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Devī and tantric practice

Dupuche, John R. (2008) Devī and tantric practice. In: The Iconic Female, Goddesses of India, Nepal and Tibet. Monash University Press, Clayton, pp. 113-132. ISBN 978-1-876924-66-9


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The extreme tantric practice called the Kula ritual, for all its weaknesses and limitations, especially in the eyes of the modern reader, cannot be simply dismissed as a perverse aberration. Abhinavagupta demythologises the fearsome yoginīs and replaces them with the sexual partner who nevertheless destroys the limited sense of the self. She eliminates the dualism of pure and impure, licit and illicit. The householder is the ascetic; the ordinary is extraordinary. Liberation and enjoyment coincide; the outer and the inner are one. All is valuable; all is a manifestation of the goddess and a means to attain the full expansion of consciousness. Even the repulsive is divinely revealing. What others consider unacceptable is, to the enlightened mind, the very means of spiritual advance. Far from being designed for persons of low character or undeveloped spiritual sensibility, the Kula ritual is designed for ‘the most advanced gurus and disciples’ (Tantrāloka 29.2a). The practitioner becomes Bhairava such that his every word is mantra and his every action is sacrifice. He achieves the goal of being ‘liberated while living’ (jīvan-mukta).

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Goddess, Kashmir Shaivism, tantra, Kula, transcendence, repulsive,
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220406 Studies in Eastern Religious Traditions
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - World Religions
College/Association with University of Divinity: CTC: Catholic Theological College
Depositing User: Rev Dr John Dupuche
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2014 05:05
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2016 04:21
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1622

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