Overview for Man as Microcosm in Tantric Hinduism
Among the traditional philosophies and schools of Hinduism the idea of the identity between macrocosm and microcosm is prominent in classical Advaita Vedanta as well as in the more colourful and popular Tantric systems. This study centers upon the development and expression of the idea in the more philosophical aspects of Tantric Hinduism; for it is here that we find the most significant thought, symbolism and rituals that have given rise to great works of art as in the examples of painting, sculpture and architecture used as illustrations in the text. The most outstanding feature of the Tantric system is the use of yantra, mantra and especially Kundalini yoga. It is shown clearly how a great yantra, great mantra and Kundalini yoga are related to the realization of macro-microcosmic identity, man's goal. This book should provide the student interested in Indian culture with greater depth in the more popular Tantric cults than the usual texts on Indian religions. It should be especially helpful in the understanding of the ritual practices of yantra, mantra and Kundalini yoga in relation to liberation and to Indian art. The examples given of Indian art depict this relationship.
Grace E. Cairns (Author)
Grace Cairns is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion at The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, U.S.A. She is author of Philosophies of History (Greenwood Press, Westport, Connecticut, 1971). She is co-author of Religions of the World with S.V. McCasland and David Yu (Random House, New York, 1969). She has also published numerous articles in scholarly journals and chapters in books.