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the available text on dattatreya maha tantra is a small text
containing 15 chapters and 160 slokas. this text is also known
as "siromani", meaning "gem in the head'. the text is structured as a
dialogue between lord parameswara (lord siva) & dattatreya maharshi.
kala tantra (astrology) and kala mantra (medicine) are the 2 subjects
dealt with in. these are 2 knowledge streams the tantrics (tantric
disciples) learned with attention.
kala mantra is the branch of tantra that deals with the use of
medicine related to the tantric worship for the secret purpose of
killing others, attracting others, making people enemy to each other,
make people leave their native place, magic, de-poisoning, re-
establishing sexual ability etc. yes, it is a secret branch of study
and you will encounter thousands of superstitions and stupidities as
well in such texts, along with gem like knowledge bits.
kala tantra (astrology) is the branch of tantra that deals
with the study of time for the purpose of knowing about the past-
present-future, time of death etc. of these two (kala tantra and kala
mantra), kala mantra is the subject dealt with in the available part
of dattatreya mahatantra - the description of how to use medicine in
worship along with mantras for the purpose of shadkarma (marana,
mohana, uchadana, sthambhana, vidveshana, akarshana) etc. but we can
also find some small description about kala tantra (astrology) as
well, here and there in this text.
[use of medicine in worship seems to be a superstition. but
hundreds of medicinal plants are mentioned in such slokas, which i
think should have served some secret purpose in the hands of true
guru and sishya of tantric culture. tantra is a secret discipline,
and so who could say what would have been the real purpose and use of
these medicines mentioned - even though in the text it is stated that
it is used for the worship like homa etc]
tantra, we could guess that only one part of this text that deals
mainly with kala mantra is available to us and the other part that
deals with kala tantra might have been lost, in the turbulent flow of
listen to the request of maharshi dattatreya to lord siva -
"approaching lord siva, the lord of all lords, the divine, the well
wisher of all worlds, savior of devotees, whose adobe is kailasa,
humbly, with folded hands, dattatreya asked: oh lord, for the benefit
of the devotees please give advice to us about kala mantra"
in the same style dattatreya might have learned kala tantra
(astrology) as well from lord siva (maheswara). that is why we could
find kala tantra (astrology) as well, here and there in this text.
only because dattatreya mentions astrology here and there in
this text, can be conclude like this? no. it is not the lone reason
for this conclusion. as mentioned earlier, "siromani" (gem in the
head) is another name for this text. which branch of study is praised
as "gem in the head" by the saints? listen to this sloka in vedanga
"like the crest of peacock, like the gem stone in the head of a cobra, astrology is at the head of all vedanga sastras (like a gem)"
yes, the praise "gem in the head" usually goes to kala
tantra - astrology, astronomy and the related mathematics. because of
this even the other name "siromani" of dattatreya mahatantra,
indicates that kala tantra (astrology) is one of the subject matter
of the text. but that part of the text is lost, and is not available
there is one more point that proves this argument. dattatreya
gives a list of chapters that are present in dattatreya mahatantra at
the beginning chapter of the text. here 18 chapters are mentioned,
but only the subjects mentioned in 9 chapters is available in the
printed text. chapters 1,9,12,13,14,15,16,17,18 (total 9 chapters)
seems to be missing. this also proves that the available text of
if we agree up to this the question rises, "is it vedanga
astrology that dattatreya wanted to learn from lord siva?" no! as he
wanted to learn medicine (kala mantra) that could be made use for
worships aimed at purpose such as shadkarma etc, he might have
requested to teach astrology (kala tantra) that could be made use in
shadkarma etc. listen to his request to lord siva-
"in this word many types of talismans, manta, tantric
worships are present. many such are described in agama, purana, veda
and damara, and in many other texts as well. please advice the
knowledge of kala tantra that would help to utilize all that
knowledge (on yentra, mantra etc) 'in the right method' for
fulfilling the intentions" this is what dattatreya requests.
as said earlier knowledge about medicine (kala mantra) and
astrology (kala tantra) that would be of help is shadkarma etc is the
subject matter of dattatreya mahatantra. this knowledge lies
scattered in agama, purana, veda, damara etc. dattatreya is
requesting lord siva to collect all these knowledge and give
advice/teach him the same 'in the right/correct method'.
agamas are siva tantric texts - old as vedas. the word purana
here indicates 18 puranas and the sub puranas. the word veda here
indicates the 4 vedas and the allied literature called brahmana,
aaranyaka, upanishad etc as well. they are also known as nigama. but
for tantric devotees the word nigama indicates devi tantra. so the
statement 'agamokta' should be taken as indicative of both siva
tantra (agama) and devi tantra (nigama) texts. another branch of
tantra is vishnava tantra. damaras are also texts on devi tantra.
that is, the request of dattatreya to lord siva is to collect and
systematically present and teach him the vast knowledge on kala
tantra and kala mantra which is beneficial for the purpose of
shadkarma etc, clarifying the right method.
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