David Gordon White

American historian of religion

David Gordon White (born September 3, 1953) is an American Indologist.

Quotes edit

  • The general scholarly consensus has been that the Yoginī cults so foundational to early Tantra emerged out of an autochthonous non-Vedic Indian source. (…) The point I wish to make here is that it is quite artificial to inject a distinction between ‘Vedic’ or ‘Indo-Aryan’ tradition, on the one hand, and ‘non-Vedic’ or ‘Indus Valley’ on the other. The religion and culture is already present in the Vedas, together with the more predominant Indo-Aryan material, and is no more ‘indigenous’ to the Indian subcontinent and no more ‘alien’ to the Veda than the latter. (…) It suffices to scratch the surface of the salient features of the Yoginī cults to find a vast reservoir of Vedic and classical Hindu precursors, in (1) the cults of Vedic goddesses (…); (2) the various groupings of unnumbered mother goddesses (…); and (3) in general attitudes toward women and femininity.
    • David Gordon White, quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.

Tantra in Practice edit

White, David Gordon (1 January 2001). Tantra in Practice. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. ISBN 978-81-208-1778-4. 

  • Tantra is the [[w:Asia}Asian]] body of beliefs and practices which, working from the principle that the universe we experience is nothing other than the concrete manifestation of the divine energy of the godhead that creates and maintains that universe, seeks to ritually appropriate and channel that energy, within the human microcosm in creative and emancipatory ways.
    • By David Gordon White in p. 9
  • The energy levels of the Tantric universe are generally represented as a set of concentric circles (cakras) of hypostasized forms of the divine energy which, in addition to appearing as an array of divine enlightened, perfected , demonic, human or animal beings, also manifest themselves on an acoustic level, as garlands or piled-up aggregates of phonemes (mantras), on a graphic level, as the written characters of the hieratic alphabets and as the hierarchized cakras of the yogi body.
    • By David Gordon White in p. 10
  • Perhaps the best-known mandala-cum-plotting device in the Tantric universe is the Sri Cakra and Sri Yantra of Hindu Tantric practice, a perfectly balanced three-dimensional geometric diagram of a series of eleven interlocking and embedded triangles (also called Cakras) radiating downward and outward from a central point and enclosed by a circle and a square. The mandalas of Buddhist and Jain Tantric practice follow similar structural and dynamic principles.
    • By David Gordon White in p. 10-11
  • The theory and practice of the Tantric mandala operates on a mesocosmic level , that is, on the level of a mediating template between protocosm and metacosm as well as between macrocosm and microcosm.
    • By David Gordon White in p. 13
  • Tantra emerged out of South Asian elite and popular mainstream some time in the middle of the first millennium C.E.
    • By David Gordon White in p. 20

External links edit

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