Tantra, Tantrā: 18 definitions

Introduction

Tantra means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

Images (photo gallery)

In Hinduism

Vyakarana (Sanskrit grammar)

Source: Wikisource: A dictionary of Sanskrit grammar

Tantra (तन्त्र).—A word frequently used in the Mahabhasya in the sense of 'intended ' or विवक्षित (vivakṣita). The word is used always in the neuter gender like प्रमाणम् (pramāṇam); cf. तन्त्रं तरनिर्देशः (tantraṃ taranirdeśaḥ) M. Bh. on P. I. 2.33, II. 2.34, नात्र निर्दे-शस्तन्त्रम् (nātra nirde-śastantram) On P. I. 2.39, III.3.38, III. 4.21,IV.1.92 etc. The word is also explained in the sense of 'impor. tant'.

context information

Vyakarana (व्याकरण, vyākaraṇa) refers to Sanskrit grammar and represents one of the six additional sciences (vedanga) to be studied along with the Vedas. Vyakarana concerns itself with the rules of Sanskrit grammar and linguistic analysis in order to establish the correct context of words and sentences.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Vyakarana from relevant books on Exotic India

Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

Source: archive.org: Shiva Purana - English Translation

Tantra (तन्त्र) refers to a type of ritualistic worship, as mentioned in the Śivapurāṇa 1.10. The rites of worship are performed in accompaniment with Tantra, Yantra and Mantra appliances. Yantra is a mystical diagram possessed of occult powers. Tantra is a ritual, the chief peculiarity of which is the worship of the female energy of Śiva. personified in the person of his Śakti. This special energy, the Śakti of Śiva is concerned with sexual intercourse and magic power. Mantra is a magical formula.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

Tantra (तन्त्र).—Āgama śāstra in which yogins were learned;1 prescribes rules for the worship of Hari;2 known in Dvāpara yuga,3 deals with the vibhūtis of Hari.4

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 8; IV. 24. 62; Vāyu-purāṇa 104. 86.
  • 2) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XI. 3. 47.
  • 3) Ib. XI. 5. 28 and 31; 27. 26.
  • 4) Bhāgavata-purāṇa XII. 11. 4 and 20.
Purana book cover
context information

The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Purana from relevant books on Exotic India

Jyotisha (astronomy and astrology)

Source: Wikibooks (hi): Sanskrit Technical Terms

Tantra (तन्त्र).—A type of astronomical treatise. Note: Tantra is a Sanskrit technical term used in ancient Indian sciences such as Astronomy, Mathematics and Geometry.

Jyotisha book cover
context information

Jyotisha (ज्योतिष, jyotiṣa or jyotish) refers to ‘astronomy’ or “Vedic astrology” and represents the fifth of the six Vedangas (additional sciences to be studied along with the Vedas). Jyotisha concerns itself with the study and prediction of the movements of celestial bodies, in order to calculate the auspicious time for rituals and ceremonies.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Jyotisha from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Google Books: Tantra, Its Mystic and Scientific Basis

Tantra (तन्त्र) is a process of Sādhanā which relieves one from the fetters of crudeness (ta). Thus, Tantra is an intuitional science which stands for the progressive realization of the Divine. It liberates one from the cimmerian darkness and leads unto the divine effulgence. It is a path of Salvation. It is a science of the soul. The authoritative definition of Tantra is, that which brings emancipation from the bondage of Māyā (tatraya ayat tārayet yastu sa tantra parikirtitaḥ).

Source: Institute of Sri Ramchandra Consciousness: A Handbook of Hindu Religion: Literature

Tantra (तन्त्र):—The method of pleasing the Gods in an easy manner and thereby attaining advantages in this and the next world of svarga and finally mokṣa by following the Yoga is described in the Tantras. Tantras are practical treatises of religion. By means of worship of arca or yantras by means of repetition of mantras or mystic utterances, by means of upāsanas, they provide courses for developing the hidden power in man leading to the realization of God. These are also used for the attainment of worldly desires.

Source: Hindupedia: The Hindu Encyclopedia

Tantra (तन्त्र) refers to otne of the three parts of the agamas. Tantra is the entire philosophy and procedure of worship. The Tantra expounding Śrī-Vidyā is called Śrī-Vidyā Tantra, and is found in many Śāktā texts like Prapañcasāra and Rudrayāmala.

Source: Shodhganga: Iconographical representations of Śiva (h)

Tantra (तन्त्र).—That which elaborately explains the meanings that are dealt in holy texts and protects the people in the world so, they are called Tantra. The word Tantra has two roots they are tan and tra, the former gives the meaning tan vistāre which means to expand and tra pālane to defend from. The holy texts i.e. Āgamas are capable of explaining the (hidden) meanings explicitly and protect (from all aspects) the peoples to understand and follow it.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: archive.org: The Buddhist Indian Iconography

Tantra (तन्त्र) refers to sciences dealing with psychic matters, and give directions for a variety of psychic exercises. It therefore stands to reason that the Tantra is a science or a Vidyā requiring competent preceptors and efficient disciples. Like all other sciences the Tantra is not also open to all and the sundry, but only for those who are initiated into the mysteries of the science, and are competent to follow the prescribed practices with patience and zeal. These are the right type of disciples for Tantric practices, and may be called the Adhikārins or rightful persons. In many Tantric works long chapters are devoted to the qualifications of the preceptors and disciples and there are also rules for their respective competence to give or receive initiation.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
context information

Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Tibetan Buddhism from relevant books on Exotic India

India history and geogprahy

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

Tantra.—(ASLV), army, government; cf. Tantrin in South Indian inscriptions. (SITI), army, mainly the infantry; cf. Tantrin in South Indian inscriptions. (CII 4), explained as ‘Home Affairs’. (LP), cf. tantre nirūpita, ‘officially sent’. (HIQ, Vol. XXXIV, p. 277), cf. Tantra-adhikārin, ‘officer in charge of administration’, in the Bhāturiyā inscription of Rājyapāla. In this case, a person was at first a Mantrin, then a Saciva and finally a Tantra-adhikārin. Cf. Sarva-tantra-adhikṛta (EI 24), superintendent of all departments. Note: tantra is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

tantra (तंत्र).—n (S) A thread; any string or rope or wire; a chord of a musical instrument; and hence, a royal retinue; a cortége or court; a suite or train: also subservience, service, subjection, dependence. But the significations following are more popular. A course or way; a line of conduct; a path of procedure. Ex. āmacēṃ tantra nirāḷēṃ tumacēṃ tantra nirāḷēṃ. 2 A cause common to two or more effects; an instrument or a means producing a plurality of results;--as a speech involving answers to several questions; efforts or labor accomplishing different objects; one stone killing two birds. Ex. pānēṃ kāṃ saḍalīṃ ghōḍā kāṃ aḍalā vidyā kāṃ visara- lāṃ? Answer. phēra nāhīṃ; prapañca āṇi īśvarabhajana tantrā- nēṃ hōta nāhīṃ; mī kāśīsa gēlōṃ āṇi udīma āṇi yātrā tantrānēṃ dōnhī jhālīṃ. 3 The line of obedience or dependence. Ex. rājācē tantrānēṃ pradhānānēṃ cālāvēṃ. 4 The mere manual acts in a religious ceremony; i. e. the acts without a mantra. 5 A religious treatise teaching peculiar formulæ, rites for worship &c. 6 A branch of the Vedas,--that which teaches mantras. 7 A section of the Jyotishshastra, --that in which are calculated the positions and movements of the planets.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

tantra (तंत्र).—n A thread. A course. The line of obedience. A branch of the Vedas. The acts without a mantra.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Marathi from relevant books on Exotic India

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Tantra (तन्त्र).—1 A loom; तदाऽपश्यत् स्त्रियौ तन्त्रे अधिरोप्य सुवेमे पटं वयन्त्यौ (tadā'paśyat striyau tantre adhiropya suveme paṭaṃ vayantyau) Mb.1.3.144.

2) A thread.

3) The warp or threads extended lengthwise in a loom; सिरीस्तन्त्रं तन्वते अप्रजज्ञयः (sirīstantraṃ tanvate aprajajñayaḥ) Rv.1.71.9.

4) Posterity.

5) An uninterrupted series.

6) The regular order of ceremonies and rites, system, framework, ritual; कर्मणां युगपद्भावस्तन्त्र (karmaṇāṃ yugapadbhāvastantra) Kāty.; अशक्यं हि उत्तरं तन्त्रं कर्तुम् (aśakyaṃ hi uttaraṃ tantraṃ kartum) | ŚB. on MS.1.2.57.

7) Main point; प्रकर्षतन्त्रा हि रणे जयश्रीः (prakarṣatantrā hi raṇe jayaśrīḥ) Ki.3.17.

8) Principal doctrine, rule, theory, science; विधिनोपचरेद्देवं तन्त्रोक्तेन च केशवम् (vidhinopacareddevaṃ tantroktena ca keśavam) Bhāg. 11.3.47; जितमनसिजतन्त्रविचारम् (jitamanasijatantravicāram) Gīt.2.

9) Subservience, dependence; as in स्वतन्त्र, परतन्त्र (svatantra, paratantra); दैवतन्त्रं दुःखम् (daivatantraṃ duḥkham) Dk.5.

1) A scientific work.

11) a chapter, section, as of a work; तन्त्रैः पञ्चभिरेतच्चकार सुमनोहरं शास्त्रम् (tantraiḥ pañcabhiretaccakāra sumanoharaṃ śāstram) Pt.1.

12) A religious treatise teaching magical and mystical formularies for the worship of the deities or the attainment of superhuman power; Ks.23.63; Bṛ. S.16.19.

13) The cause of more than one effect.

14) A spell.

15) A chief remedy of charm; जानन्ति तन्त्रयुक्तिम् (jānanti tantrayuktim) Ms.2.1.

16) A drug, medicament.

17) An oath, ordeal.

18) Raiment.

19) The right way of doing anything.

2) Royal retinue, train, court.

21) A realm, country, authority.

22) (a) Government, ruling, administration; लोकतन्त्रविधानम् (lokatantravidhānam) Mb.3.162.1;13.63.5; लोकतन्त्राधिकारः (lokatantrādhikāraḥ) Ś.5. (b) Arrangement or machinery of government; सर्वमेव तन्त्रमाकुली- भूतम् (sarvameva tantramākulī- bhūtam) Mu.1;2.1.

23) An army; पराजिताः फल्गुतन्त्रैः (parājitāḥ phalgutantraiḥ) Bhāg.1.54.15.

24) A heap, multitude.

25) A house.

26) Decoration.

27) Wealth.

28) Happiness.

29) Model.

3) Supporting a family; Mv.2.17.

31) Providing for the security and prosperity of a kingdom; Mb.1.13. 26.

32) A group of acts or subsidiaries common to several प्रधानकर्म (pradhānakarma)s or things; यत् सकृत्कृतं बहूनामुपकरोति तत् तन्त्रमित्युच्यते । तथा बहूनां ब्राह्मणानां मध्ये कृतः प्रदीपः (yat sakṛtkṛtaṃ bahūnāmupakaroti tat tantramityucyate | tathā bahūnāṃ brāhmaṇānāṃ madhye kṛtaḥ pradīpaḥ) ŚB. on MS.11.1.1; तन्त्रं साधारणो धर्मग्रामः (tantraṃ sādhāraṇo dharmagrāmaḥ) | ŚB. on MS.12.1.1. (Opp. āvāpaḥ)

33) The order of the world; यतः प्रवर्तते तन्त्रं यत्र च प्रतितिष्ठति (yataḥ pravartate tantraṃ yatra ca pratitiṣṭhati) Mb.14.2.14.

34) A detail (matter or thing) which is subservient to (i. e. serves the purpose of) several things simultaneously; साधारणं भवेत् तन्त्रम् (sādhāraṇaṃ bhavet tantram) ŚB. on MS.12.1.1.

Derivable forms: tantram (तन्त्रम्).

--- OR ---

Tantrā (तन्त्रा).—Sleepiness; cf. तन्द्रा (tandrā).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Tantra (तन्त्र).—mfn.

(-ntraḥ-ntrā-ntraṃ) Dependant, subsarvient. m.

(-ntraḥ) A weaver. f. (-ntrī) 1. Any string or rope. 2. The wire or string of a lute. 3. Any tubular vessel of the body. 4. A plant, (Menispermum glabrum:) see gūḍucī. 5. The name of a river. 6. A young woman. n.

(-ntraṃ) 1. A Tantra, a religious treatise teaching peculiar and mystical formulæ and rites for the worship of the deities, or the attainment of superhuman power: it is mostly in the form of a dialogue between Siva and Durga, who are the peculiar gods of the Tantrikas: there is a great number of these works, and their authority, in many parts of India, seems to have, in a great measure, superseded that of the Vedas: according to one account, a Tantra comprises five subjects, the creation and destruction of the world, the worship of the gods, the attainment of all objects, magical rites for the acquirement of six (superhuman) faculties, and four modes of union with spirit by meditation; a variety of subjects are, however, introduced many of them, whilst some are limited to a single topic, as the mode of breathing in certain rites, the language of birds, beasts, &c. 2. A branch of the Vedas, that which teaches Mantra or mystical and magical formulæ. 3. Demonstration, clear and right conclusion. 4. Raiment, vesture. 5. A medicament, a drug. 6. A principal medicament, or perhaps a charm considered as producing medicinal effects. 7. Providing for a family. 8. A cause, a motive. 9. Cause common to two or more results; the instruments or means of more than one effect. 10. Necessary or indispensable act or provision; the right way of doing any thing. 11. Chief, principal. 12. A royal retinue, a court, a train. 13. An army. 14. A royal property: that of providing for the security and prosperity of the kingdom. 15. A realm, a country. 16. A thread, 17. Subservience, service, dependance. 18. Oath or ordeal. 19. Decorations, hanging with trophies, garlands, &c. 20. Heap, multitude. 21. Wealth. 22. A house. 23. An implement or weaving a loom. 24. Happiness, felicity. E. tana to spread or extend, affix ṣṭran; or tatri to spread, to support a family, &c. affix ka, fem. affix ṅīp; or tantra with ī Unadi aff.

--- OR ---

Tāntra (तान्त्र).—mfn.

(-ntraḥ-ntrī-ntraṃ) 1. Stringed, having wires or strings, (as a musical instrument.) 2. Relating to the Tantras, &c. E. tantra, and aṇ aff.

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Discover the meaning of tantra in the context of Sanskrit from relevant books on Exotic India

See also (Relevant definitions)

Relevant text

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: