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Secret of the Three Cities: An Introduction to Hindu Sakta Tantrism

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The Secret of the Three Cities is designed to introduce the concepts and practices of Hindu Sakta Tantrism to an audience with only limited experience in Indian religious studies. It is not a reference book and does not offer elaborate and technical descriptions of Tantric rituals. Rather it is a textbook that makes an initial purchase on the subject of Sakta Tantrism and engages the reader as an interpreter in the broader comparative study of religion.
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Editorial Reviews

An introduction to esoteric Tantric goddess worship for readers with little background in Indian religious studies. Places the tradition in the larger context of Hinduism, develops a methodology for critical study, and outlines the basic patterns of belief and practice. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226075709
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 308
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments
Part One - Hindu Sakta Tantrism
1. Locating the Text and Tradition Locating the Tripura Upanisad: Veda or Tantra?
Vaidika Tantrics and Non-Tantric Vaidikas: Making a Distinction and Affirming Hindu Identity Locating Tripura Upanisad: Its Historical and Theological Roles
Tripura Upanisad: The Commentaries of Bhaskararaya and Other Sakta Tantrics
2. Studying the Text: Translating, Studying, and Interpreting Scripture
3. Reading the Text Introducing Sakta Tantrism through a Scripture The Srividya School: Defining and Classifying Saktism and Tantrism Sakta Tantrism as Hindu Tantrism Par Excellence The Basic Structure and Content of Tripura Upanisad
A Brief Review of Internal Structure and a Verse Summary The Thematic Study of Hindu Tantrism and Srividya Qualification, Initiation, and the Guru Srividya and Tantric Theology Srividya and Tantric Practice Ananda: Tantric Sadhana and Tantric Goals The srividya: Mantra as Power Summarizing Tantric Theology and Practice
4. Conclusion: Present and Future Tantric Studies
Part Two: The Secret of the Three Cities
Introduction The Great Upanisad of Tripura Appendix: The Cakras of the Body and the Sricakra List of Abbreviations Notes Glossary Selected Bibliography Index
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