Illness and Immortality: Mantra, Mandala, and Meditation in the Netra Tantra

Research output: Book/ReportBook or reportpeer-review


Illness and Immortality examines the role of ritual elements in rites to alleviate illness and death in medieval Śaiva Tantric practices. This includes analysis of the various forms of the deity Amṛteśa or Mṛtyuñjaya, the nature of mantra, and the relationship between the tantric practitioner and the patient. This work explores what is meant by immortality within the medieval context and how one goes about attaining it. It asks how ritual alleviates illness, what role the deity plays in health and healing, and finally who has access to the rites described within the text. Central to this study is the conception of a body vulnerable to demons and reliant on deities for continued existence, and how the three yogic bodies (sthūla, sūkṣma, and para) play a role in physical and spiritual well-being. The intention is to offer readers various points of entry into the text so that today’s tantric practitioners and scholars alike can access the influential and important concepts and practices found within this long-revered but under-studied work.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages234
ISBN (Electronic)9780197553299
ISBN (Print)9780197553268
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2021

User-Defined Keywords

  • Tantra
  • yoga
  • India
  • immortality
  • meditation
  • mantra
  • mandala
  • Śaiva
  • Bhairava
  • illness


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