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Tantra: Theory and Practice with Professor Gavin Flood: Hindu Scholars, #1

Tantra: Theory and Practice with Professor Gavin Flood: Hindu Scholars, #1

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Tantra: Theory and Practice with Professor Gavin Flood: Hindu Scholars, #1

Lunghezza:
67 pagine
55 minuti
Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 4, 2019
ISBN:
9781386815860
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Over five lectures, Gavin Flood, professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion in the Theology and Religion Faculty at Campion Hall at Oxford University, gives an overview of the history, theory and practice of Tantra. He explores aspects from the Śaiva Siddhānta tradition to the Non-Saiddhāntika, to Buddhist tantra. He gives an overview of the many developments in thought, cosmologies and the varied and fascinating practices that have emerged over the centuries.

• Session 1 – Tantra in history, an overview
• Session 2 – The Śaiva Siddhānta Tradition, rituals, cosmology, initiation and liberation
• Session 3 – The Non-Saiddhāntika traditions including the path of purity and the path of power
• Session 4 – Tantric Śaiva views of the self, the porous self & the gnostic self, Tantric meditation
• Session 5 – Buddhist Tantra – Vajrayāna and the influence of Śaivism

Gavin Flood is a Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion in the Theology and Religion Faculty and academic director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies.

Gavin read Religious Studies and Social Anthropology at Lancaster University and taught at the universities of Wales (Lampeter) and Stirling before coming to Oxford. He was elected to membership of the British Academy in 2014. His research interests are in medieval Hindu texts (especially from the traditions of Shiva), comparative religion, and phenomenology. Two recent books are The Importance of Religion: Meaning and Action in Our Strange World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013) and The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism(Oxford University Press, 2014).

Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 4, 2019
ISBN:
9781386815860
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

Gavin Flood is a Professor of Hindu Studies and Comparative Religion in the Theology and Religion Faculty and academic director of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies. Gavin read Religious Studies and Social Anthropology at Lancaster University and taught at the universities of Wales (Lampeter) and Stirling before coming to Oxford. He was elected to membership of the British Academy in 2014. His research interests are in medieval Hindu texts (especially from the traditions of Shiva), comparative religion, and phenomenology. Two recent books are The Importance of Religion: Meaning and Action in Our Strange World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2013) and The Truth Within: A History of Inwardness in Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism(Oxford University Press, 2014).


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  • Tantric householders who were selective in their degree of transgression, but who generally observed the orthodox rites and maintain their position in the social order.

Anteprima del libro

Tantra - Gavin Flood

Publisher

At Wise Studies we are committed to illuminating the texts and teachings of the world's great contemplative traditions.

Gavin Flood is a professor of Hindu studies and comparative religion at the University of Oxford. In this five-part series, Gavin will explore the many aspects of Tantra history, philosophy, and practice.

This first session begins with an overview.

Session 1

Well, hello, everybody. My name is Gavin Flood. I'm a senior research fellow at Campion Hall and Professor of Hindu studies and comparative religion at Oxford University. And in these lectures, I'll be speaking about Tantra. Tantra: Theory and Practice. The first lecture, I intend to speak about historical context - give an overview of the historical context of Tantra or Tantrism. I will then in lecture 2 speak about the main tradition of Tantrism called the Saiva Siddhanta, and I will then go on to speak about non-dualistic Tantrism or Kashmir Saivism, and speak about Tantric views of the self and Tantric practice and end - the final lecture - will be on Buddhist Tantrism, or the Vajrayana.

So, today's lecture is on Tantra in history; an overview. So, the first question that comes to mind is what is Tantra? Well, Tantra is a Sanskrit word. It's combined - made up of - two elements; a verbal root 'tan', which means 'to stretch' and 'tra', which is instrumentality. So, Tantra originally had the connotation of a loom or a warp - warp or a woof - as in a loom which is stretched out, and it came to mean just simply, a system, or just a word used for a book. So, in the early centuries CE, we have something called the Panchatantra, which is 'the animal story' - just the word that is used for a system, or a book. And it comes to denote particularly a revelation in the medieval period, beginning from about the fourth century, which I'll be speaking about. So, the word Tantra, it's both an internal category, if you like, used within Hindu traditions, and indeed, later Buddhist traditions, and also an external category, used by scholars and, is indeed a word in the English language.

So, it's both an internal classification and an external one. Now to be more precise, there's a distinction in Hinduism between what's called Vaidika and Tantrika, a Vaidika is a person who follows the Veda, the orthodox revelation of Hinduism, and a Tantrika is a person who follows the Tantras, the alternative or later revelation within Hinduism. So, I want to speak firstly about Veda and the Vedic tradition, because we can't understand Tantrism without understanding something of the Veda and the Vedic tradition.

Now, the word Veda means knowledge. It refers to a group of scriptures - very ancient scriptures - of Hindu's, so if you go to a Hindu wedding, the Brahmin priests will be reciting versus or mantras from the Vedas, and it's regarded as the scriptural authority of Hinduism.

The Veda is - the word means knowledge, as I said - and it's related to other words like 'wissen' or 'wit' in English, also connected to the Sanskrit root 'vid' - 'to know'. So, the Veda is a system of knowledge, which was regarded as a timeless or eternal revelation, which was received in the ancient past by the Rishi's or the sages, who then communicated this knowledge to the human community.

It's also referred to as Sruti, and Sruti means 'that which is heard', and there's a distinction in Hinduism between Sruti - revelation, that which is heard - and Smriti, texts of human authorship, or perhaps more accurately rendered as secondary revelation, and texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, the Mahabharata, the Ramayana, are considered to be Smriti - texts of secondary revelation. So, a Vaidika then, is somebody who adheres to the authority of the Vedas.

And these texts were received by the Rishi's and communicated to the human community - probably composed between about 1200 BCE to about 800 BCE, something in that region - it's very difficult to date these texts. Now traditionally, there were four Veda's - I won't go into a description of all of them - but in one of the Vedas, it describes the origin of the universe and the origin of society, being in a sacrifice of a giant cosmic man called the Purusa - the person.

And this giant was sacrificed and out of his body became the universe. So, the stars come out of his forehead, out

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