People are unclear about what Tantra really is and what it can do for you.
Probably the most common view is that Tantra has some connection with Oriental
religion, with uninhibited sex, and with the lovemaking positions and techniques
outlined in the Kama Sutra, Hinduism's oldest sex manual. To some, Tantra is a
free-love cult, a survival of the psychedelic sixties; to others, it's New Age
spiritual sex therapy, part of the California lifestyle, a slice of 1990s pop
None of these views of Tantra are wrong outright, but none really explain what
Tantra actually is. So what is Tantra? What does it mean? And, most important of
all, what is its relevance to us today?
The word Tantra is Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism. It derives from
the root word tan, which translates as "to extend, expand, spread,
continue, spin out, weave; to put forth, show, or manifest." Like the
universe we inhabit, Tantra is continually expanding, spreading, and manifesting
itself like a "cosmic weave," made up of different energies. We are
part of this weave, as are our forefathers and foremothers, all life, and every
type of energy and matter. This includes thoughts, actions, and all physical
Definitions of Tantra
Tantra is a mystical subject, it is nearly impossible to define. Even eminent
scholars have had a hard time explaining what Tantra actually is. The different
explanations of Tantra indicate its multifaceted nature. Tantra is a spiritual
science, which means it is also mystical, in its interconnectedness, the
holistic wisdom link between ourselves and the universe we inhabit.
By embracing Tantra, we become more "real," more "complete."
How? By recognizing and stimulating our inherent sensual spirituality, we
discover parts of ourselves that have remained asleep or have been repressed.
With Tantra, an energy is released that is evolutionary and "upwardly
motivated." We can learn to use this energy for pleasure, for achieving our
worldly goals, and for aiding our spiritual evolution.
Familiarity with Tantra can help a person to enjoy life to the fullest. It can
help do away with guilt or fear, break down self imposed or limiting cultural
boundaries, and guide us in our search for solutions. Tantra teaches us to
become familiar with our mystical nature, and when we do so, our boundaries
expand. We enter into new domains of awareness. We become empowered, more
fulfilled, and more perfect.
Traditional dictionary definitions of Tantra are revealing. A Sanskrit word,
Tantra is sometimes translated as "leading principle, essential part,
model, system, framework,
doctrine, rule, theory, scientific work," also as "order, chief part,
rule, authority, science, mystic works, magical formulas, means, expedient,
stratagem, medicine." Finally, a Tantra is sometimes defined as "a
type of mystical teaching set out mostly in the form of dialogs between a cosmic
couple. intimate insightful dialogs, between God and Goddess, Shiva and Shakti,
the male and female Tantric adepts, were at times written down and became known
as Tantras. Naturally, these dialogs, being intimate, included sexual secrets as
well as many other fascinating
Tantra has been well tested over thousands of years, not in worldly laboratories
but in the laboratories of the human body, by Yogi scientists and Tibetan Lamas
who were not driven by commerce but by the earnest desire for spiritual
knowledge and liberation. Their observations and insights have been passed down
The sacred Hindu and Buddhist scriptures known as Tantras provide detailed
instructions on a wide range of topics, including spiritual knowledge,
technology, and science. Their content is often paradoxical. In Tantra, science
and mysticism go hand in hand, as do sensuality and asceticism. Just as advanced
scientific treatises are difficult for the layperson to comprehend, so
traditional Tantras require adequate preparation before they can be properly
understood. © Nik Douglas