Skip to navigation | Skip to content



Posts tagged ‘Lalita’

  1. Reading the Saundarya Lahari – II

    For this post, I’m going to begin a brief examination of some of the themes present in verses 1-41 of Saundaryalahari – often referred to as Anandalahari – “wave of joy”. As I noted in the first post in this series, the Anandalahari is perhaps the most explicitly “tantric” half of Saundaryalahari providing cues for the dhyana (puja image) of the Goddess, Her mantra, yantra and her relationship to organising schemas of Cakras and Rays. For the present, I will concentrate on the first six verses of Anandalahari. Continue reading »

    Share
  2. Reading the Saundarya Lahari – I

    Tantra is often (popularly) represented in western occult writing as though it were an “outsider” tradition in India, something on the periphery or marginal to the orthodox or “mainstream” forms of Indian religosity – and highly esoteric – something which can only be “decoded” with the correct keys or “initiated” understandings. This view, which I’ve recently argued (Treadwells lecture, October 2011) actually says more about western occultism’s self-representations than any tantric actualities, is something I’ve been trying to counter with much of the tantric-oriented writing I’ve been doing here on Enfolding. Although I’ve made occasional reference to the Saundaryalahari (“Flood of Beauty”) here a couple of times previously (see this post in particular), for this series of posts I’m going to examine this work in more detail, drawing in some of the themes I’ve been outlining in other posts. Continue reading »

    Share
  3. Review: The Mysteries of the Red Goddess

    The Mysteries of the Red Goddess by Mike Magee, Kindle Edition Prakasha Publishing 2011 (3999kb, unlimited simultaneous device usage, text-to-speech enabled). £10.46 (incl. VAT and free whispernet delivery).

    The Mysteries of the Red Goddess

    Mike Magee has been providing invaluable translations and insights into tantric texts since the late 1970s. He’s also renown as an IT journalist – launching two major news sites – The Register and The Inquirer and has been named by the Daily Telegraph as one of the 50 most influential Britons in technology. Now he’s taken the leap onto Amazon’s Kindle platform and released The Mysteries of the Red Goddess which combines a translation of the Vamakesvara Tantra together with an exposition of themes and ideas which relate to the Sri Vidya tradition. Continue reading »

    Share
  4. Approaching Lalita: three modalities

    “Let my idle chatter be the muttering of prayer, my every manual movement the execution of ritual gesture,
    my walking a ceremonial circumambulation, my eating and other acts the rite of sacrifice,
    my lying down prostration in worship, my every pleasure enjoyed with dedication of myself,
    let whatever activity is mine be some form of worship of you.”
    Saundaryalahari

    Continue reading »

    Share
  5. Bumblebees

    I love bumblebees…

    My love affair with bumblebees started years ago when I worked for a ‘design company’ that constructed Santa’s Grottos all year round [horrendous if you don’t like Xmas in the first place!] but also made some seasonal decorations for shopping centres. And for the spring/Easter season some centre up North had ordered 3 giant bumblebees so I spent a few weeks helping another woman construct ginormous bumblebees out of hoola hoops, fake fur and plastic foil. Continue reading »

    Share
  6. Playful mind

    Meditation is often thought of in terms of stilling the internal dialogue, of calming the endless fluctuations or whirlings (vrittis) of cognition. Often, beginners in meditation find this difficult, and its easy to get into the routine of making meditation a seperate space from the rest of our lives; of practicing it at times when we won’t be disturbed by too many sense-distractions. It is difficult to still the endless flow of cognitions – to lengthen the gap between thoughts. Why not do the opposite? Let the mind play. Continue reading »

    Share
  7. Deity Meditation: Lalita

    Meditating on the image of a deity is a very old practice (its generally thought that it emerged from early Buddhist practice around the 5th century BCE). Meditation is not really a seperate “technique” as its often presented to be in contemporary writings (more of which another time) but is an aspect of one’s overall sadhana – inseperable from the visualisation/recollection of any interiorised image or form. The root of the Sanskrit dhyana – often translated as “meditation” is dhi – “to see”. Indeed, the seperation of “meditation” from other forms of sadhana is a relatively recent one, and can be seen emerging at the turn of the twentieth century with the prioritising of internal mental practices over bodily-oriented practices and external ritual. Continue reading »

    Share
  8. A meditation on Lalita

    The Saundaryalahari (“Flood of Beauty”) is a key Srividya text, sometimes attributed to Sankara. Composed of 100 verses, it is usually divided into two parts – verses 1-41 and verses 42-100. The first section, sometimes called the Anandalahari (“Wave of Joy”) is concerned with the facets of Lalita sadhana – her image in external worship, but also her Yantra and mantra-modalities The verses can also be read in such a way as to relate them to the subtle mapping of chakras, nadis, etc. The Anandalahari is sometimes seen as originating directly from Siva, or Lalita Herself. Continue reading »

    Share
  9. A sidelong glance

    “His bow is made of flowers, the bowstring of bees, five are his arrows,
    Vasanta (Spring) is his adjutant, the Malaya breeze his war chariot,
    and yet, by himself, O daughter of the snow mountain, when but a bit of compassion
    he has got from a side glance of yours, the Bodiless One (Kama) conquers this world entire.”
    Saundaryalahari, 6 Continue reading »

    Share
  10. Approaching texts

    Sometimes, when I look at tantric texts, I’m reminded of Joss Whedon’s description of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a “fairy story” rather than a “driving manual”. If you look at the majority of magical “how-to” books written these days, they are often presented as “manuals” – “here’s an explanation of this concept” – followed by “here’s how you do it” possibly followed by some discussion of the author’s own experience. Some authors will assume a shared language, whilst others will take great pain to explain what they mean by a particular term or concept. There is a general assumption though, that the reader may be unfamiliar with what the author is writing about and so good authors take that into account and explain stuff, to varying degrees. So there’s a degree of expectancy amongst occult practitioners that written material will, on the most part, be accessible, and, to varying degrees, familiar. Continue reading »

    Share