The word Tantrism has become an accepted term in the English language, but apart from this fact there is little evidence that any serious attempt has been made to clarify what this word implies and what that for which it stands means to the individual who becomes involved with the discipline of Tantrism.
Generalizations about Tantrism are, as a rule, misleading because they rest on an insufficient factual basis. Before we can generalize we must know something of the underlying premises which have been guiding the development of Tantrism through the ages.
In this book I have endeavoured to deal with these premises on the basis of indigenous Tibetan texts, rather than with individual Sanskrit works and their translations (although they, too, have been utilized) because the indigenous Tibetan texts go to the very root of Tantrism. The limitation of this approach is that I deal with Buddhist, not Hinduist, Tantrism; the advantage of this approach is that I avoid confusing ideas that have nothing to do with each other.