Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2014 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming


  • Kathryn Madden
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6086-2_682

Tantrism is a religious and philosophical movement appearing in India around 400 CE that existed within both Hinduism and Buddhism. In medieval India, Tantrism was a common element of all the major religions. Tantrism focuses upon ritual aspects that involve the use of the physical in sacred and worshipful settings to access the supernatural. Tantrism also can be traced to Jainism and Bön, and elements of Tantric practice are also evident in Burma, China, Japan, Mongolia, and Tibet. The word Tantrism originates from the Sanskrit word Tantra: Open image in new window which is translated variously as “weave, warp, or loom,” offering a sense of bringing together or connecting into a whole. Tantrism is comprised of numerous texts referred to as Tantras. The primarily philosophy and goal underlying the practice of Tantrism is that it promotes spiritual growth and leads to personal freedom.

The concept of evolution and involution is central precepts. Tantric practice leads to an outgoing...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for the PsychotherapiesNew YorkUSA