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Thread: Tantra and Shaivism

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    Tantra and Shaivism

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Namaste,

    Tantra तन्त्र we know this as ritual, scriptures (~agamas¹ the word is associated with weaving, looming, etc. If we look to tan we see it as to stretch (a cord) , extend or bend (a bow) , spread , spin out , or weave;
    tra is a protector or defender.

    So we can say tantra are those scriptures and practices ( a weave) that protects and defends the native (sadhu).

    I mention this as more of my studies have been directed to Siva and Shakti as of late. I have been spending for more time with Kashmir Shaivism and The teachings of Swami Lakshmanjoo, hence the posts on Siva Sutras.

    I am hoping we can have a more conversations Tantra overall. For those that also practice and put their attention here, I am looking for reading recommendations.

    As see it there are three main schools:
    Dvaita - uses the Siva Tantras. There are 10 of these agamas to study. Some calls this view bheda or with difference, or dualism.
    Dvaita-Advaita - uses the Rudra Tantras. There are 18 of these agamas for study. Some call this bhedabheda or dualism and monism combined view.
    Advaita - uses the Bhairava Tantra and there's 64 of these agamas for ones study. Some call this bheda or without difference - monism.

    My studies have been Advaita, as a natural extension of Vedanta for me. What is beautiful about this Saivism is, all are welcomed. If Siva is everywhere, in everything, His Fullness ( Bhuma) is complete, how could one reject any individual that wanted to practice this approach? It's as if you are rejecting Pasupati (Siva)...A very practical view.

    In Satyuga all the tantra's were one they say. Yet in Kali yuga, Siva chose to appear (at Mt. Kailasha) in the form of Srikantjanatha. He again taught the offer of Bhairava Tantras to rishi Durvasa. He was told by Srikantjanatha to offer this knowledge/path without restriction e.g. color, caste, gender, all that.

    This knowledge then came down through the ages from farther to son. Then from master to student. That is, with Somananandanatha muni initiation into this knowledge was then master to student. Without going into all the rishi's and masters along the way, it is from this tradition that Kasmir Shaivism was founded.

    So books I have found rewarding to study:
    • Vijnana Bhairava The Practice of Centering Awareness -- by Swami Laksmanjoo
    • Kashmir Shaivism - the Secret Supreme - - by Swami Laksmanjoo
    • Siva Sutras - The Supreme Awakening -- by Swami Laksmanjoo
    • Spanda karikas - The Divine Creative Pulsation -- by Jaideva Singh
    Any recommedations of other Bhairava Tantra books you may have found rewarding are welcomed, as are any conversations on this topic e.g. upayas, dharanas, spanda, 3 paths (adhvans), etc.


    namasivaya


    1. Agama आगम- or that which has come down; scriptures that have been handed down, remembered i.e. smriti

    pranams
    Last edited by yajvan; 13 November 2007 at 03:26 PM. Reason: added agama definition
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Namaste Yajvan


    Have you read anything from Abinavagupta? I have an extensive text of his authorship in stand by for reading. I have picked him up from the KOA site some years ago.
    There was or is, since I don't pay a visit to the KOA site for some years, a page or two dedicated to a Kashmiri Saint called Gopinatha ji which I was very found off. Do you have any info on that Saint?
    Last edited by Nuno Matos; 13 November 2007 at 05:17 PM.

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuno Matos View Post
    Namaste Yajvan


    Have you read anything from Abinavagupta? I have an extensive text of his authorship in stand by for reading. I have picked him up from the KOA site some years ago.
    There was or is, since I don't pay a visit the KOA site for some years, a page or two dedicated to a Kashmiri Saint called Gopinatha ji which I was very found off. Do you have any info on that Saint?

    Namaste Nuno,
    I have been trying to track down writings of his in Abhinavagupta's Tantrasara and Tantraloka. Tantrasara is an abbreviated Tantaloka.

    Any ideas on where to view ( URL's) or buy the books is a welcomed suggestion.

    pranams,
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Namaste,
    I wouldn't recommend to rely on Swami Laxman's versions of texts. IMO it is better to use academical translations of Mark S.G. Dyczkowski, B. N. Pandit and Paramahamsa Mishra.

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Namaste Nuno,
    I have been trying to track down writings of his in Abhinavagupta's Tantrasara and Tantraloka. Tantrasara is an abbreviated Tantaloka.

    Any ideas on where to view ( URL's) or buy the books is a welcomed suggestion.

    pranams,
    Tantraloka is translated into Italian by R. Gnoli and into Hindi by Paramahamsa Mishra and again by Radheshyam Chaturvedi. Hindi translation can be bought in Chaukhamba, Italian can be ordered online.
    Tantrasara is translated into Hindi by Hemen Chakravarti, it was available in Indica Books.

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Hari Om
    ~~~~~

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
    Tantraloka is translated into Italian by R. Gnoli and into Hindi by Paramahamsa Mishra and again by Radheshyam Chaturvedi. Hindi translation can be bought in Chaukhamba, Italian can be ordered online.
    Tantrasara is translated into Hindi by Hemen Chakravarti, it was available in Indica Books.
    Namaste Arjuna

    thank you for the references...
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    Tantra तन्त्र we know this as ritual, scriptures (~agamas¹ the word is associated with weaving, looming, etc. If we look to tan we see it as to stretch (a cord) , extend or bend (a bow) , spread , spin out , or weave;
    tra is a protector or defender.

    So we can say tantra are those scriptures and practices ( a weave) that protects and defends the native (sadhu).

    I thought to add a bit to the defintion above.
    • tantra तन्त्र - as a noun means a loom; the notion of weaving comes to mind as this word is also used for a row , number , series , that you would find in a weave.
    If this is a loom, then who are the weavers? Śiva and Śakti. And what is woven? Creation. It is creation that is worn by us, woven by Them.
    • Lets look at its components - tan + tra
    tan तन्- to extend , spread , be diffused (as light) over , shine , extend towards ; to extend or bend. The masculine applicaton is uninterrupted succession.
    tra त्र- is protecting.
    Hence tan + tra is that which is extended, protecting overall.
    • Some say this tantra comes from tattva and mantra
    tattva तत्त्व is considered the true or real state, the essence. Various tattva-s are considered. There are 25 in Samkhya philosophy and 36 in Śaivism. Yet the essential essence comes to be Brahman.

    mantra मन्त्र is considered an instrument of thought. Yet this word also can be considered manas or mind + trai to protect , preserve , cherish , defend , rescue from. So in this instance mantra is that instriment that protects the mind, intellect, etc.

    Now we can combine tantra = tattva + mantra. This then says tantra is essence (Brahman) that protects the mind, intellect, etc.

    Hence tantra is directly coupled with the 'weaving and wearing' the essence that protects oneself overall.

    praām
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    "Creation. It is creation that is worn by us, woven by Them."

    All acts of creation are divisions of the infinite. Who will wear and who will weave?

    Namaste

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    hari o
    ~~~~~~

    Namasté

    tantra तन्त्र - as a noun means a loom; the notion of weaving comes to mind as this word is also used for a row , number , series , that you would find in a weave.
    If this is a loom, then who are the weavers? Śiva and Śakti. And what is woven? Creation. It is creation that is worn by us, woven by Them.
    I mentioned, If this is a loom, then who are the weavers? Śiva and Śakti.
    It is interesting to note:
    siva सिव (or sivaka) - means one who sews or stitches , a sewer , stitcher. As siv सिव् means to sew, stitch, darn. Note the sound of this s स् sounds like the s in saint, some say the s is closer to hiss.


    This is not to be confused with śiva शिव rooted śī शी, " in whom all things lie " ; This śiva we know as The Auspicious One , the Supreme, the unsurpassable (anuttara). This ś sounds like the s in sure or shun.

    I thought it interesting ...simularities back to tantra i.e. weaving.

    praām

    Last edited by yajvan; 10 March 2009 at 09:47 PM.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra and Shaivism

    Quote Originally Posted by Arjuna View Post
    Namaste,
    I wouldn't recommend to rely on Swami Laxman's versions of texts. IMO it is better to use academical translations of Mark S.G. Dyczkowski, B. N. Pandit and Paramahamsa Mishra.
    I don't see why not. I have Lakshmanjoo's Vijnana Bhairava and Shiva Sutras. I agree that they are not academic in the usual sense but that's because Lakshmanjoo was a master and relating the texts from the point of view of his direct tradition as he taught it to others.

    In my opinion, Paul Reps and Jaideva Singh translated the Vijnana Bhairava with more style (Reps and some Singh) and academic accuracy (Singh) than Lakshmanjoo, but both of them fall so short compared to Lakshmanjoo's practical advice on how to practice the techniques. Reps doesn't include anything except the translation and Singh often has incorrect information or sensational understandings that probably don't reflect actual practice but what he thought would be the experience of practice.

    It depends on your perspective - if you're only studying then go with the academic translators. If you want to practice Kashmir Shaivism then go straight to the master himself.

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