Mahanirvana Tantra - Chapter Index

Hindu marriage

by Arthur Avalon / Sir John Woodroffe

Mantra, tantra and yantra constitute the three most important constituents of Hindu rituals. Of them Mantra is the most commonly used with a much a wider appeal while the latter two are lesser known and practiced mainly by trained individuals under the supervision of an experienced master. Tantras are a collection of rituals and practices based on some esoteric teachings involving the supervision of a qualified teacher and the use of mind and body for the attainment of certain spiritual and material aims.

Certain forms of tantra aim to use the positive energies of the mind and body while some rely upon the negative energies to achieve these ends.  There are many misgivings about the tantras because they allow a wider freedom to the practitioners in seeking self realization, including the use of questionable means and substances.

To the Tantra we must therefore look if we would understand aright both ritual, yoga, and sadhana of all kinds, as also the general principles of which these practices are but the objective expression.Yet of all the forms of Hindu Shastra, the Tantra is that which is least known and understood, a circumstance in part due to the difficulties of its subject-matter and to the fact that the key to much of its terminology and method rest with the initiate - Sir John Woodroffe.

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Source: Mahanirvana Tantra Tantra of the Great Liberation, Translated by Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroffe) [1913]. While we have made every effort to reproduce the text correctly, we do not guarantee or accept any responsibility for any errors or omissions or inaccuracies in the reproduction of this text.