Studying any spiritual tradition, we may find it difficult to understand the basic terminology that is used, especially when coming from cultures with foreign languages.
It's easy even for advanced students to get lost in the Sanskrit terminology of Yoga and Tantra.
Here is a short explanation of some key elements.
'Samadhi' (consisting of the elements 'Sama' + 'dhi') can be translated as 'balanced consciousness' or 'equanimity'.
Samadhi is seen as a goal of Yogic practice.
'Attaining Samadhi' is finding a state that transcends the habitual pull of duality-consciousness in order for the true nature of consciousness and the Self to be revealed.
'Moksha', or 'Mukti' is the Liberated graceful flow, of living in true Self-awareness, no longer stuck in the identification with the conditioned personality-body.
Meditation, in the non-dual perspective of the Advaita tradition can be understood as 'Abiding in one's true nature' - remaining in our natural state.
This corresponds to the objective of traditional Yoga.
The word 'Yoga' can be understood literally as referring to 'Union', '(Re-)Connection' or being 'Joined'.
A 'Yogi' is one who is either practicing the techniques or who has attained the goal of the practice.
A Self-Realized Yogi can also be referred to as a 'Siddha'.
Many Siddhas appear in the lineages of several different traditions.
The traditions of Tantra and Yoga have been intimately linked throughout history in both India and Tibet.
It is only in recent times that the traditions have become entirely distinct - in 'Gym Yoga', and 'Bedroom Tantra'.
'Tantra' can be translated as 'weaving' together.
Tantra is the weaving of complementary energies of 'Heaven' and 'Earth' (on the macrocosmic level) and of 'Masculine' and 'Feminine' (at the microcosmic, and inner level).
Tantra can be understood as a method for attaining the Great Union (the 'Yoga').
This is why ancient systems of 'Tantra' and 'Yoga' are sometimes indistinguishable and why the same teachers (Shiva, Matsyendranath, Gorakshanath) are considered by some to have been the founders of both Yoga (Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Laya Yoga) and Tantra, as both Yoga and Tantra were regarded historically as one tradition, with many branches.
- Peter Littlejohn Cook