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Laksmi Tantra- A Pancaratra Text

Laksmi Tantra- A Pancaratra Text
$36.00$45.00  [ 20% off ]
Item Code: NAZ385
Author: Sanjukta Gupta
Publisher: Motilal Banarsidass Publications, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788120817340
Pages: 438
Other Details: 9.00 X 6.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.61 kg
About the Author
Dr. Sanjukta Gupta can be said to be [F.O. Schrader] successor because her book is of such a high standard. Not only the English translation but also the many notes and the introduction of Tantrism and Visnuism.

Visnuism is one of the chief religions of the Hindus and the Paficaratra is the oldest surviving Visnuism sect. The influence of its tenets on later Visnuism has undoubtedly been great, but has never been thoroughly explored. Despite change and corruption the ritual worship described in the old Paficaratra texts is still performed today in many of the famous temples in southern India and in some in the north. A deeper insight into the historical development of the Visnuism sects, into their ritual, occultism and building of temples and images can only be obtained from the scientific study of these ancient Paficaratra texts which formulate the relevant basic concepts.

The theological and ritualistic aspects of the Paficaratra system have attracted scholars for some time past 1 and a number of texts have been edited 2. Some of these publications are of a high standard and include illuminating introductions. Amongst these, Professor F. O. Schrader's Introduction to the Paficaratra still ranks as the most comprehensive. So far only one Paficaratra text has been translated into English," but the omission of explanatory notes on the meaning of special terms detracts from its usefulness to the layman. In recent years valuable work in this field is being done by H. Daniel Smith.

The reason why I have chosen to translate the text of the Laksmi Tantra is because its philosophical pronouncements incorporate many of the sect's earlier traditions. I shall elaborate on this point later on. A second reason. is because of its occultism, which throws light on an aspect of the Paficaratra system that is not dealt with in any other known text. Since however the size of this book has grown to phonate alarming, I have here been obliged to refrain from discussing the interesting topic of ritualistic esoterism.

Before starting on my apologetics, certain preliminary explanations about my method of work are briefly called for. My translation is based entirely on the Sanskrit text edited by Pandit V. Krishnamacharya and published in the Adyar Library Series, no. 87. I have not used any manuscript of the Laksmi Tantra. Therefore, whenever I mention the text o~ the editor's commentary on it, I refer to Krishnamacharya's edition. Although I have studied the only other publication of this text, printed in Telugu and published at Mysore in r888, I have not based my translation upon it since Krishnarnacharya has utilized it in his edition.

I have aimed at accuracy in my translation-often unfortunately at the expense of style-and when explanation is needed, it is supplied in a footnote or inserted in parenthesis in the text of my translation. I have used parenthesis also to distinguish English words I have used in my translation to make a sentence complete.

However the reader must not expect to find that every Sanskrit word has been translated consistently by the same English term. As words. are affected by the context in which they are used, I have used alternative meanings when and as the sense required. Despite care, some irregularities may still persist in transcriptions of Sanskrit words. These are unintentional.

From chapter XXXIII onwards I have not translated the clues given for constructing the mantras, but have confined myself to supply the constructed mantras only. My translation of the first ten verses of chapter XXXIII should, I think, suffice to demon- strate how the mantras are construed.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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