Does anybody know some great books on Tantra?

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I’m looking more for ones that have in depth explanation of the history, philosophy, cultural impact, etc. of the practice rather than just whole bunch of how-to instructions. My library doesn’t have anything on the topic, and the bookstore was of very little use in the matter as well.
If you have read any that really helped you understand Tantra better, please do not hesitate to share.

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what’s a tantrum?

Lili M

Strictly speaking, “Tantra” refers to practical methods of achieving ‘yoga” or “union with God” (or more accurately, Goddess; Tantra is a Goddess-oriented tradition) The word translates as ‘stretching across” and refers metaphorically to ‘stretching one’s consciousness across the gap between God and humanity, and Tantra offers many methods of doing this. Some of the very best infornation on Tantra I found in the “Aghora” series authored by Dr. Robert Svoboda.

Dances with Kali

Tantra is different in that experience is the most important, book knowledge is secondary with the experience comes change.
You do not have to change who you are to understand philosophy or to believe the teachings of a religion. You do not have to become someone different. You just have to do a bit of mental juggling.
But to understand tantra you need to change. Unless you become someone different you can not understand what tantra has to say. This is because tantra is experience, and not just mental juggling.
Unless you open up yourself and become receptive to the experience it is not going to happen. If you just remain closed and rejective you can not expect the experience to happen. You must allow it to happen. If you want you can read some of my blogs on my 360 or here,


I don’t know what you mean by “tantra” (Buddhist tantra? Hindu tantra? “tantric sex”?), but if you’re interested in buddhist tantra, mainly Tibetan, I can highly recommend the following books as an introduction (the deeper aspects, including the “how to”, definitely requires the direct instruction from a qualified tantric master):
Lama Yeshe: “Intoduction to Tantra – The Transformation of Desire”
HH the Dalai Lama: “Tantra in Tibet”
Reginald A Ray: “Secret of the Vajra World – The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet”
Ronald M Davidson: “Indian Esoteric Buddhism – A Social History of the Tantric Movement”

Karma of the Poodle

I googled “books of the history of Tantra” and here is the list.
There are so many paths to Tantra and to find one that relates to your individual views is going to be confusing at some point.
Understanding ones views and spiritual consciousness first will be very helpful in finding what you are connected to.
Dances with Kali has some wonderful information regarding this and it would be worthwhile to check it out.


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