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Shakti and Shâkta by Arthur Avalon


Shakti and Shâkta by Arthur Avalon
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Description

Shakti and Shâkta
by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe)

Agama, which governs according to its followers the Kali-yuga, is itself divided into several schools or communities of worshippers. One of these divisions is the Shakta. It is with Shakta doctrine and worship, one of the forms of Brahmanism, which is again a form of the general Bharata Dharma, that this book deals. The Shakta is so called because he is a worshipper of Shakti (Power), that is, God in Mother-form as the Supreme Power which creates, sustains and withdraws the universe. His rule of life is Shaktadharma, his doctrine of Shakti is Shaktivada or Shakta Darshana. God is worshipped as the Great Mother because, in this aspect, God is active, and produces, nourishes, and maintains all. Theological Godhead is no more female than male or neuter. God is Mother to the Sadhaka who worships Her Lotus Feet, the dust on which are millions of universes. The Power, or active aspect of the immanent God, is thus called Shakti.

About the Author

"Sir John Woodroffe (1865-1936), also known by his pseudonym Arthur Avalon, was a British Orientalist whose work helped to unleash in the West a deep and wide interest in Hindu philosophy and Yogic practices.

Born on December 15th, 1865 as the eldest son of James Tisdall Woodroffe, Advocate-General of Bengal and his wife Florence, he was educated at Woburn Park School and University College, Oxford, where graduated in jurisprudence and the Bachelor of Civil Law examinations.

In 1890, He moved to India and enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court. He was soon made a Fellow of the Calcutta University and appointed Law Professor of Calcutta University.He was appointed Standing Counsel to the Government of India in 1902 and two years later was raised to the High Court Bench.After serving for eighteen years in the bench, he became Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court in 1915.After retiring to England he became Reader in Indian Law at the University of Oxford, and finally moved to France in his retirement, where he died in 1936.

Alongside his judicial duties he studied Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and was especially interested in the esoteric Hindu Tantric Shakti system. He translated some twenty original Sanskrit texts, and under his pseudonym Arthur Avalon.He published and lectured prolifically and authoritatively on Indian philosophy and a wide range of Yoga and Tantra topics.

His most popular and influential book, a major contribution to the appreciation of Indian philosophy and spirituality, is The Serpent Power - The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga (Dover Books), which is the source of many modern Western appropriations of Kundalini practice."

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