Showing posts with label Celibacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Celibacy. Show all posts

Origins of Tantra - Where Does Tantra Come From?

 



The Origins and Presentation of Tantra. 


From the time of its initial appearance in the West till now, the word tantra has been marred by major misconceptions. Tantric writings were found by missionaries in India in 1799, and the term was first used in the English language. These were not works by Buddhists. In reality, the existence of Buddhism was not widely understood in the West at the time. 

The term tantra was then only known as the title of these writings, the contents of which were completely different from what people anticipated in philosophy and religion texts. 


The missionaries were mostly taken aback by the fact that other people held religious and philosophical beliefs so unlike to their own. 

To them, tantra meant nothing more than these extended treatises; yet, because the subject matter dealt with in these treatises was so odd from their perspective, the name began to acquire a strange meaning, which has not been confirmed by careful analysis of the texts. 

Unfortunately, as in so many other cases, once a false perception is created, it takes a near-superhuman effort to dig out and correct all of the incorrect notions and strange implications that have grown up around it. 

In a technical sense, I'll try to explain what the term tantra truly implies. First and foremost, the tantra of the Hinduist school must be distinguished from the tantra of the Buddhist school. 

These two faiths, both indigenous to India, used the same language, Sanskrit, for a long time. However, each tradition had its own set of rules regarding how its terminology should be used. 


What one tradition meant by a phrase was not always the same as what another tradition meant by it. 

When Buddhist studies first began in the West, which was just a few decades ago, the initial investigators concluded that because Buddhists used the same Sanskrit phrases as Hindus, they meant the same thing. This was the first in a series of erroneous assumptions they reached. Let us try to grasp tantra as it evolved in the Buddhist tradition. 


The Sanskrit term prabandha has been used in close relation with the term tantra since the beginning. Prabandha is a Sanskrit word that signifies "continuity." 

This is a state of being that is divided into two parts: we must begin someplace and then go in a certain direction (and perhaps arrive at a goal). Tantra was presented in this manner. It refers to a current human condition that develops from the question of how we will behave. 

Tantra also considers how we will be in terms of relationships, acknowledging that man is constantly connected to something or someone. Tantra handles the topic of being in a variety of ways, resulting in several presentations. The first method is known as Kriyatantra. 

The emphasis of the Kriyatantra is on how a person acts. Kriya is a Sanskrit word that meaning "activity." Here, action is viewed as a metaphor and dealt with in a ritualistic manner. The concept of ritual does not have to be a mystery to us. 


When a guy approaches a lady, he removes his hat, which is an example of ritual. 

It's a structured gesture of some sort. It's also a method of approaching a human connection. 

The Kriyatantra places a strong focus on relationships, which is reflected in this type of codified gesture. In this scenario, the focus is broad and encompasses many elements of the relationship. 

The Kriyatantra takes a unique perspective to human relationships in that it focuses on the simplest and most basic phases. 

A child's bond with his parents is the first type of relationship. There's a sense of power at work here. Someone needs to inform the youngster what he or she should and should not do. 


When this relationship position is translated into a theological framework, the concept of man being subject to a transcendental entity emerges. 

This is likely the most widely held belief, and it is also the Kriyatantra's structure. In this case, the practitioner seeks to earn favor with the person with whom he has a relationship. 

This, together with the Kriyatantra's strong ceremonial focus, are two of the Kriyatantra's key qualities. Purification is also emphasized in this tantra. Several ablutions are included in the ceremony. Some of them are entirely symbolic in nature, and the sensation of cleanliness associated with them may appear overdone. However, we must keep in mind that in an emotional situation like this, the feeling of being clean might become incredibly significant. When someone says, "Now before you eat, wash your hands," it has a lot deeper meaning than when someone says, "Now before you eat, wash your hands." 


Another hallmark of Kriyatantra is its emphasis on purity. 

But man isn't satisfied with being instructed what to do. He is also a thinking entity who will inquire. And this is where the Caryatantra, a different approach to tantra, comes in. Tantra relates to a relationship scenario once again. 

However, the focus has shifted in this case. We are no longer merely concerned with adhering to certain established norms of relationships, but also, to some measure, with comprehending their ramifications. 


This indicates the beginning of a period of self-questioning. 


  • Why are we acting in this manner? 
  • Why do we act in such a certain way? 

We do not dismiss our actions at this moment, but we do inquire about their importance. And we do so by thinking about it more. We strive to understand it, which might be a form of meditation. A balance between cognition and action begins to emerge at this point. 

This shift from simple acceptance of authority to a more complex connection with the person with whom we are dealing correlates to a shift in the nature of our connection with the person with whom we are dealing. 

It is no longer possible for a master to command his slave or servant what to do. There is now a greater sense of closeness, camaraderie, and equality of position. 

The first is still eager to learn, but the second has realized he is in the same boat as the first. It is a friendship connection, and friendship can only exist if the other person is accepted for who he or she is. 


Friendship is difficult when you are in a position of servitude. 

However, friendship can progress beyond this first level of closeness. Friendship frequently necessitates our attempting to learn more about the relationship. 


What is it about this relationship that makes us want to nurture it? 

This process of inquiry leads to the creation of further understanding. The focus has switched once more. We enter the Yogatantra through this new component of the complete circumstance of how we are together. 

The term "yoga" has a lot of different connotations. 

It signifies "to harness" in Buddhist context. It is connected to the English term yoke etymologically. It is bringing everything we have to bear in order to achieve deeper information. As a result, the circumstance, or tantra, in which this is the focus is known as the Yogatantra. 

There is a level of cooperation here that is superior than that between two buddies. However, there is still opportunity for improvement because we still see others as being slightly different from ourselves. This is where the Mahayogatantra, the fourth division, comes in. Maha literally means "great," however it is used here not so much to signify "great" as opposed to "little," but rather to convey the idea that nothing could be better. It's used in the strictest meaning. 


In its approach to the issue of interaction, the Mahayogatantra shares this feeling of absoluteness. 

We no longer make distinctions; we are just who we are, spontaneous and uninhibited. The question of whether the other is a friend or not is no longer relevant. There is perfect unification; we are all one. 

As a result, there is a transition in the tantras, starting at the level of a child's relationship with its parents and progressing to full adulthood. 

Thus, when we use the term tantra, we are referring not only to a specific event, but also to a process of growth and inner development that occurs when we attempt to comprehend what exists. This process continues until we arrive at a suitable evaluation of experience, a suitable method of perceiving. 

There is a dialectical link between action, how we act, and the knowledge we have gained. The more we know about someone, the more we learn about them, the more receptive we become to them. We learn to see what he need and cease imposing our ideas about what he should require. We start to be able to assist that person in finding his own path. This brings us to tantra's practical meaning. 


Tantra, as a method of inner evolution, allows us to see more clearly, allowing us to become true people rather than merely amorphous creatures. 

Tantra, on the other hand, goes much further. It goes beyond the concept of development or growth. Within the tradition, there are additional phases and subdivisions that deal with the fact that life continues even after we have learnt to correctly connect to our issues. The premise is that spiritual practice is a never-ending process. 

We begin someplace, progress or develop, and eventually arrive at a certain destination solely from the perspective of discursive cognition. It's not as if once you've reached enlightenment, the process is over and everything is done. 

Rather, because we continue to live, we must restart our lives on a regular basis. Nonetheless, we have discovered a method, a means of communicating, a certain continuity, through the previous stages. Tantra's primary meaning is the continuation of a manner of connection. In some ways, this is a really basic point. However, we discover that there isn't much more difficult than this type of simplicity in general.



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.







Is it troubling that Tantrism rejects religion's authority while dealing with Magick, Supernatural Beings, and Gods?


The underlying issue is straightforward. For the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of Yes, there is "worship" and the usage of Gods. It's important to note that there is no universal definition of what it means to be a God. Of course, this would be considered blasphemy by the Buddhists. 

The original Buddha is thought to have been a devout atheist. (This is not to be confused with a Western atheist, who believes in nothing.) Buddhists are unafraid of ghosts and devils, whom they regard as having the same type of life as humans. When it comes to gods and universal retribution, however, the punishment is brought on by confusion and the inability to control one's intellect and its interaction with the cosmos. 

During the higher degrees of Hindu initiation, the individual aspirant gradually sheds the conditioning instilled in him by his parents and caste culture. This is, by the way, where the phrase originates from "It was from being "out-of-caste," not from being "cast out," that the term "outcast" was coined. Outcastes are people who no longer feel bound by the commitments they were told they had as a Brahmin, Warrior, or Untouchable. Knowing that these "obligations" were "arbitrary," or things he was merely stuck with, he started to deconstruct them before rebuilding himself. Of course, this makes him incredibly unpopular in social situations, which is exactly what many initiates aim for. When a result, many of Bengali Tantra's higher initiates—particularly as their mental, psychological, and physical strength grows—become figures of tremendous dread to others. There have been a few instances in which European conceptions of evil have been developed in the East as a method of spiritual growth. 

This was done, in particular, with the "Thugs,' who have become well-known in European folklore and whose name has entered our lexicon. The "Thugs" were Kali devotees who felt that murdering at random was a way of appeasing the goddess. They felt that by doing so, they were liberating themselves from the cycle of Karma. This strange idea perplexes many who conceive of Karma as a moral system. 

In practice, the criminal factions were getting so tired with acts of violence and crime that they were able to let go of their commitment to retribution. Serial killers, psychopaths, and high-ranking political people are what they would be today in the West. They were not punished if they did not feel guilty. Karma was a mental process for them, and it was mostly brought on by themselves. Unlike Buddhists, their treatment for it was to cause as much harm as possible until they were tired with it and no longer emotionally touched by it. They stopped at that point. 

This is extremely similar to many hypnosis-assisted behavior modification procedures "The 'unwanted' conduct is repeated until the patient is fed up with it and with himself. We have no notion how much spiritual illumination this resulted in, and we have no desire to conjecture. As far as we know, the "Thugs" have been wiped off by the British Army for at least two centuries. This was a centuries-old cult that claimed to be a legitimate Tantric group, according to some. 

In the Hindu Tantras, the topic of good and evil, as well as the topic of Black and White Magick, becomes highly perplexing. The Buddhist Tantras do not follow the same pattern to the same extent. In many Bengali literature, there is a shift from religious devotion to mantra recitation from the first portion of the book to the concluding chapter. Depending on the mantra or your overall attitude regarding it, this may be viewed as either spells or hypnotic tactics. At the end of the books, violent magical methods are taught, which may be designed to damage someone seen as an adversary or a hindrance. 

This is especially true in the Kulanarva Tantra, which we have found to be the easiest of the Hindu Tantras to read and comprehend. Tantric and devotional activities to Shiva and Parvati are included near the opening of the book. They get more sophisticated toward the middle of the book, and they deal with physical activities, dietary practices, and exercises to help the Tantric adept. What you get at the conclusion of the book is a full-fledged text of witchcraft "and directions for destroying your opponent by constructing a doll of them and burning it in a cremation ground with accompanying spells. Is it really as sweet and light as you've been told? As a result, from a Tantric perspective, the more accomplished adept is the more dangerous and wild human being. This is in stark contrast to the American/European viewpoint, which continues to employ the New Testament imago of Jesus as the paradigm of the ideal person (maybe unconsciously). 

Of course, we're referring about the mythological Jesus, who is a non-emotional or mono-emotional person who is incapable of violent reactions, is nice to everybody, and enjoys dogs and little children. This is one of the most troubling parts of Tantra that must be addressed, and which the person must address inside himself. He'll have to re-examine and re-judge what he thinks one by one, little by little. This might be a lot more tough than you realize. Because our beliefs have nothing to do with what our lives have taught us.



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.





What are the many forms of Tantra?


Despite the fact that there are "hundreds" of sects, there are essentially two schools of thought: 

  • Hindu Tantras, which are theistic and originated in Bengal, India.
  • And Tibetan Buddhism, which does not entail the worship of gods but does recognize Spiritual Beings. 

To clarify matters for the Western reader, many Tibetan Buddhists admit the existence of gods, but they do not consider them worthy of devotion or, in some circumstances, even of attention. 

Many of these characteristics may also be found in early Chinese Taoism. 




You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.






What is Tantra's background?



There hasn't been a detailed history of Tantra written. The methods' origins can be traced back to prehistoric Shamanism. According to recorded history, the earliest Tantras were most likely Buddhist and originated in India, according to historians. However, Buddhism gradually disappeared from India for a variety of causes, the most significant of which was the Islamic conquest of India, which destroyed most of the Tantric history as well as hundreds upon thousands of manuscripts. 

When the Islamic empire's influence in India receded, ancient Hinduism, not Buddhism, resurfaced. Buddhism mostly vanished from the region where Buddha lived, going to China and later Japan. Tantric practices and philosophy continued to exist after this, but they were kept hidden due to their disturbing nature. 

You can image how startled the Islamic invaders were when they learnt about the activities that were taking place, because a Moslem is the only person who is more concerned about sex than a Jew or a Christian. As a result, what was once a well-known cult in India has become obscure and esoteric. And it is for this reason that the Hindu Tantras are so valuable. Because they were not susceptible to public opinion, they could be more forthright. 

However, due to the devastating impacts of history, the Hindu Tantras are likewise exceedingly muddled. To clear up some of the ambiguity, we went to Tibet's Buddhist Tantras, where the core purity of the original concept has been maintained to a large extent. The ideas about sex and morality are the lone exception. After initial encounter with India, Tibet's governing authorities determined that Tantric Buddhism would be the state religion at a reasonably early stage in their history. They invested all of their intellectual and financial resources in the establishment of institutions and libraries. It retained a tremendous esoteric influence for years, perhaps centuries, with authoritative people, customs, and even families engaged. 

Only a small percentage of the literature has ever been translated into English, so it is even richer than we may think. This offers the foundation for a fully fledged tradition and practice. This, along with the fact that hospitals in the East have no trouble dealing with Kundalini phenomena, gives the practitioner a bit of a safety net. 

Since the 7th century, Tibet has been governed by Tantra. It was the focus of whole colleges, which, like any huge enterprise, had means of dealing with people of varying talents—lay talent, high talent, and genius. 

And, as with any hierarchy, those at the top were more or less isolated from the rest of the group. For the purposes of this book, we agree with the Buddhists that most, if not all, of our ideas of the self-the idea of a soul, or as the Hindus would put it, "knowledge" of the Universe-are delusions, a handy construct for the control of the people. 



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.





Is Tantra primarily a philosophical or a yoga practice?

 



Tantra is a system of technique and physical practice—we stress physical practice—combined with certain metaphysical assumptions about the world that can be proven through personal experience but not necessarily via rigorous scientific examination. 

They don't entail moral doctrine, save in an esoteric sense; they don't entail personal restrictions; and they don't include concerns of good and evil aside from the aspirant's advancement. 

Tantra is essentially a combination of practice and philosophy aiming at the ultimate development of the practitioner into his greatest form. You may take this approach in whatever direction you want, whether it's dealing with afterlife beliefs or personal power in the actual world.




You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.




If the challenges are so severe, how can Tantra assist in overcoming them?




One of the goals of Tantra is to assist in the dismantling of the formidable barriers that we, our biology, and our culture have erected (which is the result of our biology interacting with various forms of environments whether they be so-called spiritual or so-called physical). 

In terms of dismantling the barriers we've just discussed, the most significant approach, in our opinion, that is shared by both Hindu and Buddhist Tantra, is the concept of 'de-programming.' We use the term de-programming with caution because we do not believe that a human being is built in the image of a computer. However, given the time and place in which this book is being published, we believe that most readers will understand what we mean. (In the 1920s, significant telepathy research was dubbed "mental radio.") Scientists utilized the telephone model to try to understand how the nervous system worked in the early days of the telephone.) De-programming is the process of removing involuntary constraints, such as unasked-for ideas that you have adopted as your own and identified with the "real you." This might be anything from a political party to a church to the cuisine you eat. 

In terms of spiritual or psychological de-programming, we've found that using symbols that depicts evil or destruction in your culture is the most effective method. To be clear, this does not always entail illegal behavior. It does refer to sacramental and magical practices involving symbols, such as the inverted cross, the black goat, or even the swastika in Western Magick. 

This final is, of course, an Eastern symbol with new Western interpretations' If the reader finds them upsetting, that is precisely the purpose' Using the swastika picture does not indicate you support Nazism or even Satanism, though Satanism in the West has strong ties to Tantra in the East' We weren't the first to raise this issue in a previous book, Pacts with the Devil (New Falcon Publications, 1993, 1991). In past decades, a lot of occultists (such as Dion Fortune) despised Tantra because they saw it as demonic magick. 

They were completely accurate (in a certain sense). The goal is to get so familiar with these symbols that they no longer have any meaning for you.' Before rejoining the Universe as a meaningful structure, one must first develop a forced nihilism in oneself, in terms of any meaning whatsoever. This, however, does not imply just looking at them or thinking on them. It entails consciously evoking your own power, summoning these spiritual energies, and even performing dark masses if necessary. 

The presence of a strong emotional component, not merely intellectual focus, is crucial. In the sexual realm, this might include consciously pursuing activities and sex roles that are either outlawed by your social surroundings or that you find terrifying. For example, heterosexual males frequently fear being the passive partner in sex, especially if gay. Allowing your female partner to possess you (if you are a guy) with a dildo' can help with this.




You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.





How do the changes in one's life begin to manifest if one practices Tantra?



It has been our experience that employing symbols such as the inverted cross, the black goat, or the swastika can result in unexpected and occasionally scary happenings in some circumstances. Active invocation of powers that can be deemed devils, or at the very least forces that society as a whole does not want you to "socialize" with, can result in enormous revelation and energy release. You could be experiencing dreams, dread, the creeps, or even paranormal happenings that are impossible to explain and look entirely unreasonable. 

Several people, including one of the writers, have had machinery break down around them as a result of some of the actions detailed in this book (in one case. five brand new tape recorders within a 48-hour period). Some things simply happen: automobiles break down, computers crash, keys vanish, old adversaries resurface, and you confront your boss. This is a low-level manifestation of the "poltergeist phenomenon." 

When your silverware begins flying about your room and your keys go missing every morning as a result of this "phenomenon," you know things have gotten out of hand! Aside from the jokes, these are things you'll have to get accustomed to. If you have the guts to go over this point—and bravery and nerve must be developed—you'll find yourself in a whole other universe of sensation and cognition, and you'll be able to deal with the typical world more effectively. 

On the negative side, you may grow progressively alienated and disgusted by those around you, and you may find that you have nothing in common with your friends and family. Conversion to the Ultimate Buddha is often followed with a sensation of hatred in several Buddhist teachings (also know as the Gesture of Disgust). In other cases, you may notice that individuals are getting more antagonistic toward you. This is a different component of the job that will need to be handled in a smart and productive manner.



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.





Why are there so many Gods and Demons if Tantra isn't a religion?



There are numerous demons and Bodhisattvas who were never actual persons in the sense that a Westerner would comprehend them, but who are regarded real on their own terms. 

One explanation for the multiple "God" formula is that it is comparable to Zen and Kabbalah practices: the collapse of all distinctions—often referred to as "enlightenment"—followed by the reaffirmation of all distinctions, often referred to as "enlightenment." 

Dealing with or coping with a God or Demon, whether internal or external, does not need worship. In the West, we have the misconception that Gods "must" be adored. These ideas are difficult to communicate in language because they contradict it, as language is both a process and a category at the same time. Language has its own history, as well as preconceptions.



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.

What is the goal of Tantra?


The thing that shocks most Westerners (and a great many orthodox Hindus) about Tantra is the fact that the highest good is considered to be the development of the aspirant as he defines it without the cloak of external morality. From a Tantric point of view, whatever one does, acceptable by society or not, is simply the means to the same end-self-development. 

It should be remembered that antinomianism (deliberate renunciation of social and religious restrictions) in Tantras in so many secret doctrines-is fundamental. In this sense most American authors on Tantra would vigorously disagree as their training and public persona are conventional. Many of these people come from an academic background. 


From different directions, we have, combined, nearly a half-century of experience in the practice of various Occult and Yogic techniques. The essential problem now as always is the unconscious tendency to view alien philosophy through the lens of the ingrained and familiar culture. In the West, Judeo-Christian values dominate our thinking and perceptions, act as values of faith and are anti-empirical. All forms of Yoga, whether Tantra or otherwise, demand empirical results not faith. In this sense these practices are closer to Western Science. 

From the monotheistic point of view, Tantrism-whether Buddhist or Hindu-is dangerous and diabolical even as a philosophy. Engaging in any practice devoted to self-determinism may put you beyond the scope of society. This should be kept in mind as you gain more power, as one of the first mistakes of any serious student is talking about his most secret goals. What may seem harmless to you may be a panic trigger to someone else. 



You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.






What does Tantra mean?


Even in their original nation, the word 'Tantra' is an excellent example of something that doesn't have a very clear definition. 

The Tantras are a collection of religious literature with varying degrees of complexity. Some of them, such as the Tantra of the Great Liberation, are high poetry. 

Others are simply a few pages long, are written in a clumsy manner, and aren't much different from the European Grimoires. Tantra, in our opinion, is a comprehensive term that denotes activity. It denotes that theory and practice are in sync. Tantra has been compared to a shuttle that directs the threads to produce a whole fabric, just how Yoga has been compared to a yoke to which oxen have been tied to drive a cart.



You may also want to read more about Tantra and Healing here.





Tantra Dictionary - A Repository of Common Terms and Meanings used in Tantra

 




A

Ahimsa: the first principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: simple kindness. Literal meaning is "nonharm."

Ajina Chakra: the sixth chakra; literal meaning is "perception plexus."

Anahata Chakra: the fourth chakra; literal meaning is "pure plexus."

Annamaya Kosa: the first layer of the mind (which is the body); literal meaning is "made of food."

Aparigraha: the fifth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: simplicity. Literal meaning is "nonacquisition."

Asana(s): physical exercises that harmonize the glandular system and thus can make the body fit for meditation.

Asteya: the third principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: responsibility. Literal meaning is "nontheft."

Atimanasa Kosa: the supramental layer of mind; literal meaning is "higher mind."

Aunkara (Aum): the sound of creation; sometimes heard in deep meditation. "A" is the creation, "U" is the maintenance of

balance, ''M(a)" is the destructive force.

Astaunga Yoga: an eightfold system of yoga practice organized by the sage Patanjali in India, based on earlier work by the

yoga master Astavarka. Literal meaning of astaunga is "eight parts."


B

Babanam Kevalam: a universal mantra used in chanting and meditation, meaning "all is one." (Babanam means "the name

of the Creator"; Kevalam means "is all there is.")

Brahma: the infinite consciousness from which everything arises.

Brahmachakra: the cycle of creation; the movement of consciousness from its infinite state into matter and then from the

dense to the subtle, merging again in pure consciousness.

Babanam Kevalam: a universal mantra used in chanting and meditation, meaning "all is one." (Babanam means "the name

of the Creator"; Kevalam means "is all there is.")

Brahma: the infinite consciousness from which everything arises.

Brahmachakra: the cycle of creation; the movement of consciousness from its infinite state into matter and then from the

dense to the subtle, merging again in pure consciousness.

Brahmacharya: the fourth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: perceiving everything as an expression of the Creator.

Literal meaning is "to follow God."


C

Chakra(s): nuclei located throughout the body's subtle structure; foci of psychic energy.


D

Dharma: "innate tendency," that which propels every living being toward oneness with the Creator.


G

Guru: "that which dispels darkness," according to Tantra, the only true Guru is infinite consciousness.

Guru Puja: the practice of surrendering all our fears and desires to the higher self after meditation.


H

Hiranyamaya Kosa: the subtle causal or "superconscious" layer of mind; literal meaning is "golden."


I

Iishvara Pranidhana: the tenth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: spirituality. Literal meaning is "taking shelter in the

Supreme Being."

Iccha Shakti: spiritual force developed by meditation and right conduct.


K

Kama: limited desires.

Kamamaya Kosa: the conscious layer of mind; literal meaning is "desire."

Karma: the result of samskaras; the reaction experienced as a result of actions and desires.

Kaoshikii: a dancing exercise that vitalizes the body, focuses the mind, and strengthens the will.

Kosa(s): the layers of the mind.

Kundalini: spiritual energy residing in every living being.


M

Manipura Chakra: the third chakra; literal meaning is "fiery plexus."

Manomaya Kosa: the subconscious layer of mind; literal meaning is "mental."

Mantra: a collection of sound vibrations used as a focus in meditation.

Muladhara Chakra: the first chakra; literal meaning is "root plexus."


N

Nadii(s): psychic pathways that channel energy through the chakras.

Niyama: five healthy practices that compose half of the Tantric Code of Ethics.


P

Prana: vital energy.

Pranayama: control of the vital energy through the practice of meditation with breathing exercises.

Pranendriya: the "sixth sense;" actually a type of psychic organ that regulates mental and physical functions.

Prema: limitless love.


R

Rajadhiraja Yoga: the first known teachings of yoga master Astavarka in India, 2,000 years ago. Literal meaning of

rajadhiraja: is "king of kings."

Rjuta: straightforwardness in character; a quality developed through proper meditation and right conduct.

Rta: the absolute truth, with or without the spirit of kindness.


S

Sadhana: meditation; literal meaning is "the effort that brings enlightenment."

Sahasrara Chakra: the seventh chakra; literal meaning is "thousand-petaled lotus plexus."

Samadhi: a state achieved in meditation, wherein one experiences oneness with the Creator.

Samskara(s): inborn, acquired, or imposed reactive momenta from past thoughts and actions, stored in the mind and

expressed as "fate."

Santosa: the seventh principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: acceptance. Literal meaning is "with contentment."

Satya: the second principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: honesty. Literal meaning is "truth with the spirit of kindness."

Shakti: "operative principle;" that which binds infinite consciousness to finite form.

Shaoca: the sixth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: clarity. Literal meaning is "clean."

Shiva: infinite consciousness, unbound; also, the name of a great Tantric Guru who lived in ancient India.

Susumna: the "psychic canal" through which the kundalini energy is channeled.

Svadhisthana Chakra: the second chakra; literal meaning is "sweet plexus."

Svadhyaya: the ninth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: understanding. Literal meaning is "study of Self."


T

Tantra: the ancient spiritual discipline upon which yoga is based.

Tapah: the eighth principle of the Tantric Code of Ethics: service. Literal meaning is "penance or sacrifice."


V

Vijinanamaya Kosa: the subliminal layer of mind; literal meaning is "special knowledge."

Vishuddha Chakra: the fifth chakra; literal meaning is "purification plexus."

Vrtti(s): psychic propensities, such as lust, hope, etc., located within and controlled by the chakras.


Y

Yama: five acts of integrity that compose half of the Tantric Code of Ethics.

Yoga: "union" of the self with infinite consciousness; the practices that bring that union, including the eight parts of

Austaunga Yoga as given by the sage Patanjali.

Yogi: practitioner of yoga.


Brahmacharya's Relationship with Tantric Sex and Celibacy

 


We're going to talk about a very taboo topic now, and we'll tie it into the tantra debate.

It has been a more taboo subject than sex in recent years. It's known as "celibacy."

Don't rush for the door just yet. Celibacy would not be recommended in this environment. It won't be dismissed either. We just want to see how it blends in and certain people are attracted to it by nature. Others will be compelled to do so through their own free will or the will of others.

But first, let's speak about "brahmacharya," which is the secret to recognizing the philosophical ramifications of both tantric sex and celibacy, as well as what they have in common. They have more in common than other people think.

Brahmacharya refers to walking or remaining in God's creative power, which is our sexual drive. What exactly do we mean when we say we're walking or abiding in sexual energy? There are two points to consider:

First and foremost, it must be preserved. So there's the matter of cultivating it. Brahmacharya is all about preserving and cultivating sexual energy.

So far in these tantra classes, we've covered the basic techniques for undergoing a period of transition of sexual relationships in order to conserve and develop sexual energy. We discussed the required bhakti (desire for something more) to follow it, the different difficulties it entails, and the divine repercussions of embarking on the tantric sexual relations quest. It's pretty broad material.

We discussed the link between tantric sexual relations and the advanced yoga practices we've been studying in detail in the key classes, how both share the same goals, and how tantric sex will complement meditation, pranayama, and other everyday yoga practices.

What role does celibacy play? It's a matter of personal preference, temperament, and way of life. It happens all the time. Perhaps we yield to a guru or organization, and they make the decision for us.

Perhaps we should do it on our own. Maybe we'll never be drawn to it. Either of these would suffice. It is up to each of us to obey our own gut instincts on the subject.

What exactly is celibacy? It is technically defined as the refusal to marry and engage in sexual intercourse, including masturbation. It is de facto sexual energy protection, though “preservation” may not be the celibate's intention. Other motives for celibacy are more focused on avoiding something bad about sex (obsession, excess, injury) rather than doing something constructive about it (inner expansion, divine ecstasy, enlightenment).

Celibacy is the first half of brahmacharya, but that is not always the case, since there is no cultivation without first purifying the nervous system and then enabling sexual energy to transfer to a higher manifestation, which is the second half of brahmacharya. Celibacy is one half of brahmacharya, which is an essential principle. Celibacy without the second half of brahmacharya will lead to stagnation and the appearance of unbalanced obsessive habits, particularly if celibacy is "forced."

Though celibacy (preservation) is a step toward brahmacharya, it is incomplete as a spiritual activity until sexual energy is activated (cultivated) for a higher reason. That is, after all, tantric sex's intent. Ironically, celibates who are vigilant in their tantric sexual practices and continuing loving service to others to cultivate sexual energy to a higher manifestation in their nervous system may have stronger spiritual chances than celibates who are not diligent in their sitting yoga practices and ongoing loving service to others to cultivate sexual energy to a higher manifestation in their nervous system.

Is celibacy or tantric sexual intercourse a safer way to enlightenment? Who is to say? It all depends on how committed a doctor is to one lifestyle or the other. Rather than any particular approach, the practitioner's level of bhakti influences the result. The nervous system will begin to open, one way or another, whether bhakti is plentiful.


The central practices of yoga and pranayama would have the strongest effect on the degree of bhakti growing in the nervous system with either the tantric lover or the celibate. The amount of inner silence available is determined by the global purification that occurs on a regular basis in the nervous system. This is pure happiness consciousness growing in us, our source, our deepest spiritual quality. If we have that, we will thirst for the same destination, holy marriage, whether we are inclined to be tantric lovers or celibates. Whatever lifestyle we want, the elements of brahmacharya can inevitably be incorporated – maintaining and nurturing our sexual energies as we ride our inner highway to heaven.


You may also want to read more about Tantra Yoga here.