The origin of them is undoubtedly to be found in the Pancha Tantra, or Five Sections, an extensive body of early fables or apologues.
See Wilson's analysis of the Pancha Tantra, in the Mem.
Eastwick (Hertford, 1854); Benfey, Pantscha Tantra, German translation with important introduction (2 vols., Leipzig, 1859) other editions, by L.
As in India, after the expulsion of Buddhism, the degrading worship of Siva and his dusky bride had been incorporated into Hinduism from the savage devil worship of Aryan and of non-Aryan tribes, so, as pure Buddhism died away in the north, the Tantra system, a mixture of magic and witchcraft and sorcery, was incorporated into the corrupted Buddhism.
But this full effect has only been worked out in the lapse of ages; the Tantra literature has also had its growth and its development, and some unhappy scholar of a future age may have to trace its loathsome history.
The nauseous taste repelled even the self-sacrificing industry of Burnouf, when he found the later Tantra books to be as immoral as they are absurd.
The long period of depression seems not to have been without a beneficial influence on the persecuted Buddhist church, for these teachers are reported to have placed the Tantra system more in the background, and to have adhered more strongly to the purer forms of the Mahayana development of the ancient faith.
Further, he set his face against the Tantra system, and against the animistic superstitions which had been allowed to creep into life again.