In the Press
Articles: Tantric Hieroglyphics - II by Dr S.Srikanta Sastri
Published in Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society, QJMS, Vol LI, No.2, July 1960
Lord Vishnu on shoulders of Garuda
(at Angkor Wot, Cambodia)
(10 Incarnations of
TANTRIC HIEROGLYPHICS - II
Dr. S. SRIKANTA SASTRI, M.A., D.Litt.
The worship of Visnu is of Vedic origin as has been amply proved by the nature of the yajnas and the -yajnika basis of Matsya, Varaha, and Vamana puranas has been generally accepted. The discrepancies in the puranas regarding the order of the avataras and also the numerous variants of the stories regarding Narasimha, etc. can be reconciled only in the light of sacrificial ritual and symbolism. The Vedic Visnu had also some tantric features as proved by the names Sipavista, Vamana-Trivikrama, and from such passages as "Visnur yonim kalpayatu." The Vaikhanasa and the Pancaratra tantras insist on their Vedic origin in spite of some objectionable doctrines as accepted by Ramanuja and others. The Vaikhanasa is specially insistent on its Vedic basis. The Atri Samhita (Samurtar canadhikarana) says that Bramha (Vaikhana) having learnt from Visnu taught the tantra to Atri, Marici, Bhrigu, and Kasyapa. The Vaikhanasa of worship is Vedic because it says that the worship of Visnu in amurta form is nothing but the Vedic fire worship and in the ritual the priests have the same names and functions as in the yajnas - Hotr, Adhvaryu, etc. The five forms of Visnu in the Vaikhanasa are represented by the Vedic five fires - Visnu is the Garhapatya, Purusha-Ahavaniya, Satya-Daksinagni, Acyuta-Anvaharya, and Aniruddha-Sabhyagni. The amurta worship is not for ordinary individuals.
Devarcanam dvidha proktam amurtam ca samurtakam
Amurtam garhapatyadi sarvagnisu hutam murtam
Tasyadhanadikam sarvam sutre Vikhanasoditam.
Samurtalaya bimbo nityam vidhivadarcanam
Agnyadhanam prathistha syat istih parvarcanadhika
Yagascavabhrtantah syad utsavas tadvidhanatah
Visnor etat samurtam yah pujanam bhaktitas caret
Samurtyarcana Adhikarana, 27 .l-2.
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