This work, by an Indian Pandit, is a Presentment, the first of its kind, of the principles of that development of the Vaidika Karmakanda which, under the name of the Tantra astra, is the scripture (astra) of the Kali age. This Sastra, together with its accompanying oral tradition, is the voluminous source of the greater part of the Hindu ritual, Hathayoga, and the various forms of spiritual training which pass under the generic term "Sadhana." In fact, both popular and esoteric Hinduism is, in its practical aspects, largely Tantrik.
Recently an increased interest has been shown in the Hindu beliefs. Hitherto, however, attention has been chiefly directed to those great Vedantik principles, which, subsumed, to a greater or less degree, in the beliefs and practices of all the Hindu sects are yet, in their conscious realization, the very end only of the highest spiritual effort. Little has been done to present the practical application of those principles in the particular form which they assume in the various divisions, methods, and rituals of the -Indian worshippers.
The present development of upasana (worship) and sadhana can only be learnt from the Tantra, which is the Mantra and Sadhana Sastra and its accompanying oral-traditions.
Sir John Woodroffe Born on December 15, 1865 as the eldest son of James Tisdall Woodroffe, Advocate-General of Bengal and his wife Florence, he was educated at Woburn Park School and University College, Oxford, where he graduated .in Jurisprudence and the Bachelor of Civil Law examinations. In 1890, He moved to India and enrolled as an advocate in Calcutta High Court. He was soon made a Fellow of the Calcutta University and appointed Law Professor there. He was appointed Standing Counsel to the Government of India in 1902 and two years later was raised to the High Court Bench. After serving for eighteen years in the bench, he became Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court in 1915. After retiring to England he became Reader in Indian-, Law at the University of Oxford, and finally moved to France in his retirement, where he died in 1936.
Alongside his judicial duties he studied Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and was especially interested in the esoteric Hindu Tantric Shakti system. He translated some twenty original Sanskrit texts, and under his pseudonym Arthur Avalon. He was published and lectured prolifically on Indian Philosophy and a wide range of yoga and Tantra topics.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Original Tantric Texts (24)
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