Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 3:01 AM
The Kubjika Tantra, a late work probably related to the Gorakhnath tradition, says. 'Go to India to establish yourself in the whole country and make manifold creations in the sacred places of primary and secondary importance.' The goddess Kubjika is the tutelary deity of the low-caste potters, who are therefore said to belong to the kubjikamnaya or the Kubjika tradition; the goddess is also worshipped by the Bhutiyas of Almora and has many small shrines in the Nepalese and Indian, terai. It being Siva who gives the order to the goddess in the stanza quoted above, the idea seems to be that she should proceed from their home, Mount Kailasa in Tibet, and establish her own worship in India.
The terms 'Cinacara’ and `Mahacina’ are used as synonyms in the Taratantra which has been adopted by Hindu and Buddhist tantrics. The age of this text is unknown, and no one seems to have tried to date it even approximately." The Tantra says that the cult of Cina-Tara came from the country of Mahacina. The great Brahmin seer Vasistha went to Mahacina to meet the Buddha and obtain instruction from him. This episode is only mentioned in the Taratantra; the text, however, which presents it in detail, is the Rudrayamala, a text whose age cannot be determined yet; its popularity in Bengal and Assam might indicate that it is of Bengali origin; it is certainly later than the Mahanirvana, as it quotes several passages from the latter which is usually ascribed to the eleventh century A.D. By that time, organized Buddhism, had virtually disappeared from India, and the Vajrayana tradition had been effectively disparaged by the Hindu pandits. It is all the more astonishing that this account of Vasistha, a patron sage of the orthodox Brahmins, is related here in such detail, though the rest of the work teaches orthodox Brahmanical views. The account is found in the eighteenth chapter of the Rudrayamala Vasistha the self-controlled, the son of Brahma, practised austerities for many ages in a lonely place. He did spiritual exercises (sadhana) for six thousand years, but still the daughter of the Mountain (i.e. the goddess Parvati, Sakti) did not appear to him. Getting angry, he went to his father and told him the method of his sadhana. He then requested Brahma: 'Give me another mantra, O Lord, since this one does not grant me siddhi (i.e. the desired success, vision of the goddess), else I shall utter a terrible curse in your presence.' Brahma dissuaded him and said: 'O son, who art learned in the path of yoga, do not act like this. Worship her again with full devotion, then she will appear and grant you boons. She is the supreme Sakti . . . [here follows an enumeration of the various qualities and epithets of the goddess). . . . She is attached to the pure Cinacara (Suddha-Cinacara-rata; i.e. the ritualistic method of Gina). She is the initiator of the Sakti-cakra (Sakti-Cakra-pravartika; i.e. the circle of worshippers of the goddess). . . . She is Buddhesvari, i.e. the Preceptress of-Buddha....’ Having heard (these admonitions of Brahma) . . . he (Vasistha) betook himself to the shores of the sea. For a thousand years he did japa (repetition) of her mantra; still he received no instructions from her. Thereupon the sage grew extremely angry, and being perturbed in his mind he began to curse the Mahavidya (i.e. the goddess). Having sipped water (i.e. having done acamana the ritualistic sipping of water which precedes any religious and many profane actions of the Brahmins) he uttered a great, terrible curse. Thereupon the Lady of the tantrics (Kulesvari) appeared before the sage. She who dispels the yogis' apprehensions said: 'How now, Brahmin, why lust thou uttered a terrible curse without any reason? Thou dost not understand my tantric precepts (kulagama), nor knowest thou how to worship me. How can a god or a man ever obtain the sight of my lotus-feet by mere yoga practice (yogabhyasamatra)? Meditation on me is without austerity and without pain. To him who desires my tantric precepts (kulagama), who is successful (siddha) in my mantra, and who has known my Vedic precepts (already), my sadhana (exercise for final vision) is meritorious and inaccessible even to the Vedas (vedanamapyago-cara). Roam in Mahacina, the country of the Buddhists, and always follow the Atharvaveda (bauddhadese 'tharvavede mahacine' sada Vraja). Having gone there and seen my lotus-feet which are mahabhava (i.e. the total bliss experience which is my essence) thou shalt, O great seer, become versed in inv kula (i.e. the tantric "family") and a great siddha (adept): Having thus spoken, she became formless and vanished into the ether and then passed through the ethereal region. The great seer having heard this from the Mahavidya Sarasvati went to the land of Gina where Buddha is established (buddhapratisthita). Having (there) repeatedly bowed to the ground, Vasistha said: 'Protect me, O Mahadeva who art imperishable in the form of Buddha (buddharupe Mahadeva). I am the very humble Vasistha, son of Brahma. My mind is ever perturbed. I have come here to Gina for the Sadhana of the great goddess. I do not know the path leading to siddhi (occult success). Thou knowest the path of the devas. Yet, seeing the type of discipline (viz, the left-handed rituals involved), doubts assails my mind. Destroy them and my wicked mind bent on the Vedic ritual (only). O Lord, in thy abode there are rites which have been ostracized from the Veda (vedabahiskrtah). How is it that wine, meat, woman are drunk, eaten, and enjoyed by heaven-clad (i.e. nude, digambara) siddhas (adepts) who are excellent (varah) and trained in the drinking of blood? They drink constantly and enjoy beautiful women (muhurmuhuh prapibanti ramayanti varan-ganam). With red eyes they are always exhilarated and replete with flesh and wine (sada mamsasavaih purnah). They have power to give favours and to punish. They are beyond the Vedas (vedasyago-carah). They enjoy wine and women (madyastrisevane ratah).' Thus spoke the great yogi, having seen the rites which are banned from the Veda. Then bowing low with folded palms he humbly said, 'How can inclinations such as these be purifying to the mind? How can there be siddhi (occult success) without the Vedic rites?'
The Buddha then proceeds to explain the Cinacara (the discipline of Gina) at length to the Brahmin sage, and the explanation boils down to a hierarchy of spiritual disciplines, the lowest of them being that for `pasus' (lowly type of aspirants), tantamount to the Vedic ritual, the highest and most efficient being Cinacara involving the use of wine, meat, women, etc. The text then concludes thus: 'Having said this, he whose form is Buddha made him (i.e. Vasistha) practise sadhana (spiritual exercises). He said, "0 Brahmin, do thou serve Mahasakti. Do thou now practise sadhana with wine and thus shalt thou get the sight of the lotus-feet of Mahavidya (i.e. the goddess—all the terms used here are synonyms for the goddess, i.e. Mahasakti, Mahavidya, "the great power", "the great knowledge" Sarasvati, etc.).' Vasistha then did as he was told and obtained siddhi through Cinacara.
The Brahmayamala is a similar text, though it does not seem to be quite so popular in Bengal as the Rudrayamala. P. C. Bagchi thought it was composed in the eighth century.33 The Brahmayamala gives a similar account of this key episode, a difference being that Vasistha starts off at Kamakhya, the famous pitha (shrine) of the goddess in Assam, not far from the Tibetan and the Chinese border. Here, Vasistha complains of his failure and is told to go to the Blue Mountains (Nilacala) and worship the supreme goddess at Kamakhya (Kamrup, Assam). He was told that Vishnu in the form of the Buddha alone knew the ritual according to the indispensable Cinacara. Vasistha therefore went to the country of Mahacina, which is situated on the slope of the Himalaya" and which is inhabited by great adepts and thousands of beautiful young damsels whose hearts were gladdened with wine, and whose minds were blissful due to erotic sport (vilasa). They were adorned with clothes which kindle the mood for dalliance (srngaravesa) and the movement of their hips made their girdles tinkle with their little bells. Free of fear and prudishness, they enchanted the world. They surrounded Isvara in the form of Buddha. . . . When Vasistha saw Him in the form of Buddha (buddharupi) with eyes drooping from wine, he exclaimed: 'What, is Vishnu doing these things in his Buddha-form? This acara (method) is certainly opposed to the teaching of the Veda (vedavadaviruddha). I do not approve of it.' When he thus spoke to himself he heard a voice coming from the ether saying: 'O thou who art devoted to good acts, do not entertain such ideas. This tiara (method) yields excellent results in the worship of Tarini (i.e. Tara). She is not pleased with anything which is contrary to this (acara). If thou dost wish to gain Her grace speedily, then worship her according to Cinacara (the method of Cilia). . . Buddha, who had taken wine ... spoke to him: 'The five makaras (i.e. the ingredients of left-handed tantric ritual, mada wine, matsya fish, mamsa meat, mudra parched kidney bean and other aphrodisiacs, and maithuna or ritualistic copulation) are (constituents of) Cinacara . . . and they must not be disclosed (to the non-initiate).’
The Buddhist goddess Tara and the goddess Nilasarasvati (i.e. the blue goddess Sarasvati) are probably identical. She is called 'aksobhya-devimurdhanya' (having Aksobhya on her head')—and she is said to dwell 'on the west side of Mount Meru', implying Mahacina, Bhota, etc. The text is the fifth chapter of the Sammoha Tantra which is a rather late Hindu or Buddhist work current in Nepal it was composed approximately in the thirteenth century according to Sastri's introduction. The text is a good specimen of Professor Edgerton's Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit. Bagchi renders it thus: Mahasvara said to Brahma: 'Hear from me with attention about Mahanilasarasvati. It is through her favour that you will narrate the four Vedas. There is the lake called Cola on the western side of Mount Meru. The Mother Goddess Nilogratara herself was born there. . . . The light issuing from my upper eye fell into the lake Cola and took on a blue color. There was a sage called Aksobhya, who was Siva himself in the form of a muni (seer), on the northern side of Mount Meru. It was he who meditated first on the goddess, who was Parvati herself reincarnated in Cinadesa (the country Cina) at the time of the great deluge...
Bagchi adds, 'It is idle to try to find out a precise geographical information here, but it may be suggested that Cola is probably to be connected with the common word for lake kul, kol, which is found with names of so many lakes to the west and north of T'ien shan, i.e. in the pure Mongolian zone.'
The third chapter of our Sammoha Tantra enumerates a number of pithas (centres of worship of a female deity), and divides them into regions according to their use of the kadi and the hadi methods, respectively. `Bhota', `Mahacina', and `Cina' are enumerated only with kadi pithas. The commonly accepted, though by no means undisputed, orthodox idea is that kadi mantras and their use as part of a ritualistic method are aimed at securing worldly or magical success hadi mantras on the other hand are said to help towards the supreme achievement of nirvana or its Hindu equivalents. I think that something like this accounts for the fact that Bhota, Cina, Mahacina are listed in kadi areas, and not in the hadi area enumeration. The regions beyond the mountain stand for magic and siddhi whose pursuits are always viewed to an extent as heretical. Some of the hadi regions listed in the text 'cannot be identified' so Bagchi avers; some of them, however, seem to be adjacent to Tibetan soil but are still cis-Himalayan thus `Balhika' which must be Balkh, `Dyorjala' which might well be a predecessor of 'Darjeeling', which name is derived either from Tibetan rDorje-glin 'thunderbolt (vajra-) region', or from Sanskrit durjayalinga, 'the invincible Siva.
The same text also lists the number of tantras current in different regions, and claims 'in Gina there are a hundred principal and seven subsidiary ones'. I do not know if this number correlates with any listing of the Rgyud-sections in the Tibetan canon or with any other non-Indian enumeration."
The Kalivilasa Tantra is a late Hindu text, whose age has not been determined; from its style I would think we might safely place it between the thirteenth and the seventeenth centuries. It is very popular among non-tantric Brahmins in Bengal, and it sounds a note hostile to left-handed rites which were equally popular with the non-Brahmin tantric groups of Bengal. The text condemns the ritualistic use of women, wine, etc., and says that the tantras enjoining left-handed ritual are 'prohibited in our era' (Kalau varjitani). The Kalivilasa, quoting the Mahasiddhasarasvati Tantra, says that the tantras of the Asvakranta region, i.e. the region from the Vindhya mountains northward including Nepal, Tibet, etc., were promulgated to confuse the hypocrites (pasanda) and the heretics. Quoting the Kularnava Tantra, the text says Mahadeva (Siva) spoke of the kaula-rites (the left-handed rites of the Asvakranta region) 'lest all men should get liberated (i.e. prematurely)' which is a rather insidious statement against left-handed forms of tantric practice, in a tantric text of the right-handed tradition.
The next quotation is from the famous Karpuradistotram, a Hindu tantric work which has given much pain to non-tantric Hindus. The work is fairly old; though Avalon" did not try to establish any date, I would place it between the ninth and eleventh centuries; its style bears marked similarity to that of the Saundary-alahari traditionally ascribed to, but certainly not much more recent than Samkaracarya (eighth century); the latter inspired a lot of poetical piety among tantrics and non-tantrics in the following two or three centuries, and I think this work can be safely classed as belonging to this category. It has been extremely popular in Bengal and Assam up to this day. Of all the major Hindu Sakta tantras, this one is the most radically left-handed'. Verse I6 says: 'Whosoever on Tuesday midnight . . . makes offering but once with devotion of a hair of his Sakti in the cremation ground, becomes a great poet, a Lord of the earth, and goes forth mounted on an elephant.' Now the commentator explains this passage as `(he who) offers a pubic hair of his Sakti with its root ritualem post copulationem semine suo unctam." In a sub commentary called Rahasyarthasadhika (i.e., aid to the hidden meaning [of the Karpuradistotra]), Vimalananda Svami says that this refers to ‘Mahacina sadhana' and to the sadhana (mode of worship) of the Goddess Mahanila who is worshipped in that region. This note which is not called for by the text would corroborate my previous suggestion a text which expatiates left-handed rites will usually be given a metaphorical ('afferent' in my terminology) interpretation by an orthodox Hindu commentator; but if the text is so overtly left-handed that no such interpretation is possible, the doctrine is made to lie outside India and Mahacina is a sort of scapegoat. Once this is done, there are no scruples about putting it thickly, i.e. yoni-sisna-galitabija-yuktam samulam cikuram, ibid., `radice extirpatem capillam Cum semine membro virile pudendoque muliebre ablata, sc. qui offert.'
The Kaulavalinirnaya must be a late text (about sixteenth century), as it quotes from almost all the well-known Hindu tantras including the Karpuradistotram. The text identifies Tara with the somewhat uncanny Hindu-Buddhist goddess Chinnamasta, 'Split-Head', the goddess who holds her own chopped-off heads (two of them) in her hands, blood gushing forth from her decapitated trunk, which she catches with her mouths thus sup-ported by her hands. Verse 54 says 'he who is desirous of wealth should meditate through japa-repetition of the mantra on the Vidya (i.e. Tara, Chinnamasta) through the ritualistic union with the supreme woman (parayosit either the consecrated 8akti, or, literally, a woman married to another man; the latter interpretation being the one given by the opponents of the tantric tradition), emitting his semen in the 'creeper-mood' (latabhava-compounds with lata-‘creeper', as first constituent always indicate left-handed rites, the derived meaning being the (consecrated) woman who embraces the adept like a creeper, 'he, the best of the adepts; let him ceaselessly do japa of his mantra for the sake of obtaining dharma, artha, and Wm, thus Tara grants quick success in the Cina-method.'
This is a typical instance of what I have come to regard as a pervasive convention: the methods of 'Gina', Mahacina' and `Bhota' the terms seem to be used interchangeably in these texts are conducive to all kinds of success except that of total liberation; in this verse there is the most perfect statement of the convention: Kama creature comforts artha secular success dharma religious merit leading to better rebirth, but not 'moksa', the supreme human goal are granted by the votary of the 'Cina', etc., methods.
Verse 59 repeats the proposition expressly for Chinnamasta: 'in the method of Mahacina, the goddess Chinnamasta bestows success'.
The most outstanding purely Buddhist text relevant to our topic is the Sadhanamala, a Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit classic. The oldest manuscript is of the year A.D. 1167 as the colophon shows." The Sadhanamala has two sadhanas (ritualistic procedures) dedicated to the goddess Mahacinatara, and two dhyanas (meditations), one in prose and one in verse, describing the goddess in identical form. Sadhanamala No. 127 describes her thus: 'she stands in the pratyalidha posture (i.e. with one leg straight, the other one slightly bent), is awe-inspiring, has a garland of heads hanging from her neck, is short and has a protruding belly; of terrible looks, her complexion is like that of the blue lotus; she is three-eyed, one-faced, celestial, and laughs terribly; in a pleasantly excited mood (suprahrsta—in the mood of erotic excitement), she stands on a corpse, is decked with an eightfold snake-ornament, has red, round eyes, wears garments of tigerskin around her loins, is in youthful bloom, is endowed with the five auspicious mudras (here postures, i.e. counting her four hand gestures, and her bodily posture as the fifth), and has a lolling tongue; she is most terrible, appearing fierce with her bare fangs, carries the sword and the kartri (in the classical idiom kartari a knife) in her two right hands, and the lotus and skull in her two left hands; whose crown consisting Of one chignon is brown and fiery and is adorned with the image of Aksobhya. This is the Sadhana of Mahacina-Tara; According to the colophon," the Sadhana of Mahacinatara was restored from a tantra called the Mahacina tantra, and is attributed to Sasvatavajra.
The Hindus took over this goddess into their later pantheon; the Tararahasya of Brahmananda who taught in the sixteenth century, and the Tantrasara of Krsnananda Agamavagisa, of still more recent origin, contain iconographical descriptions of Tara that are almost literally identical with that of Mahacinatara just quoted. By that time, the distinction between the Hindu goddess Tara, wife of Siva, and her Buddhist namesake had become completely blurred if indeed it was ever rigidly adhered to. The two Hindu texts do not mention Mahacina, etc., the originally alleged provenance of the goddess having either been forgotten or ignored.
Sadhanamala No. 14.1 describes the worship of the goddess Ekajata (lit: 'having one chignon'), so do a few more sadhanas in this collection. The colophon of sadhana 141, however, contains the cryptic words `Aryanagarjunapadaih Bhotesuddhrtam iti', which B. Bhattacharya renders 'restored from Tibet by Arya Nagar juna', not the author of the Madhyamika-Karika, but the famous Siddha from among the eighty-four Vajrayana Buddhist sorcerer-saints, to whom many sadhanas are attributed. The last text I want to adduce here seems to be the most
complete Hindu statement of tantric topics pertaining to Tibet, etc. ; from among the extant Hindu tantric works (i.e. disregarding the aforesaid Mahacina tantra, which is not known to be extant) the Saktisangama-Tantra contains a whole chapter captioned Mahacina-krama 'the Method of Mahacina'.
Saktas all over India regard the Saktisangama as an extremely important text, and its popularity ranks second perhaps only to the Mahanirvana. The text is fairly old I would place it in the eighth to ninth century on some inner evidence: first, there is in it much preoccupation with Vajrayana Buddhist terminology, quite a few mantras occur in the Guhyasamaja and other Vajrayana works. We have `vajrapuspena juhuyat ('he should sacrifice by means of the vajra-flower') in the 18th Patala, No. 17, which presupposes the entire notion of libations based on the adept's identification. with vajra-hood; or `vairocanastakam pujya tatah padmantakan yajet' in the i5th Patala, No. 38 (having worshipped the eight forms of Vairocana he should offer sacrifice to the ones with `-padma' at the end of their names i.e. the goddesses Manipadma, Vajrapadma, etc.); or again Sularaja mahakrura sarvabhutapriyamkara, siddhim samkalpitam dehi vajrasula namo'stu te', 68th Patala, No. 18, i.e. 'O king with the trident (i.e. Siva), great terrible one, bestowing favours on all the Aims (demons, etc.), give the desired success, Vajra-trident holder, be praised.' This one is particularly interesting, as it shows a combination of Hindu and Buddhist elements of equal power. Hence it seems the Vajrayana literature was either contemporary with or still greatly in vogue at the time this tantra was composed, which would not be the case later than A.D. 1000; on the other hand, its doctrines are deeply influenced by the monistic interpretation of Saktism initiated by Samkaracarya and his disciples (eighth century), hence I think it is quite justifiable to place it in between A.D. 900 and i000. The 8aktisaingama is a large work and three-fourths of its total bulk has been published so far.
I am giving a free rendering of the `Mahacina-krama section in the Saktisamgama, which is contained in the Second Book, Tarakhanda, Vol. XCI, G.O.S., p. 104 ff: The Goddess said to Siva: 'I desire to know the method of Mahacina.' Siva then replied: 'O Tara-, by the method of Mahacina results are quickly obtained; Brahma-Cina, the celestial Cina, the heroic Gina, Mahacina, and Gina, these are the five sections or regions the method of these has been described in two manners, as “sakala” (with divisions), and as "niskala" (undivided). That which is sakala is Buddhist, that which is niskala is Brahmin in its application.' Then Siva seems reluctant to continue with the instruction, as this knowledge is not even obtainable by the devas, yaksas, by saints and great scholars, etc. The goddess thereupon implores Siva to be merciful and to reveal it nevertheless, and moved by her entreaties Siva consents and continues. The initial portions of the Mahacinakrama are pretty much the same as usual meditative procedure: a bath must be taken, the mind must be purified through japa', etc., tarpana (offering of water) has to be made, clean raiments have to be donned then, 'he should constantly worship the goddess, having bathed and having taken food (as contrasted to non-tantric procedures where fasting is enjoined previous to formal worship). At midnight he should bring his sacrifice through mantra (or, accompanied by the proper mantra, "balim mantrena dapayet", v. 28). Never should he dislike women, especially not those who participate in the ritual, and having entered the place for "japa", he should perform a great number of "japa-s". The adept should go to the woman, touch her, look at her, O Thou with the Gem in the Crest, he should eat betel-nuts and other edible ingredients (i.e. used for the ritual); and, having eaten meat, fish, curds, honey, and drunk wine as well as the other prescribed edible she should proceed with his japa. In this Mahacina-method there is no rule about the directions (i.e. about which direction the aspirant has to face, etc.), nor about time, nor about the posture, etc., nor is there any rule for the choice of time for "japa", nor for invocation and sacrifice. The rules are made according to his own liking in this sadhana of the great mantra, with regard to the garments worn, the posture, the general arrangements, the touching and non-touching of lustral water. And, O Queen of the Gods, he should anoint his body with oil, should always chew betel (tambulam bhaksayet sada), and should dress in all sorts of garments (as he pleases). He should undertake the mantra-bath (i.e. he should meditate on the mantra in lieu of any ritual, "mantra-snanam caret"), should always take refuge in me. This, O Goddess, shall be the sage's bath according to the method of Mahacina (Mahacinakrame devi viprasnanamidam bhavet). He should keep his mind free from apperceptions, i.e. in the state of "nirvikalpa"(nirvikalpamanascaret), he should worship using incense, white and ruby-colored lotus leaves, vilva blossoms (or rather "the pericarp leaves of the vilva" as opposed to the green leaves of the vilva tree), and bheruka leaves, etc., but he should avoid (the use of) the (otherwise auspicious) tulsi leaf. He should further avoid the vilva leaf there is no contradiction here he should use the vilva blossom, but should not use the leaf of the vilva tree, though I don't see why. It would be more natural if the text read “arcayet" instead of "varjayet", e.g. "varjayed-vilvapatranca" vs. 37), and he should diligently avoid the abstention from drinking ("matt", a fast where no liquid is taken). He should not harbor any kind of (sectarian) malice, should not take the name of Hari (Vishnu), and should not touch the tulsi leaf. He should always drink wine, O goddess, and should always demean himself like the rutting elephant (or "like Candala women", matangibhir viharavan low-caste women are said to be particularly lascivious and given to amorous demeanor); he should, O goddess, do japam with singular attention.'
‘.. . the threefold horizontal lines of fine sandel paste mixed with kesara (Rottleria Tinctoria) seeds (kucandanam tripundram ca tatah sakesaram Sive, vs. 44) spread on his forehead, O Siva, wearing a garland of skulls around his neck and the skull-bowl in his hand, he who is given to this tiara (discipline) becomes a Mahacinite (Mahacinakrami, one following the Mahacina method); always in a joyful mood, always serving the devotees, he wears . . . (here follows a lengthy enumeration of other articles, rosaries, etc.); The goddess then expresses her doubts as to whether such rites are beneficent, and how Brahmins can practise them, these rites being obviously non-Vedic (vedavihinasca ye dharma verse 49). In reply to this query of his spouse, Siva winds up saying that Brahmins or, as I understand it, people who insist on Brahmin ritual are not entitled to these (Mahacina) rites in this age (kalau tatra nisiddham syadbrahmananam Mahesvari, verse 5o.) Those who follow the Gina (identical with Mahacina) rites are dear to him, if they perform their ablutions in the manner indicated earlier, and if they eat and enjoy the ingredients designed by him for the rite (sarvameva hrdambhoje mayi sarvam pratisthitam, verse 57). 'Cherishing these attitudes in his heart, his mind ever directed towards their fulfilment, abandoning any dualistic attitude, he becomes Lord of all siddhis (spiritual powers); Brahma and Vasistha, as well as the other great seers, they all worship in the undivided method (i.e. the Mahacina-krama) at all times. The worshippers of Tara", O great goddess, they are the true Brahmins; in this age the great Brahma-knowledge is indeed hard to attain.’ This, incidentally, seems to suggest that the rites called 'undivided' (niskala) should be called Brahmanical who could be more Brahmin-like than Brahma the demiurge and Vasistha and this in spite of the fact that their origin be located in Tibet.
Summarizing this chapter, we would have to say that mutual references in Indian and Tibetan texts arc quite disparate. Whereas the Tibetans have looked to India as the Phags Yul (Aryadesa) 'the Noble Land', not only as the birthplace of the Buddha, but as the locus of the original teaching, as the actual or stipulated centre of Tibetan culture, there is no reciprocity of any sort. Historiography being a virtually non-existent genre in the Indian tradition, tracts of an historical or quasi-historical character could hardly have gained the prestige of religious writings. The Tibetan 'Histories' of Buston and Taranatha are religious histories; just as the Chinese pilgrims in India were solely concerned with places of pilgrimage and with Buddhist topography, Tibetan monks and laymen who visited India through the ages did so only as pilgrims to the shrines of their faith. With the exception of Mount Kailasa in Tibet, there is no locality on the northern side of the Himalayas which would be of any interest to the Indian pilgrim. Thus, whereas it may be difficult to, find any Tibetan text which does not mention India
one way or the other, we have to thumb through tomes of Indian religious literature to find references to Tibet. Even these references, as was shown in this chapter, are of a non-geographical, quasi-mythical character. Any place or region located to the north of the Himalayas seems to stand for the highly esoteric, slightly uncanny, potentially unorthodox, heretical whether it is Bhota, Mahacina, or Cinadesa, the actual location of those regions is of no concern to the Indian hagiographer, not even to the tantric.
There is, however, a strong fusion of Tibetan and Indian elements in tantric literature, apparently both Buddhist and Hindu. Names and epithets of deities both male and female have Indian or Tibetan provenience, and in many cases it is hard to say where a god or a goddess originated. It is almost impossible to study this situation diachronically because in the final analysis even purely Tibetan gods and goddesses may have some sort of Indian background. The village deities of the pre-Aryans in India never died out. There is a strong tendency to banish gods, teachings, and other religious configurations, which oppose the general feeling of orthodoxy in India, and to place them beyond the mountains, possibly where they can cause no mischief. The erotocentric sadhana called Cinacara probably got its name due to this tendency; types of religious exercise which could not be accommodated in the framework of Indian sadhana were thus extrapolated into an inaccessible region.
We shall see in the next chapter how sanctuary topography assimilates extraneous elements, and how it cuts across the boundary lines in a tentative or potential fashion.
Writer Name: Agehananda Bharati