Tantra is a set of beliefs and practices that originates in India and combines eroticism, magic and metaphysics. This book provides a lucid account of a much-misunderstood ancient mystical tradition that has long aroused spiritual and artistic curiosity in the West. The first part of the book gives an in-depth introduction to Tantrik rites and beliefs, while the eight Themes sections summarize and develop key topics. The book is illustrated throughout with vivid imagery from unusual and out-of-the-way sources worldwide. This is an illuminating introduction to Tantra and the art that expresses many of its erotic, mythical and mystical beliefs.
Philip Rawson was Keeper of the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental Art at the University of Durham. He was also an artist, teacher and author of many books. He curated many exhibitions including an acclaimed Tantra exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London.
The Cult of Ecstasy; Themes: Ritual andWorship * Sex and Reality * Krishna * Death and Fire * Cosmic Diagrams * The Subtle Body * Meditative Diagrams * The Approach to Unity; Further Reading; Acknowledgments; Index