Talk:Tantra/Archive 2

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Controversy

Some references in this article draw controversy. There are misleading data in publications concerning the word Tantra. The Buddhsit and religious aspects of Tantra is clearly different from references from David Gordon White or H Urban for instance which are scattered in different part of this article. There are number of web sites that outline the controversial aspects. There seems to be some distinction to be made here in between the original Tantra and the so called 'Neo-Tantra' or 'California-Tantra'. It would be desirable to separate the traditional religious aspect and the neo calfifornia sex derivative. --Rédacteur Tibet 14:37, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

New outline for article

Hello everyone. I think we should develop a new article structure and then move the existing material into it, finding citations as we do so. I've begun a new outline at Tantra/temp. My starting point is the structure of two books: the first part is the structure of The Roots of Tantra edited by Harper and Brown, and the Tantra in practice section is from the book of the same name edited by David Gordon White.

Now, it's probably a copyvio to use the section headings from these books verbatim, and many are not optimal heading titles, but I think its a good starting point and we can discuss changing the wording of some and removing others. Tantra is a broad subject, and I think it is important that we know what topics we are going to include and have a good general structure for the article to facilitate getting the article in better shape.

Any thoughts? —Hanuman Das 13:33, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

Very good idea. The present article structure is very all over the place and there is a lot of opinionated and poorly written/referenced material in there. I think most of the present material can be incorporated under the various headings in the temp article.
think we should add a section at the end about tantra in the west + neotantra.
i think that if a start is made to transfer some of the present material to the temp article then some subheadings could be eliminated and others transfered to different sections. I think the template you mentioned is adequate to start doing this.
--Supernaut76 16:04, 20 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, a paragraph on neo-tantra with a link to the main article Neotantra is how I think that should be done, myself... That said, I like Hanuman Das's idea... Though once it has been filled out and ready to be moved into place, we should have an admin do it so that the edit histories can be merged. Another thought is that if all editors agree, to put a note at the top of the page about the new article and even possibly have it protected so new material and edits are not made to the old article while we are working on the new one... -999 (Talk) 16:17, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

agreed. neotantra turns up everywhere: probably beacuse of people enthusiastic to take a stand against it!

--Supernaut76 21:15, 20 July 2006 (UTC)

I fully endorse the idea. Normally, I think copying and pasting with just a few changes is copyvio, but in the case of section titles, I think it'll be okay. TheRingess 01:09, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, then. It looks like so far everyone is in agreement. I checked the history since July 1, and there are three other contributors that we should give a chance to chime in... Ekajati, Gauravjwal and Shiva bakta. I'll put a note on their talk pages and we can give them a few days to respond... -999 (Talk) 15:48, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I'll endorse the basic idea of this, though I think there are several section headings under Tantra in Practice that we may not use as we don't currently have any info in the article that fits under them. Another thing, should we make this an intro to tantra but in-depth only about Hindu tantra? Because there's an in depth article on Vajrayana already. Also, has anyone noticed the Tantras article about the texts? Ekajati 15:08, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I've put a suggested dablink at the top of the new article. Please let me know what you think... Ekajati 15:13, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

a few thoughts

Gauravjwal 21:28, 23 July 2006 (UTC), a few thoughts: i like the structure that the article's beginning to take but i think the essence of the article is still a little too esoteric. the purpose should be to demystify tantra as much as possible..for instance..i added the following mid july:

A common misconception in tantra is that it encourages free sex as a path to divine bliss. Pleasure is not a driving force in "tantrik sex". Sex is a tool to realise the divinity that lies within. An orgasm, though a result of sexual communion with a partner, does not "come" from the partner but arises within the self. The source of the pleasure lies within. A Tantrik explores that source and tries to understand and even control it. For a Tantrik the purpose of sex is not the orgasm per se, but the moment of thoughtlessness that one experiences at the peak of an orgasm. At that point the mind is truly thoughtless, and to achieve and understand that state is the goal of any yogi, tantrik or otherwise.

i think the above text clarifies the purpose and the role of sex in tantra, albeit only to an extent.i think our aim should be clarity and in this regard Tantra and sex - traditional and neotantric views is a little vague.

lets discuss the following structure: 1.tantra: what is 2.convey the essense of tantra: "accept all reject none"(agree/disagree?) 3.Concepts and practises associated with Tantra: right hand/left hand etc; other practises. 4.tantra and sex...remove misconceptions etc. Also kundalini can be included here. 5.history/vedic origins. 6.modern tantra. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gauravjwal (talkcontribs)

Gauravjwal, I undersatnd the point of your paragraph, but what is the source? Are you aware of Wikipedia's verifiability requirement? You can't just write from your own knowledge, that's called original research and is not allowed on WP. You must be reporting what other reputable sources have said. What sources did you use for the above paragraph? ... to properly complete it you must cite these sources so that others can verify them.
The same problem exists with your other points. This is not supposed to be an essay, but an encyclopedia article. One should not be trying to dispel misconceptions, but rather trying to present the topic in a fair, even, and balanced manner from already existing reliable sources. I think the outline I've presented accords better with established sources.
Further, I simply do not agree with your hypothesis that "accept all reject none" is in any way the "essense" of tantra. Against, what source can you cite that says this? —Hanuman Das 21:50, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Please consider the capitalist implications of respecting copyright. I would rather you ask "Is it creative" than "Am I going to break the law". Mark

You seem to have completely missed the point. Oh, well. —Hanuman Das 04:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

i appreciate the points you made. i'll mention citations henceforth--Gauravjwal 07:12, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

About the "accept all, reject none" tenet. All literature i've studied mentions that tantra epouses one to accept all reality as aspects/manifestations of the "Divine Mother". Including those which are otherwise "shunned" like meat, parched grain, alcohol... One citable source i can quote from in this regard is the book Divine Light by SK Das; "The Tantra Sadhaka, by this method of worship, is made at the outset to feel and then by higher process of self-culture, to realise All-Blissful-Mother, in the universe.Nothing is condemnable". "Nothing is condemnable" is the phrase to note--Gauravjwal 07:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Gauravjwal I altered this paragraph considerably, although I accept the validity of your point. The original seemed a little defensive to me and not adequately contextualised. I also thought that the essence of the act should not have been stated as being the " thoughtlessness that arises " although I agree this an important aspect. I think with something as protean as tantra one must be careful in making statements about essence - can be acceptable if contextualised though. I guess there are too many exceptions that break the rule in Tantra.

--Supernaut76 12:50, 24 July 2006 (UTC

To educate or write authentically on this subject one need's a lot of experience in it's absence just "cut and paste" will not do much representation.

The subject will be distorted enough and any effort to "cut and paste" will only add to the confusion , safest path is to use open or out of copyright books and leave the subject at the introductory stage ao no book is better than John Woodroff's.§≈

Neotantra section

I removed this section. The section read like an essay. With no sources given it seems to much like original research. If anyone can show how it is not original research, for example, showing sources for a phrase like "Too many westerners...." then I think they should rewrite it.TheRingess 22:02, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Neotantra section/sex and Tantra

Ringness - why don't you edify us by contributing to the Tantra/temp article or suggesting corrections. i think these large scale deletions are highly inappropriate, especially if not replaced by more suitable referenced material.Supernaut76 19:45, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not sure that they are inappropriate. original research is discouraged on Wikipedia and this section seems to be too much original research. It seems to me that this section draws conclusions based on research not available to the average reader instead of merely presenting material that has already been published in reputable sources and fact checked. For example, the very first 3 words..."To many westerners..." raises several questions:
What do you mean by the word "westerners"
How much is many?
How did you count these westerners?
At best this is way too much passive voice. I do not feel that it is my job to provide those sources and define those terms. It is the job of the original editor. Sometimes leaving a section alone and doing nothing is worse than deleting it. Those are just my thoughts.TheRingess 01:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
As far as I can remember , the Neotantra section was a hangover from a major edit I did several years ago. The article at the time seemd to present one person's highly personal and (IMO) very Westernised view of Tantra, and I corrected/deleted as much as I could without starting an editing war. I like the current situation; i.e. a short paragraph linking to a separate article. Solri 21:46, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Don't think this is original research - read the references provided. I think that your approach is overstudious in critique without actually providing any alternatives. The perspectives cited are well known even in scholarly approaches. In time someone may find an academic article that does a statistical survey of knowledge/attitudes in 'the west' re: Hindu Tantra - until then I think a commonsense approach is advisable as long as it is broadly consistent with views of scholars/practioners. In the balance I think that deleting this section is the worse of the two evils, one reason being that people searching for information on the subject will either come across a website pedalling sloppy pseudo-tantric techniques "that will change your sex life forever!" or a personal diatribe against the sexual aspects of Tantra. I don't think its your job to decimate wikipedia either!Supernaut76 11:07, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

This is just one person's viewpoing, a fellow editors, who is no more no less authoritative about Wikipedia's stated goals and pillars. From my standpoint, the following sentence:

To many westerners Tantra is perceived as being an artful technique for enhancing sexual pleasure.

is original research. It is not a statement of fact. It is either a claim or it is a conclusion. Either way, it needs to be expanded to answer questions I raised above. What is meant by the word "many"? Why isn't it "few", or "just the right number". Does many mean 10, 1000, 10000, 100000? Why is the viewpoint of these "many westerners" relevant? Again, what is meant by westerners? And again, who was the original author of that statement and where did they publish their research? You mention "broadly consistent with views..." yet you do not give the casual reader of Wikipedia who may be unfamiliar with Tantra, an opportunity to decide for themselves whether or not the statement meets that criteria. Did I provide alternatives? I don't consider that my job, because it is the job of every editor adding content to Wikipedia, to ensure that it is neutral, verifiable, and not original resarch. Am I decimating Wikipedia? You make it sound like I've removed content from thousands of articles on Wikipedia? Do you really believe that? What did you do, scan all of my edits, count the number of times that I "decimated" an article? Personally, I have no further wish to discuss this with you as you show that you have no desire to discuss things civilly.TheRingess 02:05, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Sorry, did not intend to hurt your feelings; but just to remind you that at the last count over 99% of wikipedia was poorly referenced. Not ideal by any means, but certainly not a call to arms for the eradication of improperly referenced articles. I think the concept of a westerner is well recognised - see wikipedia article The West. Don't think the word 'many'constitutes a serious violation of wikipedias 'pillars' anymore than a word like 'popular conception'. Editorial views of relevance can be subjective too. Lets agree to keep it for now, while I find a suitable reference/sentence structure for the same.Peace.Supernaut76 12:34, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Almost 2 months later, I still think that this section is a lot of orignal research, and does not belong in this article unless someone is willing to do a major rewrite. Since almost 2 months have passed and no one seems to want to do any work on it, I think that it's best to delete it. An interested editor, could rewrite it, citing reputable sources and reinstate it. Since no one seems interested in it, it's probably not that important anyway. Since the section is original research, it's best to keep it out. Wikipedia's policies pretty much state that no original research is allowed. See WP:OR.TheRingess 01:15, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I am willing and intend to initate, or contribute to, a major rewrite. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 19:50, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

main page

Is it really a good idea to link this article from the main page????

Precious Article from Bulletin of Tibetology

Considerations on tantric spirituality by Thubten Tendzin

Austerlitz 88.72.1.186 08:27, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Austerlitz 88.72.15.71 21:33, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Appalled...

I have just read this article and am thoroughly insulted. I hope you dont mind if I make some sweeping edits. Saiva suj 19:29, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

You are not talking about the article written by Thubten Yeshe, are you? Austerlitz 88.72.11.82 10:07, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

No, I did not read that. I mean this wikipedia article. Saiva suj 15:28, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

It has been Thubten Tendzin, but it doesn't matter. Better late than never! Austerlitz 88.72.0.88 16:49, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


Neotantra section/sex and Tantra

Satisfactory resolution. Thanks Hanuman Das - had forgotten where I had put the cited version I had written. As you can see Ringess, most of the original paragraph is retained. You need to come off your perch every so often.

Hanumanji

I'm not trying to suppress your edits. I just think they should be somewhere other than in the intro. It's too much detail for the intro. HeBhagawan

Not mine, I think, but it's a good summary. The intro is allowed to be 3 - 4 paragraphs, so I don't see what the problem is. That long fourth paragraph was certainly too much, though.... —Hanuman Das 02:33, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Sources

Namaskar. I understand that this is the English Wikipedia, and thus, contributers speak English. However, I would like to point out that many English sources on Tantra are flawed, and this is causing some very disturbing material to appear on this article. Tantra is not sex, and has nothing to do with sex. It has nothing to do with breaking taboos. This is the wrong idea. I and my family are of the Tantrika Parampara and this is very insulting to me, and a disgrace to our heritage. I feel handicapped in repairing any sections of this article with all the filth that is continuously dumped into it. Please, cite scriptures, and bhasyas of scriptures as sources, do not use Western scholarly sources. Namaḥṣivaya, Śaiva Sujīţ 15:13, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

There are good recent academic sources on tantra. Those from State University of New York Press as especially good. Working from primary sources such as scripture would be original research. That's not what an encyclopedia is about. Is your Tantra Vaishnavi? Because typically Vaishnavi tantras are symbolic and right-handed. Shaivite Tantra tends to be left-handed (Vamachara), sexual, and "trangressive". Even within India there is a whole range of tantra. Academic sources, even in English, are a better place to find the whole range of tanrtra than personal experience. —Hanuman Das 01:44, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Namaskar. No, our Tantrika Parampara is not Vaishnawa, though it is an interesting question for "Hanuman Das" to ask "Saiva Sujit". The Vaishnawa agamas are rarely called tantras. They are normally referred to as agamas, or more specifically, Pancharatras, Pratishthasaras etc. Tantras are generally reserved for non-dualistic Śaiva Agamas and/or Śakta Agamas, though it is indeed acceptable to call them all Tantras. I don't understand why using śastra would be considered original research; we have cited many śastras in Hinduism, and it is pending approval of featured status. I hope you can understand why I am unhappy with my religion being depicted inaccurately, inadequately, and unethically.
Namaḥṣivaya, Śaiva Sujīţ 02:30, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Quoting a shastra would not. Interpreting it would. Tantras tend to be bivalent and can be interpreted shall we say permissively. I agree with you insofar as I think the terribly misnamed "neotantra" does not belong in this article at all. P.S. Despite my name, I am a Shaivite (though not Hindu by birth) as I consider Hanumanji an incarnation of Shiva. —Hanuman Das 02:38, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Namaskar. Perhaps it would work better to first figure out what this article is about. As I see it, this article should be about Hindu Tantra, and not Jain or Buddhist, etc. Tantra. They have seperate articles. Then, linking away the vaishnawa tantras, we may discuss the philosophy of the Tantrika Parampara. If you have not tantric śastra available to you, or you consider it Original Sin to interpret them, consult bhashyas. The results of using western scholarly writings are clearly quite apalling.
Namaḥṣivaya, Śaiva Sujīţ 03:12, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


If you are interested in contributing in such a fashion, http://www.muktabodhalib.org/SECURE/digital_library_index.htm is a wonderful resource. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīţ सुजीत ॐ 16:49, 17 November 2006 (UTC)

Tantra

Saiva, The problem is not so much that they cite Western sources. The problem is that the article is a mess. It is jumbled and incoherent--in addition to over-emphasizing a particular kind of Tantra. We need to do with Tantra what we have done with Hinduism: Have the early parts of the article describe the things that all followers of Tantra have in common: Worship of God as Mother, reverence for the Tantrik scriptues, the goal of spiritual experience, the history of Tantra, major places of pilgrimage, etc. Then after the article has described all the things that all agree on, it should have separate sections for the divergent sects and practices. In its current state, this article just focuses mostly on one concept of Tantra, and it's definately not one that most or all Tantriks would agree on.HeBhagawan 02:35, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

On the other hand, using scriptures as a source is not necessarily primary research. It depends on how you use them. HeBhagawan 02:52, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Four Traditions of Sri Vidya

I reverted the addition of this material.

It is material copied directly from this link: http://shaktisadhana.50megs.com/Newhomepage/Resource/essays/4traditionsofsrividya.html so it is a possible copyright violation.

Also, it listed no sources and seemed to be a personal essay.

TheRingess 21:33, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

External link on the Tantra in the modern world section

About the External link on the Tantra in the modern world section: This is a link to a commercial website (many links to amazon products), with content that doesn't seem of primary importance for the subject. This link falls in the number 3 point of the "Links normally to be avoided" according to the Wikipedia external links page. I suggest that we remove this link and citation. I tried to remove the link but someone immediately put it back. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philippemv (talkcontribs)

That's a citation. -999 (Talk) 18:00, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

This citation is not of primary interest and I suspect that it has been inserted by someone who wants the viewers to visit the website it is linking to, maybe you, 999? If we start with these kinds of practices on this article, a lot of people will want to promote their website in the same way. If you agree with this, express your voice here. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Philippemv (talkcontribs)

I agree to removing the link. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 18:14, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

That is not primarily a commercial site, it is primarily a content site, and it is one of the few traditional tantra (as opposed to neo-tantra) sites on the internet. It is not my site, but it is a valuable resource and should most certainly be linked to when it is used as a source. -999 (Talk) 18:32, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
However, you are correct that the link was not well done. I've corrected it to link directly to the source of the quote rather than the main page, and made it a footnote in the style of the rest of the article notes. Cheers. -999 (Talk) 18:45, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for this correction 999. I am myself very concerned about bringing the best information possible about traditional Tantra. Nevertheless, I keep thinking That there is several other websites about traditional tantra that are incomparatively more valuable and interesting than this one, here is 2 of them as examples: the website of David Frawley: vedanet.com or the website of George Feuerstein: www.traditionalyogastudies.com/articles_tantra-kundalini_neo.html Hopefully other voices will come here to comment on this.


I am reminding you all to stray from speculative unfounded misinterpretations misconstrued as sources, and rely on more solid foundations. If any of you have respect, knowledge, or affiliation with Tantrika Parampara, you will know or learn what I mean. As I mentioned above, a fantastic source to use is http://www.muktabodhalib.org/SECURE/digital_library_index.htm . ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 19:53, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

What? A source that requires a login to access? How are we supposed to use that? Even if we could log in, WP doesn't allow the use of sources that require login. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 15:49, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
It's a library. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 15:50, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Your login is essentially a library card, but infinitely more simple. and as far copyrights go, it's all in public domain. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 15:52, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I see what you mean now. Here is the link: http://www.muktabodhalib.org/index2.htm ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 15:53, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Um, but there is no place to sign up. The link you give simply gives a popup window requesting username and password. If you don't enter it, it goes to an error page. How, precisely, is anyone supposed to get into this "library". If it's public domain, why is it being placed behind a login. What are the terms of use? Ekajati (yakity-yak) 15:54, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
OK, I see where you create an account (though I hate sites that resize my browser window). But I can't use it, as it requires the installation of software which I can't install. Of course you realize that you can't use links to this material in citations, as both sites behind logins and sites that use media requiring special software to access can't be linked to from Wikipedia as sources. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 15:58, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Many people have PDF. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 16:43, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
The PDF's and DjVu's are not in public domain, however, the texts are. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 16:45, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Also, as far as citation goes, you need not cite the website, except, perhaps, as an external link. The website itself does not really offer content--you must cite the text. If you were to borrow a book from a library, you would not cite NY Public Library...cite the text, which you were able to read by means of the library.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 16:47, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, of course one can cite the text in question. However, sites requiring registration cannot be linked to, even from the external links section. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 17:05, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

You have to be joking. It's a library. It is the most informative resource out of any of the garbage that any of you have posted. It is entirely nonsensical to remove that link. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 17:06, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

No, I'm not joking. Have you read the official external linking policy? Ekajati (yakity-yak) 17:36, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
"It has relevant content that is of substantially higher quality than that available from any other website." Therefore I'm putting it back. If you believe that the resource provided by the muktabodhalibrary is of inferior or even equal quality of the previous links...do tell me so, and explain why. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 19:39, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Hello, I believe I am the site owner for the external link being discussed here. I did not add the link, however I do want to add a few words to this discussion. I am initiated into a Tantrik Parampara. I have studied and practiced in my tradition for twenty years, and I have permission to teach. Additionally, I have published a book about Tantra and other subjects with the University of Minnesota Press. I am grateful that any link to my site has cropped up on Wikipedia so that sincere students can more easily find authentic information about this living tradition. So, I thank you for leaving the link in. In matriseva, Shambhavi —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.44.92 (talkcontribs)

Namaskar, Shambhavini. The reason that I opposed the inclusion of the link to your site is the nature of the content you have posted. They seem to be mostly personal essays, with very little substantiation by shastras. Also, I find it hard to accept your website as a reliable source with the claim of initiation and permission to teach. As a Koshur Shaivite, I have advocated the use of legitimate shastras and bhashyas to have a pristine article on Tantra, and stray from self-proclaimed "masters" or "practitioners" of the Tantrika Parampara. I am sure you would agree.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 07:54, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Hari OM. Pandits now and again questioned Sri Ma Anandamayi about some activity or idea that was "not in the shastras." Her answer? If you are looking at a map, you see only the major points of interest, not every detail between these points. Only intensive sadhana will reveal the entire landscape. Also through sadhana, one discovers that everything is both personal and impersonal. If the shastras were not revealed through the same wisdom of Reality as one encounters through "personal" sadhana, what use would they be? Tantra is only another name for Reality. Anyone can discover it through sincere application, Guru, and grace. This nondiscrimination is a fundament of Tantrik View, and of Reality itself. OM Shanti, Shambhavi —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.44.92 (talkcontribs)

Namaskar. I am in no way questioning your qualifications as a tantrika sadhaka, or even as a tantrika blogger, in an attempt to teach others. However, for the purposes of an encyclopedia, do you see why I would prefer citations from Abhinavagupta's Tantraloka, as opposed to livingtantra.net?
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 15:03, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Hari OM. I would prefer sincere seekers to have ready access to authentic View confirmed by practice from any source without dogmatism and to thoughtful scholarship. There is no opposition. By your "kosher" test as stated above, even the secondary treatises by your own Guru, Swami Lakshman Joo, would not be acceptable. OM Shanti, Shambhavi—Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.44.92 (talkcontribs)

Namaskar. I am sorry, for my misleading claim. I did not mean to say Koshur Shaivite as in Judaic kosher, but in our language, koshur means kashmiri. Also, I did not really create any test of any sort. However, the reason that I feel that the bhasyas of someone like Swami Lakshman Joo, Acarya Abhinavagupta, or Raman Maharishi is not their own claims, but the esteem they are held in by others. Also, Saivacarya Ishwar Svarup Shri Swami Lakshman Joo Maharaj Raina is in the direct lineage of Acarya Shri Abhinavagupta.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 16:24, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Namaskar. I hope you did not take any offense: in saying that I am a "Koshur Shaivite", I did not in any way mean to say that I considered my Shaivite nature to be of a higher nature than yours, which may have been how I mislead you, considering the popular phrasing 'not quite kosher'. Please understand that this was not my intention, at all. I simply meant Kashmiri Shaivite, to wink to you that I am also Tantrika.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 16:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Hari OM. I take no offense at anything anyone says. You are my own Self. OM Shanti, Shambhavi —Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.44.92 (talkcontribs)
चैतन्यमात्मा | ज्ञनं बन्धः || ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 23:34, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Hari OM. It gives me great delight to know that "koshur" signifies "kashmiri." Please be so kind as to write to me privately and let me know your understanding of the origin of this seeming confluence. shambhavi108[AT]earthlink.net OM Shanti, Shambhavi—Preceding unsigned comment added by 67.101.44.92 (talkcontribs)

Erroneous Sections

The following sections are erroneous, and uncited. I will either remove them or completely change them (with [new] citations) "Tantric Chakras" "Hindu Tantra" "Tantra and the Vedas" "Kundalini in Hindu Tantra". And, as far as about every other piece of garbage in this article... the only presence it deserves is perhaps a very lucky mention in "See Also".

Please have (or at least show) some respect.

ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 19:48, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


Outside Impressions

Having read this article, seen the dispute tag and had a quick look at this discussion page, I thought I'd raise an issue. Slightly embarrassed, I was thinking about Sting and his famous 8-hour orgasms urban myth so I thought I'd check out what wikipedia had to say. The last paragraph of 'sexual rites' is, to me, total gibberish. What is 'infinite awareness'? Why mention this concept when it's so transparently impossible? "The sushumna nadi is awakened and kundalini rises up, resulting in an awesome cosmic awareness in which all residual individuality is completely disintegrated in the stream of samadhi consciousness." What's an 'awesome cosmic awareness'? What's a cosmic awareness, full stop? I'm aware of the cosmos, and that it's awesome, I don't need tantra for that. And how can individuality 'disintegrate'? And apparently 'each participant expriences a fusion of their own Shiva and Shakti energies'. That means the sum total of absolutely nothing to me at all.

To be brutal, if someone was standing in front of me reading this paragraph, I'd think they were parodying tantra, not explaining it. All I'm saying is that writers have got to bear in mind the casual, the uninformed, and the sceptical when writing these articles. Sorry to be harsh. Trent 900 00:09, 26 November 2006 (UTC)


"I'd think they were parodying tantra, not explaining it." Exactly! ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 01:10, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

So now one has not only to make experential gnosis consistent with western scientific empiricism of what is physically possible, but also supplicate to sniggering cynicism? The concepts of infinite awareness, cosmic awareness and ego disintegration have been thoroughly commented upon in spiritual, psychological and philosophical literature - both east and west, directly and in allegory. I'm not claiming that Satyananda's writing is the most articulate; but I think your criticism is uninformed and superficial. Would have absolutely no problem with someone rewriting this citing better sources, though.Supernaut76 12:07, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Please look at the section below, about renaming Tantra. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 14:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course my criticism is uninformed. Why do you think I'm reading a wikipedia article? I am not saying the concepts are wrong, just that it's extremely difficult to understand, for an encyclopaedia article. If I have to read up thoroughly on 'spiritual, psychological and philosophical literature - both east and west, directly and in allegory' before tackling this article then, quite frankly, it shouldn't be here as it is overcomplex. An encyclopaedia is meant to be a reference not to require them. That said, the links to wiki descriptions of the terms involved do help, and I accept that it is extremely hard (probably impossible) to make such an article easily understood to a western audience. Trent 900 17:19, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Reality as Shiva-Shakti

The subject is Tantra and not Vedanta. The author is stretching and, in fact, misrepresenting Shiva in Tantra with charecterestics of Brahman in Vedanta. The author connects Shiva with Chit and then, connects Chit to Sat-chit-annanda, the charecterestics of Brahman ( according to Adi Shankara and the Vedantins), a purely Vedantic concept. On the other hand, Tantra is a branch of Yoga, which has philosophical foundations in Sankhya, a totally different and competing philosophy to Vedanta. These are two seperateand distinct Darshanas in Indian philosophical tradition. Any text on Indian philosophy, such as the great treatises, such as Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy by Radhakrishnan and Moore, (pages 349-574) or Essentials of Indian Philosophy by Hiriyanna (pages 106-180) can vouch for this argument. Shiva and Shakti are Tantric concepts. It is indeed remarkable how the Vedic proponents are stretching to bring in Tantra under the umbrella of Vedanta! India can be proud of its heritage, an inheritance of all the six Darshanas, and it is not necessary to pull in all systems under one, distorting the meaning and symbolism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tumkurjayadev (talkcontribs)

You are right that Tantra is certainly not Vedanta. However, I do not think you are right in calling Tantra a branch of yoga; it is as much yoga as Vaidika Parampara is yoga. In fact, Tantrika Parampara eclipses those shat darshanas, and is not rooted in Samkhya. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 20:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Need a new title?

As a casual visitor to this page, I think the critical step was noted above: decide what the article is about. That may require changing the name or splitting into different articles. Is Tantra different than Hindu Tantra? Keep in mind what top hits in an english search of google for Tantra lead to. Is there a specific name for an article (perhaps "Hindu Tantra" or something - I don't know) on a particular coherent religious approach that would easily avoid all the "neotantric" sexual stuff that is objectionable to adherents of that approach? Or is there really a deep seated struggle over what the unmodified word "Tantra" should mean in english, in which that word all by itself is claimed by followers of "Tantra"? In the latter case I would guess it would be an uphill battle, but there are of course many of those. Again, I'm just wondering how the different people interested in this article view the issues, and suggesting ways to make that clear in the encyclopedia. But given the common english usage, somewhere in wikipedia there will have to be a description of the sort of sexual "tantra" that so much of the web talks about, whatever our opinions of it. And remember that different people come at this from different backgrounds. My major association with the word Tantra is as part of "Tantra Dr, Boulder Colorado, USA". I used to walk on it and wait for my carpool at the intersection of Tantra and Table Mesa every day. But let's not get started on the foolishness of the name Table Mesa, or spurious associations between flat surfaces and tantra.... --NealMcB 02:24, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Namaskar. Thank you for your very pragmatic and insightful comment. This is definitely a high-priority issue. It seems that the circle of editors though have firm opinions / knowledge, they are not very active, so it makes discussions long. Sometimes important questions such as this are ignored, for easier but less pertinent topics.

As per the OED, the definition of Tantra:

[Skr. tantra loom, warp, hence groundwork, principle, system, doctrine, f. tan to stretch, extend.]

One of a class of Hindu religious works in Sanskrit, of comparatively recent date, chiefly of magical and mystical nature; also, of a class of Buddhist works of similar character.

Even though we did put that notification that this article is about Hindu Tantra, which can appropriately be called Tantrika Parampara or Tantrika Tradition, we have a lot of that "neo-tantra" stuff, which has no relation to Tantrika Parampara. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 03:16, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe that Tantra is an appropriate title - if only to funnel the flood of google and wikipedia search queries, which may otherwise be routed to 'dr. loves sex tantra extravaganza' site. Reference can be made to the more appropriate name in the introductory paragraph. Also the article aims to give the reader an overview of Tantra, in addition to specifically delving into Hindu Tantra - the title 'Tantra' facilitates this. There is a balance that needs to be struck between scholarship and traditional practise. Although it is true that no authentic practioner would say ' i am doing a transgressive act' - the philosophical underpinnings and analysis of such acts need a mention; if they are from a pov of western scholarship, then so be it. Both pov's can co-exist side by side. It is only a matter of harmonizing them to a degree. One cannot dismissively brand all western scholarship 'neotantra'. I agree that extensive work and rewriting needs to be carried out, but this can include anthropological and historical analysis too. Another solution may be to have two separate articles - one titled Tantra taking a more scholarly inclusive approach and another called Tantrika Parampara that focusses more exclusively on Hindu Tantra from within the tradition, which is more scriptural. Dont know how feasible this would be as naturally there would be some overlap Supernaut76 20:39, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

My proposal is to make Tantra a disambiguation for Tantrika Parampara, Vajrayana, and Neo-Tantra. Neo-Tantra has no relation to Tantrika Parampara. I have no knowledge or experience with Vajrayana, but it seems to already have been seperated. I find it amazing that people take for granted that an article on Tantra is going to include discussions on sexual intercourse ... or "transgressive acts". Almost any Hindu temple that you go to today, will carry out rituals as per tantrika shastras, and I guarantee you, it will not include any of the things people discuss here. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 20:55, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. This is the English Wikipedia and in English the word Tantra has a broader range of meaning than in India. This situation was not caused by Wikipedia and does not require Wikipedia to solve it. Neo-tantra is included in the Western use of the term Tantra, and the English/Western use of the term is the subject of this article. If someone wants to create Hindu tantra to deal exclusively with how tantra is viewed in Hinduism, that would be an appropriate solution. I don't think an article title like Tantrik Parampara is a good title. Many people who practice Western variations on Tantra may very well have a valid initation which can be traced back to an Indian source, making them members of a parampara. Tantra in Hinduism is probably an even better choice. -999 (Talk) 21:09, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't understand. Why does the language in which a topic is written in have to change the content of the topic? If this is some sort of Wikipedia policy, please let me know. Also, I urge you to glace at the definition of the word Tantra, as per the Oxford English Dictionary provided only slightly above.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 21:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
As Wikipedia is a global encyclopedia, I think if there is a difference between the Western notions of Tantra and Easter notions of Tantra, then the idea of a disambiguation page, is in fact the ideal solution.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 21:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
OED tends to be conservative and does not add new meanings as quickly as American dictionaries. For example, the Princeton University WordNet adds a second definition:
2: doctrine of enlightenment as the realization of the oneness of one's self and the visible world; combines elements of Hinduism and paganism including magical and mystical elements like mantras and mudras and erotic rites...[1].
And yes, it is the general rule that the language determines the content. English language Wikipedia strongly prefers English language sources. The best English language sources may be books in SUNY's Tantra series, but it sounds to me like you wouldn't like what they say either.
I don't think a disambiguation page is needed. This article should remain the main article. The dab at the top should simply also mention the new Tantra in Hinduism which can describe how tantra is viewed in Hinduism. I'll bet you are in for a battle with other Hindus who do not view things exactly as you do, but I will not get involved in that ;-) -999 (Talk) 21:24, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I do not see why foreign language sources cannot be used. Still Saiva Suj, I feel you are narrowing the scope of the subject by eliminating elements that do not sit easily within your tradition, which although honourable is not representative of all considered aspects of the subject as they have evolved over time. A disambiguation page signifies to me a position of splitting and vagueness which is unnecessary. I think that you should make your position clear by citing appropriate references in the main article under Tantra. Tantra after all is a controversial and divisive subject - There is no reason why this conflict should not be mirrored in the main body of the article in some way as long as it is done in a scholarly mannerSupernaut76 23:41, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

If it is a divisive subject, then why not divide it into more specific subjects? There is no relation between Vajrayana, Neo Tantra and Tantrika Parampara, other than perhaps "so and so are derived from teachings from so and so" then why not include Christanity in Judaism or Buddhism in Hinduism? Again, look at the definition of Tantra. It is not Vajrayana and it is not Neotantra.
ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 01:51, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. You are ignoring the second part of the definition supplied by 999 above. That is precisely the common use of the term in the US, at least, and includes all three of the terms you mention. That is. the word tantra as commonly used in English includes what you call Tantrika Parampara and Vajrayana (which is commonly called by the names Tantra or Buddhist Tantra) and neo-tantra. —Hanuman Das 02:06, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Sexual Rites - Passive voice

The sexual rites section begins with the phrase "It has been postulated...."

Can someone rewrite this sentence to specify who did the postulating, where they postulated it, and when?

TheRingess 21:56, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

There is a clear citation on that paragraph. Are you saying that the material is not in the cited reference? I think we can assume that it was postulated by White who is cited unless you've reviewed that source and found these speculations are not included. -999 (Talk) 22:03, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a good point. However, the weasel tag has little to do with whether or not a section has references. As a casual reader, it is not clear to me whether or not it was White who did the actual postulating or he was simply passing along observations and postulations from other people. The tag is not there to point out that the section does not specify sources, but that someone should rewrite the section to make it clearer. I have not read the source specified, since it is not online. So I still think someone who has read the source can rewrite it to say either, "In 2000, David White postulated that...." or "In such and such a year, so and so postulated that...". Editors such as myself, often place tags like the weasel tag to bring the matter to the attention of interested editors in a forceful manner. Sometimes, contributing editors are too close to the material to see that it might not be completely clear to the average reader. Ditto for the sexual rites sections. TheRingess 22:13, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, I can say that I didn't write either of those sections and am not really attached to the wording or anything. :-) Still, I read it as giving a view from the cited source. If the passive voice is the problem, you could just rephase it or maybe better, put a {{who}} tag right after the phrase in question. It's more specific than that ugly weasel tag and probably less offensive to the editor that did write the section, since it's not the whole section you object to but rather a specific turn of phrase... -999 (Talk) 22:23, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I never knew about the who tag before. LOL. There is so much to learn about Wikipedia. I agree that the who tag is much better than the weasel tag. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. TheRingess 22:27, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I only learned about it recently myself, and was very glad to have a less blunt weapon. ;-) You might also want to know about the {{facts}} tag (plural), which can be used at the end of a paragraph with no citations but makes it clear that all the facts in the paragraph are being called into question without having to use multiple fact tags... -999 (Talk) 22:32, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I still contend that someone who is familiar with the source needs to rewrite the opening sentence to specify who is doing the postulating. It shouldn't be too hard. Either White himself was the postulator or he was merely repeating someone else's theories. Either way, an editor familiar with the source should have an easy time rewriting the sentence. TheRingess 23:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Overview - Passive voice

This section contains the following phrase: The guidance of a Guru in this process is considered imperative.

Can an interested editor rewrite this sentence to show who considers this guidance to be imperative?

TheRingess 22:01, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Well, not only is there a citation at the end of the paragraph, the assertion is restated later in the article with the citation of another source. I've copied that citation to the overview. -999 (Talk) 22:10, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
That's a good idea. But once again, simply providing a citation does not make it clear who actually considers it imperative. Was it the author or was it someone the author was quoting? Well my world is as I see it, and I simply detest passive voice statements. LOL. TheRingess 22:17, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

The metaphor of Kundalini

I removed this section. Without a reference, there is no way for a casual reader to know whether or not this "metaphor" is at all relevant to the tantra.

Can anyone provide a source for this section?

TheRingess 22:05, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe the heading was changed recently. However, the material in that section has been unsourced for some time and removing it is the correct thing to do, IMO. -999 (Talk) 22:11, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Tantra in the modern world

I removed the section about Sting since no one provided a source where Sting actually states that he practices tantra.

Technically I'm not sure about the Dalai Lama or the others but I'll leave the decision as to whether or not they should be included in the list up to others. BTW, Sting's article in Wikipedia makes no mention of tantra.

TheRingess 22:30, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, technically the Dalai Lama is a Vajrayana tantric. The other two are authentic tantrikas as well. I think I've removed Sting in the past. Didn't notice he was back... -999 (Talk) 22:35, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

I once again went ahead and rewrote a sentence in this section. A sentence that contains a phrase like...."...criticized by most Western scholars..." definitely needs a source. Also, the sentence really led nowhere since only 2 scholars were then quoted. I rewrote it to simply show what George Feurstein had to say. I think someone should expand the section to include more sourced criticism. TheRingess 04:32, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

As I see it, the problem with a statement such as "Neotantra has been severely criticised by most Western scholars" is that unless it has a source, it represents original material. Since no source is given, the only way an average reader could be expected to verify it's truth, would be to read all of the different scholars and count who's critical vs. who's not. We cannot expect a reader to reasonably do so. So without a source, the reader has to take Wikipedia's word for it; which is a no-no. If we replace that sentence and add specific cited criticisms; it makes a much better article.

Also if Neotantra has been called something else by a significant number of scholars or practicioners, a reader needs to know when and where they did so, not just that they did.

I think by removing and replacing statements like the above we are taking a step closer to make this a neutral article.

TheRingess 14:34, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, you went too far here. There was a citation at the end of the paragraph. I checked the source and Urban says just that, that Neotantra has been severely criticised by most Western scholars. When there is a source, you should check it before butchering a paragraph with a citation. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 15:10, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd also like to point out here that unless a fellow editor supplies some of the referenced research of those scholars who are not critical towards Neotantra, then in my opinion this article can never lose the non neutral tag at the top. TheRingess 15:35, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Not to belabor a point, but the original sentence read like a statement of fact. In that case, the reference should support the sentence (as if it were a statement of fact). Apparently, this sentence was not a statement of fact, but a statement of 1 scholar's conclusion based on their research. It's just my opinion, that a reader like myself, cannot easily distinguish which case it might be, nor should the reader be expected to. 999's rewrite of the sentence now makes it clear that it is 1 scholar's research, and if an average reader wishes to verify that it actually is that scholar's research, they can by reading the reference. These are distinctions that I feel are important to this article and to any other. My edits are not based on any assumption of bad faith on the part of any contributor, but are meant to point out where I, an average editor, feel that contributors need to make further clarifications. Based on my reading of Wikipedia's guidelines I am not out of line deleting or modifying potentially confusing material, even if that material has a reference. TheRingess 23:04, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. You are making a big assumption here: that there are actually scholars of tantra (as opposed to people making money from neotantra) who have a positive opinion of neotantra. As far as I know, there are no actual qualified scholars of tantra who do. -999 (Talk) 15:52, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
The sentence as it reads says that "most Western scholars", since it does not say that "all Western scholars..." the implication is that there has to be some Western scholars with a different viewpoint. All I'm saying is that to maintain neutrality, we need to include some of those scholars. Or cite a reference to show why their viewpoints are irrelevant. We can't just assume that the majority opinion is the right one.TheRingess 15:58, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposal

I think this article needs to be inclusive. I think that a section on Vajrayana should be included, there may be Bon Tantras as well. So Neo-tantra may need coverage here too. There may be another category too, depending on whether there are any other strains of tantra, Japanese Eosteric Buddhism, others?

Overview

Tantrika Parampara

Main article: Tantrika Parampara

whatever....

Bon Tantra

if there are Bon Tantras

Buddhist Tantra

Main article: Vajrayana

and so forth

Neo-Tantra

Main article: Neotantra

blah, blah

24.27.14.2 03:01, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

This proposal looks reasonable to me. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 14:43, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I too believe that a more inclusive approach is advisable with brief mentions of other forms of tantra and links to their main articles. Neo-tantra may either merit brief mention or be consigned to the see also section.Supernaut76 17:00, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

I also agree with this proposal, but though I am not a fan of neo-tantra, it should not be dismissed with only a see also mention. It should have its own section with at least a paragraph or two summarizing its derivation (or lack thereof) from tantric tradition and differences from tradtional tantra. Basically, this page should give an overview of the range of use of the word tantra (correct or incorrect), and call out both the commonalities and the major points of difference, but let the subarticles go into depth about each different form... -999 (Talk) 17:05, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

does it make sense to include a few sentences about Tantra massage it is described on sources like: http://www.tantramassage.de/

Sexual Rites (paragraph describing kundalini and sushumna)

I deleted this paragraph, to me, it read like an essay. I think if it's going to stay in, someone needs to really rewrite it. Unfortunately I'm not the one to do that. Basically, there were a lot of claims that seemed to me impossible to verify by an average reader. Just a thought.TheRingess 04:23, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Even though there was a reference specified, it wasn't clear to me whether or not the material was a direct quote, or a summation of material from the source. I think that an editor could improve the paragraph greatly by making it clearer in that regard. TheRingess 14:26, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think you should be removing cited material unless you have checked the source yourself and found that the citation doesn't cover the material. It's only polite and follows from the assume good faith guideline. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 15:14, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's agree to disagree. I do assume good faith for all contributing editors. However, that does not mean that some paragraphs might not be as clear as they can be. This one was a good example. Even though a fellow editor added it in good faith, and cited a reference, I still think it wasn't clear and expressed my opinion above. Sometimes we need to remove material that we feel is unclear to forcefully bring it to interested editors attentions. It was not personal. TheRingess 15:30, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

I think that your edits reflect a certain attitude towards the material that is not neither helpful nor unbiased. If you object for stylistic reasons then this is understandable. More likely though I think it reads like an essay to you because you have no access to standard sources to verify what you may consider to be a 'tall story'. I doubt if an average reader would be able to verify most wiki articles on religion if they just wanted to troll through google for reputable sources. What exactly is unclear to you? Supernaut76 02:44, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Okay we seem to be getting off on the wrong foot here. I totally agree that some of my edits were not helpful. Though that does not mean I deliberately tried to interfere with this article or create biased material. So I suggest that we start over, and assume good faith on each other's part. I have my way of expressing myself and you have yours. From my perspective, I am simply trying to give an interested outsider's viewpoints on the material. Yes, I deleted several lines, but then where is the lasting harm? You have reinstated those sections, and I am not actively trying to start a revert war. I have stylistic issues with passive voice statements. So I'm not sure why you rewrote the sentence about the Guru, but if you prefer it, I really don't have a big problem with it. In the last couple of months I feel that you and other editors have improved this article greatly. Satchidananda.TheRingess 03:32, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok peace - I think that you have contributed a great deal to this article as well. Its just that I have an issue with replacing all passive voice statements. The authors make general statements regarding how a particular tradition views certain practices. Stating that these are views held by 'the guru' or the 'participants' is incorrectly attributing these views to specific persons.Supernaut76 14:04, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

NPOV

I agree that this article no longer needs a POV tag. If you have serious concerns regarding pov issues please express them here. I also suggest that we can remove the cleanup tag. I think we might wish to place a maintenance template at the top of this talk page and archive most of the material.TheRingess 16:12, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

A History Section

I'd like to see a history section in this article. but am not the right person to edit it.

Though I think it could include publication dates for major texts, birth dates for major tantric philosophers, discussion and dates of major contributions and/or schisms. Etc.

TheRingess 03:34, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

The role and importance of the guru

The overview section mentions the following,

Practicioners of tantra consider the guidance of a Guru to be imperative

The guru's role is mentioned only in the sexual rites section and briefly in the neotantra section.

I think that the overview could be expanded to include more information about the guru's role.

If there is enough material, then maybe an interested editor could create an entirely new section about the guru and their role. If different tantric traditions view the guru differently then the editor should also include those different viewpoints.

I'm probably not the one to write it.

Just a suggestion.

TheRingess 16:34, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Evolution and Involution section

Hello, Blessed Selves


I had to edit this section. The definition of "maya" given was not a Tantrik point of view. Thanks, shambhavi 20:45, 8 December 2006 (UTC)


Note: ok. someone just reverted the edit back to the previous version. I have done my bit. I'm not a Wikpedian. The previous version was completely erroneous. So I leave it up to you all to sort it out.

OM Shanti, Shambhavi

I think the problem was that the view was cited. Rather than change it, add a discussion of maya from another citable source. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your view), Wikipedia cannot and does not insist on Truth, only verifiablilty. It is verifiable that Nikhilananda wrote what was reported about Maya in the context of tantra. What is needed is the addition of other views which are required to make the article adhere to WP's required Neutral point of view. Ekajati (yakity-yak) 17:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

"part of a series on yoga"

Does anyone know why this article is marked under Yoga? I think it should not be as Tantra has nearly nothing to do with Yoga darshana. ॐ नमःशिवाय Śaiva Sujīt सुजीत ॐ 09:12, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Relation to Tantric Sexuality?

I came across the article Tantric Sexuality while on bad-article-cleanup. It appears to offer slightly different viewpoints to this article's "sexual practices" section - and a LONG references list.

I'm unsure on whether to recommend a merge to this article, a split of the "sexual practices" section into that article, or a "see also" link - but feel that it would be unencyclopedic not to harmonize the two articles somehow. Help from experts needed... --Alvestrand 06:27, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for drawing attention to that article. It appears to contain materials related to Western metaphysical views. While these Western books often use the word Tantra, the materials are quite different from what the Indian materials cover. It does need to be sorted out as you mention. I think it needs to be kept at arms length and put in perspective. Buddhipriya 06:32, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Historic Orgins of Tantra?

What is the historic orgins of Tantra. I dont know if this is a historic revisionist viewpoint but from one source I heard that Tantra was invented by the Tibetans and later the Indians adopted it. Go figure.

regards Bob (Mar 7, 2007) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 74.98.128.230 (talk) 23:31, 7 March 2007 (UTC).

Some general thoughts about the article

I notice that there the Tantra article is the current "Hinduism-related Collaboration of the week" and so I will chime in.

I have not actively worked on this article but I would like to make some general comment about how I think it currently reads. In a nutshell, I think the article could be improved by making a more clear differentiation between the concepts of Tantra, Vamachara, and Shaktism.

The term "Tantras" covers a huge range of scriptures that includes things such as guidelines on consecration of publlic water tanks, laws of inheritance of property, and guidelines for punishment of treason. N.N. Bhattacharya notes the broad sociological issue in this passage:

"{Tantrism] was more than a mere religious system or stream or undercurrent. Its intimate association with the practical aspects of life is proved by the emphasis it attached to the arts of agriculture, metallurgy, manual and technical labour, chemical sciences, physiology, embryology and medicine. The sociological viewpoints expressed in the Tantras were in virtual opposition to those upheld by the Smārta-Puranic tradition." <ref>N.N. Bhattacharya, ''History of the Tantric Religion'' (Delhi: Manohar, 1999), p. 12.</ref>

There is a popular tendency to identify Tantra exclusively with Vamachara, "the left-handed path". However in most of the philosophical and legal Tantras there is no place for Vamachara at all. The Western tendency to interpret Tantra in a highly sexualized way tends to overlook the existence of the practical Tantras as a category and to misrepresent the highly abstract philosophical nature of the philosophical Tantras. I must admit that in saying this I show a personal bias, which is that I think that Western interpretations of tantra are sometimes culturally-insensitive to Hindu traditions, over-emphasizing sexual aspects. The same hyper-sexualization of religious sources is seen in the Western reflex to translate the term "lingam" as meaning only "penis" without being aware of more general meanings such as "sign" or "mark" or "characteristic".

There is a similar confusion regarding the relation between the Shakta tradition and the Tantra tradition. Douglas Renfrew Books summarizes this point by saying that:

"Goudriaan makes clear that not all Śāktas are Tantrics and that Tantrism, unlike Śāktism, is not restricted to any one Hindu denomination, or even to any single Indian religious tradition."<ref>Douglas Renfrew Brooks, ''The Secret of the Three Cities: An Introduction to Hindu Shakta Tantrism'' (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990), p. 48. ISBN 0-226-07570-2.</ref>

Thus a worshipper of the Goddess is a Shakta but that does not automatically make him or her a Tantric, and vice versa. For example, within denominations such as the Ganapatya there are forms of worship that are classified as Tantric that are not primarily centered on the Goddess, and which have nothing to do with Vamachara. See, for example, Gudrun Bühnemann's book The Worship of Mahāgaṇapati According To The Nityotsava (Institut für Indologie: 1988) ISBN 81-86218-12-2.

I present these opinions here on the talk page to test if there is any agreement by other editors regarding these ideas.

Buddhipriya 21:33, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


Relation to Tantra Massage?

how can the development of Tantra Massage be connected to this article ? See the following sources:

  • http://www.tantramassage-verband.de/en/index.html Tantric Massage Association
  • http://www.tantramassage.de/engl1/con_tantra.html Tantra and Tantra Massage

--87.79.243.246 14:06, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

It can't be, it's unrelated. Try the neotantra article. Also, I've commented out your links as we can't link to commercial sites. IPSOS (talk) 15:16, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Panchatattva as cognate with Ganachakra and Panchamakara

Arthur Avalon (1918) [1] affirms that the Five Nectars of Tantra, Hindu and Buddhist traditions are directly related to the Mahābhūta or Five Elements and that the Panchamakara is actually a vulgar term for the Panchatattva and affirms that this is cognate with Ganapuja:

Worship with the Pañcatattva generally takes place in a Cakra or circle composed of men and women, Sadhakas and Sadhikas, Bhairavas and Bhairavis sitting in a circle, the Shakti being on the Sadhaka's left. Hence it is called Cakrapuja. A Lord of the Cakra (Cakreshvara) presides sitting with his Shakti in the center. During the Cakra, there is no distinction of caste, but Pashus of any caste are excluded. There are various kinds of Cakra -- productive, it is said, of differing fruits for the participator therein. As amongst Tantrik Sadhakas we come across the high, the low, and mere pretenders, so the Cakras vary in their characteristics from say the Tattva-cakra for the Brahma-kaulas, and the Bhairavi-cakra (as described in Mahanirvana, VII. 153) in which, in lieu of wine, the householder fakes milk, sugar and honey (Madhura-traya), and in lieu of sexual union does meditation upon the Lotus Feet of the Divine Mother with Mantra, to Cakras the ritual of which will not be approved such as Cudacakra, Anandabhuvana-yoga and others referred to later.

"Cakrapuja" is cognate with Ganachakra or Ganachakrapuja.

You appear to be engaged in WP:OR. You also seem to place undue weight on the sexual content of this material. I have previously reverted this addition, and asked for discussion on the talk page. However you reverted me immediately, and since I generally practice a one-revert rule whenever possible I will not revert this synthesis of material, which is what original research means, a second time. I ask other editors to review the material and determine if this is original research, if Avalon is considered a reliable source (I do not consider him as such), and if the preoccupation with sexual activity shown by this editor gives undue weight to that aspect, which is generally a sign of Western influence. Buddhipriya 00:05, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I think that Avalon most likely reports accurately on what he was shown at the time. I also agree that the "Five Ms" are somewhat related to the Buddhist tantras, though I don't know if Avalon is the best source for this. I don't agree that panchamakara is a "vulgar term" or that it is necessary to say that it is. The quote does accurately report on the use of substitutes by the Dakshinamarg, which quite probably has more adherents. Do you know of any source which goes into the relative proportion of Dakshinamarg vs. Vamamarg practitioners? That might be what is needed to balance this. IPSOS (talk) 00:41, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Oh, but the title of the section has to go. The Avalon quote should simply be integrated into an appropriate place in the article, sans excess speculation. IPSOS (talk) 00:54, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I do not wish to edit this section directly, so I will rely on you to make the changes which you suggest. I generally agree with your comments above. For a good debunking review of Avalon, I recommend the book by Hugh Urban, Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion. I have the Indian edition, which is by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 2007. There is a prior US edition. The Indian edition is ISBN 81-208-2932-8. It is a very insightful review of how the original Indian materials came to be "discovered" by the West and interpreted with extreme fascination regarding the sexual component, which is not the main theme in Indian philosophical writings. Urban debunks many of the Western writers, including Avalon, who have been responsible for creating a false notion of what Tantra traditions involve. I think this conflict between visions of what tantra is are at the root of the edits which the editor in question currently has been making. If you examine recent edit activity for that editor you will see placement of similar original research with a focus on sexual matters on multiple articles. Regarding your question about "right versus left" practitioners, no specific quantification leaps to mind. The real problem is that the concept of what tantra is differs in the West, with extreme fascination on sexual ideas. For an authentic review of Indian traditions I recommend Bhattacharyya, previously cited on this page. Buddhipriya 01:15, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Well, I agree with most of what you say. However, my understanding is that Avalon did not just translate and interpret texts, but was actaully initiated into some branch of the tantric tradition and derived his ideas/interpretations from his Indian Guru. There is a sexual component to many tantric traditions, despite the fact that the weaving of mantra, yantra and other technologies is much more important and absolutely essential, also with guru devotion, before any sexual element can have any meaning or use whatsoever. The solution I think is to go into more technical detail about these non-sexual components. There is, after all, only so much one can say about sex, while the rest of tantra can be elaborated practically infinitely. :-) IPSOS (talk) 01:51, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree in general with your line of thought. I also feel strongly that the differences between the Western interpretation and the Indian philosophical literature need to be kept very clear. The popular perceptions of tantra in the West are so completely bound up with sexual elements that are considered unorthodox within Hindu society is something that should be documented in the article. The book by Urban may be useful for that debunking. The immediate problem with the edits that I have challenged is that they include WP:OR. To prevent charges of edit warring, it would be best if some other editor would intervene in the text if wish to adjust it. Regarding John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), Urban says this on p. 136: "Although his scholarship is now considered rather biased and flawed, Sir John Woodruffe must be acknowledged as a remarkable pioneer and even as the father of the modern study of the Tantras. Ironically, Woodroffe himself did not care to use the term 'Tantrism,' arguing that it was a mistaken Western imposition; yet today, Woodroffe more than any other scholar has become identified with the term." Note that Urban is referring to Western scholarship on tantra. For a revealing behind-the-scenes look at how Avalon developed his books see Urban, pp. 137-140. Regarding his lack of knowledge of Sanskrit, which is essential for reading the source texts, Urban (p. 138) says: "... it seems fairly clear that Woodroffe was not particularly competent in Sanskrit. In fact, some Indian linguists have asserted that Woodroffe could not even read the script accurately."
Here is a quotation from the Preface to N. N. Bhattacharyya's History of the Tantric Religion (p. 7), a very comprehensive historical work, making the point that I am trying to make: "Most of the modern writers on this subject insist solely on its sexual elements, minimal though they are, compared to the vastness of the subject, and purport to popularize certain modern ideas pertaining to sex problems in the name of Tantra. Thus the historical study of Tantrism has been handicapped, complicated and conditioned by the preoccupation of the writers in the field." Buddhipriya 02:46, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Those are excellent quotes. IPSOS (talk) 03:28, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Sex is natural and sacred, I do not dwell on it within the articles I edit. I state it simply and directly. Buddhipriya is speaking untruthfully in relation to the nature of my edits. I invite any editor to review my editing history to ascertain my sincerity and earthy-purity of intent. I do not emphasize sexuality in my articles. Sex is endemic to a sophisticated understanding of tantra and tantric ritual tool usage throughout all dharmic and dharmic iterated traditions, whether those tools are Outer/External/Physically enacted, Inner/Internal/Mind, Secret/Esoteric/sophisticated. There is no value judgement on which form of practice is involved in the rite though the literature does state that external, internal and secret are for practitioners with specific guna, dosha and tattva constituency. I agree with reservations that Buddhipriya reveals about Avalon as a source as he is a product of his time. I simply wanted to introduce the linkage of cognate terms. Terminology is used to conceal and reveal refer twilight language. This is a pervasive theme in the tantras and tantric scholarly discourse. But a historical exegesis of changing perceptions is much more interesting and insightful in this article than using all recent resources. New sources are not necessarily the best. Using only new sources is one dimentional and a source of bias in itself. By the way, the Bhutagana's of Shiva and the gana of ganachakra are cognate. Gana+isha as Lord of Gana is the pricipal tool/deity of chimeric reconstitution and transformation. Ganesha and Kirtimukha are both gana. The worship of both and the processes they represent are key to the path and fruit. The bhutagana and Shiva when in mysteric reverie haunt Mt Kailash and charnal grounds... ganachakra was performed in charnal grounds and places directly related to death as a celebration of birth, rebirth and CONTINUITY (sexuality was performed in the charnal grounds). Coition happened as an aspect of the Mystery in these rites. Ganachakra sadhakas "become" the bhutagana. I would appreciate editors introducing this content in the future. Blessings

B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 11:17, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Dear B9 hummingbird hovering - I don't doubt your sincerity for a moment. However, I think it would be a fine thing if you took a deep breath, centered yourself and proceeded with some playful self-inquiry. I don't want you to think me snide or over critical, but a number of fine editors have dropped you some heavy hints brother, as to what's the bother with your edits. Do consider the concept... cognising cognate terms here is bad English, but without solid academic reference, is a pithy definition of WP:OR. This will get you resistance from many an editor. I do hope you consider the concept so you may have a sense of what some are complaining about. You needn't read between the lines as WP:OR is a straightforward concept and pillar of Wikipedia. Many editors go to great lengths to uphold this guideline. Please do not disregard their sensibilities. We don't edit in a vacuum here. Thanks for considering. -Vritti 07:18, 13 July 2007 (UTC)
Bhattacharyya is a counter-sexual apologist and tantric revisionist. I forget that others such as Buddhipriya have issues with sexuality (union, creation, continuity, bliss) and that they perceive it as a purely external (often immoral) act. Sex is truly amoral (beyond morality). I state again, Outer, Inner, Secret. This indivisible tantric trichotomy(?) is an apt meta-view for sexuality.

B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 02:20, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

  1. ^ Source: [2] (accessed: Monday July 9, 2007)