Šakti and Šakta: Essays and Addresses – Sir John Woodroffe

Classic text on Tantric philosophy by an influential Western author, ‘Arthur Avalon’


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Madras, India: Ganesh & Co., 1975 (8th edition). ix, 467 pages, hardback card covers, dust jacket.

Woodroffe was a very influential author who often wrote under the pen-name ‘Arthur Avalon.’ His work was instrumental in the dissemination of knowledge of Tantra, and specifically of kundalini energy, in the West. The idea, central to Tantrism, that matter (and thus also the body) is not merely maya (illusion) to be despised, but is also a manifestation of Šakti power was an important counterweight to Buddhist concepts of the illusory nature of the physical world that had – via Theosophy – become well-established in Western esoteric circles, being an Eastern counterpart to Pauline Christianity’s abhorrence of the body.

Šakti and Šakta: Essays and Addresses was first published in 1918. This is an unusual edition by an Indian publisher, illustrating the respect with which Woodroffe’s works were and still are regarded in the Indian subcontinent.

Condition: Book, Very Good; dust jacket is torn in places.