2nd Revised Edition — South Asia Books, 2006. — 482 p.In this book, the author presents in historical outline, the genesis, development and structural analysis of the Tantric tradition in India and its place in the Indian religious and philosophical systems. It studies the different aspects of Tantrism, its vastness and intricacies, its heterogeneous and contradictory elements and gives a historical perspective to the conglomeration of ideas and practices through space and time. After an introduction to the meaning of Tantra, the work outlines the various texts which comprise Tantric literature. The development of Tantrism is traced from pre-Vedic times through the Vedic, post-Vedic, early Buddhist and Jain periods down to the evolution of the concept of Sakti in Indian religious thinking. The sequence is carried forward by a study of the development of Tantric Buddhism in India and Tantric Ideas and practices in medieval religious systems. The Lokayata tradition and its connection with Tantrism and finally the emergence of sophisticated Tantras with Sakta orientation completes this historical study of Tantrism through the ages. This important work also incorporates a review on Tantric art and a glossary of Tantric technical terms with reference to text, and intermeniaries.N.N. Bhattacharyya (1934-2001) has been Professor of Indology at University of Calcutta.
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