The Tantrik Tradition

Gwendolyn Taunton

The Tantrik TraditionThe popular image of Tantra appears as simultaneously both sacred and profane, but is this conception of Tantra truly representational of its inner core teachings, or is this a purely fabricated imagining of Tantra, concealing what is in essence a much more conventional and orthodox core? Very few people are able to look beyond Tantra’s colorful reputation to discover what Tantra actually is. What is even more interesting about the profound misunderstanding of Tantra is the radically different reputation of Tantra in Western countries – particularly ‘pop’ or ‘Californian’ Tantra  which is purely a by-product of the 1970s ‘New Age’  movement, and has nothing to do with actual Tantrism itself, despite the appropriation of the term.


    1. Introduction
    2. The Point of Origin
      Definitions | Sacred Transgression | The Origin of Tantra | Rta | Śrūti
    3. Tantra, the Kali Yuga, and Occidental Traditionalists
      Kali Yuga | Yuga Śāstra | Traditionalism | Julius Evola | René Guénon
    4. Śiva
      Natarāja | Śaṅkara | Yoga | Shamanism
    5. The Devī
      Satī | Pārvatī | Durgā | Kālī | Draupadī
    6. Topographical Religiosity
      Kāśī | Tīrṭha-Yātra | Śākta Pīṭhas
    7. Lexicographical Gnoseology
      Bhāskararāya |Abhinavagupta | Mantric Cryptology
    8. VII. Magico-Religious Practices
      Etymology | Ātharva Veda | Siddhi | Mantramahodadhi of Mahīdhara | Vinasikhatantra | Ṡaṭkarma | Alchemy | Occult Formulas | Esoteric Elitism

    Gwendolyn Taunton holds a BA (Hons.) in Religious Studies (Specialising in Hinduism, Tibetan Buddhism, South-East Asian Traditions and Philosophy) from the University of Canterbury. She has published a number of edited books and publications and Tantrik Traditions will be her first published work as an author in a non-editorial capacity.

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