Tantra – Spiritual Ritual

Tantra. The Tantric teachings originate from India and are spread throughout the Far East. Tantra is also called Tantric Yoga. The aim is spiritual expansion and liberation. It is an esoteric tradition that is part of Hinduism and Buddhism, among others. Tantra focuses on developing human strength through meditation and confrontation with difficult circumstances to overcome fears and weaknesses. A popular part in Europe is Tantric sex.

Tantra Origin

As far as is known, the Tantra Teaching originated in India thousands of years before the current era and later spread across Tibet, China, Nepal and Japan. The Buddhist version of the Tantra originated in India in the 3rd century AD, after which it spread to the Far East in the 8th century. Later it was supplemented with Western methods of personal growth and body work by Osho, among others.

Tantra Meaning

Tantra literally means: expansion. In Sanskrit, Tan means expansion and tra means liberation. Another derivation or translation also emerges, where the meaning of Tan is described as: thread, web, braiding and of Tra as a tool or instrument. These two meanings combined give the definition: tool for expansion, braiding of consciousness. Tantra is also called Tantric Yoga and is a teaching whose goal (generally formulated) is spiritual expansion and liberation. Tantra is an esoteric tradition that is part of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Tantra focuses on developing human strength , both through meditation and through direct confrontation with difficult circumstances to overcome fears and weaknesses. All kinds of techniques are used to achieve physical and mental harmony and to transcend personal consciousness. The Tantras consist of many principles and practices, but the essence of Tantra is to accept everything as it is or goes and to be open, to be curious and to say yes to everything you experience. Tantra is an attitude to life, a way of life or a way of being. It is said that you can only understand Tantra by experiencing it. Tantra emphasizes being aware of every experience. Both sensory awareness such as seeing, smelling, hearing, tasting, feeling/touch, as well as thinking and also the awareness of sensations, experiences, feelings and emotions.

Tantra Teaching

Tantra is applied in different forms, so it is not really possible to describe one form, but in general a number of basic principles are reflected in the different forms, which will be discussed in more detail below.
The goal of Tantra is not to avoid problems and obstacles, but to take responsibility for one’s own life and to confront difficulties and conditioned emotions in order to overcome them. Patterns and blockages may exist, but the negative effect of these blockages will decrease by understanding and living through them. By transforming traits and tendencies and directing them to a higher spiritual purpose, spiritual growth occurs. Tantra then calms thoughts and leads to a pursuit of wanting to be nothing other than experiencing yourself and your powers in the now. Various meditation techniques have been developed over time. The teachings of Tantra have few theoretical aspects, are mainly practice-based and contain predominantly practice-oriented descriptions and exercises.

Tantra Goal

Tantra uses, among other things:

  • Mantras : specific sounds
  • Yantras : specific forms

The intention is to see the idea (ideation): personal aspects of the cosmic consciousness in order to help direct the individual consciousness (microcosm) towards the highest goal: the Cosmic Consciousness (macrocosm).
The ultimate goal is the absorption of the fundamental negativity: Shakti into the fundamental positivity: Shiva. This is done by bringing up the energy of the Kula Kundalini. The Kundalini i is located at the bottom of the spine, as it were a ‘curled up snake’. By bringing the energy up, the merging of the microcosm with the macrocosm can take place in the highest chakra. Depending on the tradition and form, these exercises are performed in different ways and usually supported with Yoga techniques to better balance Body and Mind.

Tantra and Chakras

Tantra views the individual mind including the body as a microcosm. According to Tantra, the body has a series of five energy centers: Chakras . Chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or disk. These chakras are the control points of the five fundamental factors or elements that shape a person. The chakras can be purified through special exercises, allowing the individual consciousness (microcosm) to become increasingly subtle and grow towards the Macrocosm. The ultimate goal is to achieve self-realization or salvation . According to Tanta, the highest chakra is the a’jina chakra, which is the seat of the Supreme Consciousness in the body.

Tantra Left-handed and Right-handed

In Tantra, ecstasy, love and eroticism are used on the path to awareness and connection with the divine to awaken the senses and the mind. The goal is to let the (sexual) energy flow, to get to know personal boundaries and to experience desires. However, there is a difference between the Left- and Right-handed teachings of the Tantra.

  • Left-handed Tantra believes that the individual does not have to be bound by what is socially acceptable and is averse to faith (religion) and dogmas. The practitioners of this form are more or less outside society in India. Left-handed Tantra has more extreme expressions; especially regarding the sexual side: Tantric sex.
  • Right-handed Tantra emphasizes the control and transformation of sexual energy that is ‘dangerous’ for spiritual development.

In Europe (particularly in the Netherlands) since the 1960s (sexual revolution) there has been growing attention for one of the Tantra components: Tantric sex .

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