You are on page 1of 32


Independent Scholar
THE PHRASE 8uAIkAV cAkkA appears in descriptions of at least two
distinct contemporary tantric rites. In tle rst case, lairav cakra is
tle name given to a tantric rituaI sdhana (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 Vairg Vaiava guru aba lari uass
(b. 1922) use tle group ol sdhanas caIIed lairav cakra. 1lis type ol
rituaI appears to be based on tle sattvic (subtIe) or yogic variety ol cakra
pj (circIe worslip) rites described in tle Hahnirva-ranrra. That text
las been variousIy dated tiII as Iate as tle eiglteentl century.
aba lari uass says tlat tle lairav cakra tlat lis pjris (rituaI
or worslip speciaIists) teacl predates tle kinds practiced during India's
Iate medievaI period. 1le Vairag kituaI is a circuIar sdhana performed
witl an equaI number ol men and women tlat empIoys yanrras to invoke
tle various lorms ol uev. It does not lave a sexuaI component.
1le second utiIization ol lairav cakra is by nanda Mrgiis,
wlose ideoIogy is based on tle writings ol tle twentietl-century tantric
guru r r nandamrti (1921-1990, a.k.a. l. k. 8arkar). lor tlem,
lairav 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 purua (consciousness) and prakri (energy) tlat tley beIieve
lorms a universaI mandaIa. 1le mentaI, microcosmic equivaIent ol tle
mandaIa is lairav 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.
witlin linduism, lairav or 1ripura-lairav ranks as a goddess
who is often listed among the ten mahvidys.
The mahvidys are
energy aspects ol transcendent knowIedge usuaIIy associated witl
iva's destructive power.
1ley take botl lorribIe (uqra) and peaceluI or
benevoIent (saumya) lorms. uavid kinsIey says tlat among tle mahvidys,
no goddess las more lorms tlan lairav.
8le may appear as an attractive
young woman or Iook tlreatening and wiId. 8le is usuaIIy counted as
the sixth mahvidy and is associated witl re, 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
mldhra cakra (base ol tle spine) and ler roIe as tlat ol tle destroyer
ol nine mentaI impediments to union witl supreme consciousness.

8ometimes lairav is relerred to as tle one wlo muItipIies lerseIl in
an innity ol beings and lorms."
The 1ripur-bhairav-ranrra, tle rad-
rilaka-ranrra, and tle 8har 1anrrasra 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 rad-rilaka is ol particuIar note because
it is attributed to Lakmaa ueikendra, tle guru ol tle tentl- to
eIeventl-century kaslmiri aivite Ablinavagupta.
It repeatedly
deIineates an image ol lairav as tle creatress and controIIer ol tle
manilested universe.
nandamrti describes lairav akti tlis way
in lis twentietl-century nanda 5rram and in some ol lis discourses.
ueikendra's Iiterary styIe is decidedIy more poetic and devotionaI in
tone, but tle import is identicaI.

According to ktas, lairav 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 engaIi native kmprasd 8en (ca. 1118-111S).
the ivacarira sle is Iisted as tle lorm ol uev associated witl tle major
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 239
kra pha (energy center) at laridvra.
There are also references to
lairav or a bhairav as tle lemaIe practitioner witlin a aivite cakra
pj rituaI.
MaIe practitioners sometimes reler to tleir wives as bhairavs
or akris. nandamrti says tlat lemaIe practitioners ol tantra lave
been called bhairavs ever since iva rst tauglt lis dauglter lairav
tle buriaI ground meditation caIIed eitler kpIika 8dlana or liglt

lairav assumes an abstract, energetic lorm wlen represented by a
yanrra. uening tle words yanrra and mandala is daunting because tley
are muItivaIent. A perlectIy vaIid denition 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 at
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 denes 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 uddlism, tle mandaIa represents tle reaIm
ol enIigltenment, tle Iocus lor tle identication ol practitioner and
1le lindu 8rhmaas indicate tlat a mandaIa may serve as
a sacred encIosure" and sometimes a pIace specicaIIy constructed lor
rituaI purposes.
}oln woodrolle (18S-19!) 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 kaulvalyam and kulrava-ranrra Iiken tle reIationslip between
yanrra and deity to tlat between a body and its souI.
The kulrava-
ranrra .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.
ut tlese activities may not lave mucl inuence
on some types of yanrra described by nandamrti. 1lose yanrras that
le says lave an innate or inlerent presence witlin a luman or naturaI
structure wouId be activated and controIIed predominantIy tlrougl
cosmic consciousness.
One yanrraJmandaIa used by nanda Mrga las some stationary
eIements and some mobiIe eIements. nanda Mrga's organizationaI
embIem, caIIed tle prarka, las two equiIateraI triangIes tlat lorm a
lexagon, witlin wlicl tlere is a rising sun. Inside tle sun tlere is a
svsrika (swastika).
nandamrti said tle svsrika 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 aba 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.
lAIkAV cAkkA AccOkuIlC 1O
The eighth chapter of the Hahnirva-ranrra contains a rather
succinct description ol a lairav cakra rituaI associated witl tle kuIa
Mrga (patl).
1lis lorm ol worslip is Iess rituaIistic compared to
other cakra pj 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 ia-deva (personaI deity) is worsliped tlerein. 1len nanda-
lairav 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 1ripur-bhairav-ranrra, tle rad-rilaka-ranrra, and
the 8har 1anrrasra and seems to lave deveIoped a lootloId in popuIar
Indian cuIture.

crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 241
Alter nanda-lairav is worsliped, ler maIe counterpart nanda-
lairava is visuaIized and revered. 1le pair is tlen imagined in cosmic
or sexuaI union witlin tle jar. At tlis point ve substances or items
referred to as the pacha makra (ve M"-words) are consecrated witl
mantra and ollered to nanda-lairav. 1le ve substances (rarrvas) are
usuaIIy understood as meat (msa), sl (marsya), wine (madya), parcled
grain (mudr), and sexuaI rituaI (mairhuna), tlougl tle interpretation
ol words' meanings varies lrom one tantric group to anotler. 1le
practitioner eats or drinks tle rst lour items alter tley lave been
ollered. 1le text suggests adjustments in tle rarrvas lor tle kI Age.
1ley incIude substituting madhura-rraya (a combination ol miIk, sugar,
and loney) lor puried wine and mantra meditation on uev's leet lor
sexuaI rituaI.
wlere meat, sl, wine, and sexuaI rituaI were used as
pacha makra 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 akri and kra, woodrolle describes tle possibIe
use ol sexuaI rituaI in lairav 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.
1raditionaIIy, tle
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 (bhva) are used in deveIopmentaI comparison: pau (animaI),
vra (lumanJ brave), and divy (divine). 1le true luman being is said
to be brave (vrya) and seIl-controIIed in aII ways.
le or sle strives lor
tle expression ol divinity witlin.
woodrolle says tlat lor tle divy aspirant, tle ve rarrvas are yogic
lugl . Urban describes woodrolle's interpretation ol tle
Hahnirva-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
lairav cakra lrom otler cakra pj rituaIs by saying tlat it does not
invoIve restrictions on wlo can participate.
Regarding participation
in lairav cakra, aba lari uass expressed tle same opinion.
Pacijc wcrld 242
aba lari uass was born in tle AImora uistrict ol tle kumaon
region of the Himalayas.
He is a sannyssi (renunciant) ol tle Vairg
Vaiava 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 lteentl century and is an ollsloot ol tle Viitdvaita
sclooI ol quaIied nonduaIism tlat was estabIisled in soutl India by
kmnuja (1011-11!1).
Ramanandin rejected caste distinctions and
sexuaI discrimination, creating sannysins (lemaIe renunciants) as weII
as sannysins (maIe renunciants).
aba lari uass was initiated by a
Vairg Vaiava sdhu named kaglubir uass.
In 1911 aba 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 laridvra uistrict ol Uttar lradesl. aba
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 Vairg Vaiava Order
in India are independent ol aba lari uass's organization.
1le Vairg Vaiavas are an order ol married and unmarried
sannysis. The word vairq means a renunciant, IiteraIIy one witlout
(vai) passion (rqa). ur. 8arasvati ulrman, a Vairg Vaiava sannysin
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 Vairg Vaiavas and
nanda Mrgiis as a subtIe product ol shukra dhru, or Iympl. ulrman
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 identied tle Iatest ol tle written sources
as tlirteentl- tlrougl sixteentl-century latla yoga texts.

eyond tle lact tlat tley are quaIied nonduaIists, tle beIiels and
practices ol tle Vairg Vaiavas 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: 8hairav cakra 243
cIassied some engaIi uIs as Vairgs.
Civen tle Iack ol concurrence
in Vairg beIiels and practices, tlis cIassication may lave some merit
in tle sense tlat tle uIs ol engaI are aIso known lor tleir ecIecticism.
ut it does not seem to signily tlat Vairgs, Iike engaIi uI sannysis,
engage in sexuaI rituaI.
At Ieast tle American brancl ol Vairg Vaiavas
does not. It may mean tlat some uIs, Iike Vairg Vaiavas, Iead a
very controIIed sexuaI Iile and tlat a portion ol tle memberslip ol botl
groups does not marry.
MOUl1 MAuOllA Alu lAIkAV cAkkA 8ulAlA
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. aba 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 Aga yoga
according to latajaIi's Ycqa-srras. 1ley aIso make extensive use ol tle
8haqavadqr. works Iike tle Hahnirva-ranrra, kularnava-ranrra, iva
5amhira, and uarha Ycqa Pradpika are empIoyed as source books lor tleir
yoga teaclers because tley beIieve tlat combining tantric and yogic
practices leIps aspirants rene 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: 5eless 5ervice, 1he 5pirir cj karma Ycqa (no date).
aba lari uass's loIIowers lave practiced tleir traditionaI lairav
cakra ceremony at Mount Madonna gatlerings since 191S or 191. 1le
rituaIs were incorporated as part ol tleir generaI retreats. }anardan uass,
tle lairav cakra pjri,
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 Vairg Vaiava teaclers sucl as 8arasvati
ulrman in ouIder, 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, sana (yoga
postures), pryma (breatl controI teclniques), dance, and music. It
wouId aIso incIude traditionaI lairabi clakra 8adlanaa 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 ernard's estabIislment ol tle 1antrik Order in America.
1le idea tlat lairav 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 pacha makra utiIizing sexuaI rituaI. It was
reproduced in 1he 1anrric way, pubIisled in 1911. 1le painting's caption
identied it as an iIIustration ol lairav-clakra."
The format of the
painting is simiIar to an attraction yanrra" (karaayanrra).
only some cakra pj rites invoIve sexuaI rituaI.
1raditionaIIy, practices Iike lairav 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 Vairg 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 pjri }anardan uass, autlorized instructor 8arasvati ulrman, and
inlormants wlo attended a segment ol tle rite at a 8eptember 1-!, 2001
seminar in ouIder, coIorado.
1lL kI1UAL lkOcL88 81Ak18 wI1l A YANTRA
Mount Madonna's lairav cakra rituaI actuaIIy starts tle niglt
belore tle participants assembIe, wlen aba lari uass clooses a singIe
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 245
yanrra lor tle ceremony lrom among ten uev yanrras. The pjri said the
patterns of the yanrras come lrom an unpubIisled manuscript ol aba
Hari Dass entitled usmahvidyas. The names of the mahvidyas listed in
otler texts are usuaIIy kI, 1r, 1ripura-8undar (sometimes 8oda),
luvanevar, clinnamast, lairav, ulmvat, agaImukl, Mtag,
and kamaI. aba lari uass's discipIes understand tle mahvidyas to
be aspects ol a singuIar uev. One ol tlem, lowever, asked tle guru to
comment on tle goddess lairav. aba lari uass wrote tlat lairav
is tle power ol deatl." le continued to write tlat uestruction begins
lrom tle very rst moment ol birtl. ueatl is ever present in everytling.
lairavi 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 pjri constructs tle yanrra in tle open air utiIizing coIored sand,
reacling dimensions ol up to ten leet in size. According to leIne
runner's cIassication ol mandaIas, tlese wouId correspond to type
2 powder mandalas (rajcmaala).
1le Vairg Vaiavas' 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 lairav cakra ceremony
is instaIIed by means ol a mantra. In 199S aba lari uass identied
mandaIa, mudr (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 1anrrlcka, le says tlat
vidys (leminine mantras) are a lourtl item tlat make up tle loundation
ol lairava's teaclings.
1le Vairg's lairav 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. Vairg
Pacijc wcrld 246
Vaiava instructor ulrman said tlat tle dissoIution-ol-temporaI-
reIationslips ideation assisted peopIe in redening 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 mudrs,
when each participant performs a mudr 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 pjar
and his wife sit at the center of the circle. A pj (worslip) tabIe Iaden
witl pictures ol many deities accompanies tlem. 1lere is no sacriciaI
re. 1le position ol tle sand yantra in reIation to tle circIe ol participants
is uncIear. 1le ceremony incIudes a series ol sanas, some ol wlicl are
perlormed in graceluIIy coordinated coIIective movements. 1lis creates
an ellect akin to tlat ol a dance. 1le pjar recites many bja mantras
(seed" mantras tlat contain vibratory syIIabIes) wliIe tle participants
concentrate at dillerent cakras within their bodies. They perform sabja
(witl mantra) and nirbja (witlout mantra) pryma (breath control
teclniques) as weII as sakumbhka (witl breatl retention) pryma
and types of pryma witlout tle restriction ol tle practitioner's
1le participants are directed to execute various land mudrs
intermittently. Hand mudrs are gestures tlat lave a practicaI, yogic
ellect and a reIigiousIy-toned association. lrom tle yogic standpoint
tle execution ol land mudrs ensures tle clanneIing ol energy into tle
spinaI coIumn and assists in tle raising ol kualin (a coiIed, serpentine,
spirituaI energy in tle spine). aba lari uass's students perlorm two
series of hand mudrs connected to their daily meditation practice.
1lese contain twenty-lour mudrs produced belore meditation and
eight completed afterwards.
lour ol tle mudrs in the pre-meditation
group are specicaIIy associated witl incarnations ol Viu (numbers
18-21 represent tle lisl, 1ortoise, oar, and Lion).
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 247
1le reIigious pairing ol land mudrs witl deities is a common leature
of tantric practice. The hand mudrs described in the Ycqinhdaya are
particuIar to ten aspects ol 1ripura-8undar.
Those in the kulrava-
ranrra incIude, but are not necessariIy Iimited to, ivaJlairava, r
(tle goddess), Viu, tle 8un, tle Moon, and Caapati,
while in the
1anrrlcka tley are dedicated to various aspects ol ivaJ8adivaJ
lairava, lar, lar-par, and Apar.
citing Ablinavagupta, ladoux
states that mudrs are meant to bring about tle practitioner's mentaI and
bodiIy identication witl tle deity to wlicl tley correspond.
H. Sanford says that hand mudrs are used to invoke, compIiment, and
disperse deities witlin some ol 8lingon's }apanese uddlist rituaIs.

The hand mudrs in aba lari uass's lairav cakra rituaI are probabIy
Iinked to tle worslip ol deities as weII. ulrman said tleir rituaI
incIudes tle worslip ol a number ol deities incIuding tle navaqrahas
1le recitation ol mantras in tlis lorm ol lairav cakra incIudes
108 repetitions ol wlat tley reler to as lairav mantras." 1lis is an
exampIe ol one ol tleir vidys. 1ley oller owers and perlorm various
types ol meditation, concIuding witl a mantra meditation on uev. 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, sanas, mudrs and pryma.
AII ol tle eIements tlat miglt be seen as rituaIistic are described as eitler
spirituaIIy elcacious or devotionaI. 1lere is no consumption ol materiaIs
sucl as wine and meat, nor sexuaI rituaI. aba 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 conguration 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 aivite energy and tle Iatter witl akti. One inlormant
described tle participants at tlis rituaI as deepIy allected and outside
ordinary consciousness.
Pacijc wcrld 248
8lLcULA1IOl8 Ol 1lL LVOLU1IOl Ol
8LXUAL Alu lOl8LXUAL 1Al1kIc lkAc1IcL8
As part ol my 2000 interview witl ler, ulrman summarized aba
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 pj 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 identied as ralman, katriyan,
and Vaeslyan) were permitted to engage in certain reIigious practices.
women and dra 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 sandhy
bh (twiIiglt Ianguage), in wlicl words lave muItipIe interpretations.
1ley practiced a subtIe version ol tle pacha makras.
aba lari uass said tle cruder interpretations ol tle pacha makras
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 quaIied 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 aba 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
Vaiava 8alajiys were engaged in tle rajasic (mutative) or tamasic
(static) practice ol tle pacha makras as Vraclari (brave) rituaIists.
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 249
1lerelore, ulrman said, at Mount Madonna tley reler to tleir
lairav cakra as a very oId, traditionaI lorm ol tle rituaI because
it is nonsexuaI. aba lari uass wrote tlat lairav cakra is used in
aII dillerent kinds ol 1antric rituaIs," incIuding tlose ol tle engaIi
8alajiys and perlaps tlose ol uddlists.
1le engaIi 8alajiys lave
a aktic orientation but it is uncIear to wlat extent tleir pliIosoply and
practices correspond to tlose ol tle uddlist or Vaiava 8alajiys.

aba lari uass said tle engaIi 8alajiys were a group composed ol
mainIy louseloIders wlo practiced in secret and did not proseIytize
their beliefs.
1lis ts }une McuanieIs's description ol medievaI aktism
as an esoteric reIigion practiced by smaII groups ol 1antric yogis."
nandamrti asserted tlat 8adiva 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 aba lari uass, le said tlat tley were tlose wlo
were unabIe to understand tle subtIer interpretations ol tle pacha
makras (tle imitators), but as a sociaI relormer le was more criticaI
ol tlem, IabeIing tleir sdhana an immoraI antisociaI activity."
interpretation ol lairav cakra wiII be discussed beIow.
Among scloIars ol lindu and uddlist 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
mysticaI metaplysics."
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 nd 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."

nanda Mrga(1le latl ol Iiss) is an internationaI socio-spirituaI
tantric sect tlat was lounded in 19SS at }amaIpur, ilar 8tate, India. It is
a new, aIternative reIigious movement wlose tenets view proseIytizing
Pacijc wcrld 250
as a part ol spirituaI practice. nanda Mrga las a presence in over one
lundred countries. 1le organization sent its cryas (spirituaI teaclers)
to tle United 8tates in tle Iate 190s and registered as an American
reIigious entity soon alterwards. 1le lounder and guru, nandamrti,
did not cIaim to be part ol any current Iineage and associated limseIl
witl tantra yoga reacling back to 8adiva. le said tlat 8adiva was an
listoricaI gure lrom about seven tlousand years ago wlo was tle rst
to systematize tantra.
elore tle advent ol 8adiva, nandamrti said
tlat tantra existed in scattered and primitive lorms witlin its kaslmiri
and engaIi sclooIs.
1le organization's ideoIogy emplasizes sociaI
service work aIong witl tle searcl lor seIl-reaIization.
nanda Mrga's ontoIogy is monistic and microcosmic. 1leir
cryas teacl a tantra yoga based on Aga yoga. 8ince its incepricn,
tle organization las been relormist witl a Iarge number ol sannysis as
organizationaI workers. nandamrti was tle autlor ol over two lundred
books on a wide range ol topics. 8ome ol lis books, originaIIy written
in engaIi, 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. nandamrti created a
wing ol nanda Mrga, caIIed lkOU1ist UniversaI, to propagate tlose
ideas in 19S9. nanda MrgaJlkOU1ist UniversaI accepts revoIutionary
sociaI tleory and las a controversiaI position on tle use ol lorce.
1le name lairav appears in tle ideoIogy ol nanda Mrga in severaI
instances. nandamrti used it to deIineate a portion ol tleir cosmoIogy
and to describe tle process ol kta tantra. In some ol lis discourses
on spirituaI practice le spoke about lairav cakra specicaIIy. witl
regard to tle unloIding ol tle cosmos, nandamrti said lairav akti
is tle name given to lrakti at tle stage in wlicl lurua is quaIied by
the quas (binding principIes).
8le was identied as tle creatress ol
tle manilested state, wliIe lairava was conceived ol as ler witness.

1lis is not to indicate tlat nandamrti and lis loIIowers accept
any lorm ol lrakti as laving independent agency.
He called Prakri
Purua Operative lrincipIe" and lis ontoIogicaI stance was essentiaIIy
monistic, tlougl le did accept tle distinctiveness ol lrakti and lurua
as philosophical concepts.

witlin lis description ol kta tantra, nandamrti utiIized tle
name lairav akti wliIe eIucidating tle stages ol ktcra, tle
akti cuIt le said appeared alter tle lurnic doctrine was estabIisled.

crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 251
le indicated tlat ktcra is a process in wlicl successive stages ol
energy-quaIied consciousness are dissoIved in one anotler untiI tley
arrive at tle supreme state. 1le loIIowers ol ktcra attempt to
merge the static principle within rmasik energy into lavn akti or
kIik akti, tle mutative principIe lrom lavn akti into lairav
akti, and tle sentient energy lrom lairav akti into kaoik akti
or Malsarasvat, tle spirituaI elluIgence."
kaoik akti is caIIed
dy akti, a combination ol tle tlree quas. nandamrti denes
lairav akti as energy in action," and says ler acoustic root is a.

1le listoricaI, Iiterary association between lairav and tle coIor red
(cited above) Iends weiglt to lis identication ol ler witl tle mutative
principIe, or rajas.

lAIkAV cAkkA AccOkuIlC 1O lAluA MkCII8
In some ol nandamrti's spirituaI discourses le discussed tle
nature ol yanrra. le dened it in an expanded sense, as a controIIed
macline tlat is capabIe ol a specic output.
The 8haqavadqr 18.61
also describes yantra as a machine.
nandamrti 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 Vidy Vcaspati in
the kalya 0paniad,
nameIy, tlat tle lorms ol aII manilested tlings
are yanrras. nandamrti's point was tlat tle luman body, due to its
lorm, produces particuIar ellects not obtainabIe lrom otler bodies, sucl
as those of animals.
8pecicaIIy, tle luman body is a yanrra capable of
producing or creating divinity.
I wouId Iike to stress tlat nandamrti
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-specic gIanduIar structure and concomitant mentaI
conguration, was capabIe ol converting mind-stull into divine-stull,
or consciousness.
nandamrti 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. Andr ladoux says
that the Ycqinhdaya lrom tle rvidy tradition and Ablinavagupta's
1anrrlcka 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 aivism, nanda Mrga's ontoIogy las a certain degree ol
resonance witl tlem, being botl monistic and microcosmic. 1le kra
uaran says, 1le disc ol tle body-cosmos is tle best ol aII yantras."
nandamrti 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 prarka (organizationaI embIem) to represent tlem. 1le symboIic
elements of the prarka are dominated by two equiIateraI triangIes
lorming wlat resembIes tle 8eaI ol 8oIomon. nanda Mrgiis caII it
tle 8tar ol iva. 1ley use tlis mandaIaJyanrra as part of their initiation
(dk) 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. nanda Mrgiis lave
a contrary, minority viewpoint. 1ley say tle rdhva rrikca (upward-
pointing triangIe) signies energy, prakri, 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 identies a yanrra witl a centraI upward-
pointing triangIe as a kta yanrra. The adhah rrikca (downward-pointing
triangIe) is described by Mrgiis as denoting tle introverted searcl lor
seIl-reaIization tlrougl spirituaI practices. 1lerelore tley associate it
witl lurua, ratler tlan lrakti. 1lere is a yanrra caIIed kIa lairava
cakra tlat prominentIy leatures tlree downward-pointing triangIes as
well as a hexagram.
1lerelore tle nanda Mrgiis do not appear to be
compIeteIy aIone in tleir views on tle symboIism ol lindu geometric
iconograply. 1leir use ol triangIes to represent lrakti and lurua
ecloes, in a simpIe way, 8lingon's grand mandaIas": Carblakoa (womb
MandaIa) and Vajradltu (Vajra MandaIa).
8ome nanda Mrgiis utiIize tle lexagram ol tleir prarka as an
ingredient in what they refer to as kplika practices. 1le nature ol
tlese practices wiII be discussed beIow. nandamrti caIIed tle stand-
aIone lexagram lairav cakra. Its name is derived lrom tle lact
tlat lairav akti is said to determine tle reIationslip between tle
plysicaI, vibrationaI worId and tle causaI matrix, or spirituaI splere.

nandamrti said tlat lairav cakra, as a pattern ol active energy, is
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 253
instrumentaI lor inspiring, eIevating, and guiding tle mind towards
supreme consciousness.
He explained that this was why some sdhakas
sit in its plysicaI manilestation lor spirituaI practices perlormed in
tle buriaI ground.
y sitting in tle cakra they imbibe its ideation.
nandamrti said tlat tle spirituaI aspirant wlo enters tle reaIm
controIIed by lairav akti experiences tle unity ol tle universe.
According to 8. k. k. kao's system ol dening yantras,
sitting in lairav
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 lnemann notes tlat yanrras of this
category, caIIed yanrras lor estabIisling a loundation" (srhpanayanrras),
present simpIe geometric slapes and lunction as seats.

klLIkA 8ulAlA, MAulYAMIkA UuulI8M,
Alu 1lL kI1UAL U8L Ol 1lL lUMAl 8kULL
nanda Mrga's kplika sdhanas are yogic and esoteric. The process
lor tle meditator invoIves concentrating lis or ler individuaI lairav
akti at a nucIear point" (cakra) in tle body and using tlis internaI seat
as a point lrom wlicl to pass into tle kaoik akti described above.

ecause tle tlree quas are unexpressed in kaoik akti, merging into
it is said to signily tle dissoIution ol tle individuaI mind into cosmic
consciousness. nanda Mrga's kplika sdhanas traditionaIIy take
pIace around tle time ol tle new moon (amvsya).
While they do not
aIways occur in cremation or buriaI grounds, tlat is tleir practitioner's
rst cloice ol site. One reason lor tlis is tle beIiel tlat cremation and
buriaI grounds are Iocations ol eIevated concentrations ol pra (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 nanda
Mrgiis caII tle pas (bonds or letters) and ripus (enemies). 1lis idea wiII
be eIaborated beIow. Inlormants indicate tlat nanda Mrga's kplika
practices diller lrom individuaI to individuaI as weII as between tleir
male and female sannysis, caIIed avadhras and avadhriks.
1lougl tle activities ol lindu kplikas are not usuaIIy associated
witl uddlist ideaIs ol spirituaI sociaI service, nandamrti beIieved
tlat tlere was originaIIy, and stiII remains, a connection between tle
two. The name kplika appears to come lrom tle 8anskrit word lor skuII
(kpla). 8ince tle medievaI period kplikas lave been associated witl
Pacijc wcrld 254
spirituaI practices tlat utiIize a luman skuII.
nandamrti said tlis
was accurate,
but le presented an additionaI etymoIogy ol tle word
kplika. le said tlat one ol tle meanings ol tle ploneme ka" is tle
objectivated worId.
1lerelore luman beings wlo take on tle moraI
responsibiIity ol serving tlis objectivated worId are caIIed kplika."
le traced tle rst use ol tle term kplika to tle Madlyamika uddlists
and said tlat tley used it lor tlose sdhakas wlo took tle nobIe vow ol
serving aII in tle Iiving and non-Iiving worIds."
1lis is a bodlisattva-
Iike vow. Madlyamika uddlism was lounded in second-century India
by lgrjuna and introduced into clina by kumrajva (!!4-41!).
was known as tle 8an-Iun 1sung, or 1lree 1reatise sclooI ol uddlism
in clina, korea, and }apan.
nandamrti consistentIy asserted tlat it
is absoIuteIy wrong" to make a distinction between lindu tantra and
uddlist tantra because 1antra is one and onIy one."
lot surprisingIy,
his avadhras and avadhriks dedicate Iiletime alter Iiletime to spirituaI
sociaI service.
McuanieI says tlat tle avadhras and kplikas were traditionally
loIk tantric sects" wlo tried to aclieve supernaturaI powers tlrougl
penance-related sdhanas.
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 identication
witl divinity.
Woodroffe described avadhras as tlose wlo lave caste
aside" tle worId or separated lrom it so tlat tley miglt constantIy
contempIate supreme consciousness.
nandamrti beIieved tlat tley
were more integrated into the world. He said avadhras are those who
view everytling witl equanimity" and Iive in tle worId as il tley are
secondary manilestations ol iva.

nandamrti cast lis twentietl-century kplikas 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 denes kplika sdhana as a lorm ol spirituaI practice
tlat causes tle aspirant to conlront and overcome aII tle inlerent
fetters and enemies ol tle luman mind."
nanda Mrgiis consider tle
eight fetters (aa pa) to be qha (aversion or latred), lajj (slame),
kula (pride ol Iineage or caste), la (labit), mna (pride ol knowIedge),
juqups (censure), bhaya (lear), ak (doubt).
The six enemies (a ripu)
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 255
are said to be kma (desire), krcdha (anger), lcbha (avarice), mcha (blind
attaclment), mada (pride), and mrsarya (jeaIousy).

nanda Mrga's denition ol kplika sdhana refers not only to
tle internaI aspect or mentaI struggIe ol tle practices, but aIso to tle
externaI aspect. nandamrti said tlat tle externaI aspect ol tle glt
against lear, latred, and slame invoIved cremation ground practices, but
le did not express any condence in tle pubIic to understand tlem.
wlen tlose wlo lave IittIe knowIedge ol sdhana see the style of this
externaI glt, 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 glt 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.
nandamrti's service lermeneutics regarding kplikas are
cIassicaIIy oriented. ut 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 uddlist, condemns tle attempt to acquire siddhis
as wastes ol time and energy, and as moraI temptations."
In the late
1910s nandamrti used to gatler lis sannysis 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 sannysi 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. nandamrti must not lave lad mucl condence in
his sannysis` 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.

nandamrti'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 ka's use
ol occuIt powers to deceive and kiII a warrior named }ayadratla in tle
Hahbhrara war.
lrom tlis exampIe, and lis own statements on tle
we see tlat nandamrti 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. 1nrrikas` 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.
1le luman
skuII in particuIar las a deep impact on us by leIping us to recaII tlat
our embodied state is transient. 7en master Ikky 8jun (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 Ikky's doctrine ol sckushin jbursu, or buddlalood in
tlis very body," was inlerited lrom 8lingon, an aImost pureIy Indian
lorm ol tantrism."

1le 1aclikawa-ry was a movment witlin 8lingon tlat was most
active during tle tweIltl tlrougl sixteentl centuries.
8linj's juh
Yjinsh, 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 uids.

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 kin were
also associated with the rite.
The p`c souIs or kin were responsible
for helping the practitioner gain power.

1le kta rnrrikas ol west engaI use tle skuII as an image ol deatl
and translormation in a way simiIar to master Ikky. kta tantra loIk
rituaIists aIso consider tle skuII to be a direct Iink to spirits tlrougl
whom they can gain power.
A visitor to an nanda Mrga avadhra the
day alter lis liglt 8dlana observed tlat tle monk was stiII wearing
the remnants of a red sindra (vermiIion) rilaka (auspicious marking)
between lis eyebrows. 8o was tle luman skuII sitting on tle oor.
1le visitor toId me tlat tle sindra 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 nanda Mrga. LspeciaIIy tle renunciants ol
crcverrc: 8hairav 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 nandamrti 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 kplikas` rituaI use ol a skuII in tleir
sdhana miglt be connected to tle acquisition ol occuIt powers.
1lere is one aspect ol tle use ol lairav cakra as a yanrra/mandala
in kplika sdhana tlat las not been discussed. It appears tlat tlere are
simiIarities between tle lormation ol a lairav cakra lexagram and
protective acts ol klana, wlicl naiI oll" and sacraIize a space. 8ome
nanda Mrgiis are reported to utiIize klana as a rak (protection)
during otler types ol spirituaI practices. ecause 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 lairav
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. ut tle lacts
are that this is a sdhana 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 lairav
cakra did not aIso lave a protective aspect lor kplikas, it seems tle
rituaI wouId lave remained excIusiveIy on tle mentaI IeveI.
cOlcLU8IOl: 1wO VLkY uIllLkLl1
1lere are yogis witlin aba lari uass's Vairg Vaiava Iineage and
among nanda Mrga's kplikas wlo practice lairav cakra sdhana.
ut 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 pacha
1le dillerences, lowever, are more numerous. lairav cakra
lor tle Vairgs is a coIIective rite wliIe lor nanda Mrga's kplikas
it is a solitary one.
It is possibIe to make a generaI assertion tlat botl rituaIs are an
invocation ol uev. 1lis wouId be reasonabIe despite tle lact tlat nanda
Mrga is a aivite tantric sect and not aII tle Vairg Vaiavas are
ktas. ecause nanda Mrga's doctrines are monistic and simiIar in
some ways to kaslmir aivism, it wouId be more accurate to caII tleir
kplikas` lairav cakra an invocation ol energy as a pliIosoplicaI
concept. 1lis is low nandamrti claracterizes botl lis descriptions
ol tle various akris in ktcra
and of prakri in lis own aivite
Those members who practice kplika rituaI invoIving a luman
skuII appear to be utiIizing loIk tantra. wletler tlis is a degeneration
ol second-century Madlyamika uddlist beIiel or represents tle true
roots of kplika practice awaits lurtler researcl.
1le Vairgs consider tleir pliIosoply to be monistic. levertleIess,
tley aIIow room in it lor tle manilestation ol uev in many lorms
and appear to consider tlese as semi-distinct entities, somewlat Iike
contemporary linduism. 8o wliIe tleir lairav 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 Vairg's lairav 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 Mrgiis is tle mandaIaJyanrra
alone. The rajcmaala type of yanrra, constructed by Vairgs lrom
coIored sand, las an artistic appeaI lor tle participants as weII as being
tlouglt ol as a spirituaIIy elcacious means ol inviting uev to preside
over tleir rite. 1le mandaIaJyanrra lormed by tle Mrgiis 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 Mrgiis' 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: 8hairav cakra 259
raka by demarcating a sacred space. 1lis type ol rituaI practice reveaIs
a tendency towards yogic symboIization and bodiIy interiorization ol
ideoIogy among tle Mrgiis as weII as an apparent apariqraha (thriftiness
or restraint) witl regard to tle use ol materiaIs.
1le Vairg's seIection ol yanrra invoIves astroIogicaI caIcuIations
and tleir lairav cakra ceremony incIudes a worslip ol tle nine pIanets
(navaqraha). nanda Mrgiis do not accept a deication ol tle pIanets.
1ley do not use astroIogicaI caIcuIations lor lairav cakra, nor any
otler rituaI ol tleirs, because nandamrti considered tle procedures
His orientation was strictly microcosmic in that he did
not tlink anyrhinq superuous 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 pryma,
clanting ol mantras, perlormance ol mudrs, and meditations. 1ley are
consecrating a ratler Iarge plysicaI area, wlen on some occasions tlere
are lundreds ol participants. 1le Vairg Vaiavas utiIize tle rituaI
circIe slape and perlormance, in addition to tleir yanrras, to create
lairav's cakra and invocation. lor tle nanda Mrga kplikas, 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 sdhaka's psyclo-spirituaI state by caIibrating
extroverted materiaI and sociaI tendencies witl introverted spirituaI
incIinations. 8imuItaneousIy, tley consider tle compIete manilested
universe to be lairav 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 . Urban, 1anrra:
5ex, 5ecrecy, Pclirics, and Pcwer in rhe 5rudy cj keliqicn (erkeIey: University ol
caIilornia lress, 200!), 142 points out tlat many peopIe suspect it ol being
composed in tle Iate eiglteentl century.
2. nandamrti said tle ten mahvidys 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 nanda
Mrga uses in its pubIications is one ol nandamrti's inventions. le close
a simpIied way ol writing koman 8anskrit tlat uses tle ' " or

" aImost
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 nandamrti").
!. AIain uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, oIIingen 8eries LXXIII (lew York: lantleon
ooks, 194), 28 and uavid kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine: 1he 1en
Hahvidys (erkeIey, cA: University ol caIilornia lress, 1991), 112.
4. kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 172.
S. uaniIou, 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.
. }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 ooks, 198), 10S.
1. Ajit Mookerjee and Madlu klanna, 1he 1anrric way: Arr 5cience kirual
(London: 1lames and ludson, 1911), 190-191.
8. uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine
leminine, 11.
9. kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 167.
10. Ibid., 19. lor anotler portrayaI ol lairav as tle cosmic controIIer see tle
kulacmai Niqama relerred to by kita uasCupta 8lerma, 8acred Immanence:
keections 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,
1998), 108-109.
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 261
11. 1lere are a number ol simiIarities between tle pliIosoplies ol kaslmir
aivism and nanda Mrga. 8ee leIen crovetto, 1le clanging lace ol aivite
1antrism" (A tlesis, University ol 8outl lIorida, 1999), 1!-14.
12. kmprasd 8en, 6race and Hercy in uer wild uair: 5elecred Pcems rc rhe Hcrher
6cddess, trans. Leonard latlan and cIinton 8eeIy (lrescott, A7: lolm lress,
1999), SS.
1!. u. c. 8ircar, 1he kra Phas, 2nd ed. (ueIli: MotiIaI anarsidass, 191!), 40.
14. }une McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls: Pcpular 6cddess wcrship in
wesr 8enqal (Oxlord: Oxlord University lress, 2004), 111. 1lougl cakra pj
IiteraIIy means circIe worslip" tle plrase las become commonIy associated
witl sexuaI rituaIs.
1S. 8lrii 8lrii nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, voI. 2 (caIcutta: Ananda Marga
lubIications, 1994), 18, 110.
1. Cudrun lnemann, MaaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," in
Haalas and Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes ronklorst, riII's
IndoIogicaI Library, voI. 18 (Leiden: riII, 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), S.
18. LIizabetl ten Crotenluis, cljlime: 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, akri and kra: ssays and Addresses, 9
ed. (Madras:
Canesl & co., 1981), !49-!S0. 8ee aIso tle Ycqin 1anrra in uaniIou, uindu
Pclyrheism, !S1.
21. uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S0 and klanna, Yanrra, 12.
22. uougIas kenlrew rooks, 1le Ocean ol tle leart: 8eIections lrom tle
kulrava 1anrra," in 1anrra in Pracrice, ed. uavid Cordon wlite (lrinceton, l}:
lrinceton University lress, 2000), !S.
2!. uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S1 and klanna, Yanrra, 19.
24. 1le swastika is an ancient, auspicious lindu symboI said to bestow good
2S. aba lari uass, 1aIks witl abaji, 1antra," lttp:JJwww.mountmadonna
26. Ibid.
Pacijc wcrld 262
21. Artlur AvaIon (}oln woodrolle), 1he 6rear Liberaricn: Hahnirva 1anrra, 4

ed. (Madras: Canesl & co., 19!), 221-2!!. nandamrti toId lis loIIowers tlat
tley practice kaoIa (kuIa) sdhana. You are aII kaoIa and I am MalkaoIa," le
said. le dened a kaoIa sdhaka as one who practices the raising of kulakualin
(coiIed serpentine spirituaI energy in tle body) and a MalkaoIa as a guru wlo
can raise the kualin ol otlers. 8ee nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra 2:41,
2:S!. On tle division ol tle kauIa" or kaoIa" and 1ntrika" sects see uavid
Cordon wlite, kiss cj rhe Ycqin: 1anrric 5ex in Irs 5curh Asian ccnrexrs (clicago:
University ol clicago lress, 200!), 18.
28. uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey, 1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine
leminine, 11. 8ee an art image ol lairav in association witl a rosy-coIored
dawn at lttp:JJwww.artoegendindia.comJbrowseJlJ10J.
29. AvaIon (woodrolle), Hahnirva 1anrra, 2!0 and woodrolle, akri and kra,
!0. woodrolle, akri and kra, 401.
!1. Ibid., !89 and !9!-!9S.
!2. Ibid., 412. 1le same view is expressed in 8lrii 8lrii nandamrti, nanda
Vacanamrram Parr V (caIcutta: nanda Mrga lracraka 8agla, 1981), !-4.
!!. woodrolle, akri and kra, 401.
!4. Urban, 1anrra, 1!.
!S. AvaIon (woodrolle), Hahnirva 1anrra, 221 and 2!2.
!. aba 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 ooks, 1999), !4.
!8. Ibid., !4.
39. Ibid.
40. 8arasvati ulrman (a discipIe ol aba lari uass), interview by autlor,
October 1, 2000, ouIder, coIorado, Iongland notes. 1le Vairg Vaiavas
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," !4.
42. Ibid.
4!. }eanne Openslaw, 5eekinq 8uls cj 8enqal (lew ueIli: cambridge University
lressJloundation ooks, 2004), 22.
crcverrc: 8hairav 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. ulrman, interview by autlor, October 1, 2000.
4. }anardan uass (discipIe ol aba lari uass), personaI communication,
lovember 12, 2000.
41. kituaIs ol 1antra" advertisement, Ycqa jcurnal Haqazine, 8eptemberJ
October 1998, p. 2.
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, 18.
S2. lnemann, MaaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," S!, g. 1.
S!. aba lari uass, 1antra," lttp:JJwww.mountmadonna.orgJyogaJtaIks
S4. }olari, 1ccls jcr 1anrra, S9.
SS. lnemann, MaaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," 19.
S. aba lari uass, 1antra," www.mountmadonna.orgJyogaJtaIksJtwb9S10
.ltmI. On impurity (malam) as tle root ol ignorance see wlite, kiss cj rhe Ycqin,
S1. Andr ladoux, MaaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrIoka," in Haalas and
Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes ronklorst (see note 1), 18:2!1.
S8. aba lari uass, Ashranqa Ycqa Primer (8anta cruz, cA: 8ri kama lubIisling,
1981), 1.
59. Ibid., 64.
0. Andr ladoux, 1le rcakra According to tle lirst clapter ol tle
Yoginldaya," in Haalas and Yanrras in rhe uindu 1radiricns, ed. }olannes
ronklorst (see note 1), 18:24-241.
1. rooks, 1le Ocean ol tle leart," !S!-!SS.
2. ladoux, MaaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrIoka," 2!4-2!S.
!. Ibid., 2!1n11, 2!2.
4. }ames l. 8anlord, Literary Aspects ol }apan's uuaI-Caea cuIt," in 6anesh:
5rudies cj an Asian 6cd, ed. kobert L. rown (AIbany, lY: 8tate University ol lew
York lress, 1991), 294.
S. 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 akri). 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 akri.
. aba lari uass, personaI communication, May 18, 2001.
1. 1le sexuaI rites ol tle Vaiava 8alajiys are described in Ldward c. uimock,
1he Place cj rhe uidden Hccn: rcric Hysricism in rhe Vaiava-sahajiy culr cj 8enqal
(clicago: University ol clicago lress, 1989).
8. ulrman, interview by autlor, October 1, 2000.
9. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 11.
10. nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:4-41.
11. Ibid., 2:41.
12. Ibid., 2:28.
1!. wlite, kiss cj rhe Ycqin, 1!.
14. Ibid., 1. 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 uIs," Ncva keliqic: 1he
jcurnal cj Alrernarive and merqenr keliqicns 10, no. 1 (August 200): 9-9S lor a
description ol a contemporary western tantric group witl some traditionaI
engaIi uI practices.
1. }ames l. 8anlord, 1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," Hcnumenra
Nippcnica 4, no. 1 (8pring 1991): 2.
11. nandamrti, 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. (caIcutta: A'nanda
Ma'rga lraca'raka 8am'gla, 1981), 0. l. k. 8arkar was nandamrti's IegaI name
under wlicl le wrote sociaI pliIosoply. In voI. ol Pko01 in a Nurshell le said,
Like materiaIism, spirituaIity based on non-vioIence wiII be ol no benet 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.
81. Ibid.
crcverrc: 8hairav cakra 265
82. Ibid., 2-!.
8!. Ibid., 1.
84. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:240.
8S. Ibid., 1:240-241.
8. Ibid., 241.
81. LIizabetl U. larding, kali: 1he 8lack 6cddess cj uakshineswar (York eacl,
ML: licloIas-lays, Inc., 199!), xxx, uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, 282 and kinsIey,
1anrric Visicns cj rhe uivine leminine, 11, relerring to works sucl as tle 1ripur-
bhairav-ranrra, tle rad-rilaka-ranrra, and tle 8har 1anrrasra. Johari associates
lairav witl tle active energy (kriya akti) aspect ol kualin. }olari, 1ccls
jcr 1anrra, 10S.
88. r r nandamrti, unpubIisled Iongland manuscript based on lis dis-
courses, 1918, !.
89. lnemann, MaaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," 28n!9.
90. uaniIou, uindu Pclyrheism, !S0-!S1.
91. nandamrti, unpubIisled manuscript, 4.
92. Ibid.
9!. nandamrti spoke ol tle luman mind as composed ol varying proportions
of mahar (I), aham (I do), and cirra (I lave done). A summary ol nanda
Mrga cosmoIogy and esclatoIogy reIative to tle luman mind is avaiIabIe
in Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram, 10-12. An expanded version is contained in
8lrii 8lrii nandamrti, nanda HarqaPhilcscphy in a Nurshell, voI. 1 (caIcutta:
nanda Mrga lracraka 8agla, 1988), 22-S1. On tle lact tlat tle luman
body itseIl is a signicant, 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, 192) cited in
MiclaeI }ackson, Parhs 1cward a clearinq: kadical mpiricism and rhncqraphic
Inquiry (Ioomington: Indiana University lress, 1989), 119.
94. ladoux, 1le rcakra According to tle lirst clapter ol tle Yoginldaya,"
2!8 and ladoux, MaaIas in Ablinavagupta's 1antrIoka," 2!!.
95. kra uaran (1S, 1, !0) cited in klanna, Yanrra, 128.
9. nandamrti, unpubIisled manuscript, S.
91. lor tle purpose ol initiation, most nanda Mrga sannysis use an image ol
the prarka printed witl ink on paper.
98. klanna, Yanrra, 91, pIate S!.
99. }ames l. 8anlord, wind, waters, 8tupas, MandaIas: letaI uddlalood in
8lingon," japanese jcurnal cj keliqicus 5rudies 24, nos. 1-2 (8pring 1991): 9-10 .
Pacijc wcrld 266
100. nandamrti, unpubIisled manuscript, S- and Anandamurti, Ananda
5urram, !0.
101. nandamrti, unpubIisled manuscript, .
102. Ibid.
10!. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:4.
104. lnemann, MaaIa, Yantra and cakra: 8ome Observations," !1-!2.
10S. Ibid., !!.
10. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:1.
101. nanda Mrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984. McuanieI
says tlat one ol tle most important times lor worslip ol tle goddesses in west
engaI" is tle niglt ol amvsya. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 92.
108. nanda Mrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.
109. 8ee uavid l. Lorenzen, 1he kplikas and klmukhas: 1wc Lcsr aivire 5ecrs,
ed. (ueIli: MotiIaI anarsidass, 1991).
110. nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:2. Anotler tantric practice utiIizes
a garIand ol luman skuIIs (kaunklamla). 8ee Ibid., 2:91.
111. nandamrti, nanda Vacanamrram, S:99.
112. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:12.
11!. le aIso stated tlat tle signicance ol tle term kplika 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 uddlism," lttp:JJwww.buddlistinlormation.comJroots_ol_
115. Ibid.
11. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:1!.
111. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 87.
118. Ibid., 89, 92.
119. woodrolle, Hahnirvna 1anrra, 209n1.
120. A'nandamu'rti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 1:9.
121. Ibid., 2:2S1-2S8.
122. The pas pIay a centraI roIe in tle 1amiI sclooI ol aiva-8iddlnta. 8ee
lIene runner, }na and kriy: keIation between 1leory and lractice in tle
aivgamas," 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: 8hairav cakra 267
11-1! and Mark 8. C. uyczkowski, 1he 5ranzas cn Vibraricn: 1he 5pandakrik wirh
lcur ccmmenraries (AIbany: 8tate University ol lew York lress, 1992), S.
123. nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:!, 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.
12. McuanieI, ojjerinq llcwers, leedinq 5kulls, 8.
121. nanda Mrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.
128. Ibid..
129. l. k. 8arkar, uisccurses cn Hahabharara, 2nd ed. (caIcutta: nanda Mrga
lracraka 8agla, 1991), 41. According to c. kajagopaIaclari's version ol tle
Hahbhrara, ka 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 (ombay: laratiya Vidya lavan, 192), 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 Ikky 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 Ikky witl skuIIs and skeIetons. One ol lis
best prose works is entitIed 6aikcrsu (8keIetons). 8ee }ames l. 8anlord, 7en-Han
Ikky, 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, 212-21.
1!!. 8lingon was transmitted to }apan lrom clina by its lounder kkai (144-8!S)
in tle earIy 800s. 8anlord, 7en-Han Ikky, 44.
1!4. 8anlord, 1le AbominabIe 1aclikawa 8kuII kituaI," 2-4.
1!S. Ibid., 4.
1!. Ibid., 10, 1S.
1!1. Ibid., 10, 1S.
1!8. Ibid., S.
1!9. Ibid., 1S-1.
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!. aba lari uass's Vairg Vaiavas divide tleir interpretation ol tle
pacha makras into lour categories. At tle subtIest IeveI madya is drinking tle
intoxicating knowIedge ol Cod tlrougl tle secretions ol tle ligler gIands.
Hsa is control of speech. Harsya is controlling pr tlrougl pryma. Hudr
signies rituaI Ieading to tle dissoIution ol tle mind at sahasrra cakra. Hairhuna
is aclieved by raising kualin to ellect tle union ol iva and akti. nanda
Mrgiis see tle pacha makras as laving eitler crude or a number ol subtIe
interpretations. 1leir subtIe interpretation lor tle rst tlree items is identicaI
witl tlat ol tle Vairg Vaiavas. Hudr is taken to mean a mentaI position or
determination to keep company witl spirituaI persons. 1leir interpretations
of mairhuna are tle same. 8ee 8arasvati ulrman, 1antra 8tudy Cuide lotes"
(unpubIisled work), 108 and nandamrti, uisccurses cn 1anrra, 2:48-S1.
144. Ibid., 1:240-241.
14S. Anandamurti, Ananda 5urram, 1-!.
14. nandamrti distinguisled between tle interpretation ol yoga ollered by
latajaIi and tlat ol tantra. le said, According to latanjaIi yoga is tle suspension
ol mentaI propensities," wliIe in tantra yoga signies tle union ol supreme
consciousness and unit or individuaI consciousness. 8ee nandamrti, uisccurses
cn 1anrra, 2:104. An expansion ol tlis topic is avaiIabIe in 2:194-21!.
141. nanda Mrga inlormant, personaI communication, }une 11, 1984.