The Energy of the Depths

By Lilian Silburn
Translated by Jacques Gontier

Subjects: Tantra
Series: SUNY series in the Shaiva Traditions of Kashmir
Paperback : 9780887068010, 240 pages, October 1988
Hardcover : 9780887068003, 240 pages, November 1988

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Table of contents



Kundalini Yoga Rhythm and Vibration

The Dance of Siva


Stirring and Churning of the Energy

Return to the Heart

Part One Awakening and Unfolding of Kundalini

Serpent of the Depths

Chapter 1 Siva's Triple Emission and the Three Aspects of Kundalini

Supreme Emission

Intermediate Emission

Lower Emission

Para or Purnakundalini

Chapter 2 The "Coiled" Kundalini Within the Human Body

Centers(Cakra) and

Median Way, Wheels and Triangles


Chapter 3 Various Means of Unfolding the Median Way

Destruction of Dualizing Thought (vikalpaksaya)

Means Associated with the Breath(prana)

The Syllable OM and the Synchronization of the Breaths

Contemplation of the Intial and Final Extremities (kotinibhalana)

Retraction and Expansion of the Energy

Chapter 4 The Parabija SAUH and the Rod Practice

Visarga, Unmana, and Kramamudra

Chapter 5 Movements of Kundalini Related to a Yogin's Practice

Supreme Kundalini and the Kundalini of Consciousness


Adhahkundalini, Descending Energy

Urdhvakundalini, Ascending Energy

Slow and Gradual Way

Incomplete or Defective Ways

Chapter 6 Various Reactions Occurring in a Yogin

The Five Phases of Vibration or the Signs on the Path

Sixfold Upsurge of the Breath and Corresponding Forms of Bliss

Text in Transliterated Sanskrit

Chapter 7 Cosmic Kundalini or the Intimate Sacrifice

Part Two Piercing of the Centers and Stages of the Ascent

Chapter 1 Vedhadiksa, Initiation Through Penetration

The Plenary Oblation

Penetration of the Guru into the Disciple's Breaths

Initiations by Piercing of the Centers

Mantravedha, Piercing of the Centers by Means of Mantra

Nadavedha, Piercing Through Mystic Resonance

Binduvedha, Piercing Through Virile Potency

Saktavedha, the so-called Energy Piercing

Bhujangavedha, the so-called Serpent Piercing

Paravedha, Supreme Piercing

Outer Initiations

Abhiseka, Consecration

Text in Transliterated Sanskrit

Chapter 2 Somananda's Saktavijnana



Sanskrit Text in Devanagari

Chapter 3 Goraksanatha's Amaraughasasana

The Natha

Excerpts from the Text



Part Three The Deeper Meaning of the Esoteric Pratice

Chapter 1 The Androgyne

Kundalini and Sexual Life

Effervescence and Fervor

Chapter 2 Transfiguration of the Body and of the Universe

Translation and Gloss of an Excerpt from the Yogasamcara

Chapter 3 The Mantra SAUH and KHA

SAUH , the Mantra of Emanation

KHA, the Mantra of Resorption

Chapter 4 Kulamarga, the Esoteric Way

Qualifications Required for Kulayaga

Effects of the Caryakrama Practice

Uncertainty and Fluctuation

Esoteric Gatherings, Yoginimelaka

Quiescence and Emergence

Caryakrama and Kramamudra

Madhyacakra and Anucakra


Respective Roles of Man and Woman

Chapter 5 Kulayaga, Esoteric Sacrifice Excerpts with Commentary from the Tantraloka, Chapter XXIX


Main Wheel and Secondary Wheels

Description of Madhyacakra or Urdhvadhaman

Santodita. Quiescent and Emergent

The Triple Visarga : Quiescence, Emergence, and Kaula

Union or Fusion

Mantravirya Peculiar to Dvani , Sound Vibration

The Supreme Mystical Attitude. Khecarimudra

Definition of Omnipenetration(Mantravyapti)

Rahasyopanisad Krama, the Secret Process

Table: Eightfold Wheel and the Eight Bhairava



List of Abbreviations and Works


Kundalini's power lies dormant in humans until it is awakened. The awakened Kundalini expresses the primal divine impulse and ultimately joins the individual with the divine. The development of the book parallels the development of the Kundalini within. Part One exposes the awakening and unfolding of the Kundalini; Part Two describes the piercing of the energy centers and the stages of ascent through the body; and Part Three examines Kundalini's relation to sexual expression.

The book provides a deep understanding of Tantra and of the underlying purpose of Tantracism. The author carefully considers the Caryakrama practices of sexual expression as a means of awakening and controlling Kundalini.

Silburn draws together passages from the Trika, Krama, and Kaula systems ranging through Abhinavagupta and Lalla and provides both translation and commentary for them. Chapters on the Chakras, the Nadis, and on mantras further elucidate the topic and lead to a forceful conclusion: Kundalini is the source of ultimate human knowledge and power.

Lilian Silburn is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. For many years she has been respected worldwide as a leader in studies of the Shaivism of Kashmir. She has published many books and articles on the subject.