Visnuism is one of the chief religions of the Hindus and the Pancaratra is the oldest surviving Visnuite sect. The influence of its tenets on later Visnuism has undoubtedly been great, but has never been thoroughly explored. Despite change and corruption the ritual worship described in the old Pancaratra texts is still performed today in many of the famous temples in southern India and in some in the north. A deeper insight into the historical development of the Visnuite sects, into their ritual, occultism and building of temples and images can only be obtained from the scientific study of these ancient Pancaratra texts which formulate the relevant basic concepts.
The theological and ritualistic aspects of the Pancaratra system have attracted scholars for some
time past and a number of texts have been edited. Some of these publications are of a high standard
and include illiminating introductions.
The reason why the author has chosen to translate the text of the Laksmi Tantra is because its philosophical pronouncements incorporate many of the sect