High-caste Saivite Tantra and its ambivalence towards yoga
Abhinavagupta and his Tantraloka
Around 1000-1100 AD the rural Tantric practices – ecstatic, bodily oriented, extreme taboo breaking – reached the conservative, rational and Gnostic circles in urban areas. This social upper class milieu could neither accept nor ignore the power of these rituals, so the problem was how to domesticate them. The Saivite Abhinavagupta, who had experience of these cults, accomplished their theological inclusion. He was especially influenced by the Saivite yoga Tantra, called the Malini discussed earlier. We recall that it was a six-limbed yoga, which with a starting point in the divinised Tantric body, made a journey of insight and realisation into Siva consciousness. It was however a Saivite yoga configured for renouncers -full-time professionals dedicated to the worship of Siva – not for traditional householders.
Abhinavagupta in the text Tantraloka written about 1100 AD managed to turn these fulltime practices into something relevant to high-caste householders. In this process he transformed and tamed the Tantric notions as he turned them into symbols. Here the orgasm of the body’ became now an expansion into God consciousness’; sexual fluids’ now symbolised divine polarities’, coitus’ (external act between male and female) became internalised techniques’ (White 1996, 2003).
Your knees should be bent over the ball with your feet Yoga poses 2nd chakra loose. Your spine is long between your ribs and pelvis, and your tailbone must remain Yoga poses 2nd chakrapressed into the floor. Use your bent knees to pull the Yoga poses 2nd chakra ball close into your buttocks, and use your hamstrings to secure the neutral pelvis position, Yoga poses 2nd chakra tailbone pointed towards the ball. BEGINNER Floor Criss-Cross After you have established the locked position of the pelvis, keep the ball still while you begin crossing one elbow towards your opposite knee. You should have a mental image of making a long diagonal line from your shoulder to your opposite hip. Press your opposite elbow into the ground. Do not do a downward crunch, which would prevent your obliques from doing the major part of the work. Return to a neutral flat position.
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