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Gandharva Tantra of the School of Shri Vidya. Taken from the Original Mss. in the Private Collection of the Maharaja of Kashmir
ISBN : 9788130717524
Author : Kak & Shastri
Pages : 446 pp
Year of Publishing : 2020
Binding : Hardbound
Publisher : Cosmo Publications
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Unlike the Agamas, the Gandharva Tantra begins with the two stanzas, one of salutation to the Elephant-god and the other of benediction invoking the protection of the Goddess Kundalini. This fact in itself reveals that the Tantra must be more or less modern. The tradition regarding the appearance of the Tantra is that the rival sage Vishvamitra, being envious of the prophetic powers of Vasishtha, performs a difficult penance. Failing even thereby to obtain equality with Vasishtha he goes to the North and implores the help of Dattatreya who consoles him and reveals the Gandharva Tantra which he has heard from Nandikeshvara. The tantra is in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and Parvati.
It begins with the question from Parvati about Brahman, Yoga and the Body. Shiva defines the Brahman only.
In this Parvati requests Shiva to remove the doubts referred to in the first Patala regarding the Shakti lore.
In the third Patala Shiva reveals the Panchami Vidya which consists of five Kutas.
In this Patala is given the Kavacha of Rajarajeshvari called Trailokyamohana.
In this Shiva describes the way in which the Shrichakra is to be drawn and the different deities are to receive their worship in the nine component parts of Shrichakra.
In the sixth Patala Shiva, in reply to the query made by Parvati regarding the third form of worship, gives in detail instructions for the guidance of the practitioner.
In the above is given the way in which the devotee of Mahatripurasundari is to purify his body and perform the Sandhya.
The eighth chapter describes the sacrificial altar and the way in which the practitioner should bow to the presiding deities of the quarters and other deities such as Ganesha, Ksetrapala etc.
In the ninth chapter is given the Matrikanyasa.
In the 10th Patala the sixfold Nyasa of Shrividya as consisting of those of Ganesha, planets, constellations, Yoginis, signs of Zodiac and Pitha is described.
In the 11th Patala are described first the Nyasa of (1) Asana, (2) Vasinyadivagdevata, (3) Mulanga, (4) Navayoni, (5) Chaturvyuha, (6) Tattvanyasa, (7) Mulavidya, and (8) Sammohana.
In the 12th Patala the mental offering of worship and the mental approach to and unification with Mahatripurasundari are at length described.
In this stress is laid first of all on the actual realization of the unity between the worshipper and the worshipped.
The 14th Patala deals with the worshipping of Kameshvari.
The 15th chapter describes the things to be offered in worship. These are Asana, Padya, Arghya, Achamana, Madhuparka, Snana, Vastra, Bhushana, Gandha, Anjana, Pushpa, Dhupa, Dipa, and Naivedya.
Sixteenth Patala is devoted to the description of the offering, such as, drink and food and of the way and varieties of salutation.
In the 17th Patala worship, in the nine component parts of Shrichakra, of the attendant deities classified under nine categories technically called Prakatayoginis etc.
The 18th chapter gives a detailed description of Japa.
In the 19th chapter worship and offerings to Vatuka, Yoginis, Kshetrapala and Ganesha are described.
In this Shoshika is described at length.
In the above the last rites of worship are described.
This chapter describes the duties of a Sadhaka.
This describes the importance of worshipping the girls, their prescribed ages and the way in which they are to be worshipped.
It describes the importance and fruit of offering worship to the girls and the Prayaschitta or penance, that is to be done by the devotee when he misses performance of daily worship.
This chapter is devoted to the description of the sacred spots in India and the merits that a devotee gains by offering worship in these places.
It deals with Diksha or initiation.
This also is devoted to the description of initiation.
In this are given the instructions regarding Purashcharana which is necessary for obtaining success in the mantra.
In the above the practitioner is instructed to mutter the mantra of Devi with his wife at the time of midnight.
The three parts of the incantation of Devi known by the terms Vagbhava, Kamaraja and Shakti together with the Hamsa-mantra are described in this chapter.
This chapter gives the details regarding the Homa or sacrifice.
How a particular ring is to be prepared and how the same is to be worn by the worshipper of Devi are mentioned in this chapter.
This chapter deals with the invocation of the presence of Devi.
In this the reader finds the details given about the worship of Devi as done by the follower of Kulachara.
The worship of Devi through the medium of a lady forms the subject-matter of this chapter.
In this chapter the follower of Kulachara is instructed to have his wife initiated like himself by his own teacher who is to treat her as his own daughter.
This chapter relates how the things which have been rejected by the followers of the Vedas can be used by a Tantrik worshipper in a particular manner so as to gain success in worship.
In this Shiva says that the Devi feels satisfied not so much with the mental worship as with the physical.
This chapter sets forth that spirit and matter are the two eternal principles.
In this Shiva and Parvati change positions. Shiva becomes the questioner and Parvati the replier.
In the above explanation of the Anuttara or the Transcendental Self comes first.
This closes the book and deals with the description of the physiological and spiritual phenomena as known to the experts in the Tantrika lore.