Yogini: The Shady Side of Devi
The Yoginis are awful expressions of the divine in feminine form of which evidence is found in Tantric contexts in both the Hindu and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. Endowed with a multitude of aspects and functions, they may take the form of women or witches devoted to obscure rituals, of primordial forces linked with illness, poisoning and possession, of subtle beings present in supporting one for meditation like yantra and mantra, or of genuine gods who frighten and fascinate. Gathering in circles in the depths of the forest or in cremation grounds, the Yoginis engender powers and secret knowledge, granted to those who evoke them through practices which may be extreme. Ultimately the Yoginis keep company with death, offering to the initiates who surrender to their embrace the prospect of liberation beyond the glittering world of illusion.
This book is a journey in search of these mysterious figures who nestle in the shadow of the Goddess. A journey which unfolds in the frontier zones of Indian tradition, constantly hanging in the balance between Tantric rituals, sacrifices and subtle knowledge – a perilous quest which is the heritage of all traditional searches.
This volume written in elegant, fluent and colourful prose should entice the interest of all those associated with the Tantric practices, especially that of Saptamatrikas, ten Mahavidyas, Dakini and Nitya.
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