Religion Past and Present

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(991 words)

[German Version]

I. Definition

Elements of Tantrism (from Sanskrit tantra, “warp, loom; doctrine”) are present in various religious symbol systems. In addition to the central role of the goddess or female power and energy (Śakti), ritual acceptance and initiation (dīkṣā) into the particular religious tradition by a Tantric master or guru (ācārya), who embodies a specific succession of teachers, are important. The initiation ritual is usually associated with the replacement of the initiate’s mund…

Cite this page
Gengnagel, Jörg and Kollmar-Paulenz, Karénina, “Tantrism”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 23 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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