Tantric Traditions: gods, rituals, & esoteric teachings in the Kali Yuga
Tantra. The word conjures forth a million images – including sex, transgressive practices, and the occult. But how accurate are these portrayals, and how do they compare to actual Tantric practices in India? To the casual observer, Tantra appears to partake of an oppositional role in regard to Vedic teachings, but this conceals a much more conservative core, for the Tantric traditions actually strive to reinforce their Vedic heritage. The Tantras are believed to be the appropriate teaching in the Kali Yuga, and understanding the role that the Kali Yuga plays in Tantric traditions is absolutely vital to interpreting the nature of Tantra itself. Contrary to being opposed to Vedic teachings, Tantra is actually an extension of them – it is a reinterpretation of the Vedas for the modern era.
In addition to explaining the complex role Tantra plays within the larger corpus of Hinduism, Tantric Traditions also examines the way in which Tantra is linked to sacred geographical locations, and provides explanations on the nature of Siva, the Devi, the role of the Traditionalist School in the export of Tantric traditions to the West, and reveals secret mantra techniques.
Furthermore, Tantric Traditions provides details on magical and esoteric practices from authentic Tantric occult texts such as the Mantramahodadhi of Mahidara (c.1588 CE) and the Vinasikhatantra, both of which make even the most infamous European Grimoires look totally harmless by comparison.