Category Archives: Bhūta Tantra

Jain Tantra: The Jvālāmālinīkalpa and Bhairavapadmāvatīkalpa

In the medieval period, the Jains developed their own fascinating traditions of Mantra Śāstra, including useful sources that are closely related to the Gāruḍa and Bhūta Tantras.

I am pleased to be able to offer digital etexts of the Jvālāmālinīkalpa (input by Aaron Ullrey) and its descendent, the Bhairavapadmāvatīkalpa (input by Michael Slouber).  The former is based on a very faulty edition with Hindi translation (the only one available to my knowledge).  It deserves to be edited, but that would be a project that both Ullrey and myself do not have the time to take on at the moment.  The edition of the Bhairavapadmāvatīkalpa is much cleaner, therefore the digital text of that is more standardized.

The Jvālāmālinīkalpa even mentions Khaḍgarāvaṇa—a mantra-form of Śiva invoked in the Bhūta Tantras to overcome demonic possessors.  For more on Khaḍgarāvaṇa, see this post.

Jhaveri, the editor of much Jaina tantric literature, informs us that Vidyānuśāsana is the source of both texts, so digitizing that text should be our next endeavor!

Jayatu Khaḍgarāvaṇaḥ

A Japanese sword deity invoked by exorcists. Distant relative to Khaḍgarāvaṇa?


I have decided to make my 2007 MA Thesis available for download and I’d like to use this entry to introduce it.  The first 17 pages introduce the cult of Khaḍgarāvaṇa and the principal source of my thesis, the Kriyākālaguṇottara.  I consider this introduction and the theories I advance in it useful, but not the strongest part of the thesis.  In particular, my understanding of the nature of the KKGU and of the Bhūta Tantra genre has shifted considerably in the three years since I wrote this MA thesis.

More current are my studies of the manuscripts themselves and the critical edition and translation of the ninth chapter of the Kriyākālaguṇottara that form the larger part of the thesis.  Chapter 9, 10, and 11 of the KKGU form the “Khaḍgarāvaṇakalpa”, and are the most detailed source on this interesting figure that survive, to my knowledge.

In the future I would like to do a detailed study on the relationships between the Bhūta and Gāruḍa tantras.  I don’t think it is as simple as published comments make it sound, i.e. that they both deal with pragmatic magical topics and so were typically found together by default.  In fact many ritual procedures are identical for exorcism and countering poison, and differ only in the principal mantra employed by, or rather called on to possess, the practitioner.  More to come.


A well cared for Ākāś-Bhairab mūrti in Kathmandu


My interest was piqued by Goudriaan and Gupta’s description of the Ākāśabhairavakalpa whose main deity, Ākāśabhairava, is “a fearsome winged deity, a manifestation of Bhairava, who is invoked in various ways–of course by means of mantras–for the sake of exorcism.” who “manifests [himself] in three forms, viz. Ākāśabhairava, Āśugāruḍa, and Śārabha…” (Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature 1981: 115)  Given my research interests, I thought the second form sounded promising, and was further spurred to seek out this text by a posting on the Mānasataraṅgiṇī blog where the blogger mentions the text as “a combination of the bhairava srotas with the earlier garuḍa-srotas” (“A Discursion on the Sanatkumārīya Pañcabrahma (siddha-śaṅkara) Tantra and the Early Evolution of the Dakṣiṇaśaiva System” January 5, 2010).  The staff of the NGMCP graciously allowed me to view copies of several Nepalese manuscripts of the text.  For my own purposes of scoping out the text for Gāruḍa material, I have made a list of the chapter titles:

Chapters 1–71 are from NGMPP reel number A 144/13

Chapters 72–81 are from a different manuscript, A 145/9

<> indicates that the title was not given or illegible.  I occasionally checked uncertain words against the other MS.

1: utsāhaprakrama (–f.2r)

2: yajanavidhi (–f.3r)

3: utsāhayajana (–f.4r)

4: utsāhābhiṣekavidhi (–f.5r)

5: mantrayantraprakrama (–f.6r)

6: citramālāmantra (–f.7v)

7: vaśyākarṣaṇaprayoga (–f.8r)

8: mohanadrāvakaprayoga (–f.8v)

9: stambhavidveṣaprayoga (–f.8v)

10: uccāṭananigrahaprayoga (–f.9r)

11: bhogaprada (–f.9v)

12: āśutārkṣyavidhi (–f.10v)

13: āśugāruḍaprayoga (–f.11v)

14: āśugāruḍakavaca (–f.13v)

15: śiṣyācāravidhi (–f.15r)

16: <śarabhasāluvapakṣirājakalpa*> (–f.16v) = title of ch.81?

17: śarabheśāṣṭakastotramantra (–f.18r)

18: <mālāmantra> (–f.20r)

19: <nigrahaprayoga> (–f.20v)

20: <homaprabhedaprayoga> (–f.22r)

21: <(no title)> (–f.23r)

22: rakṣābhiṣekhavidhi (–f.24r)

23: balividhāna (–f.25v)

24: <sadācāravidhi> (–f.28r)

25: māyāprayogavidhi (–f.29r)

26: ācāravidhi (–f.29v)

27: mātṛkāvarṇana (–f.32v)

28: bhadrakālīvidhi (–f.33r)

29: auṣadhavidhi (–f.35r)

30: śūlinīdurgākalpana (–f.37r)

31: śūlinīvidhi (–f.41v)

32: vīrabhadrakalpa (–f.42v)

33: jagatkṣobhaṇa<mālāmantra> (–f.45r)

34: <bhairavaprayoga> (–f.46r)

35: balividhi (–f.47v)

36: kṣetrapālavidhi (–f.49v)

37: vaḍavānalabhairavavidhi (–f.50v)

38: dikpālavidhi (–f.51v)

39: vyādhikalpa (–f.52r)

40: mṛtyuvidhi (–f.52v)

41: śarabhakavaca (–f.57v)

42: manmathaprayoga (–f.59v)

43: cāmuṇḍāvidhi (–f.60v)

44: mohinīvidhi (–f.61r)

45: drāviṇīprayoga (–f.61v)

46: śabdākarṣiṇīprayoga (–f.62r)

47: bhāṣāsarasvatīmantraprayoga (–f.63r)

48: mahālakṣmīprayoga (–f.63v)

49: māyāvidhi (–f.64r)

50: pulindinīvidhi (–f.64v)

51: mahāśāstāvidhi (–f.68v)

52: saṃkṣobhiṇīvidhi (–f.69r)

53: dhūmāvatīvidhi (–f.69v)

54: dhūmāvatīprayoga (–f.70r)

55: nadyuttāraṇavidhi (–f.71r)

56: citravidyāvidhi (–f.72v)

57: deśikastotra (–f.74v)

58: duḥkhasvapnanāśanamantravidhi (–f.75r)

59: pāśavimocana (–f.75v)

60: gaṇapatividhi (–f.76v)

61: auṣadhamantravidhi (–f.78r)

62: mūlikāvidhi (–f.79v)

63: kālamantravidhi (–f.80r)

64: ṣaṇmukhamantravidhi (–f.80v)

65: bhairavavidhi (–f.81r)

66: tvaritāvidhi (–f.82r)

67: vīrabhadravidhi (–f.82v)

68: vaḍavānalabhairavaprayoga (–f.83r)

69: brāhmīvidhi (–f.83v)

70: māheśvarīvidhi (–f.84r)

71: kaumārīvidhi (–f.84v)


72: vaiṣṇavīvidhi (–f.32r)

73: vārāhīvidhi (–f.32v)

74: nārasiṃhīvidhi (–f.32v)

75: indrāṇīvidhi (–f.33r)

76: cāmuṇḍāvidhi (–f.33r)

77: sāluvabhujaṅga (–f.34r)

78: śarabhahṛdaya (–f.35v)

79: śarabhāṣṭottaraśata (–f.37r)

80: śarabhasahasranāma (–f.44r)

81: śarabhasāluvapakṣirājakalpa (–f.46r)

Unfortunately I didn’t notice any Gāruḍa material in my brief look through the text.  If anyone reading this knows of something there I overlooked, please let me know.  The Āśugāruḍa form of Bhairava seems to be more of a general purpose kavaca procedure.  The Tvaritā chapter (66) mentions nothing about poison or snakes, only giving her mantra (notably the word vidyā is not used) in an encoded form.  There seems to be an abundance of references to exorcism (in the tradition of the Bhūtatantras), which accords with what Goudriaan and Gupta wrote, quoted above.  It certainly would be a boon to have this typed in and edited, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get to that for some years to come.