Yoga, Vedanta and Tantra owe much of their basis and growth to the Samkhya philosophy which enumerates the twenty-four cosmic principles as a basis for the universal manifestation. This steady foundation assisted in the presentation of the life-giving, life-saving, life-transforming declarations of the Vedas. Due to this structure, Tantra gave birth to the many wonderful methods through which to realize the Truth contained in the Vedas and over time graced the system with twelve more powerful principles (tattvas) of a higher and purer order.
A famous stanza ascribed to the Varaha (sometimes to the non-existent Varaha) Tantra enumerates seven of these [theoretical statements]. Creation, dissolution of the world, worship of the gods, mastery of divine beings, recitation and worship of mantras, execution of six acts of magic, and the four fold practice of meditation. They are said to be characteristics of Agama.