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Kularnava Tantra Quotes And Teachings

The most important text of Shakta tantra is the Kularnava Tantra, which bears the inner image of the tantric literature. Here are few quotes and teachings from Kularnava Tantra. The text is in the form of Shiva talking to Goddess Parvati.

All of these actions (the outward show of austerities), O Kula Goddess (Parvati), are only for deceiving the world. One gains liberation by direct experience of truth.

The second chapter of Kularnava Tantra states, all male and female forms of deities are representations of Shiva and Shakti’s dual form, as are all male and female forms.

Shiva says in the second chapter of Kularnava Tantra –  ‘The six philosophies are my six limbs: my two hands, two feet, stomach, and head. Therefore whoever differentiates between them mutilates my body. Beloved! these six philosophies also make up the six limbs of the Kula. Therefore, you should realize that the Kula shastras can also be called Vedic shastras.

The third chapter Kularnava Tantra says – ‘There is no truth higher than the guru, there is no god greater than Shiva, there is no knowledge greater than the Vedas, there is no philosophy equal to Kaula (philosophy)’.

Kularnava Tantra First chapter says – Vedic scholars and priests are constantly performing their own caste duties and little else, O Parvati, they do not know the highest truth, and thus they perish. Some carefully perform rituals, some roam about doing observances and sacrifices, but they are ignorant and they cheat themselves and others. They do rituals, but they are satisfied with only the name. They roam about in circles, repeating mantras, performing homas, (sacrificial fires), and elaborate sacrifices.

There are two kinds of knowledge: one comes from the agama texts, and the other comes from insight. Knowledge gained from texts is truth in the form of sound, and that (gained from) insight is the ultimate truth (Kularnava Tantra First chapter).

O Beloved (Goddess Parvati)! Many ignorant people fall into the deep well of the six philosophies, but they are controlled by their instincts and cannot attain the highest knowledge. They are drowning in the dreadful ocean of the Vedas and shastras, and they are driven in one direction and then another, by philosophical discussions and debates, which are like terrible waves and crocodiles.

There are people who have read the Vedas, Agamas, and Puranas, but who do not know the highest truth. All their knowledge is like the cawing of crows, and nothing more. O Goddess, they turn their backs on truth, and read books day and night, always worrying about what they should be learning, saying this is knowledge or that is knowledge. They know literary style, syntax, and poetry, and ways to make writing attractive, but they are fools, and they are confused and worried. What they understand is not the highest truth, and what they interpret is not the real meaning of the sacred books. They speak of ecstatic consciousness but they do not experience it. Some are vain, and some have never been taught by a guru. They chant the Vedas and fight among themselves, but they do not know the highest truth, as a cooking ladle does not know the taste of the things in it.

Discussion of ideas cannot destroy the illusions of the world, as talk of a lamp will not get rid of the darkness. A person who studies but does not gain true wisdom is like a blind man looking at his face in a mirror. Only people with experiential wisdom can really understand the shastras.

Men famous for their wisdom, generosity, and acts of merit quarrel over truth (tattva), chasing truths forwards, backwards, and sideways, talking about this kind of truth and that kind of truth. This is truth, that is truth, truth is distant (or extensive), they speak this way. Since they have no direct experience and no realization of truth, how are they going to attain truth by merely talking (about it)? Those who spend their time talking about truth, will remain ignorant and very far from the (real) truth. There is no doubt about this.

As a person who collects rice-grains, leaves the rice-husks behind, so the intelligent person should learn all religious texts, grasp their inner truths, and then leave them all behind. O Goddess, as a person who has drunk divine nectar is satisfied and needs no other food, so a person who has experienced truth needs no other shastras. Liberation is not gained by chanting Vedas or studying the shastras. O Goddess of the heroic spiritual aspirants! Only experiential knowledge gives liberation.

As dream visions give a sleeping person knowledge without any other instruction, so spiritual knowledge arises without instruction, due to spiritual practice in past lives, and the soul’s development. Only the understanding determined by a thousand previous lives gives realisation, instruction accomplishes nothing.

Spiritual knowledge is revealed to those people who have been freed from taint by asceticism, repetition of mantra, charity, sacrifice, observances, pilgrimage, and other practices performed in the previous lifetimes.

Even without the knowledge of the Vedas and shastras, one who knows the Kula is omniscient, while a scholar of the Vedas, shastras, and Agamas, who is ignorant of the Kula, knows nothing. (O Goddess) only your devotees know the Kula’s glory, and not others, as only the Chakora bird knows the taste of moonbeams, not the other birds.