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Tools for Tantra Paperback – November 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews


"This volume features a bounty of rare yogic lore." (East West)

From the Back Cover


Tantra is a holistic approach to the study of the universal from the point of view of the individual. It draws on all the sciences to provide a practical means of realizing the highest ideals of philosophy in daily life.

Tantric yantras are precise geometric forms that have been used for centuries as tools for self-realization and the attainment of mystical powers. Until recently the actual forms and colors of yantras, as well as their practical and spiritual applications, were largely lost to the modern world.

Harish Johari, accomplished artist, sculptor, Tantric practitioner and scholar, traveled throughout India in search of ancient examples of the primordial yantras. In Tools for Tantra he has re-created their exact colors and proportions along with step-by-step instructions for the accurate construction, coloring, and use of yantras.

Traditional Hindu practices associated with yantras are also fully elaborated; among these are meditation and visualization techniques, as well as methods of attuning with bodily, seasonal, and astrological cycles. A physiological understanding of these disciplines and their effects on the central nervous system is discussed in detail, reaffirming the link between the Eastern Tantric explanation of phenomena and the evidence presented by Western scientific research.

Johari also includes a full description of authentic Tantric ritual as a tool for attuning with the worlds of symbol and nature. The combined powers of ritual, yantras, and the other practices delineated by the author enable us to go beyond the normal framework of consciousness to an altered state in which the experience of Tantra can be realized.

The cover painting by Harish Johari depicts the dance of the eternal pair of opposites: Shiva (the male principle) and Shakti (the female principle). Shown here in the Himalayan dress of the Kirat tribe, their dance creates the primal movement and the beginning of evolution.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Destiny Books (November 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892810556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892810550
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Kaulika on December 9, 2005
Format: Paperback
There are a number of reviews here warning against this book, not for its actual content, but because of the idea of practicing Tantra. I will try to restrict this review to a critique of the actual book. I'll venture to say that I doubt this book was written with the intention of use by dabblers in Tantra without teachers. It is constructed in such a way as to offer reasonably authentic material, though without essential pieces taught by authentic teachers, which are generally the pieces that could get students into trouble, or more specifically, toward some kind of spiritual enlightenment. This is the nature of a secretive, initiatory system such as Tantra.

The primary problem with this work, in my opinion, is its transliteration. Sanskrit mantras are transliterated into Hindi pronunciation (for instance, hring instead of hrim), and genuine tantric practitioners will note that pronunciation is an important component of effective sadhana, at least at the intermediate and advanced levels.

I would recommend this book to those who are already familiar with Tantra, who wish to widen their perspective and have access to a number of useful materials, such as mantras (though, as warned above, they are not transliterated correctly, and those who do not speak and read Sanskrit may not catch this), yantras and useful (if not always correct, in its attempts to capture universality) interpretations, definitions and explications of imagery and practices. I would not recommend it for beginners, although it is useful in breaking the notion that Westerners often have, that Tantra is all about sex (which it most certainly is not!).
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a must for any serious student of tantra.The information contained is presented in an academic fashion without intimidating the reader.The author presents enough to make his points,complete his lesson,or just impart fact about Tantra without losing the meaning.Great stuff about prayers,yantras,cosmology,and a load more about Tantra.A fantastic book I highly recommend!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cat Smiles on February 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
That said, this is a good book on tantra. A customer warns against some possibilites to be led astray, but I can only say this -- if one reads BOOKS on kabbalah without the insight of a teacher one can also be led astray, or books on any of the hgiher level mystic teachings. All the dzogchen paths require a teacher, and tantra is a serious practice that is not about sex but about working with desires. Anyone stepping onto a path that works with one's shadow material should get the best teachers, with long lineage, and not go to weekend workshops or rely on books for their teachers. Harish Johari is an excellent artist and teacher.
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135 of 181 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Buy this book, read it carefully, reflect on what you find, assimililte what you can, then move on and don't look back!
There is much about Tantra and Hinduism and it's nature that is valuable in this book. You need to know it and what this "thread" of Tantra is about.
For the web of life is created by many such threads.
Look for yourself on page 26 table 5 to understand the true nature of this Tantra: The Ten Karmas of Mantras!
Look and see for yourself what this path is about: This is a path of power, manipulation and desire.
Only the peaceful mantras of Shanti Karma do not bind you to the invisible "thread" of the dark side of Tantra.
As University graduate in Comparitive Religion and India studies, an ex-personal student of Mr. Johari in the 70s, and as a person who has lived and traveled in the Far East for the last 8 years studying Hinduism and Buddhism, take my advice and do not be led into any New Age dreams or fantasies about the real nature of this type of Tantra.
If you are attracted by the beautiful sensual art of this book and enter into the "Door" where they stand guard and beckon so seductively, know that in this house of Beauty and Music and art Philosophy and Laughter lives deep within the basement a terror of dark magic power far beyond your comprehension:
Dhumavati - She who stalks the burning ground, She who haunts the crematoriums. She who waits in dark places unkown and long forgotten to most living men to caputure unsuspecting souls.
She who is distorted and disbalanced. She who's Yantras and Mantras cause pain, suffering, death and despair. She who does not fear Shiva.
This is part of the Tantra that is contained in this book. Do not think it is myth or old wives tales.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is one of the best books I have seen on Tantra dealing with the Hindue pantheon. This is all too much for a beginner to take in at one time. I mean the auther puts a lot in it. The information is awesome but can be overwhelming for a beginner. I would only reccomend this to a beginner if the student would read it slowly and carefuller or else she/he will not get too much out of it. I love the color plates and you can use these for meditation and tantric purposes unless you feel you are crafty enough to make your own mandalas. He lists the 10 Mahavidya mandalas and in the end section he has instructions for Ganesha Puja. This is not your everyday book on Tantra nor is it filled with useless garbage. The man knows his stuff pretty well.
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