What is difference between Yantrik, Shastrokata(Vaidik\Puranik) and Tantrik vidhi?

What are advantages and disadvantages of each of them?

Does any scripture provides any illustration of them?

  • Well even agamas or tantras are considered Shastras, so Shastraokta doesn't makes sense. If you mean vedic literature then you should mention vedic rituals.
    – Yogi
    Nov 23, 2016 at 11:42

1 Answer 1


The Puranic rituals as compared to the Vedic rituals were less cumbersome. They opened doors for the lower caste and women. They mentioned rituals which could be performed by all with minor alterations. The aim was to gain popularity among the masses.

The Purāṇas are normative Brahmanical texts, which eulogize various deities. They describe various gods and sometimes goddesses, celebrated with many legends and emphasize on their divinity and ‘protector of all’ image. The shift was towards sectarian gods. Thus the Puranic religion brought in many variations. The emphasis was on the cult of the particular god and complete devotion. This ideology was popularized by the Puranic religion which exemplified sects of Śiva and Viṣṇu as well as epics such as the Mahābhārata through Bhagavata-gītā. Prominence was given to construction of temples and worshipping the deity instead of performing Vedic sacrifices. Besides containing myths, the texts specified various religious acts to be performed in order to please the deities. Purāṇas also has Dharmasastric matter as it discusses various issues of caste, kingship, punishments, social norms etc. Religious acts were recommended for prosperity, peace, and progeny. Expiation of sin was also a strong motive for ritual action as portrayed in the Purāṇas. Every religious act such as sacrifices, going to a sacred place, vowed observance, or even reading and listening to the text was considered to be pious and would expiate one from the sins of the Kali yuga.

The details of rituals can be directly found in the puranas and subordinate texts. Puranic mantras are easy and puranic worship usually involves poojas with 5, 10, 16 or more upacharas (materials).

Vedic rituals are more cumbersome and has to be done on the specific muhurtam. The core of Vedic rituals are fire rituals. Broadly Vedic rituals are of Shrauta rituals and smarta rituals. These rituals are mainly explained in the Shrauta, Grihya sutras and related texts.

Specific rituals and sacrifices of the Vedic religion include, among others:

The Soma rituals, which involved the extraction, utility and consumption of Soma:

The Agnistoma or Soma sacrifice

Fire rituals involving oblations (havir):

The Agnihotra or oblation to Agni, a sun charm,

The Agnicayana, the sophisticated ritual of piling the fire altar.

The New and Full Moon as well as the Seasonal (Cāturmāsya) sacrifices

Tantra is a collective set of rituals and philosophies which comes under "Agama". The rituals can be simple or extensive depending on the type and lineage. The details of these rituals can be found directly in the respective tantras. It is usually performed in a secretive way and a yantra (sigil) is used for the worship. Extensive types of nyasas and purification rites are done before the actual pooja.

Other of the many elements in daily puja include meditation and recitation of the particular mantra of the devata, as well as worship of the Guru, considered to be one with Shiva.

Other types of worship include optional pujas (kamya), usually performed for some particular object. According to the tradition, these may only be performed if daily puja is also done.

As with so many other aspects of the tantrik tradition, there is a gross, a subtle and a supreme aspect to worship. External puja, using either an image or another object such as a yantra or a lingam, is a dualistic form intended, however, to lead the sadhaka to the recognition that there is no difference between worshipper and the worshipped.

After a certain stage, outer worship may no longer be necessary, or may be further complemented with inner worship. Here, for example, offerings to the favoured god or goddess (the isthadevata), may be in the form of offering the senses and the other elements and functions of the human body, all taken here to represent shaktis.

This is also combined with meditation and contemplation of the essential oneness of worshipper and worshipped, and may include other elements of the outer worship including recitation of the mantra (japa).

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