Kundalini Splendor

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Thursday, June 04, 2015

Kali, Kundalini, Tantra––Jottings after reading Aditi Devi's article on Kali practices 

Tantra, like Kundalini, is one of the most misunderstood terms and practices among us today.  Many think  of Tantra as a specifically sexual practice, done with a partner, performed with the intention of increasing one's sexual pleasure.  Although Tantra can be used this way, this is not its primary purpose or expression.  For me, Tantra as the flow of the inner energies through movement, music, poetry and such is the path to inner feelings of rapture and bliss (the beloved within), whether these manifest as intense inner bodily delight or more subtle and refined expressions of delicate bliss flows in the subtle body.

My dear friend Aditi Devi is an advanced Kali practitioner and tantric.  She is both scholar and devotee.  She spent years in Nepal, joining a group of women dedicated to specific a Kali lineage.  Recently Sally Kempton posted an article by Aditi on her home page for her current webiner on the Evolutionary Goddess that she is offering along with Andrew Harvey.  I have not had a chance to discuss any of this with Aditi, but hope to do so once she returns to town.  My ideal would be to sit down with both her and Sally and have a long and full discussion of these fascinating topics.  

 I wrote the following hurriedly, for I wanted to capture my initial impressions of this article. There is much more to be said.

I would like to offer a few preliminary comments about Aditi Devi's reflections, and note in particular how closely the path of the Kali devotee corresponds with that of the Kundalini follower. Both may be classed as Tantric practices.

Notes:  what I agree with:  Both involve full body embodiment, with expressions of the goddess (and Kundalini is herself the highest goddess) manifesting through and in and as rapturous sensations flowing through the subtle body of the practitioner.  In Kali worship, the practice focuses mainly on the yoni (sexual center) of the female practitioner.  In Kundlini, the lower chakras may be the main focus, particularly in the beginning, but utimately the energies are awakened throughout the
system. Anywhere can be a “womb”––even the hands or crown or cheeks or eyelids.  There is no distinction, although the yoni can be the first “awakening” chakra since the muladhara is the seat of the sleeping Kundalini.

Thus the higher chakras are not “masculine” and the lower “feminine” since sensuous feeling is the response wherever the energies flow.

The earth itself is the body of the mother

Agree—Earth is the body of the mother.  You can feel this in sacred precincts.  In India, Kali’s sweet energies flow in the temple dedicated to her.  In Ireland, at Tara, you can feel it coming up through the ground and into your body, for Tara, usurped in earlier time to serve as the place where the kings’ were crowned, is in fact itself a site of ancient goddess worship and her body is the ground which you walk upon as you move across the earth once held sacred to the Great Mother herself.
Likewise, you feel these currents at various sacred wells throughout the Irish countryside.

The body of the Goddess Kali merges with your own with sufficient practice.

Yes, but with Kundalini it may be an unnamed, unseen reality which you may call simply the “Beloved Within.”  Kundalini is you, you are Kundalini.


Your body, Her body,
they are one.

Your lips, 
Her lips,
are the same.

When you breathe in,
Her breath of roses
comes into your lungs.
When you breathe out,
Her scent 
fills the room.

Even when you look
in the glass,
it is her face you see.

Connecting with the literal earth body of the goddess

In Kali worship you may touch the natural formation of the goddess’ yoni over which sacred waters or menstrual fluids flow.  Certain temples celebrate her body in this way.

I know of nothing like this in Kundalini, but who knows what the early Western practitioners included.  What about female lovers touching one another’s body, when the partner “becomes” a goddess?

Other points of disagreements:

Aditi—admonishes "Always follow the advice of your teacher."

Absolutely not.  Your “teacher” may lead you into many false paths.  May be corrupt or ignorant or ego inflated.  Listen to the guru within.  Buddha said “Be a light unto yourself.”  If you fall or stumble, pick yourself up and start over.

Animal sacrifice is part of the practice.  Claim is that the animal “consents” to be used in this way, and that we ourselves may reincarnate in animal form.

I disagree with both assertions.   Animals are sacred, not to be “sacrificed” by us any more than we are to be “sacrificed” by them.  This is a primitive rite to be rejected in our time.

 Likewise the notion of humans reincarnating in animal form derives from earlier, less enlightened eras.  What reincarnates is our own energy body and possibly our intellectual potential, likewise gained from previous lives.

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