The Bite Magazine - Autmn/Winter 2020 - Issue 28

Jada Brookes discovers the concept of Tantra that denoted the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism through the Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution exhibition at the British Museum. biteexhibition The British Museum T he philosophy of Tantra derived from the ancient Sanskrit meaning of ‘web’ or ‘to weave energy’ emerged in India around AD 500. In Indian tradi- tions, it means any systematic, broadly applicable through text, theory, method, instrument, technique, or prac- tice. It has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its early transformation of Hinduism and Bud- dhism to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s counterculture. It teaches that the material world is not illusory but real and infused with divine feminine power. This limitless power can be channelled through the body and mind to achieve rapid enlightenment in a single lifetime. The Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution exhibition at the British Museum running until 24th January 2021 charts the philosophy’s radical potential for opening up new ways of seeing and changing the world. It also showcases extraordinary objects from India, Nepal, Tibet, Ja- pan and the UK from the 7th century AD to the present. Tantras are a set of sacred instructional texts often written in the form of a conversation between a god and a goddess. The teaching outlines a variety of ritual practices, including yoga and the visualisation of deities. As a non-simplistic manu- Photography: Ian Gillett Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution Tantra Exhibition - Raktayamari in union with Vajravetali fromTibet - 16th-17th Century