Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Used to describe a set of esoteric rituals and practices, these are traditions and doctrines that cover a wide expanse of subjects, including cosmology, ritual practices and theory. Tantric ideas influenced a number of religious sects within both Hinduism and Buddhism and were patronised by a number of royal dynasties through the early medieval period (c. 600–1200 CE) for their emphasis on obtaining material benefits and spiritual powers. Modern interpretations of tantric rituals emphasise connections to sex, linga (masculine principle) and yoni (feminine principle) worship.