By Teun Goudriaan and Sanjukta Gupta
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Additional info for A History of Indian Literature, Volume II: Epic and Sanskrit Religious Literature, Fasc. 2: Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature
This increasing tendency to Saktism in the ^aivatantras renders it very difficult to draw a line between "Saiva" and "Sakta" literature. Is, for instance, the Malinivijaya a Saiva or a Sakta text? Both views might be defended. Therefore, in the present chapter no attempt has been made to separate the two denominations and their literature; this will perhaps be better possible after further concentration on this interesting body of texts. It should be remarked that what we possess nowadays is only a part, perhaps even a minor part, of the literature which must have been in existence.
9 For Kashmir Saivas, the Nihsvasa was not a text of special veneration; Abhinavagupta in his Tantraloka twice refers to it10, but also in this case the identity of his source with the NTS is dubious. No commentaries or later monographs based on our text are known. Its Sanskrit is unidiomatic and the manuscript is unfortunately damaged. The size is considerable (about 4500 slokas). 41 a) connects its being a Samhita with the fact that it consists of four parts called Sutras: the Mula-, Uttara-, Naya- and Guhyasutra.
The ascription may have a base in a real or assumed similarity of subject, but its motivation is without doubt an attempt at "canonization" of the text in question by establishing an intimate connection with some early Tantra (the ascription is only seldom vindicated by the preserved text of such a Tantra). The loci of ascription can be of three types: a. famous existing Tantras such as the Kularnava; b. legendary old texts never seen in practice; this leads to the circulation of "ghost titles" such asBhutabhairavatantra or Hrdbhedatantra which seem to occur only in ascriptions or traditional lists; c.