Tantra is the Hindu-based religion which links ecstatic sexual practice with meditation and direct spiritual experience. It originated in India some 1200 years ago, when the great sacred erotic temples were built. In the West it is best known for its inspiration of tantric yoga, and its associated ritualistic forms of sex. But is tantra just about esoteric sex or does it amount to something more? This lively and original book contributes to a more complete understanding of tantra's mysteries. Without minimising its sexual dimensions, Gavid Flood argues that within tantra the body is more than just a sexual entity. It is a vehicle for the spirituality that is fundamental to people's minds. "The Tantric Body" makes an important and fascinating contribution to the study of South Asian religion, and will have strong appeal to students of South Asian cultures and societies as well as to those of comparative philosophy.
Gavin Flood is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Stirling. He is the author of 'An Introduction to Hinduism' (1995) and general editor of 'The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism' (2003).