What is tantra yoga?
Tantra yoga is a general name for a confluence of mystical and religious systems developed in India over the past several centuries in reflection of certain traditional texts, called ‘Tantras,’ often attributed to divinities or mythological beings.
Tantric systems maintain a variety of cosmological presuppositions, sometimes biological in metaphor (e.g. disks or wheels — chakras — of energy or ‘prana’ that may be found throughout the body and in particular along the spine), sometimes religious in character (e.g. the disciplines which attempt to influence the deities Siva and/or Sakti, thought to be resident to the human body).
Typically yoga is an ascetic set of disciplines recommended by a historical or tutelary guru or instructor and is presumed to aid the practitioner in purificatory, conscious, or moral development.
Tantra (sometimes “tantric”) yoga in particular often includes a context of sexual symbolism, if not actual sexual activities, which are described as constituting this aid. Often there will also be an ultimate aim supposed (e.g. “moksha” or “liberation”) which serves to bolster the practices based on a presumed cosmology (e.g. better rebirths or an escape from rebirth into the world).
Buddhist tantra yoga developed as an offshoot from Hindu tantra centuries ago. Some lineages of Chinese Buddhist tantra also incorporate concepts and practices from Taoist sexual alchemy. One contemporary teacher of Buddhist tantra yogais Grand Master Lu, a Taiwanese-born monk working in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.
Authors Details: From the alt.magick.tantra FAQ archives