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Sir John Woodroffe Arthur Avalon Mahanirvana Tantra Tantra of the Great Liberation

Sir John Woodroffe Arthur Avalon Mahanirvana Tantra Tantra of the Great Liberation

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Published by: Miguel Villafuerte on Mar 17, 2013
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The Mahanirvana Tantra
 
By
Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon)
 
The Mahanirvana Tantra
 
By
Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon)
The mahanirvana Tantra is in the form of dialog between Lord Siva and hisconsort Parvati where the Mahadeva Himself explains the theory and practiceof Tantra and various mantras to Her. It is one of the most important Tantriktexts. This text includes a detailed introduction by Sir John Woodroffe.
INDEX
Introduction and Preface
Chapter 1 - Questions relating to the Liberation of BeingsChapter 2 - Introduction to the Worship of BrahmanChapter 3 - Description of the Worship of the Supreme Brahman
 
Chapter 4 - Introduction of the Worship of the Supreme PrakritiChapter 5 - The Formation of the Mantras, Placing of the Jar, and Purificationof the Elements of Worship
 
Chapter 6 - Placing of the Shri-patra, Homa, Formation of the Chakra, andother Rites
 
Chapter 7 - Hymn of Praise (Stotra), Amulet (Kavacha), and the description ofthe Kula-tattvaChapter 8 - The Dharmma and Customs of the Castes and Ashramas
 
Chapter 9 - The Ten Kinds of Purificatory Rites (Sangskara
 
Chapter 10 - Rites relating to Vriddhi Shraddha, Funeral Rites, andPurnabhishekaChapter 11 - The Account of Expiatory Rites
COVER DESIGN AND E-TEXT CONVERSION BYSHRI. K. V SOMANATHAN PILLAI,amrithshree@eth.net 
 
 
The Mahanirvana Tantra
 
By Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon)
Introduction and Preface
PREFACE
THE Indian Tantras, which are numerous, constitute the Scripture (Shastra) of theKaliyuga, and as such are the voluminous source of present and practicalorthodox "Hinduism." The Tantra Shastra is, in fact, and whatever be its historicalorigin, a development of the Vaidika Karmakanda, promulgated to meet the needsof that age. Shiva says: "For the benefit of men of the Kali age, men bereft ofenergy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kaula doctrine, Oauspicious one! is given" (Chap. IX., verse 12). To the Tantra we must thereforelook if we would understand aright both ritual, yoga, and sadhana of all kinds, asalso the general principles of which these practices are but the objectiveexpression.Yet of all the forms of Hindu Shastra, the Tantra is that which is least known andunderstood, a circumstance in part due to the difficulties of its subject-matter andto the fact that the key to much of its terminology and method rest with the initiate.The present translation is, in fact, the first published in Europe of any IndianTantra. An inaccurate version rendered in imperfect English was published inCalcutta by a Bengali editor some twelve years ago, preceded by an Introductionwhich displayed insufficient knowledge in respect of what it somewhat quaintlydescribed as "the mystical and superficially technical passages" of this Tantra. Adesire to attempt to do it greater justice has in part prompted its selection as thefirst for publication. This Tantra is, further, one which is well known and esteemed,though perhaps more highly so amongst that portion of the Indian public whichfavours "reformed" Hinduism than amongst some Tantrikas, to whom, as I havebeen told, certain of its provisions appear to display unnecessary timidity. Theformer admire it on account of its noble exposition of the worship of the SupremeBrahman, and in the belief that certain of its passages absolutely discountenancethe orthodox ritual. Nothing can be more mistaken than such belief, even though itbe the fact that "for him who has faith in the root, of what use are the branchesand leaves." This anyone will discover who reads the text. It is true that, as Chap.VII., verse 94, says: "In the purified heart knowledge of Brahman grows," andBrahmajnane samutpanne krityakrityang na vidyate. But the statement assumesthe attainment of Brahmajñana, and this, the Shastra says, can be attained, notby Vedantic discussions nor mere prayer, after the manner of Protestant systemsof Christian worship; but by the Sadhana which is its main subject-matter. I havereferred to Protestant systems, for the Catholic Church possesses an elaborateritual and a sadhana of its own which is in many points strikingly analogous to theHindu system. The section of Tantrikas to whom I have referred are, I believe,also in error. For the design of this Tantra appears to be, whilst conservingcommonly-recognized Tantrik principles, to secure that, as has sometimes provedto be the case, they are not abused. Parvvati says (Chap. I., verse 67): "I fear, 0Lord! that even that which Thou hast ordained for the good of men will, through

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