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FIRST CHAPTER

THE TANTRA SHASTRA

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2. THE TANTRA SHASTRA

Tantra is a very broad term. It may suggest any kind of

knowledge : the Vedic, the pre-vedic and the non-vedic

knowledge and represent all sorts of creeds, cults, occults,

religions, philosophies, disciplines of life, politics,

economics, commerce, arts, science (organic or inorganic),

physical and mental, metaphysical and spiritual. So to say

Tantra covers all types of knowledge of Bharatiya heritage.

Technically it points out an Bharatiya treatise whic h

enc ompasses all the branches of Bharatiya knowledge, by the

Definitions of Tantrashastra

meaning is to spread. Tantra is that (scripture) by whic h

knowledge is spread.

iÉlrÉiÉå ÌuÉxiÉÉrÉïiÉå AlÉålÉåÌiÉ iÉl§ÉqÉç

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meaning of Tantra beco mes. The knowledge which is spread

saves the beings.

The Ka mikagama ( MüÉÍqÉMüÉaÉqÉ) of Shiva Sidhanta Tantratara

patala says

iÉlÉÉåÌiÉ ÌuÉmÉÑsÉÉlÉjÉÉïlÉç iɨuÉqÉl§ÉxÉqÉÎluÉiÉÉlÉç |


§ÉÉhÉÇ cÉ MÑüÂiÉå rÉxqÉÉiÉç iÉl§ÉÍqÉirÉÍpÉkÉÏrÉiÉå ||
[The Shastra which spreads the great knowledge

concerning Tatva and Mantra and even protects is known as

Tantrashastra. ]

The Tantrashastra or the Agama has two ma in streams :

they are

1. Aga ma ( AÉaÉqÉ)

2. Nigama ( ÌlÉaÉqÉ)

1. Aga ma said to have been told by Shiva to Girija and

honoured by Vasudeva ( uÉÉxÉÑSåuÉ) as the verse

AÉaÉiÉÇ ÍvÉuÉuÉY§ÉåprÉÉå aÉiÉÇ cÉ ÌaÉËUeÉÉqÉÑZÉå |

qÉiÉÇ cÉ uÉÉxÉÑSåuÉxrÉ iÉxqÉÉSÉaÉqÉ EcrÉiÉå ||

2. A similar definition is given als o to the word Niga ma

which is very akin to Aga ma, that is

ÌlÉaÉïiÉÉå ÌaÉËUeÉÉuÉY§ÉÉiÉç aÉiÉÇ cÉ ÌaÉUÏvÉ´ÉÑiÉqÉç |

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qÉiÉ¶É uÉÉxÉÑSåuÉxrÉ ÌlÉaÉqÉ: mÉËUMüjrÉiÉå ||

We come across the most secular and universa l definition

( ÌmÉÇaÉsÉÉqÉiÉqÉ) of the

Bruhadrathaya mala ( oÉ×WûSìjÉrÉÉqÉsÉ) that defines Tantra as a

treatise which covers the whole span of knowledge. The

( AÉ) denotes ( aÉqÉ) indicates that

is to be known. That is the word Ta ntra indicates the totality

of the human knowledge and the wis dom.

Shastra s imple

words it ¥ÉÉlÉ because it brings everything

within the preview of knowledge and leads man to the goal o f

knowledge. As it expands the span of knowledge and saves

people thereby it is known to the wise men by the na me o f

Tantra, that is

AÉ pÉÉaÉxiÉÑ xÉqÉliÉÉccÉ aÉqÉrÉiÉÏÌiÉ aÉqÉÉå qÉiÉ: |


vÉxrÉiÉå §ÉÉrÉiÉå rÉxqÉÉiÉç iÉxqÉÉcNûÉx§ÉqÉÑSÉWØûiÉqÉç ||
and

¥ÉÉrÉiÉå lÉrÉiÉå rÉålÉ ¥ÉÉlÉÇ iÉålÉÉÍpÉkÉÏrÉiÉå |


iÉlÉÑiÉå §ÉÉrÉiÉå ÌlÉirÉÇ iÉl§ÉÍqÉijÉÇ ÌuÉSÒoÉÑïkÉÉ: ||
The particular stream of Tantra that deals wit h

Evolution, As trology, the conduct of life, order, discipline and

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manners of all classes and castes and the nature and

cha racteris tics of ages is called Yamala, that is

xÉ×̹¶É erÉÉåÌiÉwÉÉZrÉÉlÉÇ ÌlÉirÉM×üiÉmÉëSÏmÉlÉqÉç |

¢üqÉxÉÔ§ÉÇ uÉhÉïpÉåSÉå eÉÉÌiÉpÉåSxiÉjÉæuÉ cÉ |

rÉÑaÉkÉqÉï¶É xÉÇZrÉÉiÉÉå rÉÉqÉsÉxrÉɹsɤÉhÉqÉç ||

-uÉÉUÉWûÏiÉl§É
The Varahi tantra further classifies Damara into six

grades

1. Yogada mara ( rÉÉåaÉQûÉqÉU)

2. Shivadamara ( ÍvÉuÉQûÉqÉU)

3. Durgadamara ( SÒaÉÉïQûÉqÉU)

4. Saraswata Damara ( xÉÉUxuÉiÉ QûÉqÉU)

5. Brahma damara ( oÉë¼QûÉqÉU)

6. Gandharvadamara ( aÉÇkÉuÉïQûÉqÉU)

Each of them particularly deals with spec ial study a nd

culture, preva lent in practice among those particular sects and

syste ms. Aga ma, Nigama and Damara are the three main

streams of Tantric culture virtually indicate the three grades of

people following the Tantric discipline and culture. These

three strea ms are successively dominated by the three basic

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ttva (Intellignece), Rajas (Action) and Tamas

(Ignorance). Tantra is meant for intellectually advanced

people. Yamala is prescribed for the man of activity and

Damara is for people of lesser intelligen ce.

Streams and Branches of Tantra

In Bharat there are many religions and many divisions of

worshippers na ming their way of prac tice with different

na mes. We have Smartas, Vaishnavas, Shaktas, Shaivas,

Ganapatas, Souras so forth with sub divis ions of these

worships. It is very difficult or some times impossible to make

hard and fast differentiations between the sects which share

much in common and have been influenced by one another. In

fact universality of much of religions practices and philosophy

is an establis hed truth in Bharat. The same doctrine might

have been told by other person in different place and in

different time. Observing this, in general we can say that

has many things overlaping

and practices worked out in different ways again and again. 1

But in Bharat, where there was, and there is no any pressure or

strict rule over prohibiting any new sect, in contrast to other

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western countries , religion grew like a big plant. In Bharatiya

sects and Religions there is much in co mmon to all sects and

much is not common to all. As a result in Tantra shastra we

have many different s ub divis ions. They are -

a) Shakta tantras ( vÉÉ£ü iÉǧÉ)

b) Shaiva tantras ( vÉæuÉ iÉǧÉ)

c) Vaishnava tantras ( uÉæwhÉuÉ iÉǧÉ)

The Tantrashas tra is said to have come out of five

mouths of Shiva and that is why it is called the Pancha mnaya

( mÉÇcÉÉqlÉÉrÉ) . Tantra narrates the process of evolution, re

evolution, selection of Mantras, places of Gods and holy

shrines, rights and duties of four Ashra mas, construction o f

Yantras, origin of vegetation, planets , mythology, description

of treasure, austerities, conduct of life, characteristics of

males and females, duties of kings, charity, character o f

different ages (times), jurisprudence, Philosophy . That is

xÉaÉï¶É mÉëÌiÉxÉaÉï¶É qÉl§ÉÌlÉhÉïrÉ LuÉ cÉ|

SåuÉiÉÉlÉÉÇ cÉ xÉÇxjÉÉlÉÇ iÉÏjÉÉïlÉÉÇ cÉæuÉ uÉhÉïlÉqÉç |

iÉjÉæuÉÉ´ÉqÉ kÉqÉï¶É ÌuÉmÉëxÉÇxjÉÉlÉqÉåuÉ cÉ|

xÉÇxjÉÉlÉÇ cÉæuÉ pÉÔiÉÉlÉÉÇ rÉl§ÉÉhÉÉÇ cÉæuÉ ÌlÉhÉïrÉ: |

EimÉͨÉÌuÉïÌuÉkÉÉlÉÉÇ cÉ iÉÃhÉÉÇ MüsmÉxÉÇÍ¥ÉiÉqÉç |

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xÉÇZrÉÉlÉÇ erÉÉåÌiÉwÉÉÇ cÉæuÉ mÉÑUÉhÉÉZrÉÉlÉqÉåuÉ cÉ |

MüÉåvÉxrÉ MüjÉlÉÇ cÉæuÉ uÉëiÉÉlÉÉÇ mÉËUpÉÉwÉhÉqÉç |

vÉÉæcÉÉvÉÉæcÉxrÉ cÉÉZrÉÉlÉqÉç lÉUMüÉhÉÉÇ cÉ uÉhÉïlÉqÉç |

WûUcÉ¢üxrÉ cÉÉZrÉÉlÉqÉç x§ÉÏmÉÑÇxÉÉå¶ÉæuÉ uÉhÉïlÉqÉç |

UÉeÉkÉqÉÉåï SÉlÉkÉqÉÉåï rÉÑaÉkÉqÉïxiÉjÉæuÉ cÉ |

MüjrÉiÉå urÉuÉWûÉU¶É iÉjÉÉ cÉÉkrÉÉiqÉuÉhÉïlÉqÉç |

CirÉÉÌSsɤÉhÉærÉÑï£üÇ iÉl§ÉÍqÉirÉÍpÉkÉÏrÉiÉå |

The Tantras has tra is class ified into four grades :

1) The general

The general topics of the Tantra shastra are History,

Mythology, Mathematics, Poetry, Drama, Prosody and Science

of sound. This branch can be studied by the people co ming of

all levels of society.

2) The s pecial

The Vedic religion, Upanis hads, Studies in Mantra, Sutra

text, Logic, Metaphysics and allied branches a nd other

syste ms and science are the special studies

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3) The common

The common group which require s special training under

specialized teacher includes the Soura tantra, the Shiva tantra

(including the Shakta tantra), the Pancharatra ( mÉÉÇcÉUɧÉ)

(Vaishnava tantra), the Vimala tantra, the Atharva tantra

(dealing with science and miracles as described or discussed

in the Atharvaveda), Sankhya and Yoga systems, Buddhis m,

Jainism, Charvakism etc.

4) Subjects of exceptionally special cadre

The s ubjects of Tantra which come under exceptionally

special group are studied in a particular tradition, time place

and with special aptitude. The Bhairava tantra, the Vajrayana,

the Guhya tantra, the Sa mayachara tantra, the Bhuta (Da mara)

tantra etc..

In addition to these four groups of Tantra, there is the

Laukika tantra which makes the streams of complete Tantric

studies. The complete Tantra s has tra is therefore according to

Brahmaya mala

1. sÉÉæÌMüMü The laukika (Munda ne)

2. uÉæÌSMü The Vedic

3. AkrÉÉiqÉ The Adhyat ma

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4. AÌiÉqÉÉaÉï The Atimarga (The super natural)

5. AÉjÉuÉïhÉ The Aatharvana (arts and s cience of

Atharvaveda)

It may be noted that the entry of the Atharva -Shastra is a

later event of the Vedic history and the special fascination to

the Aatharvan Shas tra of the Tantric culture is a significant

trait of cultural confluence. That is explained in

Jayadrathaya mala ch.1 shloka 1....

xÉÉqÉÉlrÉÇ cÉ ÌuÉvÉåwÉÇ cÉ xÉÉkÉÉUhÉÇ ÌuÉvÉåwÉiÉ: |

ÌuÉvÉåwÉiÉUxÉirÉÇ cÉ vÉÉx§ÉqÉÑ£üÇ cÉiÉÑÌuÉïkÉqÉç |

CÌiÉWûÉxÉmÉÑUÉhÉÉÌlÉ aÉÍhÉiÉÇ MüÉurÉlÉÉOûMüqÉç |

NûÇSÉÇÍxÉ vÉoSvÉÉx§ÉÉÍhÉ xÉÉqÉÉlrÉÌuÉwÉrÉÉÍhÉ iÉÑ |

xÉuÉåïwÉÉÇ uÉÍhÉïMüÉlÉÉÇ iÉÑ xÉÉqÉÉlrÉ´ÉuÉhÉÉÌSlÉÉ |

´ÉÑÌiÉxqÉ×irÉÑmÉÌlÉwÉSÉå qÉl§ÉxÉÔ§ÉmÉëMüsmÉlÉqÉç |

AÉluÉϤÉMüÇ cÉ ÌuÉ¥ÉÉlÉÇ xÉÉkÉÉUhÉÌuÉvÉåwÉhÉqÉç |

rÉÉåerÉliÉå ........ ¥ÉÉrÉliÉå lÉÉÍkÉMüÉËUhÉ: |

xÉÉæUÇ vÉæuÉÇ mÉÉÇcÉUɧÉÇ mÉëqÉÉhÉÇ ÌuÉqÉsÉÇ qÉiÉqÉç |

ÌuÉvÉåwÉÉZrÉÇ rÉiÉxiÉl§ÉÇ ÌuÉvÉåwÉxÉqÉrÉÉiÉç ÎxjÉiÉå |

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pÉæUuÉÇ uÉeÉërÉÉlÉÇ cÉ aÉѽÉSè rÉÑ£üÇ xÉqÉÉZrÉqÉç |

pÉÉæiÉiÉl§ÉÉÌSiÉl§ÉÇ cÉ ÌuÉvÉåwÉɨÉUqÉÑcrÉiÉå |

LuÉÇ cÉiÉÑÌuÉïkÉÇ vÉÉx§ÉÇ sÉÉæÌMüMüɱÉgcÉ mÉgcÉkÉÉ |

sÉÉæÌMüMüÇ uÉæÌSMüÉkrÉÉiqÉqÉÌiÉqÉÉaÉïqÉjÉuÉïhÉqÉç

TüsÉpÉåSÌuÉÍpɳÉÇ cÉ vÉÉx§ÉqÉåuÉÇ iÉÑ mÉgcÉkÉÉ |

-eÉrÉSìjÉrÉÉqÉsÉ mÉëjÉqÉ wÉOèMü A. 35

The Tantrashastra believes that eighteen branches of the

so called Bhrahmanic study had co me out of the mouth of Lord

Shiva and they are open to all castes on condition of their

intellectual maturity but not on the basis of their particular

caste.

Truth is greater than neither belittle

this age of Kali, this Sa msara (mundane world) nor it drea ms

of the other world, but endeavors to drink the nectar of life

and believe and let others a llow to believe that this universe o f

ours is not unreal, not a mist of mystery. As God Shiva had

manifested himself into the eight phenomenal forms

(astamurti) 2 and thirty-six ele ments the universe is real. His

aim of life is not to see him face to face t o be in him or her

and to attain the summum bonum of Soha m or Saha m. 3

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In addition to sixty four princip al Tantras current in
practice, there are at least 343 Upa tantras also. According to
the Shaktisanga ma vÉÌ£üxÉÇaÉqÉ tantra of which following are

found in practice. They are ....


1. oÉÉæ® iÉl§É The Bauddha-tantra,
2. MüÉÌmÉsÉ iÉl§É The Kapila-tantra,

The Tantras told by Jaimini, Vasistha, Kapila, Narada,

Garga, Pulas tya, Bhargava, Yajnavalkya, Bhrugu, Shuka,

Bhruhaspati and others. 4

The principal tantras as stated above sometimes represent

a group of tantras by a s ingle name. 5 The Phetkarini tantra

TåüiMüÉËUhÉÏ iÉl§É , for exa mple, is the collection of at least te n

minor tantras i.e.

1. ElqɨÉpÉæUuÉ The Unmattabhairava

2. lÉÉUÍxÉÇW The Naras imha

3. QûÉqÉU pÉæUuÉ iÉl§É The Damara Bhairava

4. ÍvÉuÉÉMüÉU iÉl§É The Shivakara

5. qÉÉÍsÉlrÉÉÌS iÉl§É The Malinyadi

6. AÍxÉiÉÉÇaÉÉÌS iÉl§É The Asitangadi

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7. rÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É The Yamala

8. ÍxÉ®rÉÉåaÉåµÉU iÉl§É The Sidhayogeshwara

9. rÉÉåÌaÉlÉÏ iÉl§É The Yogini jala

10. AÇoÉU iÉl§É The Ambara tantra 6

Similarly the Dama ra which ordinarily means char m

magic and miracle has a lso its own six bra nches.

1. The Yogada mara of 23,533 verses.

2. The Shivadamara of 11007 verses .

3. The Durgadamara of 11503 verses.

4. The Saraswatda mara of 9905 verses.

5. The Brahmadamara of 7105 verses.

6. The Gandharvada mara --

This branc h mainly deals with magic and science and has

60060 verses.

There is not a single way of life, syste m of thought,

discipline and code of conduct, creed , cult, faith of religio n

which does not come under purview of the Tantras hastra. The

complete Tantrashastra may be classified into two groups

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1. The Brahmanic Tantras

2. The non Brahmanic Tantras

The Shabara mnaya ( vÉÉoÉUÉqlÉÉrÉ ) tantra, the Dravida mnaya

( SìÌuÉQûÉqlÉÉrÉ) tantra, the Kubjika tantra etc. may come under the
second group found in the aboriginal and backward tribes,
castes and sects all over the Bharat sub -continent.

As we go deep into the Tantra Sahitya, we can feel the

wideness and all-pervasiveness of the Shastra. Some times this

sahitya see ms to be vast than the Vedic sahitya also. Many old

tantra literature books have not been found yet. As it is said

the number of the tantra books or literature was more tha n

one lack in number

the Varahi tantra, Deva ( SåuÉ) Brahma ( oÉë¼) and Patal ( mÉOûsÉ) are

the three lokas and the total number of tantra s hlokas in these

lokas is nine lacks. In Bharata we could still found one lack

shlokas. The Boudha tantras are also found in large number.

Some of the m are very old and set to have belonged to 1 s t

century B.C.

The oldest type or branch of the tantra is Agama. In

Agamas we generally can see four Padas na mely :

1. ¥ÉÉlÉ mÉÉS J nana pada,

2. rÉÉåaÉ mÉÉS Yoga pada,

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3. cÉrÉÉï mÉÉS Charya pada, and

4. Ì¢ürÉÉ mÉÉS Kriya pada.

In these Aga mas they have discussed both the Dwaita

and Adwaita philosophy in detail. The Shivaga ma ÍvÉuÉÉaÉqÉ the

Rudragama ÂSìÉaÉqÉ and Bha iravagama pÉæUuÉÉaÉqÉ are the major

Agamas. All of the bas ic Aga mas are not found yet , but the

Agamas what we have got today are a lso more in number.

Following are the Agamas given in the group s.

Ten Shivaga mas :

1. mÉëhÉuÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Pranava Agama )

2. rÉÉåaÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Yoga Agama )

3. ÍcÉlirÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Chintya Agama )

4. MüÉUhÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Karana Agama )

5. AÎeÉiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Ajit Agama)

6. xÉÑSÏmiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Sudipta Aga ma)

7. xÉÔ¤qÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Sukshma Aga ma)

8. xÉWûxÉë AÉaÉqÉ (Sahasra Agama )

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9. xÉÑmÉëpÉåS AÉaÉqÉ (Suprabheda Agama )

10. AÇvÉÑqÉÉlÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Anshuman Aga ma )

Eighteen Rudraga mas :

1. ÌuÉeÉrÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Vijaya Aga ma)

2. ÌuɵÉÉxÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Vishwasa Agama )

3. mÉÉUqÉåµÉU AÉaÉqÉ (Para mes hwara Agama )

4. mÉëÉåªÏiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Prodgita Aga ma)

5. qÉÑZÉÌoÉÇoÉ AÉaÉqÉ (M ukhabimba Aga ma)

6. ÍxÉ® AÉaÉqÉ (Siddha Agama )

7. xÉÇiÉÉlÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Santana Agama )

8. lÉÉUÍxÉÇWû AÉaÉqÉ (Naras imha Agama )

9. cÉÇSìÉÇvÉÑ AÉaÉqÉ (Chandrans hu Agama)

10. uÉÏUpÉSì AÉaÉqÉ (Virabhadra Agama)

11. xuÉÉrÉÇpÉÑuÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Swaya mbhuva Aga ma )

12. ÌuÉU£ü AÉaÉqÉ (Virakta Aga ma)

13. MüÉæUurÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Kauravya Agama )

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14. qÉÑMÑüOû AÉaÉqÉ (M ukuta Agama)

15. ÌMüUhÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Kirana Aga ma )

16. aÉÍsÉiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Ga lita Agama )

17. AÉalÉårÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Agneya Agama )

18. The name of the 18 t h Aga ma has not yet been found.

Sixty four Bhairavagamas

The names of all these Bha iravaga mas are listed in

each branch has eight Agamas in it. They are

I. Bhairavashtaka ( pÉæUuÉɹMü )
1. xuÉcNûlS AÉaÉqÉ ( Swacchanda Agama)

2. cÉhQ AÉaÉqÉ (Chanda Agama)

3. ¢üÉåkÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Krodha Agama)

4. ElqÉ¨É AÉaÉqÉ (Unmatta Aga ma)

5. AÍxÉiÉÉXçaÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Asitanga Agama)

6. qÉWûÉåcduÉÉxÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Mahochhwasa Agama)

7. MümÉÉsÉÏvÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Kapalis ha Aga ma)

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8. Not known

II. Ya malas htaka ( rÉÉqÉsÉɹMü)

1. oÉë¼rÉÉqÉsÉ (Brahmayamala )

2. ÌuÉwhÉÑrÉÉqÉsÉ (Vis hnuyamala)

3. xuÉcNûlSrÉÉqÉsÉ (Swachhandaya mala )

4. ÂÂrÉÉqÉsÉ (Ruruyamala)

5. AjÉuÉïrÉÉqÉsÉ (Atharva yamala)

6. ÂSìrÉÉqÉsÉ (R udrayamala)

7. uÉåiÉÉsÉrÉÉqÉsÉ (Vetalayamala)

8. Not known

III. Matas htaka ( qɨÉɹMü)

1. U£ü (Rakta Agama)

2. sÉÇmÉOû (Lampata Agama)


3. sɤqÉÏ (Lakshmi Agama)
4. cÉÉÍsÉMüÉ (C halika Aga ma)

5. ÌmÉÇaÉsÉÉ (Pingala Aga ma)

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6. EiTÑüssÉMü (Utphullaka Aga ma)
7. ÌoÉÇoÉɱ (Bimbadya Agama)

8. Not known

IV. Mangalashtaka ( qÉÇaÉsÉɹMü )

1. ÌmÉcÉÑpÉæUuÉÏqÉÇaÉsÉ (Pichubhairavimangala Agama)

2. iÉl§ÉpÉæUuÉÏqÉÇaÉsÉ (Tantrabha iravimangal Agama)

3. oÉëɼÏqÉÇaÉsÉ (Brahmimangala Aga ma)

4. MüsÉÉqÉÇaÉsÉ (Kala mangala Aga ma)

5. ÌuÉeÉrÉÉqÉÇaÉsÉ (Vijayamangala Agama)

6. cÉlSìÉqÉÇaÉsÉ (Chandra mangala Aga ma)

7. qÉÇaÉsÉÉqÉÇaÉsÉ (Mangalama mangala Agama)

8. xÉuÉïqÉÇaÉsÉ (Sarvamangala Agama)

V. Chakras htaka ( cÉ¢üɹMü)

1. qÉÇ§É cÉ¢ü (Mantrachakra Agama)

2. uÉhÉï cÉ¢ü (Varnachakra Agama)

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3. vÉÌ£ü cÉ¢ü (Shaktichakra Aga ma)

4. MüsÉÉ cÉ¢ü (Kalachakra Agama)

5. ÌoÉÇSÒ cÉ¢ü (Binduchakra Agama)

6. lÉÉS cÉ¢ü (Naadachakra Aga ma)

7. aÉѽ cÉ¢ü (Guhyachakra Agama)

8. mÉÔhÉï cÉ¢ü (Purnachakra Agama)

8. Not known

VI. Bahurupas htaka ( oÉWÒûÃmÉɹMü)

1. AçkÉMü (Andhaka Agama)

2. ÂÂpÉåS (R urubheda Aga ma)

3. AeÉ (Aja Aga ma)

4. uÉhÉïpÉåS (Varnabheda Aga ma)

5. rÉqÉ (Ya ma Agama)

6. ÌuÉQûÇaÉ (Vidanga Agama)

7. qÉÉiÉ×UÉåSlÉ (Matrurodana Aga ma)

8. eÉÉÍqÉsÉ (Jamila Aga ma)

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VII. Vagishashtaka ( uÉÉaÉÏvÉɹMü)

1. pÉæUuÉÏ (Bhairavi Aga ma)

2. ÍcȨ́ÉMüÉ (Chitrika Aga ma)

3. ÌWûÇxÉÉ (Himsa Aga ma)

4. MüSÇÌoÉMüÉ (Kada mbika Aga ma)

5. WØûssÉåZÉÉ (Hrullekha Agama)

6. cÉlSìsÉåZÉÉ (C handralekha Agama)

7. ÌuɱÑssÉåZÉÉ (Vidyullekha Agama)

8. ÌuɲlqÉlÉÉ (Vidvanmana Aga ma)

VIII. Shikhashtaka ( ÍvÉZÉɹMü)

1. pÉæUuÉÏÍvÉZÉÉ (Bhairavishikha Agama)

2. ÌuÉlÉÉÍvÉZÉÉ (Vinas hikha Aga ma)

3. ÌuÉlÉÉpÉlÉÏÍvÉZÉÉ (Vinabhanishikha Agama)

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4. xÉÇqÉÉåWûÍvÉZÉÉ (Sammohas hikha Aga ma)

5. QûÉqÉUÍvÉZÉÉ (Damarashikha Aga ma)

6. AÉjÉuÉMüÍvÉZÉÉ (Aathavakas hikha Agama)

7. MüoÉÇkÉÍvÉZÉÉ (Kabandhashikha Agama)

8. ÍvÉUcNåûSÍvÉZÉÉ (Shiracchedashikha Aga ma)

Pancha mnaya ( mÉgcÉÉqlÉÉrÉ) is another type of class ification

of Aga mas. The Agamas which came through t he five Mukhas


of Lord Shiva are known as Panchamnaya. The Aga mas
expressed by the five faces are

A) xɱÉåeÉÉiÉ qÉÑZÉ

1. MüÉÍqÉMü AÉaÉqÉ (Kamika Aga ma)

2. rÉÉåaÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Yoga Agama)

3. ÍcÉlirÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Chintya Agama)

4. MüÉUhÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Karana Agama)

5. AÎeÉiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Ajita Agama)

AÉ) uÉÉqÉSåuÉ qÉÑZÉ

1. SÏmiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Deepta Aga ma)

33
2. xÉÔ¤qÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Sukshma Aga ma)

3. xÉWûxÉë AÉaÉqÉ (Sahasra Agama)

4. AÇvÉÑqÉÉlÉç AÉaÉqÉ (Ans human Agama)

5. xÉÑmÉëpÉåS AÉaÉqÉ (Suprabheda Aga ma)

C) AbÉÉåU qÉÑZÉ

1. ÌuÉeÉrÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Vijaya Aga ma)

2. ÌlɵÉÉxÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Nis hwas Aga ma)

3. xuÉÉrÉÇpÉÑuÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Swaymbhuva Aga ma)

4. AÉalÉårÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Agneya Agama)

5. uÉÏU AÉaÉqÉ (Veera Agama)

D) iÉimÉÑÂwÉ qÉÑZÉ

1. mÉëÉåªÏiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Prodgeeta Aga ma)

2. sÉÍsÉiÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Lalita Aga ma)

3. ÍxÉ® AÉaÉqÉ (Siddha Agama)

4. xÉÇiÉÉlÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Santana Aga ma)

34
5. uÉÉiÉÑsÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Vatula Aga ma)

6. ÌMüUhÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Kiran Aga ma)

7. xÉuÉÉåïccÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Sarvoccha Aga ma)

8. mÉUqÉåµÉU AÉaÉqÉ (Para meshwar Aga ma)

E) DvÉÉlÉ qÉÑZÉ

1. UÉæUuÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Raurava Aga ma)

2. qÉÑMÑüOû AÉaÉqÉ (M ukuta Agama)

3. ÌuÉqÉsÉ¥ÉÉlÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Vimalajnana Agama)

4. cÉlSìMüÉliÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Chandrakanta Agama)

5. ÌoÉÇoÉ AÉaÉqÉ (Bimba Agama)

According to Lakshmidhara, the five Samhitas na mely

1. uÉÍxɸ xÉÇÌWûiÉÉ (Vasis htha samhita )

2. xÉlÉMü xÉÇÌWûiÉÉ (Sanak samhita)

3. xÉlÉÇSlÉ xÉÇÌWûiÉÉ (Sanandan samhita )

4. vÉÑMü xÉÇÌWûiÉÉ (Shuka samhita ) and

35
5. xÉlÉiMÑüqÉÉU xÉÇÌWûiÉÉ (Sanatkumar samhita)

are known as Shubhaga ma panchaka, and they co me

under Sa mayachar. All these five Aga mas with the names o f

Vedic sears follow the Vedic culture. The great Acharya Shri

Shankaracharya himself was a Sa mayacharin. In this cult 16

Nityadevatas are given the major importance and wors hipped.

This Samayachar also has the name Kau lmarga ( MüÉæsÉqÉÉaÉï) .

The Matis idha nta tantra class ifies the Earth into three

parts, they are

1. AµÉ¢üÉliÉÉ (As hwakranta)


2. UjÉ¢üÉliÉÉ (Rathakranta)
3. ÌuÉwhÉÑ¢üÉliÉÉ (Vis hnukranta )
According to the sa me tantra, each part of the earth had

64 tantras, among all those now we get only 192 tantras in

Bharat (India).

The Agamatatvavilasa states 64 tantras, they are

1. xuÉiÉl§É iÉl§É (Swatantra Tantra)

2. TåüiMüÉUÏ iÉl§É (Phetkari Tantra)

3. E¨ÉU iÉl§É (Uttara Tantra)

4. lÉÏsÉ iÉl§É (Neela Tantra )

36
5. uÉÏU iÉl§É (Ve era Tantra)

6. MÑüqÉÉUÏ iÉl§É (Kumari Tantra)

7. MüÉsÉÏ iÉl§É (Kali Tantra)

8. lÉÉUÉrÉhÉÏ iÉl§É (Narayani Tantra)

9. iÉÉËUhÉÏ iÉl§É (Tarini Tantra)

10. oÉÉsÉÉ iÉl§É (Bala Tantra)

11. xÉqÉrÉÉcÉÉU iÉl§É (Sa mayachara Tantra)

12. pÉæUuÉÏ iÉl§É (Bhairavi Tantra)

13. pÉæUuÉ iÉl§É (Bhairava Tantra)

14. ̧ÉmÉÑUÉ iÉl§É (Tripura Tantra)

15. uÉÉqÉMåüµÉU iÉl§É (Va makeshwara Tantra)

16. MÑüYMÑüOåûµÉU iÉl§É Kukkutes hwara Tantra)

17. qÉÉiÉ×MüÉ iÉl§É (Matruka Tantra)

18. xÉlÉiMÑüqÉÉU iÉl§É (Sanatkumara Tantra)

19. ÌuÉvÉÑ®åµÉU iÉl§É (Vis huddheswara Tantra)

20. xÉqqÉÉåWûlÉ iÉl§É (Sa mmohana Tantra)

21. aÉÉæiÉqÉÏrÉ iÉl§É (Gouta miya Tantra)

37
22. oÉ×WûiÉç aÉÉæiÉqÉÏrÉ iÉl§É (Bruhat gautamiya Tantra)

23. pÉÔiÉpÉæUuÉ iÉl§É (Bhutabhairava Tantra)

24. cÉÉqÉÑhQûÉ iÉl§É (Cha munda Tantra)

25. ÌmÉÇaÉsÉÉ iÉl§É (Pingala Tantra)

26. uÉÉUÉWûÏ iÉl§É (Va rahi Tantra)

27. qÉÑÇQûqÉÉsÉÉ iÉl§É (M unda mala Tantra)

28. rÉÉåÌaÉlÉÏ iÉl§É (Yogini Tantra)

29. qÉÉÍsÉlÉÏÌuÉeÉrÉ iÉl§É (Malinivijaya Tantra)

30. xuÉcNûlSpÉæUuÉ iÉl§É (Swacchandabha irav Tantra)

31. qÉWûÉ iÉl§É (Maha Tantra)

32. vÉÌ£ü iÉl§É (Shakti Tantra)

33. ÍcÉÇiÉÉqÉÍhÉ iÉl§É (C hintamani Tantra)

34. ElqɨÉpÉæUuÉ iÉl§É (Unmattabhairav Tantra)

35. §ÉæsÉÉåYrÉxÉÉU iÉl§É (Trailokyes hwar Tantra)

36. ÌuɵÉxÉÉU iÉl§É (Vis hwasar Tantra)

37. iÉl§ÉÉqÉ×iÉ iÉl§É (Tantramruta Tantra)

38. qÉWûÉTåüiMüÉUÏ iÉl§É (M ahaphetkara Tantra)

38
39. uÉÉrÉuÉÏrÉ iÉl§É (Va yaviya Tantra)

40. iÉÉåQûsÉ iÉl§É (Todala Tantra)

41. qÉÉÍsÉlÉÏ iÉl§É (Malini Tantra)

42. sÉÍsÉiÉÉ iÉl§É (Lalita Tantra)

43. ̧ÉvÉÌ£ü iÉl§É (Trishakti Tantra)

44. UÉeÉUÉeÉåµÉUÏ iÉl§É (Rajarajes hwari Tantra)

45. qÉWûÉqÉÉåWûxuÉUÉå¨ÉU iÉl§É (Mahamohaswarottara Tantra)

46. aÉuÉÉ¤É iÉl§É (Ga vaksha Tantra)

47. aÉÉlkÉuÉï iÉl§É (Gandharva Tantra)

48. §ÉæsÉÉåYrÉqÉÉåWûlÉ iÉl§É (Trailokya mohana Tantra)

49. WûÇxÉmÉÉUqÉåµÉU iÉl§É (Hansapara mes hwara Tantra)

50. WûÇxÉqÉÉWåûµÉU iÉl§É (Hansa maheshwar Tantra)

51. uÉhÉïÌuÉsÉÉxÉ iÉl§É (Varnavilas Tantra)

52. MüÉqÉkÉålÉÑ iÉl§É (Ka madhenu Tantra)

53. qÉÉrÉÉ iÉl§É (Maya Tantra)

54. qÉl§ÉUÉeÉ iÉl§É (Mantraraja Tantra)

55. MÑüÎoeÉMüÉ iÉl§É (Kubjika Tantra)

39
56. ÌuÉ¥ÉÉlÉsÉÌiÉMüÉ iÉl§É (Vijnanalatika Tantra)

57. ÍsÉÇaÉÉaÉqÉ iÉl§É (Lingagama Tantra)

58. MüÉsÉÉå¨ÉU iÉl§É (Kalottara Tantra)

59. oÉë¼rÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É (Brahmayamala Tantra)

60. AÉÌSrÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É (Aadiya mala Tantra)

61. ÂSìrÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É (Rudraya mala Tantra)

62. oÉ×WûSè rÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É (Bruhadya mala Tantra)

63. ÍxÉ® rÉÉqÉsÉ iÉl§É (Siddhayamala Tantra)

64. MüsmÉxÉ賈 iÉl§É (Kalpasutra Tantra)

In the stream of Tantric literature, Yamalas appear after

the Agamas

the Vedas, but after inception of the Tantrashastra and

establis hment of its grandeur gradually the word shifted to

indicate Tantrashastra and the word Niga ma was given to the

Vedas. 7

xÉ×̹¶É erÉÉåÌiÉwÉÉZrÉÉlÉÇ ÌlÉirÉM×üirÉmÉëSÏmÉlÉqÉç |


MüsmÉxÉÔ§ÉÇ uÉhÉïpÉåSÉå eÉÉÌiÉpÉåSxiÉjÉæuÉ cÉ |
rÉÑaÉkÉqÉï¶É xÉÇZrÉÉiÉÉå rÉÉqÉsɶÉɹsɤÉhÉqÉç ||

40
According to this sɤÉhÉvsÉÉåMü, Yamala is that where

there is explanation of all these eight aspects.

The secret of birth of the world and all living beings.

Explanation of origin and movement of all celes tia l

bodies.

Regular or daily rituals.

Kalpasutra that is the way of performing sacrifice.

Classification of Varnas.

Classification of Dharma.

Classification of sects that is Caste.

The Dharma particular period or time.

The Rudra ( ÂSì) ,

The Skanda ( xMülS) ,

The Brahma ( oÉë¼) ,

The Vis hnu ( ÌuÉwhÉÑ) ,

The Ya ma ( rÉqÉ)

The Va yu ( uÉÉrÉÑ) ,

The Kuber ( MÑüoÉåU) and

41
The Indra ( ClSì)

are the eight important Yamalas. It has been cons idered that
all these Ya malas are told by Swachanda xuÉcNûlS and some

other Bhairavas.
Pingala mata yamala and Jayadratha yamala are the two
other Ya malas. The Jayadratha yamala has 24 thousand
shlokas and is said to be writte n in the period of
Brahmaya mala. The yamalas were s pecially written for Castes
( eÉÉÌiÉ) other than Brahmanas. The practices or sadhanas in

these yamalas were completely inculcated in the Paramparas


or Castes other than Brahmanas.

All these classifications of Tantrashastra deal with all

matters of common belief and interest. Fro m the doctrine o f

the origin of the world to the laws which govern kings and the

societies, which they have bee n divinely appoint ed to rule,

medicine and science generally. The Tantra is not only the

bas is of popular Hindu practices on which account it is know n

as Sadhana Shastra, but it is the repository of esoteric belief

and practices particularly those relat ed to Yoga and the

Mantra tatva.

Time of Tantras

42
According to Bharatiya conception, knowledge as such is

eternal. W

its present meaning ca me to practice, we can confine that the

. That is though

Upasana

eve n in the Rigvedic period. The special branch for suc h

esoteric Upasanas that is Tantra Upasana was started a fter or

along with the puranic period.

In ancie nt S mruties while stating fourteen branches of

knowledge cÉiÉÑSïvÉ ÌuɱÉZrÉÉlÉ, we have never seen the Tantra. So

it cannot be accepted that tantra is one among ancient vidyas.

For the first time in Atharva vedic Nrusimha Tapaniyopanishad

AjÉuÉåïSÏrÉ lÉ×ÍxÉÇWû iÉÉmÉlÉÏrÉÉåmÉÌlÉwÉSè , we can come across the features of

the Tantras. 8 Shri Shankaracharya also in his Bhashya to

above mentioned Upanishad notes that in iÉl§ÉUÉeÉ-lÉUÍxÉÇWû AlÉѹÒmÉç

of this Upanis had there are clear traces of Tantric

mahamantra. But when we try to de cide the Tantra period on

the bas is of Vedic period we may not arrive at the goal

because the Vedic period is not yet perfectly decided.

43
, while narrating the story

of destruction s

mÉÉvÉÑmÉiÉuÉëiÉ to Daksha and says

Daksha ! after contemplating the Vedas with all Shadangas

( ÍvɤÉÉ, urÉÉMüUhÉqÉç, MüsmÉ:, ÌlÉ£üqÉç, NûlS:, erÉÉåÌiÉwÉqÉç, ) Sankhya and Yoga

ut to perfor m

this vrata are difficult even to Raks hasa and Devas. 9 This

vrata is addressed to people of all Varnas and Ashra mas and

this vrata is much good than many other Upasanas told in the

Vedas and the Shastras. By this, once again we can confir m

that the Tantras belong to after or with the period of the

Puranas.

Here are so me more points which help us to decide the

period of the Tantrashastra.

Bhra mha purana instructs worshipping of both Vaidica

and Tantric Mahadeva to its followers.

Varaha purana states worshipping of both Vaidica and

Tantric Janardana.

Vedic, Aga mic and Puranic

concepts or tatvas powerfully impress the mind of the

44
oÉsÉÉ AÌiÉoÉsÉÉ na med vidyas were given

to Ra ma and Laks hmana by Vishwamitra and once again

Pada System

The Tantric syste m can be expressed on the bas is of four

steps which are called as Padas, they are

¥ÉÉlÉmÉÉS J nana pada - The Metaphysics of the syste m

rÉÉåaÉmÉÉS Yoga pada - The training part of s yste m

Ì¢ürÉÉmÉÉS Kriya pada - The for mation of the community

cÉrÉÉïmÉÉS Charya pada - Rules and regulations for all the

me mbers of the co mmunity

It has been observed that the Jnana pada has its effect on

the all other three padas.

45
Jnanapada ¥ÉÉlÉmÉÉS

The J nanapada starts with the cons titution of a human

being and covers all mental and ps ychological aspects of the

human being. It also explains how and why the huma n

behaviour and his qua lities can be classified in different

groups. Everyone who has so me occasion for study can realize

the immense complexity of a human being. Each one of us is

made up of several personalities warring with one another

republic of wants and


10
There is no s ingle center of authority in us. Eve n

though many of us think of the mind as a monarch , often the

mind is like a constitutional monarch which on each occasion,

agrees with the person who has the most power. The Tantrics

began a study of structure of human personality basing on the

wisdom of the Vedic

Veda . As

it were, the phys ical body is made of matter and it is sustained

by the energies obtained fro m the digestion of food. Hence it

is often called a food sheath. Then there is the vita l s heath or

the sheath of prana which is made up of several planes or

subsheaths. The lowest of them, the lower vital deals with

move ments of petty desires, greed, passion, sex etc. The words

46
low or lowest, are used not in the pejorative sense but in the

sense of hierarchy of consciousness . Here the physical is never

the bottom and super consciousness in which the physical is

nea r the bottom and s uperconscient at the top. The middle

vital plane is the source of the powerful move ments of vita l

force like might and passions, tendency for expans ionism,

possession of all kinds of things , the need for fa me, the drive

for the domination etc. The next h igher sub sheath of the vital,

the higher vital, is the center of our nobler move ments like

love, affection, harmony , self giving etc.

These qualities are often mixed up with their oppos ites

like hate, dis harmony etc. Similarly we have several levels o f

the mind. The lowest is the physical mind, the mind which is

completely involved in matter and often behaves rigidly like

matter. When modern scientists like molecular biologists

speak of the che mical structure of the mind in terms of the

protein molecules, they are referring only to the physical

mind. Next is the sense mind, the part of the mind which

communicates with the physical world through the five senses

of s ight, sound, touch, smell and taste. Our organs like eyes,

ears, skin, nose and tongue are only instruments which carry

the message to the sense mind. Then there is the part of the

mind called Manas , which gives ins tructions to the organs of

action like hands, legs, mouth, organs of excretion and sex.

47
Then there is the intellectual mind. The mind which properly

ana lyzes each s ituation based on its own knowledge and

knowledge brought in by the senses. These sheaths develop in

varying degrees in different individual. However, there are

still higher regions of mind like the intuition, they are not

mentioned here. Higher mind (intuition) is developed only in

special individuals.

A diagram has been given in the next page to explain all

sheaths and s ub-s heaths of human body. Tantric seers in the

Jnanapada of Tantrashastra have studied all these things an d

explained them in detail.

48
49
The Tantric seers, following the seers of the Vedas,

developed the insight that, the microcos m and macrocos m

have s imilarities with the structure of a human , paralleling the

structure of the cosmos. Thus they discovere d severa l cos mic

worlds which have their counterparts in eac h human being and

there is constant co mmunion between these worlds and the

corresponding individual human being centers. For instance,

behind the physical world which we inhabit, there is the s ubt le

physical world which is bas is of our physical bodies. There

the beauty of natural scenes or objects is ravis hing and it is

beyond our human imagination. Corresponding to the severa l

vital s heaths in man there are several vital worlds. In some o f

these worlds inhabit the sources of evil and fa lsehood in our

world. These evil forces have personalities of their own an d

are called Raks hasas, de mons. Some other worlds are the place

of residence of the great powers and personalities, whic h

interact with all human beings and control the happenings of

the world. These beings often called Devas (literally, source

of life), have personalities of their own and they are not mere

anthropomorphic constructions of man. The powers of physica l

nature like s un, wind, fire are outward physical aspects of

these Devas. Every one of us often unconsciously interacts

with these forces of good and evil causing all the confusion in

the world. Vedic and Tantric seers point out, that it is possible

50
to conscious ly interac t with the fo rces of light and

correspondingly stop our interactions with the forces of

darkness. If that is done our life becomes a continuous ascent

towards light and higher levels of perfection in all aspe cts

physical, vital, mental a nd other higher realms.

Yogapada rÉÉåaÉmÉÉS

Yoga pada the second step, deals with the utilization and

manifestation of the knowledge in the Jnana pada by

individuals. The aim of this Yoga for an individual, is to build

up a harmony a mong the various warring factions . Achieving

that, the entire being comes under the direct control of the

supre me creatrix, the s upre me Mother. In this sta te all the

different aspects like the physical, vital, mental etc. will be

brimming with bliss. According to the Tantras it is Ananda or

bliss which is the foundation of the worlds. Now we are

dealing with a syste m of extensive education of individuals. In

modern times education is mainly of mental type,

compart mentalized into areas like physical sciences,

mathe matics, sociology and other psychological sciences only.

We are all brainwashed with the idea of objective education

that is any teache r who has certain academic credentials ca n

51
teach any student. But in Bharat of the Vedic and the Tantric

periods, the student (Shis hya), the Teacher (Guru) and the

education (Vidya) formed an intimate triangle for higher

levels of education. Education was in tune with the structure

of man, that is education was imparted to develop all the

different planes in man, na mely the physical, the vital and the

mental planes. This education begins with childhood. In the

early stages of childhood it is the parents who teach children

consciously and unconsciously in the different aspects,

including the rudiments of spiritual education. But after a

certain s tage each student seek s a teacher who has a psychic

affinity to the student. It is the teacher who chooses the

particular mode of study. This happens in all the aspects of

education like recitation, music, arts, crafts, gra mmar, o f

course the choice of a teacher is not a simple procedure. Thes e

are various types of teachers. The tantras point out to as many

as ten different types of teachers, such as pers on who gives

preliminary instruction, the one who leads to a greater teacher,

the guide, the mentor. But when it comes to phys ical or

spiritual education the relations hip between teacher and

student beco mes intimate.

How does a teacher teach the student? Clearly it is not

limited to the usual mental knowledge of the books as is done

in modern times. The Vedic and Tantric intuition regarding

52
education is that each one of us has a hidde n teacher inside of

us. The teacher activates this inner teacher by imparting or by

a special force. This process is called as initiation ( SϤÉÉ ). The

process of initiation is often co mpared to the birth of a child.

Just as a mother nurtures the unborn baby in her womb for

nine months, similarly the (Acharya) teaches, nouris hes the

student so that the inner teacher in him awakes. This is the

explanation of the second birth of man.

iating, takes the Brahmacharin with in

him as a mother to the child; three nights he carries him like a

mother bearing the child in her womb; and to see him whe n

born Devas come in a body.

(Trans lation by A. C. Bose)

One may say that all of this re flects only the ideal

situation, but it is not given to each of us to get a perfect

query in

great detail. If a student has an intense aspiration and regards

towards the Guru as an instrument of the Divin e, the n the

words coming out of the mouth of the Guru have the power to

guide him, even through the Guru ma y suffer fro m severe

limitations. It is not always necessary tha t the teacher be

perfect for the efficacy of the teaching coming out of his

mouth. The great teacher Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa used

53
In the initiation of the student to the portals of the higher

knowledge, another triplet plays an immense role, the triplet

of Guru (The teacher). Mantra (The potent word) and the

Devata (The personal Deity fro m the higher worlds guiding the

student).

Kriyapada Ì¢ürÉÉmÉÉS

The spiritual practice or Sadhana of the tantra is not

limited to an individual d isc ipline only. The Tantrics realize d

that spiritual ideals cannot be sustained over a period of time

unless these ideals are ens hrined in a community. In this wa y

both the individual and communi ty help each other to perform

sadhana. Moderns are wont to th ink of a co mmunity as being

maintained by a set of rules and regulations enforced by means

of sticks and carrots. The a ncients perceived a close an alogy

between the individual human being and the community. J us t

as a human being is fashioned by the Divine will and is alos

guided continuous ly by a Deity or Devata, the co mmunity is

als o a formation of the divine will, also guided by a specific

Deity, called as the Gra ma Devata, the Deity of the village or

54
community. Each community has a te mple of its own whic h

ens hrines the deity. The Deity would be installed by a detailed

ritual of Prnana -Pratis hthana ( mÉëÉhÉ mÉëÌiɸÉlÉ) the infusing of the

spiritual force of the human initiator into the Deity. The

worship in the temple is not limited to the priests, with the

other me mbers as passive participants. There are elaborated

communal modes of worship, like a car festival, float festivals

associated with te mples near a river, communal recitations o f

the sacred texts, performance of d ance, dra mas, expositions of

the key principles, spiritual and moral, by means of stories

accompanied by music. It is understood that the community

worship influences the individual spiritual practices. The

collective thoughts and feelings also derive an impetu s and

gain a lead by a strong

consciousness of the participant helps a sadhaka a lot . It

generates an atmosphere and releases vibrations in which the

Godward emotions of the heart, the truth -aspiring flowings of

the mind gather movement and spread out in an abundance a nd

eve n the cells of the phys ical body throb in response to the

call of the spirit. Furthermore in developing this mode of

worship and ritual, the Shastra takes note of the fact that

human beings at large need a more concre te a more ma terially

formulated presentation of the truths of God and religion than


11

55
In addition, they understand the need for co mmunication

between spiritual co mmunities which are geographically

separated. The Tantrics recognize that cer tain special places

located all around Bharat like Varanasi (Banaras) in the north

and Rameshwara m in the south are brimming with spiritual

power and are called as Ks hetras ( ¤Éå§É ) . Everyone is called

upon to visit some of these places at least once in a life time.

The act of pilgrimage naturally brings into contact persons

from different regions. In addition, the Tantric require the

performance of special fire rituals (Ho ma) for particular

goddesses like Chandi. Such ceremonies attract like minded

people

aspirations. All these aspects are explained in detail in Kriya

pada.

Charya Pada cÉrÉÉïmÉÉS

In the traditional texts of the Tantras, the Charyapada is

described as the program of rituals to be perform ed by every

individual. The outward rituals are only the outer s hell of the

Charya pada. We recall the popular view that s piritual

discipline can be practise d only in an exclus ive place like a

nunnery or monastery; even though persons with spouses a nd

56
children may try to practice spiritual discipline, they cannot

be very s uccessful in these endeavours because the world and

the spirit will not mix; these preliminary exercises help the

performer in recuring for him a birth in a more favorable

spiritual enviro nment which may crown his efforts with

success. The Tantrics do not accept this fundamenta l

inco mpatibility between the sp irit and soc iety because the

bliss of the divine pervades everything. So they do not view

eve ryday life as an obstacle to spiritual pu rsuits; rather,

eve ryday life can be spiritualized. Hence the Tantrics turn

their attention to all the multifarious activities performed in

eve ryday life and methods for divinizing the perfor mance o f

these activities. For ins tance when we are taking a bath , we

call upon the great god Varuna, the purifier to purify us of all

our psychological impurities. When we eat the food we first

offer it to the great mother who is our source and s ustenance

of course the ritual worship of the deity both at the home and

at the temple, elaborate or brief, is part of this discipline . This

is the Charya pada.

57
Bhavas

The Tantric seers and the proponents are careful

observers of human nature and metality. ÌmÉÇQåû ÌmÉÇQåû qÉÌiÉÍpÉï³ÉÉ As

is says ent nature; they are o f

varying te mperaments, in several stages of growth a nd not all

of equal competences. Hence no one uniform discipline could

be laid upon all, especially when it is a matter of individua l

growth. When all individuals are different to e ach other and

one can not be like other, the way of pooja or the way of

meditation should also be different. So, all human being are

grouped into three broad categories based on the concept o f

componets of man general Bharatiya Metaphys ics, Psychology

and Ayurveda also. The three bas ic qualities are

1. Sattva (Balanced poise) xɨuÉqÉç

2. Rajas (Vita l or Kinetic) UeÉ:

3. Tamas (Inertness) iÉqÉ:

Typically one of these qualities do minates in each of us.

A person may be Sattvadhika xɨuÉÉÍkÉMü , Rajadhika UeÉÉÍkÉMü or

Tamodhika iÉqÉÉåÍkÉMü, on the basis of the domination the

corresponding three categories of persons are labelled.

58
1. Deva (Spiritual man) SåuÉ

2. Vira (Hero man) uÉÏU

3. Pashu (Animal man) mÉvÉÑ

The Pashu type is generally governed primarily by needs

and impulses of the phys ical nature and sees only the outs ide

of thing and not their inner reality. The Vira type is vigorous

in vitality impatient in action, restless, eager to trod i n

unconventional paths. The Deva type is st eady, refined in

tempera ments, led by light of reason and generally of balance

poise and out look.

All these divis ions are based on various modifications o f

the Gunas, as they manifest in man that is Jiva. 12 It has been

pointed out that the analogous Gnostic classification of men as

material, physical and spiritual, correspond to the three gunas

of the Sankhya Darshan. In the pas hu the rajo guna operates .

chiefly on Tamas, producing such dark characteristics as e rror

(Bhranti) drowsiness (Tandra) and s loth (Alasya). It is

however an error to suppose that the Pashu is as s uch a bad

man; on the contrary, a jiva of this class may prove superiour

to a jiva of the next. If the for mer, who is greatly bound b y

matter, lacks enlightenment, the latter may abuse the greater

freedom he had won. There are also numerous kinds of Pas hu,

59
some more or some less ta masika than others. So me there are

at the lowest end of the sca le, which marks the first advance

upon the higher forms of animal life. Others approach and

gradually merge into the Vira class . The term Pas hu, co mes

mÉÉvÉ

who is bound by the bonds (Pasha), of which the Kularnava

Tantra enumerates eight na mely

1. Pity ( SrÉÉ)

2. Ignorance & delus ion ( qÉÉåWû )

3. Fear ( pÉrÉ )

4. Shame ( sÉeeÉÉ)

5. Disgust ( bÉ×hÉÉ)

6. Fa mily ( MÑüsÉ)

7. Custom ( vÉÏsÉ )

8. Caste ( uÉhÉï )

Other enumerations are given of the afflictions which,

according to so me, are s ixty two, but all such larger divis ions

are merely elaborations of the simpler enumerations. The

Pashu is also the worldly man in ignorance and bondage, as

opposed to the yogi, and the tattva -jnani. Three divisions o f

pas u are also spoken of namely, Sakal who are bound by the

60
three pas has, called anu (want of knowledge or erroneous

knowledge of the self), Bheda (the division also induced b y

maya of the one self into many), and Karma (action and its

product). These are the three impurities (Mala) called

1) Anava mala AÉhuÉqÉsÉ

2) Maya mala qÉÉrÉÉqÉsÉ

3) Karma mala MüqÉïqÉsÉ

The Devi bears the pasha and is the cause of them, but
she too is newnme mÉvÉÑmÉÉvÉÌuÉqÉÉåÍcÉlÉÏ Pashupas havimochini, 13
Liberator of the pas ha fro m his bondage.

The things stated

People with this pashu (mentality) temperament are expla ined

in a different manner in Tantra by their exterior traits. These

exterior traits are manifestations or creation of the interior

dispos itions. The Kubjika tantr

does not touc h a yanta, not make japa or Anushthana and does

not follow any rules which lead to Sadhana. In spite of the

sadhana the person who has pashu bhava will ent ertain doubt

about the sacrifies and Tantra. He cons iders a Mantra as be ing

merely letters only. He has no any respect of faith in the Guru,

and thinks that the image is but a block of stone. He

61
distinguishes one devata from another, and worships without

flesh and fis h. He is always bathing owing to his ignorance

type of tempera ment is the worst kind of man.

escribes the Pas hu as

who does not do worship at nigh t nor in the evening, nor in the

later part of the day, who avoids sexual intercourse except on

the fifth day after the appearance of the courses , who does not

eat meat even on the five auspicious days in short th ose who

following Vedachara, Vais hnavachara and Shivachara are

bound by the Vaidika rules which govern all pashus.

In the case of Vira bhava, Rajas more largely works on

Sattva, yet also largely though in lessening degree, until the

highest stage of divya bhava is reached.

The third or the top most class of man is of divya bhava

in which rajas operates on Sattva guna to the confirmed

preponderance of the Sattvaguna.

The Nitya-tantra says that a mong all the bha vas th e

Divya bhava is the best, the Vira bhava takes the second bes t

place and the Pashu bhava is the lowest. The D ivya bhava

must be awakened with the help of Vira bhava. The Picchila -

tantra ÌmÉÎcNûsÉÉ iÉl§É says that, the only difference between the

Virabhava man and the man with Divya bhava is that the

62
former are very Uddhata by which is probably meant excitable

through the greater prevalence of the independent working of

the rajoguna in the m then in the calmer Sattvika te mprament.

It is obvious that s uch statements mus t not be read with legal

accuracy. There may be, in fact, a considera ble difference

between a low type of Vira and the highest type of Divya,

though it see ms to be true that this quality of Uddhata whic h

is referred to is the cause of such differences whether great or

s mall.

The Kubjika -tantra describes the marks of the di vya as

cloth the tripundara mark in ashes or red sandal, and

orna ments of Rudraks ha beads, performs japa and archana. He

als o gives daily charity. His faith is strong in the Vedas,

Shastra, Guru and Devatas. He wors hips the pita raha ×ÌmÉiÉU: and

Deva, pe rforms all the daily rites. He has a great knowledge o f

Mantra. He avoids all food except that which his guru offers

him and all cruelty and other bad actions, regarding both

friends and foe as one and the same. He himself ever speaks

the truth and avoids the company of those who decry the

Devata. He worships thrice daily and meditates upon his guru

63
daily and as a Bhairava, wors hips Para mes hwari with divya -

bhava. All Devas he regards as beneficial. He b ows down at

the feet of women regarding them as his Guru x§ÉÏhÉÉÇ mÉÉSiÉsÉÇ SØwOèuÉÉ

aÉÑÂuÉSè pÉÉurÉiÉå xÉSÉ . He worships the devi at night and makes japa

at night with his mouth full of pan and makes obeis ance to the

Kula uÉפÉ. He offers everything to t he supreme Devi. He

regards this universe as prevaded by Shakti and Devata. Shiva

is in all men and the whole brahmanda is prevaded by Shiva -

Shakti. He ever s trives for the attainment and maintenance of

devata bhava and is himself of the nature of a Devata .

Here again the Tantra only seeks to give a genera l

picture, the details of which are not applica ble to all men of

the divya -bhava class. The passage shows that, it or portions

of it refer to the ritual divya for some of the practices, there

referred to would not be performed by the Avadhuta, who is

above all the ritual acts, though he would also share the

beliefs of divya men of all classes, that he and all else are but

manifestations of the universe pervading supre me shakti.

According to the te mperamen t of the sadhaka, so is the

form of worship and sadhana. In fact the specific sadhana and

worship of the other classes is strictly prohibited by the Tantra

to the Pashu.

64
It is said in this Tantra and e lsewhere that in the Kali

yuga, Divya and Pashu dispos itions can scarcely be found. It

may be thought difficult at first sight to reconcile this wit h

other state ments as to the nature of these respective classes.

The term pashu in these and s imilar passages, would appear to

be used in a good sense as referrin g to a man who though

tamas ic yet performs his actions and functions with that

obedience to nature which is shown by the still more tamasic

animal creation free fro m the disturbing influenc es of rajas

which if it may be the source of good may also be whe n

operating independently the source of evil.

So as to say at the end, in the Kali yuga the practice of

Vaidikachara is very difficult, because of the circumstances its

impossible to follow the Vedachara, Vaishnavachara or

Shaivachara, without these practice s the Vaidica, Pauranica

Mantras and the Homa or Yajnas are fruitless. In this age no

one goes through. Bra hmacharyas hrama or starts Vanaprashtha

jivana after his fiftieth yea r. Those whom the Veda does not

control cannot except the fruit of Vaidica obse rvances. On the

contrary men have taken to drink.

ÌSurÉuÉÏUqÉrÉÉå pÉÉuÉÉ: MüsÉÉæ lÉÉÎxiÉ MüSÉcÉlÉ |


MåüuÉsÉÇ mÉvÉÑpÉÉuÉålÉ qÉl§ÉÍxÉÌ®pÉïuÉå³É×hÉÉqÉç ||

only by the pashu bhava that men may obtain ma ntr

65
Having all these things still there prevail differences in

opinion. The individual who does sadhana is the final

testimony for all the problems.

ACHARAS

There are seven types of Acharas. In Kularnava -tantra,

they have mentioned seven type s and given the m in the order

of superiority. Some tantrikas say that there are nine acharas.

The additional two acharas are

1. AbÉÉåUÉcÉÉU 2. rÉÉåaÉÉcÉÉU
The seven acharas as in Kularnava are

1. uÉåSÉcÉÉU

2. uÉæwhÉuÉÉcÉÉU

3. vÉæuÉÉcÉÉU

4. SͤÉhÉÉcÉÉU

5. uÉÉqÉÉcÉÉU

6. ÍxÉ®ÉliÉÉcÉÉU

7. MüÉæsÉÉcÉÉU

66
According to Kularnava the Vedachara is the lowes t form

of Achara and the Kaulachara is the highest of all the acharas.

The question may arise about the achara. As the answer

way of practice or cus toms which a sadhaka

The definition s hould not be mis understood for different sects.

Most of the times, people do this same mistake. The varna -

vyavastha of Shri Kris hna in Bhagavadgita and in the Purusha

sukta is mistake n for Caste system in the society. All the

seven acharas are different stages through which the sadhaka

should pass. To reach the s uper most achara that to

Kaulachara, the sadhaka may take ma ny births or in the same

birth he may worship through different acharas.

The explanation of all the seven acharas is as follows :

1. Vedachara uÉåSÉcÉÉU :

Vedachara gives more importance to the daily practice of

the Vaidic rites. Vedachara is the gross body or xjÉÔsÉSåWû whic h

comprises within it all other acharas, which are s ubtle ( xÉÔ¤qÉ)

bodies of different degrees. The entry of a sadhaka starts fro m

this achara. It is not the final stage but the firs t stage. In this

the worship is largely of an external and ritual c haracter. The

67
objective of this achara is to strengthen the Dharma. This is

the path of action.

2. Vaishnavachara uÉæwhÉuÉÉcÉÉU :

In this stage of achara the worshipper passes (through)

from blind faith to an understanding of the s upreme protecting

energy of the Brahman. In this stage the sadhaka will have a

whole devotion towards the Brahman. The word Vaishnava

of worship is pÉÌ£üqÉÉaÉï . The main intention of this stage is the

union of sadhaka and the powerful faith towards the Brahman,

which he acquires in the beginning.

3. Shaivachara vÉæuÉÉcÉÉU :

This is an achara where as the na me itself indicates the

sadhaka will superimpose the style of a Kshatriya. He starts

with an increasing determination to protect Dharma and to

destroy, which is agains t Dharma (that is Adharma). This stage

is warrior s tage. Wherein to love and mercy are added

strenuous striving and the cultivation of power. There is unio n

68
of faith, devotion and in ward determination. In this stage

entrance is made upon the path of knowledge.

4. Daks hinachara SͤÉhÉÉcÉÉU :

After Shaivachara, Dakshinachara is the s uperior way.

is path is favourable to the accompl ishment of the

higher sadhana and where the Devi is the Dakshina -Kalika.

This stage comme nces when the worshipper can make Dhyana

and Dharana of the threefold s hakti of the Brahman and

understand the mutual connection of the three gunas untill he

receives purnabhisheka mÉÔhÉÉïÍpÉwÉåMü. At this stage the sadhaka is

shakta, and qualified for the wors hip of the threefold s hakti o f

Brahman, Vis hnu & Ma heshwara . He is fully initiated in the

Gayatri Mantra and worships the Devi Gayatri, the Dakshina

Kalika or Adya Shakti - the union of the three shakties. This is

the stage of individualistic Brahma -tatva and its aim is the

union of faith devotion and determination, with a knowledge

of the three fold energies. At this stage or after this stage a

incident or change of great importance occurs marking as it

does the entry upon the path of the return that is Nivrutti.

The stage of Daks hinachara has such a great importance

that here the sadhaka leads towards the Nivrutti -marga.

69
Because of this major change some Tantric seers or sadhakas

have divided acharas in a broad manner. This type of divis ion

has only two parts, they are

i) Dakshinachara

ii) Va machara

In this type of divis ion Dakshinachara includes the first

four acharas among seven acharas. They are Vedachara,

Vais hnavachara, Shaivachara and Daks hinachara itself. The

Vamachara includes the last three divisions. They are

Vamachara, Sidhantachara and Kaulachara. It is being said

that men are born into Daks hinachara but are received by

initiatin into Va machara.

5. Vamac hara uÉÉqÉÉcÉÉU :


The term Va machara does not mean, as the many people

where va ma uÉÉqÉÉ that is woman enters. It means the Lata

sadhana. In this sadhana the sadhaka worships Va ma Devi

uÉÉqÉÉSåuÉÏ (adverse to the

pravrutti). In this path the sadhaka goes against or in the

adverse direction to the pravrutti, which governed in varying

degrees the preceding acharas. In this stage the sadhaka enters

70
the path of nivrutti or return to the source, from where the

world has came from. In the Daks hinachara that is in the first

four stages the sadhaka followed pravrutti marga, the out

going path which leads away fro m the source, the path of

worldly enjoyment. Though the sadhaka enjoys the worldly

enjoyment, he would be on the path of Dharma. As sadhaka

walks in the path of pravrutti for long time at first

unconsciously, unknowingly and later knowingly , consc ious ly

the pravrutti sadhana itself induces the sadhaka into nivrutti

marga, which however can fully appear after the exhaustion o f

the forces of the outward current. When sadhaka thinks that

satis faction or paramananda by longing behind these worldly

attractio outward force occurs. The

sadhaka thinks of so me another marga which can give him the

total satisfaction.

In Va machara however the sadhaka commences to

directly destroy pravrutti, and this is done with the help o f

proper, Guru. It is comparatively easy to lay down rules for

the pravrutti marga but nothing can be achieved in Va machara

adverse effects in the absence of Guru. The sadhaka would be

71
standing on the path of Asatya AxÉirÉ, where there are all

possibilities of sliping or becoming pathabhras hta ( mÉjÉpÉë¹) as it

said

AxÉirÉå uÉiqÉïÌlÉ ÎxjÉiuÉÉ iÉiÉ: xÉirÉÇ xÉqÉÏWûiÉå |

To cultivate nivrutti by directly destroying the pravrutti

or in the method where we use the forc e of pravrutti in s uch a

way as to render the m self-destructive. A guide in the form o f

Guru is the most needed person. When sadhaka in this pat h

slips away the guru beholds him and takes him to proper way.

Dakshinachara is like a highway. We can ge t suffi cient

directions and signs of dangers to reach the goal, but the

Vamachara is a short cut way to the final goal. In s hort cut

way ca n not have any self directions. To walk in a s hort cut

way we need a pers on who has ready knowledge about the

path, and who protects us from being lost in the wa y itself.

In this manne r the passion whic h binds the human being

may be so e mployed as to act as forces where , by the

particular life of which they are the strongest manifestation is

raised to the universal life. Passion which hitherto flows

downwards and outwards to waste, is directed inwards and

upwards, and trans formed to as power. But it is not only the

lower physical desires of eating, drinking and sexual

intercourse, which must be s ubjugated. The sadhaka must at

72
this stage commence to cut off all the eight bonds or nmem:

which mark the pas hu. The Kularnava-tantra enumerates

1. Pity ( SrÉÉ)

2. Ignorance ( qÉÉåWû)

3. Fear ( pÉrÉ)

4. Shame ( sÉeeÉÉ)

5. Disgust ( bÉ×hÉÉ)

6. Fa mily ( MÑüsÉ)

7. Custom ( vÉÏsÉ)

8. Caste ( uÉhÉï)

When sadhaka cuts of all these pas has, he then reaches

the stage of Shiva or Shivatva. This is the main aim of

Vamachara to libe rate from the bonds which bind men to the

samsara, and to qualify the sadhaka for the highest grades of

sadhana in which the Satvika guna predo minates to the perso n

with pure Satvika bhava , there is neither attachment nor fear

nor disgus t. In this stage the sadhaka starts with this

tempera ment by different degrees and co mpletes that in the

following acharas which follow.

73
6. Sidhantachara ÍxÉ®ÉliÉÉcÉÉU :

The next stage of achara is Sidhantachara or so me call as

Aghorachara and Yogachara. In this the sadhaka becomes

more and more freed from the darkness of samsara, and is

attached to nothing, hates nothing and is not as hamed of

nothing. Having freed himself of the artificia l bonds of

samsara, fa mily, caste and society the sadhaka becomes like

Shiva himself. As Lord Shiva the s adhaka beco mes a dweller

in the cremation ground that is xqÉvÉÉlÉ . He the n, understands

and knows to reach the upper heights of sadhana and the

mysteries of Yoga. Sadhaka learns the move me nts of different

Vayus ( uÉÉrÉÑ) in the microcos m, the Ksudra Brahmands

( ¤ÉÑSìoÉë¼ÉhQû) , the regulation of which controls the inclinations

and prope nsities (vrutti). He learns also the truths which

concern the microcos m. In this sta ge also the Guru teaches

him the inner core of the Vedachara Initiation by Yoga diks ha

fully qualifies him for Yogachara. On attainment of perfectio n

in As tanga Yoga, he is fit to enter the highes t stage tha t is

Kaulachara.

74
7. Kaulachara MüÉæsÉÉcÉÉU :

Kaula dharma is in no t sectarian, but on the contrary is

the heart of all sects. The real meaning of this Achara is

explained as

AliÉ:vÉÉ£üÉ: oÉÌWû:vÉæuÉÉ: xÉpÉÉrÉÉÇ uÉæwhÉuÉqÉiÉÉ: |

lÉÉlÉÉÃmÉkÉUÉ: MüÉæsÉÉ: ÌuÉcÉUÎliÉ qÉWûÏiÉsÉå ||

But many people who rea lly do not know the meaning

misunderstand the s pirit of this phrase and take the meaning of

hypocris y for the Kaulas. The Kaulacharin is a person or

sadhaka who has passed through all other achara stages whic h

as their own inmost doctrine that of Kaulachara. Many times

the sadhaka of other achara may know it o r may not know it,

but the core of all acharas is the same that of Kaulachara. The

sect may be nothing or every thing to a Kaulacharin. Nothin g

in the sense, the sect has no power to follow their own inner

life. Sect is everything in the sense that knowledge may infus e

its apparent limitations with a universal meaning. So for a

kaula no form is never a bond. The Vishwasara-tantra (Chapter

24)

nor place. His actions are un-effected either by the phases o f

the moon or the position of the stars. The kaula roa ms the

earth in different forms. At times adhearing to social rules

75
( Ívɹ) , he to others appears, according to their standard, to be

fallen ( pÉë¹) . At times aga in he see ms to be as unearthly as a

ghost ( pÉÔiÉÉå uÉÉ ÌmÉvÉÉcÉ:). To a kaula there is no difference betwee n

mud and sandal paste, his son and an enem y, home and the

cremation ground.

At this s tage the kaulacharin sadhaka attains the Brahma -

jnana, which is the true genes is in its perfect form. After

receiving the qÉWûÉmÉÑUÉhÉSϤÉÉ sadhaka performs his own funera l

rites and is dead to the samsara. Seated alone in some quite

place he remains in constant s amadhi and atta ins the

nirvikalpa form. The great mother, the supre me prakrut i

Mahas hakti or Mayashakti dwells in the heart of the sadhaka,

which is now the cre mation ground wherein all pass ions have

been burnt away. He beco mes a paramahamsa, who is liberated

whilst yet living that is called eÉÏuÉlqÉÑÌ£ü.

It must not however be supposed that each of these

stages must necessarily be passed through by each jiva in a

single life. It is very difficult too. O n the contrary, they are

ordinarily traversed in the course of a multitude of births. The

weaving of the spiritual garment is reco mmended where in a

previous birth. It was dropped at the time of death. In the

present life a sadhaka may comme nce at any stag e. If he is

76
born into Kaulachara and so in a kaula in its fullest sense, it is

because in previous births he has by sadhana, in the

preliminary stages, now his entrance into it. Knowledge o f

Shakti is as the Niruttara-tantra s ays, acquired after many

births and, according to the Mahanirvana -tantra, it is by merit

acquired in previous births, that the mind is inclined to

kaulachara.

MANTRAS

As the Vedic Mantra says the Shabda or sound is o f

Brahman. All Mantras which exist in the body of the Jivatma

are the substance of Para brahman or Shabdabrahman. 14 The

Mantra may be kuÉlrÉÉiqÉMü (unlettered) or uÉhÉÉïiqÉMü (lettered). kuÉÌlÉ

which produces uÉhÉï is the subtle

Shakti. Prapanchasar-tantra also states that the Brahmada is

full of shakti, which consists kuÉÌlÉ. The shakti in the form o f

Dhwani is als o called as Nada ( lÉÉS) or Prana ( mÉëÉhÉ). Unless the

shabda or kuÉÌlÉ exists in the subtle form in the Bra hmanda there

is no manifestation of xjÉÔsÉ form that is Varna. We can have

exa mple of radio waves and the song we hear through radio.

Unless the song in subtle form (radio waves) exists in the air

77
we can not hear the song. All Ma ntra s are produce of Brahma n

and manifestations of Kulakundalini MÑüsÉMÑühQûÍsÉlÉÏ. Nyaya

Shastra and all other Shastras also s ay that the s habda is Guna

of Akasha ( AÉMüÉvÉ) , that is the eternal space. Akasha itself ca n

not produce vÉoS but s habda is manifested in Akasha. It is

evident in our day today life also that the s habda is produced

by movement of the air in Akas ha. According to the move ment

of the pranavayu in the human body the sound is produced.

Shabda first appears at the Muladhara. The shabda in this for m

of sound. The s habda thus produced in M uladhara then reaches

the head. This form is less subtle then Para s habda and is

called Pashyanti, when this s habda is connected with Budhi ,

the form becomes more gross and this is called as Madhyama.

The fourth form, fully gross form of s habda which we speak

and which issues fro m the mouth is Vaikhari.

All varnas and dhwani are substance of Kula -kundalini.

Kula-kundalini itself is manifestation of para mat ma.

Sometimes it is said that Kula -kundalini itself is para mat ma.

As Kula-kundalini is paramat ma so the substance of all Mantra

is cit ÍcÉiÉç , not withstanding their external manifestation as

sound, letter or words, in fact the letters of the alphabet whic h

are known as akshara or imperishable Brahman. This truth ca n

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not be understood or co mprehended by an ordinary man, but a

sadhaka can only realize when his generated s hakti by sadhana

is united with the Mantrashakti.

It is the sthula or gross form of Kulakundalini, appearing

in different aspects as different Devatas, which is the

presiding Devata (adhisthatri) of all Mantra, though it is the

subtle or s ukshma form at which all sadhakas aim and do their

sadhana. When the Mantrashakti is awakened by the sadhana

the presiding Devata appears and when perfect Ma ntra s iddhi

is acquired, the Devata, wh o is saccidananda is revealed. The

relations of varna, nada bindu vowel and consonant in a

Mantra, indicate the appearance of Devata in different forms.

Certain vibhutis or aspects of the Devata are inherent in

certain varnas, but perfect shakti does not a ppear in any s ingle

varna or vowel, it appears through the whole Mantra only. Any

word or letter of the Ma ntra cannot be a Mantra. Only that

Mantra in which the playful Devata has revealed any of her

particular aspects can reveal that aspect and is therefo re called

the individual Mantra of that one of he r particular aspects. The

form of a particular Devata, therefore appears out of the

particular Mantra of which that Devata is the adhisthatri

Devata.

A Mantra is co mposed of certain letters arranged in

definite sequence of sounds of which the letters are the

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representative signs. To produce the corresponding designed

effect Mantra mus t be intoned in the proper way according to

swara. The swaras (Rhythm) are three types they are Udatta,

Anudatta and Swarita. To produce desired effect as swaras are

important the Varna (sound) is also equally important. The

external textual source for the Mantras is the Vedas, Puranas

and the Tantras. All Mantras including letters together

essentially make Mantra-Shas tra. It is said of the embodied

Shastra that, Tantra which consists of Mantra is the paramatma

the Vedas are the J ivatma, all Dars hanas (Syste ms of

philosophy) are the senses. Puranas are the body and the

s mruties are the limbs. If all Shas tras are taken for a huma n

body the Tantra takes the part of the para matman, that is the

pure and ultimate goal of each and every human being. The

total gist is said to be para mat man, the Vedas is jivat man.

Here it is intended to say that the whole intention of the Vedas

is to me rge in the paramatman. Tantra is thus the shakti o r

consciousness cons isting of Mantra. A Mantra is not the same

thing as prayer or self-dedication (Atma -nivedana m). Prayer is

conveyed in what words the wors hipper chooses and bears its

meaning on its face. It is only ignorance of shastric principles

which s upposes that Mantra is merely the na me for the words

in which one expresses, what one has to say to the Divinity. If

the particular divine then the sadhaka might choose his ow n

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language without recourse to t he eternal and determined

sounds of the Shastra. In this case all Mantras and the swara

and varna pronunciation syste m would loose its value.

Keeping all these things in mind our ancestors have done a

great job and we should thank them for such easy s ystem s.

Mantras s ome times convey their meaning outwardly but

There are many Aksharas which we cannot understand

Bijaks hara, such as ¾ûÏÇ, LåÇ, YsÉÏÇ have no meaning outwardly.

According to ordinary us e of language they are meaningless.

The initiator however knows that their meaning is the own

form (swarupa) of the particular Devata, whose Mantra they

are, and that they are the Dhwani which makes all the letters

sound and which exis ts in all which we sa y or hear. It is

understood that every Mantra is a form of the Brahman. As

Brahman himself manifested in the form of Mantra. Every

Mantra is a form of Bhrahman. The Shas tras say that the

person who thinks Guru as a stone and the Mantras mere

alphabets will go to the Hell. qÉlÉlÉÉiÉç §ÉÉrÉiÉå CÌiÉ qÉl§É: From manana

that is thinking or conte mplating we can have rea l

understanding of the substance of Brahman. The word Ma ntra

has two parts, the first syllable is man that is manana qÉlÉlÉ, that

is contemplation and tra §É that is trana §ÉÉhÉ means liberation

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from the bondage of the samsara or pheno menal world. Mere

prayer often ends in nothing but physical sound whereas

Mantra is a powerful potent co mpelling force that is a word o f

power. When we chant s uch potent Mantra we get Mantra

siddhi. As Mantra is so potent, it has the power to produce

cha turvarga siddhi cÉiÉÑuÉïaÉïÍxÉÌ® and even mukti also. Thus it is

said that siddhi is the certain result of Japa. Though the

purpose of

a) Wors hip

b) Reading

c) Appreciating

d) Sacrifice

e) Dhyan

f) Dharana and

g) Sa madhi

and that of the Diks ha Mantra are the same yet the letter

the Bijakshara is far more powerful than all other forms . This

is because in the firs t stage the -s hakt i

works in conjuction w ith Mantra-shakti which has the

revelation and force of fire. The special Mantra which is

received at initiation (Diksha) is the bija Mantra or seed

Mantra

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forms like Sandhya, Nyasa, Puja are the stem and branches

upon which hymns of praise (Stuti), prayer and homage are the

leaves flowers, and cavacha, Mantra s iddhi is the fruit of this

tree.

Mantras according to their nature are two types.

1) xÉÉæU a Sour Masculine

2) xÉÉæqrÉ Soumya Feminine

The masculine or Soura Mantras are called Mantras only

but the feminine or Soumya Mantras are called as Vidyas.

There is another type of Mantra they are neute r Ma ntras. The

puranic Mantra lÉqÉ: are

neuter Mantras and are said to lack the force and vitality of

the others. The Ma ntras ending with (Hum) WÒûqÉç, (Phat) TüOè are

masculine and the Mantras with termination s vadha xuÉkÉÉ and

svaha xuÉÉWûÉ are feminine Mantras. 15 The Tantrik Mantras called

bija (seed) are called because they fetch the fruit of s iddhi.

They are short un-etymological vocables s uch as ¾ûÏÇ, ´ÉÏÇ, ¢üÏÇ, LåÇ,

TüOè etc. The Mantra portion of Atharva veda has these

Bijamantras in surplus quantity because of its proximity to the

Tantrashastra.

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Each Devata has his bija. The pr imary Mantra of a

Devata is known as the root Mantra or mula Mantra. It is also

said that the word mula denotes the subtle body of the Devata

called MüÉqÉMüsÉÉ (Kamakala). The utterance of a Mantra with out

knowledge of its meaning or of the Mantra method is a mere

move ment of the lips and nothing more. The Niruktacharya

Yaska ÌlÉ£üÉcÉÉrÉï rÉÉxMü als o gives more importance to the

meaning and the method of the Ma ntra and says pÉÉUWûÉU: ÌMüsÉÉpÉÔiÉç

AkÉÏirÉ uÉåSÇ rÉÉå lÉ eÉÉlÉÉÌiÉ AjÉï: . A person who only utters Ma ntra

with out knowing their meaning is a Bharahar that is Donkey.

There are ten samskaras to Mantras als o. 16

The Ma ntra itself is Devata. The sadhaka awakens and

vitalizes the Mantra by ÍcÉiÉç vÉÌ£ü. The shakti of the Mantra is

the Vachaka-s hakti or the means by which the Vachya s hakt i

or the object of the Mantra is atta ined. The Mantra lives by the

ene rgy of the Vachya s hakti. The saguna shakti is awakened

by sadhana and wors hipped , and she it is who opens the

portals whereby the Vachya shakti is reached. Though the

mother in her Nirguna or Saguna form is the same but the jiva

by laws of his nature and his three gunas must a t first meditate

on the gross ( xjÉÔsÉ) form before he can realize the s ubtle ( xÉÔ¤qÉ)

which liberates him fro m all bonds.

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Constant repetition of Mantra with faith, devotion and

purity of mind augments the s hakti or power of the sadhaka,

purifies and awakens the power of the Mantra that is Mantra-

cha itanya which is latent in the Mantra and bes tows Mantra-

siddhi on the sadhaka. Once the Mantra -s iddhi happens

illumination, freedom, peace, ete rnal bliss and immortalit y

follow the sadhaka.

The Mantra of a devata is the Devata itself. The

rhythmical vibrations of its sounds not merely regulate the

unsteady vibrations of the sheaths of the worshipper. The

oÉ×WûSèaÉlkÉuÉïiÉl§É says

vÉ×hÉÑ SåÌuÉ mÉëuɤrÉÉÍqÉ oÉÏeÉÉlÉÉÇ SåuÉÃmÉiÉÉqÉç |


qÉl§ÉÉåccÉUhÉqÉɧÉåhÉ SåuÉÂmÉÇ mÉëeÉÉrÉiÉå ||

The Mantra is awakened from its sleep through the

sadhana-shakti of the sadhaka that is aspirant. The Mantra is a

mass of radient Tejas or energy. Mantra awakens supernatural

powers. Mantra produces harmony. It has the power of

releasing the cos mic and the super -cos mic conscious ness.

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PRESENT CONDITION OF

TANTRA SHASTRA

At present, Tantrashastra though the real meaning of it is

very helpful to the human life, it is not wide spread. This

Shastra gives more importance to the Guru -Shishya para mpara

and here Guru plays major role in imparting the Tantric

knowledge to his disciple. Guru has to test the shishya in

different aspects. The Shas tra given in the hands of a n

(ayogya) incorrect person may cause damages to the health of

the society. Short cut may cut a person short. So tantr ic

Acharyas before imparting their knowledge, took a lot of time

to get a good d isciple. Some Ac haryas due to the lack of able

shishyas could not pass on their knowledge and the knowledge

went with them. Tantrashastra because of its practica l

importance that is xÉÉkÉlÉiuÉ could not be preached or written.

The sadhaka with all his patience and ÌuÉlÉrÉ, should learn

tantras in proper present guidance of his guru. Tantras hardly

learnt in the absence of the guru (teacher) , so the tradition of

Guru-Shis hya teaching has come to an end. We have lost many

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tantras and a great knowledge due to the ÌuÉÎcNûꬃ o f

aÉÑÂÍvÉwrÉmÉUÇmÉUÉ .

Though in these days we may see a lot of Tantric

treatises but they can not be practices or learnt. Still the

knowledge is secrete. Books or script alone can not help the

practice.

In present days it has become a great challenge to

preserve and promote the existing Tantric practices and

Upasanas. Still more effort is needed to understand and

practice the tantras which are still in the written form.

***

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