A lot of misinterpretation especially in the West has presented tantra to mean uninhibited sex. Sadhguru clarifies what tantra really is and what it is not.
Unfortunately, in western countries, tantra is being presented in such a way that it is supposed to mean uninhibited sex. It has been so badly misinterpreted. This is because books on tantra have been written by people who just want to sell books. They are not tantrics in any way. The word “tantra” literally means a technique or a technology. This is an inner technology. These are subjective methods not objective methods. But in the current understanding in society, the word tantra refers to very unorthodox or socially unacceptable methods. It is just that certain aspects are used in a certain way. It is not any different from yoga. It is just a small limb of yoga called tantra yoga.
People thinking in terms of “I have sexual needs so I will follow the tantric path,” is nonsense. In tantra, it is not that someone is using just sexuality to grow. They are using every aspect to grow. Unfortunately, there may be people who are attracted to such a path for the wrong reasons. They go because they want a spiritual sanction for their sexuality. Why do you want to bullshit yourself about spirituality? Handle your biology as biology, you do not have to give it other names.
The simple principle of tantra yoga is: whatever can take you down can also take you up. The ways in which a man usually sinks in his life are through food, alcoholic drink and sexuality. Tantra yoga uses the same three vehicles to rise up. But once people start using certain substances, they must be in a certain state, otherwise it just becomes addiction. This needs extreme discipline, a kind of discipline which is not possible for most people to even attempt. When people walk this kind of path, if a 100 people take it up, 99 will end up only as drunkards.
However, this is what is known as left-hand tantra which is cruder technology; it involves various rituals. There is also right-hand tantra which is very refined technology. These two are completely different in nature. Right-hand tantra is more internal and energy-wise, it is all about you. It does not involve any ritual or outside act as such. Is it tantra? In a way it is, but the word yoga includes all of them together. When we say yoga we are not excluding any possibility – everything is there in it. It is just that a few perverted people saw a certain type of tantra which is purely left-hand tantra where there is certain usage of the body. They just took that part, magnified it and wrote books about it with all kinds of weird sex and they said, “This is tantra.” No, it is not tantra.
Tantra means you are able to use your energies to make things happen. If you can make your mind razor sharp to cut through everything, this is also one kind of tantra. If you make your energies work upon your heart to become utterly loving and you can burst forth with enormous love that just overwhelms everyone, this is also tantra. If you make your physical body enormously powerful to make it do incredible feats, this is also tantra. Or if you can make your energies do things by itself without employing the body, mind or emotion, this is also tantra.
So tantra is not some weird nonsense. Tantra is a certain capability. Without it there is no possibility. The question is “How refined is your tantra?” If you want to make your energies move, do you have to do 10,000 rituals or can you just sit here and do it. That is the big difference. Low technology or high technology is the question, but without tantra, there is no spiritual process.