Tantra: The Tantric Rituals (Part II)
Dear sugar baby, dear sugar daddy — it’s great to see you are interested in learning more about tantra after reading part I of this series (Tantra: More Than What You Think). After addressing the questions of what tantra actually means and what it is good for, today’s article will focus on the origins of the tantric rituals and how they are practiced nowadays.
The origins and history of the tantric rituals
According to archaeological findings, the roots of tantra go back to the Dravidian cultures in the Indus Valley around 3000 BC. However, the greatest development of tantra in India took place in the early Middle Ages.
The tantric teachings were passed on secretly from generation to generation. First orally in the form of rituals and later in written form as tantra. The oldest tantric scriptures originate from the time around the birth of Christ. Others were collected as late as the 18th and 19th centuries.
Content and meaning
The Sanskrit texts consist mainly of dialogues between Shiva (male power) and Shakti (female power). Most of them address scientific and metaphysical questions. But they also include exercises for body and mind, such as yoga (asana), meditation, diagrams (yantra), music and sound (mantra) and gestures (mudra) and, of course, the description of the tantric rituals. In addition, they also discuss aspects of the personal and social behavior of humans in general.
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The varieties of tantric rituals
As already briefly mentioned in the last article, tantra uses the original life energy (also called Kundalini-Shakti) to enhance consciousness and spiritual experiences up to pure bliss (ananda).
There are two rough categories of tantra. There is Buddhist and Hindu tantra, but also white and red tantra. White tantra is a strict spiritual discipline without any sexual elements. Red tantra uses sexual power as a source of energy for the holistic (spiritual) path.
Tantra as we experience it today has been going through a kind of rebirth in the West since the 70s. This also led to the term neotantra. Inspired by the tradition of the old Indian tantra, many tantra schools have emerged. The tasks or offers vary from school to school and can include theoretical lectures, practical experience in tantric rituals, sensual massages, powerful bodywork, sexual therapy, as well as spiritual meditation groups.
Tantra teaches us things that are rather difficult to realize in a fast-moving society. These include things like the free expression of feelings, letting go, devotion, as well as seeing our body and our sexuality as something sacred. Thus, it can be said that tantra is rather a way to achieve holistic self-awareness.
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