TANTRA and TANTRISM OF THE INDIAN TRADITION
"The Divine nature of the human being and the worship of the body as a sacred temple"
Article edited and written by Maya Swati Devi, Yogini and Italian Tantric Master
Tantrism is the set of spiritual teachings, ritual methods, meditative practices and yogic techniques with which introspective mental abilities are refined, achieving full control over the body, speech and mind and obtaining the purification of internal and of the physical and mental constitutive elements: through this subtle change the practitioner transmutes and evolves realizing his essential and innate nature which is indestructible and pure like diamond.
Tantra is the "WAY" that recognizes the majesty of life in all expressions of being.
It is the sublime Art that celebrates life and is based on the laws of human nature, the primordial and divine one.
Tantra is not a religion but a culture and a spiritual science devoid of imposed dogmas with a holistic approach to the study of the universe from the point of view of the individual.
A science that includes methods to enter the subconscious and dive into the depths of the unconscious to cleanse the personality, the deep complexes and fears that prevent us from living.
It is a process of inner evolution, which is accessed exclusively by initiation and where the emotional, aesthetic and sexual impulses are a precious source of spiritual energy; the deeper levels of consciousness, not reachable through conceptual thinking, are directly obtainable through the use of appropriate symbols; effective practice that engages body, speech and mind is the only means of highlighting the values that are already implicit in the individual.
Tantra, contrary to Western beliefs, does not teach the art of sex or how to improve one's sexual performance but can give a high value and meaning to the conception of sexuality by entering, with the practice of rituals, into a sacred dimension, where for Sacred means. " Love and respect for the multiform transfiguration of gestures, sounds, shapes, life ". Tantra teaches to free oneself from inhibitions and accept life in all its fullness by awakening all human and cosmic energies.
Sexuality is the most natural and most powerful human instinct, and Tantrism considers it an inalienable part of the human being: an impulse or force that is not only physiological or biological, but which permeates the entire emotional and intellectual life of the individual and facilitates mutual interaction. Sexual intercourse shakes the human being as an individual and eliminates his egoity. In the partners the idea of the other as an isolated entity disappears, and a balance arises in which there is no subject that manipulates or an object to use but there are unity (transcendence of dualism) and perfect reciprocity of values. Sex is not removed, but is used to transform it into higher psychic activity in order to attain transcendent awareness (prajñõ).
The real tantric practitioner (Sadhaka) transmutes the sexual energy into Love. The path of sacred tantric sexuality is a path of love and acceptance towards oneself and the other.Sacred sex harmonizes the polarity of energy (Shiva and Shakti) and through it one goes beyond the limitations of one's self by experiencing the sense of unity with creation. By infusing spirituality into the love relationship, and entering a higher consciousness, the body and passion are brought to a new dimension of awareness. Sex is transformed into Love as it is the direct way to transcend this world with its limited dimension. . Love is transformed into light, into a meditative experience, into the supreme and extreme great mystical gesture
The couple who practice tantric sexual union, as if it were a real ritual, uses the physical energies of the man by uniting them with those of the woman to reach a state of complete harmony with the Absolute. In Tantra, physical enjoyment must not be brief and forced, but continuous, spontaneous and achieved without pressure.
Sexuality, and therefore the body, is a fundamental element through which one learns to love oneself, to awaken one's vital energies to then pour them into union with the other.
In the Sacred union the female being is transfigured into a living symbol and an earthly manifestation of the Divine Mother of the Universe (Para Shakti), while the man embodies the Male Principle (Shiva). giving life through the sacred act of birth is Brahma, one of the three deities of the Hindu Holy Trinity who for this must be honored and respected. She attracts, absorbs and contains the latent energies of the Cosmos; when it unites with masculine electricity, the feminine energy becomes dynamic and positive leading to an alchemical reaction during which the two partners harmonize on multiple levels developing extra-sensory abilities. Woman in Tantrism is energy of transformation, change, evolution and man is pure consciousness.
Tantra is a spiritual path of liberation and reintegration with the absolute that runs through any path, form, practice or expression of this "Whole" of which man is only a spark, a small representation of the Universe and the divine.
THE TANTRIC WAYS
"Do not throw this nectar indifferently. It is from this substance that the yogi has his origin. His nature is the highest ecstasy. It is indestructible and splendid and it is penetrating like Paradise" Hevaraja Tantra
Three o'clock schools of Tantra:
Samayachra techniques, practices are mostly "internal", based on concentration and visualization techniques, movements of internal awareness, etc.
Many of the practices of Tantra yoga fall within Samayachara. Samayachara is widespread among many of the Dashnami Sannyasi (those instituted by Shankaracharya), although some also use typical Kaula rituals.
According to many of the spokespersons of Samayachara, their practice is the most "elevated", the most "sublime", the most Sattvic.
In Kaulachara the techniques are mostly "external" using yantra, complicated rituals, etc. even if like it or not, the process, albeit "external", is still internalized by the practitioner who knows the correlations.
Mishra occupies an intermediate position between the two. Mishra is not very widespread, there are few or almost no traditions
There are two ways fundamentals into which the teachings of traditional Tantrism are divided: DAKSHINA MARG oVAMA MARG .
In the Right Way Tantra (Dakshina), there is an intense and permanent desire for union with a Divine being. An example can be given by what we call astral sex or the erotic experiences that appear in dreams or the adoration of the Great Cosmic Forces that is practiced in some Tantric schools. It is the practice of abstinence but also of the permanent transmutation and sublimation of one's erotic potential into higher, refined energies.
The Tantra of the Left way (Vama) controls the erotic potential through continence and then practices sexual union with the perfect control of one's energies which are sublimated by the levels - Chakra (from Sanskrit, wheel) - lower than the higher ones of being. human.
Tradition categorically defines right hand Tantra as superior to left hand Tantra but many Tantric masters claim that the West would be practically unable to follow this path which, at least at the beginning, turns out to be too abstract and elevated.
In the "Left Hand" or Vama Marga Tantra, the woman represents the lunar influence, negative or left polarity, and plays an essential role. In the "Left Hand Way", there is no form of austerity as it is defined as the way of acceptance, pleasure and bliss.
the tantric path known as Vamachara, or Vama Marg, the form of Tantra that in its own way has become "known" in the West for the simple reason that it involves the use of sexual union as a means to awaken the Kundalini energy (maithuna) .
Numerous misunderstandings have arisen around Vamachara and this initiatory journey has often been misunderstood, distorted and in some cases even infamous. The first misunderstanding has its root in the translation of the term itself (concepts are often altered when languages are changed). In Western languages "Vama Marg" has been translated as "Left hand way", which is literally correct but conceptually misleading as for us Westerners the concept of "left hand" or "left hand" has always been associated with something ominous, negative, to be avoided, something "sinister". In Sanskrit vama means "which is on the left side" and on a yogic level the reference goes to ida, the nadi which according to occult physiology is located to the left of the sushumna and has a "lunar", "feminine", "watery" (kapha) character , and ritually in the tantric field it is the woman who sits "to the left" of the man, therefore it is the woman who is "vama" and in this context she assumes an important role. For the man initiated into the Vama Marg the woman represents the Shakti, the sadhaka sees in every woman the embodiment of the Devi, whose fruitful energies can make possible the experimentation of the Absolute.
For this reason, according to Tradition, the practice of Dakshina marg (the way of the bhaktas, known as "Tantra of the right hand") must be followed for a few years for preparatory purposes, before reaching al Vama Marg, in order to prepare the sadhaka to acquire bhakti (devotion-love) towards the woman, and therefore towards the Shakti.
MODERN TANTRA: A misunderstood way
However, of all the forms of Hindu Shastra, Tantra is the least known and understood, a circumstance due in part to the difficulties of its content and the fact that the key to much of its terminology and methods remains with initiates.
Considering the idea that some Westerners have of Tantra as related exclusively to sexuality, it may sound strange that the purpose of Tantrism is the expansion of consciousness and the increase of wisdom.
How can meeting my partner, my wife, my lover, my mistress generate expansion of consciousness and wisdom?
Often the encounter between male and female is a source of abuse, power struggles, disappointments, feeling superior or inferior to the other, recurrent quarrels, misunderstandings, loneliness.
We approach Tantra, as well as sexuality, in a too superficial and worldly way.
We often approach the opposite sex either out of a simple genital impulse (plus men) or a neurotic emotional need (plus women).
Sexuality is still experienced by many men as a fleeting thrill. Sex is so desperately needed that it underestimates and manipulates the other sex to obtain it or, on the contrary, many do not have the courage to propose themselves as women with audacity, respect and love.
How many women, on the other hand, are satisfied with men who do not love them, holding on to the male on duty, because they are afraid of being alone.
In a journey of personal growth there are many different experiences and perceptions of the inner truth.
Some techniques used by Neo Tantra are primitive and with a very low or tamasic energy, and are used to free oneself from stress or taboos and certainly not to fulfill oneself.
They have nothing to do with traditional Tantra where the main initiations are Mantras, Yantras and rituals. We must take into account the context in which these practices have been spread. A bigoted context, like America was (and still is) in the late 1960s and Italy steeped in Catholicism and sexual taboos.
This approach not only confused the masses but also gave birth to that New Age Tantra which spread also in Italy in the 80s. with mediocrity and grotesque practices of brisk and unconscious sex they believe that this is "doing tantra". Tantra is not done but it is.
To practice Tantrism, the primary condition is the conscious presence of one's Self. The physical practices of tantra yoga - asana, pranayama, bandha - and the alchemical ones - mantras, meditations, nyasa - can be applied by everyone. Achieving many positive effects, such as rediscovering and cultivating sensoriality, learning to expand the senses; develop presence and conscious intimate listening in every moment of life; do not flee from one's shadows, but pass through them, fearlessly transform them like the vira (hero) and start riding the tiger; understand that sexual energy is the most powerful energy of creation and resides in the body ».
Nothing is more beautifully creative and meditative than a sacred act of love. In that moment we understand that we are not alone and we are one with the macrocosm.
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