Can one study and keep tantra texts like Kaulajñananirnaya at home without initiation from a Guru?

  • Nothing can attain its importance without a Guru, It is difficult to cross the forest of Maya, Only a Guru can help it, So you can have it as just texts but it will get its power when you learn them from a Guru and maybe mispronouncing the words might incur you sin too, So it is better not to read them without the help of a qualified Guru
    – Shashaank
    Apr 14, 2022 at 11:19

2 Answers 2


यद्गृहे निवसेत्तन्त्रं तत्र लक्ष्मी स्थिरायते । राजद्वारे श्मशाने च सभायां रणमध्यतः । निर्जने च जले घोरे श्वापदैः परिभूषिते । माहात्म्यात्तस्य देवेशि चमत्कारो भवेत् प्रिये । तस्मात् सर्वप्रयत्नेन गोपनीयं प्रयत्नतः ।।

Transliteration : Lakshmī (who is reputed to be 'Chañchalā' or the fickle-minded one) remains standstill at the house where Tantra resides. O Deveśi ! It's amazing greatness becomes evident at the courts of law, śmaśhana, assembly of people, in midst of battle, while being alone, drowned or surrounded by fierce animals. So care must be taken to keep it concealed carefully. [1st patala of Brihannila Tantra as quoted in the Pranatoshani Tantra]

It means that one can keep Tāntrika texts in one's house but simply considering that text to be mere ink spread over paper will yield no result.


One may keep an 'n number of scriptures at home, but without the proper guidance of a preceptor (guru), those books will remain mere sheets of paper.

Without a proper initiation from a qualified Guru, any Dīkṣā is useless, and also, any mantra, specifically, the tantric ones is fruitless. On the other hand, with the right guru and the right kind of śiṣya, even a right mantra uttered wrongly, transformed the brāhmiṇa turned thief, Lohajaṅgha, into a Brahma-jñanī whom we today know as Mahaṛṣi Vālmīki (the author of the Rāmāyaṇa), as narrated in the Skanda Purāṇa 6.1.124

This is what the Meru Tantram compendium says.

Verse 606, Section 6, Meru Tantram

गुरु सन्तोषयेत्पश्चात् गोहिरण्याम्बरादिभिः।
गुरौ तुष्टे हि सन्तुष्ये मंत्रः सिद्धयन्ति मंत्रिणा॥

पुस्तके लिखितान् मंत्रानालोक्य प्रजपन्ति ये।
ब्रह्महत्यासमं तेषां पातकं परिकीर्तितम् ॥

( प्रकाश 6 - मेरुतंत्रम्)

After receiving the Mantra from the preceptor (guru) one may gift a cow, gold, clothes, etc. for only when the Guru is satisfied, will the Mantra become fruitful. Some people in haughtiness start self-reciting mantras directly taken from books. Know that such ignorant people incur a sin equivalent to a Mahāpātaka (i.e, Brahmahatyā).

English Translation by Self

So, basically, one may keep whatever book they like at their home (but what's the use, if such a book not be used?), but if they use mantras from it as such, without a proper initiation from a qualified guru, that amounts to a sin, because in a way, that might be a transgression of the lineage system (guru-śiṣya paramparā) and also a disrespect to the original seer of the Mantra, since one is reciting a bonafide mantra without any "adhikāra" (eligibility).

So, No. One should avoid studying Tantras without a qualified guru (and proper initiation).



Arthur Avalon (Sir John George Woodroffe) in his work, Shakti and Shakta, says and quotes a relevant text as follows -

Chapter XXVI - Śākta Sādhanā (the Ordinary Ritual), Shakti and Shakta

It is the Guru who initiates and helps, and the relationship between him and the disciple (Śiṣya) continues until the attainment of spiritual Siddhi. It is only from him that Sādhanāand Yoga are learnt and not (as it is commonly said) from a thousand Śāstras.

As the Ṣaṭkarmadīpikāsays, mere book-knowledge is useless.

पुस्तके लिखिता विद्या येन सुन्दरि यप्यते ।
सिधिर् न जायते तस्य कल्पकोति-षटैर् अपि ॥


pustake likhitā vidyā yena sundari yapyate ।
Sidhir na jāyate tasya kalpakoti-ṣaṭair api ॥

(O Beauteous one!) The one who does Japa of a Vidyā (= Mantra) learnt from a book can never attain Siddhi even if he persists for countless millions of years.

Therefore, to the question asked -

Can one study and keep tantra texts like Kaulajñananirnaya at home without initiation?

No, one should NOT, if they haven't been initiated (given Diksha) from a qualified preceptor (Guru).

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