Magic, Sex, Distortions and Divinity What Tantra Is Not There is a misconception among people that Tantra is all about "bad things" like black-magic, animal sacrifices, sexual excesses and drinking liquor and that it is something distinct from daily Hinduism. The word "Tantra" in fact carries a negative overtone which is why a lot of people do not take up its study. An average Hindu has very little, in fact, no idea what Tantra is all about and thinks that Tantra has no relevance to his daily Hindu duties. While it is true that sexual excesses, graveyard practices, black magic etc are a part of Tantric practices, they are but a small part of certain sects of the various Tantric schools, in the same way that animal sacrifices and drinking of Soma were a common aspect of the Vedas. Any region or philosophy has its good sides as well as bad sides.
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There is no greater evil than aversion, no greater merit than pleasure - - Chandamaharoshana Tantra This is a voluminous work in the digest class, and divided into five paricchedas divisions but also including a series of stotras hymns and kavachas armours. The title means "The great essence of Tantra" and contains a wealth of information on the tradition, including yantras, dhyana meditation images , stotras hymns , kavachas armours and other ritualistic details.
Pariccheda One The author starts with a salutation, then launches straight into the characteristics of a guru, and the greatness of the guru. He does so by quoting various sources and tantras, some of which now appear to be lost. This pattern is followed throughout the whole work.
Following this, he quotes works showing blameworthy types of guru, the characteristics of good and bad disciples and rules relating to initiation. Then follow prescriptions relating to mantras, which include using various diagrams such as the rashi 12 sidereal zodiac constellations chakra, the nakshatra chakra 27 sidereal zodiac constellations and other diagrams such as the A-Ka-Tha and A-Ka-Da-Ma, gain and loss chakras.
A section deals with the best time to initiate, which draws widely on astrological rules. Then follows a section relating to the nature of malas rosaries. This goes into some detail as to the type of materials to be used, and which are best.
Then follow rules relating to asana seat. A section on the preparatory actions purashcharana which must be followed once a disciple is initiated follows. Unless these actions are performed, a mantra does not bestow success and is lifeless. A section follows which relates the types of fruit which can be expected from reciting a mantra, as well as the way japa recitation should be peformed. A section then deals with the kurma tortoise yantra, which is used to determine the direction in which japa is performed, followed by the 10 purifications samskaras of mantras to remove any defects they may have.
There follows a large number of verses drawn from different tantras related to various types of initiation diksha. Pariccheda Two This section starts with rules relating to ordinary puja, that is worship carried out on a daily basis.
Topics covered include the twilight rules, the way to bathe, the different gayatris of the different devatas, and a whole set of different nyasas. Nyasa is "placing" of mantras on different parts of the body, including visualisation of said mantras. Nyasas mentioned include Matrika nyasa, Hand and Limb nyasa, inner Matrika nyasa, outer Matrika nyasa, pitha nyasa, rishi and so forth nyasa, and others.
This chapter then begins to discuss the various mantras of different devatas - Annapurna, Triputa, Tvarita, Nitya, Vajraprastarini, Durga, Mahishamardini, Jayadurga, Shulini, Vagishvari start off a lengthy sequence. Many more details including those of puja, meditation images dhyana and yantras are given in this large section, which draws upon many different tantras and yamalas for the details. Pariccheda Three The pattern of division two continues in the third chapter, which kicks off by describing the mantra, puja, dhyana and other details of Karnapishachi.
Other devatas mentioned in this section include Manjughosha. Other extracts come from the Bhairava Tantra. The Tarini Kalpa, extracted from the Tarini Tantra, is next. She is described as black, long bellied, terrifying, adorned with snakes as her earrings, with a red mouth and rolling tongue, wearing red clothes, and with large rising breasts. She is sitting on a corpse, has four arms, long hair, drinking blood out of a cup she holds n one of her hands. She is long limbed, with tongue, her eyes being the form of the sun, the moon and fire.
She is the enemy destroying Devi, the greatly terrifying giver of boons, wearing a tiger skin. The next section of this chapter is called the Sarasvata Prada Kalpa, followed by the Katyayani Kalpa, succeeded by a section on Durga Devi.
This is followed by the Vishalakshi Mantra, attributed here to the "Adiyamala". Attached to this last Devi is a selection of prayogas for attraction, subjugation, causing enmity, driving away - complete with mantras and dhyanas.
A section on Yogini starts, attributed to the Bhutadamara Tantra. These include Kameshvari, Ratisundari, Padmini, Natini, Madhumati, and others, and include the pujas and dhyanas needed in their worship. A number of other sources are quoted including Kaulavali, Yogini Tantra, Vamakeshvara Tantra and others.
A section describes what is to be done and not done with the yantras. Pariccheda Four This section largely deals with details of puja, homa, asana and the like. Like the other sections, it compiles the details from a variety of agamas and tantras, some of which are unknown apart from quotations.
The chapter describes defects of mantras, and how they can be fixed or "pacified", and goes on to describe the characteristics of kundas or hearths in which to perform homa. Home can be performed for "optional" purposes, that is to achieve certain aims. The measurements of the hearths and other details are described. Homas and mantras for specific devatas, including Ganesha and others are given in great detail. The next section describes the Six Acts, describing the tithis, or stations of the Moon, that are suitable for these purposes.
Stavas and Kavachas In this edition, the next section is not called a Pariccheda, but instead contains a number of stotras or hymns and kavachas or armours to different devatas.
Then comes the names of Durga hymn, and her kavacha. This is followed by the Mahishamardini stotra and kavacha, the Lakshmi stotra and kavacha, the Sarasvati stotra, the Ganesha stotra and the Haridra Ganesha kavacha - attributed to the Vishvasara Tantra. Pariccheda Five The fifth section starts off by talking about the upacharas, or ritual accessories, used in puja of the different devatas.
The 64 upacharas are first described, then the 18, then the 16, then the 10, then the five. There follows a section on the greatness of the rudraksha rosary, drawn from the Padma Purana. Different purifications are then described in great detail, followed by the characteristics of mudras hand gestures. There follows a section related to yantras and how they can be worn. A section describes the substances to be used to draw yantras. Much of the following relates to different pujas for many of the devatas already mentioned.
Vetala siddhi, drawn from a section of the Kulachudamani Tantra, is described, followed by a description of animal sacrifice, the acts to be performed in the morning and the necessary purifications to be performed. Then follows a section on the purification of a Shakti, quoting from many different tantras.
A section describes vira sadhana, the five makaras five Ms , and Kumari puja. Appendix An appendix to the Prachya Prakashan edition of Brihat Tantrasara describes the Ganga mantra, and the Shashthi mantra, dhyana and puja, as well as containing the Ganga kavacha, the Kartikkeya kavacha, the Shashthi stotra, the Vishahari Manasa stotra, the Svaha kavacha, the Dakshina stotra, the Balaram stotra, the Mahakali stotra, the Nayika kavacha and stotra, the Guru kavacha, the Yoshid Guru meditation, the Stri Guru female guru kavacha, a Guru stotra, a Hanuman stotra, a Matanga stotra, a Dhumavati stotra, and other ritual information such as where to place the pot, how to purify a kavacha, and a section on the Svara Shaktis, corresponding to the vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet.
The last section of the PP edition of this tantra contains illustrations of a number of yantras referred to in the text.
See other formats DrS. The Atharva Veda being an integral part of vedic culture forms the basis of all the tantras, especially of those connected with the worship of the Mother Goddess. The Sammohana tantra asserts that without the worship of Kali or Tara there can be no practical application of Atharvan charms and spells. She is Kalottara in Kaulottara yana.
Buddhist Deity: Vajrapani, Bhutadamara (Charya Tantra)
Ask a question Preface The Tantra literature of India, though in most cases almost lost, is still the only source whence a knowledge of Sadhana in all its aspects-theoretical, practical and ritualistic-may be derived and understood, because it is a Practical Pratysa Science. However, the Sastra in its literature is not a plain exposition, which would reveal its intricacies to anyone who lays a hand on it. The Initiation from the Guru is therefore essential. In fact it has been repeatedly emphasized in the Sastra that it can be fully understood only by such an Initiation-Srinatha vaktrat. However, if the subsequent tools which unravel the mysteries of Texts and also assist the process of decoding the Mantras concealed in the Text, are available, a Sadhaka can achieve some practical result. Today when worthy Teachers Sadgurus are getting scarce such tools become all the more essential. The various Abhidhanas or Dictionaries come under this category.