Against this historic backdrop, it is not surprising that Tantrism, a sect which utilises sex as a means to spiritual advancement, flourished right from the Harappan times, before passing into Tibet and China after the cloistered Protestant sensibilities of the British branded tantric sex acts wild. But Indian scholars take pains to point out that Tantrism was a religious, not a sexual movement.
Says Prof. Ajit Pal, former Reader, department of psychology,
He adds: “Tantra demystifies the man-woman relationship while not making it ugly. It is not orgiastic, though others may see it that way. Women are not supposed to be violated and abused and are considered equal. Orgasm is seen as release of personal vices. Tantra, thus, liberates the body of thought. It does not make a moral issue of sex, incest and other such things.” R. Tannahill in his research Sex and History points out, Hindu and Buddhist critics “have constantly suggested that a Tantrik uses religion as a mantle for sexual desire and debauchery. Tantriks, however, say the complicated, elaborate and exceedingly difficult procedure followed by them would not be necessary to gratify sexual desire, whose objects are much easier to obtain without such rigorous trappings”. In other words, if having sex was the objective of a Tantrik, then there were easier ways of doing it.