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Dasamahavidya (Ten Mahavidyas) and Tantrasastra

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About the Book   This book Dasamahavidya and Tantrasastra is a treatise on Mahavidyatantras very rarely dealt in the literary domain of sanskrit thoughts. The first chapter of the book deals with the evolution of Sakti-tantric cult in general and Mahavidya worship in particular. We find reference to Mahavidyas in Devimahatyma of Markandeya Purana where Devi has been addressed as Mahavidya.   There are ten Mahavidyas. viz. : Mahakali, Tar...

About the Book

 

This book Dasamahavidya and Tantrasastra is a treatise on Mahavidyatantras very rarely dealt in the literary domain of sanskrit thoughts. The first chapter of the book deals with the evolution of Sakti-tantric cult in general and Mahavidya worship in particular. We find reference to Mahavidyas in Devimahatyma of Markandeya Purana where Devi has been addressed as Mahavidya.

 

There are ten Mahavidyas. viz. : Mahakali, Tara, Sodasi, Bhuvaneswari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta. Dhumavati. Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika. According to Puranas, when Sati wanted to attend Daksa Yajna she was debarred by Mahadeva to do so as there was no invitation for them. But Sati insisted to attend the function as the function was arranged by her own father Daksa. At this Mahadeva got annoyed and scolded her which was a very bitter pill to swallow on the part of the All Powerful Goddess Parvati.

 

 

About the Author

 

Born on 5th April. 1937 in a remote village of Cuttack district namely Banamalipur and educated in Revenshaw College under Utkal University the author entered into Orissa Administrative Service in 1962 and now is working as Additional District Magistrate. Devoted to poetry in his early life he is now bent upon more serious topics like the Tantras and the Vedas. Sakti Iconography in Tantric Mahavidyas & Veda Vyakhya in Oriya language.

 

Preface

 

Tantra by its great and puissant system made a landmark in the history of religion even though it had fallen to disrepute due to its Vamamarga of excessive sense-indulgence and unrestrained social immorality by its followers. But symbolically these methods were the way of knowledge and the way of Ananda, by pursuit of which nature in man liberates itself by right discrimination in power and practice of its own energies, elements and potentialities. In this book I have tried to compare and contrast the philosophical aspects of the Dasamahavidya which is a Tantra Sadhana pursued as a discipline for mastery, perfection, liberation and beatitude. In fact the essence of the Mabavidya Upasana lies in the fact that instead of drawing back from manifested nature and its difficulties it has to be confronted, seized and conquered by the mechanism available at the hand of every man. Because the beauty of Tantra Sastra is that it is entirely catholic in its approach and afford religiophilosophic opportunity to every individual irrespective of its caste or sex. For this the common man has not to search for as place outside society or a means far away from his availability. He has only to raise his nature not by subduing his desire or animal propensities but by audaciously employing the means of satisfying his desire and elevating and sublimating it by simple physiopsychological aptitudes with a purpose for better enjoyment (If this life and bliss beyond it, The Tantras have not therefore reserved its truth for the initiated few. It knocked at the door of every human being who need not search for God head beyond himself. The Chapters hereafter will reveal this truth as the reader forges ahead with the text of the book.

 

I am thankful to my dearest daughter Sambit who patiently took dictation of the entire manuscript on long hand and my thanks are due to Mr. N. C. Panda who ungrudgingly typed it out. I am grateful to Dr. Satyavadi Mishra, retired Principal for his advice. I am also obliged to the Printers for their timely bringing this book to light. I wish all of them blessed by the Cidrupini Mahavidya Maha Nilasaraswati.

 

Introduction

 

This book Dalamahavidya and Tantrasastra is a treatise on Mahavidyatantras very rarely dealt in the literary domain of sanskrit thoughts. The first chapter of the book deals with the evolution of Sakti-tantric cult in general and Mahavidya worship in particular. We find reference to Mahavidyas in Devimahatyma of Markandeya Purana where Devi has been addressed as Mahavidya, (Mahavidya Mahamaya Mahamedha Mahasmruti, Mahamoha ca bhavati Mahadevi Maheswari )

 

Devi is called Mahavidya because she is both vidya and avidya. As avidya, she sustains and grants bhukti to the Jiva and as vidya bestows liberation. It is wrong to hold that Supreme Godhood is only vidya or knowledge. Once she is called only vidya the universe will be beyond her scope as avidya. The Mahavidya tantras, therefore declares that she is both Sat and Asat. Because she is the inhering power in both jada and Chetana objects.

 

There are ten Mahavidyas, viz. ; Mahakali, Tara, Sodasi, Bhuvaneswari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagalamukhi, Matangi and Kamalatmika. According to Puranas, when Sati wanted to attend Daks a Yajna she was debarred by Mahadeva to do so as there was no invitation for them. But Sati insisted to attend the function as the function was arranged by her own father Daksa. At this Mahadeva got annoyed and scolded her which was a very bitter pill to swallow on the part of the All Powerful Goddess Parvati. Immediately she assumed a ferocious form with a naked body looking cloud-hue and with lolling tongs and protruding teeth. Mahadeva wanted to fee but on his attempt to do so he found all the ten forms of Mahavidyas stood covering the ten different quarters.

 

From the standpoint of spiritualism Mahividyas represent different stages of creation and sustenance of Jivas ultimately meant to be realised souls by way of Sadhana. For instance, Mahakali represents Ichasakti or the power of Supreme Desire. Since creation is an action and every action must precede a desire, she is called Adyosakti and by this desire she binds Jiva to action and to this world and is therefore called Mahamaya. Her naked form represents that she is not bound by any limitation and is therefore infinite power of consciousness. Chitsaktisvarupini Khadga in her hand represents the power of action to be taken and the severed head represents that all creation must be destroyed by the operation of Kala though she is beyond it. Therefore she is Mahakali. But once Jiva's desire rests in realisation, She grants barabhaya i.e. bhukti and mukti.

 

As action succeeds desire the second in order of Mahavidya is the all-action symbol Tara. She is the presiding deity of all actions and functions of the world and the bestower of fruits in this world. If work is performed without any vested interest, she cuts the binding fruits of Karma of Jiva and khadga and Kartri in her hands symbolises this. Once Jiva is beyond the wordly avidya it gets pure ananda represented by the blood-filled boul in her hand. The Nilaendivara in her hand represents the ultimate freedom or liberation of Jiva by pursuit of Mahavidya sadhana.

 

But no action can be undertaken without understanding what a man or woman is going to do. And this knowledge of subject and object is the outcome of inhering consciousness which Mahavidya sodasi represents. Before creation Paramatma desired to create and this desire flashed in his Super consciousness known as Unmana, A flare of this super consciousness is inherent in homosapiencs. Pasa and Ankula in the hands of Mahavidya sadasi represents wordly fetters and human compulsions and bow and arrow in other two hands represent that when true knowledge dawns man is freed from fetters by attaining liberation which is pure consciousness represented by the hallow of morning sun around her head. She sits on a throne of five preta's which represent the power of evolution, creation, sustenance, dissolution and involution thereby comprising the whole gamut of avidya or universe, all functioning under her guardianship as consciousness-power. By Sodasi sadhana this realisation is possible.

 

Once creation is completed its maintenance is paramount which is taken care of by Mahavidya Bhubanasvari having a goad and noose in two of her hands, the other two showing the varada and abhayaposes. Thus she represents the world-mindedness of the being the protection granted to the worldly beings for continuance of creation for her sport as Lilamayi. Then comes Mahavidya Tripura Bhairavi, the guardian deity of bhur, bhuva and swah, the three worlds known as tripuras. She is having a rosary and a manuscript in two of her hands representing the means of acquisition of know- ledge which allays fear and grants boon as represented by other two hands. She is also the power of warning leading to destruction if proper knowledge is not acquired as represented by her ferocious face with widely open mouth.

 

In the systems of world management then comes Mahavidya Chinnamasta, the goddess symbolising a detached life represented by her severed head held in her own hand and drinking the blood flowing from her severed throat. The worldly life must be enjoyed without involvement and then only life in this world and hereafter will be pleasant. And Jiva will steadily record progress towards liberation which is a contrast to creation that binds. The images of Varahi and Dakini on her either sides leaves a remnant of Buddhist Goddess Vajrayogini.

 

The goddess Dhumavati is described as Vivarna Chanchala and Rusta with her rough behaviour and unclean robes. Her appearance is like a widow sitting on a chariot carried 'by a crow. This goddess represents the ugly side of creation which is as true as its brighter side. Besides it also represents a passing smokes stage intermediate between ignorance and knowledge.

 

Any created being is bound to face opposition and enmity despite the worldly charm of friendship and the eighth Mahavidya Bagalamukhi represents a spirit of confrontation and enmity. A human being is more apt to create enemies as he rises a ladder of worldly power and position, In order to protect himself one has to propitiate this Mahavidya, the mantra form of which is. OM HRING BAGALAMUKHI SARVA DUSTANAM VACHAM MUKHAM STAMBHAHYA JIHVAM KILAYA KILAYA BUDDHIM NASAYA HRING OM SVAHA.

 

Since all human affairs need control and over-lordship, Mahavidya Matangi represents worldly power and is therefore called Rajamatangi or the Matangi of Kings and Lords. She was very often worshipped by royal houses for protection of their kingdom and the king.

 

Contents

 

 

 

Preface

v-vi

 

 

Introduction

vii-xi

 

 

Critical Comment

xii-xv

Chapter

1

The Back-drop of Tantra Worship

1-44

"

2

The Sakta- Tantric Principles

45-51

"

3

The Tantra Mahavidya

52-72

"

4

Is Tantric Mahavidya Upasana a Power Craze

73-85

"

5

The Relevance of Mahavidya Upasana in the History of Religion

86-92

"

6

Philosophy of Dasa Mahavidya Vis-a-Vis Other Systems

93-137

 

 

Bibliography

139-143

 

 

Index

145-153

 

 

Plates

 

 

Sample Pages


















Item Code: NAG414 Author: Sarbeswar Satpathy Cover: Hardcover Edition: 2008 Publisher: Punthi Pustak ISBN: 978818679176900 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 192 (10 B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book 310 gms
Price: $30.00
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