What is Tantra
Tantra is one of the most important Indian traditions, representing the practical aspect of the Vedic ritual and belief. Anglicized as tantrism or tantricism, the word "tantra" is derived from the combination of two words "Tattva" and "Mantra". While, ‘Tattva’ or essence means the principles elaborating interface of cosmic principles, ‘mantra’ refers to the ancient science governing mystic sound and vibrations.
When compared with other segments of Indian religion, Tantra offers a world-embracing vision of the whole of reality as the self-expression of a single, free and joyous Divine Consciousness, rejecting the renouncing trends of general stream of Vedic religion,. The practical consequence of this view was that ordinary persons could aspire to spiritual liberation in the Tantric system.
While other spiritual sciences abhor desire, which they claim leads to bondage and is an obstacle to achieving higher consciousness; Tantra accepts desire as the prime motivating force of the human system. The difference of Tantra from other traditions of Vedic ethos is that it takes holistic view of a person, along with his needs, aspirations and desires. Tantra, offering an alternative path to the other religious systems, stresses that material pleasures and spiritual aspirations are not mutually exclusive, but rather complimentary.
Unfortunately, Tantra is being identified as the yoga of sex, black magic, witchcraft, seduction, and an amalgam of techniques for influencing the minds of others, popularly called Vashikaran’. In the West, concepts of Tantra have been modified for being used primarily with sexuality and sexual practices. Called ‘Tantric Sex’ or ‘sexual Tantra’, concepts of Tantra are often used to help individuals and couples transform process of sexual union into a more satisfying and elevated experience, on the physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. This perception about the Tantra is to some extent erroneous, as the vast majority of scriptural Tantric teachings are not concerned with sexuality per se.
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