The Concept of Kuṇḍalinī in Śiva Śatakam: A Malayalam Work by Nārāyaṇa Guru

Hanna Urbańska


In the present paper an attempt will be made toward interpreting selected stanzas from the work of Nārāyaṇa Guru (1854–1928), a mystic and social reformer from Kerala. In his Malayalam work the Kuṇḍalinī Pāṭṭŭ (The Song of the Kundalini Snake), Guru depicted an ancient yogic concept of Kuṇḍalinī, a coiled power residing in the state of sleep within the subtle energy centre (mūlādhāra) situated at the base of the central body channel (suṣumnā). The very same concept appears in many other works by Nārāyaṇa Guru, including Śiva Śatakam (One Hundred Stanzas on Śiva). An analysis of these stanzas in the light of the Siddha tradition (Tirumandiram by Tirumūlar) reveals that not only has the Kuṇḍalinī concept been borrowed from the Dravidian literature, Nārāyaṇan introduces the Tamil Siddhas’style of description of mystic experiences to his philosophical works, using metaphorical-twilight language which excludes the possibility of univocal interpretation.

Słowa kluczowe: Nārāyaṇa Guru, Tirumandiram, Kuṇḍalinī, Śiva Śatakam, Śaivism, Śiwaizm

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