new moon

cremation ghats at pashupatinath

 

O Kali, Thou art fond of cremation grounds;
so I have turned my heart into one
That thou, a resident of cremation grounds,
may dance there unceasingly.
O Mother! I have no other fond desire in my heart;
fire of a funeral pyre is burning there;
O Mother! I have preserved the ashes of dead bodies all around
that Thou may come.
O Mother! Keeping Shiva, conqueror of Death, under Thy feet,
Come, dancing to the tune of music;
Prasada waits With his eyes closed

Ramprasad Sen

Kali

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the radiant void at the heart of tantra

Great Goddess

The dance of tantra is the dance of maya; a dynamic  microcosm of life with the panchatattva elements each symbolizing not only parts of our daily life and body, but the primordial elements, the building blocks of the universe. This dance of life will not fit into expectations or preconceived notions; while there may be general guidelines, the nature of this path is that it is unpredictable.

Tantra, whether Kaula or Vajrayana or beyond, is a dance and interplay of energy. At the heart of this energy is the void, Nuit. This is the same Heart of Thelema, a complex philosophy that embodies a western Tantra with the Great Void at the very core of the idea of True Will.

Dakini

Dzogchen or Atiyoga is considered beyond even the tantras, informing them with their radiant sunyata. In the tantra of Thelema this void or primordial creatrix is called Nuit, the Goddess of Infinite Space and Infinite Stars. This is the reality of the present moment, and the identification that cyclic existence and nirvana – or the radiant pristine awareness of consciousness – are indeed identical, that in fact there is and has never been a separation of these “states” but only a veil (compare “the khabs is in the khu”,Liber Legis I:8)  to this preeminent Awareness.

All paths, all gurus, all means, all obligations resolve into One at the level of awakening to the presence of primordial state, free from all limitations and conditioning . The “differences” are skillful means, in order to present as many opportunities as possible to different types of personalities and methods of learning. It is from this resting in the primordial state that natural compassion arises.

The means “pass and are done,” but there will always be “that which remains,” that inexhaustible, incorruptible, primordial Awareness (Liber Legis, II:9)

companyofheaven

radiant black storm clouds

Another poem from the Shakta poet Ramprasad Sen. His words never fail to evoke Her presence, and I am only reading translations. I can only imagine how the original would stir the soul and shatter any false illusions of separation between us. You want to look into Her eyes? Feel Her breath? Hear Her sweet laughter? Let the poet evoke Her before you, in all of Her majestic glory.

Peacock

Radiant black storm clouds
expand acros the sky of pure awareness.
The peacock of my mind reveals its brilliant colors,
dancing in the bliss of holy expectation.
Kali’s wisdom thunder rumbles
with her power that can level mountains.
The fiery tracery of lightning flashes
forms her wonderful smile of ecstasy.

The lover of Ma Kali gazes intently,
tears pouring down like monsoon rain.
Only these most precious drops
can quench the thirst of the heart,
that rare winging creature
who drinks only from limitless sky,
never from limited pools or streams.
To be born in this body composed of common clay
is a heavy burden for the soaring soul.
To incarnate again and again
across this vast planetary realm
can never slake our burning thirst for reality.

Proclaims the liberated one
who sings this gnostic hymn:
“No more birth from the womb of the matter,
only emanation from the Divine Mother.”

Read a larger collection of Ramprasad in translation from Lex Hinton’s excellent work Mother of the Universe: Visions of the Goddess and Tantric Songs of Enlightenment.

Ramprasad Sen: Shakta Poet

Notes on the Kaula Commentary

From the tantrik commentary by Curwen (quoted in Beyond the Mauve Zone):

mamsa still continues to be flesh; meena still floats like fish in the water by which it is surrounded; mudras are secrets to all but initiates and cannot be communicated ecept by word of mouth and face to face with the Guru; and maithuna alone can rejuvenate her after the exaustion of the Puja.

Grant continues:

The wine or madhya is the urine of the Suvasini after the Fire Snake has absorbed the amrita or nectar of the ultimate chakra, Sahasrara. This nectar or soma is the ‘moon-juice’ of ancient Vedic lore. The flesh, mamsa, is the lunar emanation embodined in the menstrual fluid at a certain stage of its flow; and the fish (meena) is a secretion that swims in the waters of the lotus-pool. The maithuna is the mystical congress of Shiva and Shakti — Consciousness and its Power — in the Sahasrara Chakra.

[…]

For the fully initiated Kaula Adept, the universe is a manifesation of perpetual joy, bliss, Amrita (deathlessness), from which he distils the elixir of immortality. Liber AL, today, echos his paen of rapture:
Remember all ye that existence is pure joy; that all the sorrows are but as shadows; they pass & are done; but there is that which remains.

[…]

The final bija, Krim, is the bija-mantra of Goddess Kalika, the hidden Principle of Creation described in the Ratrisukta as ‘Night.’ She it i who reveals the universe as a shadow (chaya). She is the reflex of all colours (kalas), Herself ‘without colour’; black. Yet is She the background of light, and the crescent (shashi-kala) on Her brow denotes that She is the originator of nada-bindu-kala, the trikona at the center of the Sri Chakra. When fully self-expressed She appears as Uma, with the glamout of the full moon, and is then known as Sri Vidya. Her essence, however, is always Ama (darkness). Uma (light) and Ama (darkness) are the twin poles between which flashes the vibration AUM. As Japa of the bija-mantras leads the Fire Snake progressively higher, do do the energies released in the lower chakras, bordering the subconsciousness, become increasingly active.