EARLY TANTRIC MAGIC AND ALAIN DANIÉLOU’S THE CATTLE OF THE GODS
In this essay, Aleksandra Wenta deals with early tantric magic and Alain Daniélou’s novella The Cattle of the Gods1, which forefronts the theme of local tradition centered on the worship of the Goddess in a small Himalayan village. The majority of the village population perceives this local cult as primitive, archaic, and dangerous. In certain sections of Daniélou’s novella, the reader is struck by the similarities of motifs, concepts and themes representing the local archaic tradition and topics related to current research on tantric magic. Aleksandra Wenta attempts to contextualize Daniélou’s within a broader theoretical and practical framework of early tantric magic.
Magical Recipes and Animism
“But we, whom you are amused to think of as savages, we know that the world we see is only a small part of the world surrounding us. And since we believe that certain beings, certain trees, certain species of animal have connexions with the invisible, that they represent a tangible aspect of the universal energy so necessary to the balance of life, we are nearer reality than you, who deny whatever is beyond your comprehension” (Alain Daniélou, The Cattle of the Gods)2.
The magical recipes of the early tantras rest on the ‘animistic’ principle, the understanding that plants and animals have personalities, so to speak. Many plants and trees, as well as animals, are believed to have special powers: suffice it to mention the ‘royal tree’ [rājavṛkṣa], the ‘golden shower tree’, the apāmārga (‘chaff-flower’ or ‘devil’s horsewhip’), the sephalikā (‘night-flowering jasmine’), or the tawny kapilā-cow among animals. In general, the magical recipes possess their own kind of rationality. In this regard, one may quote a passage from anthropologist Hildred Geertz, who stated that magical practices
are comprehensible within the framework of a historically particular view of the nature of reality, a culturally unique image of the way in which the universe works, that provides a hidden conceptual foundation for all of the specific diagnoses, prescriptions, and recipes […]. The common linking element is not a psychological attitude but an ontology3.
The last word ‘ontology’ is important because it stresses the fact that magic has its own implicit theory about the nature of being that is universal and can be applied to different religious systems. The list of ingredients needed in magical rituals did not only require some kind of botanical knowledge and access to nature, but also entailed a belief that certain animals and plants possess a personality—a feature shared by animism. Generally speaking, animism is a characteristic of pre-modern, illiterate, folk traditions, and as such it stands in opposition to organized religions representing ‘high cultures’ and literate traditions. Animism is prevalent among indigenous and small-scale societies to this day. There are many examples of folk animism that have been integrated into organized religions, as epitomized, for example, by the encounter of Buddhism with the indigenous animism of Bon in Tibet4 or by the Japanese Shinto entrenched in autochthonous animism, which has developed in connection with the more sophisticated tradition of Buddhism5.
The function of animism in magical recipes operated on the understanding that certain animals had special properties or powers. Among the vast array of “magical” animals employed in the recipes of early tantras, we find recurrent references to a tawny cow [kapilā]. Both the early Śaiva tantra, the Guhyasūtra of the Niśvāsatattvasaṃhitā and the early Buddhist tantra, the Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa (described by Goodall and Isaacson6 as sharing the same early “ritual syntax” that disappears in later tantras) attest to the importance of using ghee produced from milk obtained from a [kapilā]cow in order to attain various magical accomplishments [siddhis].
One should obtain some ghee from a tawny cow that has given birth to a calf of the same color, place it in a copper bowl stuffed with seven pipal leaves, and recite the mantra until the triple effect occurs [of the ghee becoming hot, emitting smoke, and bursting into flames]. After drinking it, one will be able to, [respectively], retain in one’s memory everything that one has heard, become invisible, and walk on air (MMK 29.13, trans. W. Mical)7.
He should take lampblack in two halves of a human skull together with the ghee of the tawny cow, which has a calf of the same kind, and he should empower the mixture by reciting the mantra ten thousand times. With this lampblack he should then anoint his eyes and he will always disappear (NTGS 3.81, trans. A. Wenta).8
But, the tantric texts were not the first to use the kapilā cow for magic purposes. An example in case is the Arthaśāstra (14.3.79), better known as the manual on ancient Indian statecraft, where the following recipe for inflicting the enemy with blindness is given:
On the 14th day of a dark fortnight, he should anoint the statue of his enemy carved from the royal tree [rājavṛkṣa]wood with bile taken from a tawny-colored cow (kapilā] killed by a weapon. It causes blindness (trans. Olivelle)9.
The larger question posed here concerns the reasons behind the kapilā cow’s special status among animals. Geertz, quoted above, says that the rationality behind magic has to agree with “a historically particular view of the nature of reality, a culturally unique image of the way in which the universe works”. In this view, one may ask whether the kapilā-cow’s special properties could have been, at least partially, derived from a prominent place she occupied in the Brahmanical worldview? Was the early tantric magic merely drawing upon the established Brahmaṇical categories that operated within the hierarchical and structural dichotomies of pure and impure? The answer appears to be ‘yes’ if we consider the high status held by the kapilā cow in the orthodox Brahmanical scriptures, such as the Dharmaśāstras and the Purāṇas. In these texts, she is uniformly regarded as a special type of an “auspicious” cow, reserved for the highest caste of Indian society, i.e., the Brahmins. The Varāha-Purāṇa (112.31)11 says that a gift of a kapilā cow made to a Vedic Brahmin is of such great value that it guarantees the donor’s coveted place in the abode of Brahmā [brahmāloka]. Congruent with the belief in the kapilā’s special property are dietary restrictions for those who do not belong to the Brahmin caste. For example, the Āpastamba Dharmasūtra (Parāśaramādhava, p. 712) says that “the well-behaved kṣatriya, vaiśya, or śūdra, should not drink the milk of the kapilā cow”. The most stringent rules concern the lowest caste, the śūdras. In this regard, the Parāśara (Ācāra, p.65)12 says that a śūdra who drinks the milk of the kapilā cow “falls immediately”; the same outcome is expected from committing such offenses as approaching a Brāhmaṇa woman or recitation of the Vedas. Similarly, the Garuḍa-Purāṇa (IV.18-24)13 mentions drinking the milk from a kapilā cow in a list of sins performed by a śūdra, which also includes wearing a sacred thread, reading sacred scriptures, or having a Brāhmaṇa wife. The Varāha-Purāṇa (112.19-21) warns about the retributive punishments of śūdras who consume the milk of the kapilā cow, ranging from descent into the terrible Raurava hell, to rebirth as dogs and feces-eating worms.14
One can discern from the above passages that drinking the milk of a kapilā cow was included in the scheme of prohibited actions operating within the framework of a social hierarchy. One can also easily imagine that these prohibitions reinforced the status of the kapilā cow as a high ‘commodity’, in which she stood in peculiar symbiosis with the Brahmanical religious orthodoxy and authority that underlined its meaning of exclusiveness. Consequently, since access to the kapilā cow was restricted to a highest social caste, her appeal as an animal possessing special properties was fostered. Thus the employment of the kapilā cow for magic purposes would make sense, especially in the case of those magical practitioners who were outside the Brahmin community. To repeat Dickie’s argument “magic becomes meaningless if it does not exist in opposition to the authority that forbids it”; “once magic loses the aura of being something illicit that can unlock powerful hidden forces, it no longer attracts those who hope to bypass the natural order of things”.15
Daniélou’s concept of “magic threads”
“‘Have you ever seen’, he said, ‘a dog following his master’s track by sniffing wherever he had passed, perhaps even several hours before. You people think that the dog smells a scent. That is stupid. No scent can linger in the air without moving and dissolving rapidly. What the dog follows is something else. It is a trace of subtle substance that all living beings leave behind them when they move in space. It is a kind of bond, binding them to the places where they have passed. We call it ‘Atharva Sutra’, the ‘magic thread’. These magic threads are not only a trace, but they also have a certain persistence or solidity, by means of which it is possible to act upon the persons from which they issue, rather like drawing a spider by its thread. Have you seen a snake devour an animal? Although he swallows the head first, he always approaches it from behind, seizing its magic thread without which he could not mesmerise it. The animal stops as though held back by a bond. It turns round and, drawn slowly, travels back along its own magic thread that the snake seems to swallow like a spider reswallowing its thread. Whenever we move, we thus leave behind us a trace that someone can take hold of.” The Cattle of the Gods (trans. K. Hurry)
The above passage refers to a subtle trace that we leave behind when we move in space, as well as a trace that can be taken hold of as if it were a magic thread. What is important is the ontological status of this magic thread. Daniélou says it is a certain persistence or solidity by means of which it is possible to act upon the persons from which they issue, rather like drawing a spider by its thread. The concept of traces and some kind of bond through which we can affect the targets even though they are no longer present in the same time and space, resembles the laws, universally found in magic, namely the laws of contagion, sympathy, and antipathy, with the only difference that in magical recipes you need to have a material object to act upon, it is not an invisible thread. What is similar to Daniélou’s idea is that both concepts, whether that of the invisible thread or a material object left by the target, still seem to possess the essence of a person that becomes the target of magical procedure. Moreover, they are also both governed by the cause-effect principle. In tantric magic specifically, one can see the first ‘law’ at work in the procurement of a footprint of victim or the earth from where the target has urinated. In other words, things that have been in contact with each other continue to have an effect on each other through some sort of transfer of the essence or property. An example in this case is the early Buddhist tantra, the Vajrabhairavatantra (2.17), where the skin of a musk-shrew is used in a procedure that is intended to effectuate the paralysis of a targeted victim. The beginning of the recipes given in the root-text is as follows:
A magical recipe is often described to ‘bind’ the target or ‘hold him captive’, as expressed by the action noun bandhana. Sometimes the target is released from the magical recipe, as indicated by the use of the noun mokṣaḥ or the verb muñcati/mocayati (“freeing or releasing [the target from the karma]”).
Next, I shall explain the procedure of paralysis. He [the mantra-master], having smeared the shrew-skin with the substances, beginning with poison, etc. and having written the ten-letter mantra on that skin, takes the dust from the footprint of the target and the earth from the place where he has urinated, then fills that [skin] with it and binds it with [the target’s]hair (trans. A. Wenta).16
As the details of these prescriptions make clear, the purpose of making a pouch from an animal skin filled specifically with toilet soil was meant to cause the stoppage of fluids, to block the mouth, etc., or to effectuate a wide range of paralysis. This indicates that the hollow skin of an animal was perhaps a simulacrum believed to represent the orifices of the corresponding body-part of the human, i.e., mouth, nostril, or the entire body, while the toilet soil was regarded as the “blocker” capable of stopping the flow of bodily fluids. The recipe implements the ‘law’ of contagion, where the footprint, the toilet soil or a hair of a victim somehow transfers the essence to the intended target of magic.
The magical ‘law’ of sympathy, as reported in Frazer’s classic definition, is based on the principle of correspondence, ‘similar produces similar’, just as in the case of making a powder from the eyes of animals that typically wander at night in order to obtain night-vision. In contrast, antipathy operates from the understanding of antagonistic forces present in the natural world. Since a mongoose is the archenemy of a snake, manipulation of items collected from those two animals will cause fighting among people.
The use of bodily substances and excrement in the ‘black magic’ of the early tantras and Daniélou’s The Cattle of the Gods
“On the other hand, if a substance belonging to our body is removed, a magic thread ties it to us until it decomposes. Hence the importance in black magic of excrement and, especially, nail parings and hair, which can be preserved for a very long time.” The Cattle of the Gods (trans. K. Hurry)
Collecting human hair and nails is very common in early tantric magic. Here I can point out the rite of killing performed in the early Buddhist tantra, the Vajrabhairavatantra (6.54) where human bone, ass dung, hair and nail clippings and mustard seed are collected and sacrificed in the fire taken from an outcaste or from the cremation ground. In the early Śaiva tantra, the Vīṇaśikhātantra (165-167), human hair appears together with other items in the rite of driving away. The text says: “Then, the rite of eradication of enemies conceited with power [is taught]: any relatives and friends will be forced to move away, [having collected]dry leaves of the neem tree [nimbapattrāṇi]and also tips of banners, human hairs, and ashes from a cremation pyre [citibhasma], feathers and tail plumes of crows, having smeared them with white mustard [kaṭutaila], poison [viṣa]and blood [rakta], he should sacrifice them”17. In another recipe from the two Buddhist tantras, the Vajrabhairavatantra (2.24) and the Saṃpuṭatantra (7.327)18, a person who wants to cause a fight between two people has to collect a hair from a Brahmin and a hair from a monk (or an outcaste), and bury them. Mary Douglas19 writes that a human body is most vulnerable at its margins and the specific body parts, especially the bodily parings, skin, nail, hair clippings and sweat are viewed as dangerous and typically surrounded by taboos, for which reason they are most suitable for magical rituals.
The use of excrement, especially applied on the body of the tantric practitioner during the ritual performance, is also attested in early tantric scriptures. The reasons for this odd practice can perhaps partially be explained by looking at the general typology of smells in South Asian religion and culture, recently researched by McHugh20. McHugh’s discussion highlights the existence of foul-smelling substances, such as urine and feces, which are considered impure and inauspicious; these substances are located at the opposite end of sweet-smelling substances, like milk, honey or lotus that are considered pure and auspicious. Of course, in tantric ritual, inauspicious energies need to be harnessed in order to make black magic [abhicāra]magically potent. Anointing oneself with foul-smelling substances attracts negative, demonic energies through the law of sympathetic magic, “similar attracts similar”. Moreover, the use of foul-smelling substances seems also directly connected to the efficacy of the magical procedure. The Guhyasamājatantra (14.51) provides a case in point, when it says:
Having worn a garment, which is soaked in urine and faeces, which is disgusting because of its appalling odour, he should then repeat the mantra until it dries up; as soon as it has dried up, the victim will die immediately (trans. A. Wenta).21
How does magical procedure work? The concept of ‘binding’ in the early tantras and Daniélou’s The Cattle of the Gods
“But there exists a procedure, known as ‘binding’ in black magic, by means of which, when one holds the end of a magic thread, it can be fixed to a given point and knotted in such a way as to increase its strength considerably. Even then, some magic threads are incapable of strong action. But if their number is increased a hundredfold, or a thousandfold? The victim becomes like a man whose every hair has been attached separately to a wall, absolutely incapable of moving. This is how magicians ‘bind’ their victims in an invisible prison from which they can never escape. The greater the number of threads, the less the victim can move from the centre of the web. The prisoner first begins to feel ill if he goes further than a few miles, then a few hundred yards, and finally only a few paces. Any effort to go away becomes painful and, finally, intolerable. It is as though your soul were snatched away, as though all your nerves were being pulled. Whole families have been imprisoned in this manner. No one has ever been able to escape from one of these invisible prisons.” The Cattle of the Gods (trans. K. Hurry).
The question of how magical recipes operate and in what way the mechanics of magical procedures affects the targeted subjects is important to further our understanding of the main principles at work in tantric magic. Even though the scarcity of evidence does not allow me to discuss this topic at length, nevertheless, it is still possible to delineate its basic features. The magical recipe is often described to ‘bind’ the target or ‘hold him captive’, as expressed by the action noun bandhana. Similarly, sometimes the target is released from the magical recipe, as indicated by the use of the noun mokṣaḥ or the verb muñcati/mocayati (“freeing or releasing [the target from the karma]”). Thus, the antonymous words bandhana and muñcati/mocayati are used complementarily to indicate the two-directional way in which the karma operates. This is best exemplified in the Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa 55:
If he sacrifices into the fire the new branches of dūrvā grass smeared with milk, honey and ghee 8000 times, he will cause [the target]to be released from the binding [of the karma]22 (trans. A. Wenta).
There are different ways of countering the effect of the karma, but the most frequent is countering with the use of water. The MMK refers to the procedure of countering the result of the magical recipe through the use of water, as follows:
By sacrificing into the fire khadira sticks 800 times, all the seizers will be let go. By reciting the supreme mantra seven times with [the use of]ash, the mantra-master will make them bound. By reciting [the mantra]with [the use of]water, there will be release at once23 (trans. A. Wenta).
Who were the Magical/Early Tantric Practitioners?
“’There is a race of men, both ancient and strange. Formerly, in an almost forgotten time, these mountains were outside the ‘Aryan circle’. Their inhabitants were considered barbarians, low-caste beings, by the plain-dwellers. Nevertheless, they had their own culture, remarkable social institutions, laws, nobles, sovereigns. However, when the Brahmanic civilisation widened its circle and its empire to include these areas, Aryan kings and priests were imported into the land, and the entire autochthonous population was reduced to slavery. The ancient temples were ‘purified’, Brahman priests took charge of them and, in some cases, even forbade those who had built them to enter. The result was the development of a double religion; two cultures which ignored each other and have survived parallel to each other down to our own times. In the higher social spheres, you can see the Hindu civilisation everywhere predominant, with its priests, its rajahs and its sacred texts. But below this level, ignored and despised, in the lost mountain valleys there survives a prodigiously ancient culture, with its language, legends, magic rites, and customs. The ancient inhabitants of the land can only perform the humblest of jobs. Very few people know that, amongst them, certain families are considered as families of princes, or priests, whose genealogy reaches back to the very first ‘ages of the world.’
“’They are the ones that practice magic?’
’Yes. Their priests, whom no one knows,
wear an amethyst ring as a sign of their rank.’” The Cattle of the Gods (trans. K. Hurry).
In the above passage Daniélou provides an important insight into the origins of tantric magical practitioners, which he links with the non-Aryan, low-caste, non-elite, semi-literate, and tribal communities. In this regard Daniélou seems to be in line with modern scholarship, which considers Tantra as selective elite appropriation and codifications of exogenous cults and practices, including non-Vedic, non-Sanskritic, autochthonous gods and goddesses. Focusing on the agents of such spells and magical recipes, Ronald Davidson24 has investigated possible non-tantric or pre-tantric prototypes of tantric magical practitioners, arguing that ‘some of the dynamics and ritual practices of Indian magicians were appropriated by tantric groups, so that later forms still exhibit analogous attributes’. In a recent article, Wenta and Acri25 make an attempt to identify the prototypical agents of magical recipes as the cremation ground specialists [śmāśānikas]already in existence prior to the emergence of tantric sects. These specialists could have belonged to what Weber26 called a ‘scorned substratum of disreputable magicians preoccupied with the problem of folk religiosity’ existing (mainly) outside of the Brahmanical order. Śmāśānikas (within both the Hindu and Buddhist fold) seem to have positioned themselves in, and developed out of, the territory between the margins (e.g., of the Buddhist monastic order or of Brahmanical social order) and the lay mainstream, coupling individual asceticism with the meeting of the ritual demands of the community. Hindu communities needed to transition their dead from ghosts, or ‘problematic recent dead’ [bhūta or preta], to ‘harmless long-term ancestral dead’ [pitṛ]27, and ‘Buddhist analogues for these rituals such as merit-making for the dead through offerings to the saṅgha developed as Buddhists sought to supplant Brahmanical ritual expertise’28. One may hypothesize that śmāśānika specialists might have been gradually absorbed into the ranks of organized Śaivism and Buddhism, and that tantric milieus were the most productive loci of exchange since they were populated by liminal and low-status social agents who did not have to abide to the strict rules of purity upheld by Brahmanism and monastic Buddhism. These agents came to be regarded as ‘specialists of the dead’, qualified to handle impure substances and serving the needs of lay communities not only in terms of funerary rites, but also of spirit-related practices, including possession and exorcism, necromancy, and perhaps black magic too.
- First published in French in 1962 as the Le Bétail des Dieux, Editions Buchet-Chastel, Paris. For the overview of the contents, see Adrián Navigante, “Alain Daniélou’s Tribute to the Goddess: A note on the Gangetic Tale The Cattle of the Gods.” Transcultural Dialogues 2021 (7): 3–15.
- All quotations from the English version of The Cattle of the Gods are taken from an unpublished translation by Kenneth Hurry.
- Geertz, Hildred. 1975. ‘An Anthropology of Religion and Magic, I’, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 6/1, p.83.
- Samuel, Geoffrey. 1993. Civilized Shamans. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
- Earhart, H. Byron. 1982. Japanese Religion: Unity and Diversity. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
- Goodall, Dominic, and Harunaga Isaacson. 2016. ‘On the Shared ‘Ritual Syntax’ of the Early Tantric Traditions’, in Dominic Goodall and Harunaga Isaacson (eds.), Tantric Studies. Fruits of a Franco-German Project on Early Tantra, pp. 1–76. Pondicherry: EFEO/IFP/Asien-Afrika Institut Universität Hamburg.
- kapilā yāḥ samā navatsā yāḥ ghṛ taṃ gṛ hya tā mrabhā jane sthā pya saptabhir aś vatthapattrair avaṣṭ abhya tā vaj japed yā vat trividhā siddhir iti / taṃ pī tvā ś rutidhara-m-antardhā nā kāś agamanam iti // Mañjuśriyamūlakalpa/Āryamañjuśrīmūlakalpa (29.13), https://read.84000.co/translation/toh543.html
- kapilā tulya vatsāyā ghṛte gṛhṇeta kajjalam/ narakapālasaṃpuṭe ayutena tu mantrayet/ tena vāñjitanetras tu antarhitaḥ sadā bhavet/ Guhyasū tra of the Niś vā satattvasaṃ hitā 3.81
Guhyasū tra of the Niś vā satattvasaṃ hitā (NTGS). NAK Ms. 1-227, NGMPP Reel No. A 41/14. Palm-leaf ms. Devanā gari transcript by D. Goodall. The chapter and verse numeration used in this paper is based on D. Goodall’s transcript.
- Olivelle, Patrick 2013. King, Governance, and Law in Kauṭilya’s Arthaśāstra, New York: Oxford University Press, p. 432.
- The Varāha-Purāṇa, Part 1, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1960, p. 252.
- The Manusmṛti with the Commentary of Medhātithi, vol. 5, section 2: verse 5.8, trans. Ganganatha Jha, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidaas, 1920.
- Manusmṛti with the Commentary of Medhātithi, vol. 9, section 43: verse 9.333, trans. Ganganatha Jha, Delhi, Motilal Banarsidaas, 1920.
- The Garuḍa-Purāṇa [Sāroddhāra], trans. E. Wood and S.V. Subrahmanyam, Bahadurganj: Bhuvaneśwarī Āśrama, 1911, p.32.
- The Varāha-Purāṇa, Part 1, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1960, p. 252.
- Matthew W. Dickie, Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman World, London/New York: Routledge, p.38.
- For an English translation of the Vajrabhairavatantra based on a critical edition of the Sanskrit manuscripts, see Aleksandra Wenta (forthcoming). The Vajrabhairavatantra: A Study and Annotated Translation. Studies in Indian and Tibetan Buddhism, Boston: Wisdom Publications. For a critical edition of the Vajrabhairavatantra, see Aleksandra Wenta (forthcoming). A Critical Edition of the Vajrabhairavatantra (Sanskrit and Tibetan Texts) with Kumāracandra’s Commentary (Vajrabhairavatantrapañjikā). Peking: Research Institute of Sanskrit Manuscripts and Buddhist Literature, Peking University.
- See Goudriaan, Teun. 1985. Ed. and trans. The Vīṇāś ikhatantra: A Ś aiva Tantra of the Left Current. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p. 73.
- Saṃpuṭatantra, ed. and trans. W. Mical. https://read.84000.co/translation/toh381.
- Mary, Douglas. 1966. Purity and danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo. London: Routledge and Kegan, p. 121.
- McHugh, James. 2012. Sandalwood and Carrion: Smell in Indian Religion and Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.75.
- Guhyasamāja 14.51: viṇ mū trā rdragataṃ vastraṃ pū tigandhajugupsitam/ prā vṛ tya mantram ā vartec chuṣ yate mriyate kṣ aṇā t//. Ed. Matsunaga, Yukei. Osaka: Toho Shuppan, Inc, 1978, p.68.
- Mañjuś riyamū lakalpa 55: Dū rvā pravā lā nāṃ dadhimadhughṛ tā ktā nāṃ aṣṭ asahasraṃ juhuyā d, bandhanā n mocayati. Ed. P.L. Vaidya. Buddhist Sanskrit Texts 18. Darbhanga: Mithila Institute, 1964, 553.
- Mañjuś riyamū lakalpa 55: Khadirasamidhā nā m aṣṭ aś atahomena sarvagrahāṃ muñcā payati. Bhasmanā saptajaptena paramantrāṃ mantrapatir bandhayati. Sakṛ jjaptenodakena mokṣ aḥ. Ed. P.L. Vaidya. Buddhist Sanskrit Texts 18. Darbhanga: Mithila Institute, 1964, p. 547.
- Davidson, Ronald. 2017. ‘Magicians, Sorcerers and Witches: Considering Pretantric, Non-sectarian Sources of Tantric Practices’, Religions 8, 188. doi:10.3390/rel8090188
- Wenta, Aleksandra and Acri, Andrea (forthcoming), ‘Charnel Ground Items, Śmāśānikas, and the Question of the Magical Substratum of the Early Tantras’. In: A. Acri and P.E. Rosati (eds.), Tantra, Magic, and Vernacular Religions in Monsoon Asia. London: Routledge.
- Weber, Max. 1967. The Religion of India. New York: The Free Press, p.295.
- Decaroli, Robert. 2004. Haunting the Buddha: Indian Popular Religions and the Formation of Buddhism. New York: Oxford University Press, p. 88.
- Witkowski, Nicholas. 2017. ‘Pāṃśukūlika as a Standard Practice in the Vinaya’, in Susan Andrews, Jinhua Chen, and Cuilan Liu (eds.), Rules of Engagement: Medieval Traditions of Buddhist Monastic Regulation, Bochum/Freiburg: Projekt Verlag, p. 290, fn.53.