The name of a religious movement that spread throughout India from about the 5th century a.d. It affected not only hinduism but also buddhism and jainism. It was derived from the non-Vedic religion of the country and was connected especially with the worship of the Earth-Mother and her power (shakti ). In contrast with the earlier Vedic religion, which was ascetic and confined to the higher castes, Tantrism was based on the development of the body and its powers and was open to all castes. Its method (sādhana ) was the use of material things—mantras (sacred words), mudrās (symbolic gestures), and manṇḍalas (symbolic designs)—to acquire supernatural powers. Haṭ ha yoga, with its aim of obtaining complete control of the body, was one of its typical products. In some forms of Tantrism great license was practiced, and sexual union was used as a method of obtaining supernatural power.
"Tantrism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 21, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tantrism
"Tantrism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 21, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/tantrism