Tantra and Shaivism
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:
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.
- 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
1. Agama आगम- or that which has come down; scriptures that have been handed down, remembered i.e. smriti
Last edited by yajvan; 13 November 2007 at 03:26 PM.
Reason: added agama definition
because you are identical with śiva