The word “Tantra” is a Sanskrit word which means a technique or a technology. Tantra also means a systematic applicable, “instrument, system, practice, text, theory”. The Rigveda gives the meaning of Tantra as “weave, wrap or loom”. It also gives the meaning to expand and explore. The scripture in Sanskrit states,-“Tanyate vistarayate gyanan anenan iti tantram” which means “Knowledge is weaved through tantra and expanded”.
Tantra is a spiritual or inner technology. We can find the meaning of Tantra as “principal or essential part, model, feature, main point, feature” in the post-Vedic text. Tantra Yoga requires subjective method, not an objective method. It is an individual method. It is found that the earliest definition is exposed in the ancient texts of Panini, Patanjali, and the literature of the language focused, ritual-oriented Mimamsa school of Hindu Philosophy. Tantra is found in different religion. Hindu mostly associate tantra with its goddess called Shaktism. It is followed by Shaivism, Ramanandi, Vaishnavism etc. Tantra is also found in Buddhist literature. Different sects of group practice tantra in their own ways.
Nowadays maximum people link the “tantra” with sex and sexual activities. But it is a misconception. It is true that Tantric practice improves sex life and can give control over sex. However, this is the only byproduct. The main purpose of Tantra is to reach up to enlightenment state. Sex is a basic instinct and the powerful energy. The pleasure that sex gives, is perishable. Tantra gives bliss, satisfaction and pleasure, is sustainable. Tantra gives the strength to reach up to Samadhi.
We can also say that Tantra transforms sex energy to divine energy. It controls all the human instincts like love, hate, greed, lust, ego, anger etc. and transforms. It is the truth that whatever can degrade you, it can upgrade you as well. Unbalanced food, alcoholic drinks, and uncontrolled sex can ruin an individual. However, if there is a systematic way for these three things, then these can lift the individual up. Tantra uses these things as key for the progress of the individual. The sexuality tends to find release at the lower level of energy while tantra is to build the energy from the basic level to the uppermost dimension of the energy system.
It is said that there are 114 energy manifestation centers throughout the body, referred chakras. The energy can be spilled from these centers. In order to build these centers, every basic instinct, like sexual instinct, anger instinct, greed instinct, emotion, intellect, etc must be under control and it should be built. Our whole instinct must be dedicated towards the particular goal.
If one goes towards negative act, the entire built-up energy and our ambition may be lost. Sometimes people start using the certain substance in the name of Tantra. If people do not follow a limit and a strong discipline then it will be an only addiction. So they miss the path. This is an external part of Tantra. The internal part of tantra is a completely opposite path on the tantra system which is original and subject.
Tantra makes realize that an individual is able to use his energy to make the things happen. To make different task possible one may have to may not have to use his body or mind. Tantra accumulates the strength from all the types of human instinct which makes the impossible to be possible. Tantra draws all the sciences like astrology, numerology, palmistry, chemistry, alchemy, Ayurveda, psychology, geometry etc. Whatever the things are required for the human beings in their daily life for their perfect life, those all things are combined together and applied in tantra yoga.
Tantra aims to take an individual to the super-conscious state. Its purpose is to expand awareness in all state of consciousness, whether moving state, unmoved state, dream state or sleep state. Our entire life is guided ignorance and unconsciousness. We are not aware of our activities. Our mind is indulged and attached to selfishness, greed, illusion etc. So human beings do a lot of mistakes. As we become aware then we can be free from these things. All the blockage of the path starts being cleared. We cannot do any mistake when we are conscious.
For the practice of Tantra Yoga, there is a strong unification of Asana, Pranayama, Bandha (energy Lock), Mudra, Mantra, and Chakra (energy center). Besides, visualization of deities, Yantra, meditation is an inseparable part of tantra yoga. It is a special combination to improve biology, psychology which develops an individual in all aspects.
The purpose of tantra yoga is to awaken Kundalini Energy. These types of yogic practices are very helpful to meet the purpose of Tantra Yoga. This helps to know all the factors that influence thoughts and feelings to go beyond the obstacles arising due to ignorance. It refreshes the thoughts, instincts, and emotion and creates peace and harmony. As we progress on the path tantra promotes a one-pointedness and centeredness to free from the limitation and explore the consciousness.
There is a universal rule of creation, preservation, and destruction. This is caused due to two principles: static and dynamic principle. The inner part is static and external part is dynamic. This universal rule exists till the universe exists. The desire (ichha-shakti) of Brahma (the divine) is the motivating force for this eternal process. Many spiritual sciences state that one should renounce all the desire in order to get enlightenment.
But Tantra never says so. The trial to be desireless is itself a strong desire. Thus it is paradox about desirefulness or desirelessness. Yet it suggests the individual to be happy and satisfied with what one possesses. Desires are natural and it remains till we live. When the desires mislead the people, they run after it. Their uncontrolled emotion and instinct may ruin their life and blocks the path of progress. People become the slave of their desire. Tantra Yoga provides the key to reprogram the mind and become its master. It teaches to be the master of own mind and desire. Tantra Yoga saves from being the slave of the mind.