Tantrism and Sri Aurobindo

Bolle, Cornelius Willem

     In the present study I have made an endeavor to understand Tantrism as a particular movement within the larger movement of Indian history. . . . Tantrism emerged after a long and obscure prehistory, it continued in the course of India's history and found new forms of expressions in modern times. Sri Aurobindo provides an example of the modern forms of Tantrism, and so considerable attention is given to his life and beliefs.
     Although some reference is made to events and structures outside of India and outside of Hinduism, the main focus of this dissertation is on Indian Tantrism. The study concentrates on two important problem-areas of Tantric symbolism. The first one is the religious significance of goddesses and women. The second one is the problem of orientatio, the age-old endeavor of man to discover, to reveal to himself his own place, his 'reality.'
     The main body of this study is a religio-historical analysis. However, the author hopes to show the tantrika as a particular type of gnostic, who as such is of great importance to an understanding of religious structures also in our own age. This endeavor has led . . . to a theological discussion in the final chapter.

Mircea Eliade