Q. Some say that yoga and tantra reach the same goal even though completely different and even opposing as directions. In yoga, to go beyond the senses you must control them, while in tantra the same goal is reached through surrendering to the senses, crossing their realm to the other side.
Is this a game of words or is it a true practice which can really lead to the same achievement, going beyond the slavery to the mind and senses?
A. The popularized form of tantra that you have described is meaningless for spiritual advancement. There is a practice in the tantric literature of overindulging in sense experience aimed at creating a catharsis that propels one beyond the attraction for sense objects, but this practice itself is dubious, what to speak of a modern versions of it. The actual system according to the corresponding tantras is quite gruesome and very intense, nothing like that which is presented today.
Gaudiya Viasnavas also follow the tantras, but these tantras are for sattvic people, such as Gautamiya Tantra, etc., rather than tamasic tantras for people attracted to the extremes of intoxication and the occult.