Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment: The Ecstatic Poetry of the Krama Masters

Funds needed to publish Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment, Volume I: $5000

Current donations: $400

To donate:

“I celebrate the manifestation of the Self, experienced as the bliss that arises from the awareness attained by a thorough investigation of consciousness that has realized the emptiness of [all] objects [of awareness].”

--from “The Flowering of One’s Own Enlightenment,” by Śrī Hrasvanātha

Implicit in the writings of Hrasvanātha and the Krama gurus is an extremely life-affirming, celebratory expression of what it really means to live in the state of enlightenment. How can such a state be captured in words? While the Krama poets themselves are well aware that their realizations cannot be expressed in any medium, they nevertheless joyfully and masterfully play with the Sanskrit language through the frequent use of rich metaphors and ornate double-entendre allusions in creating poetry that resonates into the reader’s heart and excites their senses. The unimaginable delight that comes with experiencing true spiritual freedom through the conscious realization of the one, playful Goddess pervading all things constitutes the essence of these aesthetically appealing hymns. In these poems, the Krama gurus have given us clues that inspire us to realize the true magnamity of human life, that absolute, unimaginable freedom can come to us, in a flash, by surrendering to the play of life itself.

“[My] mind, which was a distressed honey-bee whose energy was diminished  by the blows coming from the advance of the severe winter of duality, having reached the fragrant nectar that is the abode of Shiva, now remains perpetually intoxicated by the revivifying drink found within the flower that [grows] on the vine of pure awareness.“

-- from “Delighting in Awareness,” by Śrī Maheśvara Nāga

Where are these beautiful Hymns? How can I obtain translations of them?

But because there is so far little funding for such a project (both scholars have to steadily work to support themselves), these incredible Tantric revelations will not be published without financial help.  With enough support, in 2009 Christopher Tompkins will be able to work on the laborious task of editing and translating the two beautiful hymns of the Krama sage Nāga, which will comprise the first volume of Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment

Fund-raising goal: To have Volume One of Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment published, these scholars must collate, edit, cross-reference, and translate these rare and precious writings, which will demand all of their attention for the period in which they work on the books. Thus a minimum stipend of $5,000 is needed for the estimated 4 month period that it will take to complete the project. As of February 2009, we have raised $400.

Please donate here.

To read more about the Krama masters, click here.

Almost half of the known Krama hymns listed in the ‘family tree’ of the Krama lineage survive in manuscript form (palm-leaf, birch-bark, and paper), in libraries spread throughout South Asia. Unfortunately, almost none of the dozens of surviving Krama hymns have been edited and translated into English and none are readily available to the public, until now.

With enough support, Sanskrit scholars and yoga practitioners Christopher Tompkins and Christopher Wallis, who are presently trying to obtain copies of all surviving Krama manuscripts, hope to begin publishing these edited and translated poems in a simple book series called Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment.

The Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment Project

In 2008, after a considerable time of spend perusing the surviving manuscript sources of Tantric Śhaivism, located throughout India, Nepal, and in British libraries, Sanskrit scholars Christopher Tompkins and Harish Wallis felt that the poetry of the Śākta (Goddess-oriented) Tantric lineage known simply as the Krama (‘Sequence’ i.e. of Goddesses worshipped) contains the most relevant, efficacious, and transformative teachings that could be presented to the modern Western world. Harish presented his inspiration to Christopher to publish a series of volumes on these hymns that could be simply called, “Tantric Hymns of Enlightenment.” Since then, the two scholars, inspired by their teacher, Somadeva Vasudeva, have gone to work collecting, editing, and translating these elegant, colorful, and poetic songs, that vividly capture the state of living liberation experienced by the ancient masters of the Kaśhmirian Krama.