Questions about Kurukulla

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Questions about Kurukulla

Post by Ann »

I am new to DharmaPaths; I’ve come looking for guidance regarding Kurukulla. I am not an adherent of any particular religion; my spiritual path is one of devotion to the Hindu goddess Tripurasundari. It is this devotion that defines my spiritual life, wherever it leads. I have posted this in the General Buddhism forum because Buddhism is the only spiritual tradition that seems to have much to say about Kurukulla. If I have inadvertently posted this in the wrong forum, I hope someone will redirect me.

Earlier this year, I became aware of Kurukulla. One of Tripurasundari’s names is also Kurukulla, and their iconography is similar. I have read that Kurukulla was originally a local Indian tribal deity closely associated with witchcraft, and that, even in Buddhism, manipulation, of others and the physical world, is within her domain.

What I read about her amazes me; as a goddess, she pulls together several disparate spiritual paths that I have been on, now and in the past. Not only am I devoted to Tripurasundari, but for many years I considered myself a witch (Wiccan). Here are my issues:

Over the course of years, I evolved a concept of what I guess you could call “dharmic” witchcraft, which is non-manipulative. I view manipulation, in principle, to be adharmic, and efforts to treat other people and the natural world as if it were something to be dominated in accordance with one’s will to be anathema. Dharmic witchcraft or magic, in my view, is cooperative; it involves working with natural forces in a sort of dance. One or the other may lead, but both partners are willing. I wonder to what degree focus on Kurukulla would reinforce an orientation that I view as adharmic.

Another issue is sex. Many people of a traditional spiritual bent view sex, practically, with some suspicion and often tend to avoid it. I have learned that this makes sense; I’ve had a negative spiritual encounter as a consequence of my own naivete and indiscretion, from which I was rescued. I think sex is one of the most powerful forces in the human experience; and, like any powerful tool, when misused can cause great damage. I do not fault anyone for setting it aside through celibacy; that’s something I wouldn’t mind doing myself, if I were permitted to do so. But I’ve been directed, instead, to simply surrender the issue and my sexuality itself to the Goddess and let Her direct its use in my spirituality.

So, here comes Kurukulla, a goddess of not simply sex but actual lust, according to what I read; and my experience of lust is that it is demonic. I will not waver on that point. Can this be reconciled with Kurukulla, herself? Perhaps it’s a matter of definition. To many spiritual people, “lust” is defined as simple sexual desire; however, I understand it to be, rather, a perversion of sexual desire: a possessive, self-focused sexual desire, as opposed to the desire to open oneself completely to another. Can someone reconcile this conflict for me?

Finally, would someone please explain the fangs? I’m sorry, but I was raised as a fundamentalist Christian, and old images do not pass away easily. I’ve come to the point where I think Kali’s imagery is no longer a problem – largely due to Ramakrishna’s ardent adoration of her – but I struggle with Kurukulla’s. The associations with lust and witchcraft make it even more difficult.

Thanks for any who can give me any assistance or direction in these matters.
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Re: Questions about Kurukulla

Post by DNS »

Welcome to DP!

Unfortunately, I don't know about Kutukulla and the wikipedia page doesn't have much info to add what you already know about her.
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Re: Questions about Kurukulla

Post by Nicholas »

Here is a little definition. You might search Images for her peaceful aspect.
Kurukullā. (T. Dbang gi lha mo). Sanskrit proper name of a form of TĀRĀ; Kurukullā appears in both peaceful and wrathful manner, generally red in color. Wrathful, she stands in ARDHAPARYAṄKA ĀSANA, one face with three eyes, wearing a crown of skulls and holding in her four hands a bow and arrow and snare (pāśa) and displaying the ABHAYAMUDRĀ. When peaceful, she is portrayed in seated posture and has eight arms. Kurukullā is propitiated in a rite of VAŚĪKARAṆA, by which men are bewitched. She is therefore considered the Tārā of love, propitiated by women seeking success in romance. Her mantra is oṃ kurukulle hrī svāhā.

Excerpt From: Lopez, Donald S., Jr., Buswell, Robert E., Jr. The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism.
Go to Dharma Wheel where there are several Kurukulla & Tara threads.
May all seek, find and follow the Path of Buddhas.
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Re: Questions about Kurukulla

Post by Dharmasherab »

Just saw this question now.

It is best to ask this question on DharmaWheel (Buddhist Discussion Forum on Mahayana and Vajrayana) within the Tibetan Buddhism section.

What you are referring to is a specific yidam within the Vajrayana.

Given that these types of practices are handed over in an esoteric manner, the amount of information that may be given to you may be limited.
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