ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What is Tantra? Part 2 of 2

Updated on March 2, 2013

This hub is a continuation of The Truth About Tantra, Part 1. It details some of the beliefs and practices of Tantra, but does not give general information. For more general information, feel free to check out the first part of the hub.

A Sadhu
A Sadhu
Chakras and energy flow inside and outside of the body.
Chakras and energy flow inside and outside of the body.

Sadhus

Sadhus are the “holy men” of India who devote their lives to “liberation” by rejecting the first three goals of Hindu life; pleasure, wealth, and duty. Many Hindu sadhus wear dreadlocks, do yoga, and use other taboos as forms of meditation. Buddha was a non-Hindu sadhu.

Hindu Tantra

Hindu tantra is often divided into two categories according to its value system. These are known as left-handed tantra and right-handed tantra.

Left-handed tantra advocates the five M’s (taboo breaking to free oneself from the binds of society), and is considered to be a very dangerous path to take by many orthodox Hindus:

madya (wine)

māmsa (meat)

matsya (fish)

mudrā (parched grain)

maithuna (body taboos)


Right-handed tantra advocates abstaining from these practicing, and visualizing them instead.

Both schools worship Shiva and his female counterpart, the divine mother (known by many names in the form of many goddesses, such as Kali, Shakti, and Parvati). This also lends itself to a ritual worship of the "divine union", which is subject to translation. It can be thought of as an earthly union, a union of energies, or the union of oneself with the divine.

A book that takes you to the heart of tantra:

Tantra Illuminated
Tantra Illuminated

This book goes deeper into the origins of tantra and how it can affect your life.

 

Buddhist Tantra

Buddhist Tantra is practiced in much of Southern and Eastern Asia. It generally teaches the "right-handed" tantra, the binding of oneself with the divine through visualization and meditation.

New Age Tantra

New Age tantra is mostly practiced in the U.S. and Europe, and it has adopted many of the terms and ideas of tantra without the structure, ritual, and requirements of more traditional forms. It is often combined with other forms of religious mysticism, such as Muslim Sufism, Jewish Kabbalah, and elements of Northern European paganism and Chinese philosophy.

Chakras and Energy Flow in the Body
Chakras and Energy Flow in the Body

The Schools of Tantra

Over time, tantrics developed so many techniques that it became impossible to study them systematically. For this reason, they were divided into three schools; Kaula, Mishra, and Samaya.

Kaula employs external objects (pilgrimages, rituals, offerings, recitation of scriptures),

Mishra employs both external and internal objects (partially ritualistic and partially meditative),

Samaya (solely meditative) employs only internal objects.

Bharatanatyam
Bharatanatyam

Tantric Practices

Tantric practices are called pujus, Hindu rituals of worship or devotion to the divine. They can include, but are certainly not limited to:

Mantras: focusing or meditating on an incantation, song, prayer, or mandala

Concentration on the body (meditating on energy flows, chakras, kundalini, etc.)

Taboo breaking in order to free oneself from conventionality (the five M’s): Most of these taboos are considered extremely harmful if they are done to fulfill selfish desires. Rather, the practitioner must prepare oneself with meditation and/or yoga and progress beyond the literal act to understand the deeper meaning.

Deities: Tantra especially embraces Shakti and Shiva, who are considered the “divine union”. Practices involve visualizing oneself as the deity, worshiping through sacrifices, or awakening the movement of the Gods through sacred dance.

Bharata Natyam, described in detail in the fifth Veda, is a sacred dance, or form of moving yoga, practiced as a puju.

I LOVE BHARATANATYAM!

Learn Bharatanatyam
Learn Bharatanatyam

This ancient and sacred dance of India is practiced in worship rituals. It is spellbinding to watch and invigorating to learn

 
An illustration of Kundalini flowing up the spine.
An illustration of Kundalini flowing up the spine.

Kundalini

Kundalini is the coil of creative “feminine” energy at the base of the spine, said to be activated or awoken through yoga and meditation. It is visualized as a snake which sleeps coiled and, when it wakes, slithers up the spine to unite itself with the masculine energy at the base of the skull. This movement is called Kundalini Shakti, and is considered to be Shakti (the Divine Mother) in her kinetic manifestation. Yogis describe kundalini as a warm, liquidy feeling ascending up the spine. The movement of kundalini is considered vital to self-realization and the dissolution of the barrier between the physical world and the divine.

Shaktishiva. An illustration of the Divine union of the male and female energies.
Shaktishiva. An illustration of the Divine union of the male and female energies.

Shakti Shiva

The principal of Shakti and Shiva are a fundamental part of tantric teachings. It is from these male and female counterparts that the universe was created. The deities represent the divine union; union of the physical with the divine and the active with the creative.

A better understanding of Tantra

This hub focuses on detailed aspects of tantra belief, and is a continuation of another hub. For more general information, please read The Truth About Tantra, Part 1.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • hush4444 profile image

      hush4444 

      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Very interesting hub(s)! I'm so ignorant about India and its beliefs that I never knew where to begin to learn more. Thanks for getting me off to a good start!

    • stephaniedas profile imageAUTHOR

      Stephanie Das 

      7 years ago from Miami, US

      The first part of this hub is "The Truth About Tantra, Part 1"

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Truth...

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)