Dr T.N. Mishra has researched various aspects of Indian philosophy and art and architecture in a career spanning over three decades. He has published articles in reputed journals on the subject and authored works that include Buddhist Tantra and Buddhist Art; Ancient Indian Bricks and Brick Remains; Westernization of Indian Art; Impact of Tantra on Religion and Art; and Yoga-Tantra and Sensuousness in Art. At present, he is Assistant Curator at the prestigious Bharat Kala Bhavan at the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi.
With its roots (perhaps) in the prehistoric times, Tantra is a unique, highly complex spiritual tradition of India. Which is hard to define and still harder to be grasped by the non-initiated — largely because of its occult and mysteriously ritualistic elements, often accompanied by equally mysterious mantras, yantras, kriyas and even sexual practices. As a religious philosophy, this esoteric cult of Shakti: the female principle, seeks to discover the source of cosmic power within the human body through intensely specialized yogic activity. And, like yoga, it transcends religious boundaries. Introducing this non-Vedic, esoteric cult in an altogether fresh perspective, the book looks at tantra: both as a philosophy and as a spiritual tradition in its own right, and how tantrism has, in the past, been an irresistible influence not only on major Indian religions (Brahmanical Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism), but on arts as well. Dr. Mishra authenticates his findings with evidence from numerous Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta, Buddhist, and Jaina texts on religion, philosophy, art and iconography. The author, who has had long, personal interactions with some of the living tantrikas, also tries to dispel certain distortions woven around Tantric religion to contextually offer an unbiased account of its evolution, cultic variations, culture, philosophy, mysticism, and cardinal concepts and tenets. Together with relevant visual material, Dr. Mishra’s work will, thus, evoke as much interest in discerning readers as in the scholars of Indian religions, traditional philosophy, arts and art history.
The word yoga and the various concepts associated with it are being interpreted and understood with great interest the world over especially in recent years. This work by a noted research scholar, Dr. T. N. Mishra explores the meanings of the word yoga and its moral and philosophical annotations, and conducts an intensive study of the philosophies and practices that bear reference to it. A thorough research, Yoga-Tantra and Sensuousness in Art goes into the theoretical foundations of Yoga, tracing its roots to the sacred scriptures and explaining the goal of Yoga, the discipline it involves, Yoga psychology, its techniques and stages, and classification and practice of Yoga as Mantra-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga and Raja-Yoga. It comprehensively examines the aim and philosophy of Yoga-Tantra and the way to awaken the kundalini through the cakras practising Yoga-Tantra. It makes a detailed analysis of the Yoga-sadhana of the Natha siddhas (the ulta-sadhana) and Yoga-sadhana as found in Vaisnava and Buddhist Sahajiya. Citing interesting examples, it importantly deals with Yoga and Tantra as reflected in Indian art: the impact of the philosophy of Yoga-Tantra with its subtle sensuality on Indian secular and religious architecture and sculpture. Abounding in illustrations and extensive in notes and references to ancient scholarly treatises and exponents of Yoga and to modern researches on the subject, the book will interest all scholars of Indian art, philosophy and spirituality and appeal to general readers on Yoga as well.