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Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is there any Correlation?
Neurol India. 2019 Sep-Oct; 67(5):1188-1193.NI

Abstract

Background and Aims

Many studies have conclusively proven that meditative techniques derived from the Indian systems of philosophy, meditation and ritual classified as "Tantra" can bring about sustained changes in the structure and function of the nervous system of practitioners. The aim of this study is to provide neuroscientists a framework through which to interpret Tantra, and thereby provide a foundation upon which future interdisciplinary study can be built.

Methods

We juxtapose Tantric concepts such as the subtle body, nadis and mantras with relevant neuroscientific findings. Our premise is that through sustained internalization of attention, Tantric practitioners were able to identify and document subtle changes in their field of awareness, which usually do not cross the threshold to come into our perception.

Results

The descriptions left by Tantric philosophers are often detailed and empirical, but they are about subjective phenomena, rather than external objects. They also focus on individual experiences, rather than the group-level analyses favored by modern medical science.

Conclusion

Systematic exploration of Tantric texts can be of tremendous value in expanding our understanding of human beings' experiential reality, by enabling us to build bridges between first-person and third-person approaches to the nervous system. This may open up new avenues for cognitive enhancement and treating neurological diseases.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.Founder, Adhyatmikta, New Delhi, India.Department of Neurology, Brown University Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital; Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.Department of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Review

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31744942

Citation

Venkatraman, Anand, et al. "Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is There Any Correlation?" Neurology India, vol. 67, no. 5, 2019, pp. 1188-1193.
Venkatraman A, Nandy R, Rao SS, et al. Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is there any Correlation? Neurol India. 2019;67(5):1188-1193.
Venkatraman, A., Nandy, R., Rao, S. S., Mehta, D. H., Viswanathan, A., & Jayasundar, R. (2019). Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is there any Correlation? Neurology India, 67(5), 1188-1193. https://doi.org/10.4103/0028-3886.271263
Venkatraman A, et al. Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is There Any Correlation. Neurol India. 2019 Sep-Oct;67(5):1188-1193. PubMed PMID: 31744942.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Tantra and Modern Neurosciences: Is there any Correlation? AU - Venkatraman,Anand, AU - Nandy,Rajarshi, AU - Rao,Shyam Sudarshan, AU - Mehta,Darshan Hemendra, AU - Viswanathan,Anand, AU - Jayasundar,Rama, PY - 2019/11/21/entrez PY - 2019/11/21/pubmed PY - 2020/4/25/medline KW - Buddhism KW - Hinduism KW - interoception KW - mantra KW - meditation KW - neuroscience KW - subtle body KW - tantra SP - 1188 EP - 1193 JF - Neurology India JO - Neurol India VL - 67 IS - 5 N2 - Background and Aims: Many studies have conclusively proven that meditative techniques derived from the Indian systems of philosophy, meditation and ritual classified as "Tantra" can bring about sustained changes in the structure and function of the nervous system of practitioners. The aim of this study is to provide neuroscientists a framework through which to interpret Tantra, and thereby provide a foundation upon which future interdisciplinary study can be built. Methods: We juxtapose Tantric concepts such as the subtle body, nadis and mantras with relevant neuroscientific findings. Our premise is that through sustained internalization of attention, Tantric practitioners were able to identify and document subtle changes in their field of awareness, which usually do not cross the threshold to come into our perception. Results: The descriptions left by Tantric philosophers are often detailed and empirical, but they are about subjective phenomena, rather than external objects. They also focus on individual experiences, rather than the group-level analyses favored by modern medical science. Conclusion: Systematic exploration of Tantric texts can be of tremendous value in expanding our understanding of human beings' experiential reality, by enabling us to build bridges between first-person and third-person approaches to the nervous system. This may open up new avenues for cognitive enhancement and treating neurological diseases. SN - 1998-4022 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31744942/Tantra_and_Modern_Neurosciences:_Is_there_any_Correlation L2 - http://www.neurologyindia.com/article.asp?issn=0028-3886;year=2019;volume=67;issue=5;spage=1188;epage=1193;aulast=Venkatraman DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -