As per verse 66 from Ullasah 11, Kaularnava Tantra, Shastra clearly forbids Sanyasa

प्रायश्चित्तं भृगोः पातं संन्यासं व्रतधारणम् ।
तीर्थयात्राभिगमनं कौलः पञ्च विवर्जयेत् ।। ६६ ।।
Five actions and five sins prohibited for Kaulikas:

Prāyaścitta ( penance), Bhrgupāta ( committing suicide by precipitatiog oneself from a precipice), Sanyasa (Renunciation), Vrata-dhārana ( taking to observances ) and Tirthayātrā (pilgrimage ) are the five actions prohibited for a Kaula.

I have seen many Sanyasi are getting initiated into SriVidya. Infact Puri Shankaracharya in one of his discourse mentioned how he was approached by his Guru for Sri Vidya initiation. My doubt is how Sanyasis bypass this restriction?

Because in same Ullasah verse 72, it says:

देवतागुरुशास्त्राणां सिद्धाचारविडम्बकाः ।
विद्याचौरो गुरुदोही ब्रह्मराक्षसतां ब्रजेत् ।। ७२ ।।

Sinful actions:
One who ridicules the Devată, Guru and Siddhācāra of the Sastras, who steals scientific facts and is an enemy of Guru becomes a Brahma-raksasa (ghost of a Brahmin who led an unholy life).

So one can not simply alter the shastras and follow the path as warned in the above verse. So my doubt is how Sanyasis are getting initiated into SriVidya even though there is a clear restrcition?

  • 2
    I think Kaulamarga isn't the only way to get into Sri Vidya... One can get through other paths like Samayachara.. Lalita Sahasranama itself talks about paths like Kula, Akula, Samaya etc... similarly one could enter through Vamachara also.. Puri Shankaracharya in one of the video mentions that the Sri Vidya path they are initiated is Dakshinachara... (also they don't follow Kaula rituals like offering meat or alcohol)..
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:20
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    @Tezz In fact it is mentioned in Parshurama Kalpa Sutra which is main Shastra for all Tantrika.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:28
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    which thing is mentioned? that sanyasi can't come to Sri Vidya?... btw is Parashurama Kalpa Sutras mentioned anywhere by Abhinavagupta?...
    – Tezz
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:29
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    @Tezz No sure about that! But read this answer: hinduism.stackexchange.com/a/38570/647
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jun 28, 2021 at 12:34
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    @TheLittleNaruto There are 3-5 different lists as per samhitas. Some say there are 64x3 (one each for North, South & East directions) or 192 Tantras. One of these includes Kaula tantras. But definitely one of the original if not the ONLY ORIGINAL LIST of 64 Tantras are the Bhairava Tantras or sacred scriptures of the Kapalikas or skull bearers - One of the oldest, if not the oldest sect of Shiva - I have given list here hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/40870/… from one Samhita
    – R. Kaushik
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 16:45

1 Answer 1


While commenting on Kularnava Tantram Chapter2; Verse 31 (it has the word Samayachara) commentator (of the hard copy that I possess) says the following:

In Saubhagya Bhaskara, Bhaskararaya says" In Sri Vidya Upasana there are three paths: 1. Samayamata, 2. Kaulamata and 3. Mishramata. And the Achara that the followers of this Samayamata follows is known as Samayachara".

The commentator also quotes a commentary by Lakshmidhara on Saundarya Lahari's 31st Sloka.

Lakshmidhara says " For the followers of Vedic system, Parameswara Lord Shiva propounded the "Shubhagam Tantrapanchaka". In this Shubhagam Panchak rituals are laid down complying with the Vedic rules. And this method is carried forward and spread by Rishis/Gurus like Vashishta, Sanak, Suka, Sanandan and Sanatkumar. This Marga (path) is known as the Samayachara".

Therefore there are various paths for practicing Sri Vidya and different paths have different rules to follow.

What you've presented in the question is the Kaula path and its view. May be that prohibition is only applicable for the followers of the Kaula Marga and not for those of the Samaya or the mixed Marga.

Anyway, in Kularnava, Lord Shiva mentions Samaya path as inferior to the Kaula path.

  • 2
    Yes right! Shiva says Kaula is superior of all mArga.
    – TheLittleNaruto
    Commented Jun 29, 2021 at 9:50

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