Today’s foremost yoga researcher offers a clear and lively introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of the Tantric spiritual tradition of Hinduism
Tantra—often associated with Kundalini Yoga—is a fundamental dimension of Hinduism, emphasizing the cultivation of “divine power” (shakti) as a path to infinite bliss. Tantra has been widely misunderstood in the West, however, where its practices are often confused with eroticism and licentious morality. Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy dispels many common misconceptions, providing an accessible introduction to the history, philosophy, and practice of this extraordinary spiritual tradition.
The Tantric teachings are geared toward the attainment of enlightenment as well as spiritual power and are present not only in Hinduism but also Jainism and Vajrayana Buddhism. In this book, Georg Feuerstein offers readers a clear understanding of authentic Tantra, as well as appropriate guidance for spiritual practice and the attainment of higher consciousness.
Feuerstein has attempted a daunting task, defining Tantric Yoga drawn from Hindu and not Tibetan Buddhist sources. To do this, he has assembled a wide-ranging compendium of Hindu, Tantric and Shaivite texts almost impossible to find in one place elsewhere. To plunge into this book is to find yourself rushing down the sacred River Ganges through the heart of India. Like a sophisticated travelogue, it brings into sharp focus the rich tapestry of the Indian ecstatic life and the exotic practices of Tantric Yoga that take place, metaphorically, on the banks of this Queen of rivers. The inner eye is challenged with mystical beasts bathing in the waters; holy men daubed in ashes undertaking bizarre and often previously never-before-seen Tantric rituals; the inner ear is filled with the rhythmic, pulsating chant of Om, and all its associated Sanskrit sounds; the senses are awash with meditative visions. It is a passage through Indian spiritual life that may be too sophisticated for the casual tourist, although for those who have passed this way before, it is a comprehensive and provocative commentary on the basic and advanced precepts of Tantric yoga. Written with literate modesty and erudition, this book is an invaluable resource.