By Life Positive January 2005 Many of our readers have shared their thoughts and experiences on the tantric path with us. Here are some of them. Science of TranscendenceI am a yoga teacher and a student of Tantra. My spiritual mentor, my guru, is Sri Mumtazali. I would like to share something about this great science with fellow readers of Life Positive. Whenever Tantra is mentioned, it conjures up images of people in multi-coloured or black clothes, wearing garlands of skulls, matted hair, and producing sounds and moves that would give a hip-hop star stiff competition. The word ‘Tantra’ is a combination of two words tanoti and trayati, which mean expansion and liberation respectively. Thus Tantra is the science of expanding the consciousness and liberating its energy. Tantra is a holistic approach to the study of the entire universe from the individual viewpoint. It is the understanding of the macrocosm through the microcosm and the force which connects and unifies both. It is an all-encompassing and all-embracing science that includes astrology, astronomy, hatha yoga, prana vidya, swara-yoga, kundalini yoga and ayurveda, among others. Tantra draws the highest ideals of philosophy together instead of separating them. It is truly that knowledge which expands mind, body and consciousness. By refining our thoughts and feelings by means of Tantric practices, we generate peace, balance, centeredness and harmony within ourselves thus achieving self-mastery. There are different schools of Tantra, but there are three schools that are most popularly known—Kaula marg, Samaya marg, Mishra marg. Kaula marg is further divided into Dakshina marg and Vama marg. For a Kaula the real union is between jivatma and paramatma. The panchamakara that aid in this are: madya (liquor) that is the amrit from the Soma chakra, maans (meat) is anger and greed from which he seeks liberation, matsya (fish) represent everyday emotional assaults like anxiety jealousy, envy, hope and so on, and maithuna (sexual union) is the union of Shakti and Shiva. Tantra therefore is the way to attain complete freedom while still living in the world. It brings an awareness of the limitations and the capacities of the mind, and prescribes techniques to transcend individual limitations and realize higher reality.Mala C. Dandiwalla, via email Practical TantraMy search for knowledge of Tantra, particularly with reference to practices involving sadhana, meditation and procedures to develop skills in manipulating energies around one’s psycho- biological fields, led me to V.S.P. Tenneti of the Theosophica Shyamantaka Mission, Hyderabad. This happened rather fortuitously in 2002. I had an insatiable curiosity and interest in matters occult and metaphysical from an early age. Tantra is one of the paths to self-realization, involving energies, centers and channels in the human body. Tantra today is, sadly, much misunderstood, thanks to wrong practices and propaganda. Shorn of exotic connotations, Tantra is a method, procedure or tool, the application of which leads to rapid self-realization. Because of one’s direct handling of energies, the practice is extremely dangerous and requires a solid foundation and competent guidance. It is my good fortune to have come across V.S.P. Tenneti, who is an experienced master capable of helping you towards your goal. I found Tenneti to be modest despite his vast knowledge and experience. Just attending his basic Arka Vidya course and practicing as guided is enough to lead one on to the path of self-realization. In the course, we were taught some simple Tantric techniques, especially pertaining to one’s handicaps, methods to increase positive energy around oneself, and easy and systematic methods of sadhana and meditation. In the advanced courses, we were introduced to methods that were more powerful and exacting than what we had expected or hoped for. Attending these courses and practicing accordingly is a sure way of validating all the theories one reads about in metaphysical books and hears about in sermons.Arun K Rao, via email Tantra, Mantra, Yantra Tantra cannot be understood alone, it has to be studied along with yantra and mantra. Literally, yantra means ‘instrument’, mantra means ‘code of command’ and Tantra means ‘system’. Tantra can only work when it is associated with the other two. For example, the human body is a yantra. All the vital systems like the circulatory system, skeletal system, nervous system, digestive system and so on are Tantra, and prana or the life force is mantra. In order to make the body yantra function at an optimal level, prana mantra is required to activate the circulatory, nervous, skeletal, digestive Tantra. Anything in the cosmos, and even the cosmos itself, cannot function without this trio. So the tradition and practices of Tantra are not foreign or alien to us. Tantra is in fact part of every gross, subtle and spiritual aspect of our lives. Mantra or scientific spiritual commands work only if repeated with divine feelings (divya bhava). It creates an energy field, which is the cause of all manifestations and change in the cosmos. Mental power, in the form of a resolve (sankalpa), culminates into the forms of this world. Forms are in reality our resolves solidified. At this level, forms are yantra, our resolves are mantra, and the specific scientific process of happening is Tantra. If one wants to actualize a particular resolve, incessant directing of thoughts in that direction is required. The energy produced from thoughts attracts Nature, which converts the resolve into a gross form. This principle explains how yogis and Tantriks can produce objects from what seems like thin air! In keeping with the three basic characteristics of sattva, rajas and tamas, Tantra is also practiced at three planes—of welfare, self-benefit, and causing harm respectively. Tantra is a result of the research conducted by ancient rishis and seers of the East, in the Indian subcontinent and in Tibet. These sages experienced, then narrated as well as recorded, this great spiritual science, which later developed as Shakti Upasana. This worship of the goddess became synonymous with Tantra Upasana because Shakti is power of action of Shiva, the Supreme Brahman. The common belief that Tantra is some kind of magic, fantasy or myth is far from truth. It is a well-researched and proven way to enter the world of nature and to engage with the Divine Mother who produces, rears and finally merges the entire creation at Her will.Sameer Shukl, Mussoorie Divine VisionsI would like to share my experiences regarding the flow of energy and spiritual sadhana. I was going through a tough and stressful period in 1997-98 during the first year of my engineering course. This was the time when I learnt reiki from Pramod Kulkarni, reiki grandmaster and founder of the Reiki Parivar Adhyatmik Vikas Kendra Charitable Trust. This totally transformed my life. During reiki practice, visions of colors were common, but as my sadhana progressed, the spiritual experiences became increasingly profound. I had visions of gods and goddesses, often guiding me and sometimes even giving me important spiritual lessons like, ‘there is only One and no other’, meaning there is only one spiritual energy. Many times, the gods or spiritual masters would reveal hand mudras and I was instructed to perform them during sadhana. Many of the mudras were unknown to me and on researching them I found out that some of them actually corresponded to the seven chakras. These visions increased manifold after I completed my reiki teachers’ degree two years ago. Complex geometrical shapes, yantras, corresponding to the seven chakras were revealed to me, along with other yantras which I had never seen before and am still ignorant about some of their. Then came the visualizations of beej mantras of the chakras along with their particular deities and colors, which were so complex that I could not draw them but only remember the details. I have been able to draw many of the things that I saw, along with the date of the vision, and have tried to maintain a record of these experiences. Some three to four years ago, a unique thing happened when I was reading an article about Mata Nirmala Devi’s mass kundalini awakenings. Suddenly, I felt a cool flow of energy in my crown chakra. It was as if a cool liquid was being poured on my head and was flowing from my crown. This has continued since then, especially when I am doing my sadhana or am meditating. These and many such instances have added to the richness of my life and spiritual sensitivity. Such experiences provide guidance that one is on the right path and going in the right direction.Tushar Chaubal, via email Scientific BasisTantric Vidya is one of the most powerful esoteric subjects of India. Its miraculous, thrilling and instantaneous effects have made this branch of scientific spirituality beneficial to humanity. Tantra concentrates energy on certain subjects objectively. This makes one attain any reasonable desired result. What is the scientific basis for this? Our consciousness has two forms—chetan or physical, and achetan or subtle. The physical consciousness gains momentum from alpha rays while the subtle consciousness becomes slow, steady and concentrated due to alpha, beta and delta rays. Bridging the connection between the physical and subtle consciousness is possible. There are five attitudes that control human behavior pattern—kama (attachment), krodha (anger), lobha (avarice), moha (attraction), and ahamkara (pride). In the human body, there are six main glands—solar plexus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, sex gland, thyroid gland and the thymus. Out of these, the solar plexus acts as the main switch of an energy system. Whenever we concentrate on a form of macrocosmic reality
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