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Vāmācāra (Skt., ‘left-handed conduct’). A spiritual path, especially in Tantrism, which is counter to established social ways. Since the present age (Kali-yuga) is the most decadent, ascetic spiritual practices are no longer effective. In this age a Tantric must ‘rise with the aid of those things which make most men fall’. For many this includes deriving power from meat, liquor, sex, and other normally restricted things.

An underlying tenet of the left-handed path is that the world is itself a manifestation of Śiva-Śakti. The process of creation is an act of enjoyment, not suffering; hence to fully realize this ultimate reality, the yogin must not only attain transcendent realization of Śiva-Śakti (mokṣa), but must also participate in creation, enjoying it with the full realization, ‘I am Śiva.’

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