Upcoming Events

Southern Asia Seminar: By Her Own Free Will: Non-Dual Reinterpretation of a Śākta Tantric Tradition in the Yoginīhṛdaya

November 10, 2022-5pm

Foster Hall 103

Anya Golovkova

Assistant Professor of Religion, Lake Forest College 

Following the composition of the earliest tantras elucidating the worship of Tripurasundarī, Śrīvidyā (Tradition of the Auspicious Mantra) was reinterpreted through the lens of non-dualism in scriptural and commentarial texts composed in the first centuries of the second millennium. This paper examines a radical shift towards Śaiva Advaita in the Yoginīhṛdaya, a text c. eleventh century from south India. This tantra served as a vital step in the process of tradition formation, building upon the existing Śrīvidyā ritual, but also constituting this tradition in innovative ways. Innovations included new meditative and yogic practices with salvific goals laid out over the existing ritual scheme. Imbuing Śrīcakra metaphysics with Pratyabhijñā conceptions of cognition and speech, the Yoginīhṛdaya recast the worship of Tripurasundarī as the foremost esoteric Śākta Śaiva teaching.