Parama Samhita (English translation)

by Krishnaswami Aiyangar | 1940 | 69,979 words

This is the English translation of the Parama Samhita, a manual textbook of the Pancaratra system of philosophy and worship. It summarizes topics such as ritualistic worship and initiation as detailled in the various Agamas belonging to the Pancaratra school of Vaishnavism....

Introduction to the Pāñcarātra Āgama

What is called the Pāñcarātra is one section of the āgama literature of the Vaiṣṇavas. The term as it is used generally, is applied to a class of works of a general character which incorporate the established, accepted practice in regard to any subject which has an āgama of its own. In its religious signification, responsible commentators among the Vaiṣṇavas regard āgama as the synonym of what logicians call āpta vākyam. Literally this would mean the words or commands of those interested in our welfare. This would correspond to what is generally called śiṣṭācārā, or the practice of the disciplined. Having regard to these shades of meaning, we may define an āgama generally as that which is the accepted practice of the disciplined in respect of worship.