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The contents of this article are questionable and lacks the depth of the topic
Most of the contents are influence and inspired by westners' books and doesn't say anything from Indian perspective. For instance, "an inter-religious spiritual movement that arose in medieval India"..."in some schools of "left-handed" Tantra (Vamachara), ritual sexual intercourse is employed as a way of entering into the underlying processes and structure of the universe". First of all it is not a "Movement" and did not "arise" in medieval times. It is rather a system of invoking divine powers of the nature through a particular set of rituals, continuously practiced for a specified time until it gets ripened and ready to be used either for spiritual enlightenment with higher purpose or for advancement in mundane affairs (shat karma).
Tantra is an integral part of Vedic system and well compiled/documented in "Atharva Veda". Other religious sects adopted these practices in later times. Hence got disenfranchised by the population as they were based on the false premise of being "Non-Vedic".
With the above definition, the next objectionable term becomes "sexual Intercourse" - yes intercourse is applied in many rituals but that is completely beyond the scope of being "sexual" per se. The underlying sense of intercourse during these rituals is completely Asexual; if someone does that with sexual sense, gets punished by the same power of nature, many times immediately. Readers may want to research on that and they are free to do so; I am confindent they will find ample amount of live examples in many parts of India.
The Definition of Tantra is not even touching the sense of Tantra in this article and its real meaning. Problem with wikipedia articles are that they need to be cited from somewhere else, as most of the writers have limited scope of understanding; they end up relying on westners' texts which are though wrritten in English, lacks the sense of original Sanskrit construction.220.127.116.11 (talk) 09:03, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
- The issues you raised are now being addressed. This article is far from the standard of a published encyclopedia entry, but it will get there slowly. As you say, the article has relied far too much on western free interpretations of the subject that have little or no reference to the primary sources. Since this is a referenced encyclopedia, we must use information that is found in reliable published sources, rather than personal field research as you suggest. Jnananetra (talk) 06:36, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't find anything objectionable from a scholarly-practitioner POV with the text you singled out for quoting. Rather, I do find your account of desire within tantric maithuna suspect. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 00:14, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
Hinduism is largely concept driven and the religion itself focuses on "understanding and realization" rather than being prescriptive and book-based like the Abrahamic religions. The vedas and all other texts form PART of Hinduism and do not define Hinduism per se in its entirety. If this is understood, then one can understand the futility and stupidity of seeking out "reliable published sources" for articles on Hinduism. Little wonder that articles in the wiki on Hinduism lack depth or meaning let alone respect from any knowledgeable Hindu. — Preceding unsigned comment added by TheOnlyEmperor (talk • contribs) 07:35, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
- I agree with everything you said about Hinduism. However wikipedia's primary policy is that material is not recorded here unless it is verifiable by a third party. Ridiculous or not, it's the one rule they won't budge on. That said, I'm sure we can at least find some newspaper articles or journals to support what you said. AaronCarson (talk) 04:09, 2 December 2012 (UTC)
For a good reference I would recommend "Tantra in Tibet" by Tsongkapa with forward by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Too often in popular Western culture, the practice of Tantra is confused with or too overtly linked with sexual practices. Sexual practices are used in some reputable traditions, but only come late in advance training via a compassionately established relationship. Such sexual practices are first preceded with rigorous step by step practices of energy exchange methods that are developed and mastered over time with one's tantric partner. Trantra is not sex, good tantric practice with a partner does not require sex, and the incorrect or inappropriate use of attempting to couple sexual practice with a partner can cause more harm that good. One's right intentions must always be to bring good to those we encounter and to the world as a whole. Remember always that this is the 'secret mantra', or maybe more accurately the 'private manta' of compassion with our tantric partner. Most Compassionately, Sigung Dan.
White tantra, red trantra..
I know little about Tantra, but would like to bring to the attention of anyone actively following this entry, that there is an article "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Tantrism" that has no links to other articles and almost no categories.
In this entry I found no mention of white (or red) tantrism.
Yoga and tantra
- "The terms yoga and tantra are commonly interchanged because in the first century of the Common Era, Patañjala Yoga was introduced. This term is a principle 'science' (or tantra) that means the study of self and mind. Because yoga is said to be a science, the study of this science includes that of "bodily postures, breathing mechanisms, sensing and motor functioning, the analysis of mental states, ego awareness, and general cognitive performance" Although the terms were both introduced early on somewhat interchangeably, they appear relatively late in Sanskrit literature where yoga was used regularly and tantra was only used once. In these appearances, yoga was used as the practice of studying the body and mind and tantra was used to mean loom, such as fabric on a loom."
This text seems problematic to me; I'm going to analyze it, to figure out why.
- "The terms yoga and tantra are commonly interchanged because in the first century of the Common Era, Patañjala Yoga was introduced." - Something's missing here: what does Patanjali Yoga have to do with it? And what is "Patanjali Yoga"? (Rāja yoga, of course; you'll have to add a synonym). And was "Patañjala Yoga" "introduced in the first century? The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are dated at the 4th century CE.
- "This term is a principle 'science' (or tantra) that means the study of self and mind" - which term are you referring to? Yoga? Tantra? Patanjali yoga? And what is the "study of self and mind"? Yoga? Tantra?
- "Because yoga is said to be a science, the study of this science includes that of "bodily postures, breathing mechanisms, sensing and motor functioning, the analysis of mental states, ego awareness, and general cognitive performance"" - Because yoga is said to be a science, it includes etc?
- Okay, time to check the source (if possible). Yes, I can access it. It would ne helpfull if you give the exact page-numbers.
- Larson's article is a review of two books: Philipp André Maas on the first Pada of the Pätanjalayogasästra, and James Mallinson provides on the Khecarlvidyä, a Hatha Yoga text. Larson: "Both texts use the term yoga and both are important for understanding the meaning of the term tantra. What is striking, however, is that the two terms yoga and tantra have two distinctly different meanings in the respective traditions to which they belong." (p.487)
- Larson: "Tradition likewise links the study of the self (ätman) or mind (citta) in Patañjala Yoga with the two other principal "sciences" (tantras or s'astras) of the classical period (ca. third through the fifth century c.E.) in north Indian intellectual history. The two other sciences (or tantras) are, of course, the science of medicine (Ayurveda) and the science of grammar (Vyakarana), both of which are also associated with the name Patañjali, and both of which were hecoming mature sastras in the early centuries c.E." (p.488) - So, tradition calls Patanjali yoga a "tantra" or "sastra", c.q. "science".
- Larson: "all three tantras or 'sciences' likewise share three important features, namely, (1) an empirical evidentiary database, (2) systematic pragmatic experimentation, and (3) independence from religious authority." (p.488)
- "In any case, as mentioned earlier, there is a natural affinity among the three tantras in terms of an empirical evidentiary base, systematic pragmatic experimentation, and independence from religious authority. In the case of Yoga, the database includes the study of bodily postures, breathing mechanisms, sensing and motor functioning, the analysis of mental states, ego awareness, and general cognitive performance." (p.488)
- So, Patanjali yoga was considered by tradition to be a "science", which means that (1)(2)(3). That's a beginning of a context for the term "science".
- Larson: "they appear relatively late in Sanskrit literature where yoga was used regularly and tantra was only used once" - you have to explain what's being meant here with "Sanskrit literature"; otherwise, the statements being made here are meaningless. It suggests that the term "tantra" is quite obscure; which it isn't, of course.
- "In these appearances, yoga was used as the practice of studying the body and mind and tantra was used to mean loom, such as fabric on a loom" - which appearamces? And plural appearances for "tantra", while the term appeared only once?
- "tantra was used to mean loom, such as fabric on a loom" - what does this mean? You'll have to explain this.
- Larson: "It is precisely in this creative and systematic era that the terms yoga and tantra (and the term sârnkhya as well) begin to be widely used. The terms were used earlier, of course, but for the most part they are late in appearing in classical Sanskrit literature. The term yoga first appears only in the Taittiriya Upanisad (II.4.1 ) and then in the Katha and Svetäsvatara Upanisads (II.3.11 and II. 11 respectively). Thereafter, of course, it appears widely in the epic and purânic literature. The term tantra appears only once in the Rg Veda in the sense of a 'loom' and the fabric on a loom (cf. Grassman's Wörterbuch zum Rig Veda) and nowhere, so far as I can find, in the early or "principal" Upanisadic literature (cf. Jacob's Concordance)." (p.489-490) - so, the term "tantra" appears only once in the Rg Veda... That's a crucial bit of info.
Roccos1, tantra is an extremely complex topic. I've been studying buddhism now for more than 25 years, and I know something about the history of Buddhism and Hinduism, but Tantra is really so extremely difficult, that I hardly dare to touch the topic. Like most Wikipedians. If I were you, I'd skip this topic, and take another one. It's too complicated. You need a at least a basic understanding of the history of Hinduism and Buddhism, and of yoga and tantra themselves, to be able to understand the literature, c.q. this article by Larson. The fact that you missed "in the Rg Veda" is understandable, but not acceptable. If, however, you want to do something with tantra, here are a suggestions for literature:
- White, David Gordon (2011), Yoga, Brief History of an Idea (Chapter 1 of "Yoga in practice") (PDF), Princeton University Press
- Davidson, Ronald M. (2004), Indian Esoteric Buddhism: Social History of the Tantric Movement, Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
- Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press
Tantra and human sacrifice
In the article on human sacrifice, if you search for "tantric" there are references to tantric human sacrifice. I have no idea whether this is accurate or not. If so, it should be mentioned in this article. If not, it needs to go out there. deisenbe (talk) 12:35, 4 July 2015 (UTC)