The work, the first of its kind, is a systematic historical study of Bengal Tantra and aims at giving a connected and sustained account of the origin, development and influence of Bengal Tantra. Besides a general account of the Tantra literature, the work contains description of the contents of the Tantras of Bengal. It deals, inconsiderable detail, with the deep and wide influence of Tantra on the life and literature of Bengal. The work brings into bold relief, the liberalization of the conventional Brahmanical codes of conduct, and shows how the basic human rights to religion, denied through centuries, to women and so-called low-class people particularly the Sudras, were recongnised by Tantra. The book studies the literature against the social and religious background of Bengal and brings out the judicious curbs placed by Bengal Tantra on self-indulgence that disfigures many Tantric rites.
The appendices contain inter alia useful information about unpublished Tantras of Bengal, Tantras mentioned in the Sanskrit works on Bengal Vaisnavism, Mudras, Yantras and Mandalas mentioned in Bengal Tantra, profiles of Tantric devotees and Buddhist Tantric works of Bengal. The work contains an informative glossary of the technical Tantric terms, and a useful bibliography of not only the original Tantric texts but also of noteworthy studies on different aspects of this vast literature.
The first edition of the book was published several years back and this revised and enlarged edition incorporates a lot of fresh information on the subject. It is hoped that this edition will be equally well received by the discerning readers.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
S C BANERJI, a retired professor of Sanskrit, a Fellow of Asiatic Society, Calcutta and recognized by International Biographical Centre, Cambridges. England, as International Man of the Year 1997/98, is a dedicated indologist. He has, to his credit, about sixty books, on different aspects of indology, in English, Bengali and Hindi. Among his English works are A Companion to Sanskrit Literature, A Brief History of Tantra Literature, Studies in the Origin and Development of Yoga, A Companion to Indian Philosophy, New Perspectives in the study of the Puranas, A Brief History of Dharmasastra, Historical Survey of Ancient Indian Grammars (Sanskrit, Pali and Prakrit), Principles of Hindu Jurisprudence (2 Vols.), Studies in the Mahapuranas, Cultural Reciprocation between India and the World, etc.