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Anugraha In Tantra

Anugraha is the grace that confers liberation, a core concept of Tantra. The term anugraha literally means grace of favor or kindness and refers to conferring benefits or promoting a good objective.

All systems of Hindu tradition and philosophy emphasize that the final aim of human life is liberation from the cycle of birth and death. Hinduism shows many paths to achieve it and Tantra is system is one of them. Like all other systems of Hindu religion, it takes its origin from Vedas, more particularly from the karma kanda or sections of the canonical texts dealing with religious rituals. According to the Tantra system, ultimate liberation is achieved through ritual, spiritual exercise, devotion and anugraha (grace) of the mother Goddess Shakti. This is according to the majority of the followers of this sect, though worship of other details of Shiva is not ruled out.

Shakti is the primordial spirit of the entire universe and so, worship offered to her will lead to ultimate liberation, moksha. The worship may be through mudras (gestures), mantras (liturgy), mandalas (diagrams), the five makaras (rites), the dakshina marga and vama marga. A tantric worshiper may also resort to magical practices for acquiring supernatural powers through the anugraha (blessings) of Shakti. Vedic Hindus believed in the spells caused by mystic syllables. Mystic incantations like vasat and svaha are often used in the rituals of Rig Veda. Atharva Veda refers to some of the tantric practices. Tantra worship might have taken its roots from the Shrauta and Smarta Sutras which deal with public congregational rituals and domestic private rituals, respectively.

While granting grace to the devotee, the Mother of the world may present herself in three forms, sthula (gross), Sukshma (subtle) and para (transcendental).

The gross form of Goddess Shakti may be represented by mudras shown through fingers, hands and other limbs by the devotee. The subtle aspect consists of mantras which are fit for apprehension with the organs of hearing and speech by those who have the good fortune to receive the mantras from a worthy preceptor. The third aspect (para) is to be apprehended as all-pervading consciousness.