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Tantra - Discovering the Power of Pre-Orgasmic Sex
Tantra - Discovering the Power of Pre-Orgasmic Sex
by Yogani
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.28
47 used & new from $2.54

104 of 132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What Tantra is not., May 21, 2007
While I am sure that a book such as this is helpful to customers wanting to have a more satisfactory sex life and may be very inspirational on many levels, there is nothing 'Tantric' about it from the point of view of the Indian Tantric tradition. I am a Sanskrit scholar who focuses on the Tantric tradition. The very word 'Tantra' refers to a vast corpus of sacred ritually-oriented texts that governed the spiritual practices of a given sect's initiates. The texts themselves are called 'Tantras' (i.e. containing ritually oriented practices that "expand" awareness). I am aware of every single Tantra that has been translated into a Western language (About 5% of the corpus has been translated, which doesn't mean that they're understood) from their original Sanskrit.

I have not seen that a single one of these sexually-oriented 'tantra' (modern) books that cites from a single actual Tantra. This is because there is nothing to cite, with one exception that doesn't inform this modern tantra-sex thing anyway: the 29th chapter of the 'Tantraloka' (see below).

The idea that the Tantras are focused on heightened intimacy and sexual pleasure has been completely fabricated. There IS a focus on experiencing the divine in all human activities; interestingly, the great Tantric sage Abhinavagupta urges sex only with people that are found to be wholly un-attractive as to dispel the illusion that they are not also a perfect beautiful expression of the Divine. This kind of sex is engaged in a wholly ritual setting, as depicted in chapter 29 (the 'kula yaga' chapter) of Abhinava's famous 'Light on Tantra.' (Tantra Loka). Otherwise the Tantra Loka is focused on the means to awakening to the heart of Universal Consciousness (Shiva) through spiritual disciplines. These include sacred initiation and aligning subtle body energies with the Divine through yoga and visualization. NONE of these practices, with the very very minor exception of the above named ritual (the kula yaga), have a sexual component.

Also, the Kama Sutra is absolutely NOT a Tantra, nor is it in anyway related to any Tantric sect or lineage. It is a 'shastra,' a treatise on attaining perfect sexual fullfillment written mainly for the medieval wealthy elite. It is categorized with other 'shastras' that teach various arts, such as the 'artha shastra,' the treatise on how to attain power, the 'dharma shastra,' a treatise on ethical laws and precepts, and the 'kama shastra,' the treatise that focuses on attaining sexual pleasure. Its core text is, of course, the Kama Sutra (the 'Aphorisms on Pleasure.').

-Christopher Tompkins, M.A. Comparative Religion, M.A. Sanskrit, PhD Candidate
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 7:15 AM PDT

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