Mahanirvana Tantraby Arthur Avalon
THE Indian Tantras, which are numerous, constitute the Scripture (Shastra) of the
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THE Indian Tantras, which are numerous, constitute the Scripture (Shastra) of the Kaliyuga, and as such are the voluminous source of present and practical orthodox
"Hinduism." The Tantra Shastra is, in fact, and whatever be its historical origin, a development of the Vaidika
Karmakanda, promulgated to meet the needs of that age. Shiva says: "For the benefit of men of the Kali age, men bereft of energy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kaula doctrine, O auspicious one! Is given" (Chap. IX., verse 12). To the Tantra we must therefore look if we would understand aright both ritual, yoga, and sadhana of all kinds, as also the general principles of which these practices are but the objective expression.
Yet of all the forms of Hindu Shastra, the Tantra is that which is least known and understood, a circumstance in part due to the difficulties of its subject-matter and to the fact that the key to much of its terminology and method rest with the initiate. The present translation is, in fact, the first published in Europe of any Indian Tantra.
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