Tantra (Sanskrit, “web” or “warp”), a body of esoteric Hindu and Buddhist religious texts and rituals. The Hindu Tantras were written after the Puranas, in the medieval period, and are usually set in the form of a dialogue between the god Shiva and his consort Parvati, in which he explains to her the philosophy and myths underlying the Tantric ritual. They emphasize the goddess Shakti as the female power or energy of the God. This view taken to its extreme holds that Shiva without Shakti is like a corpse.
The Tantric rituals involve reversals of normal Hindu social practices and reversals of normal physiological processes. It also reverses the orthodox Hindu “five products of the cow”, or panchagavya (milk, butter, curds, urine, and faeces) used for purification; in Tantra, these become the “five m’s”: maithuna (“intercourse”), matsya (“fish”), mansa (“flesh”), mudra (“parched grain”), and mada (“wine”). Tantric adepts learn, from a guru, how to raise their psychosexual energy---the curled serpent power (Kundalini) that lies at the base of the spine---through successive focal points (chakras), until it reaches the highest chakra, at the top of the skull, and the adept experiences, within, the union of the god and the goddess.
The text guides the reader towards a greater understanding of the secrets, explaining various important and key facets in language simple enough for a general reader to understand the mystery of Tantras and clear enough for a student to provoke him to further research on the subject.
This is probably the first and the only such Encyclopaedia available on Tantra and will be welcomed by all classes of readers-general, researches, teachers, and students alike.