Sacred Tantric Texts


The "Tantra of the Great Liberation" (Mahanirvana Tantra) is one of the most important texts dedicated to the worship of Tantra. It was translated by Sir John Woodroffe under the pseudonym of Arthur Avalon. Woodroffe was the first western scholar to translate the secret texts of Tantra into English with the help of the few scholars capable of understanding them thoroughly. Mahanirvana Tantra consists of a series of conversations between Shiva and Parvati, his Shakti. Shiva exposes to his wife a spiritual path suitable for the Kali era. He talks about the various meditation techniques to be able to go beyond the influences of nature and the degenerations of Kali Yuga and thus be able to rise to a wider self-awareness, the basic condition for being able to overcome the cycle of birth and death. It describes in detail the sacred ceremonies, the rites, the Yantra and the Mantra connected to them. It speaks of the eternal law of Dharma, of the worship of Brahman and Shakti. The Indian Tantras, which are numerous, constitute the Scriptures (Shastra) of Kaliyuga, and as such are the voluminous source of the present and practical Orthodox "Hinduism". Regardless of their historical origins, the Tantras Shastra are a development of the Vaidika Karmakanda, promulgated to meet the needs of this age. Shiva says, "For the sake of Kali-era men, men without energy and dependent on living from the food they eat, the Kaula doctrine, or being auspicious! Has been given" (Ch. IX, verse 12) . We must therefore turn our gaze to Tantra if we want to understand both rituals and yoga, or sadhanas of all kinds, as well as the general principles of which these practices are nothing more than objective expression.



The Kularnava Tantra is one of the most important texts of the Kaula and Nath tradition and is considered an authority in tantric literature. The book - worthy of study by those who want to understand the principles and practice of the tantric way - is presented in the form of a dialogue between the Lord of yoga, Shiva, and his Shakti, the Mother of the universe.

Tantra is a guide to spiritual liberation 'without the limits and constraints' of social religiosity. The meaning of the texts may seem obvious at first sight, but most of them use a language that must be interpreted, lived and implemented at different levels. According to tradition, everything has a physical, subtle and transcendent meaning, and the Devi with Her maya can confuse or illuminate. The non-pure person with an animal mentality is said to be predisposed to misunderstanding the meaning of the texts. The understanding of their hermetic language is found by going to the root of tantric philosophy, in which Shiva does not exist without Shakti, and yoga is the realization of the unity of all things.

The Kularnava Tantra is dedicated to the superior aspect of Shiva, called Ardhanarishvara. This aspect brings together Shiva and Shakti in a single form, and represents the union of the male and female principles, ida and pingala (ha-tha), of exhaled and inhaled breath. Each chapter is called ullasa or bliss, in reference to the divine nectar enjoyed by those who participate in the union of Shiva and Shakti




YONI TANTRA Bengal, India, ca. 1650

Yoni Tantra is a sacred Bengal text (16th century) which deals mainly with the description of Yoni Puja, or "Mass of the Vulva"; one of the secret and esoteric tantric rituals dedicated to creating - and consuming - the sacred fluid called yonitattva (Skt., substance yoni). According to this text, sexual union (mithunam) is an indispensable part of the tantric ritual and can be performed by and with women between the ages of twelve and sixty, married or not, except for a girl who is not yet menstruating. The text specifies nine types of women (navakanya) who can perform these rituals, but explicitly prohibits an incestuous mother / child constellation. In general, it promotes the use of the five makara and leaves the choice of partner, place and time to the practitioner. However, the male sadhaka is explicitly admonished "never to ridicule a yoni" and to treat all women well and never be offensive to them. In the following two quotations, it becomes clear why the text bears his name, showing that the yoni is truly the center of worship.





The Devi Mahatmya text is a devotional text and its purpose is not to analyze divine forms or abstract ideas, but to praise. This accomplishes with a philosophical foundation, in which the female is the primordial creator; she is also the Tridevi as the secondary creator, the supporter and the destroyer. It is presented, through a language of praise, as the one who lives in all creatures, like the soul, like the power to know, the power of will and the power to act. It is consciousness of all living beings, it is intelligence, it is matter, and she is all that is form or emotion.



Śiva Saṃhitā, from Sanskrit means "The collection of Shiva ", is a text of Hatha Yoga by an unknown author in the eighteenth century . It is one of the main texts of Hatha Yoga, together with Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā and Haṭhayoga Pradīpikā and is considered the most complete philosophical text of Hatha Yoga among those known. It is the most recent text and, first, deals with the concept that any adept can be able to practice yoga and benefit from it.

The text is organized into 5 chapters (patala) for a total of 545 stanzas:

1 the vital principle: the liberation and the psychological point of view of Hatha Yoga

2 Knowledge: the nadis , the inner fire and the jiva

3 the practice: the winds of the body (vayu), the importance of the guru , the four steps of Yoga , the five visualizations and four asanas described in detail

4 Lle mudras: the eleven mudras

5 meditation: the obstacles that the practitioner encounters on the path of liberation, the four types of yoga, the invocation of the shadow, listening to the inner sound, the dhranana the esoteric energy centers (chakras), the raya-yoga , rajadihiraja-yoga, mantra.