I have the book KulArnava Tantram, which is a ShAkta Agama.

It is comprised of 17 chapters (each chapter is called an UllAsha here; so Saptadasha UllAsaha is the last chapter).

Each chapter is again comprised of around 115-140 slokas.

Assuming 120 slokas per chapter, the total number of slokas in the whole text is 2040.

But, the ending verse of each chapter is typically like the one given below:

Iti Sri KulArnave NirvAna MokshadvAre MahArahasye SarvAgamottamottame SapAdlakshyagranthe Panchamakhande UrdhhAmnAya Tantre Jiva Stithi Kathanam NAma Prathama UllAsha.

This is how the 1st chapter ends. Similar verses, with slight modifications, are present at the end of each of the 17 chapters.

Now, SapAda Lakshya means one and one quarter lakh; so the total number slokas that the original text is supposed to contain is 1 lakh and 25,000. But, as said above, my book does not have more than around 2000 slokas.

Are these slokas really lost or never discovered or extant under some other titles? Or is it the case of KulArnava being part of a larger Tantra scripture that is comprised of 1,25000 slokas?

1 Answer 1


In Kulavarna Tantra of Motilal Banarsidass which consists of Introduction by Arthur Avalon (sir John Woodroffe) He mentions in Introduction:

"The colophon however states that the portion here printed is only the fifth part of whole tantra, consisting of 1,25,000 verses. Thus the Colophon of first chapter runs....If this statement be correct I have not on enquiry been able to discover the whole work. Every Ms. I come across contains the Seventeen chapters only here printed. Either then the rest of book is lost or possibly exists under different names."

So it seems that no one really knows anything about it. Not just kulavarna but many others like Matrikabheda, Shambhavi, radhatantra, Kalitantra, Mahanirvan are incomplete or lost. This is known due to Sarvollāsatantram which consists of few verses, that are not found in any other existing manuscripts. There is a categorical statement found in the Second Ulhassa,

प्रतितन्ने पटलानि चतुःषष्ट्यानि पार्वति । असंख्यानि च तन्त्राणि भावानि विविधानि च॥ १९ ॥

O Parvati, each of these Tantras is complete in 64 Patalas. There are uncountable tantras filled with different Bhavas.

This puts every Tantra having less than 64 patalas incomplete. Maybe someone has the complete kulavarna but it has not been disclosed and kept restricted to the guru parampara.


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