What is Deity Yoga?

“Deity Yoga” as a phrase is mostly associated with Tāntrik Buddhism such as Vajrāyana, where identification with a chosen deity occurs through various rituals and visualizations. The phrase has been adopted in other traditions to mean numerous things, but here, we’ll explore it from the perspective of Nondual Śākta Tantra. It is an appropriation of sorts since “Deity Yoga” as a phrase doesn’t occur in traditional sampradāyas (streams or lineages). 

Śakti is All Forms

To understand the basis of Deity Yoga in this particular tradition, let’s start at the beginning. Nondual Śākta Tantra holds that the Divine is the ultimate reality that is both form and formless, immanent and transcendent. The transcendent here refers to the reality that is out of the range of the manifest universe. It is formless, but is the very essence of form. The transcendent Divine is devoid of attributes such as name, form, space, and time. Conversely, the immanent Divine is endowed with attributes. As form, this aspect of the ultimate reality is everything in manifestation.

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