121. Įnanda Mãrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.
129. l. k. 8arkar, uisccurses cn Hahabharara, 2nd ed. (caIcutta: Ánanda Márga
lracáraka 8aǝgla, 1991), 41. According to c. kajagopaIaclari's version ol tle
Hahãbhãrara, kɅɓǨa caused darkness belore tle sun lad set so tlat }ayadratla
wouId be mistaken about tle time ol day and come out ol liding. 8ee c.
kajagopaIaclari, Hahabharara (ßombay: ßlaratiya Vidya ßlavan, 19õ2), 219.
1!0. 8ee aIso l. k. 8arkar's, Prcblems cj rhe uay, 4tl ed. (caIcutta: Ananda Marga
lubIications, 199!), !S.
1!1. 8anlord, ¨1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," 10-11.
1!2. 1le story is tlat 7en Master Ikkyɫ went knocking on peopIe's doors on lew
Year's uay, waving a skuII on a stick at tlem and wisling tlem Iong Iile. 1le
}apanese pubIic associates Master Ikkyɫ witl skuIIs and skeIetons. One ol lis
best prose works is entitIed 6aikcrsu (8keIetons). 8ee }ames l. 8anlord, 7en-Han
Ikkyɫ, larvard University center lor tle 8tudy ol worId keIigions, 8tudies in
worId keIigions lumber 2, ed. }ane I. 8mitl (clico, cA: 8cloIar's lress, 1981),
clap. S and pp. 40, 212-21õ.
1!!. 8lingon was transmitted to }apan lrom clina by its lounder kɫkai (144-8!S)
in tle earIy 800s. 8anlord, 7en-Han Ikkyɫ, 44.
1!4. 8anlord, ¨1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," 2-4.
1!S. Ibid., 4.
1!õ. Ibid., 10, 1S.
1!1. Ibid., 10, 1S.
1!8. Ibid., S.
1!9. Ibid., 1S-1õ.
140. Ibid., 1S.
141. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 88.
142. On tle use ol reddisl-brown cinnabar as an enIivening agent in tle 1aclikawa
8kuII kituaI, see 8anlord, ¨1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," 12.
Pacijc wcrld 268
14!. ßaba lari uass's VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas divide tleir interpretation ol tle
pañcha makãras into lour categories. At tle subtIest IeveI madya is drinking tle
intoxicating knowIedge ol Cod tlrougl tle secretions ol tle ligler gIands.
Hãǟsa is control of speech. Harsya is controlling prãǨã tlrougl prãǨãyãma. Hudrã
signißes rituaI Ieading to tle dissoIution ol tle mind at sahasrãra cakra. Hairhuna
is aclieved by raising kuǨŐalinƮ to ellect tle union ol ɖiva and ɖakti. Įnanda
Mãrgiis see tle pañcha makãras as laving eitler crude or a number ol subtIe
interpretations. 1leir subtIe interpretation lor tle ßrst tlree items is identicaI
witl tlat ol tle VairãgƮ VaiɓǨavas. Hudrã is taken to mean a mentaI position or
determination to keep company witl spirituaI persons. 1leir interpretations
of mairhuna are tle same. 8ee 8arasvati ßulrman, ¨1antra 8tudy Cuide lotes"
(unpubIisled work), 108 and Ánandamúrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:48-S1.
144. Ibid., 1:240-241.
14S. Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram, 1-!.
14õ. Įnandamɫrti distinguisled between tle interpretation ol yoga ollered by
latañjaIi and tlat ol tantra. le said, ¨According to latanjaIi yoga is tle suspension
ol mentaI propensities," wliIe in tantra yoga signißes tle union ol supreme
consciousness and unit or individuaI consciousness. 8ee Ánandamúrti, uisccurses
cn 1anrra, 2:104. An expansion ol tlis topic is avaiIabIe in 2:194-21!.
141. Įnanda Mãrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.
of their related practices.
who is often listed among the ten
Harish Johari describes her bodily seat as a triangle inside the
The describe her in predominantly
as smiling and adorned with jewels and rich clothing. 9
There are also references to
or been called
as both a tool that deity. The and
240 22 are said to 23 on some types of that One 24 are expanding patterns of energy that are constantly in motion. 26 associated each THE The eighth chapter of the 27 contains a rather other rites in the text inscribed with a triangle.25 He said that the He or mandala with a presiding deity and mantra. This theme is reiterated in the the 28 . It does not say in which direction the apex of with the dawn and thereby with the beginning of creation.
34 35 Regarding participation 36 . 33 and nonmystical aspects.241 referred to as the grain ( 29 In an essay from between the worshiper and his wife. If the worshiper is not married or 31 of ideation ( and 32 are yogic processes.
37 He is a silence ( 38 Ramanandin rejected caste distinctions and 39 as The word ( for higher said that the topic of 41 There is a tradition among them 42 .242 region of the Himalayas.
In addition to the ceremonies held at In 1998 a .243 43 44 45 entitled and 46 participants within other circles.
244 47 The (yoga 48 years.49 51 The format of the 52 only some its YANTRA .
The patterns of the Hari Dass entitled . The names of the said the listed in to 53 54 A 2 powder mandalas ( 55 the 56 57 .245 .
246 physical contact at all. The other is at and his wife sit at the center of the circle. A recites many and and types of nostrils. in the pre-meditation 59 eight completed afterwards. Hand mantras within their bodies. They perform (breath control series of hand connected to their daily meditation practice. intermittently.58 . One is at the time of performing hand when each participant performs a that brings his or her hand in contact with the hand of the person sitting alongside.
The hand described in the Those in the 61 are while in the 62 states that 63 James 64 H. Sanford says that hand The hand and .247 of tantric practice. Participants said that they were impressed with the ceremony . for wine.
65 He commented that the .248 .
71 72 His 73 74 75 76 .249 66 67 their beliefs.68 69 ago.
250 77 78 as Pro U T 79 the 81 82 He called as philosophical concepts.83 84 .
a concept similar to the idea of the are as those of animals.61 also describes yantra as a machine.87 88 The 18.251 merge the static principle within 85 .91 92 89 capable of 93 manifest as a mental yantra or microcosmic that the 94 While there is more emphasis on the concept of .86 .
The (downward-pointing well as a hexagram.252 95 96 He his elements of the as part of their initiation ( part of the process. to agree with .97 The mental manifestation of this diagrammed as a hexagram alone.98 99 as an ingredient in what they refer to as practices .
The name ( . two. Another reason has to do with the assertion that these are practices male and female and . The process While they do not bodies.253 He explained that this was why some they imbibe its ideation. of this are yogic and esoteric.
He said are those who in a classical mold.254 111 112 113 114 It 115 116 his and and were traditionally and penance-related . fetters eight fetters ( 121 122 The six enemies ( .117 118 Woodroffe described 119 were more integrated into the world.
255 are said to be 123 (blind refers not only to 124 see the style of this and 125 are 126 In the late 127 Each his was expected to reply that he or she was only interested 128 war.129 .
256 attempts to of tantric traditions. 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 and magical powers ( were also associated with the rite. 138 The were were responsible whom they can gain power.141 the remnants of a red 142 the worship materials .139 The for helping the practitioner gain power.
.257 /mandala in as a part of the are that this is a TANTRIC .
143 it is a solitary one. and of tantra.146 physical circle of participants as well as the alone. The type of is predominantly .258 and whose philosophical . Those members who practice 144 145 roots of simply as yogic.
259 (thriftiness ( impractical.147 His orientation was strictly microcosmic in that he did The .
167. .260 NOTES 172.
. Ibid.261 9th 26.
. 42.262 4th as one who practices the raising of can raise the 39. Ibid. Ibid.
64.263 59. Ibid. .
. Ibid. 81.264 ( . (New 78. Ibid.
of 95. the .265 - Johari associates 92. Ibid.
266 2nd 115. 87. 122. The . Ibid.
. 88.267 123.. Ánandamúrti 128. Ibid.
is controlling . of .268 is control of speech.