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The Serpent Power (Being the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana and Paduka-Pancaka)

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Two Works on Laya Yoga, Translated from the Sanskrit, with Introduction and Commentary

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Item Code: HAS389
Author: Sir John Woodroffe
Publisher: Dev Publishers And Distributors
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9789359445007
Pages: 390 (Color and B/W Illustrations)
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5x5.5 inch
Weight 490 gm
Book Description
About the Author

Sir John Woodroffe, also recognized by the pseudonym Arthur Avalon, was a British Orientalist whose extensive and intricate body of published works on the Tantras and various Hindu traditions played a pivotal role in sparking widespread interest in Hindu philosophy and yoga.

In addition to serving as the Advocate-General of Bengal and holding the position of Legal Member in the Government of India, Woodroffe dedicated himself to the study of Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy. His particular fascination with Hindu Tantra led him to translate around twenty original Sanskrit texts. Writing under the pen name Arthur Avalon, he not only published but also delivered prolific lectures on Indian philosophy, encompassing a broad spectrum of Yoga and Tantra subjects.

Woodroffe's works have gained global popularity, resonating not only with academics and scholars but also with a general audience around the world.

His other works also available from us include "The Serpent Power', 'The Garland of Letters', 'The World as Power', 'The Great Liberation: Mahanirvana Tantra', 'Hymns to the Goddess and Hymn to Kali', 'Principles of Tantra', 'Introduction to Tantra Sastra', 'Sakti and Sakta', 'Is India Civilized: Essays on Indian Culture', and 'Isha Upanishad, Bharata Shakti & The Seed of Race'.


This edition to which some additions have been made and in which T some errors have been corrected has been revised throughout. Since the issue of the second edition several new volumes have appeared in the series of "Tantrik Texts". In connection with this book the reader is specially referred to the Kamakalāvilāsa, one of such Texts, as also to the essay on "Creation in the Tantras" which with other new material is printed in Sakti and Sakta. The publishers have published a volume called Mahāmāya by Professor Pramatha Natha Mukhopadhyaya and myself in which comparison is made of the concept of Maya as held by the Säktas and Māyāvādins respectively. I repeat that it is not possible to understand this Yoga without having been first well grounded in its philosophy.


The two Sanskrit works here translated-Sat-cakra-nirūpaņa ("Description of the Six Centres, or Cakras") and Paduka-pañcaka ("Fivefold footstool")-deal with a particular form of Tantrik Yoga named Kundalini-Yoga, or, as some works call it, Bhúta-śuddhi. These names refer to the Kundalini-Šakti, or Supreme Power in the human body by the arousing of which the Yoga is achieved, and to the purification of the Elements of the body (Bhuta-śuddhi) which takes place upon that event. This Yoga is effected by a process technically known as Şat-cakra-bheda, or piercing of the six Centres or Regions (Cakra) or Lotuses (Padma) of the body (which the work describes) by the agency of Kundalini-Sakti, which, in order to give it an English name, I have here called the Serpent Power. Kundala means coiled. The power is the Goddess (Devi) Kundalini, or that which is coiled; for Her form is that of a coiled and sleeping serpent in the lowest bodily centre, at the base of the spinal column, until by the means described She is aroused in that Yoga which is named after Her. Kundalini is the Divine Cosmic Energy in bodies (v. post). The Saptabhūmi, or seven regions (Lokas), are, as popularly understood, an exoteric presentment of the inner Tantrik teaching regarding the seven centres.

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