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Tantra in Practice : Princeton Readings in Religions (Paperback) - David Gordon White

Tantra in Practice

Princeton Readings in Religions (Paperback)

By: David Gordon White (Editor)

Paperback Published: 26th June 2000
ISBN: 9780691057798
Number Of Pages: 664

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As David White explains in the Introduction to "Tantra in Practice, " Tantra is an Asian body of beliefs and practices that seeks to channel the divine energy that grounds the universe, in creative and liberating ways. The subsequent chapters reflect the wide geographical and temporal scope of Tantra by examining thirty-six texts from China, India, Japan, Nepal, and Tibet, ranging from the seventh century to the present day, and representing the full range of Tantric experience--Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, and even Islamic. Each text has been chosen and translated, often for the first time, by an international expert in the field who also provides detailed background material. Students of Asian religions and general readers alike will find the book rich and informative.

The book includes plays, transcribed interviews, poetry, parodies, inscriptions, instructional texts, scriptures, philosophical conjectures, dreams, and astronomical speculations, each text illustrating one of the diverse traditions and practices of Tantra. Thus, the nineteenth-century Indian Buddhist "Garland of Gems, " a series of songs, warns against the illusion of appearance by referring to bees, yogurt, and the fire of Malaya Mountain; while fourteenth-century Chinese Buddhist manuscripts detail how to prosper through the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper by burning incense, making offerings to scriptures, and chanting incantations. In a transcribed conversation, a modern Hindu priest in Bengal candidly explains how he serves the black Goddess Kali and feeds temple skulls lentils, wine, or rice; a seventeenth-century Nepalese Hindu praise-poem hammered into the golden doors to the temple of the Goddess Taleju lists a king's faults and begs her forgiveness and grace. An introduction accompanies each text, identifying its period and genre, discussing the history and influence of the work, and identifying points of particular interest or difficulty.

The first book to bring together texts from the entire range of Tantric phenomena, "Tantra in Practice" continues the Princeton Readings in Religions series. The breadth of work included, geographic areas spanned, and expert scholarship highlighting each piece serve to expand our understanding of what it means to practice Tantra.

"This extremely welcome reader is the first substantial anthology devoted to tantra. Translations are crisp and clear, and the contextualizing essays provide expert guidance that allows the uninitiated access to the symbolism of this profound world."--Kidder Smith, Religious Studies Review

Princeton Readings in Religions
Note on Transliteration
Contents by Tradition
Contents by Country
Introductionp. 3
The Tantric Gurup. 41
King Kunji's Banquetp. 52
Interviews with a Tantric Kali Priest: Feeding Skulls in the Town of Sacrificep. 72
A Parody of the Kapalikas in the Mattavilasap. 81
A Trance Healing Session with Matajip. 97
The Consecration of the Monastic Compound at Mount Koya by Kukaip. 119
Praises of the Drunken Peacocksp. 131
Precepts for an Emperorp. 146
Raising Snakes in Bengal: The Use of Tantric Imagery in Sakta Poetry Contestsp. 167
The Wedding of Siva and the Goddess in the Kulalikamnayap. 184
An Advertised Secret: The Goddess Taleju and the King of Kathmandup. 195
Tantric Rites in Antal's Poetryp. 206
The Jain Monk Jinapati Suri Gets the Better of a Nath Yogip. 231
Longchenpa and the Possession of the Dakinisp. 239
The Anonymous Agama Prakasa: Preface to a Nineteenth-Century Gujarati Polemicp. 266
Conversation between Guru Hasan Kabiruddin and Jogi Kanipha: Tantra Revisited by the Isma'ili Preachersp. 285
Emptiness and Dust: Zen Dharma Transmission Ritualsp. 299
The Necklace of Immortality: A Seventeenth-Century Vaisnava Sahajiya Textp. 308
The Tibetan Practice of the Mantra Path According to Lce-sgom-pap. 326
The Ocean of the Heart: Selections from the Kularnava Tantrap. 347
Tantric Buddhism and Chinese Thought in East Asiap. 361
Worship of the Ladies of the Dipperp. 383
The Great Wisdom Mother and the Gcod Traditionp. 396
Worship of Bell-Ears the Great Hero, a Jain Tantric Deityp. 417
Secret Yantras and Erotic Display for Hindu Templesp. 434
The Six Rites of Magicp. 447
The Worship of Kali According to the Tadala Tantrap. 463
Ritual Manual for the Protective Fire Offering Devoted to Manjusri, Chuin Lineagep. 489
The Purification of the Bodyp. 509
A Tantric Meditation on Emptinessp. 523
Japanese Tantra, the Tachikawa-ryu, and Ryobu Shintop. 543
Assorted Topics of the Great Completeness by Dodrupchen IIIp. 557
On the Seal of Sambhu: A Poem by Abhinavaguptap. 573
Vajrayoga in the Kalacakra Tantrap. 587
Jain Tantra: Divinatory and Meditative Practices in the Twelfth-Century Yogasastra of Hemacandrap. 595
Cheating Deathp. 605
Glossary of Foreign Termsp. 625
Indexp. 635
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691057798
ISBN-10: 0691057796
Series: Princeton Readings in Religions (Paperback)
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 664
Published: 26th June 2000
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.6  x 4.0
Weight (kg): 0.91