Among the medieval works on Tantra, this work in Sanskrit holds a place of great importance for its comprehension and authority. The author, who describes himself as an anchorite who did austerity in Varanasi, prepared this book in twenty -five 'Tarangas' more as a compilation of relevant material for the sadhakas than as an independent work. It is encyclopaedic in nature; it is verlly an ocean (as the title suggests) of mantras. Now in Tantrik sadhana, the mantras are of great significance, for they are sufficient means of visualizing the gods. Indeed the mantras are the "body" of the gods. There is thus a correspondence between the mantra (formulation), murti (Visulization), and the tantra (actualization). This correspondence is the theme of this work. Is the them of this work. Exceedingly valuable for the spiritual practitioners and extremely popular among them in the North as well as in the South, there was till now no translation of this work into English. Great was its need. Sri Satguru Publication of Delhi have therefore to be congratulated work available for making this monumental work available to the English- Knowing folk. All the 3,300 verses of this work (completed in 1589 A.D.) have been literally rendered into easy English with the help of the author's own commentary called Nauka. The board of Scholars who have completed this arduous undertaking have done a fine job, and richly deserve our praise. They have filled a lacuna that was keenly felt.
There is also an excellent introduction to the art and science of Tantra, as also an analysis of contents. There are, at the end of the work, illustrations of Yantras, which are reproduction of the same drawings as were reproductions of the same drawings as were in the lithography copy of the book. It is a very useful publication, and will be a addition to the Tantra literature.
S. K. Ramachandra Rao, The Astrological Magazine, Vol. 74.No.10.
It has often been wondered why man alone out of the well known 8.4 million species of living beings representing the creations of the Almightly, should be subjected to hundreds of aliments, physical, mental, economic, communal and spiritual. All other living organisms are born and they die; but the states of living death, i.e. sickness, mental tension, worries about thousand of problems etc. etc. are the prerogatives of man and a few of his pets, the domestic cows, goats, dogs cats etc which require the services of the veterinary surgeon. The animals, birds etc. that roam about unfettered are never seen lying ill and disabled. Nature heals them whenever they get hurt and they resume their activities.
Artificial and Unnatural Modes of Living
The types of illness man suffers are solely because he lives an artificial life. Adhering strictly to the nature, he can prevent all these ailments. He is slave to his tongue. He mixes condiments and spoils the natural nutritive value of the products of nature - the intake. He takes food too often even when he is not hungry. Indigestion is the cause of thousands of ailments. Inability to control the other sense organs causes untold sufferings. Lethargy, blunder, unlimited hardships to him. To cure natural laws bring about unlimited hardships to him. To cure himself of certain illnesses man takes to drugs and potions, which cause other troubles in their wake. All the medicines in the world put together cannot sustain the health of man, if he breaks natural laws. The punishment for the infringement of natural laws is immediate. There is no way of escape.
As for mental tentions, disappointments, worries, greed, anger jealousies, frights etc. the pathology as well as remedies remain the same, Return to Nature. If we think about our own selves, if we wish to suppress other's interests to gain our own, we are bound to suffer. Adjustment to the matter of mitingating the mental sufferings that we undergo. Too much of readiness to criticise others and find fault with them should be avoided. Sympathy and friendship, loving service rendered to others, all these enable our minds to be hundreds of others, all these enable our minds to be calm and free from tensions. Keeping the mental equilibrium, we can escape the ill effects of loss of wealth and worries due to our own negligence than to the non-co-operation of others. Communal or social ills also can be remedied by starting from the individual. Finally spiritual troubles and sufferings. These also must be tackled at the level of the individual. All our sacred literature aim at the reformation of the society. If all the individuals become all right, the society too naturally becomes all right.
Thus we find that man is faced all sorts of problems. Our ancient sages have confronted all these problems and found out some means to remedy them. The extensive Ayurvedic literature deals with physical illnesses and the ways and means of curing them. The economic and social problems are dealt with in our Niti and Dharma Sastra literature. The mental, intellectual and spiritual problems are dealt with in our Tantra and Mantra literature with which we are now concerned immediately.
That India has an extensive sacred literature covering all the aspects such as religious, philosophical, ontological, epistemological, logical, metaphysical etc. etc. is too well know to be mentioned here. We shall make a general survey of Tantra and Mantra literature.
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