Mahanirvanatantram (Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and English Translation with Copious Notes) (An Old and Rare Book)

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Item Code: IDF861
Publisher: Chaukhambha Vidya Bhawan
Author: Edited by: J. L. Gupta, Translated by: M. N. Dutt
Language: Sanskrit Text, Transliteration and English Translation with Copious Notes
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 8170841668
Pages: 718
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 8.9" X 5.8"
Weight 1.08 kg
Book Description
About the Book:


It is a treatise of Tantrayoga of paramount importance which incorporates a vast area of study relating to spiritual practices of this unique discipline. The work not merely lays emphasis at the prime end of human life i.e. emancipation, but it very systematically outlines the inherent spiritual aspects of Tantrayoga which are also required for the development of both psyche and physique of the aspirant. It virtually teaches the practice of spiritual evolution in such a manner that the practitioner is able to achieve both Mukti and Bhukti i.e. liberation and physical comforts.

The highly salient themes of this work are the Invocation of the Supreme Yogi Lord Siva or purification of the Tattvas by concentrating and penetrating the Six Cakras, the practice of the Pranayama, forms of Durga, the rite of Mantroddhara, Purascarana rite, description of Yantras, awakening of the Kundalini Sakti, the process by Dhyana, adoring the different deities by chanting their respective bija-mantras, the importance of the Guru, the ceremony of the Abhiseka, the value of the Panca-tattvas or Pancamakaras for the Sadhaka, the mental proclivities, Samadhi and the process of adoring several other deities for achievement of Siddhis of the Tantra.

The value of present translation of the work by a learned genius like M. N. Dutt has been further enhanced by adding here the trans-literation into Roman English together with the Sanskrit verses. It is hoped that the scholars as well as the Sadhakas of Tantrayoga will find highly useful.


About the Author:


J. L. Gupta with brilliant academic career, obtained P. G. Dip. in Book Publishing from the College of Vocational Studie, University of Delhi in 1985 securing first division. He has been keenly involved with the editorial acticvities of books for more than two decades. he has edited and translated several books besieds writing certain articles for journals. He is well conversant with athe nuances in writing, editing and production of books. He has more than 20 books to his credit. Some of his edited and translatedworks are Challenges to the Indian Women, Jaina Yoga Meditation in the Light of Yogabindu, Hymns of Lord Siva, Hymns of Shri Krishna, Hymns and Prayers of Goddess Durga, A Dictionary of Administrative and Legislative Terms, Hindu Gods and goddesses, Miracles of Mantra-Sadhana etc. His areas of interest are Yoga, Indian Culture and Spiritual studies. Currently he is engaged in writing, editing and translation of religious books of Sanatana Dharma in a series for Indo-US Books, Newyork (USA).



The knowledge of Supreme Reality is gained from the study of vast ancient Hindu Scriptures, the spiritual revelations of the Master Minds, and the ancient Acaryas who have interpreted them. That the supreme lord has created the world of matter and spirit is unequivocally advocated by all the Scriptural teachings. Lord Siva, the supreme Master of the Universe is also the Lord of Yoga and Tantra from where the sacred knowledge of Tantra has emanated. Several of Hindu Tantras, which occur, are very much like the Puranas consisting of dialogues relating to the worship of gods and goddess. With Siva the Godhead, and Sakti the premier Goddess. Lord Siva describes here various religious topics to his consort Paravati that takes the shape of Tantra worship. The three classes of Tantra described by Lord Siva are known as Agama, Yamala and Damara. As is visible from the following extract of the Mahanirvana Tantra, the age of kali is an age of degeneration. People of all walks of life have got vitiated. They no longer have spiritual bent, they are less educated in Scriptures, and are, therefore, unable to understand the purport of Vedas, Samhitas, Samrtis and Upanishads. It is due to this object in mind that Lord Siva promulgated Tantras as easy instruments for deliverance of good and well-being to the people and even further the Moksa-vina agama margena kalau nasti gati priye.

The two streams of Indian thought representing Agama and Nigama which have continued since days of you are equally important. Both of them ultimately lead to one goal i.e. the welfare of people in this World and after that to the Abode of the Supreme Lord. Whereas the Nigama is based on the Sadhana reflected in the Vedas, Agama is known as Tantra reflected through the dialogues of Siva and Sakti. Derived from the root tan Tantra means the Sastra, which propagates the knowledge of delivering trana or moksa- tanyate vistaryate jnanamanena iti tantram. Tantra is the first step to enter the kingdom of the Brahman and to ultimately reach the acme of perfect Bliss. Vachaspati Mishra's definition of Tantra advocates for the human welfare, both mundane and supra-mundane.


The Mahanirvana Tantram is the most important of all the Tantras that are to be found now. It consists of two parts. The text of the first portion only has been published in Bengal. The second part, a reference of which is to be met with in the first, is not to be found anywhere. I made many attempts to find it out but all to no purpose Sometime before an information reached me that the Text of the second part was available in the temple of Kamakhya in Assam, I tried to have a look at it through some of my friends and on inquiry it was found that the text there is nothing but a version of the first part that we have translated.

To readers who are not well acquainted with Sanskrit this English version, we hope, will not be an unwelcome guest. This will give them an insight into one department of Sanskrit literature which is very popular in Bengal the cardinal teaching of this great work is the worship of one True God, which the author, despite many mystical and superficially technical passages, advocates in every page of the book. The style is charming and in many passages, true poetics touch is to be seen.

I have tried my best to translate the work as much literally as is possible making the sense clear. The duty of the translator is to inter prêt clearly and distinctly the ideas and thoughts of the original author. How far I have succeeded in this depends upon the judgment of my readers. I have given copious foot-notes to make the obscure passages clear. In the introduction I have attempted to give a short digest of Tantrika teachings. It will help the readers in understanding the original work. For this purpose, I have consulted almost all the Tantrika works that are available in Bengal. There is no other Tantra more important than this and I hope the translation of the Mahanirvana Tantram will place, before the English knowing public, a key to unlock the portal of Tantrika teachings which once swayed and have been still swaying over the many millions of Bengal.


The literature of Tantras is not so universally popular and authoritative as is that class of sacred writings of the Hindus which pass under the appellation of the Puranas. Its reputation has not traveled far and wide for none amongst the Western scholars has paid any attention to this department of Sanskrit Literature. What to speak of foreign countries its name is not even held in very much reverence in any other Province of India than Bengal. Many Indian scholars of repute are of opinion that the Tantras are purely the production of the soil of Bengal. The peculiar practices and rites of the followers of Tantrika religion which superficially appear abhorrent and disreputable have stood much in the way of the spread of its reputation and name. No form of religion has escaped the hands of corruption and superstition and that has also been the case with Tantrika religion. But to consider impartially it yields in merit and excellence to no other department of ancient Hindu thought.

In Sanskrit literature we meet with two classes of Tantras, Hindu Tantras and Buddha Tantras. As is the case with Puranas Tantras consist of dialogues relating to the worship of God and other theological topics. In the former class of compositions Siva describes various religious topics to his consort Parvati and in the latter Buddha describes them to his followers. It is with the former we have particularly to do.




  Foreword i
  Preface xii
1. The popularity of Tantras xiii
2. Its birth-place xiii
3. Two classes of Tantras xiii
4. Three divisions of Saiva works xiii
5. Definition of Agamas xiii
6. Characteristic of Tantras xiv
7. Definition of Yamala xiv
8. An account of Damara xiv
9. The object of Tantra xv
10. Tantras, a production of Kali Yuga xvi
11. Tantra is a mystic learning xvi
12. Various Tantrik works xvii
13. Table of Tantrik works in Varahi Tantra xviii
14. Upa-Tantras and their authors xx
15. Boudha Tantras and their number xx
16. Date of Tantras xxi
17. Evidence of date in Upanisads xxi
18. Evidence in Puranas xxi
19. Tantrik evidence xxii
20. Opinion of Deccan scholars on date xxii
21. Propagation of Tantra in Gujrat xxii
22. Definition of Sruti, Tantrik and Vedic xxiii
23. Origin of Tantra from Siva xxiii
24. Origin of various scriptural works xxiii
25. The Tantrik ritual of Diksa xxiii
26. The qualifications of a Guru xxiv
27. The qualifications of a disciple xxiv
28. Persons not qualified to give mantras xxv
29. Day and hour for receiving initiation xxv
30. The various divisions of the Tantrika xxvii
31. Account of Daksinacaras xxvii
32. Account of Vamacaras xxviii
33. The three classes of Bhava xxviii
34. The ceremony of Abhiseka xxix
35. Pancamakara xxx
36. Esoteric meaning of Pancamakara xxxii
37. The fruits of Pancamakar xxxiii
38. Panca Tattwa xxxiv
39. The ceremony of Sadhana xxxv
40. Tantrik Cakra xxxv
41. Account of Viracakra xxxvi
42. Account of Rajacakra xxxvi
43. Account of Devacakra xxxvi
44. Fruits of Cakra xxxvii
45. Tantrik theory of creation xxxviii
46. Similarity between Tantrik theory of creation and that of Samkhya xxxix
47. Topography and earth as seen in Nirvana Tantram xl
1. Description of the Mount Kailasha 1
2. Description of Siva 2
3. An account of Krta Age 7
4. An account of Treta and Dwapara Ages 10
4. Account of Kali 12
5. Account of Tantrik works 15
6. Advocacy of the religion of Agama 24
7. Advocacy of the teachings of Siva 26
8. Inefficacy of the Vedic mantras in Kali Yuga 27
9. Advocacy of Tantrik worship in Kali 28
10. Account of various sects 29
11. Attributes of Brahma 33
12. The necessity of the worship of one True God 37
13. The true from of Brahma 41
14. Apprehension of Brahma through mental concentration and spiritual communion 43
15. The mantram of Brahma 44
16. The fruits of Brahma mantra 46
17. The meaning of Brahma mantra 51
18. The Rishi and the metre of the mantra 54
19. The Mula mantra 56
20. Pranayama 57
21. Puraka, Recaka, and Kumbaka process 57
22. The process of contemplating on Brahma 58
23. Brahma amulet 64
24. Time and place for the worship of Brahma 68
25. No distinction of caste in the worship of Brahma 71
26. Sandhya 72
27. Prakrti is the Goddess Durga 91
28. Her various forms 94
29. The great principles and the work of creation 96
30. Prediction of Kali 104
31. Advocacy of truth 111
32. The rite of Mantroddhara 121
33. Morning Sadhana described 127
34. The worship of Istadevata 129
35. The worship of sacred rivers 133
36. The various Nyasas and Yogic processes 143
37. Special Arghya 164
38. Pancikarana 169
39. Various sorts of Sura 179
40. Three sorts of mamsa 180
41. Beasts of sacrifice 180
42. Classification of fish and Mudra 181
43. The ceremony of purifying Tantrik ingredients 182
44. Prohibition about drinking 183
45. Wine cup described 184
46. The twelve Kalas of the sun 185
47. The sixteen Kalas of Soma 186
48. How the various vessels should he placed 190
49. The dedications of various articles 193
50. The distribution of Bali amongst the Batukas 193
51. Offerings to the Yoginis 193
52. Mantra regarding offerings to all creatures 195
53. The mantra for presenting offerings to the Goddess Siva 195
54. Prayers to Istadevata 195
55. The rite for installing life into the goddess 198
56. The purification of the image 199
57. The consecration of her limbs 200
58. The sixteen ingredients for worshipping her 201
59. The mantra of offering 202
60. The offering of food unto the goddess 203
61. The worship of her six limbs and the preceptors 204
62. The worship of the eight Nayikas and their names 205
63. The names of the eight Bhairavas 206
64. The ten sorts of animals for sacrifice 206
65. The Pasu Gayatri 207
66. The worship of the dagger beast 208
67. The rite of sacrificing 209
68. The rituals of Homa 210
69. The drawing of the Yantra 211
70. The worship of the altar and goddess of Speech 213
72. The enkindling of fire 214
73. The prayer to the sacred fire 216
74. The worship of Saktis, etc. and other deities 218
75. The mantra for propitiating the Goddess of Learning 223
76. The worship of the garland 224
77. The description of the drinking cup 228
78. The method of Tantrik drinking 230
79. The hymn of the Prime Kalika 232
80. The hundred names of the Prime Kalika 234
81. The virtues of the Hymn 240
82. The Kavaca of the Kalika 245
83. The Virtues of the Kavaca 250
84. Purascarana rite 250
85. The brief mode of making Puja 253
86. An account of Kula and Kula rites 255
87. An account of the Varnas and Asramas 261
88. The absence of Brahmacarya and Vanaprastha Asrama in Kali Yuga 264
89. The practice of Samnyasins in Kali Yuga 266
90. Regulations about Asramas in Kali Yuga 268
91. The restrictions about leaving the world and taking to the life of a Samnyasin 269
92. The order of house-holders is the foremost of all 270
93. The duties of a house-holder 271
94. Definition of Purity 287
95. Purifying articles 288
96. The time for observing external purity 289
97. The periods for performing Sandhya 290
98. Description of Vaidika Sandhya 291
99. The Gayatri mantra of the Kali Yuga 294
100. The religious acts of the people in the Kali Yuga 298
101. Tirthas of the Kali Yuga 299
102. The duties of a wife 300
103. Sanctioned and forbidden food 302
104. Means for livelihood for various castes 302
105. Bhairavi Cakram 317
106. The virtues of Bhairavi Cakra 331
107. An account of Tattwacakra 333
108. Fruits of Tattwacakra 338
109. Rules of Avadhuta Asrama 339
110. Characteristics of a true Samnyasin 358
111. Description of Kulavadhuta 360
112. The division of Sanskaras 364
113. The mantram of Sanskaras in various yugas 366
114. The invocation of sacred fire 368
115. The seven tongues of the fire 370
116. The prayers unto Brahma 370
117. The sacrificial vessels 373
118. The ceremony of Abhiseka 378
119. Kusandika rite described 379
120. Caru rite 382
121. Garbhadhana ceremony 386
122. The ceremony of the Astava 387
123. Details of the Garbhadhana ceremony 391
124. Ceremony of Punsavana 394
125. Ceremony of Pancamrta 395
126. Ceremony of Simantonnayna 397
127. Ceremony of Jatakarma 400
128. Namakarana ceremony 401
129. Ceremony of Niskramana 404
130. Annasana ceremony 405
131. Cudakarana ceremony 407
132. Upavita ceremony 411
133. The person entitled to perform the ceremonies 421
134. The marriage ceremongy 422
135. Description of the Brahma marriage 432
136. Saiva wife and the claims of the issues of this marriage 433
137. The rite for the consecration of tanks, etc. 438
138. Restriction of women in the performance of Vrddhi Sraddha 440
139. Details of the Vrddhi Sraddha rite 443
140. Ekadista Sraddha 462
141. Cremation of men and women 464
142. Cremation rites 466
143. Advocacy of Kula religion 469
144. Rules for Koula initiation 470
145. The initiation mantra 485
146. Various modes of Purnabhiseka described 489
147. Definition of sin 503
148. Two-fold sin described 504
149. The two-fold means of relief 505
150. The punishments which a king should administer 505
151. Heavy punishment for light offence 506
152. Light punishment for heavy offence 507
153. Duties of the king and his subjects 507
154. The punishment for sinful co-habitation 508
155. Duties of a widow 516
156. Remarriage of married women 516
157. Punishment for murder or attempt at murder 518
158. Punishment for treason 518
159. Punishment for wicked people 520
160. Punishment for those who sell sons and daughters 520
161. Punishment for theft 521
162. Punishment for the ungrateful 521
163. The nature of evidence 522
164. Punishment for excessive drinking 527
165. Punishment for a person who takes forbidden food 529
166. Rules for killing beasts 534
167. Expiation for minor sins 538
168. Purification of a polluted house or a tank 538
169. Purification of the twice-born who trade in degraded occupations 540
170. The law of inheritance 547
171. Law of sale and purchase 568
172. The law of mortgage 572
173. The forms of Kali 577
174. Pratistha ceremony 583
175. Consecration of various articles and the fruits thereof 584
176. The worship of Vastudevata and his family 590
177. The dhyana of Vastudevata 594
178. Description of Grahayantra 597
179. The worship of planets 599
180. The Dhyana of Brahma 604
181. The mantras fro worshipping the planets 606
182. The mantras for consecrating tank, house, bridge, etc. 612
183. Ganesha Dhyana 616
184. The rite of consecrating a tank 620
185. The Pratistha ceremony of an artificial lake 622
186. That of a house 625
187. Articles of worship 630
188. The mystic prayer of the goddess 632
189. The prayer of the home 644
190. The prayer to the goddess 645
191. Prayer to the temple 646
192. Prayer to the bull 648
193. Prayer to the lions 649
194. Prayer to Garuda 650
195. The consecration of a recreation-ground 652
196. The establishment of the image of the Prime Kalika 652
197. The consecration of the idol 655
198. The assignment of Vedas and Tattwas 658
199. The virtues of the installation of the phallic emblem of Siva 664
200. An account of Siva-ksetra 666
201. How the offering of worship should be made 687
202. The doctrine of Karma 692
203. The means of liberation 695
204. An account of Avadhuta 701
205. An account of the Mahanirvantantra 701


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