AskDefine | Define yoni

The Collaborative Dictionary

Yoni \Yo"ni\ (y[=o]"n[=e]), n. [Skr. y[=o]ni.] (Hindu Myth.) The symbol under which Sakti, or the personification of the female power in nature, is worshiped. Cf. Lingam. [1913 Webster]

English

Etymology

From योनि.

Pronunciation

Noun

  1. The womb or vulva, or a symbol of it, especially as an object of veneration within certain types of Hinduism, Buddhism, and other cultures.
The word yoni (Sanskrit yoni) is the Sanskrit word for "divine passage", "place of birth", "womb" (more as nature as a womb and cradle of all creations) or "sacred temple" (cf. lila). The word also has a wider meaning in both profane and spiritual contexts, covering a range of meanings of "place of birth, source, origin, spring, fountain, place of rest, repository, receptacle, seat, abode, home, lair, nest, stable" (Monier-Williams). The yoni is also considered to be symbolic of Shakti or other goddesses of a similar nature.
thumbnail|left|200px|A stone yoni found in Cát Tiên sanctuary, Lam Dong, Vietnam.In classical texts such as Kama Sutra, yoni refers to vagina. Even more interesting linguistic example is the Sinhalese language, which developed from old colloquial Sanskrit of North India.
Possible Lingam-Yonis have been recovered from the archeological sites at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, part of the Indus Valley Civilization. There is strong evidence to support cultural continuation from the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappan; Indus-Sarasvati) to Vedic and modern Hindu practises (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Vedic_Continuity and refer to the book by famed archaeologist, B.B. Lal entitled, The Sarasvati flows on: The continuity of Indian culture, Aryan Books International (2002), ISBN 8173052026).
Joseph Campbell associates Yoni with "Kali, "the dark one" who is the "blood-consuming consort" of Shiva (Campbell, Joseph, Oriental Mythology: The Masks of God, pgs.170-171).
yoni in Danish: Yoni
yoni in German: Yoni
yoni in Modern Greek (1453-): Γιονί
yoni in Indonesian: Yoni
yoni in Lithuanian: Joni
yoni in Malay (macrolanguage): Yoni
yoni in Russian: Йони
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