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Tantra is about integrating sexuality and spirituality with the goal of advancing toward enlightenment. Tantra practices have many applications including increasing sexual enjoyment while also clearing the energy body and chakras.

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The integration of sexuality and spirituality to promote healing and activate positive creative energy into all areas of the being.

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Tantra as taught by this school is a practice for seekers, those who have a burning desire for the truth. For most of us, it’s an approach, a system of methods, for releasing unconscious attitudes, judgements and beliefs around our sexuality. For some of us, it’s an immersion in conscious living, supported by contact with the school’s teachers at our talks, workshops and private sessions. For the teachers of this school, Tantra is a calling, a vocation and a deep commitment to the
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Tantra is the path to true freedom. It teaches us to know ourselves completely and to fully embrace who we are without fear or judgment. It teaches us to live life without judgment or expectation. We learn to own all that we are regardless of how it appears or presents itself. We are not what society says we are, we are so much more. Tantra teaches us to be truly happy and fulfilled. It is ecstasy. Come and meet yourself for the first time. You won’t be sorry.

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Tantra Description

* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/18/2013.

Tantra is the name scholars give to a style of meditation and ritual that arose in medieval India no later than the fifth century CE.* The earliest documented use of the word Tantra is in the Hindu text, the Rigveda (X.71.9).*Tantra has influenced the Hindu, Sikh, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain traditions and silk road transmission of Buddhism|spread with Buddhism to East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Definitions

There are a number of different definitions of Tantra which are not always mutually consistent.

Traditional definitions

The Tantric tradition does offer two important definitions of what constitutes a tantra and why it is named such. The first comes from the :

The second traditional definition comes from the 10th century Tantric scholar Ramaka?ha, who belonged to the dualist school called the Saiva Siddhanta:

Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar describes who a tantric is and what the tantric cult is:

Scholastic definitions

Modern scholars have also provided definitions of Tantra. David Gordon White of the University of California offers the following:

Anthony Tribe, a scholar of Buddhist Tantra, offers a list of defining features:.* # Centrality of ritual, esp. evocation and worship of deities; # Centrality of mantras; # Visualisation and self-identification with deity; # Necessity of initiation / esotericism / secrecy; # Importance of the teacher (guru, acarya); # Ritual use of ma?alas; # Transgressive/antinomian acts; # Revaluation of the body; # Revaluation of the status and role of women; # Analogical thinking [including microcosmic/macrocosmic correlation]; and # Revaluation of 'negative' mental states

Tantra as western construction

Robert Brown notes that the term tantrism is a construction of Western world|western Scholarly method|scholarship, not a concept that comes from the religious system itself. s (practitioners of Tantra) never attempted to define Tantra as a whole the way Western scholars have. Rather, the Tantric dimension of each South Asian religion had its own name:
  • Tantric Shaivism was known to its practitioners as the ,
  • Tantric Buddhism has the indigenous name of the Vajrayana,
  • Tantric Vaishnavism was known as the Pancharatra. The general term "Tantra" may be used to denote all the teachings and practices found in the scriptures called or , a synonym. It could equally be substituted by the adjective Agamic.

    History

    Golden Age of Hinduism

    Tantrism originated in the early centuries CE and developed into a fully articulated tradition by the end of the Gupta period. This was the "Golden Age of Hinduism" (ca. 320–650 CE), which flourished during the Gupta Empire (320 to 550 CE) until the fall of the Harsha|Harsha Empire (606 to 647 CE). During this period, power was centralised, along with a growth of far distance trade, standardizarion of legal procedures, and general spread of literacy. Mahayana Buddhism flourished, but the orthodox Brahmana culture began to be rejuvenated by the patronage of the Gupta Dynasty. The position of the Brahmans was reinforced, and the first Hindu temples emerged during the late Gupta age.

    Late-Classical Hinduism

    :See also History of India#Late Middle Kingdoms - The Late-Classical Age|Late-Classical Age and History of Hinduism#Middle Ages|Hinduism Middle Ages

    After the end of the Gupta Empire and the collapse of the Harsha Empire, power became decentralised in India. Several larger kingdoms emerged, with "countless vasal states". The kingdoms were ruled via a feudal system. Smaller kingdoms were dependent on the protection of the larger kingdoms. "The great king was remote, was exalted and deified", as reflected in the Tantric Mandala, which could also depict the king as the centre of the mandala.

    The disintegration of central power also lead to regionalisation of religiosity, and religious rivalry.} Local cults and languages were enhanced, and the influence of "Brahmanic ritualistic Hinduism" was diminished. Rural and devotional movements arose, along with Shaivism, Vaisnavism, Bhakti and Tantra, though "sectarian groupings were only at the beginning of their development". Religious movements had to compete for recognition by the local lords. Buddhism lost its position, and began to disappear in India.

    In the same period Vedanta changed, incorporating Buddhist thought and its emphasis on consciousness and the working of the mind. Buddhism, which was supported by the ancient Indian urban civilisation lost influence to the traditional religions, which were rooted in the countryside. In Bengal, Buddhism was even prosecuted. But at the same time, Buddhism was incorporated into Hinduism, when Gaudapada used Buddhist philosophy to reinterpret the Upanishads. This also marked a shift from Atman and Brahman as a "living substance" to "maya-vada", where Atman and Brahman are seen as "pure knowledge-consciousness". According to Scheepers, it is this "maya-vada" view which has come to dominate Indian thought.

    Spread of Tantra

    Tantric movements led to the formation of many esoteric schools of Hinduism and Buddhism. It has influenced the Hindu, Sikh, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain religious traditions and silk road transmission of Buddhism|spread with Buddhism to East Asia and Southeast Asia.

    Chronological use of the term

    A survey of the literature gives a varied use of the term tantra.

    {| class="wikitable" ! colspan="3" | CHRONOLOGY: USE OF THE TERM "TANTRA" IN WRITTEN SCRIPTURES* |- ! Period !! Scripture or Author !! Meaning |- | 1700–1100 B.C. || Rigveda|?gveda, X, 71.9 || loom (or device for weaving)* |- | 1700-? B.C. || Samaveda, Tandya Brahmana || essence (or "main part", perhaps to denote the quintessence of the Sastras)* |- | 1200-900 B.C. || Atharvaveda, X, 7.42 || loom (or device for weaving)* |- | 1400-1000 B.C. || Yajurveda, Taittiriya Brahmana, 11.5.5.3 || loom (or device for weaving)* |- | 600-500 B.C. || Pa?ini on A?adhyayi || tissue obtained from the frame (tantraka, derived from tantra) |- | 600-300 B.C. || Shatapatha Brahmana|Satapatha Brahma?a || essence (or "main part", perhaps to denote the quintessence of the sastras)* |- | 350-283 B.C. || Chanakya* on Arthasastra || strategy (political strategy, military etc.) |- | 300 A.D. || Isvarakrsna|Isvarak?a author of Samkhyakarika|Sankhya Karika (karika 70) || doctrine (it identifies Sankhya as a tantra)* |- | 320 A.D. || Vishnu Purana|Vi?u Pura?a || set of practices and rituals (speaks of Shakti|sakti, Visnu|Vi?u and Durga cults with the use of wine, meat, etc..)* |- | 320-400 A.D. || poet Kalidasa on Abhijñanasakuntalam || deep understanding or mastery of a topic* |- | 423 A.D. || Gangdhar Stone Inscription in Rajasthan* || set of practices and rituals of daily Tantric cult (Tantrobhuta)* |- | 500-600 A.D. || Chinese Buddhist canon (Vol. 18–21: Tantra (Vajrayana) or Vajrayana|Tantric Buddhism* || set of doctrines or practices for obtaining spiritual enlightenment (including iconography of the subtle body with cakras, na?is, Mantras and subtle energies etc..) |- | 600 A.D. || Kamikagama or Kamika-tantra || copious knowledge (on principles of reality tattva and mantra)* and bearer of liberation* |- | 606–647 A.D. || Sanskrit scholar and poet Ba?abha?a (in Har?acarita* and in Kadambari|Kadambari), in Bhasa's Charudatta|Carudatta and in Sudraka|Sudraka's M?cchakatika || set of practices and rituals with use of Mandalas and Yantras for propitiation of Mother Goddesses or Matrikas, etc.* |- | 788-820 A.D. || philosopher Adi Shankara|Sankara || system of thought or set of doctrines or practices* |- | 950-1000 A.D. || philosopher Bha?a Ramaka?ha* || set of doctrines or practices (divinely revealed) concerning the practice of spiritual worship* |- | 975-1025 A.D. || philosopher Abhinavagupta in his Tantraloka || set of doctrines or practices, teachings and/or Shaivism|Saiva doctrine |- | 1150-1200 A.D. || Jayaratha, Abhinavagupta's commentator on Tantraloka || set of doctrines or practices, teachings and/or Shaivism|Saiva doctrine (as in Tantraloka) |- | 1690–1785 A.D. || philosopher Bhaskararaya || system of thought or set of doctrines or practices* |

    Practices

    Rather than a single coherent system, Tantra is an accumulation of practices and ideas. Because of the wide range of communities covered by the term tantra, it is challenging and problematic to describe tantric practices definitively.

    Goal of Tantra

    Tantric ritual seeks to access the supra-mundane through the mundane, identifying the Macrocosm and microcosm|microcosm with the macrocosm.* The Tantric aim is to sublimate rather than to negate relative reality.*

    The Tantric practitioner seeks to use prana, an energy that flows through the universe (including one's own body) to attain goals that may be spiritual, material or both.*

    The Tantric Path

    Long training is generally required to master Tantric methods, into which pupils are typically initiated by a guru.

    Various techniques are used as aids for meditation and for the achievement of spiritual and magical power:
  • Yoga, including breathing techniques and postures (asana), is employed to subject the body to the control of the will;
  • Mudras, or gestures;
  • Mantras or syllables, words and phrases;
  • Mandalas;
  • Yantras, symbolic diagrams of the forces at work in the universe;
  • Identification with deities. (See Anuttarayoga Tantra for Tibetan Buddhist ideas.)

    The process of sublimation (psychology)|sublimation consists of three phases: # Purification # Elevation # "Reaffirmation of identity on the plane of pure consciousness"*

    Classifications of practices

    Avalon provides a dichotomy of the "Ordinary Ritual" * and the "Secret Ritual".*The methods employed by Dakshinachara (right-hand path) interpretations of Tantra are very different from the methods used in the pursuit of the Vamachara (left-hand path).

    Mantra, yantra, nyasa

    Linguistically the three words mantram, tantram and yantram are related in the ancient traditions of India, as well as phonologically. Mantram denotes the chant, or "knowledge." Tantram denotes philosophy, or ritual actions. Yantram denotes the means by which a human is expected to lead his life.

    The mantra and yantra are instruments to invoke specific Hindu deities such as Shiva, Shakti, or Kali. Similarly, Puja (Hinduism)|puja may involve focusing on a yantra or mandala associated with a deity.*Each mantra is associated with a specific Nyasa (ritual)|Nyasa. Nyasa involves touching various parts of the body with specific portions of the mantra. This is considered to be invoking presence of the deity of the mantra inside the body. There are various types of Nyasas - The most important of them being Kara Nyasa and Anga Nyasa.

    Identification with deities

    Tantra, as a development of early Hindu-Vedic thought, embraced the Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Shiva and Shakti, along with the Advaita philosophy that each represents an aspect of the ultimate Para Brahman, or Adi Parashakti.

    These deities may be worshipped externally with flowers, incense, and other offerings, such as singing and dancing. These Tantric practices form the foundation of the ritual temple dance of the devadasis, and are preserved in the Bharatanatyam|Melattur style of Bharatanatyam by Guru Mangudi Dorairaja Iyer.

    Visualisation

    These deities are engaged internally as attributes of Ishta devata|Ishta Devata meditations, the practitioners either visualizing themselves as the deity, or experiencing the Darsana|darshan (the vision) of the deity.

    During meditation the initiate identifies with any of the numerous Hindu gods and goddesses, visualizes them and internalises them, a process likened to sexual courtship and consummation.* The Tantrika practitioner may use Mental image|visualizations of deities, identifying with the deity so that the aspirant "becomes" the Ishta-deva or Yidam|meditational deity.*

    Three classes of devotees

    In Hindu Tantra practices when bringing together the deity and the devotee, they use both meditation and ritual practices. These practices are divided into 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 that can attain the object of the rituals, which are directed to awakening kundalini energy.*

    Vamamarga – Secret ritual

    Secret ritual may include any or all of the elements of ordinary ritual, either directly or substituted, along with other sensate rites and themes such as a feast (representing food, or sustenance), coitus (representing sexuality and procreation), the charnel grounds (representing death and transition) and defecation, urination and vomiting (representing waste, renewal, and fecundity). It is this sensate inclusion that prompted Heinrich Zimmer|Zimmer's praise of Tantra's world-affirming attitude:

    Arthur Avalon states that the Panchatattva Chakrapuja and Panchamakara involve:

    Avalon also provides a series of variations and substitutions of the Panchatattva (Panchamakara) "elements" or tattva encoded in the Tantras and various tantric traditions, and affirms that there is a direct correlation to the Tantric Panchamrita|Five Nectars and the Mahabhuta.Avalon, Arthur. Sakti and Sakta, ch. 27

    Sexual rites

    Although popularly equated with Tantra in its entirety in the West, such sexual rites were historically practiced by a minority of sects. For many practicing lineages, these maithuna practices progressed into psychological symbolism.

    Origins

    According to White, sexual rites of Vamamarga may have emerged from early Hindu Tantra as a practical means of catalyzing biochemical transformations in the body to facilitate heightened states of awareness.White (2000) These constitute a vital offering to Tantric deities.

    Religious aims

    Later developments in the rite emphasize the primacy of bliss and divine union, which replace the more bodily connotations of earlier forms.

    When enacted as enjoined by the Tantras, the ritual culminates in a sublime experience of infinite awareness for both participants. Tantras|Tantric texts specify that sex has three distinct and separate purposes—procreation, pleasure, and liberation. Those seeking liberation eschew frictional orgasm for a higher form of Religious ecstasy|ecstasy. Several sexual rituals are recommended and practiced. These involve elaborate and meticulous preparatory and purificatory rites.

    The sexual act itself balances energies coursing within the pranic Nadi (yoga)|ida and Nadi (yoga)|pingala channels in the subtle bodies of both participants. The sushumna Nadi (yoga)|nadi is awakened and kundalini rises upwards within it. This eventually culminates in Samadhi|samadhi, wherein the respective individual personalities and identities of each of the participants are completely dissolved in a unity of cosmic consciousness.

    Tantrics understand these acts on multiple levels. The male and female participants are conjoined physically, and represent Shiva and Shakti, the male and female principles. Beyond the physical, a wikt:subtle|subtle fusion of Shiva and Shakti energies takes place, resulting in a united energy field. On an individual level, each participant experiences a fusion of one's own Shiva and Shakti energies.Satyananda, .Woodroffe (1959), .

    Doctrines

    Defined primarily as a technique-rich style of spiritual practice, Tantra has no single coherent doctrine. It developed different teachings in connection with the different religions that adopted the Tantric method. These teachings tended to support and validate the practices of Tantra.

    These practices, in their classical form, are more oriented to the married householder than the monastic or solitary renunciant. They exhibited what may be called a world-embracing rather than a world-denying character.

    Tantra, especially in its nonduality|nondual forms, rejected the renunciant values of Patañjalian yoga, offering instead a vision of the whole of reality as the self-expression of a single, free and blissful Divine Consciousness under whatever name, whether Siva or Buddha-nature.

    The world is real

    Since the world was viewed as real, not illusory, this doctrine was a significant innovation over and against previous Indian philosophies, which tended to picture the Divine as absolutely transcendent and/or the world as illusion. The practical consequence of this view was that not only could householders aspire to spiritual liberation in the Tantric system, they were the type of practitioner that most Tantric manuals had in mind.

    Furthermore, since Tantra dissolved the dichotomy of spiritual versus mundane, practitioners could entail every aspect of their daily lives into their spiritual growth process, seeking to realize the divine that is both transcendent and immanent. Tantric spiritual practices and rituals thus aim to bring about an inner realization of the truth that "Nothing exists that is not Divine" (), bringing freedom from ignorance and from the cycle of suffering () in the process.

    In fact, tantric visualizations are said to bring the meditator to the core of his humanity and oneness with transcendence. Tantric meditations do not serve the function of training or practicing extra beliefs or unnatural ways. On the contrary, the transcendence that is reached by such meditative work does not construct anything in the mind of the practitioner, but actually deconstructs all pre-conceived notions of the human condition. The barriers that constrict thinking to limitation-namely, cultural and linguistic frameworks-are completely removed. This allows the person to experience total liberation and then unity with ultimate truth or reality.Timalsina, S. (2012)

    Evolution and involution

    According to Tantra, "being-consciousness-bliss" or Satchitananda|Satchidananda has the power of both self-evolution and self-involution. Prakriti or "reality" evolves into a multiplicity of creatures and things, yet at the same time always remains pure consciousness, pure being, and pure bliss. In this process of evolution, Maya (illusion)|Maya (illusion) veils Reality and separates it into opposites, such as conscious and unconscious, pleasant and unpleasant, and so forth. If not recognized as illusion, these opposing determining conditions bind, limit and fetter (pashu) the individual (jiva).Nikhilanada (1982), pp. 145–160Generally speaking, the Hindu god and goddess Shiva and Shakti are perceived as separate and distinct. However, in Tantra, even in the process of evolution, Reality remains pure consciousness, pure being and pure bliss, and Tantra denies neither the act nor the fact of this process. In fact, Tantra affirms that both the world-process itself, and the individual jiva, are themselves Real. In this respect, Tantra distinguishes itself both from pure dvaita|dualism and from the qualified advaita|non-dualism of Vedanta.

    Evolution, or the "outgoing current," is only half of the functioning of Maya. Involution, or the "return current," takes the jiva back towards the source, or the root of Reality, revealing the infinite. Tantra is understood to teach the method of changing the "outgoing current" into the "return current," transforming the fetters created by Maya into that which "releases" or "liberates." This view underscores two Maxim (saying)|maxims of Tantra: "One must rise by that by which one falls," and "the very poison that kills becomes the elixir of life when used by the wise."

    Scripture

    The primary sources of written Hindu Tantric lore are the Agama (Hinduism)|agama, which generally consist of four parts, delineating metaphysical knowledge (jnana), contemplative procedures (yoga), ritual regulations (Kriya|kriya), and ethical and religious injunctions (charya). Schools and lineages affiliate themselves with specific agamic traditions. Hindu tantra exists in Shaivism|Shaiva, Vaishnavism|Vaisnava,Bhattacharyya, pp. 182–88. Ganapatya,Bühnemann. SauraSwami Niranjananda, The Tantric Tradition. Yoga Magazine, March 1998 and Shaktism|Shakta forms, amongst others, so that individual tantric texts may be classified as Shaiva Agama (Hinduism)|, Vaishnava ,For as representing tantric Vaishnavism, see: Flood (1996), p. 122. and Shakta Tantras, though there is no clear dividing line between these works. The expression Tantra generally includes all such works.For terminology of , , and , see: Winternitz, p. 587.

    Influence on Asian religions

    The historical significance of the Tantric method lies in the fact that it affected every major Indian religion extant in the early medieval period (c. 500 – 1200 CE): thus the Hindu sects of Shaivism, Shaktism and Vaishnavism, as well as Buddhism and Jainism all developed a well-documented body of Tantric practices and related doctrines. Even Islam in India was influenced by Tantra. Tantric ideas and practices spread far outside of India, into Tibet, Nepal, China, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Today, Tibetan Buddhism and various forms of Hinduism show the strongest Tantric influence, as do the international asana|postural yoga movement and most forms of American alternative spirituality that are grouped under the New Age rubric.

    Hinduism

    Vedic tradition

    Various orthodox Brahmanas routinely incorporate Tantric rituals in their daily activities (Ahnikas). For example, sarvA~nga-nyAsas and kara-nyAsas (Tantric techniques for placing various deities) are part of chanting tracts such as the rudra-prashna of the yajurvEda and viShNu-sahasra-nAma; and gAyatrI-AvahanaM is a common part of Sandhyavandanam in south India.http://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/sandhya/yv/ga.html Orthodox temple archakas of various sects profess to follow rules laid out in Tantric texts, for example priests of the Iyengar sect prefer to follow Pañcaratra Agamas.

    However, it has been claimed that orthodox Vedic traditions were antagonistic to Tantra. André Padoux notes that in India tantra is marked by a rejection of orthodox Vedic tenets.Padoux, André, What do we mean by Tantrism? in: Harper (2002), p. 23. Moriz Winternitz, in his review of the literature of tantra, points out that, while Indian tantric texts are not positively hostile to the Vedas, they may regard the precepts of the Vedas as too difficult for our age, while an easier cult and an easier doctrine have been revealed in them.Winternitz, volume 1, p. 587. Many orthodox Brahmans who accept the authority of the Vedas reject the authority of the Tantras.Flood (1996), p. 122. Although later Tantric writers wanted to base their doctrines on the Vedas, some orthodox followers of the Vedic tradition invariably referred to Tantra in a spirit of denunciation, stressing its anti-Vedic character.Bhattacharyya, p. 20.

    Shaiva Tantra

    The tantric Shaiva tradition consists of the Kapalikas, Kashmir Shaivism and Shaiva Siddhanta.

    The word "Tantrika" is used for followers of the Tantras in Shaivism.

    Yoga

    Shaiva tantra gave us the Hatha Yoga manuals, such as the 15th century Hathayoga Pradipika and the 16th century Gheranda Samhita. It is from these manuals that most modern popular knowledge of "Yoga" derives. The earlier, pre-Tantric form of Yoga, going back to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, became retrospectively known as Raja Yoga.

    Buddhist Tantra

    Vajrayana comprises the scriptures and lineages founded by the India|Indian Mahasiddhas.Robert Beer|Beer, Robert (1999). The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, (Hardcover). Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-416-X, ISBN 978-1-57062-416-2 pg. 250According to Tibetan Buddhist Tantric master Lama Thubten Yeshe:
    ...each one of us is a union of all universal energy. Everything that we need in order to be complete is within us right at this very moment. It is simply a matter of being able to recognize it. This is the tantric approach.

    Western views

    Sir John Woodroffe

    The first Western scholar to take the study of Tantra seriously was John Woodroffe|Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936), who wrote about Tantra under the pen name Arthur Avalon. He is generally held as the "founding father of Tantric studies."Urban (2003), p. 22 Unlike previous Western scholars, Woodroffe was an ardent advocate for Tantra, defending Tantra against its many critics and presenting Tantra as an ethical philosophical system greatly in accord with the Vedas and Vedanta.Urban (2003), p. 135 Woodroffe himself practised Tantra as he saw and understood it and, while trying to maintain his scholastic objectivity, was considered a student of Hindu Tantra (in particular Shiva-Shakta) tradition.: 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)

    Further development

    Following Sir John Woodroffe, a number of scholars began to actively investigate Tantric teachings. These included a number of scholars of comparative religion and Indology, such as: Agehananda Bharati, Mircea Eliade, Julius Evola, Carl Jung, Giuseppe Tucci and Heinrich Zimmer.Urban (2003), pp. 165–166According 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", and regarded it as the ideal religion of the modern era. All three saw Tantra as "the most transgressive and violent path to the sacred."Urban (2003), pp. 166–167

    In the modern world

    Following these first presentations of Tantra, other more popular authors such as Joseph Campbell helped to bring Tantra into the imagination of the peoples of the Western world|West. Tantra came to be viewed by some as a "cult of ecstasy", combining sexuality and spirituality in such a way as to act as a corrective force to Western repressive attitudes about sex.For "cult of ecstasy" see: Urban (2003), pp. 204–205.As Tantra has become more popular in the West it has undergone a major transformation. For many modern readers, "Tantra" has become a synonym for "spiritual sex" or "sacred sexuality," a belief that sex in itself ought to be recognized as a sacred act which is capable of elevating its participants to a more sublime spiritual plane.For "Tantra" as a synonym for "spiritual sex" or "sacred sexuality," see: Urban (2003), pp. 204–205 Though Neotantra may adopt many of the concepts and terminology of Indian Tantra, it often omits one or more of the following: the traditional reliance on parampara|guruparampara (the guidance of a guru), extensive meditative practice, and traditional rules of conduct—both moral and ritualistic.

    According to one author and critic on religion and politics, Hugh Urban:

    Urban goes on to say that he himself doesn't consider this "wrong" or "false" but rather "simply a different interpretation for a specific historical situation."Urban (2003), pp. 204–205
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