In some Indian religions, a text that deals with esoteric aspects of religious teaching. There is considerable tantric literature and practice in Hinduism, Buddhism, and, to a lesser extent, Jainism. Because tantric practices typically represent teachings of relatively late development and incorporate elements of different traditions, they are often eschewed by orthodox practitioners. In Hinduism, tantras deal with popular aspects of the religion, such as spells, rituals, and symbols. Buddhist tantric literature, believed to date from the 7th century or earlier, has reference to numerous practices, some involving sexual activity, that have no basis in canonical literature.
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