Kiss of the Yogini:

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

by David Gordon White
Pub. Date:
University of Chicago Press

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

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226894843
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 08/15/2006
Edition description: 1
Pages: 391
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Transliteration
Abbreviations of Titles of Sanskrit Works
1. Tantra in Its South Asian Contexts
2. The Origins of the Yogini: Bird, Animal and Tree Goddesses and Demonesses in South Asia
3. The Blood of the Yogini: Vital and Sexual Fluids in South Asian Thought and Practice
4. The Mouth of the Yogini: Sexual Transactions in Tantric Ritual
5. The Power of the Yogini: Tantric Actors in South Asia
6. The Consort of the Yogini: South Asian Siddha Cults and Traditions
7. The Flight of the Yogini: Fueling the Flight of Tantric Witches
8. The Sublimation of the Yogini: The Subordination of the Feminine in High Hindu Tantra
9. Tantra New Millennium

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