First published in 1927, this work is a valuable commentary on the Indian Tantras which constitute the Scripture of the Kaliyuga, and as such are a voluminous source of present and practical orthodox Hinduism. The Tantra Sastra is a development of the Karmakanda promulgated to meet the needs of that age.
Yet of all the forms of Indian Sastra, the Tantra is that which is least known and understood, a circumstance in part due to the difficulties of its subject-matter and to the fact that the key to much of its terminology and method rests with the initiate. The present translation is, in fact, the first published in Europe of any Indian Tantra. An inaccurate version rendered in imperfect English was published in Calcutta by a Bengali editor some twelve years ago, preceded by an introduction which displayed insufficient knowledge in respect of what it somewhat quaintly described as the mystical and superficially technical passages of this Tantra.
Siva says: For the benefit of men of the kali age, men bereft of energy and dependent for existence on the food they eat, the Kaula doctrine, O auspicious one! Is given (Ch.IX, verse 12). To the Tantras we must therefore look if we would understand aright both ritual, yoga, and sadhana of all kinds as they exist to-day, as also the general principles of which these practices are but the objective expression.