Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy

Overview

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 ...
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Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A wide-ranging compendium of Hindu, Tantric, Shaivite texts almost impossible to find in one place elsewhere. . . . 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."— Publishers Weekly

"Georg Feuerstein, who is arguably today's foremost Yoga researcher, has given us yet another very valuable book. Tantra: The Art of Ecstasy is the first nonacademic but sound and well-rounded introduction to the Hindu Tantric heritage since Sir John Woodroffe's pioneering publications of the 1920s. It corrects many widespread misconceptions and shows Tantrism to be a complex and intriguing tradition that deserves deeper study. Recommended reading for all students of Hinduism, Yoga, and spirituality in general."—Professor Subhash Kak, Ph.D., author of India at Century's End and coauthor of In Search of the Cradle of Civilization

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570623042
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Pages: 314
  • Sales rank: 482,974
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Georg Feuerstein, PhD, (1947–2012) is internationally respected for his work on Yoga and is the author of over fifty books. He designed and taught several distance-learning courses on Yoga philosophy for Traditional Yoga Studies. For more information, go to www.traditionalyogastudies.com.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction: Tantra, the Great Spiritual Synthesis of India 1
1 Samsara: Cyclic Existence 20
2 Time, Bondage, and the Goddess Kali 32
3 This Is the Other World: Samsara Equals Nirvana 42
4 The Secret of Embodiment: As Above, So Below 52
5 The Divine Play of Shiva and Shakti 70
6 The Guru Principle: Shiva Incarnate 85
7 Initiation: Bringing Down the Light 95
8 Discipleship: The Ordeal of Self-Transformation 110
9 The Tantric Path: Ritual and Spontaneity 120
10 The Subtle Body and Its Environment 139
11 Awakening the Serpent Power 165
12 Mantra: The Potency of Sound 184
13 Creating Sacred Space: Nyasa, Mudra, Yantra 201
14 The Transmutation of Desire 224
15 Enlightenment and the Hidden Powers of the Mind 250
Epilogue: Tantra Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow 268
Notes 275
Select Bibliography 295
Index 301
About the Author 315
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