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The Tantric Religion of India: An Insight into Assam's Tantra Literature

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Item Code: UAW672
Author: Apurba Chandra Barthakuria
Language: English
Edition: 2009
ISBN: 9788186791806
Pages: 230
Other Details 8.80 X 5.80 inch
Weight 420 gm
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Book Description
About the Book
The first chapter is a general introduction on the origin of Tantra, the contents and purpose of Tantra and a general study of Assam's Tantra literature.

The second chapter deliberates on the details of the contents of the Yogini Tantra of Assam. It covers the historical and geographical importance of the Tantra. It deals in detail with the occult practices of the Tantric religion of Assam.

The third chapter is a detailed study of the religious places of Assam. It describes the religious sites of the Vaisnavas, the Salvas and the Saktas extending from North Bengal to Eastern Assam.

The fourth chapter of the book is a philosophical study of the Yogini Tantra. The fifth chapter is devoted to a critical study of the Sakta religion of Assam elaborately described in the Kalikapurana.

The sixth chapter gives a detailed critical analysis of the Kamakhyā Tantra, another famous Tantric text of Assam.

The seventh chapter is a conclusion on the matters elaborated in the previous chapters of the book. This is followed by a Bibliography and Index.

About the Author
Dr. Apurba Chandra Barthakuria, M.A.. Ph. D. Vedasastri-Sahityasastri. Vyakaranasiromani Valya-karanabhū sana, is an eminent Sanskrit scholar of this country. He has a good knowledge of English. Bengali. Hindi and Assamese literature also. Barthakuria stood first class first in BA (Hons) from Gauhati University (1958) and secured the first position in the University. He stood first class first in M.A. (1960) in Gauhati University and won the University Gold Medal for his success. He was awarded the Ph. D (Arts) Degree by Calcutta University in 1975 for his thesis on Sanskrit grammar viz. A Critical Study of Karaka. The thesis has been published by Punthi-Pustak of Kolkata under the title The Philosophy of Sanskrit Grammar. Dr. Barthakuria served as a teacher in Gauhati University for 39 years in Sanskrit. Bengali and Assamese Departments. He was the Head of the Department of Sanskrit. Gauhati University. He was appointed Visiting Fellow by Tripura University several times in the Sanskrit Department. He has authored 11 books and published 76 papers in different languages. He was conferred the Certificate of Honour. the highest honour for a Sanskrit scholar in the country by President of India in 2004. At present, he is the President of the Asom Sanskrit Mahasabha. the representative body of Sanskrit teaching in Assam.

Tantra literature plays an important part in the religious and spiritual life of Indians like the Vedas, and the Puranas. The Tantra lays down for its followers a distinct path different from others, by moving in which with strict adherence to the religious practices (maintained in the Tantra), they can achieve the final goal of salvation sometimes more easily than other religions worshippers. The performance of japa, dhyana and nyasa, and the practice of yoga are some essential requisites of Tantric sadhana. It must be admitted here that to follow the Tantric path perfectly for attaining mokşa is an extremely difficult task, for which the guidance of the guru, à deep concentration of mind, a steadfast dedication to the cause, and the grace of the deity are essentially necessary.

All the religious schools of India including those of the Bauddhas and the Jainas practise Tantrism as a means of achieving salvation, which is the ultimate objective of their religion. These religious schools have produced many valuable Tantric texts which represent their independent thoughts.

Assam has made a singnificant contribution to the development of the Tantric cult in this country. Kamakhya dham or the Holy Seat of Mother Goddess. Kamakhya in the Kubjikäpitha on the Nilacala or the Blue Mountain in Guwahati is a famous Tantric Pitha of Assam which draws thousands of pilgrims from different parts of India and abroad every year during the Ambuvaci festival. Many great sädhakas were born in Kamakhya who practised Tantra sadhana in this Holy Land, According to the tradition, Matsyendranatha and his son practised Tantricism in Kamakhya. Apart from Kamakhya, there were many other seats of Tantric religion in Assam. The Tantric worshippers and other writers produced many Tantra texts as it can be learnt from the works like the Tirthakaumudi of Pitambara Siddhantavägisa. But only a small number of Tantras have reached the hands of modern scholars due to several factors. I have made a very humble attempt to write out a book on Assam's Tantra literature at the request and inspiration of many scholar friends in Assam and abroad. The book has been written purely with an academic interest. I shall be happy if the present work renders any benefit to scholars and researchers in their academic endeavours in anyway. My success will depend on the manner in which they accept the book.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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