What is Tantra?
Tantra is a Sanskrit word (तन्त्र) that literally means “woven together.” It’s derived from the root words “tan,” meaning to expand, and “tra,” meaning to cross. Tantra is often described as a spiritual tradition or practice that seeks to unite the individual soul with the divine.
In tantra, the path to enlightenment is seen as a journey of self-transformation through which one can come to experience higher states of consciousness. The ultimate goal is to achieve a state of unity with the cosmos and all that exists within it.
There are many different branches or schools of tantra, each with its own unique practices and beliefs. However, all share a common goal of using various techniques – such as meditation, yoga, and sexual practices – to help the individual move beyond the ego and reach a state of oneness with the divine.
What are the Four Types of Tantra?
The four types of tantra are:
- Karma mudra tantra: Karma mudra tantra is the simplest form of tantra and is focused on external rituals and practices.
- Carya tantra: Carya tantra is a more advanced form of tantra that includes both internal and external practices.
- Yoga tantra: Yoga tantra is the most advanced form of tantra and includes both internal and external practices as well as meditation and contemplation.
- Anuttara yoga tantra: Anuttara yoga tantra is the highest form of tantra and includes all aspects of the other three types of tantra plus additional practices such as visualization and mantra recitation.