The Jeweled Tantras

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The Golden Tantra

A Glory-Glimpse (Lantern4)

   Reinterpreted into the English language and heavily annotated by Nicolas-Louis de la Caille, published posthumously by the Stargazing Society, that loosely-tied company of ambitious astronomers dedicated to the distant and enthralling Hours.
   The florid descriptions of the Tower of Treasures had never been translated in accordance to their original glory. Caille’s translation intersperses them with potent comparisons of the Tower’s murals to constellation of stars only recently discovered during his expedition to the Cape of Good Hope.
   ‘The Sight of the Tower of Treasures - Cepheus, Enveloped by Cassiopeia(72) - is a Treasure unto itself, and regarded as the First of Seven(73).’

The Silver Tantra

A Wood-Word (Moth4)

   The astrologist-writer Patricia Fletcher had retired after translating the Silver Tantra into English, having burned all her works and devoted herself to a life of asceticism.
   The translation is simple, if not spartan, but the prologue, written in a different style from Fletcher’s own, suggests that a more flowery translation would improperly contextualize the meaning of the Tantra.
   ‘A garden of silver trees, heavy with golden peaches, grows around the Tower. The taste of those peaches is the Second Treasure. To access it is to transgress, but no punishment awaits those who had freed themselves.’

The Lapis Tantra

(Sanskrit) Narcissistic Invocation (Lantern8)

   The serial killer Aritha Aruna chanted snippets of this Tantra as she plowed her way through the Land of the Great River. Only a single witness testimony proves this fact.
   The Lapis Tantra is discoursive where its predecessors were descriptive. It speaks at length of the constant and vigilant effort required to challenge one’s baser instincts.
   ‘The Third Treasure is made, not found. It is fealty to the Tower of Treasures and the Glory of Liberation. One may not be merciful, lest he forget the light of that Glory.’

The Crystal Tantra

(Sanskrit) A Forgotten Fragment (Moth6)

   The Crystal Tantra is accused of being a fabrication every twenty years or so. Edward Pierce evidently wrote it from scratch and personally inflicted every sign of age upon the manuscript as to add it to his collection of unread texts, and to spite his competitor and occasional lover Samuel Shine.
   There is some merit to the accusations of facsimile: There are more historical references in this Tantra than all the others combined, and it does not describe the resplendent Glassgarden as it does the Wood below it. Still, the Tantra and its claims possess merit.
   ‘The Fourth Treasure, known also as the Patient Treasure, comes to those who know their every passion like the palm of their hand. Bodhisattva Samantabhadra crushed all but one temptation in his hand, and holds onto the world by his last compassionate wish.’

The Agate Tantra

(Vak) Fascination, Sun-Cleansed Fruit (Moth12)

   This Tantra was originally recorded, read and publicized by a member of the Stargazing Society here called the Heron. A discursive epilogue describes their vehement refusal to ever translate the Agate Tantra, and the depths of meaning that would inevitably be lost in the process.
   The switch from Sanskrit to Vak is accompanied by a switch in complexity. The Tantra feels no need to explain the concepts it introduces - concepts that have not been properly expressed in any human language - and immediately begins with an exploration of the interplay between Eyes, Forms and the Self.
   ‘The Fifth Treasure is the ability to close all five of one’s eyes, and look upon the formless realm. The formless realm is not within you, as it is not without you, as you do not exist.’

The Pearl Tantra

(Vak) Dread, Polyform Rubric (Lantern12)

   The Pearl Tantra is said to have never been discovered by the Stargazing Society, having been passed down in a remote Buddhist temple for centuries. It is said that it was originally discovered by one of the monks, who saw it written on the underside of his skin. By what means he saw it is unclear.
   The Tantra had simmered in the culture and twilight language of the temple. The complexities of Vak intermingle with a history of Buddhist symbology. It is a challenging, exalting and merciless text.
   ‘The Sixth Treasure is said to be the least merciful among them, and demands that you give all that is not the self to lake-water. Mercy is a desire like all others, and self-preservation is merely mercy for the self. As any student of the Path knows, as without, so within.’

The Carnelian Tantra

(Vak) Fascination, Dread, Illuminate Mysteries (Lantern14), Sunspot Rite

   The only known extant copy of the Carnelian Tantra had been acquired at an auction by the middling astronomer Fergus Bell, who went on to have a prolific career as adept and astrologist. He had removed both of his eyes after reading this Tantra.
   Bell had never publicized any facts about the Tantra, for fear of competition.
   ‘The Seventh Treasure is known to nobody - to those who look upon the mirror and see no self in the reflection.’