"The many facets of Tantric psychology and practice are relevant to all who seek to cultivate self-understanding and are sincerely engaged in the whole task of spiritual transformation," writes Georg Feuerstein, director of the Yoga Research Center and author of 30 books. This erudite and illuminating overview of the Hindu Tantric heritage is meant to be a correction to the widespread idea that Tantra yoga is nothing more than "a mere discipline of ritualized or sacred sex."

This spiritual tradition, Feuerstein explains, requires initiation at the hand of a qualified teacher and many years of intensive personal practice. The author describes some of the major lineaments of Tantra with chapters on samsara (cyclic existence), the bondage of time, the secret of embodiment, the divine play of Shiva and Shakti, the disciple-guru relationship, the subtle body, awakening the serpent power, and rituals of Tantra. Feuerstein calls this ancient esoteric tradition "the great spiritual synthesis" thanks to its insights into enlightenment and the body as a temple of the divine. The author concludes: "Tantra is a powerful tool, calling for maturity, self-knowledge, and good-heartedness in its handling."