THE ALCHEMY OF WOMAN and the WORSHIP of the FEMALE DIVINE IN TANTRA
Article edited and written by Maya Swati Devi
In Tantra the female Cosmic Energy is symbolized by Shakti Devi and her innumerable "benevolent" or "terrifying" manifestations called Dasha Mahavidya, (Maha = Great, Vidya = Knowledge) the ten Goddesses of Supreme Wisdom or cosmic forces.
Kali is the first of ten fundamental female deities in tantric worship. Kali is the black goddess, terrifying projection of time that devours everything and destroys. Devi is the splendid Lakshmi, consort of Vishnu, lady of beauty and prosperity, is Durga, the powerful warrior, bitter enemy of demons, is Parvati, the one who possesses the three Parva (Wisdom, Will, Action) universal mother and consort of Shiva, is Tara "the green goddess of the saving word".
Each Goddess hides an important reality, a Truth hidden from our eyes by ignorance, each divinity represents a particular type of approach to self-realization. Meditating with devotion on the Mahavidya means recognizing the Divine in everything and within oneself, it means eliminating the illusion that prevents us from contemplating the Light of Shakti in every single entity of existence.
In Tantra the Mahavidya cult is not only the simple worship of the external form of divinity, the superficial idolatry of the figure or ritual act of veneration; the Dasha Mahavidyas represent the fundamental pillars of Knowledge, the ten universal Energies which reside in the microcosm and macrocosm and which regulate their entire existence.
In the act of meditation, the Goddess offers the devotee a part of His infinite Knowledge by making veneration go beyond the borders of symbols and images, until reaching the Indistinct Absolute in His fullness.
Venerating the Dasha Mahavidya means meditating and invoking these Energies, being aware of their presence, their function, their power; it means discovering the great mysteries of existence by accepting reality in all its conditions, in all its aspects, from the darkest to the brightest, since everything we experience in life is permeated by the immensity of Shakti Devi.
THE WORSHIP OF THE FEMALE DIVINE
We can meet the first tantric civilization of female origin more than 7,500 years BC where woman occupied a place of honor, both in secular life and in the religion centered around the Mother Goddess, where sexuality was lived with much freedom, without shame and without guilt, with the awareness that it would positively affect the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of people and of the whole society.
The formidable power of the initiating woman is enormous, it consists primarily in her mental attitude towards sexuality which she considers only in a spiritual sense.
All ancient cultures have traditions that praise the power of women initiators. Egypt, Greece, Arabia, Tibet and China. The woman was considered the embodiment of beauty, sensuality and loving vitality, at the same time guardian of the potential creator. Every human being is born from a woman's YONI (female sexual organ); every man wishes to return to this territory from sacred femininity with the unlimited sexual contact that is achieved only through the "REALIZATION OF THE PERFECT CONTINENCE".
Every woman, thanks to her exceptional innate gifts, is capable of spontaneously realizing sexual continence during the love act, simply following instinct. While a manly and powerful man must constantly train every day, for a long enough period, to get to practice sexual continence, any vital, harmonious and sensual woman always has this innate gift at his disposal.
By taking an active role and courageously exploring the whole series of sexual secrets during the love act, a sensual and intelligent woman can confer great subtle, spiritual power on her beloved allowing the couple to reach sublime states of ecstasy and union with the divine.
Thanks to his sensitivity and intuition he awakens and amplifies deeply beneficial characteristics in man, showing himself naturally open to spirituality.
In Tantrism the woman is the energy of transformation, change, evolution and the man is pure consciousness.
The vital woman, aware of her femininity, lives her sensuality spontaneously, enhancing herself and bringing harmony within the couple.
Knowing and appreciating these innate qualities of women, the great sages of the millenary tantric tradition have admired and adored her as SHAKTI - female power - as BEING INITIATOR. The knowledge of the true female nature and self-confidence are the essential conditions to achieve the goddess present in every woman, the Initiating Goddess.
Contemporary woman like SHAKTI should rediscover the values of her inner beauty, her transformative strength, her predisposition to change, her ability to analyze details, her intuitiveness and receptivity. Only by enhancing her own nature can the woman fully regain her inner strength by supporting not only her loved one but contributing to the change of planetary energy.
The conscious woman loves her own vital body, full in its harmonious forms that manifest sensuality and vitality, she learns to admire the other women whom she perceives as allies in the realization of universal love; recognizes in other women the support and complicity to bring the whole society back into contact with the immutable values of love, the force of nature, spirituality.
The woman who knows how to recognize her nature is free from personal pride and lives love in every action and every thought, reaching the full manifestation of her self.
The conscious woman knows that every moment of unlived love is hopelessly lost.