There are many compilations or tantrik digests, discussing a variety of topics a sadhaka or sadhvini needs to know. Below is a summary of the contents of the Devirahasya, which will give an idea of the scope of this type of work. There is little philosophy here; practically the entire contents of the work deals with mantra, yantra, puja and sadhana of the different gods and goddesses discussed.
Rahasya means secret and the work does cover most of the topics a practitioner would need to know. These include purashcarana, which is the preparatory work before puja proper can start. This is very arduous, involving the recitation of mantra and a ritual which spans many hours. The Devirahasya, however, introduces some short-cuts for the Kaula initiate.
The panchangas (five limbs) in this work give essential puja information for a sadhaka or sadhvini and give intriguing insights into various aspects of devata worshipped by the Hindu tantrikas. (An example, translated on this site, is the Bala Panchanga.)
This deals with the characteristics of guru and pupil, with the planetary positions and times of initiation, and with the attendant disqualifications on both pupils and gurus. It also deals with the sequence of initiation, the purification of the disciple, and the initiation of shaktis.
The different mantras of the Devis are given. The Devis mentioned are Bala (an aspect of Tripurasundari as a young girl), Panchadashi and Sodasi (Tripurasundari), Tripura, Vidyarajni (Queen of Vidya), Bhadrakali, Matangi, Bhuvaneshvari, Ugratara, Chinnamasta, Sumukhi (Pretty Face), Sarasvati, Annapurna (Full of Food), Mahalaksmi, Sarika(Small Bodied), Sarada(Autumnal), Indraksi(Indra’s eyes), Bagalamukhi, Mahaturi(The Transcendent Fourth), Maharajni(Great Queen), Jvalamukhi (Fire-Mouth), Bhida, Kalaratri (Night of Time), Bhavani, Vajrayogini, Dhumravarahi(Smoky Varahi Devi), Siddhalakshmi, Kulavagisvari, Padmavati, Kubjika (Crooked One), Gauri (Fair One), Khecari, Nilasarasvati, Parasakti.
Gives the different Saiva mantras such as: Mrtyunjaya (Siva as Conqueror of Death), Amrtesvara, Vatukabhairava (Siva in His aspect as a terrifying boy), Mahesvara, Shiva, Sadasiva, Rudra, Mahadeva, Karala(Formidable One), Vikarala, Nilakantha, Sarva, Pasupati (Lord of Beasts), Mrda, Pinaki, Girisa, Bhima, Mahaganapati, Kumara, Krodhanesa, Isa, Kapalisa, Krurabhairava (Cruel Bhairava), Samharabhairava (Dissolution Bhairava), Isvara, Bharga, Rurubhairava, Kalagnibhairava, Sadyojata (instantly arising — a name of Siva as penis), Aghora, Mahakala and Kamesvara.
The different mantras of Visnu are here given. These are the Laksmi-Narayana mantra, and the mantras of Radhakrsna, Visnu, Laksmi-Nrsimha, Laksmi-Varaha, Bhargava, Sita-Rama, Janardana, Visvaksena and Laksmi-Vasudeva;
The different Utkelana (laying open) of the mantras given above are given. These are mantras which themselves open the mantras up to use.
Gives the vitalising mantras of the Devatas described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
In this chapter the mantras used for reminding any curses that may have become attached to the mantras in chapters 2, 3 and 4 are given.
The method of reciting mantras is here described. The guru puja mantra is given.
Deals with the method of putting together the mantras already described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
Purascarana, or the performance of acts by which a given mantra may be made efficacious, is described in this chapter. This is performed by reciting it 400,000, 200,000 or 100,000 times. It should be performed under a fig tree, in the wilderness, in the cremation ground, in a desert, at crossroads, and should be started at midnight or midday. Purascarana should be done under auspicious astrological configurations after having worshipped one’ s own guru. A yantra is described which should be used in its application. The sadhaka has to fill four pots at the cardinal points. At the end of the chapter alternative methods of doing this necessary act are described. These are through sexual intercourse with an initiated sakti, by reciting the mantra during the birth of a child of the in-group, on a dead body in a cremation ground, during the time the Sun takes to rise and set, in a solar or in a lunar eclipse.
Continues the topic of the previous chapter, and describes the homa which should be done.
Describes in code form the unfolding of the different yantras of the Devatas described in chapters 2,3 and 4.
This chapter describes how an amulet (kavacha) may be made of the yantra of one’s own Istadevata, bound into a ball, and carried upon the person. This amulet is said to give miraculous results. The yantra should be drawn upon birch-bark using 8 different kinds of scent. These are described as svayambhu, kundagola, Rocana, Aguru, camphor, musk, honey, and that arising from Malaya (i.e. sandal). The first two are well-known in the tantras as arising from various Kula women at the menstruation time. The others have similar significance in the left handed and Kaula tantras. Various methods of purification are given in the text, and it is declared that the 1,000 names of the particular Devata should be written around the yantra.
Gives details of the Rishis or seers of the various mantras.
The sadhana of the cremation ground. begins to be described. This chapter contains only 13 verses but there is an extensive commentary provided.
Continues the topic. The different Bhairavas of the elements have to be worshipped. Mahakala-bhairava is the Seer of the mantra, Ushnik is the metre, Sri Smasana is the Devata, Hrim is the bija, Hum is the sakti and Krim is the kilaka. The application of the mantra is in the attainment of the four aims of mankind.
Purification of the rosary formed from human skulls is discussed here.
In this chapter rosary and yantra purification is dealt with. The nature of the five products of the cow and the Yantresvari mantra are also discussed.
The origin of wine is the subject of this chapter. Nine vessels which form the receptacles in which wine is kept are discussed. The presiding Devatas of these are Sadasiva, Isvara, Rudra, Visnu, Paramesti, Indra, Guru,(Jupiter), Sukra (Venus) and the Sun and the Moon taken together.