esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism

Tantra is the name given by scholars to a style of meditation and ritual which arose in India no later than the fifth century AD. The earliest documented use of the word "Tantra" is in the Rigveda (X.71.9). Tantra has influenced the Hindu, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain traditions and spread with Buddhism to East and Southeast Asia. Tantra is one of the three basic symbolic processes of Hindu spiritual worship and the other two are mantra and yantra. It is also known as tantrism and the practitioners of tantra are called as tantrics, also spelled tantriks.

Sri Yantra with correct traditional colors. The artwork is a silkscreen print made in 1974 at the Tantra Research Institute, Oakland, California.
The Sri Yantra (shown here in the three-dimensional projection known as Sri Meru or Maha Meru, used primarily by Srividya Shakta sects) is central to most Tantric forms of Shaktism.
Sri Yantra in non-traditional colors: The Sri Yantra (shown here in the three-dimensional projection known as Sri Meru or Maha Meru, used primarily by Srividya Shakta sects) is central to most Tantric forms of Shaktism
Vector diagram of Sri Yantra
Painted 19th century Tibetan maṇḍala of the Nāropa tradition, Vajrayoginī stands in the center of two crossed red triangles, Rubin Museum of Art


All the forms of our worship and the ceremonials of the present day, comprising the Karma Kanda, are observed in accordance with the Tantras. ~ Swami Vivekananda
  • Tantra often runs into trouble in the West, because it utilizes transgression as the vehicle to transcend dualism in certain cases. To even begin to understand tantra, however, we must bear in mind the cultural and philosophical context in which it exists. Tantra originated as a range of bodily technologies for perfecting the individual.
    Many of its practices, texts, beliefs and traditions are opposed to any normative order and serve as a form of counterculture in India. Its rejection of order takes the form even of sanctioning the deliberate violation of norms, particularly those centred on ritual purity. Over time, there occurred a healthy cross-fertilizing back and forth with Vedic and other traditions. Elements may have been borrowed from Vedic and other rituals, symbols and philosophies, and reformulated, systematized and integrated into the coherent corpus of what became known as the tantra tradition. These two poles of values and rituals coexist and mutually penetrate each other in complex ways.
    • Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • The real meaning of the word Tantra is Shastra, as for example, Kâpila Tantra. But the word Tantra is generally used in a limited sense. Under the sway of kings who took up Buddhism and preached broadcast the doctrine of Ahimsâ, the performances of the Vedic Yâga-Yajnas became a thing of the past, and no one could kill any animal in sacrifice for fear of the king. But subsequently amongst the Buddhists themselves — who were converts from Hinduism — the best parts of these Yaga-Yajnas were taken up, and practiced in secret. From these sprang up the Tantras. Barring some of the abominable things in the Tantras, such as the Vâmâchâra etc., the Tantras are not so bad as people are inclined to think. There are many high and sublime Vedantic thoughts in them. In fact, the Brâhmana portions of the Vedas were modified a little and incorporated into the body of the Tantras. All the forms of our worship and the ceremonials of the present day, comprising the Karma Kanda, are observed in accordance with the Tantras.
  • It was therefore that Shri Ramakrishna came. The days of practising the Tantra in that fashion are gone. He, too, practised the Tantra, but not in that way. Where there is the injunction of drinking wine, he would simply touch his forehead with a drop of it. The Tantrika form of worship is a very slippery ground. Hence I say that this province has had enough of the Tantra. Now it must go beyond. The Vedas should be studied. A harmony of the four kinds of Yogas must be practised and absolute chastity must be preserved
  • In the Sanatana Dharma (Eternal Truth), Samkhya provides the cosmological structure, Vedanta, the uncompromising and unalloyed Truth of indivisible Existence, Knowledge and Bliss, and Tantra and Yoga offer and define the method and the practice. All of the above, together, represent the consummate path and way.
    • In Babaji Bob Kindler. Articles. SRV Associations. Retrieved on 16 December 2013.
  • Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra owe much of their basis and growth to the Samkhya philosophy which enumerates the twenty-four cosmic principles as a basis for the universal manifestation. This steady foundation assisted in the presentation of the life-giving, life-saving, life-transforming declarations of the Vedas. Due to this structure, Tantra gave birth to the many wonderful methods through which to realize the Truth contained in the Vedas and over time graced the system with twelve more powerful principles (tattvas) of a higher and purer order.
    • In "Articles by Babaji Bob Kindler".
  • ...if we study the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, we find that though He taught the truths contained in the Upanishads, He illustrated these principles to us by methods that are Tantric in origin and content. His worship of and devotion to Mother Kali, Sri Krishna, Mother Sita, Lord Chaitanya, Lord Shiva, and others, reveal His wonderful Tantric nature and point to the many ways of practicing the Vedic truths.
    • In "Articles by Babaji Bob Kindler".
  • The children of Sri Ramakrishna are Vaidikas in essence, Tantrikas by path and process.
    • In "Articles by Babaji Bob Kindler".
  • ...in Sanatana Dharma, Samkhya provides the cosmological structure, Vedanta, the uncompromising and unalloyed Truth of indivisible Existence, Knowledge and Bliss, and Tantra and Yoga offer and define the method and the practice.
    • In "Articles by Babaji Bob Kindler".
  • [T]he Tantras...are the embodiment of ceremonial black magic of the darkest dye...[T]hose Kabbalists who dabble in the ceremonial magic described...by Eliphas Levi are as full blown Tantrikas as those of Bengal
    • Helena Blavatsky, Collected Writings, ed. Boris De Zirkoff (Madras: Theosophical Pub. House, 1950-73), v.11, p.29; cf. Collected Writings, v.2, 238.
  • My words of encouragement for women, for that to be given for women in the East, it is to have confidence and encourage them that they can accomplish Dharma just like the men; but in the West you have already realized the equality of women and men sometime ago, so I do not have to really encourage you – you already know that.
So my heart advice will be to really be kind-hearted, to be a good hearted person. Whether you are Buddhist or not – there is really no need for me to convince anyone to become a Buddhist. If your mind is very pure and always has positive thinking, this is good – try not to ever go into the side of negative thinking! For example, if you find that someone looks at you and you think “Do they mean something bad to me? Do they think something bad about me?” Don’t even go into that! Just smile back. Just be pure. As pure as you can. Your heart should be pure and really open to everyone. So smile back at people that you think might not like you. This is something that you have, that’s possible. We can all totally be a kind hearted person with positive thinking and pure heart. Everyone is able to do that, whether you are Buddhist or not. This is my heart advice."
  • However, the dakini expresses feminine gender in only a qualified sense, since in her absolute essence she represents the ultimate beyond gender. From this point of view, she has no allegiance to anyone; it is inaccurate to say that women alone possess the dakini. When the practitioner truly understands this, liberation from gender concepts can be glimpsed. The wisdom dakini can best be understood in terms of her enlightened essence, the four dimensions that depict how the limitless nature of mind can manifest in human forms dedicated to the welfare and awakening of all beings.
  • The path and the way, the processes by which we get illumined, lie in Tantra.
    • In "Articles by Babaji Bob Kindler".
Chakras of Indian tantrism
  • The Tantric heritage and its pluralistic culture presents a great synthesis of Hinduism in its perfection. One strand of the Tantras is traced back to the Vedas. Another Strand of Tantra emanates from a non-vedic scriptural corpus, the Agamas. Apart from these two traditions, the Tantras incorporated several beliefs and practices of the indigenous oral-based cultures. Thus, in the course of its development Tantra absorbed knowledge of different Shastras within its fold, such as astrology, ayurveda, vastuvidya, yoga, ethnobotany and the occult sciences. The Tantric form of practice influenced all sects and sub-sects of Indian origin. So we have Buddhist, Jain and even Muslim forms of Tantra. The influence to Tantra is not limited to India alone; there is ample evidence that Tantrism in some from or other travelled to various parts of the world, especially Nepal, Tibet, [[w:China|China, Japan and parts of South-East Asia.
  • Tantra means technique - a technique for the fulfillment of desires. Man has no control over his desires. A desire is claimed as one’s own only after it comes to one’s mind. Desires are products of latent tendencies/vasanas. Through the fulfillment of the desires,‘vasanas’ are eliminated. Tantra provides the methodology whereby, through the fulfillment of one’s desires, liberation is attained. Liberation means understanding one’s own nature. From that understanding, one realizes that the world is nothing but the manifestation of the consciousness of which we are, but only a part. It is also a way of living which provides aesthetic enjoyment and knowledge.
  • Vaidika and Tantrika cults have co-existed in Bharath from very ancient period. From that time itself, Tantra was confined to a few people. If the theory and practice of Tantra are understood and accepted widely, there will not be any class difference among human beings.
    • About Us. Shripuram organization. Retrieved on 16 December 2013.
  • As Tantra Sastra or Agama is not as some seem to suppose, a petty Sastra of no account; one, and an unimportant sample of the multitudinous manifestations of religion in a country which swarms with every form of religious sect. It is on the contrary with Veda, Smrti and Purana one of the fore most important Sastras in India governing, in various degrees and ways, the temple and household ritual of the whole of India today and for centuries past.... Over and above the fact that the Sastra is an historical fact, it possesses, in some respects, an intrinsic value which justifies its study. Thus it is the store house of Indian occultism. This occult side of the Tantras is of scientific importance, the more particularly having regard to the present revived interest in occult study in the west.
  • A famous stanza ascribed to the Varaha (sometimes to the non-existent Varaha) Tantra enumerates seven of these [theoretical statements]. Creation, dissolution of the world, worship of the gods, mastery of divine beings, recitation and worship of mantras, execution of six acts of magic, and the four fold practice of meditation. They are said to be characteristics of Agama.
  • In another tradition, five types of tantric lore are distinguished. Siddhanta Jnana (leading to salvation), Garudajnana (removes poison or poison magic), Kamajnana (enables the adept to enforce his will), Bhutatantra (exorcism of demons) and Bhairvatantra (destruction of enemies). This system lays too much stress on the magical side of Tantric literature. A variant is the five-fold series of Siddhanta, Garuda, Ghora, Vama and Bhutantra which together constitute the Five Currents.
    • In "Hindu Tantric and Śākta Literature}, p. 10
  • Our biological body itself is a form of hardware that needs re-programming through tantra like a new spiritual software which can release or unblock its potential.
Chinnamastā meaning “She whose head is severed is one of the Mahavidyas, ten Tantric goddesses and a ferocious aspect of Devi, the Hindu Divine Mother.
  • …denounced only the present corrupted form of Vamachara of the Tantras. I did not denounce the Mother - worship of the Tantras, or even the real Vamachara. The purport of the Tantras is to worship women in a spirit of Divinity. During the downfall of Buddhism, the Vamachara became very much corrupted, and that corrupted form obtains to the present day. Even now the Tantra literature of India is influenced by those ideas. I denounced only these corrupt and horrible practices -- which I do even now. I never objected to the worship of women who are the living embodiment of Divine Mother, whose external manifestations, appealing to the senses have maddened men, but whose internal manifestations, such as knowledge, devotion, discrimination and dispassion make man omniscient, of unfailing purpose, and a knower of Brahman. "[(Sanskrit)]-- she, when pleased, becomes propitious and the cause of the freedom of man" (Chandi, I. 57). Without propitiating the Mother by worship and obeisance, not even Brahma and Vishnu have the power to elude Her grasp and attain to freedom. Therefore for the worship of these family goddesses, in order to manifest the Brahman within them, I shall establish the women's Math.
  • Hinduism arrived in last and worst age of medieval development," in which the noble philosophy of the Vedas had been replaced by the obscene sexual perversions and black magic of the left-hand (vamacara) Tantras: "The rites, or rather, orgies, of the left hand worshippers presuppose the meeting of men and woman of all castes in the most unrestrained manner.
    • Monier Monier-Williams Hinduism (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1894), 116, 130. On Orientalist views of Tantra, see also Urban, "The Extreme Orient," 123-46.
  • The general scholarly consensus has been that the Yoginī cults so foundational to early Tantra emerged out of an autochthonous non-Vedic Indian source. (…) The point I wish to make here is that it is quite artificial to inject a distinction between ‘Vedic’ or ‘Indo-Aryan’ tradition, on the one hand, and ‘non-Vedic’ or ‘Indus Valley’ on the other. The religion and culture is already present in the Vedas, together with the more predominant Indo-Aryan material, and is no more ‘indigenous’ to the Indian subcontinent and no more ‘alien’ to the Veda than the latter. (…) It suffices to scratch the surface of the salient features of the Yoginī cults to find a vast reservoir of Vedic and classical Hindu precursors, in (1) the cults of Vedic goddesses (…); (2) the various groupings of unnumbered mother goddesses (…); and (3) in general attitudes toward women and femininity.
    • David Gordon White, quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.

A Woman's Guide to Tantra Yoga


Vimala Schneider McClure (1 January 1997). A Woman's Guide to Tantra Yoga. New World Library. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-57731-276-5. 

  • Tantra is the oldest Eastern tradition of spiritual philosophy and practice...From its origin to the present day, it is revolutionary approach to human evolution.
  • The basic tenet of tantra is that all of life is food for spiritual development, from the most mundane tasks of everyday living to the deepest meditation. Tantra teaches to embrace life, to try to strive to see the creator in everything within and around us. The practices including concentration, meditation, yoga postures, relaxation, visualization, nourishing food, community involvement, service, and right conduct, are all designed to help us experience body, mid, spirit, joy, peace, suffering, and pain as changing aspects of one invisible Being.
  • While sexuality is part of Tantra because it is part of life, it is not the core of tantric philosophy or practice
  • Our biological body itself is a form of hardware that needs re-programming through tantra like a new spiritual software which can release or unblock its potential.
  • Real tantric sex blows your mind completely because it takes you beyond all our conceptions of everyday reality...Understanding that our bodies are temples for expressing divinity we can…expand, celebrate, and share relationship engorgement in every cell of our being … blending sex and spirit.
    • By Slavoj Žižek in “Living in the End Times”, in p. 8
Buddha statues at Shwedagon Paya
  • To practice tantra requires even greater compassion and greater intelligence than are required on the sutra path; thus, though many persons in the degenerate era are interested in tantra, tantra is not for degenerate persons. Tantra is limited to persons whose compassion is so great that they cannot bear to spend unnecessary time in attaining Buddhahood, as they want to be a supreme source of help and happiness for others quickly.
  • Tantra-sastra is a distinct tradition in ancient Indian culture. Scholars hold that its origin goes back to prehistoric times. Its ancient form can be found in the Atarva Veda and Yajur Veda. There are statements in Vedic literature like “the letter a is all speech” (Aitareya Aranyaka 2,3,6) and “A is brahman”...which remind one of the concept of matrka, which came to be expanded in the tantra of the Saivas, Saktas, and Buddhists.
Tibetan Thangka painting of Vajrayogini Dakini holding a flaying knife in her right-hand, the Vamachara Deity
  • Give up this filthy Vâmâchâra that is killing your country. You have not seen the other parts of India. When I see how much the Vamachara has entered our society, I find it a most disgraceful place with all its boast of culture. These Vamachara sects are honeycombing our society in Bengal. Those who come out in the daytime and preach most loudly about Âchâra, it is they who carry on the horrible debauchery at night and are backed by the most dreadful books. They are ordered by the books to do these things. You who are of Bengal know it. The Bengali Shastras are the Vamachara Tantras. They are published by the cart-load, and you poison the minds of your children with them instead of teaching them your Shrutis. Fathers of Calcutta, do you not feel ashamed that such horrible stuff as these Vamachara Tantras, with translations too, should be put into the hands of your boys and girls, and their minds poisoned, and that they should be brought up with the idea that these are the Shastras of the Hindus? If you are ashamed, take them away from your children, and let them read the true Shastras, the Vedas, the Gita, the Upanishads.
  • In our ordinary lives we are mostly Paurânikas or Tântrikas, and, even where some Vedic texts are used by the Brahmins of India, the adjustment of the texts is mostly not according to the Vedas, but according to the Tantras or the Puranas. As such, to call ourselves Vaidikas in the sense of following the Karma Kanda of the Vedas, I do not think, would be proper. But the other fact stands that we are all of us Vedantists. The people who call themselves Hindus had better be called Vedantists, and, as I have shown you, under that one name Vaidantika come in all our various sects, whether dualists or non-dualists.
  • The Purânas, the Tantras, and all the other books, even the Vyasa-Sutras, are of secondary, tertiary authority, but primary are the Vedas. Manu, and the Puranas, and all the other books are to be taken so far as they agree with the authority of the Upanishads, and when they disagree they are to be rejected without mercy.
    • By Swami Vivekananda in "The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda/Volume 3/Lectures from Colombo to Almora/The Vedanta in all its phases: The Vedanta In All Its Phases".

Tantra: The Science of Liberation

Chakra Kundalini Diagram

Dada Vedaprajinananda in Tantra: The Science of Liberation. Ananda marga Organization. Retrieved on 16 December 2013.

  • Tantra is the original spiritual science first taught in India. 'Tan' is a Sanskrit root which signifies "expansion", and 'Tra' signifies "liberation." Thus, Tantra is the practice which elevates human beings in a process in which their minds are expanded. It leads human beings from the imperfect to the perfect, from the crude to the subtle, from bondage to liberation.
  • Tantra is more than just a collection of meditation or yoga techniques. There is a particular world-view associated with it. According to Tantra, struggle is the essence of life. The effort to struggle against all obstacles and move from the imperfect to the perfect is the true spirit of Tantra.
  • Today Tantra is shrouded in mystery and there are many misconceptions about it. To understand the source of these misconceptions it is important to examine the "5 Ms".
  • The first M is known as Madya. It has two meanings. One meaning of madya is "wine" For those at a higher level of development Madya has another meaning, it refers not to wine but to a divine nectar.
  • Another of the five Ms is Mamsa. One meaning of Mamsa is meat. For those who ate much meat. For the subtle practitioner of Tantra, mamsa refers to the tongue and the spiritual practice of controlling one's speech.
  • Matsya, the third of the Ms, refers to fish. For the physically minded practitioner Shiva applied the same instruction regarding fish as he did with wine and meat. In spiritual or subtle Tantra the "fish" refers to two subtle nerves which run up the body, starting at the base of the spine and crisscrossing each other and ending in the two nostrils. These nerves are known as the w:Nadi (yoga)ida and pingala. By the science of breath control, Pranayama, the currents of the nerves are controlled and the mind becomes calm for meditation. This is the Matsya of the spiritual practitioner.
Rāmabhadrācārya meditating on the banks of Mandakini river with fingers folded in the Chin Mudrā.
  • Another of the Ms is Mudra. Mudra has only a spiritual significance and there is no physical or crude practice associated with it.
  • The last of the Ms, Maethuna, is the one which has caused the most confusion regarding Tantra. Maethuna means union. In its crude sense it means sexual union. For those who were dominated by the sexual instinct for the more advanced practitioners, those who were practicing subtle or spiritual Tantra, Shiva taught another practice of Maethuna. In this case "union" refers to the union of individual consciousness with Supreme Consciousness. In this case the spiritual energy of the human being, lying dormant at the base of the spine, is raised until it reaches the highest energy center (near the pineal gland), causing the spiritual aspirant to experience union with the Supreme.
  • According to Tantra, struggle is the essence of life. The effort to struggle against all obstacles and move from the imperfect to the perfect is the true spirit of Tantra.

Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics and Power in the Study of Religion (2007)


Hugh B. Urban (1 January 2007). Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics and Power in the Study of Religion. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. ISBN 978-81-208-2932-9. 

Positive views

  • I protest I have always protested against unjust aspersions upon the civilization of India.... The Tantra Sastra is not, as some seems to suppose, a petty Sastra of no account....It is on the contrary, with Veda, Smriti and Purana, one of the foremost important Sastras of India, governing in various degrees....the temple and household ritual of the whole of India… for centuries past.
  • This form of practice must never even be mentioned in the Math. Ruin shall seize the wicked man, both here and hereafter, who would introduce vile |w:Vamachara|Vamachan]] into his fold.
  • Tantrikism in its real sense is nothing but the Vedic religion struggling with wonderful success to reassert itself amidst all those new problems of religious life…which historical events have thrust upon it.
    • Sir John Woodroffe in p. 134
  • See some Lama and understand from him what your beliefs are. It is so extraordinary to us Europeans that you Buddhists and Hindus and every one of you do not understand your own religions....I speak particularly of the Tantric doctrines.
    • Sir John Woodroffe to Lama Kazi Dawasamdrop in p. 136
  • The Vedanta is the final authority and basis for the doctrines set forth in the Tantras....the Tantra shastras has been for centuries past one of the recognized scriptures of Hinduism, and every form of Hinduism is based on Veda and Vedanta.
    • Sir John Woodroffe to Lama Kazi Dawasamdrop in p. 140
  • The Sakta Tantra simply present the Vedanthic teachings in a symbolic form for the worshipper, to whom it prescribes the means whereby they may be realized in fact.
    • By Sir John Woodroffe to Lama Kazi Dawasamdrop in p. 140
  • Vedanta in its various forms has for centuries constituted the religious notions of India, and the Agamas...are its practical expression in worship in p. 140
    • By Sir John Woodroffe in p. 140
  • The sakta tantra simply present the Vedantik teachings in a symbolic form for the worshipper, to whom it prescribes the means whereby they may be realized in fact.
  • Vedanta in its various forms has for centuries constituted the religious notions of India, and the Agamas...are its practical expression in worship
    • By Sir John Woodroffe in p. 140
  • *Tantra is scientific discovery not revelation.
    • By Sir John Woodroffe in p. 140
  • There is nothing fowl in them except for people to whom all erotic phenomenon are foul....The ancient East was pure in these matters than the modern West, where under cover of a pruriently modest exterior ...extraordinary varied psychopathic filth may flow. This was not so in earlier days...when a spade was called a spade and not a horticultural instrument.
    • By Sir John Woodroffe in page 142
  • So, as the Council of Trent declared, the Catholic Church, rich with the experiences of ages and clothed with their splendor, has introduced mystic benediction (mantra), incense (dhupa), water (achamana), lights (dipa), bells (ghanta), flowers (w:Pushpanjalipushpa),vestments and all the magnificence of ceremonies in order to excite the spirit of religion to the contemplation of the profound mysteries which they reveal. As are its faithful, the Church is composed of both body (deha) and soul (atma). It renders to the Lord (ishvara) a double worship, external (bahyapuja) and interior (manaspuja), the latter being the prayer (vandana) of the faithful.
    • Sir John Woodrooffe drew striking similarity of the ritual elements of the two systems – the catholic and Sanskrit terms and made it a virtue rather than of ridicule as had been brought by earlier scholars, the early Orientalist of the West. In p. 143
  • What India wanted at present was the Religion of Power
    • By Sir John Woodroffe in p. 142

Negative views

  • The follower of Tantric art professes no austerities. He seeks to kill desire by an unlimited indulgence which brings satiety and extinction of emotion. The indulgence is enjoined by his so called religion; and his depravity is commended as a great virtue.
    • By F.E.F.Penny p=105
  • Flee even now-don’t you know that the tantrika’s worship consists of human flesh

In Jainism

  • I, who am adorned with a garland of human bones , who live in the cremation ground and who eat out of human skull, with an eye purified by the instrument of Yoga, see the world having differences within itself but being non-different from God...
  • We who offer oblations in the fire in the form of human flesh, brains, entrails and marrow break our fast with alcohol kept in the skull of a Brahmana. Mahabhairava has to be worshipped with human offerings, lustrous with streams of blood flowing from the stiff throat which is freshly cut.
  • Some debauch themselves for wealth, some for lust,
    I debauched myself in search of God.
    • In western imagination quoted from "Debauchery in the Search for God:Tantra and British Women Writers", in p. 111
Kali in Dakshineswar.
  • Kali-Ma...symbolizes the ultimate mystery in life- the mystery of sex.
  • That Mai Kali will get the blood for which She asks unless quick action betaken...this is certain. Who governs India as a whole must govern by power.
    • Flora Annie Steel, in The Law of the Threshold quoted in p. 114

Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion (2003)


Urban, Hugh B. (14 September 2003). Tantra: Sex, Secrecy, Politics, and Power in the Study of Religion. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-93689-8. 

  • The moment one hears the word “Tantrism”, various wild and lurid associations spring forth in the Western mind which add up to a pastiche of psycho spiritual science fiction and sexual acrobatics that would put to shame the most imaginative of our contemporary pronographers.
    • From the ”The Dialectical Image of Tantra” quoted by Jacob Needleman in The New Religions as referred here in p. 4
  • ...the Sanskrit word tantra has appeared since Vedic times, with an enormous diversity of meanings; it has been used to denote everything from a warp or a loom to “the chief potion or essence of a thing” (Mahabharta.13.48.6). Probably derived from the root tan, “to weave or stretch”, tantra is most often used to refer to a particular kind of text which is “woven” of the extended threads of many words. Yet, as Padoux points out, such texts may or may not contain materials that we today think of as “Tantric”.
    • By Hugh B. Urban in p. 4

Tantra: The Supreme Understanding: Discourses on the Tantric Way of Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra


Osho (1 June 1997). Tantra: The Supreme Understanding: Discourses on the Tantric Way of Tilopa's Song of Mahamudra. Osho International. pp. 118–. ISBN 978-81-7261-009-8. 

  • Tantra masters are wild flowers, they have everything in them.
  • That is why in tantra – Tilopa is a tantra master – deep intercourse, orgasmic intercourse, between lovers is also called Mahamudra, and two lovers in deep orgasmic state are pictured in tantric temples, in tantric books. That has become a symbol of the final orgasm.
    • Osho in p. 19
  • He who keeps tantric precepts, yet discriminates, betrays the spirit of samaya. [And says Tilopa], if you are trying to keep the tantra path, the tantra precepts, then remember, don’t discriminate. If you discriminate you may be tantra philosopher, but not a tantra follower. Don’t say this is good, that is bad. Drop all discrimination. Accept everything as it is.
    • Osho in p. 118
  • This is one of the most beautiful tantra things:tantra says remain homeless, don’t abide anywhere. Don’t get identified and don’t cling to anything. Remain homeless, because in homelessness you will attain to your real home.
    • Osho in p. 119
  • ...difference between yoga and tantra; yoga is horizontal, tantra is vertical; yoga takes millions of lives to reach; tantra says: within a second.
    • Osho in p. 131
  • Yoga is effort, tantra is effortless.
    • Osho in p. 131
  • Tantra accepts everything, lives everything. That's why tantra never could become a very accepted ideology. It always remained a fringe ideology.
    • Osho in p. 103
  • Tantra is a great yea-sayer; it says yes to everything.
    • Osho in P.95
  • Tantra says there is nobody above you whom you have to follow, through whom you have to get your pattern.
    • Osho in p. 156
  • The ordinary society is like a paperweight on you: it won't allow you to fly.
    • Osho in p. 107
  • Tantra says readjustment, adjustment, is not the goal; it is not worth much – transformation is the goal.
    • Osho in p. 108
Tantric Divinity, Indian Museum Calcuta
  • Tantra offers you enlightenment right here and now – no time, no postponement
    • By Osho in p. 114
  • Tantra says you are missing because you are running. Tantra says you are missing because you are in such a hurry.
    • Osho in p. 114
  • Tantra believes not in GRADUAL development of the soul, but in sudden enlightenment.
    • Osho in P.124
  • Tantra is a very very poetic approach, not arithmetical. And tantra believes in love, not in mathematics. It believes in sudden enlightenment.
    • Osho in P.125
  • Tantra is a great hope. Tantra is like an oasis in a world of deserts.
    • Osho in p. 125
  • Tantra says: Don’t focus your attention on the acts, focus your attention on the person who has done the acts. Yoga focuses on acts. Tantra focuses on the person, on the consciousness, on you.
    • Osho in p. 125
  •   Encyclopedic article on Tantra on Wikipedia
  •   The dictionary definition of tantra on Wiktionary