It helps to understand Tantra in relation to the Hinduism of its time – the seventh to eleventh centuries. We will examine the distinction between followers of the Vedas and followers of Tantra. We will see how the tantric traditions arose partly from traditions of renunciation and partly from popular religious practices, and how they became mainstream forms of religion in medieval South and Southeast Asia. We will look at early Tantras and reactions against the tantric tradition. We will also examine Tantra’s contemporary importance.