Agama Susama (Glimpses of the National Seminar on Agamas)

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Item Code: IDK240
Author: Lakshminarasimha Bhatta, K. Hayavadana Puranik and Dr. Haripriya Rangarajan
Publisher: Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati
Edition: 2005
Pages: 276
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 9.5" X 6.4"
Weight 510 gm
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Book Description

Agamas are known to be the reservoir of knowledge an Upasana as an important component of Sadhana Marga. They are believed to provide a synthesis of Karma Marga and Jnana Marga. Agamas have also become the main source-material on what may be described as Temple Culture, - which consists of themes, such as, the principles of Temple construction, rules and norms for installation of the Idol in the garbhagriha of the Temple, methods, techniques and modalities of worship, including the rules and norms for conduct of rituals, special Utsavas etc. and various Tantras aimed at realization of specific phalas. The etymological meaning of Agama signifies that Agama Sastra is a compendium of Dharma and Adharma and it provides useful guidelines for purusing Dharma Marga in practical life.

Agamas are highly diversified in terms of their basic tenets and practices. We have Vaisnava Agamas, Saiva Agamas and Sakta Agamas. Even in the Vaisnava tradition, we have two main streams of approaches viz Pancaratra Agama and Vaikhanasa Agama.

Different forms of Upasana Kramas are conceived and prescribed in Agama Sastra. Sri Madhvacharya, provides an interesting rationale for these different categories of Upasana karmas. While commenting on the Brahma Sutra.

In his Brahma Sutra Bhasya, Acharya states as follows :

Thus, the variance in Upasanas is due to the differences in the of different Upasakas. The modality of doing Upasana through the idols of the Lord, pertains to those who are not fully accompalished with true knowledge. We all belong to the category of and hence worship of the deity in the form of Idols is prescribed.

It is asserted in the Agama Sastra, that the extent of the spiritual presence of the Deity in the Idols that we worship, depends upon the extent of tapasya of the Archaka. The following sloka asserts this point :

In view of the above, knowledge of Agama Sastra and the practice of the worship as per the norms of the Agama Sastra become very important. Construction of Temples, installation of the main deity of the temple conduct of daily puja and celebration of the main festivals etc. are supposed to be carried out as per the prescriptions of Agama Sastra. We observe that even in the present times, many new temples are being built, and renovations of existing temples are also undertaken. Rituals in regard to daily puja and on the occasions of special festivals are being carried out as per the age old traditions and conventions, to the best understanding of the Archakas of the respective temples. In view of the decline in the number of knowledgeable persons in Agama Sastra, it is often feared as to whether the traditional Agama discipline is being properly followed or not in the various temples. The recent controversy in regard to the practice of temple worship in the TTD temples is a case in point. As a TTD Board meetings. It is in this background that I proposed to Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, to organize a national level conference, which will bring together well known Agama Pandits of both traditional and modern vintage.

When I happened to discuss this proposal with Dr. (Smt) Haripriya Rangarajan, well-known scholar of Tantrism and Agama Sastra, she fully endorsed the idea and assured whole hearted support for making the conference successful. We are grateful to Dr. (Smt) Haripriya Rangarajan for her constant support in working out the various aspects of the conference.

Research in the field of Agama Sastra is not new to the scholars of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. It was way back in 1970 that R.S. Vidyapeetha, then called as the Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeeth, had published Visvamitra Samhita – one of the celebrated texts on Agama Sastra. The Vidyapeetha has the privilege of publishing many other valuble texts such as, Naradiya Samhita 1971, Vishvaksena Samhita in 1988 and Poushkara Samhita in 1991. R.S. Vidyapeetha has the unique distinction of launching a major project on Vaikhanasa Agama Kosa. Though this project had been launched more than three decades ago, it had remained dormant for quite some time. I took special initiative to get this project revived recently. Three volumes of Vaikhanasa Agama Kosa have been recently published. I would like to urge the scholars of the Vidyapeetha to complete this project at the earliest since its usefulness in the scholarly and practical world is very great.

The present conference has brought together scholars in the different branche aspects of Agama Sastra, - in particular, - Pancaratra Agama, Vaikhanasa Agama, Saiva Agama, Sakta Agama and Tantrism. The scholars have presented their scholarly perceptions on the various issues, such as, Pratistha rituals, Bera Vichara, Yoga and Agamas, Archana Prakaras, Temple Renovation (Jeernoddhara), Tantrism, Yogini Tantra, Srividya, Relevance of Agama in Modern Times, etc. The conference has discovered that there is still a small community of scholars, who have studied Agama Sastra in great depth and perfection and that there is need for creating avenues for their frequent meeting and interactions.

I commend to the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha that it may hold regularly annual conferences of Agama scholars and bring out small booklets on specific themes such as Temple Renovation, Archana Prakara, Rituals and Tantras.

This volume of the conference papers provides a very useful insight into the various themes dealt with during the conference.

I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Prof. S.K. Ramachandra Rao, well known scholar on Agamas for delivering a very perceptive key note Address on the scope and content of the Agama Sastra as a whole. His incisive thoughts have set the tone for deliberations in the conference.

I would also like to thank all the scholars in different Agama, for having graced the occasion and enriched the deliberations with their scholarly contributions.

I should place on record our appreciation and gratitude to Prof. L.N. Bhat, former Registrar, R.S. Vidyapeetha and currently consultant on Agama Kosa Project in Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, and Pandit K. Hayavadana Puranik, consultant in the Centre for Exellence in Traditional Sastras, for their relentless efforts in coordinating the different aspects of the conference. I should also express our appreciation of the valuable intellectual guidance give by Prof. D. Prahlad Char, the then Vice-Chancellor of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha in regard to the various aspects of the theme of the conference. We also appreciate the encouragement given by Prof. K.E. Govindan, the present Vice-Chancellor I/c, for making this publication come out in a short time. I hope that the scholarly world would find this volume interesting and inspiring.


It is a matter of great pleasure for me place before the scholars and general public, the Proceedings, of the National Seminar on Agamas, conducted by the Agama Kosa Project of the Vidyapeetha. Agamas mainly deal with the rituals associated with Temple, method of worshipping the God, the deities, and other related topics such as Iconography. The subject of Agamas has not received the attention it deserves, either in the Universities or Research Institutes. For example, the amount of research that was done in the Vedas etc. was not carried out in the Agamas, though a vast literature exists. It is expected the present work provides the necessary impetus and direction for scholars to undertake research work in this area. The Agamas also contain valuble information on various scientific and technical subjects, like Metallurgy, Botony, Human Anatomy, etc. Further study in this direction needs to be undertaken, along with the main subject matter.

I am glad to see research papers on various themes presented in the conference, that are very relevant to our times. Many papers are such that they are of interest even to the layman. I thank all the scholars who have attended the conference and presented their valuble papers.

I take this opportunity to thank Dr. V.R. Panchamukhi, hon'ble Chancellor of Vidyapeetha who was the main inspiration behind this Seminar. I also thank Dr. (Mrs) Haripriya Rangarajan, New Delhi for her keen interest in conducting this Seminar.

I would like to thank Prof. L.N. Bhat, Prof. K. Hayavadana Puranik, and Dr. (Mrs) Haripriya Rangarajan, for editing and bringing out the conference Proceedings in an excellent manner. I am sure that the present volume proves to be an invaluable addition to the Agama literature in modern times.


a. Forewordxi - xiv
b. Prefacexv
c. Editorial musingsxvii - xxxiv
Key-Note Address
-Vachaspati Prof. S.K. Ramachandra Rao3-20
Glimpses from Pancaratragama
Pratistha Rituals with Special Reference to Pancaratra Agamas
-Dr. K. K. A. Venkatachari
Vyuhadvaita of Pancaratra Agama:
Spiritual Heritage of Temple – Tradition
-Dr. P. Prabhakar Apte
Yoga with reference to Pancaratragama
-Dr. Gita Kasturi
Glimpses from Vaikhanasagama
Consecration of different deities based on
Sri Vaikhanasa Agama
Sri N.S. Parthasarathy Bhattacharya
Glimpses from Saivagama
Text critical Awarness and the Canon of the Saiva Siddhanta
Dr. Dominic Goodah
Approaching the Agama: A Brief Survey of their contents
-Dr. T. Ganeshan
Glimpses from Saktagama
A Brief Account of the Yogini Tantra
-Dr. Mrs. Haripriya Rangarajan
Srividya or Sriyantra Upasana :
A Salient Feature of Saktagamas
-Dr. Mrs. Rajani Patki
The Philosophy behind Saktagama (Daksinacara)
-Dr. Kowtha Lalit Manohar
Glimpses from Agamic Literature
Renovation and Conservation of Temples and Icons (Jirnoddharana/Navikarana)
-Sri K.K.C. Lakshmi Narasimhan
A Few Technical Aspects in Vaisnava Agama
Dr. (Mrs) E.R. Rama Bai
Relevance of Agamas in Ritual Utensils and Temple Jewellery
-Prof. Choodamani Nandagopal
An Overview of the Scientific and Techonological Vastu Literature in Sanskrit and Tamil
-Dr. V. Ganapathi Sthapati
Relevance of Agamic Studies in Modern Times A Case Study
Dr. Nagaswami
**Contents and Sample Pages**

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