Next Article in Journal
Losing Touch: A Theology of Death for Michael Haneke’s Amour
Next Article in Special Issue
Introduction to “Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra”
Previous Article in Journal
‘The Way of Our Streets’: Exploring the Urban Sacred in Three Australian Poems
Previous Article in Special Issue
The Potential of the Bi-Directional Gaze: A Call for Neuroscientific Research on the Simultaneous Activation of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems through Tantric Practice
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Religions 2016, 7(12), 139;

A Cognitive Approach to Tantric Language

Department of Religious Studies, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-6062, USA
Academic Editors: Glen A. Hayes and Peter Iver Kaufman
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 20 September 2016 / Accepted: 22 October 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive Science and the Study of Yoga and Tantra)
Full-Text   |   PDF [9805 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]   |  


By applying the contemporary theories of schema, metonymy, metaphor, and conceptual blending, I argue in this paper that salient cognitive categories facilitate a deeper analysis of Tantric language. Tantras use a wide range of symbolic language expressed in terms of mantric speech and visual maṇḍalas, and Tantric texts relate the process of deciphering meaning with the surge of mystical experience. In this essay, I will focus on some distinctive varieties of Tantric language with a conviction that select cognitive tools facilitate coherent reading of these expressions. Mystical language broadly utilizes images and metaphors. Deciphering Tantric language should therefore also provide a framework for reading other varieties of mystical expressions across cultures. View Full-Text
Keywords: Tantra; metaphor; metonymy; conceptual blending; image; schema; mantra; maṇḍala Tantra; metaphor; metonymy; conceptual blending; image; schema; mantra; maṇḍala

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Timalsina, S. A Cognitive Approach to Tantric Language. Religions 2016, 7, 139.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
Back to Top