By Hugh B. Urban
Within the West, the numerous physique of texts and traditions often called Tantra for greater than centuries has had the capability to scandalise and surprise. For ecu colonisers, Orientalist students and Christian missionaries of the Victorian period, Tantra used to be regularly noticeable because the such a lot degenerate and wicked instance of the worst trends of the so-called 'Indian mind': a pathological mix of sensuality and faith that triggered the decline of contemporary Hinduism. but for many modern New Age and renowned writers, Tantra is well known as a much-needed confirmation of actual excitement and intercourse: certainly as a 'cult of ecstasy' to counter the perceived hypocritical prudery of many Westerners. lately, Tantra has turn into the point of interest of a nonetheless better cultural and political debate. within the eyes of many Hindus, a lot of the western literature on Tantra represents a kind of neo-colonialism, which keeps to painting India as an unique, erotic, hyper-sexualised Orient. Which, then, is the 'real' Tantra? targeting one of many oldest and most crucial Tantric traditions, established in Assam, northeast India, Hugh B. city indicates that Tantra is much less approximately optimum sexual excitement than approximately harnessing the divine energy of the goddess that flows alike during the cosmos, the human physique and political society. In a clean and important contribution to the sphere, the writer means that the 'real' which means of Tantra lies in supporting us reconsider not only the heritage of Indian religions, but additionally our personal sleek obsessions with energy, intercourse and the invidious legacies of cultural imperialism.
'The strength of Tantra is a big scholarly therapy of a far misconstrued esoteric culture and a well-written and illustrated advisor to a measurement of Hinduism that merits the cautious examine Hugh B. city has given it. a powerful achievement.' - Paul B Courtright, Professor of faith and Asian reports, Emory college
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