Tantra

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Tantra (Sanskrit: तन्त्र "loom, warp"; hence "principle, system, doctrine", from the root tan "stretch, extend"), anglicised tantricism or tantrism or tantram, is an esoteric current of Hinduism.

The word Tantra also applies to any of the scriptures (called "Tantras") commonly identified with the worship of Shakti.[1] Tantra deals primarily with spiritual practices and ritual forms of worship, which aim at liberation from ignorance and rebirth,[1] the universe being regarded as the divine play of Shakti and Shiva.[1]

Tantrism originated in the early centuries CE and developed into a fully articulated tradition by the end of the Gupta period. It has influenced the Hindu, Sikh, Bön, Buddhist, and Jain religious traditions.

Along with Buddhism, Tantra in its various forms has spread to East Asia and Southeast Asia.[2] Despite reluctance to support a rigorous definition of tantra, David Gordon White offers the following definition:

Tantra is that Asian body of beliefs and practices which, working from the principle that the universe we experience is nothing other than the concrete manifestation of the divine energy of the Godhead that creates and maintains that universe, seeks to ritually appropriate and channel that energy, within the human microcosm, in creative and emancipatory ways.[3]

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