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) India isthe birth place of religion and religious preachers sand reformers. In this country many religious reformers , endowed with divine virtues and accomplished with highly ‘spiritual development appeared from time to time. These spiritual reformers gave new shapés and forms to religion according to the needs of time and to suit the tastes of the people in general. Thus arose Saivaism, Saktaism, Baisnavism, _and Tantrism. y The subject of the Tantras is a complicated one in Sas much as it is full of mysticism and consists of mystic rites rand rituals connected therewith which are wholly unintelli- gible to the uninitiated. The texts on the subject are \numerous. Some of these deal with mystic rites, while others ’with time, processes and places of worship.



In this book, an endeavour has been made to place before the readers, the broad principles underlying thé practice of the Tantric form of religion. In order to make it interest- ying to all classes of readers an attempt has been made to alae the philosophical principle underlying its forms of

worship, the con ception of the Deity and its fundamental creed. The meanings of the “five makers’ which are too ' familiar with Tantric system have been explained clearly with reference to the Tantric texts on the subject. The D ss 2? . . . . < “Chakra” form of worship and its proper significance have ™% been noted and explained by quoting different passages from © the vatious texts of different authors on the subject. Lastly ~a few chapterson Yoga have been added in as much as it ~ forms the basis of all sorts of religious Sadhana including the Tantric form also. In doing so and in order to explain *, the principle underlying it, the structure of the human body * according to the Hindu doctrine with its subtile elements 5 have been properly explained. Several processes of Yoga, ~ such as the purification of the Nadis, the Chakras or the 2 “mystic centres with their localisation, the physical processes ‘adopted and the control of ‘breath have been gone into so Sj as to explain their proper functions for the purpose of Spiritual development. Hope that the pains taken by me in publishing this book will be amply. rewarded if I have “Sbeen able to give satisfaction tomy readers who want to a know about the Tantras,


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CHAPTER I Authority and Antiquity

CHAPTER II Religion and Religions The Sakta Creed

CHAPTER III Classification of the Tantras

CHAPTER IV Philosophy of Worship

CHAPTER V Fundamental Creed of the Tantras

CHAPTER VI The Deity of the Tantras

CHAPTER VII Siva and Sakti - Mysticism

CHAPTER VIII Some Mystic Symbols

CHAPTER IX Some Mystic Techniques

; CHAPTER X Essential Principles of Yoga

CHAPTER XI _ Human Body according to Hindu Doctrine: its different envelopes ae Pe CHAPTER XII Nadis & the Chakras of Purification CHAPTER XIII

Methods of Purification of the Nadis and the awaken- _ ing of the Kundalini—the divine Sakti







64 98







Tantras their Philosophy & Occult Secrets CHAPTER I


It is a common-place belief among the people that anything to be of authoritative character in matters of religion, should have the sanction of ages; as if authenticity of truth depends upon mere antiquity. Hardly anything new in the domain of religious faith is looked upon with rever- ence ; nay more, sometimes it is sternly put down as a sacrilegious profanation of sacred truths ! Every pioneer of a new truth, every prophet of anew creed, every reformer of a popular superstition has to fight against this stolid conservatism of the populace. Sometimes, one has to pay with his life for the audacity of his new innovation or faith. Socrates had to drink hemlock, and Christ was crucified for revealing new light to their country- men. Such is the antipathy of the people against all new doctrines in matters of religion. It takes along time even for an worn out creed to die a natural death.

Likewise, there is a feeling of aversion among the Hindus in general to almost every article of faith, that is not to be traced to the Vedas. Anything of later date than that of the Vedas is not entitled to that amount of veneration in which even the most insignificant Vedic triflles are held. But this is neither logical nor sound. , Hindu religion itself has undergone radical changes in various things since the time of the Vedas. It is only Lord Sree Krishna in the past who had the courage to raise a voice of protest against such blind veneration tor the Vedas,

‘both in the Gita and in the main body of the

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Mahabharat.' He said that the Vedas were not all comprenhesive, nor fully exhaustive in matters of religion, new cases and new situations and new conditions may arise even in matters of religion, which should be solved by one’s inference in the light of reason and truth. To put in the words of Edmund Burke: “Position is the dictator of one’s duty.” The Vedas themselves were not the last word on religion, so they could not be conclusive about everything in religious matter’ That the Vedas are not fully exhaustive in matters of religion is proved by the very existence of the Upanishads and the Sanhitas and other ancient Hindu Scriptures.’


Thus one has to- plead for an exemption from such a blind veneration for the Vedas, if he has to speak about any new article of faith or any religious creed, or any new form of worship that has no origin in the Vedas. But the tense of revelation is not indefinitely past, but infinitely future. It is upon this incontrovertible truth that science, with all its branches, rests. A truth may be revealed in a later age and that should not be any reason for rejecting it from the domain of truths. Youth is not an _ atrocious’ crime in nature, nor it should be soin human affairs. But sometimes an exception is sought in matters of religion from this general scientific principle. But such an attitude of mind is neither rational nor liberal. Catholicity of views is as essential in religion as in science and in other secular matters.

Now, one of the reasons for which’ a non-Sakta | has little regard forthe Tantras and for Tantrick religion is that the Tantras are of later date than

1 Vide the present writer's Lord Sreekrishna

2 Vide Mahabharat the Udyoga Parva and the Karna Parva

3 In one sense they are regarded asso many branches of the Vedas because they are called Veda’ngas. :


that of the Vedas. Certainly, the Tantras are of later origin than the hoary Vedas, but the essence of Tantrick religion is not. The Tantras are of later dates, but their creed is not of later age, nor it is of recent origin. The great Sanskritist, Kalluka Bhatta, the illustrious commentator of Manu, has held the Tantras as a Sruti. He says: “There are two classes of Sruti,— Vedic and Tantrick.’”’

Most of the Tantras are of recent origion no doubt, but the Tantrick creed and the worship of the great Sakti are of hoary antiquity and we find it even in the Rig Veda. In the Tenth Mandal of the Rig’ Veda we get the famous Devi Sukta, containing hymns to Durga, another name for Sakti (goddess Kali), the main Deity of the Tantras and of Tantric faith.

Thus, it is evident that Tantrick religion, even judging from the point of antiquity, is not of ‘recent origin, but it is as old as any other form of the Vedic religion, although it must be admitted on all hands that formal treatises upon Tantrick religion were compo:ed in later times. It is also clear that the Tantrick form of worship was in vogue at the time when Srimad Bhagabatam was written. There, in the Srimad Bhagabat, we find the Broja Gopis worshipping Yogamaya ( Goddess Sakti) for obtaining Sreekrishna as their husband and there are ample references to Tantric gods and goddesses in it.

That Tantrick religion was in vogue in the days of the Purans is also sufficiently clear from the Purans themselves, as from the Markandeya Puran, Linga Puran etc. References to Tantrick ‘deities and to the Tantric form of worship are also to be found in many ancient Sanskrit works. Even in the Atharva Veda we meet with many rites and rituals which are quite similar to what we find

1 “Vaidekita’nerikiscnaiva Dwividha’ Sruti Kirttita’


in the Tantras. The Tantras are of comparatively recent date, but Tantrick religion existed from the most early stages of Hindu religion, and we have already mentioned the Devi Suxta of the Rig Veda. To contend after this that Tantrick religion is of recent origin is to go against historical facts. Thus, the popular notion that Tantrick creed is of modern date falls to the ground. An instance from the realm of science will make our position clear. Long before the birth of Organic chemistry, there were in use among the ancient civilised nations several organic compounds, though regular treatises on Organic chemistry came to be written only towards the later part of the Nineteenth Century. Again, ignorance is sometimes responsible for regarding a thing to be new or of recent date. We all know that Newton has discovered the Law of Gravitation, but only very few of us know that five hundred years before the birth of Newton, Arya Bhatta had discovered and established the Law of Gravitation. Long, long before the birth of Copernicus, the Hindus discovered the truth that the earth revolves round the sun, and upon the basis of this scientific truth they calculated exact time of the eclipse, which is still now found to be precisely accurate, even according to the calculations of modern Astronomy. Thus formal treatises on a particular subject might be written in later times, though its subject-matter and its truth might be known from the earliest time of human civilisation. And this, in all force, applies to the case of the Tantras and Tantric religion. Tantrick religion with its rites and rituals were prevalent among the people long, long before the Tantras were written.

Let us once more make our position clear. Even if the Tantrick creed, inspite of incontrovertible historical evidence, is held to be of recent origin that alone will not take away a bit from the intrinsic worth of the Tantras and of Tantric


religion. Truth is truth, whether discovered in the hoary past or at the present moment, and it cannot be brushed aside because it has very recently come to our knowledge. Nor any truth gives any additional value, like old wine, because it was revealed to our fore-fathers in the hoary past. Time has no influence on truth. Hence the great spiritual truths which Tantrick religion embodies and which have been elaborated in the Tantras in later times, can not lose any value or usefulness simply because they are of recent origin, though we have fully proved, both on historical and literary evidence, that Tantric religion is as old as any other form of Vedic religion.

Again, it is not antiquity, but the real intrinsic worth of a thing which should be regarded as authoritative in the domain of religion and morality. And that is authoritative which is really uplifting, enlightening and chastening, and which is helpful for the attainment’ of perfection and felicity in life, and conducive to our final emanci- pation from all sins and sorrows. Simply because a thing is old it is no reason to hold that it should be authoritative in matters of religious faith. A thing might have its usefulness once, but now may be not only quite useless, but even harmful. Nay more, irrational conservatism, even in matters of religion, hinders improvement and progress and induces us to makea fetish of an old, worn out


“The old order changeth, yielding place to new, And God fulfils himself in many ways, Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”

These wise words of the poet we often forget in our idolatrous veneration for the past.

Thus, a thing is not good simply because it is old, nor itis bad simply because it is new. Hence

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truths of a particular religion can never lose their intrinsic value simply beéause they were not known in ancient times. Judged by the standard of mere antiquity as the only test of authority and authen- ticity of truth, Christianity and Mahomedanism will appear to be less authoritative than old Jewish religion and heathanism of ancient Arabia. We need not speak more about it and tire out the patience of the learned readers. The great truths of Tantrick religion and of the Tantras will remain quite unaltered in their usefulness and worth whether they are found to be old or new.

There is one thing more and we shall be done.

There are some prejudices even among honest people against the Tantrick creed on account of some of its rites and rituals, which on superficial survey appear to be either highly licentious, or extremely cruel, or exceedingly loathsome. But if one only takes the trouble of going deeper into thing, he will find that they are neither licentious, nor cruel, nor loathsome, but they are some mystic rites and rituals which have been degraded by the vicious people for their selfish ends and for the gratification of their animal appetites ) calculated to help the devotee to advance along the path of moral perfec- tion, which is absolutely essential for one’s final emancipation. Again, some are designed for furthering concentration of the devotee, some, for " augmenting self-control, and some, for the restraint of his senses, feelings and innate propensities. Ina word, they are intended for the attainment of com- plete mastery over one’s senses and passions, which are indispensable both for spiritual emancipation -and fcr moral perfection, both of which go together. These rites and rituals consisting of many mys- tic symbols, constitute some of the occult secrets of the Tantras and of Tantrick religion which on closer examination will be found to be of very great psychological value for moral disci-


pline as well as for the attainment of spiritual bliss. We shall speak of them in their proper places.

Thus, the prevalent belief among the non- Tantricks, or the non-Saktas that Tantrick religion is of recent growth and it isfull of corrupt and cruel practices are not only quite unreasonable and unfounded, but go direct against truth and history. We should, therefore, proceed with the subject with an unbiased mind, and should remember that some of the greatest saints of India were Tantricks in their faith, and they observed in practice Tantrick form of worship and Tantrick rites and rituals. Good many men, whose public and private lives were uniform records of unsullied purity, whose moral perfection and_ spiritual greatness can never be questioned even by the tongue of calumny, and who in their lives proved to their contemporaries what great divine perfection a man might attain by devotion and piety, were “Tantricks in their profession of faith. We need not go to remote antiquity for instances of it. There are such saintly persons among the Saktas even in our own days. One may find them if he ‘only takes the trouble of finding them out. We need not even refer to Ramkrishna Paramhansa and his world-famous disciple Swami Vivekananda, there are others even like them, though we know little about them. They live and work unseen and even avoid popularity and public noise. They are born ‘to blush unseen and waste’ their ‘sweetness on the desert air.’

They will never themselves come to lime- light. It is one of the main characteristics of the Hindu saints ( to whatever sect one might belong ) “that they never seek popularity or fame; they do not, at all, wish to reveal themselves to their countrymen. They remain absorbed’ in their “own pursuits and deeply immersed in their spiritual bliss. Fame sometimes follow their foot-prints


‘and drag them out from their obscurity, as gold and diamonds are dug out from pitch-dark mines. To all impartial seekers of truth, our statement, we believe, will appear to be quite modest. What is in-itself base and corrupt can never produce anything great or noble. A tree is known by its fruit. This we should remember in judging the Trantras and Tantrick creed.


“A creature,” says Thomus Huxley, ‘is the resultant of two tendencies; the one, morpho- logical ; the other, physiological.”

This may be true about the physical constitution of every living thing, but this biological law does not explain the mysterious constitution of the human mind. What is it ? What it is made of ?

Man, defines Logic, is a rational animal. True, but this, we think, is not the chief distinction of man that constitutes his main differentia from other species of animals.' If Rationality does not mean mere arguing faculty but intelligence, then it is shared by all living beings more or less ;—some in greater degrees, while others in smaller degrees. Nay more, such intelligence as is necessary for the main- tenance of life is to be found even in the vegitable kingdom. Trees and plants send their roots in that direction of the soil that contains greater degree of sap and more nutrient elements.” Thus, reason is not sole monopoly of: man, though undoubtedly he possesses it in a prepondering degree.

1 Cf ‘Intellect is not the sole faculty possessed by the human Ego—. Lord Balfour F &.S. Cheism and Thought,

2 Vide Herbert Spencer's ‘Psychology’ and ‘First Principles.’

ee) But there is something more in man that is not to be found in other animals or in the vegetable kingdom. His morality, aesthetics and imagination have raised him from the level of brute creation. These are the true differentia of man. His reason has helped him to develop these rare qualities that have widened the gulf between man and other animals. Look to a wild savage whose aesthetic sentiments, imagination and morality are of the lowest order, his difference with other higher animals will surely appear to be less striking. He betrays only that amount of intelligence that is necessary for a living creature just for the maintenance of life but hardly more. His reason, ‘like other animal instincts, is employed only for his survival in the struggle for existence. Thus the dis- tinction and difference between man in the lowest stage of evolutionary progress and higher animals are less prominent, To designate animal intelli- “gence as a mere blind instinct is but a dogmatic assumption without any strict logical proof. It is pointed out that animals are incapable of detecting any deception practised on them; as Addison, in his Spectator, has said that a hen’ will sit upon an egg-shaped piece of chalk , as she would do to hatch her real eggs. Now, detection of deception depends upon degrees of intelligence and alertness. Man also is subject to deception; even the cleverest men are sometimes deceived. Intelligence of ant is quite astonishing ; and how can one say it is a mere blind instinct, whereas the intelligence of a wild Bushman is real intelligence per se. This is only an instance of supreme vanity of man about his own omniscience. The universe is perme- ated by Divine intelligence, and there is nothing outside it. It is the same Spirit that sleeps in stones, dreams in animals and is awake in man. Again, reason in men themselves varies from vanishing point to superhuman intellect. Difference between a Sankara and an ordinary man is,


ce 2D)

we think, more wide than between man and animals. If-connotatioh of man does not denote only men like Plato or Kalidas, or Newton or Shakespeare, reason, we think, is not the sole distinctive feature of man; it is not the only differentia that distinguishes species man from the genus animals If, however, reason means only mathematical reasoning, which is not at all necessary in the struggle for existence, then, ofcourse, it is the sole distinctive feature of man, but this is found only in the higher stages of civilisation, of which the wild savages have not the least notion. Therefore, to call man merely a rational animal is like Plato’s original definition of man, is to call him a featherless biped, which provoked Diogenes to exhibit to his pupils a roasted cock as Plato’s man. Man has other attributes which are absent in all other animals, and they are really the special features of man. The most fundamental distinction and _ difference between man and other animals, we _ think, lies in the religious instinct of man. Man is a religious animal. This particular feature of the human mind is not be foundin any other animal. Even the lowest savage hasa religion of his own. No man has yet been discovered without some sort of religious belief, barring the exceptions thatare found inthe higher stages of intellectual development, who call themselves Agnostics. But even the Agnostic themselves may be said to possess a religion of negation,—a sort of religious faith with them—to ignore all religions. .

Now, this universal religious instinct is implanted in every human heart; nay more, it has played a very important part in the develop- ment of human civilisation and culture, and it will continue to doso in the advancement of human progress and welfare, and also in moulding the future destiny of man.


“There is a gap in the human heart,” says Romanes, “which nothing but God can fill,” This universal religious instinct which is present in every human heart,unless it is smothered by one’s training or deliberate efforts, or by a particular mode of life, constitute the true basis of all religions from the lowest to that of the highest order, for the cardinal feature of all religions is, in essence, one and the same. Futting aside all learned definitions of religion, religion may very briefly be defined asthe worship of a Superior Power, either from veneration, or from love, or from fear for avoiding evils in life. With the lowest savage, religion is a religion of fear, and the Superior Power is to him very often. a malicious spirit which is to be propitiated for avoiding danger or distress.

But as man advances in civlisation, that Superior Power is no more an evil spirit or a malicious fiend, but that Superior Power is to him the Creator and Governor of this universe, and he worships his Creator with veneration and love. The more and more a man advances in education and culture, the higher and higher becomes his religious concept. He then recognises in his Creator not only an awe-inspiring majesticity, but infinite goodness and love ; thus religion, at the last stage, becomes a religion of veneration and love,— love for God and love for all. Yet, in one sense, the root of all religions is one and the same, whether it is gross animism or the highest form of a profoundly philosophical creed, i.e, it is the adoration of a Superior Power that lies at bottom of all religious creeds, even if you wish to designate, with Herbert Spencer, that Superior Power as an Inscrutable Power manifested through nature. The Tantras call this Superior Power Sakti, the exact Sanskrit synonym for power.

1 Vide Sit E, B. Taylors’s Primitive culture

Chae 8)

Though the essence of all religions is one and the same, but ‘the form’ of religion are many. And this must necessarily be, as there is difference between man and man in temperament, education, imagination, culture and taste. As there are different stages of civilisation so there are different stages of religion, As people differ from one another in their ideals about different things, so they differ also about their religious ideals. The religious ideal or the religious concept of one man is bound to be different from that of another, because two men are not of one idendical mind, or of identical imagination and taste, hence there is need for different creeds, and different forms of religion. The Hindus recognised this funda- mental psychological truth, therefore, they allowed greatest freedom in matters of religion, for to a Hindu, religion is not a mere philo- sophical creed, a thing of profession only, but it is very intimately connected with a man’s daily life and practice. Mr. MHavell in speaking of the religious faith of the Hindus, has very rightly observed that to a Hindu, “Religion is hardly a dogma, but a working hypofhesis of human conduct, adopted to different stages of spiritual development and different conditions of life,’’ Therefore, a Hindu hates no creed, no form of religion. but holds every religion in respect. He knows that every form of religion, observed with devotion and faith, helps its votary to attain spiritual advancement and virtue. All roads lead to Rome, allforms of religion ulti- mately lead to God, Lord Sreekrishna himself has declared in the Gita; ‘In whatsoever manner men come to me, in the self-same manner do I accept them.’

Men brought under the same religious per- suasion, and even under the same social institution, may have a great deal of similarity in their religious ideals or religious concepts, but it cannot be said



that every man there has identically the same concept of religion or of God. It must differ according to one’s temperament, education, imagination and taste. Hence, utmost catholicity of view is necessary, but it can nowhere be found save in Hinduism, and among no other people except the Hindus. ‘““The word exclusion’, declares Swami Vivekananda, in his classical address in the Parliament of Religion at Chicago, “is untran slatable in Sanskrit.’

A Hindu recognises the necessity of different forms of religion and never tries to impose one uncompromising creed upon all alike. He even makes allowance for superstions in matters of religious faith, for even that may help a man in the attainment of greater moral perfection or spiritual bliss. On this point we can not express ourselves better than in the words of an illustaious writer, and we make no apology for quoting his remarks in extenso.

“Superstitions appeal to our hopes as well as to our fears. They often meet and gratify the inmost longing of the heart. They offer certain- ties when reason can only afford possibilities or probabilities. They supply conceptions on which the imagination loves to dwell, They sometimes even impart a new sanction to moral truths. Creating wants which they alone can quell, they often become essential elements of happiness, and their consoling efficacy is most felt in the languid or troubled hours when it is most needed. We owe more to our illusions than to our knowledge. The imagination which is altogether ‘constructive, probably contributes more to our happiness than the reason, which in the sphere of speculation is mainly critical and destructive. The rude charm which inthe hour of danger or distress the savage clasps so confidently to his breast, the sacred picture which is believed to

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shed a hallowing and protecting influence over the poor man’s cottage, can bestow a more real consolation in the darkest hour of human suffering than can be afforded by the grandest theories of philosophy. The first desire of the heart is to find something on which to lean. Happiness is a condition of feeling, not a condition of circum- stances, and to common minds are of its first essentials is the exclusion of painful and harassing doubt. A system of belief may be false, super- stitious, and reactionary, may yet be conducive to human happiness, if it furnishes great multitudes of men with what they believe to be. a key to the universe, if it consoles them in those seasons of agonising bereavement when consolations of enlightened reason are but empty words, if it supports their feeble and tottering minds in the gloomy hours of sickness and of approaching death. A credulous .and superstitious nature may be degraded, but in many cases where superstition does not assume a persecuting or apalling form, itis not unhappy, and degradation, apart from unhappiness, can have no place in utilitarian ethics. No error can be more grave than to imagine that when a critical spirit is abroad the pleasant beliefs will all remain, and the painful ones alone will perish. To introduce into the mind the consciousness of ignorance and the pangs of doubt is to inflict or endure much suffering, which may even survive the period of transition. ‘Why is it’, said Luther’s wife, looking sadly back upon the sensuous creed which she had left, that in our old faith we prayed so often and so warmly, and that our prayers are now so few and so cold ?’

—History of European Morals

yy William Edward Hartpole Lecky We need not dilate any further on it.


We have shown that the sole distinction between man and animals does not consist so much in his reason as in his religious instinct, it is the latter that distinguishes man from the rest of creation. Man is a religious animal. Bentham says: that Nature has placed man under the government of two great mistresses, Pleasure and Pain. But this is not the whole truth, there is a strong emotion in man apart from that of mere pleasure and pain. It is his religious feeling or religious fervour that very often sets at naught one’s instinct for pleasure or fear of pain. Religion is very often pursued independent of all considerations of pleasure and pain. At least,in the higher stages of religion, religion is pursued not for mere pleasure, nor from fear for avoiding pain, it is pur- sued for its own sake. Like duty for duty’s sake, religion is followed for religion’s sake. It is only in the lower forms of religion, which in Sanskrit is known as Sakama Dharma, that religion is practised for love of reward, both in this world and in the next. In lowest forms of religion, it is pursued in order to avoid danger, distress, pain and suffering, and its non-observance is dreaded by the savage, for he thinks that if he fails to propitiate the evil spirit sthey will commit immense mischief to him. But in the higher phases of religion, or Niskama Dharma, religion is pursued for religion's sake, virtue is practised for virtue’s sake, neither for happiness, nor for reward nor from fear. Now, whatever kind of religion a man might have, it is a vital part of his existence that influences his life and actions either for good or for evil.

Religion is thus not only a very distinctive feature of human life, but it plays perhaps the most important role in moulding the life of an individual as well as the life and history of a nation. The history of a nation, in one sense, is the history


of its religious creed that ever modifies its political creed and ‘social organisation, unless religion be only a conventional article of social custom, as we find in most of the European coun- tries, where Christianity exists only in name. Nay more, every profound human feeling possesses a religious tint that ultimately leads to religion itself.

Now, once you admit the necessity of religion, which can never be denied without ignoring the broad facts of human life and society, you will have to logically admit the necessity of different forms of religion, suited to different temperaments and to different kinds and different stages of culture, though all religions are at bottom one, 1.e.the wor-_ ship of a Superior Power. Thewild savage that in superstitious fear bows down to his stocks and stones, and the civilised man that kneels down in veneration and love before the altar of God, are, infact, obeying the dictation of the same primitive religious instinct implanted in every human heart, that differentiates and distinguishes man from other creatures.


There are four great sects among the Hindus, the Vaishnavas, the Ramaits, the Saivas and the Saktas. The difference between the Vaishnavas and the followers of Ram is more of nomenclature than of any thing else. The Vaishnavas worship Vishnu and his divine consort Lakshmi, or Lord Sree Krishna and Radha, who are identical with Vishnu and. Lakshmi, though certain rites and rituals differ in the Vaishnavism of old and in modern Vaishnavism of Bengal, founded by Sree Chaitanya who is regarded as an incarnation of Sree

Car 3

Krishna. The worshippers of Ram and Sita are, in fact, worshippers of Vishnu and Lakshmi, for Ram is Vishnu and Sita is Lakshmi, only in certain tespects the forms of worship differ from those of the Vaishnavas of both of the old and the new schools.

Likewise, the difference between the Saivas and the Saktas isa difference without a distinction, as between the Tweedledum and the Tweedledee. There is more wrangling about words tl an about anything else, A staunch, uncompromising Saiva worships Siva alone as the Supreme Deity of the universe. The Saktas, however, worship not, ‘only Sakti, but also Siva. Even the great Sankaracharyya, the great Saiva,has sung warm songs of glory to Sakti,: as in the classical hymns of Ananda Lahari etc In the opinion ot the Saktas, Siva and Sakti are inseparable. -God is inseparable from His energy or power. Both are, in fact, identically the same,— two phases of Eternal Brahma. Siva without Sakti, says the Sakta, is Cava or a dead corpse. In other words, wecan not conceive any idea of God apart from His divine attributes or power. There is an image of the Deity among the Saktas known as Ardhanaricvar, or Har-Gauri, the one half of which is Siva and the other half is Sakti or Gauri i.e. the one is inseparable from the other. It is the figurative image of Brahma and the Principle of creation, which are ever united together. It4is both important and interesting to note that images of Ardhanaricvara are found represented in old Javanese sculptural art. There Ardhanaricvara is known as Ardhanarecvari. In ‘Balinese theology, i.e. in the religious scriptures of the people of the Island of Bali, Purusha is the Male and Pradhana ( Prikriti) is the Female principle, and the Cosmos has been born from their union. This Dogma has been connected with the



Coma. 5)

Hindu Trinity, which in Balinese known as Tripurusa, in sculpture where the combination of Ardhanarecvari is found with two gods of the Trinity.' This, again, proves the antiquity of the Tantric creed. There is positive historical evidence to show that Tantric creed and Saiva cult attained their supremacy in Java and Bali between 500—900 A, D. So Tantric religion is not of Yesterday's origin—

The Sakta thus makes no distinction between Siva and Sakti, though in the Tantric form the worship of Sakti predominates, over Siva-worship but Siva is also worshipped. :

As there is a wrong notion about the antiquity of Tantric religion, likewise there is a wrong belief, even among many educated people, that the Tantric religion is based upon the system of Sankhya philosophy.. Nothing can be more erroneous than this. Only certain words have misled even educated people to this wrong conclusion, viz., the famous terms of Purusha and Prikriti of the Sankhya system of philosophy. But these terms have been used in quite different meanings in the Tantras and in other Hindu Scriptures.

In the Sankhya system of philosophy, Purusha is not the Supreme Soul of the universe, as Siva’ 1s an’ «Tantric! religion. Jt 1sstiam Indivisible, Infinite, Eternal Brahma, but Sankhaya’s Purusha isa multitude of souls, like the Monads of the famous German philosopher

and mathematician Lebneitz. This Purusha (or

the multitudes of souls ) exists with Primeval Prikriti, but itself inert and inactive unable to produce anything whatsoever. It is united with

1 Vide A.A. Bake’s article on Dr. Gori’s Monograph in Dutch to the knowledge of the Javanese and Balinese Theology—Journal and Proceeding of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Vol. XXII of 1926.

Canto" *)

Prikriti in order to contemplate her’ and to be abstracted from her, Thus difference between Siva and Purusha of Sankhya is obviously clear. Again, according to the Sankhya philosophy—the Prime cause of this visible universe--an eternal Nature exists from eternity. Atthe universal destruction of all things, all the elements are withdrawn and all return to the First cause, the indistin- guishable one, which is Prikriti But the Tantras follow the philosophy of the Upanishadas; they declare that creation is but the manifestation of God, His Lila, a mode of Brahma, and at the time of the universal destruction (or Mahapralaya ) Purusha and Prikriti become merged in Eternal Brahma or God. Again, there is a _ world of difference between Sankhaya’s Prikriti and Sakti of the Tantras,

The Tantras call Sakti as Para Prikriti i,e. the personified Divine Energy of the Supreme Deity, in other words, Brahma itself, which is quite distinct. from the Mula Prikriti of the Sankhaya system, that holds matter to be eternal and Purusha ( a multitude of souls ). co-existent with it.

According to the Sankxhya system, Prikriti possesses three properties, namely Sattwa, Raja, and Tamas. Creation is evolved from the fusion and agitation of these three basic attributes in the following order :—

(1) Prikriti or the basic Elemental matter.

(2) From Prikriti proceeds Mahattatwa or the principle of greatness, i. e. Intellect

(Buddhi). .3) From Mahattatwa proceeds Ahamtatwa or the principle of egoism.

(4) From the former five very subtle elemental things (Tanmatras).

( 20 )

(5) And from the Tanmatras gross elements in the followihg order :-- (9—19 ) (A) Mind.

(10) The five organs of sense and five of action :— The organs of sense :—

‘a) Eye,

(be Har:

(c) Nose. (d) Tongue. (e) Skin.

Five organs of action :—

(a) The organ of Speech.

(b) The hand.

(c) The feet.

(d) The excretory termination of the Intestines, (e) The organ of generation.

( 20---24 ) (II) The five Elements (1) The Earth. (2) The Water, (3) The Fire. (4) The Space. 25. Purusha.

Thus in the scale of creation, Prikriti stands

at the head of all, and Purusha at the bottom of all,


Thus from Prikriti takes place the creation consisting from the development of intellect (Mahttatwa) down to gross elements.

Whereas according to the Tantras the union of Purusha with Prikriti, Siva and Sakti, is necessary for creation. It is Purusha or the Eternal Spirit that impregnates matter with life, or breathes life into