Every sage has a backstory.

Sages possess untold wisdom, celestial powers, and the key to unlock the powers of life and death. They may seem to live on a lofty pedestal where they enjoy immortal bliss, but as the stories in Sages of Sri Vidya show, they are also as human as we are. They live in the world, where they experience challenges and learn lessons of compassion, selflessness, and humility—sometimes the hard way. The stories of Dattatreya, Parashurama, Dakshinamurti, and others show exalted sages navigating issues of anger and jealousy; greed for power and material possessions; spiritual and worldly ambition; and temptation toward all sorts of pleasures.

As we read their stories, we begin to imagine ourselves in their shoes and wonder: What can we learn from their experiences? And just how different are we from the timeless sages, after all?

In this special new series, written exclusively for Himalayan Institute’s Wisdom Library, Pandit Tigunait shares the stories of the major sages of Sri Vidya—the sublime tantric path that combines mantra, yoga, alchemy, and ayurveda. These stories have been passed down in the scriptural and guru-disciple tradition for generations but have never been told quite like this. Read on, and discover for yourself the secrets of the tantric sages!