By Teun Goudriaan and Sanjukta Gupta
Read or Download A History of Indian Literature, Volume II: Epic and Sanskrit Religious Literature, Fasc. 2: Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature PDF
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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
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. These Sutras are of very unequal length. They are preceded by a Laukikadharma of four patalas in which rituals to be performed by or for the benefit of the laity (especially aristocrats) and the results gained by them are expounded. Here and there, the text breathes the sphere of the Agamas or of the Puranas, but at the same time it evidently moves away from them into a Tantric direction.
23b); the series is also characterized as an adhvan (way to the goal). This is followed by an exposition of the origin of the letters and of the Saiva tradition (including an enumeration of the 28 Agamas on fol. 24a). Then comes another short discussion of worship, homa and diksd accompanied by esoteric truths. The Nayasutra is somewhat larger (29a41a), but contains only four chapters. It gives further particulars on the nature of the nine Tattvas (the ten mentioned above minus Sakti) and the corresponding letter symbols, of which the letter a is the most important.
MNT); the same holds good for meditation stanzas (dhyanaslokas) which describe the outward appearance of a deity, for stotras and for statements of rewards. As we saw, the Nibandhas are usually more correct than the Original Tantras; in the latter we find remarkable differences in 132 Cf. also GONDA, MRL, p. 175. 133 For Buddhist Tantras, see the collection made by TSTJDA in his ed. of the Samvarodayatantra, Tokyo 1974, p. 16f. ah; General Characteristics 29 literary quality. The Tantraloka, PrapafLeasara and Tantrarajatantra (and a few other texts of the Srikula) are in a Sanskrit which is usually very good and not devoid of literary polish; the Mahanirvanatantra is written in a plain but correct style which gives evidence of modest attempts at conscious structuration; the Kularnava and Malinivijaya are reasonable; language and style of the Saktisanigamatantra and many other texts of the more recent period, but usually also of the Yamalas, range from mediocre to bad and contain many incongruencies and absurdities; the state of the Varahitantra and a few others almost defies description.