Tibetan Origin of Tantrism and Siva

Samar Abbas abbas at BETA.IOPB.STPBH.SOFT.NET
Wed Jan 13 16:43:28 EST 1999


On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, jonathan silk wrote:
> >N. Ganesan wrote:
> >"Siva Mahadeva, the Great God of Hinduism, has his origins
> >firmly rooted in India. He does NOT come from Africa,
> >Tibet or China.
>
> >Tantrism also has origins from the mystic traditions
> >of India. Tantrism did not arrive from Tibet, Africa
> >or China or Arabia or whatever.
>
> Of course!

This goes against what the Tantras themselves say, which proves that the
older theories are false. That the statement "Siva Mahadeva, the Great God
of Hinduism, has his origins in India", unsubstantiated by any facts
whatsoever, should, in the days when Christians are being persecuted in
India, receive support from Europeans, is strange indeed.

> This whole thread seems to be written from a standpoint of high
> imagination -- to say the least. Is not Indology an ACADEMIC list?  Please!
> Quite a bit is known about Tantrism, none of which seems however to be
> known to some the previous contributors to this thread...

   One of the references I had given was `Obscure Religious Cults' by
Dasgupta, 1969. If the `what is known' you mention pre-date this, then
these theories are likely to go the way of 1960s automobiles: the
scrapyard.

  The major fact is that `what is known' is highly obscurantist
in nature. Here are some of the humourous theories that are often still
propounded:

- "Tantrism arose when the lay disciples of Buddha decided to bend some
rules, thereby creating Tantric Buddhism which later somehow gave birth
to Tantric `Hinduism'". Perhaps the teahers themselves also cooperated in
this bending of rules. Why Jains did not decide to bend some rules too is
also ignored.

- "Tantrism arose when the Buddhists started inducting nuns; these women
then corrupted Buddhism". Why Tantrism didn't arise among Christians, who
also have nuns, is not answered. But, then of course maybe the occurrence
of Sheela-na-Gigs etc. on Irish chapels is sufficient proof of secret
Tantrism having been practiced here also..

- "Tantrism arose due to the growth of Mother Goddess cults in the Middle
Ages." Where these Mother Goddess cults came from is happily ignored by
this branch.

- Buddha himself was Tantric, hiding his secrets till a better day, giving
birth to Tantrism when his disciples discovered them hidden in the
Buddhist texts. That Buddha was an ascetic is ignored; suitable Shaktis
are invented as his companions in Nirvana.

In short, all the older theories (prior to Dasgupta's monumental work)
were proposed by people who apparently couldn't be bothered with minor
things like reading the Tantras, and always involved some origin in
Buddhism, and then a transition to `Hinduism'. As long as there are such
people, then there will be theories claiming that the Buddha was the first
Tantric and the Egyptians were Shaivite because they worshipped Osiris.
Because they are `older' some people will always support them.

> Is there no way
> to get Indology back on an Academic track?

To do this, people should give references, and more importantly,
`sledgehammer' points or facts. So far, only one side has done this in
this thread.

Samar



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