Tantra is a science which uses Meditation, a non-physical tool, to examine consciousness. It is beyond both religion and philosophy, which attempt to use the intellect to understand something that is beyond words or explanation. Tantra does not give the understandings of truth, only the techniques to help us experience truth.
The importance of direct experience must be discussed here. Tantra uses direct experience to Transcend the mind and uncover the truth. Therefore, reading scriptures can only be used to confirm experiences, not gain them. One cannot transcend the mind without direct experience.
Tantra believes that the duality created by the mind, is the root of all suffering. Therefore, a Tantric practitioner searches for Deep Experiences which invoke extreme feelings or emotions, and it is through these deep experiences that he is able to cultivate an inner awareness that transcends the mind, completely removing duality. Beyond the mind, there is Non-Duality. He who has gone beyond the dualities, is known as a Tantric. He sees with no judgement. He acts with no attachment. He rejects nothing, because everything is seen as natural. He rides the waves of human experience, yet remains silent. He remains a witness, pure awareness. His inner world is centred, nothing disturbs him. He has found his home.
The tantrika refuses limited pleasure. He lets his consciousness go back to the source. He recognizes the male and the female in himself. He opens himself to the world and then grasps that time and space, desire, lack of fulfillment, and limited creativity are bogeymen meant for terrified beings. If beings weren’t terrified, there would be no gradual approaches to spirituality. If beings weren’t terrified, there would be no tests to submit to. If beings weren’t terrified, there would be no Gods outside of the Self, no paths leading to them, no illusory progress, no metaphysics, no conceptualization of the divine. Practitioners of Tantra seek to access the absolute through the mundane, identifying the specific with the universal. They sense the vast perfection that touches every atom in the universe.
Tantra sees Love as the closest we can come to God. In love there is no separation, no duality. Therefore, Sex is seen as a powerful human experience for reaching the divine. Tantra is also known as the Mahamudra, which symbolizes the final and ultimate orgasm between individual-self and the universe. Basic human language cannot explain the infinite depths of truth, so it must come from the language of love. Tantra has many scriptures written in this way, a conversation between Lover and Beloved, such as the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (between Shiva and Devi) or a conversation between disciple and Guru, such as the Song of Mahamudra (between Tilopa and Naropa). The wisdom imparted in these texts is better understood after the experience of deep meditation, not intellectually. Death is another experience towards the divine. The Tantrics embrace death, thereby removing the root of all fear.
Tantra emphasizes the importance of the relationship between Guru and Disciple to transmit truth. Truth can be transmitted through the process of initiation, however the disciple must first surrender; a surrender of everything, including doubt. Surrender cannot be taught, it must just happen. When the disciple surrenders, he becomes receptive, he opens himself up to the language of love. He becomes humble like an empty valley where truth can flow in from all directions. Similar to looking into a mirror, the disciple sees in the Guru the deepest parts of himself, his consciousness, reflected through the Guru’s words, actions, and presence.
A Tantric sees the world as consciousness expressing itself through various forms. He sees the macrocosm in the microcosm, the universal in the specific.