Article Info

published: 3/17/04
updated: 12/10/13

Hindu Tantras

What are the Tantras?

The Tantras ("looms" or "weavings") are sectarian scriptures dealing with certain aspects of a god and rules for discipline for the worshipper.

Tantras are scriptures dedicated to each of the three major theological traditions of Hindu dharma: Vaishnavism, Shavism, Shaktism (Divine Mother). Each denomination adores its god as the Ultimate Reality.

Tantras are associated with "medieval India," having been written between 500 and 1800.

Each Tantra has four parts:

  • Philosophical and spiritual truths
  • Yoga and mental discipline
  • Rules for constructing temples and carving statues of deities
  • Rules on religious rituals and festivals