THE GREAT TĀNTRA OF AJITA
(KMS No 47-51)
Edited and Translated by: N . R . BHAT, JEAN FILLIOZAT, PIERRE -SYLVAIN FILLIOZAT
2005, 5 vols., xii+277pp. (vol.
I),vi+383pp. (vol. II), vii+419pp. (vol. III), vi+42opp. (vol. IV),
xxi+185pp. (vol. Y), preface, intro., gloss., verse index, ISBN:
81-208-1969-I (vol. I),81-208-1970-5 (vol. II), 81-208-1971-3 (vol. III),
81-208-1971-I (vol. IV), 81-208-1973-X (vol. Y), 81-208-1974-8 (set), Rs.
The Hindu temple is the seat of a
full culture including material commodities and services, arts ranging
from cooking and flower decoration, to music and philosophy. To
conceive, build, organize, manage, maintain such a privileged site of
culture, an authentic and well-thought out theory and guidance is
required. Sanskrit Āgamic literature plays this role. The Śaiva
religion is based on a set of twenty-eight Tantras. The
Ajitamahātantra is the fifth in a traditional list, a lengthy text,
which invites the reader to approach the Saiva religion in a form,
which probably goes back to the Cola period and is definitely located
in Tamil Nadu. In eighty-nine chapters, it offers a systematic account
of the installation of liṅga starting from the selection of the stone
and construction of the temple to the great ceremony of installation
of the deity. Thereafter it deals extensively with the daily worship,
festivals and occasional rituals, with iconography, subsidiary
rituals, as well as the rites of atonement of faults and failures.
The present publication in five
volumes is the second revised critical edition with English
translation and annotation. Wherever possible, descriptions have been
illustrated with theoretical drawings or photographs of actual
monuments and icons.