Tantra means technique. The word Tantra came from the two words of Sanskrit– Tanoti (तनोति) which means expansion and Trayate (त्रायते) which means liberation. “Tan” from the word tanoti and “Tra” from the word trayati makes the word Tantra. So Tantra is a technique of expansion and salvation of soul.
The roots of tantra can be traced back to the Vedic era. Tantra includes all the religious and spiritual practices of the Hindus such as Pooja, Stotra, Mantra, Yantra, Yoga and Meditation. Most of the people mistaken Tantra for Black Magic and some kind of witchcraft but in reality tantra is much far from this. Tantra is a medium of improving each and every aspect of humankind.
It is believed in Tantra to attain salvation, perfection is imperative. Perfection in Physical and mental faculties and self control is required to take the soul to higher levels of spiritual progress.
Tantra control anger, hunger, thirst, physical intimacy, hatred, ego, concentration and spiritual faculties. Person with all these perfection and above this materialistic world, attain psychic powers and special Siddhis.
Siddhi is referred as special powers such as mind reading, intuition, healing, future vision, hypnotism, spellbinding etc. Generally it is believed that only a sannyasin, a recluse, a celibate brahmachari or a hermit can enslave these super powers, that a common family person has no access to these psychic and spiritual powers.
In India Tantra practices are divided into different areas, Tantra of Natha, Sri Vidhya Tantra, Trika or Kashmir Shaivism, Kali Vidhya, Kula, Vaishnava tantra, Saura tantra, and Ganapatya tantra. Usually these branches are also divided into dakshinachara and vamachara or right tantra and left tantra.
Dakshinachara involves worshiping of a deity or Aradhya dev and cognition of supernormal power through ritual worship in front of god’s idol or yantra. Dakshina signify the deity with the right knowledge. It also imply adroit which is associated with the skill of the right knowledge is inherent in the right hand.
Another form of Tantra is Vamchara, it involves body worship, in this state seeker indulges in several sensual pleasures of body, it uses that kind of elements of deity worship which are not used in the orthodox religion.
In short represented as the Pancha Maakaaras (Five “M”s) five species of pleasure which includes Madya (Wine), Maamsa (Meat), Matsya (Fish), Mudra (Parched Grain) and Maithuna (Human Intimacy).Vamachara is also known as Kulachara.
Whether it is Dakshinachara or vamachara rituals, these can practice only individual with certain knowledge and character qualities, untaught person may harm himself with these practices.
However, in both tantra, very important thing to understand that the role of a Guru, without the guidance of a guru no spiritual progress can be made. For tantra, complete faith and trust in the Guru is necessary.
The Guru guides you to attain truth and salvation, The Guru is the one who can teach you the right methods and techniques of Tantra.
At first practicing tantra may seem simple but in reality it’s technically implementation is very difficult, practicing incorrectly can have adverse effect also.
Thus, a well versed Guru can be your master who teaches you the techniques and it takes years and years to learn tantra.
A disciple has to live for many years under the guidance and care of guru. In those learning years, a disciple will have to follow what his guru says to do.
It becomes very important to understand that Tantra is only taught by a Guru and any well versed Guru will test the aspirant for years before accepting him as a disciple because practicing and learning tantra demands dedication, time and effort.
An individual cannot practice tantra until he has got the commandment from the Guru and the Aradhya dev because practicing tantric rituals accepts numerous aspects of reality of this materialistic world.
When the guru feels that the disciple is ready, then he initiates him into the tantric practice. It is believed that worshiping deities through tantric technique can creates great receptivity and awakening in the psychic world of an individual and due to which devotee receives bounteous blessings.