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I was wondering what is the opinion of Tantra on Vedas? Does it oppose the Vedas? Does it accept the authority of the Vedas?

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    If Tantras unequivocally opposed Vedas, it would definitely become a nastika philosophy and as such would have been long ago moved out of Hinduism. Which is not the case, I guess!
    – peace
    Mar 14 at 12:00
  • Do tantra oppose veda? Not exactly, the answer provided by ikshvaku and comment by vivikta both are equally valid. Look this answer. There are more than one way one can answer this question, even saying tantras oppose vedas.
    – Proxy
    Mar 14 at 17:52
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    The agamas - tantras - are not opposed to the vedas. Different sects will hold some agamas true and others false, so to ask opinions on different tantras will only generate opinions. Mar 15 at 4:42
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There are different opinions regarding the relationship between the Tantras and the Vedas. Sankaracharya says that Bhagavata is anti-vedic while Ramanujacharya expresses an opposite opinion. One has to take these different opinions with a large dose of salt. Tantra acknowledges the authority of the Vedas. Tantra does not oppose the Vedas.

Ignorant notions prevail on the subject of the relation of the Tantras to Veda and the Vedas. I read some years ago in a Bengali book by a Brahmo author that "the difference was that between Hell and Heaven". Now on what is such condemnatory comparison based? It is safe to challenge production of proof of such assertion. Let us examine what the Shakta Tantra (to which allusion was made) teaches.

In the first place "Hell" recognizes "Heaven" for the Sakta Tantra, as I have said, acknowledges the authority of Veda. All Indian Sastras do that. If they did not, they would not be Indian Sastra. The passages on this point are so numerous, and the point itself is so plain that I will only cite a few.

Kularnava Tantra says (II.85, 140, 141) that Kuladharma is based on and inspired by the Truth of the Veda. Tasmat vedatmakam sastram viddhi kaulatmakam priye. In the same place Siva cites passages from Sruti in support of his doctrine. The Prapancasara and other Tantras cite Vaidika Mahavakya and Mantras; and as Mantras are part of Veda, therefore Meru Tantra says that Tantra is part of the Veda (Pranatosini 70). Niruttara Tantra calls the Tantra the fifth Veda and Kulacara is named the fifth Asrama; .....................

That the Sakta Tantra claims to be based on Veda admits of no doubt. In fact Kulluka Bhatta, the celebrated commentator on Manu, says that Sruti is of two kinds, Vaidik and Tantrik.

Vaidiki tantriki caiva dvividha srutih kirtita

It is of course the fact the different sects bandy word upon the point whether they in fact truly interpret Sruti and follow practice conformable to it. Statements are made by opposing schools that certain Sastras are contrary to Sruti even though they profess to be based thereon. So a citation by Bhaskaracharya in the commentary to V, 76 of the Lalita sahasranama speaks of some Tantras as 'opposed to Veda" (Vedaviruddhani). The Vayu Samhita says: "Saivagama is twofold, that which is based on Sruti and that which is not. The former is composed of the essence of Sruti. Srauta is Svatantra and Itara". Saivagamo'pi dvividhah, srauto' srautash ca samsmritah Srutisaramayah srautah svatantrastvitaro matah.

So again the Bhagavata or Pancaratra Agama has been said to be non-Vaidik. This matter has been discussed by Samkaracharya and Ramanuja following Yamunacharya.

We must in all cases distinguish between what a school says of itself and what others say of it. In Christianity both Catholicism and Protestantism claim to be based on the Bible and each alleges that the other is a wrong interpretation of it. Each again of the numerous Protestant sects says the same thing of others.

But is Sakta Tantra contrary to Veda in fact? Let us shortly survey the main points in its doctrine. It teaches that Paramatma Nirguna Siva is Saccidananda (Prapancasara, Ch XXIX; Kularnava, Ch I. vv, 6-7). Kularnava says "Siva is the impartite Supreme Brahman, the All-knowing (Sarvajna) Creator of all. He is the Stainless One and the Lord of all. He is One without a second (Advaya). He is Light itself. He changes not, and is without beginning or end. He is attributeless and above the highest. He is Saccidananda" (I.6-7 ...). ....

Sakti and Sakta, Chapter IV, Tantra Sastra and Veda, Sir John Woodroffe

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I was wondering what is the opinion of Tantra on Vedas? Does it oppose the Vedas? Does it accept the authority of the Vedas?

It depends on which tantra. The Shaiva agamas (tantras) are non-vedic because their practices and philosophy conflict with the Vedas. Vyasa has written a few sutras in the Brahma Sutras to show this:

Sutra 2.2.36 - (The system) of the Lord [Pashu-pati] (must be disregarded), on account of inappropriateness.

Ramanujacharya's commentary:

The Sûtras now declare that, for the same reasons, the doctrine of Pasupati also has to be disregarded. The adherents of this view belong to four different classes--Kâpâlas, Kâlâmukhas, Pâsupatas, and Saivas. All of them hold fanciful theories of Reality which are in conflict with the Veda, and invent various means for attaining happiness in this life and the next.

Shankaracharya:

The Mâhesvaras (Saivas) maintain that the five categories, viz. effect, cause, union, ritual, the end of pain, were taught by the Lord Pasupati (Siva) to the end of breaking the bonds of the animal (i.e. the soul); Pasupati is, according to them, the Lord, [only] the operative cause.

Another reason that the Shaiva agamas are non-Vedic is because they declare that Brahman is not the material cause of the universe, but only the operative cause:

2.2.37 - And on account of the impossibility of rulership.

Ramanujacharya's commentary for this sutra:

Those who stand outside the Veda [Shaivas, etc.] arrive through inference at the conclusion that the Lord is a mere operative cause.

On the other hand, Vyasa says that the Pancharatra agamas (tantras) are in conformity with the Vedas in sutras 2.2.42 and 2.2.43.

Ramanujacharya's commentary:

"This great Upanishad, consistent with the four Vedas, in harmony with Sânkhya and Yoga, was called by him by the name of Pañkarâtra." - Mahabharata

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  • What about the Shakta Agamas? Can you please shed some light on it? Mar 15 at 2:58
  • Sir Devi Bhagavata says Lord Shiv created Tantras just to deliver Bramhanas who were cursed during Daksha time. Is this true?? Tantras and Agamas were there from begenning of time for all who couldnt study Vedas or ineligible right? What is Vaishnava View on this May 2 at 7:03
  • @SethuSrivatsaKoduru "Is this true?" - Yes, I think it's true. It's mentioned in several puranas I believe. The story is that there were some brahmanas who killed a cow and framed the murder on some rishi whose name I forgot (I think it was Vashishta or Kapila). He later found out what happened, and cursed those brahmanas to become avaidika. And hence, Shiva revealed the Shaiva agamas.
    – Ikshvaku
    May 3 at 0:54
  • @SethuSrivatsaKoduru "Tantras and Agamas were there from begenning of time for all who couldnt study Vedas or ineligible right?" - Yes, but only those that conform with the Vedas: Pancharatra and Vaikhanasa.
    – Ikshvaku
    May 3 at 0:54
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    @TheLittleNaruto "Why do you do that?" Because that's what the adhikarana (section) of the brahma-sutras is talking about. That's why Ramanujacharya in sutra 36 says: "The Sûtras now declare that, for the same reasons, the doctrine of Pasupati also has to be disregarded. The adherents of this view belong to four different classes--Kâpâlas, Kâlâmukhas, Pâsupatas, and Shaivas."
    – Ikshvaku
    May 4 at 17:17

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