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Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  342 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Tantra—often associated with Kundalini Yoga—is a fundamental dimension of Hinduism, emphasizing the cultivation of "divine power" (shakti) as a path to infinite bliss. Tantra has been widely misunderstood in the West, however, where its practices are often confused with eroticism and licentious morality. Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy dispels many common misconceptions, prov ...more
Paperback, 1st edition, 314 pages
Published July 28th 1998 by Shambhala (first published 1998)
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Feb 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is could be the best introduction to Tantra available. The style of the author is easy to understand which makes for light reading. A clear distinction is made between authentic initiatic Tantra and deviations of Neo-Tantrism or pseudo-Tantrism. The reader is presented with the main metaphysical and cosmological doctrines necessary for a correct understanding of the essence of Tantra. He also makes very clear distinctions between Tantra and other schools of Hinduism. Also presented are chap ...more
Bob Couchenour
Sep 08, 2014 rated it liked it
There is a lot more to Tantra than sex. Reading this would leave one with an impression that ritual is a basic fundamental of Tantric practice, and to an extent, it is. There is implied value to practices “Westerners” might find objectionable, the reliance on the “guru”, and the discipline of yogic exercise, but these are intended to purge one of self-limiting natures. Yet there is room implied, and as I have garnered from other esoteric spiritual traditions, which transcends the ritualistic. An ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
There are so many misconceptions about Tantra, due to the brand of neo-Tantrism that makes it to the West, that writing a book about it must be a challenge. This author is not an adept, as he makes clear, but a researcher, and he does his best to lay it out for the reader in a scholarly way. Since, to be accepted as a student by a real Tantric guru, one would need to be an adept on one of the more usual Buddhist or Hindu paths, I will probably never get a much better look at this path than this ...more
Dec 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Georg is the man. What a great writer and a fabulous scholar. A must-read for yoga geeks.
Kumari De Silva
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people interested in Eastern history, religious history, yoga history, Eastern philosophy
Some of the reviewers on Amazon caution this is not a "how-to" as does the author in his introduction. If you want to learn tantric yoga you must find a true teacher, learn in person - usually for a period spanning many years if not decades. This is meant to be a book about tantra. And it is a very good one, covering the history not only of Tantra but the history of how it has come to the West.

I found this book refreshingly informative when compared to most yoga books published in the last 5 ye
Apr 24, 2008 rated it liked it
This text is really a Buddhist primer to classical Tantra. Fueurstein is a Buddhist and so is this book's publisher. It's interesting how Feuerstein weaves Buddhism into the book and even encourages the reader to find modern Tantric practices offered by Buddism, but really does not dare to compare Hindu Tantric practices with Buddhist ones. This is probably the case because the conversation about Hindu and Buddhist traditions informing each other along the lines of shared texts, teachers, and pr ...more
Rodrigo d'Orey
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book. Lots of information and very engaging. Not a practical book in the sense that one will get any tips on what or how to practice but the essentials of the tantrik tradition and some history is explained well enough for those who finds themselves a bit confused with what is Tantra or what are the differences between yoga i.e. Raja Yoga and Tantra. Like Osho says: "Yoga is suppression with awareness; Tantra is indulgence with awareness". Tantra is a huge subject and very esoteric at its ...more
Äsruþr Cyneaþsson
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An excellent work. Covering an array of esoteric aspects within Tantra, the work also expands to explain alternative views within other yogic and Hindu systems as well as an examination of the left and right hand path variants of Tantra itself. The sections upon Shiva, Kali, the raising of the Kundalini and the magical application of techniques towards the deification and liberation of the self are essential reading for those upon any variant of the LHP. Heathens/Asatruar will also find a great ...more
Clodia Metelli
An approachable and stimulating introduction to a fascinating, complex and mysterious subject.

Although informative, this is very much not a how-to book, peppered as it is with warnings of the 'do not try this at home' variety.

The book makes it clear that it is only skimming the surface of what can be understood about traditional Tantra, an ancient mystical technology which, due to its sexual elements, has been largely interpreted in the West as being merely focused on achieving sexual ecstasy
Morgan Curtis
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a great overview of Tantra and does a good job of helping the reader to understand this complex set of traditions and dispelling myths related thereto. I'd heard this book was excessively dry and academic, but I found it accessible yet thorough. I highly recommend it as an introduction to Tantra (which is a more diverse set of practices than most people expect and therefore can only be introduced and touched upon in a single text).
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
This isn't about the sex. :-) It's about the history and practice of Tantra, which started off what has become Hatha Yoga (the physical exercises). I like how it clearly outlines how the Tantric philosophy differs from other yogic/Hindu philosophies in that creation is not considered evil, but a critical channel to the divine. Oh, and women/the feminine aren't bad, either.
Oct 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
An outstanding overview of Tantra. There is obviously so much more to Tantra than commonly thought. Well organized and very readable. At the same time, I get the clear impression that the author has just scratched the surface.
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A clear cut introduction to tantra. Written in a simple language and easy to grasp. Anyone taking the path of tantra may find the basic and fundamental facts and information in this book
Netanel Miles-Yepez
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Excellent overview of the tantric tradition, well structured and thoroughly discussed. Probably the best introduction to the subject available.
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved the beginning with the possible history of traditional and tantric paths. A scholarly and well done book.
Jun 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Really didn't have much of an interest in this topic - This book was required for me to finish Yoga Teacher/Therapy school.
Matt Hahn
Aug 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
While I don't have a problem with authors simplifying a subject for the layperson, I feel like Mr. Feuerstein has crossed the boundary into the realm of shoddy, or at the very least misleading, scholarship. There are a number of instances in which he presents significantly outlier opinions as if they were fact, presuming the reader to be unfamiliar with other scholarship. In such instances, and all throughout the text really, Feuerstein displays his personal biases and preferences (which would b ...more
Ron Krumpos
Jul 16, 2014 rated it liked it
"Tantra: The Path of Ecstasy" is one of the books in the secondary bibliography of my free ebook on comparative mysticism. "The greatest achievement in life" at has been reviewed on Goodreads.
Apr 29, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: yoga
Recommended by Katie
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to tantra philosophy. Well rounded, great explenation of very complex ideas.
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Georg A. Feuerstein was an Indologist and, according to his associate Ken Wilber, among the foremost Westerns scholar-practitioners of yoga. After doing his postgraduate research at Durham University in England, he moved to the United States, eventually settling in Canada with his wife and sometime co-author Brenda.
“Historically, tantra denotes a particular style or genre of spiritual teachings beginning to achieve prominence in India about fifteen-hundred years ago—teachings that affirm the continuity between Spirit and matter.” 0 likes
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