These lectures and other collected papers traverse new ground in the Literature of Indian Religion, for they are the first attempt to give an authenticated and understanding general account of the chief features of the Doctrine and Practice of Indian worshippers who are called Saktas, and who adore the Divine Power as Mahadevi, the Great Mother of the universe.
The Sakta Tantra is a Sadhana Sastra of Monistic Vedanta. It is a profound and powerful system, and its doctrine of Sakti or Divine Power is one of the greatest evolved, through spiritual intuition, by the human mind which, according to its teaching, is a manifestation of the Divine Consciousness Itself.
The present work deals with its subject only in a very general and, as far as the matter permits, popular way. First published in 1918, this new edition has been revised and corrected throughout, and additions have been made to some of the original Chapters.. The book has moreover been very considerably enlarged by the addition of eleven new Chapters.
- Section 1 - Introductory
- Indian Religion as Bharata Dharma
- Sakti: The world as Power
- What are the Tantras and Their Significance?
- Tantra Sastra and Veda
- Tantras and Religion of the Saktas
- Sakti and Sakta
- Is Sakti Force?
- Cinacara (Vasistha and Buddha)
- The Tantra Sastras in China
- A Tibetan Tantra
- Sakti in Taoism
- Alleged Conflict of Sastras
- Section 2 - Doctrinal
- Cit-Sakti ( The Consciousness Aspect of the Universe)
- Maya-Sakti (The Psycho-Physical Aspect of the Universe)
- Matter and Consciousness
- Sakti and Maya
- Sakta Advaitavada
- Creation as Explained in the Non-dualist Tantras
- The Indian Magna Mater
- Section 3 - Ritual
- Hindu Ritual
- Vedanta and Tantra Sastra
- The Psychology of Hindu Religious Ritual
- Sakti as mantra (Mantramayi Sakti)
- Varnamala (The Garland of letters)
- Sakta Sadhana (The ordinary Ritual)
- The Pancatattva (The Secret Ritual)
- Matam Rutra (The Right and Wrong Interpretation)
- Section 4- Yoga and Conclusions
- Kundalini-Sakti (Yoga)
- Appendix: The Agamas and the Future
About the Author:
Sir John Woodroffe was instrumental in removing many of the cobwebs of ignorance that had come to cluster round the Sakta philosophy and practice. The decent Indian mind that had developed a deep-seated prejudice against the Tantras became awake to their excellence after the pioneering work of this great foreigner. By editing the original Sanskrit texts, as also by publishing essays on the different aspects of Saktism, he showed that this cult had a profound philosophy behind it, and that there was nothing irrational or obscurantist about the technique of worship it recommends.