I noticed after looking up the Baphomet that it also has the concept of the left hand path and right hand path which are also similar to Tantra in Hinduism.

So I guess my question then becomes, which came first?

Did Hinduism's concept of Tantra predate the Baphomet?

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    The concept of Baphomet emerged in the 1300s whereas the left-hand paths in India are much more ancient. – user9969 Feb 4 '18 at 2:37
  • Nevertheless, this term "left-hand paths" emerged in the 20th century from Anton LaVey. Prior to him, nobody used this term. – user9969 Feb 4 '18 at 2:43
  • Related: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/9038/… – user9969 Feb 4 '18 at 2:50
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    tantras - agamas - are much more ancient. do a search on the website for tantra agama, and vamachara tantra...the tantras themselves have not been associated with the left hand; it is the vamachara tantra that has been associated with the left handed path for a long time - mostly because the left hand is perceived as unclean and the vamachara is seen as filthy by most yogic practitioners. – Swami Vishwananda Feb 4 '18 at 5:18

The concept of Tantra has been present ever since the time of Satya Yuga.

According to this site:

The Srividya or Shodasi Vidya was 1st taught in Satya Yuga by Lord Hayagriva to Agastya and his wife Lopamudra. This is as per the Vaidic-achara or Vedic tradition. Again in Treta yuga it was given to Lord Parashurama by Dattatreya who was the combined incarnation of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara and considered the greatest incarnation. Lord Parashurama gave it to his disciples and it is called Parashurama Kalpa Suktam. This is as per the Kaulava-achara or Kaulava tradition.

As you can see, this site mentions the Parashurama Kalpa Suktam which is a Vamachara (left-hand path) text.

On the other hand, the term "Baphomet" first appeared in 1098 AD (i.e. only in the recent Kali-Yuga) in a letter by Anselm of Ribemont:

Sequenti die aurora apparente, altis vocibus Baphometh invocaverunt; et nos Deum nostrum in cordibus nostris deprecantes, impetum facientes in eos, de muris civitatis omnes expulimus.

English Translation: As the next day dawned, they called loudly upon Baphometh; and we prayed silently in our hearts to God, then we attacked and forced all of them outside the city walls.

Then, in the 13th century, an idol named Baphomet, was allegedly found to be worshipped by the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Salomonici. As a result, the members of this organization were persecuted by the then King Philip IV of France as idolatry was highly looked down upon in medieval Abrahamic Europe. Following the widespread persecution of the "Baphomet worshippers", the concept of Baphomet died down up until the 18th century when theories arose that these "Baphomet worshippers" were Gnostics. The idea arose due to a book by Christoph Friedrich Nicolai in his "Versuch über die Beschuldigungen welche dem Tempelherrenorden gemacht worden, und über dessen Geheimniß.". However, the concept didn't return into the limelight until the advent of Eliphas Levi, the great 19th century French occultist and magician,who asserted that Baphomet wasn't an actual deity but a symbolic depiction of the Absolute. The concept was further popularised under controversial Thelemian occultist and magician, Aleister Crowley who regarded it also to be symbolic too, representing the divinity of sperm.

Therefore, Tantric traditions i.e. both left-hand and right hand paths, have always been present in India. However, the concepts of Baphomet and Western occultism appeared only recently.

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