Tantra is a Sanskrit word, a combination of the two words “tan” and “tra”. Tan is an abbreviation of the word 'tanoti' which means to extend. Tra is an abbreviation of the word 'trayati' which means liberation. A translation of these words together would be 'Extend your consciousness to be liberated'.
Tantra is a technique to reach this liberation, a liberation of the illusion of this material world in which ego and attachment rule. It helps you to get free from the boundaries that ego and attachment give you.
Tantra sees detachment as the key to liberating ourselves. Detachment means to love someone unconditionally, without having to have any reason to love them. When you love someone with a reason, a condition, you’re loving with attachments. You need to have compassion, feelings and emotion in your heart to enable you to love someone without having to have a reason to love them. Detachment also means to realize that all wealth on this earth is just an illusion as we cannot take anything of it with us from this world when we die. Being attached to material and having the ego of owning something does limits us to this world and Tantra wants to liberate us from this.
Whenever the word 'Tantra' is mentioned, people in the west immediately have thoughts of sexual practices and rituals. This however is a general and widely spread misconception of this word. In the Sanskrit tantric scriptures there is also referencing to sexual energies in Tantra because sexual energy is an important part of our consciousness. It is a part of our lives and cannot be ignored. Sexuality in this sense has nothing to do with pornographic sick sexual mentality. In the Tantric scriptures sexual energy is very divine and meant for yogis and not bhogis. Tantra is for creating energy of love to liberate. Swami Balendu feels much regret towards people who are selling sex in the name of Tantra. Tantra is about working with the chakras and kundalini to achieve consciousness and this is what Swami Ji teaches in his chakra workshops and not about tantric sex. Tantra is love but it is not only sex. Sex is a part of love which you cannot deny and Tantra is about making love with the soul.
It is also widely known in the western world that people are associating different colours with Tantra such as white, red and black Tantra which refers to good and bad Tantra or Tantra that includes sexual rituals. Colour plays no part in Tantra, the origins of Tantra bears no colours and there is not any reference to this kind of separation in different parts.
On the contrary to the western world, if someone mentions Tantra in India, people do not think of sex at all. The word Tantra evokes ideas of magicians, both good and bad, who have spells, potions, amulets and rituals with which they can either help you or harm you. Unfortunately this kind of bogus healing is still very popular especially in the rural areas of India where these 'Tantric Healers' travel around and cheat people with magic shows in which they seem to perform miracles. For money they give away talismans, perform ceremonies and do rituals to harm your enemies or to bring luck, wealth and health to your family. This is also not the original sense of Tantra and we encourage anybody who hears or sees this kind of event not to believe in it, to turn away from it and to find the path of love which implies trusting your inner truth, respecting yourself and extending your consciousness until liberation.