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Philosophy & History of Tantra

This blog post is made up of two sections from our book The Power of Tantra Meditation: 'The Philosophy of Tantra' and 'A Brief History of Tantra'.

It is difficult to find introductory books on Tantra because many which are easy-to-read come from Neo-Tantra meaning "new Tantra" which focuses on sexuality, pleasure, and the senses. This is not wrong, but it is not traditional. Many books which are traditional are heavy in Sanskrit and highly scholarly making them difficult to read for many of us.

The Power of Tantra Meditation is one of the first introductory books on Tantra which is both easy-to-digest and rooted in tradition.

The Philosophy of Tantra

Tantrik philosophy is summed up in the expression: “What is here is everywhere; what is not here is nowhere.” Put simply, all that exists and will ever exist, including every person and object, is one infinite Divine being whose body is the Universe and whose source is Consciousness.

Tantra believes that suffering occurs when we mistake our personal experiences for our whole selves. This causes us to be trapped by our identification with thoughts, feelings, memories, and sensations. The Tantrik journey begins when you start to perceive yourself as the infinite Divinity, not just your body and mind. Practices such as meditation allow you to turn your attention away from the distractions of the world and towards your inherent Sacredness.

If you are a tantrika (practitioner of Tantra), you can, with guidance from a guru, come to know yourself as the source of all and carry this awareness back into your human experience. In doing so, you can bring transcendence into everyday life. The world will become transparent and vibrant, and you will feel equanimous and peaceful, knowing yourself to be indivisible from both the material and the spiritual realms.

A Brief History of Tantra

Debated by historians and anthropologists alike, there’s no one Tantra origin story that is agreed upon by all. This is due to not only the elusiveness of the tradition but also its oral beginnings. The earliest known written record of Tantra is within the Rig Veda, an ancient Indian collection of Sanskrit hymns composed around 1500 BCE. However, purely Tantrik texts were not written until around 500 to 600 CE.

While Tantra’s exact origins are unknown, it is commonly believed to have ancient shamanic roots. From these beginnings, it evolved into a more fully realized belief system in response to oppression by the Orthodox Hindu society of India many millennia ago. At that time, many spiritual practices were inaccessible to ordinary people and strictly reserved for the highest Brahmin caste.

By contrast, Tantra was relevant even to those not living the life of a monk, as it encompassed the extraordinary within the ordinary. Put simply, it was inclusive to anyone fueled by devotion and a love of truth, no matter their status in society.

This inclusivity established Tantra as a highly adaptable spiritual belief system that easily integrated into the other spiritual traditions of the region, primarily Jainism and Buddhism. While Hindu Tantra prevails in India today, Buddhist Tantra (commonly known as Vajrayana Tantrik Buddhism) has a strong following in Nepal, Bhutan, and Tibet.

The Power of Tantra Meditation

To harness the power of Tantra through philosophy, tools, and practices, order your copy of The Power of Tantra Meditation today. Cast aside the common myths and misconceptions surrounding Tantra. Learn how Tantra meditations incorporate movement, color, and sound to activate the whole self, enhancing physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. These Tantric meditation practices are rooted in Eastern tradition and are simple enough to do anywhere, even for beginners.

If you want to further your understanding of Tantra and deeply embody these teachings, we encourage you to check out our online course "Tantra Meditation" where we explore the path of awakening in Non-Dual Tantra through the essence of Shiva and Shakti.


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