Tantric Cult of South India

Tantric Cult of South India

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Book Specification

Item Code: AZG161
Author: R. Nagaswamy
Publisher: Agam Kala Prakashan, Delhi
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2021
ISBN: 9788195009824
Pages: 306 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details 11.00x9.00 inch
Weight 1 kg

Book Description

This work formed the subject matter of my Doctoral Thesis, approved by the Poona University. It is my pleasant duty to record my gratitude to scholars, colleagues, and other workers who have contributed immensely towards the completion of this study. I thank Prof. H.D. Sankalia who guided me through this research by patiently going through it and advising me at appropriate places. But for his appreciative guidance and help I would not have been able to achieve what has been possible here. I thank the Vice-Chancellor of the Poona University for permission to publish this work.

I recall with gratitude the encouragement received from late Dr. T.P. Meenakshi sundaranar, former Vice-Chancellor of Madurai University, who was mainly responsible for initiating me into this research. I express my profound thanks to Dr. Francois Gros, Director, French Institute of Indology, Pondicherry and Madam Lemhault of the same Institute who very kindly placed I my disposal their entire photographic collections for study and evinced great interest in my pursuit. Nearly half of the illustrations included in this book were kindly supplied by the French Institute. To Shri H. Sarkar, Director, Archaeological Survey of India and other eminent scholars like Shri Saw. Ganesan, Shri M. Arunachalam, Mr. A.S. Jnanasambandam and Shri V. Ganapathi Sthapathi, I express my profound thanks for their interest in this work.

I owe a great debt of gratitude to the Staff of the Tamilnadu State Department of Archaeology, who patiently helped me in my studies. To the Government of Tamilnadu to which I owe everything, I express my profound thanks for very kindly permitting me to pursue the study.

The indefatigable Agam Prasad of Agam Kala Prakashan, deserves my thanks for not only taking up my work for publication but also having got the same printed so beautifully.

The subject of the present study is the Tantric cult in Tamil Nadu in Pallava and later times. The term, Tantric, in a general sense may be said to represent the cult of image worship and its associated philosophic thought. In the 7th century in the Devaram hymns of the Tamil country, Siva is praised as the embodiment of Mantra and Tantra; Mantra standing for vedic hymns and Tantra for image worship. But the word has come to stay now for the Sakti cult and its associated philosophy. I have used the term Tantra in the sense of Sakta or Devi cult. Sir Jhon Woodroffe and, following him, many other eminent scholars have enquired into the true nature of the Tantric cult specially of northern India and have brought out many scholarly publications. But in all these texts, southern India, particularly the Tamil country. has not received the attention it deserves; the reason being the vast body of Tamil literature has not yet been translated and made available to scholars. Hence we have tried to analyze as many Tamil texts as are necessary in this study.

Though Tamil literature is available from the beginning of the Christian era, it is only with the advent of the Pallavas that monumental art and architecture have survived. So I have taken the Pallava and later periods as the main periods of the enquiry. The Pallavas appear in the history of the Tamil country from the end of the 3rd century A.D. and survive till the end of the 9th century A.D., but their art and architecture are extant only from the 7th century A.D. The Sakta cult culminates in the 12-13th century A.D. After the 16-17th century he cult concepts exhausted themselves and what we get later is only a repetition of the ame ideas and representations. So I have ended my enquiries with the end of the 16th entury A.D. I have not included Buddhist or Jain cults. I have also not included the Sakti cult manifested in the Vaishnava faith.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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