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The Garland of Letters: Essays on Tantra/Mantra Sastra

John Woodroffe (Author)

This book is an attempt to explain to an English knowing reader an undoubtedly difficult subject. It is natural that, given the difficulty and the mystery which surrounds the subjects that strangers to India have failed to understand Mantra. They jumped to the conclusion that it is “meaningless superstition.” This is the familiar argument of the lower mind which says “what I cannot understand can have no sense at all.” Mantra is, it is true, meaningless to those who do not know its meaning. But there are others who do, and to them it is not “superstition.”

The Mantra-Sastra is worthy of a close study which, when undertaken, will disclose elements of value to minds free from superstition, of metaphysical bent and subtle-seeing (Suksmadarsin). A profound doctrine, ingeniously though guardedly set forth, is contained in the Tantras of Mantra-Sastra or Agama.

This book is, as the sub-title states, a Collection of Studies in, or Essays upon, particular subjects in the Mantra-Sastra, a term which is commonly applied to the Tantra-Sastra. It is practically composed of two parts. After Chapter 1, which deals with the “Word,” Chapters 2-9 treat of the Principles of the general doctrine of Sabda. Chapters 10-21 are elucidations of some subjects in the Tantra-Sastra which adopt the Mimamsa doctrine of Sabda with some modifications to meet its doctrine of Sakti. Chapters 12, 28 and 29 deal with the Mantras “Om” and the Gayatri.

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About the author

John Woodroffe

Sir John Woodroffe needs no introduction to Tantra students like Shakespeare needs no introduction to Literature students. His many Books on the subject have managed to keep the subject alive for almost a century now. Sakti & Sakta, Serpent Power, Introduction to Tantra and many others continue to be the best sellers on the subject.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Garland of Letters: Essays on Tantra/Mantra Sastra
Format Softcover
Date published: 04.05.2013
Edition Reprint.
Publisher New Age Books
Language: English
isbn 8178224003, 9788178224008
length xii+307p., Illustrations; 22cm.