Tag Archives: tantra

The Kaumāra cycle in the Skandapurāṇa’s Śaṃkara-saṃhitā

Many khaṇḍa-s, māhātmya-s and saṃhitā-s attach themselves to the sprawling “Mega-Skandapurāṇa”. We use this term to distinguish it from the “Ur-Skandapurāṇa”, which was first published by Bhaṭṭārāi in the late 1980s and is now known to survive as three related … Continue reading

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The strange case of the Āpastamba sprite

This is the second of the two stories that arose from incidents during the visit of Yaśaśravas, Somakhya’s cousin. With the autumnal vacations, Somakhya was having a good time with his visiting cousin, giving him lectures on the theory and … Continue reading

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Matters of religion: the lesson by the lake

Sharvamanyu was with his preceptors Somakhya on Lootika on the shore of a lake in the midst of the mountains on a full moon night. It was the cremation ground for a lineage of Vs, who had historically specialized in … Continue reading

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The minimal triangle circumscribing a semicircle

Consider a fixed semicircle with center at and radius . Let be the isosceles triangle which circumscribes it (Figure 1). Figure 1 What will be the characteristics of the minimal form of the said triangle, i.e. triangle with minimum perimeter, … Continue reading

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The magic of the deva-ogdoad

Classical Hindu tradition holds that the ogdoad of deva-s corresponding to their directions is: Indra: East; Agni: Southeast; Yama: South; Nirṛti: Southwest; Varuṇa: West; Vāyu: Northwest; Kubera: North; Īśāna: Northeast. The central position might be occupied in certain traditions by … Continue reading

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Śarabha vidhi

The account of this rite continues from the prefatory narrative. Lootika: “There are several ways in which Rudra is worshipped as Śarabha conceived as the great dinosaur. We shall follow the way which is appropriate for us brāhmaṇa-s who observe … Continue reading

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A note on lost Śaiva centers: consideration of examples from Magadha and Vaṅga

To be read in conjunction with this handout: Harihara in the Indosphere One of the poorly understood but immensely important facets of Hindu history is the role of the saiddhāntika Śaiva-s in the cultural unification of the Indosphere within the … Continue reading

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The ghosts of Tulagiri

Vrishchika was taking a few days off to visit her parents’ town before proceeding with her fellowship. Lootika had nearly completed moving her lab to Somakhya’s institute. She was happy that they could finally be together for good again and … Continue reading

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The domain of India according to bhāskararāya-makhīndra

bhāskararāya was one of the greatest mantravādin-s of all times, who perhaps was only rivaled by the illustrious abhinavagupta or aghoraśiva deśika, who in times closer to our own was verily like how a brāhmaṇa sage of the time of … Continue reading

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Some comments of on the vyapohana stava and its pantheon

The vyapohana stava is an important saiddhAntika purificatory incantation. It may be compared with other works composed by deshika-s of the Urdhvasrotas such as: 1) the vyomavApistava of the Kashmirian commentator bhaTTa rAmakANTha-II; 2) the shiva-pUjA-stava of j~nAnashambhu, a scholar … Continue reading

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susmeratayA saha saMmelana

Holding a trident he arrived at the great smashANa at the foot of kollagiri from the subterranean temple of nR^isiMha where he had practiced the mantra of the adhomukha. It was in the midst of a storm: the trees in … Continue reading

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Some notes on the dispersion of the kaumAra-shAsana

In the early 1900s the English archaeologist John Marshall began excavations at Bhita (pronounced: bhITA) near prayAga, modern Uttar Pradesh. He wrote an account of this excavation aided by the native assistants in the archaeological survey of India’s annual report … Continue reading

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saMmelana song of the vIra

It was the saMmelana of the holders of the kapAla in the great shmashAna of kollagiri, in quest of mahAnaya. We were reclined in the haze of the pyres; the embrace of our dUtI fanning the inner fires; the fire … Continue reading

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A saiddhAntika adaptation of the vAstupuruSha narrative

We had earlier pointed out that the vAstupuruSha narrative in the smArta vAstu texts ( e.g. as provided by varAhamihira in his bR^ihatsaMhitA) might be derived from an old brAhmaNa-like narrative that was provided in the context of explaining the … Continue reading

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A note on the Tantric state among the chIna-s and recovery of a lost vainAyaka ritual

In 705 CE, amoghavajra was born in Samarkand to a brAhmaNa teacher from either Prayag or Kashi and his Iranian wife. His father died when he was 10 years old and he moved to the chInadesha with his mother and … Continue reading

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Fragments of West Asian heathen thought: late surviving Hermetica

To be read in conjunction with this. Many moons ago aurvasheyI brought my attention to a curious news item in an Indian paper – in small print it narrated a village conflict involving the deployment of what might be termed … Continue reading

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Geopolitics of the tantra age: an attempt at a blunt assessment

The va~Nga-paNDita placed the following issue before ekanetra and me. He had seen a somewhat convergent theory amongst both Hindus and Hindu-haters. We lay this out as some kind of pUrva-pakSha for further study. -The beginning in the gupta age … Continue reading

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The “paurANic” element of the pashchimAmnAya

In the days after the fierce battle of dvAdashAnta, after we had overthrown the kR^ityAstra that struck us, we were resting in the city of the karnATa-s. There while meditating on the aghora mantra we experienced that connection with samayA … Continue reading

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