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The Serpent Power: The Secrets of Tantric and Shaktic Yoga

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  262 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Two works on Laya-yoga, translated from the Sanskrit, with introduction & commentary.
Written by a leading authority on Shaktic & Tantric thought, this book is considered the prime document for study & application of Kundalini yoga. It probes the philosophical & mythological nature of Kundalini, the esoteric anatomy associated with it, the study of mantras, the chakras, or
Paperback, 545 pages
Published June 1st 1974 by Dover Publications (first published 1919)
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Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tantra
In the tangled history of lies and counter-factualizations and blasphemies that is the "Western" creation of the "Eastern" creation of "Tantra," Sir John Woodroffe aka "Arthur Avalon" turns out to be, oddly, one of the most sincere and sympathetic figures, neither attempting to read Indian religion as sex-mad decadence nor as mystical hoodwinking, nor allowing himself to be shocked by his own thoughts. Would that we all could be so gentle.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon) has written several incredible volumes on yoga. Considered a "masterwork" even by Indians, these books offer an incredible wealth of information. The Serpent Power is a classic of Kundalini Yoga.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was ok
This sounds like it ought to be one of Llewellyn's dodgier offerings, but is actually a serious translation by an Edwardian gentleman scholar (legal name Sir John Woodroffe) of two Sanskrit yoga texts and associated commentary, both describing chakras and associated concepts. Avalon's introductory chapters are longer than the works themselves, and I would advise readers to skip them or read the texts first and then return to them, as I found them considerably harder to follow than the texts them ...more
Vipin Goyal
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sir John Woodroffe or Arthur Avalon was a scholar and he translated complicated Sanskrit texts into English with a commentary. This book is a milestone in the western attempt to understand Indian mysticism. It explains fundamentals of Kundalini Yoga.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: oto, mysticism
For how old this book is, Woodroffe (a.k.a. Arthur Avalon) does a really good job at being informative and well-researched, citing sources often and yet also elucidating concepts in fairly clear language. Recommended for those who want a more 'traditional' understanding of Hindu tantra and kundalini which draws from Upanishads & tantras (rather than the typical modern teacher who appears to be making up everything as they go along). ...more
Dec 09, 2008 marked it as to-read
This book is very dense and a slow read, however, based on other readers' reviews, extremely valuable and worth working through. I have put it down and will pick it up after I read The Origins and History of Consciousness.
Jul 23, 2007 marked it as to-read
I have this book and was supposed to read it for a class, but never did. Maybe I should pick it up.
Daniela Pandozi
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un saggio che non può certo mancare nella nostra libreria.
Fondamentale per chi si occupa di yoga o vuole conoscere il pensiero indiano. E, parlando dei Chakra dei quali tutti ormai parlano ma nessuno sa di fatto cosa sono, qui c'è il testo originale.
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was ok
this book translates two important tantric texts. in addition to the primary source material, the author provides long analytical commentary about mantras, chakras and other elements of kundalini yoga.

she is the aspect of creative energy that eventually forms mind and form, and comes to rest in the lowest form of matter. she is consciousness: the power of matter to know itself. she is the goddess.

it seems silly that as a woman, that i have avoided truly studying this topic for so long.

Kuldeep Singh
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
A extensive thesis on the subject of kundalini tantra. The book covers the subject in more of a theoretical approach and offers a lot of references from ancient Indian writings. One of the oldest but live description of the journey and experiences of the author.
Only i felt that more illustrations could have been added. This book is for serious readers, novice may get easily distracted reading it.
Sujin Balakumaran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yogesh Choudhary
I am really sorry to say but I could not even open the book and you say I have read.
Please make the site more user friendly for old people like me , I am 76 yrs old.
Thanks anyway,
Rahul Urs
Dec 22, 2014 rated it liked it
great book
Jul 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another reread in the age of Covid. I cant believe that i last read this over 20 years ago.
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