[Advaita-l] Tantra

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at braincells.com
Tue Jan 27 18:32:23 CST 2004

On Tue, 27 Jan 2004, ravi chandrasekhara wrote:

> Dear All,
> Why are there descriptions of "black magic" in our
> scriptures ?

Well I would answer that there aren't any in "our" shastras!  In other
words any work or person that advocates such things must automatically be
considered non-authoritative.

> I understand our scriptures may comment on their existence but why are
> their detailed descriptions on how to this or that, which would be
> contrary to vedic morality ?

My prior answer was a bit flippant.  This is a topic of great concern.
The classic example is the Vedic yajna known as Shyenastoma in which the
yajamana builds a hawk-shaped altar for the destruction of his enemies.
The Mimamsakas asked can such an act which causes harm to others be
considered Dharma even though it is mentioned in the Vedas?  The answer is
no because it is kamya, and only the nitya and naimittika rites are
required to fulfill Dharmic obligations.  Then why is it mentioned at all?
Because there may well be situations when the only course of action is the
"wrong" thing.  In which case if it has to be done it should be done in
the best way possible.

The war of Kurukshetra is an example.  To kill your brothers and respected
elders is terribly terribly wrong.  Yet this is what Krishna Bhagavan asks
Arjuna to do in the Gita.  Of course all avenues of peace are explored
first.  the Pandavas agree to give up half the kingdom.  Krishna Bhagavan
Himself goes on a diplomatic mission to Duryodhana.  However when war is
finally declared it must be fought to the death.  There is no room for
cowardice or equivocation in the performance of ones duty.

Shri Bhaskara Rayas' arguments for Kaulachara are along these lines.  What
is the task of Tantra?  He is an Advaitin who salutes Shankara
Bhagavatapada and his parampara at  the beginning of his works.  So he
defines the highest goal as Moksha.  How does Tantric sadhana lead to
Moksha?  By destroying the dualities of Maya.  So the symbolic
transgression of Vedic norms are only to that end.  They do not have to be
literally acted out as that would be for sensual enjoyment not the higher

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>
It's a girl! See the pictures - http://www.braincells.com/shailaja/

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