Tantra: What It Is And It Isn’t

If you’ve spent anytime doing yoga or practising meditation, you’ve probably heard about tantra.

One of the oldest offshoots of Hinduism in the world, tantra has seen a renaissance in the last 40 years.

The ironic thing is although tantra has gotten a lot more attention recently, it’s also been greatly misunderstood; many people think tantra is either a sex practice or black magic!



THE MEANING

The word tantra comes from the combination of two words: “tattva” and “mantra”.

Tattva is the science of cosmic principles, while mantra is the science of mystic sounds and vibrations.

This means that tantra is the application of cosmic science with the determination to attain a deeper spiritual connection.



THE BIG MISUNDERSTANDING

Unlike many other traditional religious perspectives, tantra takes the entire person into account- their worries, fears, and worldly desires.

Most teachings believe that the pursuit of material pleasures and spiritual aspirations are mutually exclusive; that is, they are in direct opposition to one another.

This gives rise to an inner struggle that can lead to lots of inner turmoil.

In tantra, instead of drawing a line between these two seemingly different impulses, it’s taught that a practitioner should embrace both.

Since tantra means “to weave”, many tantra masters teach life can only provide fulfilment when we follow the pattern designed by nature.

Anger, fear, attachment, and negative emotions tear the threads and causing the fabric to rip.

Tantra seeks to repair that fabric.

To the tantra practitioner, worldly experiences are the same as spiritual experiences- there is no difference.

This simple philosophy has led many to conclude that tantra encourages people to be indiscriminate in their worldly pursuits.

But in reality it’s a philosophy that encourages seeing the divine in everything, no matter how dark or materialistic.

They’re all the same.


WEAVING THE FABRIC


Tantra isn’t a naive philosophy or world view in anyway.

It encompasses everything.

Even in the hardest of situations, there’s still room to notice the deeper meaning.

And ultimately, this leaves lots of room for a person to grow into their own understanding and how they fit into the world.

So what do you think? Does the underlining philosophy of tantra agree with you?

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