Tantra

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For Tantric Buddhism, see Vajrayana. For the texts classified as Tantras, see Tantras.
Sri Yantra diagram with the Ten Mahavidyas. The triangles represent Shiva and Shakti, the snake represents Spanda and Kundalini.

Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र) is an ancient Indian tradition of ritual practices. It arose no later than the 5th century CE,[1] and it had a strong influence on both Hinduism and Buddhism.

Starting in the early centuries of common era, newly revealed Tantras centering on Vishnu, Shiva or the Goddess, emerged.[2] Tantra introduced icons, puja and temple building into Hinduism.[3] Hindu tantric texts are either called Tantras, Āgamas or Samhitās.[4][5]

Etymology[edit]

Tantra Sanskrit: तन्त्र often simply means "treatise" or "exposition". Literally it can be said to mean "loom, warp, weave"; hence "principle, technique, continuum, system, doctrine, theory", from the verbal root tan "stretch, extend, expand", and the suffix tra "instrument".

Definition[edit]

Scholarly definitions[edit]

According to David N. Lorenzen, two different kind of definitions of Tantra exist, a "narrow definition" and a "broad definition."[5] According to the narrow definition, Tantrism, or "Tantric religion," refers only to the traditions which are based on the Tantras, Samhitas and Agamas. This definition refers primarily to a tradition which is primarily based in the higher social classes, which were literate, and lived in or close by urban centers.[5]

According to the broad definition, Tantra refers to a broad range of religious traditions with a "magical" orientation. This includes the upper class texts and traditions, but also practices and rituals from lower social classes, which were less educated, and lived more in the rural areas.[6]

Tantra introduced icons, puja and temple building into Hinduism.[7]

Tantrism[edit]

The term "tantrism" is a 19th century European invention, which is not present in any Asian language.[8] According to André Padoux, "Tantrism" is a Western term and notion, not a category that is used by the so-called "Tantrists" themselves.[9][note 1] The term was introduced by 19th-century Indologists who thought that the Tantras were only a very limited aspect of Indian culture.[9] Yet, according to Padoux, "[Tantra was] so pervasive that it was not regarded as being a distinct system."[10]

Robert Brown also notes that the term "tantrism" is a construct of Western scholarship, not a concept of the religious system itself.[11] Tāntrikas (practitioners of Tantra) did not attempt to define Tantra as a whole; instead, the Tantric dimension of each South Asian religion had its own name:[11]

  • Tantric Shaivism was known to its practitioners as the Mantramārga.
  • Shaktism is practically synonymous and parallel with Tantra, known to its native practitioners as "Kula marga" or "Kaula".
  • Tantric Buddhism has the indigenous name of the Vajrayana.
  • Tantric Vaishnavism was known as the Pancharatra.

Tantrika[edit]

According to Padoux, the term "tantrika" is based on a comment by Kulluka Bhatta, who made a distinction between vaidika and tantrika forms of revelation. These coincide with two different approaches to ultimate reality, namely a Vedic-Brahmanical approach, and approaches based on other texts.[10]

Tantra[edit]

The Kāmikā-tantra gives the following explanation of the term tantra:

Because it elaborates (tan) copious and profound matters, especially relating to the principles of reality (tattva) and sacred mantras, and because it provides liberation (tra), it is called a tantra.[12]

The 10th-century Tantric scholar Rāmakaṇṭha, who belonged to the dualist school Śaiva Siddhānta, gives another definition:

A tantra is a divinely revealed body of teachings, explaining what is necessary and what is a hindrance in the practice of the worship of God; and also describing the specialized initiation and purification ceremonies that are the necessary prerequisites of Tantric practice.[13]

A survey of the literature yields a variety of uses for the term "tantra", as given in the table.

Components[edit]

David N. Lorenzen gives the following components of the broadly defined Tantric religion which can be documented:[21]

  1. "Shamanic and yogic beliefs and practices;"
  2. "Sakta worship, especially worship of the Matrkas and demon-killing forms of Hindu and Buddhist goddesses;"
  3. "Specific schools of Tantric religion such as the Kapalikas and Kaulas;"
  4. "The Tantric texts themselves."

Characteristics[edit]

André Padoux notes that there is no consensus among scholars which elements are characteristic for Tantra, nor is there any text which contains all those elements.[10] And most of those elements can also be found in non-Tantric traditions.[10] According to Anthony Tribe, a scholar of Buddhist Tantra, Tantra has the following defining features:[22]

  1. Centrality of ritual, especially the worship of deities
  2. Centrality of mantras
  3. Visualisation of and identification with a deity
  4. Need for initiation, esotericism and secrecy
  5. Importance of a teacher (guru, acharya)
  6. Ritual use of mandalas (maṇḍala)
  7. Transgressive or antinomian acts
  8. Revaluation of the body
  9. Revaluation of the status and role of women
  10. Analogical thinking (including microcosmic or macrocosmic correlation)
  11. Revaluation of negative mental states

History[edit]

Vedic origin[edit]

A famous passage in the Rig Veda (10.136) describes the "wild muni" (seer) hymn of the Rig Veda. It describes the munis as experiencing "ecstatic, altered states of consciousness" and gaining the ability "to fly on the wind".[21] The Chandogya Upanishad refers to nadis, while the Shvetashvatara Upanishad describes breath control.[21] The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (comp. c. 400 CE) are an early codification of Yogic practices, which prelude the shift in emphasis of Hatha Yoga, which fully develops the "mystical anatomy" of nadis and chakras.[23] According to Lorenzen, in the 7th century CE the shamanic-yogic component of Tantrism appears clearly in Tantric form in Bāṇabhaṭṭa's Harshacharita and Daṇḍin's Dashakumaracharita.[24]

Female deities in Vedas and Smriti[edit]

David Gordon White views Yogini cults as foundational to early tantra.[25] He traces Yogini cults directly to the Vedas. Vedic ritual invokes female deities such as Rākā, Sinīvālī, and Kuhū as well as the wives of the gods.[25] When fashioning the fire pot for the agnicayana, "the mantras that are intoned at this time all invoke female deities: Aditi, the wives of the gods, the divine women, the Protectresses, Females with Uncut Wings (achinnapātrāḥ), and other female figures."[25] The Vedas also describe Apsaras.[25]

The Mahabharata contains references to the cruel manifestations of the Mother Goddess, especially Mahishamardini, who is identified with Durga-Parvati.[24] The earliest depictions of Mahishamardini date from the 6th century CE, indicating the development of the Shakti-worship.[26] Goddess-worship became more tantric with the rise of the seven Matrikas, which are mentioned in the Mahabharata and the early Puranic literature.[26] They are also mentioned in the stone inscription of Visvavarman, which is dated at 423 CE, and often regarded oldest written evidence of Tantrism.[26] Another important mention of the Matrikas is in the Markandeya Purana, an early text of the Shakti worship.[27]

Tantric movement[edit]

Tantra gained traction after 550 CE with the fall of the imperial Guptas.[1][8]

Tantric sects[edit]

The earliest reliable references to the Kapalikas are in Hāla’s Gatha-saptasati (3rd-5th century CE) and in two texts written by Varāhamihira (c. 500–575 CE).[27] In the 7th century CE more references to the Kapalikas appear.[27] Epigraphic references to the Kaulas are rare. Reference is made in the early 9th century to vama (left-hand) Tantras of the Kaulas.[28]

Tantras[edit]

Main article: Tantras

Although there is no conclusive evidence of Hindu Tantras before 800 CE, stone inscriptions indicate Tantric deities were already worshiped in the 5th century, and many scholars agree Tantra was well established by the 6th or 7th century.[29] According to Flood, the earliest date for the Tantras is 600 CE, though most of them were composed from the 8th century onward.[30] By the 10th century an extensive corpus existed.[30] According to Flood, the main areas for the composition of the tantras were Kashmir and Nepal.[31] The Tantric traditions regard the Tantras, also called agamas, to be superior to the Vedas.[30] While the vedic orthodoxy rejected the Tantras, the Tantric followers incorporated the Vedic revelations within their own systems, as revelations of a lower level.[32]

According to Flood, the Tantras probably arose among non-Brahmanical ascetics who lived at the cremation grounds.[33] They were representants of an ascetic ideal which lived among people of lower social classes.[33] By the early medieval times, their practices included the imitation of the gods they worshipped, which they appeased with various gifts such as non-vegetarian food, alcohol and sexual substances. They invited their deities to possess them, meanwhile keeping control and thereby gaining power.[33] These ascetics were supported by low castes living at the cremation places.[33]

Spread of Tantra[edit]

Tantrism flourished between the 8th or 9th century and the 14th century.[29]

After the end of the Gupta Empire and the collapse of the Harsha Empire, power was decentralised in India. Several larger kingdoms emerged, with "countless vassal states".[34][note 12] The kingdoms were ruled by a feudal system, with smaller kingdoms dependent on protection from larger ones. "The great king was remote, was exalted and deified."[35] This was reflected in the Tantric mandala, which could depict the king at its centre.[36]

The disintegration of central power led to religious regionalism and rivalry.[37][note 13] Local cults and languages developed, and the influence of "Brahmanic ritualistic Hinduism"[37] diminished.[37] Rural devotional movements arose with Shaivism, Vaisnavism, Bhakti and Tantra,[37] although "sectarian groupings were only at the beginning of their development."[37] Religious movements competed for recognition from local lords.[37] Buddhism lost its stature, and began to disappear from India.[37]

By the tenth or eleventh century Tantra had spread all over India.[31] Tantric movements led to the formation of a number of Hindu and Buddhist esoteric schools, also influencing the Jain religious tradition.[39] According to Flood,

Tantrism has been so pervasive that all of Hinduism after the eleventh century, perhaps with the exception of the vedic Srauta tradition, is influenced by it. All forms of Saiva, Vaisnava and Smarta religion, even those forms which wanted to distance themselves from Tantrism, absorbed elements derived from the Tantras.[31]

Tantrism further spread with the silk road transmission of Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia,[39] and also influenced the Bön tradition of Tibet.[39]

Practices[edit]

Rituals are the main focus of the Tantras.[40][note 14] Rather than one coherent system, Tantra is an accumulation of practices and ideas. Because of the wide range of communities covered by the term, it is problematic to describe tantric practices definitively.

Sadhanas[edit]

A number of techniques (sadhana) are used as aids for meditation and achieving spiritual power:[41]

  • Dakshina: Donation or gift to one's teacher
  • Diksha: Initiation ritual which may include shaktipat
  • Yoga, including breathing techniques (pranayama) and postures (asana), is employed to balance the energies in the body/mind.
  • Mudras, or hand gestures
  • Mantras: reciting syllables, words, and phrases
  • Singing of hymns of praise (stava)
  • Mandalas
  • Yantras: symbolic diagrams of forces at work in the universe
  • Visualization of deities and Identification with deities
  • Puja (worship ritual)
  • Animal sacrifice
  • Use of taboo substances such as alcohol, cannabis, meat and other entheogens.
  • Prayashcitta - an expiation ritual performed if a puja has been performed wrongly
  • Nyasa
  • Ritual purification (of idols, of one's body, etc.)
  • Guru bhakti (devotion) and puja
  • Yatra: pilgrimage, processions
  • Vrata: vows, sometimes to do ascetic practices like fasting
  • The acquisition and use of siddhis or supernormal powers. Associated with the left hand path tantra.
  • Ganachakra: A ritual feast during which a sacramental meal is offered.
  • Ritual Music and Dance.
  • Maithuna: ritual sexual union (visualized or with an actual physical consort).
  • Dream yoga

Mandalas[edit]

According to David Gordon White, mandalas are a key element of Tantra.[42] They represent the constant flow and interaction of both divine, demonic, human and animal energy or impulses (kleshas, cetanā, taṇhā) in the universe. The mandala is a mesocosm, which mediates between the "transcendent-yet-immanent" macrocosm and the microcosm of mundane human experience.[42] The godhead is at the center of the mandala, while all other beings, including the practitioner, are located at various distances from this center.[42] Mandalas also reflected the medieaval feudal system, with the king at its centre.[36]

The godhead is both transcendent and immanent, and the world is regarded as real, and not as an illusion. The goal is not to transcend the world, but to realize that the world is the manifestation of the godhead, while the "I" is "the supreme egoity of the godhead."[42] The world is to be seen with the eyes of the godhead, realizing that it is a manifestation as oneself.[43] The totality of all that is a "realm of Dharma" which shares a common principle.[44] The supreme is manifest in everyone, which is to be realized through Tantric practice.[44]

Mantra, yantra, nyasa[edit]

Vajrayana Prayer wheels have tantric mantras engraved on the surface.

The words mantram, tantram and yantram are rooted linguistically and phonologically in ancient Indian traditions. Mantram denotes the chant, or "knowledge." Tantram denotes philosophy, or ritual actions. Yantram denotes the means by which a person is expected to lead their life.[citation needed]

The mantra and yantra are instruments to invoke higher qualities, often associated with specific Hindu deities such as Shiva, Shakti, or Kali. Similarly, puja may involve focusing on a yantra or mandala associated with a deity.[45]

Each mantra is associated with a specific Nyasa. Nyasa involves touching various parts of the body at specific parts of the mantra, thought to invoke the deity in the body. There are several types of Nyasas; the most important are Kara Nyasa and Anga Nyasa.[citation needed]

Identification with deities[edit]

Visualisation[edit]

The deities are internalised as attributes of Ishta devata meditations, with practitioners visualizing themselves as the deity or experiencing the darshan (vision) of the deity. During meditation the initiate identifies with any of the Hindu gods and goddesses, visualising and internalising them in a process similar to sexual courtship and consummation.[46] The Tantrika practitioner may use visualizations of deities, identifying with a deity to the degree that the aspirant "becomes" the Ishta-deva (or meditational deity).[47]

Classes of devotees[edit]

In Hindu Tantra, uniting the deity and the devotee uses meditation and ritual practices. These practices are divided among three classes of devotees: the animal, heroic, and the divine. In the divine devotee, the rituals are internal. The divine devotee is the only one who can attain the object of the rituals (awakening energy).[48]

Hinduism[edit]

Shaivism[edit]

The tantric Shaiva tradition consists of the Shaiva Siddhanta, the Mantrapīṭha (Bhairava-centred), the Vidyāpīṭha and the Kulamārga, the last two being Sakta in character.[49]\

Vaishnavism[edit]

The tantric Vaishnava tradition is the Pancharatra.

Buddhism[edit]

Main article: Vajrayana
A Goma ritual performed at Chushinkoji Temple in Japan

Various classes of Vajrayana literature developed as a result of royal courts sponsoring both Buddhism and Saivism.[50] The Mañjusrimulakalpa, which later came to classified under Kriyatantra, states that mantras taught in the Shaiva, Garuda and Vaishnava tantras will be effective if applied by Buddhists since they were all taught originally by Manjushri.[51] The Guhyasiddhi of Padmavajra, a work associated with the Guhyasamaja tradition, prescribes acting as a Shaiva guru and initiating members into Saiva Siddhanta scriptures and mandalas.[52] The Samvara tantra texts adopted the pitha list from the Shaiva text Tantrasadbhava, introducing a copying error where a deity was mistaken for a place.[53]

Western scholarly research[edit]

Three-dimensional triangular symbol
The Sri Yantra (shown here in the three-dimensional projection known as Sri Meru or Maha Meru, used primarily by Srividya Shakta sects).

John Woodroffe[edit]

The first Western scholar to seriously study Tantra was John Woodroffe (1865–1936), who wrote about Tantra under the pen name Arthur Avalon and is known as the "founding father of Tantric studies".[54] Unlike previous Western scholars Woodroffe advocated for Tantra, defending and presenting it as an ethical and philosophical system in accord with the Vedas and Vedanta.[55] Woodroffe practised Tantra and, while trying to maintain scholastic objectivity, was a student of Hindu Tantra (the Shiva-Shakta tradition).[56]

Further development[edit]

Following Woodroffe a number of scholars began investigating Tantric teachings, including scholars of comparative religion and Indology such as Agehananda Bharati, Mircea Eliade, Julius Evola, Carl Jung, Giuseppe Tucci and Heinrich Zimmer.[57] According to Hugh Urban, Zimmer, Evola and Eliade viewed Tantra as "the culmination of all Indian thought: the most radical form of spirituality and the archaic heart of aboriginal India", regarding it as the ideal religion for the modern era. All three saw Tantra as "the most transgressive and violent path to the sacred".[58]

Neo-Tantra[edit]

Jambhala (Lord of Wealth) in ritual sexual union with consort, Sino-Tibetan, 18th-19th century

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tantric texts are also often not being called "Tantras."[9]
  2. ^ The dates in the left column of the table refer to the appearance of that tradition, even before its transcription, according to the date recognized by most scholars. The table does not include the texts traditionally considered as tantric texts with the exception of Tantrāloka.
  3. ^ Also known by the name of Kautilya, Vishnugupta, Dramila or Angula.
  4. ^ Sures Chandra Banerjee, says [Banerjee, S.C., 1988]: "Tantra is sometimes used to denote governance. Kālidāsa uses the expression prajah tantrayitva (having governed the subjects) in the Abhijñānaśākuntalam (V.5).
  5. ^ Considered to date the first epigraphic evidence of a tantric cult.
  6. ^ Also known as Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle.
  7. ^ Tanoti vipulān arthān tattva-mantra-samanvitān / Trāṇaṃ ca kurute yasmāt tantram ity abhidhīyate
  8. ^ "Banabhatta, the Sanskrit author of the 7th century, refers, in the Harshacharita to the propitiation of Matrikas by a tantric ascetic." (Banerjee 2002, p.34).
  9. ^ Śankara uses the term Kapilasya tantra to denote the system expounded by Kapila (the Sānkhya philosophy) and the term Vaināśikā-tantra to denote the Buddhist philosophy of momentary existence. (This is also partially reported in Avalon, A., 1918, p.47.)
  10. ^ Belonging to the dualist school of Śaiva Siddhānta.
  11. ^ Bhāskararāya uses the term "tantra" to define the Mīmāṃsā śāstras, which are not at all Tantric in the sense used here, so this demonstrates that "tantra" can be used in Sanskrit to refer to any system of thought.
  12. ^ In the east the Pala Empire[34] (770–1125 CE),[34] in the west and north the Gurjara-Pratihara[34] (7th–10th century),[34] in the southwest the Rashtrakuta Dynasty[34] (752–973),[34] in the Dekkhan the Chalukya dynasty[34] (7th–8th century),[34] and in the south the Pallava dynasty[34] (7th–9th century)[34] and the Chola dynasty[34] (9th century).[34]
  13. ^ This resembles the development of Chinese Chán during the An Lu-shan rebellion and the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period (907–960/979), during which power became decentralised end new Chán-schools emerged.[38]
  14. ^ Compare Joel Andre-Michel Dubois (2013), The Hidden Lives of Brahman, page xvii-xviii, who notes that Adi Shankara provides powerful analogies with the Vedic fire-ritual in his Upanishadic commentaries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Einoo 2009, p. 45.
  2. ^ Flood 2006, p. 7-8.
  3. ^ Padoux, Andre (2013). The Heart of the Yogini. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 2. "The Hindu worship, the pūjā, for instance, is Tantric in its conception and ritual process, the principles of Hindu temple building and iconography are Tantric, and so on."
  4. ^ Padoux, Andre (2013). The Heart of the Yogini. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 1.
  5. ^ a b c Lorenzen 2002, p. 25.
  6. ^ Lorenzen 2002, p. 25-26.
  7. ^ Padoux, Andre (2013). The Heart of the Yogini. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 2. "The Hindu worship, the pūjā, for instance, is Tantric in its conception and ritual process, the principles of Hindu temple building and iconography are Tantric, and so on."
  8. ^ a b White 2005, p. 8984.
  9. ^ a b c Padoux 2002, p. 17.
  10. ^ a b c d Padoux 2002, p. 18.
  11. ^ a b Harper & Brown 2002, p. 1.
  12. ^ Wallis 2012, p. 26.
  13. ^ Wallis 2012, p. 27.
  14. ^ a b c d e Banerjee, S.C., 1988.
  15. ^ Bagchi, P.C., 1989. p.6.
  16. ^ Banerjee, S.C., 1988, p.8
  17. ^ a b Joshi, M.C. in Harper, K. & Brown, R., 2002, p.48
  18. ^ Wallis, C. 2012, p.26
  19. ^ Banerjee, S.C., 2002, p.34
  20. ^ Wallis, C. 2012, p.27
  21. ^ a b c Lorenzen 2002, p. 27.
  22. ^ Williams 2000, p. 197–202.
  23. ^ Lorenzen 2002, p. 27-28.
  24. ^ a b Lorenzen 2002, p. 28.
  25. ^ a b c d White 2003, p. Chapter 2.
  26. ^ a b c Lorenzen 2002, p. 29.
  27. ^ a b c Lorenzen 2002, p. 30.
  28. ^ Lorenzen 2002, p. 31.
  29. ^ a b Smith 2005, p. 8989.
  30. ^ a b c Flood 2013, p. 158.
  31. ^ a b c Flood 2013, p. 159.
  32. ^ Flood 2013, p. 158-159.
  33. ^ a b c d Flood 2013, p. 161.
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Michaels 2004, p. 41.
  35. ^ michaels 2004, p. 41.
  36. ^ a b White 2000, p. 25-28.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g Michaels 2004, p. 42.
  38. ^ McRae 2003.
  39. ^ a b c White 2000, p. 7.
  40. ^ Feuerstein 1998, p. 124.
  41. ^ Feuerstein 1998, p. 127-130.
  42. ^ a b c d White 2000, p. 9.
  43. ^ White 2000, p. 9-10.
  44. ^ a b White 2000, p. 10.
  45. ^ Magee, Michael. The Kali Yantra
  46. ^ Cavendish, Richard. The Great Religions. New York: Arco Publishing, 1980.
  47. ^ Harper (2002), pp. 3–5.
  48. ^ "The Columbia Encyclopedia (2008), ''Tantra''". Authenticate.library.duq.edu. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  49. ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Literature." Journal of Indological Studies (Kyoto), Nos. 24 & 25 (2012–2013), 2014, pp.4-5, 11, 35, 57.
  50. ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period." In: Genesis and Development of Tantrism,edited by Shingo Einoo. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental Culture Special Series, 23, pp. 124.
  51. ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period." In: Genesis and Development of Tantrism,edited by Shingo Einoo. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental Culture Special Series, 23, pp. 129-131.
  52. ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period." In: Genesis and Development of Tantrism,edited by Shingo Einoo. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental Culture Special Series, 23, pp. 144-145.
  53. ^ Huber, Toni (2008). The Holy Land Reborn : pilgrimage & the Tibetan reinvention of Buddhist India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-226-35648-8. 
  54. ^ Urban (2003), p. 22
  55. ^ Urban (2003), p. 135
  56. ^ [page needed]: See Arthur Avalon, trans. Tantra of the Great Liberation: Mahanirvana Tantra (London: Luzac & Co., 1913); Avalon, ed. Principles of Tantra: the Tantratattva of Shriyukta Shiva Chandra Vidyarnava Bhattacharyya Mahodaya (London: Luzac & Co., 1914–16); Woodroffe, Shakti and Shakta: Essays and Addresses on the Shakta Tantrashastra (London : Luzac & Co., 1918)
  57. ^ Urban (2003), pp. 165–166
  58. ^ Urban (2003), pp. 166–167

Sources[edit]

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  • Norbu, Chögyal Namkhai (1999). The Crystal and The Way of Light: Sutra, Tantra and Dzogchen. Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-135-9. 
  • Padoux, André (2002), "What Do We Mean by Tantrism?", in Harper, Katherine Anne; Brown, Robert L., The Roots of Tantra, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-5306-5 
  • Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 
  • Sarkar, Prabhat Ranjan (1959), Tantra and its Effect on Society, Bhagalpur: Ananda Marga Pubs 
  • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda (2000), Sure Ways to Self Realization, Yoga Publications Trust, ISBN 81-85787-41-7 
  • Saraswati, Swami Satyananda (1981). Teachings of Swami Satyananda Volume 1. Satyananda Ashram, Australia. 
  • Scheepers, Alfred (2000), De Wortels van het Indiase Denken, Olive Press 
  • Smith, Brian K. (2005), "Tantrism: Hindu Tantrism", in Jones, Lindsay, MacMillan Encyclopedia of Religion, MacMillan 
  • Timalsina, S. (2012), "Reconstructing the tantric body: Elements of the symbolism of body in the monistic kaula and trika tantric traditions", International Journal of Hindu Studies, 16 (1): 57–91, doi:10.1007/s11407-012-9111-5 
  • Urban, Hugh (2003). Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religions. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23656-4. 
  • Wallis, Christopher (2012). Tantra Illuminated. Anusara Press. ISBN 193710401X. 
  • Wangyal Rinpoche, Tenzin; Dahlby, Mark (1998). The Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep. N.Y.: Snow Lion Publications. ISBN 1-55939-101-4. 
  • White, David Gordon (ed.) (2000). Tantra in Practice. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05779-6. 
  • White, David Gordon (2005), "Tantrism: An Overview", in Jones, Lindsay, MacMillan Encyclopedia of Religion, MacMillan 
  • Williams, Paul; Tribe, Anthony (2000), Buddhist Thought, Routledge 
  • Winternitz, Maurice (1972). History of Indian Literature. New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corporation.  Second revised reprint edition. Two volumes. First published 1927 by the University of Calcutta.
  • Yeshe, Lama Thubten (1987). Introduction to Tantra:The Transformation of Desire (2001, revised ed.). Boston: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-162-9. 

Web[edit]

Further reading[edit]

History
  • Flood, Gavin (2006), The Tantric Body. The Secret Tradition of Hindu Religion, I.B Taurus 
  • Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 
  • Harper, Katherine Anne; Brown, Robert L., eds. (2012), The Roots of Tantra, SUNY Press 
  • White, David Gordon (1998). The Alchemical Body: Siddha Traditions in Medieval India. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
  • White, David Gordon (2003). Kiss of the Yogini: "Tantric Sex" in its South Asian Contexts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 
  • Davidson, Ronald M. (2003). Indian Esoteric Buddhism: A Social History of the Tantric Movement. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 81-208-1991-8. 
Anthropology
  • McDaniel, June (2004). Offering Flowers, Feeding Skulls: Popular Goddess Worship in West Bengal. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • Mookerji, Ajit (1997). The Tantric Way: Art, Science, Ritual. London: Thames & Hudson. 
  • Smith, Frederick M. (2006), The Self Possessed: Deity and Spirit Possession in South Asian Literature, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-13748-6 
  • Wallis, Christopher D. (2013), Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition, Mattamayura Press, ISBN 0989761304 
Popular

External links[edit]