While writing a foreword to the present book titled I would like to congratulate Dr. P.T.G.Y. Sampathkumaracharyulu for taking the trouble of editing the text on the basis of some unpublished manuscripts and for enabling the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, to bring the same to the lime light for the first time.
is an important treatise on Agama in the branch of Tantra in the form of a dialogue between Narada and Lord Vasudev in Badarikashramam. This treatise is so titled because Narada asked five questions to Vasudev regarding the worship, installation, diagram, Kunda and materials of worship. In response to these questions, Vasudev explained all the points which constitute the main subject matter of the text. This text consists of ten chapters dealing with some significant aspects of worship from the tantra points of view.
Dr. P.T.G.Y.Sampathkumaracharyulu, a faculty member of our University, is a serious research scholar and has brought laurels and appreciations to our institution by doing so many academic works for which he deserves appreciation. This text prepared with utmost care and skills by him will not only familiarize the scholars with the erudite scholarship of the Editor, but also enhance the academic ambience of our institution.
I wish him a grand success in all his endeavours and hope many more scholarly works from him in the years to come.
Pancaprasnatantra is an Agama text in the form of a dialogue between Narada and Lord Vasudeva in Badarikasrama.
This is the first edition of this text. Some manuscripts of this text are catalogued under the name of Durgatantra. This text consists of 778 verses devided into ten chapters, explaining the worship of the devine maya of Lord Visnu. Dr. Daniel Smith has given an account of this text in his Agama Collection.
Agama-s are of two types, Samhita-s and Tantra-s. Generally Samhita-s are theoretical and Tantra-s are practical. The doctrines of the agama school are explained in the Samhita-s and the procedure of the worship and practice of mantra-s are explained in the Tantra-s.
Here Lord Vasudeva describes the nature and procedure of the worship of His Divine power Maya, in five forms viz, Laksmi, Durga, Sarva, Mangala and Sakti.
Narada made an enquiry of Maya of Lord Narayana in five questions, regarding the worship, Installation, Diagram, Kunda and the material of workship, a Narayana hence answer all the questions, this text is called Pancaprasnatantra.
In the first chapter (58 verses) of this text, Vasudeva introduces his Inner-strength called Maya, to Narada, which creates and regulates the entire Universe according to His will. He also recommends the worship of the divine Maya in her five forms, which causes the liberation to the devotees from the bondage of the material world. Hearing this from Vasudeva, Narada requests Vasudeva to explain the nature and worship of Goddess Mangala, which is never heard before, and the procedure of the installation of her image in Mandala, Kunda, and the details of the materials for her worship.
Second and third chapters are devoted for the mantroddhara (mantroccatana) of Mangala and her three duti-s: Jayamangala, Prasannamangala and Ratimangala; and their weapons. Mantroddhara means the composition of a mantra. A five syllable mantra is composed here to worship Devi. This mantra is said so powerful in filful the expectation of the sadhakas. Narayana also mentions that by practicing this devipancaksari mantra, Indra got the ruling of Heaven. The great kings Dilepa, Kakutstha and purukutsha are also worshipped Goddess Devi with this pancakshari mantra.
Apart from this, in the third chapter, eight Mudra-s, which are to be used at the time of worship of Mangala, also have been described.
In the Second chapter (51 verses) the procedure of the worship of Mangala through anganyasa is explained. And the composition of the mantra of Mangala; and the mantra-s of the four duti-s of Mangala: viz., Vidya, Prajna, Mati and Kanti; and the mantra-s of the nine sakti-of Mangala. Viz., Prabha, Maya, Jaya, Suksma, Visuddha, Nandini, Suprabha, Vijaya and Sarvasiddhida; and the mantra-s of the weapons of Mangala: viz., cakra, sankha, khadga, saran, padma and kavaca are explained by Vasudeva to Narada.
The physical description of Mangala is also given here. Mangala is white in colour, eight armed and pleasant faced. She has to be worshipped by the devotee in four Mandala-s: Padma, Sukla, Subha and Cintya.
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