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Difference Between Kaula And Akaula In Tantric Worship

Kaulas are worshipers of Shakti who follow the non-normative vama-marga (ritualistic practices). The Kaulas are divided into Purva Kaulas and Uttara Kaulas. Those who do not accord Shakti the highest status are designated as Akaulas. The Kaulas emphasize the overall development of the human being physically, physiologically, and psychologically. They are solely eligible for brahma jnana – complete knowledge of the nature of self and God.

This tradition of Kaula is passed on through the guru-shishya-parampara (from teacher to disciple). If one is from a respectable family, studies Kula Tantra and teaches the same to the next generation, he is called Kaula.

One who seldom involves himself in the process of study and teaching and adopts some other vocation for his livelihood is called an Akaula.

Kularnava Tantra defines a person who finds the divine presence in all walks of life and sees all equally as a Kaula. A pebble, a stone, and a piece of gold are the same to a person who does not have the tendency to possess things. This is the highest state of achievement – passionless and looking at everything as belonging to God or nature. The details of the qualities of a Kaula are expounded in a book called Mahanila Tantra.