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Agama & Nigama Analysis of Two Parallel Traditions

There is huge debate going in various circles & history books,

about influence of Vedas on Tantra . Many are of the opinion that
Tantrik System formed from Rebellion against Brahmanic
Influence & Supremacy . As Vedic Rituals were allowed only for
first three Varnas, rest of the society including women created this
mass movement ,which had roots in Tribal Gods & Goddesses of
Indigenous People . It also lead to searching Bhagwan Shivas
roots in Non-Aryan groups .We do not ascribe to any of these at
this moment . But we will try to see relation between two
traditions & lets see if we can come to any definite conclusion .
Basic difference between Vedic Tradition & that of Tantrik Tradition
is, former believes on Supremacy of scriptures and Tantrik
tradition do not in same way. Vedas are Eternal Truth . If we take
approach of Mimansakas, they are origins of entire universe .
They do not change . Only during time of dissolution, Vedas get
merged in Universal Intellect of Ishwara, and then they again
appear ,when New Creation starts. Rishis who saw Vedic Mantras
are mere Seers . They did not write those mantras . Brahmins
believed that even all books of Vedas lost , they still can recover
them from Higher Intuition as it is .
This is not same with Tantra. Though Tantriks believe authority of
their scriptures. Their scriptures are in form of dialogues . They
are written by Godly Men or Incarnated Prophets. Whole Tantra
books are not Mantras. Most are in form between dialogue
between Bhairava & Bhairavi or Shiva & Parvati . Doubts &
Question lead to Dialogues . Buddha insisted huge importance on
raising question , having doubt . That he believed leads to
knowledge. He told his disciples, not to believe his own words
even, until they themselves get to see truth in it by their own

experience. Tantra works on same principle . Experience first

,seek yourself & then come to conclusion.
It is not so with Vedic System. There , you do not have permission
to ask questions or create doubts about authority of Vedas.
Though on Superficial level it sounds irrational , but there are
deeper reasons for this restrict which very few can understand. As
Veda Mantras are themselves are Divine, there is no more need of
questioning . Chant the Mantras as told in tradition with proper
Swaras & Vedanga Knowledge. You will get fruit . Still there is
requirement of special Intellect to get results for Vedas , but this
intellectualism is not about reasoning . This Higher Intellect is
more Higher Intuition , called Para Vaak .
So there is Truth in both the traditions. There were great
practitioners of both . Its question of what you need & how you
need , which changes mode of your worship . It does not depend
upon Casts or Gender.
Now we should clarify one thing here, when we say Veda Mantras
as Supreme authority for worship, they are mainly Trayi . Three
Vedas viz Rig, Yaju & Saam . Atharva-veda not considered in this
group in Ancient Times. Mainly for its origins . It was composed
mainly by Humans Prophets ,like later Tantras. Atharva-veda with
Gatha (Avesta) , Naranshasa & Itihasa-Purana were considered
separate Vedas . But they were not given same status of Trayi
Vidya of Rig Yaju Sama
Atharva veda was mainly formatted by two traditions of Rishis .
Bhrigu & Angirasa . Present version which we have of
Atharvaveda is Angirasa version. His Bhrigu version is lost in
Semitic belt thousands of years ago. But we see some of its parts
transferred into Avesta & then in KuraaNa . Its not surprise that
there is close similarity between Sufi Mystics & Kashmir Tantriks .
Common Link is Atharva veda . Many believed for this reason
(French Mystic Rene Guenon is one of them) Al KuraaNa is last

divine scripture sent by God on Earth & there will not be any
further revelations. If we ponder over Pratyangiras-Angirasa
relation, their deities , secret about KuraaNa can be unveiled. But
that will be a whole different topic .
Atharvaveda was also Veda of Asuras . Mainly his Bhrigu Part .
This tradition continued in form of deities like Asuri Durga,
Anahita , NaiRruti , Nikumbhila,KaraaLi or Guhyakali . BhRigu
Rishis were strong supporters of Asur Kings . Acharya Shukra
helped them in numerous battles with his unmatched Mantra
Skills.Some glimpses of it we seen in some Tantras, where it
mentioned that Asura Kings like Hiranyakashipu, Hiranyaksha,
RaavaNa, Indrajit worshiped Guhyakali . Fierce Kali of hundred
heads was favorite of Asuras . Here we find another connecting
factor between Later Tantras & Atharvaveda . Guhyakali is
Supreme deity of Krama & Kula Tantras like Jayadratha yamala &
Kubjika Mata Tantra . She is crux Vidya of later Kashmir-Nepal
tradition of Tantras , mostly forgotten now. We find her worship in
Parishistas of Atharvaveda & also in Upanishads connected with
Atharvaveda . Though they are later works, but still quite ancient
then present Tantrik Literature .Another deity which we find in
Atharvaveda whose worship is given in Tantras is Ushnisha-Vijaya.
She even connects Atharvaveda to Vajrayana . Lost Tantras of
Sarpa, Garuda traditions we can get in Atharvaveda & Avesta . It
supports our earlier line of thought, that Atharvaveda is similar
with Tantra in its origins as Discourse given by Human Prophets.
So we have two parallel traditions ,both probably formed in Middle
Asia, in region of Caspian Sea & spread across the world . Vedic
Tradition arrived in India earlier , formed its own society based on
Vedas consisting of Four Varnas & Ashramas . With full belief in
Veda Mantras & Yajna sacrifices , it prospered for many years until
, Other tradition of Atharva started to dominate through politics &
magic . One of the Guru of Gautam Buddha was Angirasa Shaiva ,
who preached him Tantras. Guru of Vasudeva Krishna was also

Shaiva Brahmin , Upamanyu, who initiated him in Tantrik Tradition

of Pashupata. After Gautama Buddha, both traditions started to
fight with each other . With political hand of Kanishka & other
Kingdoms to Tantrik System, it grown vastly across the South Asia
. From Swat Valley to China & even upto South East Islands of
Cambodia & Malaysia . At this time Vedic Traditions started to get
assimilated . Many Brahmins converted into first Mahayana &
then Vajrayana . Whole Asia was dwelling abode of Siddhas &
Yoginis who shown siddhis like Flying , alchemy & making their
bodies immortals . India had became Buddhists with Peethas &
Viaharas, across the country were giving new freedom to
suppressed casts & women . At this moment we see goals of
Purushartha shifted towards Artha & Kama, than mere Moksha in
earlier age. We see in tantras like Guhyasamaja , entire focus was
given on Bhoga . Same we see in Kapalika Tantras, where goal
was to become Shiva to enjoy eternal Rati with Parvati . Magical
spells to get desired women or men as sex partners , to find
treasures underground , convert iron into gold , to get Rati with
Divine beigns like yakshini & yogini etc were major goals of
society of this remarkable Tantra Age . Tantra on Sri Vidya says
Sundari gives both ,Bhoga & Moksha. Here moksha is meant as
release from social regulations.
This Ultra-Materialistic Magical Age of Tantra was changed by Adi
Shankaracharya . Again for political reasons , not because his
advaita Vedanta was superior to other systems . But he could not
totally ignore seeds of Tantra , totally rooted in Indian Mind . He
had to accommodate Tantrik form of worship . Being a Class A
hypocrite & Vitandi(Vitanda of Nyaaya) he entirely changed
Puranas,Tantras & many other scriptures according to his own
philosophy & political ambition of Chola King who supported his
military-spiritual invasion across India . So now we see, all four
mutths shankaracharyas worship Sri Yantra daily, but criticize
Kaula Tantra , to call it degraded form of worship . This So called
great Adi Sankaracharya destroyed all traditional systems of

worship based on Agamas, uprooted Vedic System of Karma

Kanda, and created nothing but Big Shunya which He calls
His mass conversion, forced later day Tantriks like Bhaskarray
Makhin to compromise on Kaula Principles and accommodate
them in Vedic-Pauranik system .Its remarkable how he works hard
with Puranik quotations to give Brahmins permission of drinking
alcohol. Society was made so conservative by the
Shankaracharya, that no kaula tantric could openly claim that he
was Kaula practisioners. It created hypocrisy of Shakta from
Inside & Vaishnava from Outside. Result is present condition of
confusion between Vedic & Tantrik System . Goals of worships &
Means to achieve in both these systems are so mixed that , now
its largely believed that, to gain Advaita Brahma-gyana , one has
to worship some MahaVidya . Maha-Vakyas of Upanishads are
given as Higher Mantras . Famous Gurus talk of Brahma Sutra &
Shiva Sutra in same breath . Shankaracharyas are seen as experts
on Tantra . Knowledge of difference between traditions is
evaporated totally .
Our attempt in this article is to Mark this difference , between
Vedas & Tantras or Nigamas & Agamas . There in depth
comparison is affair of quite a labor and will require volumes .
Overall we can say, Vedas preach their own Divine mode of
worship & Tantras preach their own, with former keeps one eye on
Moksha and later keeps its both eyes entirely on Bhoga alone .