This book is, as the sub-title states, a collection of studies in, or essays upon, particular subjects in the Mantra-Sastra, a term, which is commonly applied to the Tantra-Sastra. it is practically composed of two parts.
After chapter 1, which deals with the "word", chapters 2-9 treat of the principles of the general doctrine of Sabda. Chapters 10-21 are elucidations of some subjects in the Tantra-Sastra which adopt the Mimamsa doctrine of Sabda with some modifications to meet its doctrine of Sakti. Chapters 12, 28 and 29 deal with the Mantras "Om" and the Gayatri.
An understanding of such terms as Sakti, Nada, Bindu, the causal Saktis of the Pranava, Bijamantras and so forth, is essential for those who would understand the Sastra in which they appear hitherto knowledge of these matters has been confined (where it exists at all) to the Gurus and Sadhakas. This does not mean that my information has been gathered from oral sources only. On the contrary, the substance of it may be found in the Tantras. These are however generally unknown. The definitions must be sought for in many Sastras. When found they must be explained by the aid of general Sastric knowledge and of Upasakas who possess the tradition." (jacket)
Books written by the Author Sir John Woodroffe can perhaps be called as Classics.One is indebted to him for his study of Tantra Sastra and the scholarly works he produced in English. His Books like "Serpent Power", "Sakti And Sakta" etc., have helped the readers to gain excellent knowledge on the generally difficult to interpret subject of Tanta Sastra.
In line with the other classics the Author in the present Book has in great detail explained the significance of the Letters in the context of the Tantra knowledge.Thus it becomes a must for the student of Tantra Vidya.
Table of Contents:
- Vak or the word.
- Artha, pratyaya and Sabda.
- Asabda and parasabda.
- Parasabda, causal sabda.
- Sakti as stress.
- Eternality of sabda.
- Sabda as language.
- Natural name.
- Vaidika - sabda.
- The tattvas.
- Sakti - potency to create.
- Nada - the first produced movement.
- Bindu or sakti - ready to create.
- Maya tattva.
- The Kancukas.
- The gross tattvas and their lords.
- Causal saktis of the Pranava.
- The Kalas.
- The garland of letters or varnamala.
- The necklace of Kali.
- Sun, moon and fire.
- The Gayatri-Mantra as an exercise of reasoning.
About the Author:
Sir John Woodroffe settled in India and was totally enchanted by the Tantra Sastra. Perhaps he was the first to bring out in English a number of Books on the subject for the benefit of English Reader. He has done immense service to the practitioners of Tantra and has Authored more than a dozen Books.