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Tantra Illuminated- The Philosophy, History, and Practice of A Timeless Tradition

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Item Code: HAX263
Author: Christopher D. Wallis
Publisher: Mattamayura Press
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9780989761307
Pages: 506 (B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 9.50x7.50 inch
Weight 920 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description
About the Book

Tantra Illuminated takes the reader on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices.

Since the West's discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago in the far north of India. Translated from primary Sanskrit sources and offering a profound look at spiritual practice, this book reveals Tantra's rich history and powerful teachings.


First I will acknowledge those who made this book possible in the broadest sense, which will also entail a brief autobiography. Swami Muktananda ("Bābā") probably did more than anyone else in the 20th century to make the teachings of Saiva Tantra known in the West, from incorporating them into his own teachings' to influencing major publishers (specifically Motilal Banarsidass in India and SUNY Press in the United States) to bring out some of the major texts of Kashmir Shaivism. My father brought me to meet Bābā in Santa Monica at the age of eight, which made a big impression on me.


The book you hold in your hands is the first of its kind. That is, it is the first introduction to the history of Tantra and its philosophy written for a general audience. The present volume is unique in combining these three characteristics: 1) it is intended for a readership other than professional scholars, that is, both spiritual practitioners (yogis) and undergraduate students; 2) it provides a thorough overview of classical Tantra (8th-12th centuries); and 3) it is based on the original manuscript sources in Sanskrit and the best of the scholarship produced over the last thirty years, especially the major research breakthroughs in Tantrik studies in the last ten years.


This section addresses concerns primarily of interest to scholars. It is a defense of the identity of the "scholar-practitioner" and of a new way of doing religious studies, to which this book is a contribution.

One of the most interesting things about the mastery of a body of knowledge is the extraordinary flexibility it grants. Once well under- stood, it can be variously inflected depending on the context, audience, and purpose of articulation. Those who study the field called "semiotics," which, in its pragmatic dimension, refers to the collective process of meaning-making, are familiar with the seemingly spontaneous process by which distinct spheres of discourse are generated by specific contexts, and the fact that that apparent spontaneity does not equate with cultural transparency. In academic writing and teaching in the humanities, and most especially in religious studies, there is a tacit normative metadiscourse around "objective knowledge" and "knowledge for its own sake" that pushes a forced consensus, one which almost completely prohibits the examination of religious ideas from a personal or pragmatic perspective. This is an institutionally imposed consensus in the sense that it is not shared by any under- graduates I have taught, certainly not by the general public, and it only appears in the discourse of graduate students because they have learned to conceal their personal religious commitments in order to conform to the normative concept of so-called objectivity, an intellectual pretense glamorized as an academic ideal.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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