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Tantras (Studies on Their Religion and Literature)
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Tantras (Studies on Their Religion and Literature)
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Preface

The Tantra with its vast literature embodying intricate ritualistic details occupies a very important place in the religious life of India. It was regarded as top secret to be expounded by the preceptor to the disciple who had been properly initiated. But provision for learning and teaching the subject as was prevalent even in the 19th century appears to have totally gone out of vogue. As such it is rather difficult to penetrate into it and make a correct assessment of its value. A thorough systematic critical and impartial scrutiny is necessary for this purpose. A superficial and partial acquaintance has often led to a good deal of misconception and apparently exaggerated vituperations, Stray attempts which ought to be thankfully acknowledged of a number of scholars have, of course, thrown welcome light on different aspects of the subject. The labours of Sir John Woodroffe (with the pseudonym Arthur Avalon) who besides bringing out independent treatises and translations introduced the Tantrik Texts Series and published handsome editions of important texts were fruitful in drawing the sympathetic attention of the world of scholars to this much maligned and neglected branch of Indian culture. Unfortunately Sir John's work was scarcely successful in creating the desired enthusiasm and it was not seriously followed up. Though no longer held in definite aversion the tantras are still little-known their importance being scarcely appreciated. In these circumstances my aim in the present book has been to give in broad outlines a general idea of the subject with special reference to the literature and practices known in Bengal. It is intended to serve as an introduction to and inducement for wider and more detailed study. And if it provides any encouragement for further work I shall consider my labour amply rewarded.

The book is primarily based on writings originally published in different Oriental Journals and other publications, and since revised and occasionally reshaped. I am deeply indebted to Prof. Anantalal Thakur M.A. of the Mithila Institute of Post-Graduate Research and Sanskrit Learning for preparing the Index and rendering help in various other ways in the midst of his multifarious pre-occupations. I am also thankful to Sri Sibdas Chaudhuri, Librarian of the Asiatic Society for his initiative in making arrangements for the publication of the work and to Sri Sankar Bhattacharya, energetic proprietor of the young publishing firm, the Punthi Puscak, for his interest in the book and for undertaking the responsibility of publishing it. Thanks are also due to the Calcutta Oriental Press for doing the printing work neatly. It is regretted that a number of printing mistakes have crept in.

Contents

Chapter-IThe Tantras: What They Stand For1
Chapter-IIAntiquity of Tantricism7
Chapter-IIIThe Age And Authorship of The Tantras19
Chapter-IVPlace of The Tantras Among Other Sastras29
Ideals Of Tantras Rites38
Chapter-VIHow And Where The Tantras Originated45
Chapter-VIITantras Schools50
Chapter-VIIILiterature of The Tantras59
Chapter-IXTantric Authors And Their Works66
Chapter-XTantric Form of Worship And Tantric Deities80
Chapter-XIKali Worship In Bengal89
Chapter-XIICult of Durga And Durga Worship In Bengal94
Appendix
Paramanandamatasamgraha104
Addenda Et Corrigenda115
Index117

Sample Page


Tantras (Studies on Their Religion and Literature)

Item Code:
NAJ862
Cover:
Hardcover
Edition:
1999
Publisher:
ISBN:
8186791191
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Pages:
141
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 365 gms
Price:
$29.00   Shipping Free
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Preface

The Tantra with its vast literature embodying intricate ritualistic details occupies a very important place in the religious life of India. It was regarded as top secret to be expounded by the preceptor to the disciple who had been properly initiated. But provision for learning and teaching the subject as was prevalent even in the 19th century appears to have totally gone out of vogue. As such it is rather difficult to penetrate into it and make a correct assessment of its value. A thorough systematic critical and impartial scrutiny is necessary for this purpose. A superficial and partial acquaintance has often led to a good deal of misconception and apparently exaggerated vituperations, Stray attempts which ought to be thankfully acknowledged of a number of scholars have, of course, thrown welcome light on different aspects of the subject. The labours of Sir John Woodroffe (with the pseudonym Arthur Avalon) who besides bringing out independent treatises and translations introduced the Tantrik Texts Series and published handsome editions of important texts were fruitful in drawing the sympathetic attention of the world of scholars to this much maligned and neglected branch of Indian culture. Unfortunately Sir John's work was scarcely successful in creating the desired enthusiasm and it was not seriously followed up. Though no longer held in definite aversion the tantras are still little-known their importance being scarcely appreciated. In these circumstances my aim in the present book has been to give in broad outlines a general idea of the subject with special reference to the literature and practices known in Bengal. It is intended to serve as an introduction to and inducement for wider and more detailed study. And if it provides any encouragement for further work I shall consider my labour amply rewarded.

The book is primarily based on writings originally published in different Oriental Journals and other publications, and since revised and occasionally reshaped. I am deeply indebted to Prof. Anantalal Thakur M.A. of the Mithila Institute of Post-Graduate Research and Sanskrit Learning for preparing the Index and rendering help in various other ways in the midst of his multifarious pre-occupations. I am also thankful to Sri Sibdas Chaudhuri, Librarian of the Asiatic Society for his initiative in making arrangements for the publication of the work and to Sri Sankar Bhattacharya, energetic proprietor of the young publishing firm, the Punthi Puscak, for his interest in the book and for undertaking the responsibility of publishing it. Thanks are also due to the Calcutta Oriental Press for doing the printing work neatly. It is regretted that a number of printing mistakes have crept in.

Contents

Chapter-IThe Tantras: What They Stand For1
Chapter-IIAntiquity of Tantricism7
Chapter-IIIThe Age And Authorship of The Tantras19
Chapter-IVPlace of The Tantras Among Other Sastras29
Ideals Of Tantras Rites38
Chapter-VIHow And Where The Tantras Originated45
Chapter-VIITantras Schools50
Chapter-VIIILiterature of The Tantras59
Chapter-IXTantric Authors And Their Works66
Chapter-XTantric Form of Worship And Tantric Deities80
Chapter-XIKali Worship In Bengal89
Chapter-XIICult of Durga And Durga Worship In Bengal94
Appendix
Paramanandamatasamgraha104
Addenda Et Corrigenda115
Index117

Sample Page


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