Reflections on the Tantras (A Rare Book)

Item Code: IDD250
Author: Sudhakar Chattopadhyaya
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Edition: 1990
ISBN: 8120806913
Pages: 114
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9" x 5.9"
Weight 320 gm
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Book Description
From the Jacket

The brochure touches upon all the principal precepts of Tantra, especially the esoteric practices. An account of the Sakta pithas has also been given in the background of the ethnological divisions of India. New light has been thrown on the origin of bija, mantra and gayatri occurring in Tantric works. The study may be regarded as a new one, since scientific discussion of Tantricism has not yet progressed so far satisfactorily, especially from the point of view of the Tantrics themselves.


Tantricism has often been looked upon from the sociological or the Marxist points of view, the former arriving at the conclusion that it is a cult or practice full of vulgarism of the uncultured and half civilized people, and the latter maintaining that it is nothing but a crude form of the worship of earth with her fertility often regarded as a female deity. In the following pages, an attempt has been made to present a brief outline of the system from the point of view of the Tantrics themselves. The author has the advantage of living in a place abounding in followers of Tantricism, genuine or fake, following the highest philosophy or the meanest methods likely to do injury to enemies or good to friends. Some such practices, however, may appear to us to border on the verge of black art. In my treatment of the subject, I have ventured to differ from D.C. Sircar’s account 0f the Mahabharata in connection with the Pilhas and the reasons for the same have been stated in the Addenda.

My best thanks are due to Professor Dr. Dilip Kumar Biswas and to Adhyapaka Kanchan Chakravarty, Reader, KalaBhavana for drawing my attention to a passage of the Chandogya Upanisad dealing with esotericism and to the artistic representation of the esoteric form of Tantric Sadhana respectively. To Adhyapaka Dr. Pranabananda Jash my thanks are also due for taking upon himself the laborious task of proof-reading. The indices have been prepared by my wife Dr. Latika Chattopadhyaya.


Preface v
Abbreviations viii
1Introductory 1
2Esotericism in the Tantras 10
3Further Notes on Esoteric practices 25
4Sakta Pithas 30
5On some Tantric Concepts 48
6Bija Mantra and Gayatri 58
7Appendix I on Diagrams and Images 80
8Tantras and magic 84
9Appendix II Antiquity of Esoteric Practices in Hindu Sadhana 94
Bibliographical Index 97
General Index 100
Addenda et Corrigenda 106
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