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Pañca-makāra

Pañca-makāra or pañca-tattva. Five ritual ingredients whose first letter is ‘m’: madya (wine or alcoholic beverage), maṃsa (meat), matsya (fish), mudrā (parched grain), and maithuna (sexual intercourse). The five Ms are central to Tantric liturgy, and are interpreted, either literally by left-hand (vāmācāra) sects such as the Kaulas and Kāpālikas, or symbolically by right-hand (dakṣinācāra) sects. The left-hand groups seek perfection and power (siddhi) through the use of prohibited substances.

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