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Crazy Wisdom of the Yogini

Teachings of the Kashmiri Mahamudra Tradition

Published by Inner Traditions
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

An experiential journey through the secret teachings and self-realization practices of the Kashmiri yogini tradition

• Shares vivid, experiential descriptions of the author’s sessions with master Lalita Devi wherein she imparted the essential principles of the Mahamudra to him physically, verbally, and energetically

• Presents new translations of the most significant sacred books, including the Shiva Sutras, the Pratybhijna Hrdayam Sutra, and the Spandakarika, each presented in language that preserves their spontaneous mystic flow

• Pairs the author’s intellectual study of the sacred texts with direct transmissions from his teacher, with each perspective shedding light on the other

In 1975, in an isolated Himalayan forest, Daniel Odier met Lalita Devi, a tantric yogini who took him on a mystical journey beyond the limits of sexual experience to transcend the ego, recognize the true self, and rediscover the Divine nature of absolute love. Now, Odier shares the secret teachings and self-realization practices of the Kashmiri Mahamudra (meditation on the mind itself) and the Pratyabhijna (the School of Sudden Recognition).

The author offers vivid descriptions of his sessions with Lalita Devi wherein she imparted the essential principles of the Mahamudra and the yoga of emotions to him physically, verbally, and energetically. Lalita Devi knew the principal texts of Kashmiri Shaivism by heart. New translations of the most significant sacred books, including the Shiva Sutras, the Pratyabhijnahrdayam, and the Spandakarika, are provided by Odier along with chants and poems from the yogini tradition. Presented in language that preserves their spontaneous mystic flow and restores their original ancient female origins, Crazy Wisdom of the Yogini offers a profound inside look at authentic tantric teachings.


Heart to Heart 1: The Essential Principles of Mahamudra

When Lalita was teaching me visualizations, her energy was projected onto me and I acquired, right from the first transmissions on, the power to instantly see the images that she was describing to me. . . . The transmission took place by touch, one hand on the heart, by the eyes, and by words. In the exact order indicated by Abhinavagupta.

As preliminary practices for the realization of Mahamudra, the visualizations and the yoga of the lineage are very important because they spatialize the body, the mind, and the emotions. They allow you to enjoy a relaxed body of light, a mind that is in its natural state: silent and as open as space, plus emotions that are fluid and quick, not having to be controlled or filtered. Everything can come about in the natural state: no more fear, no goal to reach, no projection, no hope because at every moment you are fulfilled. Presence shows you that you never lack anything.

“This morning I’m going to transmit Kumari’s visualization to you. . . . Your eyes in mine! The breath slow and deep without the slightest variation in rhythm and intensity. Heart to heart!

“You are seated on a flat, round rock in the middle of a lake. Your sacrum is in contact with the cool water. The energy of the water goes up your spine and diffuses into your whole body. In order to balance the masculine energy and the feminine energy and become Bhairava / Bhairavi visualize yourself as a woman. Starting with the perineum, very cool, a yoni opens, a uterus opens. Your heart vibrates and creates breasts. You are identical with me. The subtle feminine vibration spreads through all your cells. You are transforming yourself - I see it in your eyes.

“A beautiful night, a deep blue sky. You see the shore of the lake. A ruby appears, floating in space. You contemplate it, in awe.

“Suddenly the ruby becomes the very beautiful goddess Kumari with a body of transparent rubies. I am Kumari. My organs, my muscles, my bones, my tendons, all the fluids of my body are a beautiful transparent red. I begin walking on the water and I dance the Tandava as I approach you.

“I come to the flat rock and I sit facing you. The red energy begins to invade your body and your organs. Your brain is bathed in the ruby power. A single color. Total presence.

“I join my delicate hands together, placing them on your navel. My breath enters into you. You open totally, without fear, muscles relaxed. My hands enter into you very gently. They surround your uterus and take it out of your body. I place it in the cool water of the lake. See how it distends, taking on marvelous, light colors. No memory remains. It has just come into form. It finds once again its original state.

“My hands come back inside your body. My hands take out your yoni and your ovaries and place them in the cool water. They return once again to their original state with delicious colors. The past dissolves. Innocence is found again.

“I continue to take out organs one after the other. You see all these organs floating and freeing themselves in happiness.

“Now I remove your diaphragm which is going to free up your breath, your lungs, and your heart. They all throb and beat in the water’s coolness. They free themselves from the past, finding once again the delicacy and color of the organs of a newborn child.

“Moving further up, I take out your tongue, your eyes, finally your brain and place them in the water. They too find this peaceful, colored state. Your brain lets go like a handful of oatmeal thrown into boiling water. It is shot through with rainbows. No more memory, no more projections, no more expectations. It is perfect, fulfilled and spacious. Your eyes have not yet seen anything of the world. They are open wide, innocent.

“Contemplate the beauty of your organs and feel the spatiality of your body bathed in this magnificent red light. Your body is nothing but space. It is no different from mine. There is only one body, which is the cosmos.

“I take your uterus from the water and put it back in your body. What coolness! What wisdom! Little by little I replace the other organs and you begin to feel a new communication among them, an enchantment, a subtle quivering that increases as I fill your body with organic space. This is the key to the wonderment. Inner beauty!

“Even when the brain is put back in place it is nothing other than the orgasmic union of the body with the cosmos. You are the cosmos but your thinking mind does not say, ‘I am the cosmos’.”

Lalita slides onto my legs and heart to heart, belly to belly, lips to lips, in a single look she penetrates me. Joined in flamboyance, beyond time. Then she gets up suddenly, begins dancing on the waves, moving away and flowing into the ruby that is floating above the shore of the lake.

When the vision fades, I find myself still opposite her. Her face is illuminated with a light smile. During the transmissions, totally taken by her magic, I never asked any questions. I drank in the energy as the most precious of nectars. Her words incised themselves into me. I saw them as multiple lingams emerging from yonis, as if from sacred spaces, from invisible temples. No doubt it was this fascination that made her smile. The perfume of her body intoxicated me. I had the impression of moving through a garden of jasmine and roses. I had no doubt that the teaching was transmitted also through the olfactory sense, an ability that developed as I visualized myself as a woman, as if the sensory range extended to infinity. . . .

About The Author

Daniel Odier began his studies with Kalu Rinpoche in 1968 and remained his disciple until his passing in 1989. In 2004 Odier received the Ch'an ordination in the Lin t'si and Caodong schools in China as well as permission to teach the Zhao Zhou Ch'an lineage in the West. He gives workshops in Europe, Canada, and the United States and is the author of Tantric Quest: An Encounter with Absolute Love and many other books, including Yoga Spandakarika: The Sacred Texts at the Heart of Tantra. He lives in Switzerland.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Inner Traditions (July 6, 2021)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644112083

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Raves and Reviews

“For all of the lovers of Daniel Odier’s thirty years of offerings, Crazy Wisdom of the Yogini is a culminating treasure from one of the great tantric teacher-practitioner- scholars of our time. Daniel’s sharing of the heart to heart transmission from Kashmiri yogini Lalita Devi elucidates and enlivens the inner teachings, meditations, visualizations, poetry, dance, and living practices for realizing and embodying the transforming natural state of Mahamudra. Savor this transforming offering and prepare to be pierced by the wisdom from the heart of the yoginis.”

– Shiva Rea, author of Tending the Heart Fire

“It is rare to find such vivid and beautiful descriptions of the sacred oral teachings and living transmissions of a yogini master to her student. To receive them embedded between translations of foundational philosophical texts of the Kashmir Shaivite traditions as well as the mystical poetry of Lalla is a gift of even more scintillating wisdom. Behind and within such beautiful language, the different voices presented in this precious book weave together a united transmission of the heart that illuminates Mahamudra. Daniel Odier’s Crazy Wisdom of the Yogini is an invitation and an opening into a wellspring of ancient embodied yogini heart wisdom.”

– Laura Amazzone, author of Goddess Durga and Sacred Female Power

“Now, more than forty-five years after the teachings of the Kashmiri Mahamudra tradition were first transmitted to him in the Himalayas by his master, the yogini Lalita Devi, Daniel Odier himself has become a master of these teachings. Through a dazzling mix of his vivid recollections of his encounters with Lalita, his erudite exploration of the key ancient Kashmiri Mahamudra texts, and his presentation of the 14th-century devotional poetry of Lalla, Odier eloquently imparts to us in Crazy Wisdom of the Yogini daily practices that create a life of tranquility and insight.”

– Elliott Goldberg, author of The Path of Modern Yoga

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