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Books > Hindu > The Garland of Letters- Varnamala (Studies in the Mantra-Shastra)
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The Garland of Letters- Varnamala (Studies in the Mantra-Shastra)
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The Garland of Letters- Varnamala (Studies in the Mantra-Shastra)
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About The Book

Books written by the Author Sir John Woodroffe can perhaps be called as Classics. One is indebted to him for his study of Tantra Sastra and the scholarly works he produced in English. His Books like "Serpent Power", "Sakti and Sakta" etc., have helped the readers to gain excellent knowledge on the generally difficult to interpret subject of Tanta Sastra. In line with the other classics the author in the present book has in great detail explained the significance of the Letters in the context of the Tantra knowledge. Thus it becomes a must for the student of Tantra Vidya.

Foreword

THIS book is an attempt, now made for the first time, to explain to an English-knowing reader an undoubtedly difficult subject. I am therefore forcibly reminded of the saying,. "Veda fears the man of little knowledge, since injury may be received from him" (Bibhety alpashrutdd Vedo mam ayam praharishyate). It is natural, given this difficulty and the mystery which surrounds the subject, that strangers to India should have failed to understand Mantra. They need not, however, have then (as some have done) jumped to the conclusion that it was "meaningless superstition." This is the familiar argument of the lower mind which says "what I cannot understand can have no sense at all." Mantra is, it is true, meaningless to those who do not know its meaning. But there are others who do, and to them it is not "superstition." It is because some English-educated Indians are as uninstructed in the matter as that rather common type of Western to whose mental outlook and opinions they mould their own, that it was possible to find a distinguished member of this class describing Mantra as "meaningless jabber." Indian doctrines and practice have been so long and so greatly misunderstood and misrepresented by foreigners, that it has always, seemed to me a pity that those who are of this Punyabhiimi should, through misapprehension, malign without reason anything which is their own. This does "not mean that they must accept what is in fact without worth because it is Indian, but they should at least first understand what they condemn as worthless.

When I first entered on a study of this Shastra I did so in the belief that India did not contain more fools than exist amongst other peoples, but had on the contrary produced intelligences which (to say the least) were the equal of any elsewhere found. Behind the unintelligent practice, which doubtless to some extent exists amongst the multitude of every faith; I felt sure there must be a rational principle, since men on the whole do not continue throughout the ages to do that which is in itself meaning-less and is therefore without result. I was not disappointed. The Mantra Shastra, so far from being rightly described as "meaningless superstition" or "jabber," is worthy of a close study which when undertaken, will disclose elements of value to minds free from superstition, of metaphysical bent and subtle-seeing (Sakshmadarshin). A profound doctrine, ingeniously though guardedly set forth, is contained in the Tantras of the Mantra Shastra or Agama. This is an auspicious time in which to open out the secrets of this Ahdydtmika science. For here in this country there has been a turn in the tide. The class of Indian who was wont to unite with the European critic of his Motherland in misunderstanding and misrepresenting Her thoughts and institutions, is, to Her good fortune, gradually dis-appearing. Those who are recovering from the dazzle produced on its first entrance by an alien civilization are able to judge aright both its merits and defects as also to perceive the truth of the saying of Schiller, "Hold to your dear and precious native land; there are the strong roots of your strength (Ans Vaterland ans teure schliess dichan. Da sind die starken Wurzeln deiner Kraft)." Again in the West there is a movement away .from the Materialism which regarded that alone as "real" which is gross sensible matter; and towards that standpoint whence it is seen that thought itself is a thing which is every whit as real as any external object. Each is but an aspect of the one conscious Self whence both Mind and Matter proceed. This Self or Chit is the Soul of the Universe, and the universe is Chit which has become its own abject. Every being therein is Consciousness, that is, Chit manifesting as the multiple forms of Mind and Matter which constitute the universe

**Contents and Sample Pages**












The Garland of Letters- Varnamala (Studies in the Mantra-Shastra)

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About The Book

Books written by the Author Sir John Woodroffe can perhaps be called as Classics. One is indebted to him for his study of Tantra Sastra and the scholarly works he produced in English. His Books like "Serpent Power", "Sakti and Sakta" etc., have helped the readers to gain excellent knowledge on the generally difficult to interpret subject of Tanta Sastra. In line with the other classics the author in the present book has in great detail explained the significance of the Letters in the context of the Tantra knowledge. Thus it becomes a must for the student of Tantra Vidya.

Foreword

THIS book is an attempt, now made for the first time, to explain to an English-knowing reader an undoubtedly difficult subject. I am therefore forcibly reminded of the saying,. "Veda fears the man of little knowledge, since injury may be received from him" (Bibhety alpashrutdd Vedo mam ayam praharishyate). It is natural, given this difficulty and the mystery which surrounds the subject, that strangers to India should have failed to understand Mantra. They need not, however, have then (as some have done) jumped to the conclusion that it was "meaningless superstition." This is the familiar argument of the lower mind which says "what I cannot understand can have no sense at all." Mantra is, it is true, meaningless to those who do not know its meaning. But there are others who do, and to them it is not "superstition." It is because some English-educated Indians are as uninstructed in the matter as that rather common type of Western to whose mental outlook and opinions they mould their own, that it was possible to find a distinguished member of this class describing Mantra as "meaningless jabber." Indian doctrines and practice have been so long and so greatly misunderstood and misrepresented by foreigners, that it has always, seemed to me a pity that those who are of this Punyabhiimi should, through misapprehension, malign without reason anything which is their own. This does "not mean that they must accept what is in fact without worth because it is Indian, but they should at least first understand what they condemn as worthless.

When I first entered on a study of this Shastra I did so in the belief that India did not contain more fools than exist amongst other peoples, but had on the contrary produced intelligences which (to say the least) were the equal of any elsewhere found. Behind the unintelligent practice, which doubtless to some extent exists amongst the multitude of every faith; I felt sure there must be a rational principle, since men on the whole do not continue throughout the ages to do that which is in itself meaning-less and is therefore without result. I was not disappointed. The Mantra Shastra, so far from being rightly described as "meaningless superstition" or "jabber," is worthy of a close study which when undertaken, will disclose elements of value to minds free from superstition, of metaphysical bent and subtle-seeing (Sakshmadarshin). A profound doctrine, ingeniously though guardedly set forth, is contained in the Tantras of the Mantra Shastra or Agama. This is an auspicious time in which to open out the secrets of this Ahdydtmika science. For here in this country there has been a turn in the tide. The class of Indian who was wont to unite with the European critic of his Motherland in misunderstanding and misrepresenting Her thoughts and institutions, is, to Her good fortune, gradually dis-appearing. Those who are recovering from the dazzle produced on its first entrance by an alien civilization are able to judge aright both its merits and defects as also to perceive the truth of the saying of Schiller, "Hold to your dear and precious native land; there are the strong roots of your strength (Ans Vaterland ans teure schliess dichan. Da sind die starken Wurzeln deiner Kraft)." Again in the West there is a movement away .from the Materialism which regarded that alone as "real" which is gross sensible matter; and towards that standpoint whence it is seen that thought itself is a thing which is every whit as real as any external object. Each is but an aspect of the one conscious Self whence both Mind and Matter proceed. This Self or Chit is the Soul of the Universe, and the universe is Chit which has become its own abject. Every being therein is Consciousness, that is, Chit manifesting as the multiple forms of Mind and Matter which constitute the universe

**Contents and Sample Pages**












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