Laksmi Tantra: A Pancaratra Text



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About the Book:

Otto Schrader in 1916 recommended the Lakshmi Tantra for the study of Pancaratra philosophy. Among the vast number of Pancaratra Agamic text the Laksmi Tantra stands out because it deals almost exclusively with Lakshmi, the divine creative impulse, intelligence, potency, potentiality, power, majesty, and speech. The focus of the text is on Pancaratra philosophy (including cosmogony) and the practice of yoga based on it, with its attendant Mantra Sastra. It records the earliest Vaisnava speculation on the paradox of a Supreme God who is totally identified with Brahman, the unique and transcendent Conscious Reality and is at the same time the creator of a dualistic universe which cannot be related to Him. The key to solving this riddle is the Divine Sakti. By dealing with the role of Sakti in the creation and maintenance of the world, and in the saving of devotees who totally rely on God’s mercy and benevolence, the Laksmi Tantra succeeds in overcoming sectarian boundaries.

About the Author:

DR. SANJUKTA GUPTA is a leading authority on the early Pancaratra (Vaisnava) cult and sectarian system. She is also a specialist in Hindu Tantra. She has published extensively on these topics. She began her scholarly career with a study in Advaita Vedanta focused on the great sixteenth-century savant Madhusudana Sarasvati. She taught for almost twenty years at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), and is now teaching, in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford.



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