Please Wait...

Ritual and Speculation in Early Tantrism: Studies in Honor of Andre Padoux

Ritual and Speculation in Early Tantrism: Studies in Honor of Andre Padoux
Item Code: IHL413
Author: Teun Goudriaan
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Edition: 1993
ISBN: 0791408973
Pages: 375
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.8 inch X 5.8 inch
weight of the book: 525 gms

Ritual engagement at abstract speculation about supreme truth? The title of this book, by juxtaposing ritual and speculation, is expressive of one of the most intriguing characteristics of the Hindu tradition: the conviction that philosophy and ceremonial activity are not two separate compartments-as a modern outside observer might be inclined to think—but that, on the contrary, they should be applied in constant interaction so as to fecundate each other. The study of Tantric literature, especially of the earlier period of remarkable religious inspiration is apt to illustrate this point in various ways.

The contributors to this" book have dealt with several aspects of the subject in their own way, in accordance with their distinctive preferences. They have not been asked to follow a particular line of argument; it seemed better to allow them full freedom within the range suggested by the general title. The result is a many—sided orientation from the viewpoint of several Tantric schools; there may be a certain emphasis as the speculative aspects but the ritual structure is never entirely lost sight of.

The articles have been arranged in alphabetical order by the names of the authors. It is a happy coincidence that the first article, by Helene Brunner, offers an encompassing study of the relation between ‘wisdom’ and “action” in the Saivagama tradition, where these two concepts figure with special prominence. Siva himself has two ’saktis called Jnana and kriya (‘wisdom' and "action’). Brunner argues for the originality of this twofold expansion of power with respect to later conceptions of three or more Saktis.- The main part of her article is devoted to an inquiry after the relationship of doctrine and rituals as described in the Agamas. It appears, surprisingly, that the two often are in clear disagreement with each other, the ritual usually being older than the transmitted philosophy.

Richard Davis and Vrajavallabha Dviveda have approached a similar topic-••the relation between God Siva and His worshipper in the ceremonial entourage—from different angles. Davis, who concentrates on the Agamic tradition, also departs from the two aspects of knowledge and ritual, from which context he describes the ideology behind the worshipping. priests’ divinization. The latter’s temporary assumption of the powers of a Siva -is acted out in they ritual of daily worship that therefore "'discloses knowledge through action." Dviveda, after retracing t-he ideal of “becoming a god" to the Brahmanas, gives a description of what actually is done and recited in various types of worship, with special reference to the Para form and lower varieties. He refers mainly to the Yogini-hrdaya, and to Trika and Krama sources. The chapter was translated from the original Sanskrit by Gerard Colas of Paris.

The Vaisnava (Pancaratra) system of meditation and worship (especially its higher form, internal worship) is the subject of a thorough scrutiny by Sanjukta Gupta. For the Pancaratra, release by enlightenment depends on divine grace, but "has to be earned by constant sadhana.” In sadhana or yoga, the religious ideology of the school is directly experienced by visual and phonic re- presentation.

Midway between Agamic Saivism and the Trika system usually associated with Kashmir is Alexis Sanderson’s chapter, which throws new light on the position of the Malinivijayottara, an oft-quoted but also often misunderstood source of inspiration for Trika adepts. By force of arguments, Sanderson, shows that the reputed monism of this Tantra in fact has been superimposed on to the text by its interpreters. The first part of the article contains a useful summary of dualist and monist positions with regard to the soul and its destiny.

Paul Muller-Ortega discusses the theory and meditational practice of the nondual Saivism of Kashmir with regard to continuous cosmogonic manifestation as expressed by the sixteen vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet. He attempts a new interpretive approach by means of reference to the terminology of "holo- movement" put forward by David Bohm in his "Wholeness and the Implicate Order

Another comparative vista is opened by Raffaele Torella, who concentrates on the influence exerted on the Pratyabhijna philosophy by the rigorous argumentation of the Buddhist logicians. Although the speculative presuppositions of the two systems seems to be diametrically opposed—the multiplicity of dharmas versus the cosmic Self—a "cross correspondence" can be detected in them, as certain themes developed by the Buddhist logicians are reflected in the argumentations of the Saiva philosophers.

The development of the yogic tradition in the monistic Saiva school is studied by Navjivan Rastogi. He discerns three divisions: the threefold (later, fourfold) upaya-yoga established in the Malini- vijayottara, the sixfold Saiva yoga, and the threefold gradation of gross, subtle, and ultimate applied in the Netra Tantra. Still, there is a continued fidelity to Patanjali’s eightfold system, although it has been transformed to a specific Trika yoga that culminates in the ultimate freedom of "supreme agency."

Special aspects of the Saiva tradition are treated by Teun Goudriaan and Minoru Hara. The former presents a translation of Svacchanda Tantra 11, 91-126, which contain a doctrine of "stages of awakening" or stations on the soul’s journey to its ultimate destination. He tries to connect this perspective with statements from the Mahabharata. Hara examines passages from Kaundinya’s commentary on the first of the Pasupata Sutras, relating to the qualifications of an applicant for initiation, the interpretation of yoga as samyoga, and aspects of the theory of the means of valid knowledge. The treatment of these subjects by Kaundinya reveals indebtedness to a simple and early form of Samkhya unrecorded in the classical sources of that school.

Two contributions, those by Gudrun Buhnemann and Ian Schoterman, deal with Kaula sources in a philological way. Buhne— mann concentrates on the system of preliminary recitation of a mantra by the sadhaka who wants to identify with it. To this end, she gives an annotated translation of one of the most authoritative sources on the subject, the fifteenth chapter of the Kularnava. A quite different text, the as yet unedited Kubjika Upanisad, is the subject of Schoterman's contribution. He discusses its remarkably composite character and convincingly shows the Atharvavedic nature of its oldest layer. It is a matter of great regret that Schoter- man could not live to witness the publication of this book.

This volume has been dedicated by the authors as a token of respectful recognition and friendship to one of the foremost French Indologists of our time, who is among the most devoted and thoughtful expounders and interpreters of the Tantric tradition.

Andre Padoux was born April 13, 1920, at Peking, where his father occupied a diplomatic post. After obtaining his "licence és lettres" (including a certificate on Chinese) as well as a juridical "licence" at Lyon 1939, he began the study of political science in Lyon and Paris, which he finished successfully (in the diplomatic section) in 1946, despite the interruption caused by World War II. His diplomatic career took a start with a three years’ service as a member of the French delegation to the UNESCO, in which function he attended several of its conferences. In November 1949 he was appointed cultural attaché at the French Embassy in Norway and Reader in French at the University of Oslo. From 1953 to 1959, he was active in a similar function in the French Embassy in India at New Delhi.

In the meantime, he made a thorough study of Indian culture and literature, especially Sanskrit literature. Already about the year 1940, he discovered the rich tradition of Indian thought, and in 1946 he commenced (encouraged by Jules Bloch) the study of Sanskrit and Indian culture at the Institute de Civilisation Indienne of the University of Paris, under the guidance of Louis Renou. Also in Oslo, he continued his Sanskrit studies under Georg Morgenstierne, and added Hindi to his program. He also oriented himself on general problems of semantics and poetics, following inter alia the courses of Alf Sommerfelt. In New Delhi, where his Sanskrit studies were pursued further, he met Lilian Silburn who encouraged him to study Abhinavagupta’s oeuvre, especially his commentaries on the Para- trimsika, which Padoux read with the famous modern Trika adept, Pandit Lakshman Joo, at Srinagar in 1958 and 1959.

André Padoux’s academic career dates from November 1959, when he was appointed attaché de recherche at the CNRS (National Centre of Scientific Research). Since 1957, he worked (under the supervision of Olivier Lacombe and Louis Renou) on his doctoral thesis "Recherches sur la symbolique et l’énergie de la parole dans certains textes tantriques,” which was published in 1963 and submitted April 1964. This book, which underwent a second edition in 1975, is among the most—favorably judged and most-often quoted modern Indological studies. In Paul Eduardo Muller-Ortega’s words: "an encyclopedic work . . . one of the first systematic and in-depth treatments of the notion of the Supreme Word . . . a book that com- bines thorough scholarliness with a lively and active sympathy for the material." The book is now accessible in a revised English version (see the list of publications, No. 40). As a secondary thesis, Padoux delivered a partial translation of Abhinavagupta’s Paratrimsika- vivarana. In the meantime, he had been appointed conseiller culturel (cultural advisor) at the French Embassy in Laos, where he stayed till August 1964. In September of that year, he became director of the French Institute at Frankfurt am Main in Western Germany, where he also lectured on modern French poetry. His last diplomatic function was fulfilled at the French Embassy in Hungary from 1969 until November 1972.

From the beginning of 1973, Padoux continued his academic career at the CNRS, as chargé de recherche (until 1978), maitre de recherche (until 1984), and director de recherche (from October 1984 to his retirement on October 1, 1989). From January 1982 to December 1989 he directed the equipe de recherche (research team) No. 249 of the CNRS, entitled "L’hindouisme, textes, doctrines, pratiques’ In 1982, he was elected a member of the Comite National de la Recherche Scientifique, section Langues et Civilisations Orientales, a position he still occupies. Since 1975, he also has been a member of the Scientific Council of the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (Conseil Scientifique de I'Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales.

In several countries of the West, Indology is under pressure due to a lamentable tendency of government administrations to economize on "marginal" academic disciplines. Padoux, as a member of the Comité National de la Recherche Scientifique, continues to defend with energy the cause of French Indology. As director of the equipe de recherche, he led its coordination and the invigoration of Agamic and Tantric studies in France. Under his guidance, the Equipe proved to provide a high-quality seminar on the European level, in which several non—French members participated regularly or occasionally. Those who have the privilege to know Padoux personally, have been impressed by his friendliness, his cultured style, his honesty and meticulous correctness, his high scientific standard, and his readiness to assist young Indologists, both French and non—French. In publications and reviews, he always combines impartial judgment with a respectful approach. It is our earnest hope that Dr. Padoux will for a long time continue to serve the interest of Orientalism and humanity at large by scholarly publications, wise advice, and protection of the high standard of French Indology—assisted in all these things by Mrs. Padoux’s gentle wisdom.

It is a pleasant duty to thank Gerard Colas for his constant assistance and practical advice during the preparation of this book. We also thank SUNY Press for broadmindedly accepting the manuscript for publication and carefully guiding it to completed form.

Back of the Book

This book illustrates the extent to which we can understand the writings of the leading tantricas whose views regarding the universe and enlightenment developed from ritual practice and yoga. Contributors to this anthology include Helene Brunner, Gudrun Buhnemann, Richard H. Davis, Vrajavallabha Dviveda, Sanjukta Gupta, Minoru Hara, Paul Muller-Ortega, Navjivan Rastogi, Alexis Sanderson, Jan A. Schoterman, Raffaele Torella, and Teun Goudriaan.

Teun Goudriaan is Professor in the Department of Oriental Languages at the University of Utrecht. His other books on Indology include Maya Divine and Human: A Study of Magic and Its Religious Foundations in Sanskrit Texts; Hindu Tantrism with Sanjukta Gupta and D.J. Hoens; Hindu Tantric and Sakta Literature with Sanjukta Gupta; The Vinasikhatantra: A Saiva Tantra of the Left Current, edited with an Introduction and a Translation; and The Kubjikamatatantra, Kulalikamnaya Version: Critical Edition with Introduction with Dr. Jan Schoterman.


-Teun Goudriaan-
Publications by Andre Padoux xiii
Chapter 1 -Helene Brunner-
Jnana and Kriya: Relation between Theory and Practice in the Saivagamas
Chapter 2 -Gudrun Buhnemann-
On Purascarana: Kularnavatantra, Chapter 15
Chapter 3 Richard H. Davis-
Becoming a Siva, and Acting as One in Saiva Worship
Chapter 4 -Vrajavallabha Dviveda-
“Having Become a God, He Should Sacrifice to the Gods”
Chapter 5 -Tuen Goudriaan-
The Stages of Awakening in the Svacchanda-tantra
Chapter 6 -Sanjukta Gupta-
Yoga and Antaryaga in Pancaratra
Chapter 7 -Minoru Hara-
Pasupata Studies
Chapter 8 -Paul E. Muller-Ortega-
Tantric Meditation: Vocalic Beginnings
Chapter 9 -Navjivan Rastogi-
The Yogic Disciplines in the Monistic Saiva Tantric Traditions of Kashmir: Threefold, Fourfold, and Six-Limbed
Chapter 10 -Alexis Sanderson-
The Doctrines of the Malinivijayottaratantra
Chapter 11 -Jan A. Schoterman-
The Kubjika Upanisad and Its Atharvavedic Character
Chapter 12 -Raffaele Torella-
The Pratyabhijna and the Logical-Emistemological School of Buddhism
Index 347

Add a review

Your email address will not be published *

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy

Post a Query

For privacy concerns, please view our Privacy Policy


Related Items