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Mahanirvana Tantra

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Item Code: NAF795
Author: M. N. Dutta, N. C. Panda
Publisher: Bharatiya Kala Prakashan
Language: English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9788180902420
Pages: 354
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 450 gm
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Book Description


The Mahanirvana Tantram is the most important of all the Tantras that are to be found now. It consist of two parts. The Text of the first portion only has been published in Bengal. The second part, a reference of which is to be met with in the first, is not to be found anywhere. I made many attempts to find it out all to no purpose. Sometime before information reached me that the Text of the second part was available in the temple of Kamakhya in Assam. I tried to have a look at it through some of my friends and on enquiry it was found that the text there is nothing but a version of the first part that we have translated.

To readers who are not well acquainted with Sanskrit this English version, we hope, will not be an unwelcome guest. This will give them an insight into one department of Sanskrit Literature which is very popular in Bengal. The cardinal teaching of this great work is the worship of one true God, which the author, despite many mystical and superficially technical passage , advocated in every page of the book. The style is charming and in many passages, true poetic touch is to be seen.

I have tried my best to translate the work as much literally as is possible making sense clear. The duty of the translator is to interpret clearly and distinctly the ideas and thoughts of the original author. How far I have succeeded in this depends upon the judgement of my readers. I have given copious footnotes to make the obscure passages clear. In the introduction I have attempted to give a short digest of Tantrik teachings. It will help the readers in understanding the original work. For this purpose, I have consulted almost all the Tantrik works that are available in Bengal. There is no other Tantram more important of the mahanirvana Tantram will place, before the English knowing public, a key to unlock the portal of Tantrik teaching which once swayed and have been still swaying over the many millions of Bengal.


The literature of Tantras is not so universally popular and authoritative as is that class of sacred writings of the Hindus which pass under the application of the puranas. Its reputation has not travelled far and wide for none amongst the Western scholars has paid any attention to this department of Sanskrit Literature. What to speak of foreign countries its name is not even hold in very much reverence in any other province of India than Bengal. Many Indian scholars of repute are of opinion that the Tantras are purely the production of the soil of Bengal. The peculiar practices and rites of the followers of Tantrik religion which superficially appear abhorrent and disreputable, have stood form of religion has escaped the hands of corruption and superstition and that has also been the case with Tantrik religion. But to consider impartially it yields in merit and excellence to no other department of ancient Hindu thought.

In Sanskrit literature we meet with two classes of Tantras, Hindu Tantras and Buddha Tantras. As is the case with Puranas Tantras consist of dialogues relating to the worship of Good and other theological topics. In the former class of compositions Siva describe various religious topics to his followers. It is with the former we have particularly to do.

The Scriptural works of the Hindu of which Siva is the author are divided into three classes namely Agama, Yamala and Tantra. Their characteristics are thus described in Varahi Thantra.

The learned describe Agamas as work consisting of the seven characteristics, namely accounts of creation, dissolution the worship of the deities, other religious rites, initiatory rite, the practice of six Tantrik works and fold forms of contemplation.

Accounts of creation, dissolution , the abode of the deities pilgrimages, the duties of four Ashramas, the habitation of the Brahmanas, the habitations of ghosts etc., description of instruments, origin of the celestials, the origin of trees, description of ages, planets and stars, the stories of puranas, description of treasures vows, what is pure and what is impure, marks of men and women, duties of kings, how gifts should he made, marks of the age, conduct and many other spiritual topics constitute the characteristics of Tantra.

The account of creation planets, stars, daily rites, evolution, Sutras, the distinction of colour and caste and the duties of the age these eight are the characteristics of Yamala.

Besides these three classes of writings there is another which claims Siva as its promulgator namely Damara. All these four groups of religious works pass under the general name of Tantra and are held in much reverence by the followers of Tantrik religion. From the description given above it is evident that Tantras resemble the Puranas both as regards the subject matter and from expect that descriptions of many royal houses and mythological heroes occur in abundance in the latter. But the object of both the classes of writings is same. They are merely the popular expositions of the metaphysics, philosophy, and theology of the Vedas. The only difference between them is that Tantras are of a more recent date and consist of innumerable rituals and ceremonials, recently brought into vogue, the counter parts of which are not to be met with in the Puranas. The object with which the Tantras were promulgated by their divine author is crearly set forth in the following salokas of Mahanirvana Tantra.



  Chapter 1  
1 Description of the Mount Kailasa  
2 Description of Siva  
3 An account of Krta Age  
4 Account of Kali  
5 Account of Tantrik Works  
  Chapter 2  
6 Advocacy of the Religion of Agama  
7 Advocacy of the Teaching of Siva  
8 Inefficacy of the Vedic Mantras in Kali Yuga  
9 Advocacy of Tantrik Worship in Kali  
10 Account of various Sects  
11 Attributes of Brahma  
12 The Necessity of the Worship of one True God  
  Chapter 3  
13 The true form of Brahma  
14 Apprehension of Brahmathrough Mental Concentration and spiritual Communion  
15 The Mantram of Bhrahma  
16 The Fruits of Brahmamantra  
17 The meaning of the Brahma mantra  
18 The Rsi and the metre of the Mantra  
19 The Mula Mantra  
20 Pranayama  
21 Puraka, Rechaka and Kumbaka process  
22 The Process of Contemplating on Brahma  
23 Brahma Amulet  
24 Time and Place for the Worship of Brahma  
25 No Distinction of Caste in the Worship of Brahma  
26 Sandhya  
  Chapter 4  
27 Prakrti is the Goddess Durga  
28 Her Various form  
29 The Great Principals and the Work of Creation  
30 Prediction of Kali  
31 Advocacy of Truth  
  Chapter 5  
32 The rite of mantrodhhar  
33 Morning Rites Described  
34 The Worship of Istadevata  
35 The worship of Sacred Rivers  
36 The various Nyasas and Yogic Process  
37 Special Arghya  
38 Pancikarana  
  Chapter 6  
39 Various Sorts of Wine  
40 Three Sorts of Meat  
41 Beasts of Sacrifice  
42 Classification of Fish and Mudra  
43 The Ceremony of Purifying Tantrik Ingredients  
44 Prohibition about Drinking  
44 Prohibition about Drinking  
45 Wine Cup Described  
46 The Twelve Kalas to theSun  
47 The Sixteen Kalas of Soma  
48 How the Various Vessels should be Placed  
49 The Dedications of Various Articles  
50 The Distribution of Bali Amongst the Batukas  
51 Offerings to the Y oginis  
52 Mantra Regarding Offering to all Creatures  
53 The Mantra for Presenting Offerings to the Goddess Siva  
54 Prayers to Istadevata  
55 The rite for installing life into the goddess  
56 The Purification of the Image  
57 The Consecration of her Limbs  
58 The Sixteen Ingredients for Worship Pingher  
59 The Mantra for Offering  
60 The Offering of Food unto the Goddess  
61 The Worship of her Six Limbs and the Preceptors  
62 The Worship of the Eight Nayikas and their Names  
63 The Names of the Eight Bhairavas  
64 The Ten Sorts of Animals for Sacrifice  
65 The Pasu Gayatri  
66 The Worship of the Dagger  
67 The Rite of Sacrificing Beasts  
68 The Rituals of Homa  
69 The Drawing of the Yantra  
70 The Worship of the Altar and the Goddess of Speech  
71 The Placing of the Fire on the Altar  
72 The Enkindling of Fire  
73 The Prayer to the Sacred Fire  
74 The Worship of Saktis, and many other deities  
75 The Mantra for Propitiating the Goddess of Learing  
76 The Worship of the Garland  
77 The Description of the Drinking Cup  
78 The Method of Tantrik Drinlking  
  Chapter 7  
79 The Hymn of the Prime Kalika  
80 The Hundred Names of the Prime Kalika  
81 The Virtues of the Hymn  
82 The Kavacha of the Kalika  
83 The Virtues of the Kavacha  
84 Purscharana Rite  
85 The Brief Mode of Making Puja  
86 An Account of Kula and Kula Rites  
  Chapter 8  
87 An Account of the Varnas and Ashramas  
88 The Absence of Brahmacharya and Banaprastha Asrama in Kali Yuga  
89 The Practice of Sanysins in Kali Yuga  
90 Regulations about Asramas in Kali Yuga  
91 The Restrictions about Leaving the World and taking to the Life of a Sanyasin  
92 The Order of Householders is the Foremost of All  
93 The Duties of a Householder  
94 Definition of Purity  
95 Purifying Articles  
96 The time for observing external purity  
97 The periods for performing Sandhya  
98 Description of Vaidik Sandhya  
99 The Gayatri mantra of the Kali yuga  
100 The religious acts of the people in the Kali yuga  
101 Tirthas of the Kali yuga  
102 The duties of a wife  
103 Sanctioned and forbidden food  
104 Means for livelihood for various castes  
105 Bhairavi Chakram  
106 The virtues of Bhairavi Chakra  
107 An Account of Tattwachakra  
108 Fruits of Tattwa Chakra  
109 Rules of A vadhuta Asrama  
110 Characteristics of a true Sanyasin  
111 Description of Kulavadhuta  
  Chapter 9  
112 The division of Sanskaras  
113 The mantram of Sanskaras in various yugas  
114 The invocation of sacred fire  
115 The seven tongues of the fire  
116 The prayers unto Brahma  
117 The sacrificial vessels  
118 The ceremony of Abhiseka  
119 Kushandika ri te descri bed  
120 Charu rite  
121 Garbhadhana ceremony  
122 The ceremony of the Astava  
123 Details of the Garbhadhana ceremony  
124 Ceremony of Punsavana  
125 Ceremony of Panchamrita  
126 Ceremony of Seemantonnayna  
127 Ceremony of Jatakarma  
128 Narnakarana ceremony  
129 Ceremony of Nishkramana  
130 Annasana ceremony  
131 Chudakarana ceremony  
132 Upavita ceremony  
133 The person entitled to perform the ceremonies  
134 The marriage ceremony  
135 Description of the Brahmo marriage  
136 Saiva wife and the claims of the issues of this  
  Chapter 10  
137 The rite for the consecration of tanks etc  
138 Restriction of women in the performance Vriddhi Sraddha  
139 Details of the Vriddhi Sraddha rite  
140 Ekasdistha Sraddha  
141 Cremation of men and women  
142 Cremation rites  
143 Advocacy of Kula religion  
144 Rules for Koula initiation  
145 The initiation mantra  
146 Various modes of Purnabhisekha described  
  Chapter 11  
147 Definition of sin  
148 Twofold sin described  
149 The twofold means of relief  
150 The punishments which a king should administer  
151 Heavy punishment for light offence  
152 Light punishment for heavy offence  
153 Duties of the king and his subjects  
154 The punishment for sinful cohabitation  
155 Duties of a widow  
156 Remarriage of married women  
157 Punishment for murder of attempt at murder  
158 Punishment for treason ,  
159 Punishment for wicked people  
160 Punishment for those who sell sons and daughters  
161 Punishment for theft  
162 Punishment for the ungrateful  
163 The nature of evidence  
164 Punishment for excessive drinking  
165 Punishment for a person who takes forbidden food  
166 Rules for killing beasts  
167 Expatiation for minor sins  
168 Purification of a polluted house or a tank  
169 Purification of the twiceborn who trade in degraded calling  
  Chapter 12  
170 The Law of Inheritance  
171 Law of Sale and Purchase  
172 The Law of Mortgage  
  Chapter 13  
173 The forms of Kali  
174 Pratistha ceremony  
175 Consecration of various articles and the fruits there of  
176 The worship of Vastudevata and his family  
177 The dhyana of Vastudevata  
178 Description of Grahayantra  
179 The worship of planets  
180 The Dhyana of Brahma  
181 The mantras for worshipping the planets  
182 The mantras for consecrating tank, house, bridge, etc,  
183 Ganesha Dhyana  
184 The rite of consecrating a tank  
185 The Pratistha ceremony of an artificial lake  
186 That of a house  
187 Articles of worship  
188 The mystic prayer of the goddess  
189 The prayer of the home  
190 The Prayer to the goddess  
191 Prayer to the temple  
192 Prayer to the bull  
193 Prayer to the lions  
194 Prayer to Garuda  
195 The Consecration of a recreationground  
196 The Establishment of the image of the Prime Kalika  
197 The Consecration of the Idol  
198 The assignment of Vedas and Tattwas  
  Chapter 14  
199 The virtues of the installation of the phallic emblem of Siva  
200 An account of Sivakshetra  
201 How the offering of worship should be made  
202 The doctrine of Karma  
203 The means of Liberation  
204 An account of Avadhuta  
205 An account of the Mahnirvana Tantra  


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