[Advaita-l] On Shakta and the Vaishnava Yogas

Srikanta Narayanaswami srikanta.narayanaswami at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 20 05:07:33 CDT 2011

Namaste Srikantaji,

What you are saying is only relevant to the Shakta tradition. The Shaiva and
Vaishnava traditions too have their Kundalini yoga and so it is not always
the Shakta interpretation. Not that I am disagreeing with you, but rather
wanted to mention that Kundalini Yoga is not a tradition exclusive to
Sri Kathireshan has the above observation pertaining to the distinction between Shakta,Shaiva and the vaishnava traditions.Infact,this Yoga sastra is unique in the history of the methodology,which can be traced to the ancient times.It is in no way connected to the various schools of thought like Charvaka,jaina,Buddhist,Vaisheshika,Nyaya,sankhya schools.We get only a glimpse of this Yoga tradition which has been long extinct.The mention of "sthitapragna" in the BG and mention of Yoga terminologies,Shankara's mention of the "Ashtaishwaryas" like Anima,mahima laghima etc.are mentioned even by Shankara.That is why I say that this tradition has been long lost.It is not correct to say the yoga tradition has many branches likeĀ  Shakta,Shaiva and the Vaishnava.Infact,Buddhist tradition has imported many of these techniques,as we find in them many terms mentioned in their books.The Shakta has been imported into Buddhism,an the Tara Bhagawathi,Manjusri,are the
 Yoga terminologies.The Yogini concept is not new to Hinduism.The kritis of Mutthuswami Deekshitar starting from his kriti,"Vatapi Ganapatim Bhaje"in Hamsadhwani Raga,and his copious kritis on Devi,the Navavarana kritis are full of Yogic terminologies and Bijaksharas.We have not heard much on kundalini Yoga except the mention of kundalini!I am very much convinced that the Kundalini Yoga has been lost,and today survives in its splinter branches!Sri Krishna also mentions that the sastra has been lost over the years.

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