The Serpent Power : 2 Works on Laya-Yoga
- by Arthur Avalon (aka Sir John Woodroffe)

The most important - because it accurately presents the traditional Indian Shakta Tantric position - of the Kundalini and chakra texts available today in the West is Sir John Woodroffe's (pseudonym Arthur Avalon) The Serpent Power, first published in 1919 and reprinted a number of times since then.  This is actually the translation of two important Indian texts and their commentaries,  the Sat-Cakra-Nirupana, written in 1577, and the Padaka-Pancaka, containing descriptions of the centers and related practices, and Gorakshashatakam, which gives instructions for meditating on the chakras.

Woodroffe's book - his own chapters cover Shakta metaphysics and cosmology, Patanjali Yoga, and Tantric practice, as well as the chakras themselves - is unfortunately very difficult for the beginner, but it served as the inspiration and chief reference text (usually without acknowledgment) for many Western occult-esoteric and New Age writers.  It could be said without exageration that this book forms the basis of almost all contemporary Western understanding of traditional chakra doctrine and Kundalini yoga.

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content by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 19 May 2001, most recent update 14 December 2009