The Tantric discourse is often very secretive, as many of its viewpoints and practices are perceived as subversive and repulsive. Further, Tantra portrays itself as a mystic discourse believing its know-how and practices as dangerous and powerful and to be kept away from the un-initiated. Finally, Tantra has for a long time been pushed under the carpet by Orientalists and Colonial Indian intellectuals in their efforts to present Indian culture as rational. Hence it is difficult to find systematic and qualified research on Tantric mysticism..
Tantra and the ideological struggle
At about 600 AD scriptures emerged, calling themselves Tantra’. They reached their zenith between 800 and 1000 AD and stopped being released after around 1200-1300 AD. The people who wrote the Tantras would not call themselves Tantrics, but would typically describe themselves as Trika, Krama, Kaula or Buddhist Siddhacaryas. In contrast to the traditional way of writing theological treaties – i.e. the Sutras, which explored and clarified the themes of the Vedas and the Upanishads – the Tantric treatises saw themselves as a new path going beyond – being superior to – the classical scriptures.270 However, under the umbrella of Tantra is grouped a range of scriptures emerging from different traditions: the Agamas (Saivite), the Samhitas (Vaishnavite) and the Tantras (Sakti, Saivite, Buddhist).
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