Kiss of the Yogini:

Kiss of the Yogini: "Tantric Sex" in Its South Asian Contexts / Edition 1

by David Gordon White
     
 


For those who wonder what relation actual Tantric practices bear to the "Tantric sex" currently being marketed so successfully in the West, David Gordon White has a simple answer: there is none. Sweeping away centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, White returns to original texts, images, and ritual practices to reconstruct the history of South… See more details below

Overview


For those who wonder what relation actual Tantric practices bear to the "Tantric sex" currently being marketed so successfully in the West, David Gordon White has a simple answer: there is none. Sweeping away centuries of misunderstandings and misrepresentations, White returns to original texts, images, and ritual practices to reconstruct the history of South Asian Tantra from the medieval period to the present day.

Kiss of the Yogini focuses on what White identifies as the sole truly distinctive feature of South Asian Tantra: sexualized ritual practices, especially as expressed in the medieval Kaula rites. Such practices centered on the exchange of powerful, transformative sexual fluids between male practitioners and wild female bird and animal spirits known as Yoginis. It was only by "drinking" the sexual fluids of the Yoginis that men could enter the family of the supreme godhead and thereby obtain supernatural powers and transform themselves into gods. By focusing on sexual rituals, White resituates South Asian Tantra, in its precolonial form, at the center of religious, social, and political life, arguing that Tantra was the mainstream, and that in many ways it continues to influence contemporary Hinduism, even if reformist misunderstandings relegate it to a marginal position.

Kiss of the Yogini contains White's own translations from over a dozen Tantras that have never before been translated into any European language. It will prove to be the definitive work for persons seeking to understand Tantra and the crucial role it has played in South Asian history, society, culture, and religion.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226894836
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
04/28/2003
Edition description:
1
Pages:
391
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Note on Transliteration
Abbreviations of Titles of Sanskrit Works
1Tantra in Its South Asian Contexts1
2The Origins of the Yogini: Bird, Animal and Tree Goddesses and Demonesses in South Asia27
3The Blood of the Yogini: Vital and Sexual Fluids in South Asian Thought and Practice67
4The Mouth of the Yogini: Sexual Transactions in Tantric Ritual94
5The Power of the Yogini: Tantric Actors in South Asia123
6The Consort of the Yogini: South Asian Siddha Cults and Traditions160
7The Flight of the Yogini: Fueling the Flight of Tantric Witches188
8The Sublimation of the Yogini: The Subordination of the Feminine in High Hindu Tantra219
9Tantra for the New Millennium258
Notes273
Bibliography335
Index357

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