The King of Mantras, O dear One! is at all times engendered by the union of Śiva and Śakti, and by that of the Yoginīs, the Vīras, and the Vīrendas. Thus constituted, delighting in the utmost bliss, the Goddess, whose nature is vibration [spanda], of innate beauty, once known, is to be freely worshipped.
Yoginīhṛdaya 2, 17-18 (transl. André Padoux & Roger-Orphé Jeanty)
At the end of the last post in the Saundaryalahari series, I promised that I would say something on the subject of mantras. This is a vast subject, and even with over a quarter-century of study & practice at my back, it is still a topic which I would approach only slowly. Before diving into the historical & philosophical complexities of mantra, I thought I’d begin then, with some reflections on my own early encounters with mantra-practice. Continue reading »
“Then, established in the body of the mantra, he should practice the supreme concentration. The supreme mantra body is manifested in the succession of letters.”
The Purification of the Body, Gavin Flood, Tantra in Practice, p517
As one might expect, occasionally in my practice I encounter things I don’t quite understand. I put them aside for later and, occasionally, understanding ‘bursts’ forth at a later point. I’ve been practicing various forms of Bhuta Suddhi for some years now, and from 2004 have been working from various versions of this practice, of which the main two are the chapter by Gavin Flood in Tantra in Practice; the second in The Lakshmi Tantra. But, until recently, I’ve failed to grasp the idea of the mantra-body. It wasn’t really until I read Loriliai Biernacki’s Rewnowned Goddess of Desire: Women, Sex, and Speech in Tantra (Oxford University Press, 2007) that understanding went from a trickle to a flood – the stream joining other streams, as it were. Continue reading »