(Last Updated on : 06/01/2011)
Tantra in Hinduism
is a spiritual part of the religion. The concept of Tantra is closely associated with that of the concept of Hinduism. Tantra aims to bring the hidden self in tune with the inner self and so as to make the individual in progress. The left hand Tantric rites are often rejected as unsafe by most orthodox Hindus. The Tantra is considered the short cut method to self realization and spiritual enlightenment. The popular perception of Tantra among Hindus equate with black magic.
Hinduism is typically related to Vedic concept but the Tantras are not a part of orthodox Hindu or Vedic scriptures. The Vedas of orthodox Hinduism lie on one side while the Agamas of Tantra on the other. However the practices, mantras and the ideas of Atharva Veda are typically different from the other three Vedas
. The Atharva Veda is cited by many tantra texts as the ancient source of knowledge. The Vedas progress throughout the Tantras such as Mahanirvana Tantra. Tantra exists for spiritual seekers at 'Kaliyuga', when Vedic practices are not applicable in our daily lives. Tantra is the most direct means to realize the spiritualism. The Tantric thought according to Hindu Tantra worship Lord Shiva
and divine mother Kali.
In Hinduism, the Tantra typically takes the form of a dialogue between the Shiva and goddess Shakti
. Shiva is known as Yogiraj or Yogeshwara, the king of Yoga or the god of Yoga, while Shakti, his consort is considered as the feminine equal of Shiva. There is a particular group of technique or philosophy to attain Moksha
. Agamas mean Shiva to Shakti and Nigamas are Shakti to Shiva.
As in all of Hindu yogas, Mantra play an important part in Tantra for focusing the mind often through the involvement of specific Hindu gods like Shiva, Ma kali(another form of Shakti) and even Ganesh, the elephant-headed god of wisdom. The reference of Ganesha is found in Ganesha Upanishad. Similarly the Tantra Puja in Hinduism often concentrates on a Yantra or Mandala.
Tantra in Hinduism is the manifestation of early Hindu-Vedic thought and thus it embraces the Hindu gods and goddesses, especially Shiva and Shakti. It is also connected with Advaita philosophy or non-dualist Vedic philosophy that represents the ultimate aspect of Para Shiva or Brahman. These deities may be worshipped externally with flowers, incense etc. These deities are more importantly used as the object of meditation, where the Tantric practitioner imagines the god or goddesses and experience the Vision. Tantra in Hinduism thus stands as a unique form of "Puja" where the deities invoked in a matchless way.
The basic idea behind this Hindu tradition is that an individual must look for total control over themselves and the universe thereby getting aligned with the divine powers which leads to enlightenment.