Skip to main content



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 thingsmantras (sacred words), mudrās (symbolic gestures), and manalas (symbolic designs)to acquire supernatural powers. Ha 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.

[b. griffiths]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Tantrism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . 21 Aug. 2018 <>.

"Tantrism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . (August 21, 2018).

"Tantrism." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved August 21, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.