Dance, Music and Astrology in Tantra

Tantric views and principles are applied to a large variety of human activities. Whether these activities regard the cultural, religious, social or artistic fields, the universality of the principles they express (such as, for example, the omnipresence of the Divine energy and its influence on even the most insignificant structures of creation, the ontological identity between the Macrocosm and the human microcosm, etc.) manifests harmoniously everywhere.

For instance, (mystic) dance is a wonderful and pleasant manner to obtain both a healthy and flexible body and a calm and controlled mind.

The dancer has to perform different types of movements that maintain the body in excellent shape. However, mystic dance does not involve just movements of the body. For an explicit presentation of the different stares of spirit the dancer wishes to express, the dancer needs a profound inner calm and control of the mind.

More over, the specific hand gestures he/she performs during the dance (named by the Hindu mudra) bring out a series of notable effects.

The dance represents the expression of the inner creative power, also known in the Tantric tradition as Kundalini. It is said here that the energetic activity in the universe is in fact the cosmic dance of the Creator Himself.

Like dance, music represents a divine manifestation of the divine energy. Refined music is famous to calm down the mind of the listener, as well as the mind of the player. Its therapeutic effects are obvious.

In the case of astrology, things are a little different, because in astrology the starting point is that every being and object is submitted to the subtle influences coming from the planets and stars in the universe.

This conception is in fact a reflection of the Tantric principle which identifies the microcosm of the human being and the Macrocosm. That is, everything that is in the infinite universe of the creation may be easily found in a perfect ontological correspondence at the human level as well.

Owing to this identity, Tantra considers the human body, in its totality, a universe in miniature, while the universe of creation is the divine body of God, named Shiva in the Tantric tradition, the Creator of all things.

The planets are heavenly bodies situated at huge distances from Earth. These planets behave as magnets, the sun is, so to speak “the heart” of our planetary system, around which all other planets revolve.
Consequently, our solar system has its own direction and speed, distributing his magnetic influences in the cosmic ether.

The Earth, in its turn, as well as our bodies, has the same magnetic behavior, emanating their characteristic magnetic influences.

The harmony between the two kinds of magnetic waves (those coming from the Sun, planets from our planetary system or even more remote stars – as the Polar Star and those emanated by our own bodies) reflects in the chances and successes of a certain human being in different fields of activity.

On the contrary, if the interaction between the two magnetic influences is lacking harmony, the human being will be confronted with trouble, suffering, failure, and even death.

In the tantric system, all these aspects mentioned above – dance, music and astrology – play an important part as they provide the seeker the instruments for a better understanding of the phenomena that influence him/her, as well as the inner processes deriving from them.

The articles in this section will bring more details on each of these topics, in an attempt to enlarge the horizon of perception.

Love Transfer in Tantra

 

 

 

This theme has been treated with sentimentalism, lack of experience and superstition for a long time.

Now we have to bring in a new light, opening and lucidity onto it, to see this subject regarding love transfer in its ineffable bright nature.

We often encounter the expression “love exchange” regarding a love interaction between two human beings of opposite sex.
The majority of people live with the feeling that a love relation necessarily involves a kind of exchange between the two, a kind of barter based on the idea “you give me, so I give you” or in the other words “you love me, so I love you”.

In the case of a veritable love, there is in fact a non-exchange based on implicit ideas like “I love you not for what you offer me, but for what you are” (for the divine self hidden inside you).

The one who really loves expects nothing in exchange and doesn’t depend on his love with regard to the other’s behaviour or love.
Such a relation is favoured by a perfect integration of the two lovers in the sexual fusion.

The bigger is the liberation of love from conditions, the more intense and profoundly transforming are the experiences of the two lovers during the love fusion.

The love interaction implies a very subtle energetic and informational transfer between the two lovers. This transfer promotes in time the reaching of the Androgynous State.

This transfer takes place in all the planes of the human being – physical, psychic, mental and spiritual – and leads to an enrichment of the being, a completion with the other’s qualities and affinities. In this way the Plenitude State occurs.

When there is a veritable love feeling between the man and the woman involved in a sexual relation, only the beneficial aspects and qualities are transferred. But if during the fusion there is only physical attraction and there is no love between the two, not only the qualities but also the less beneficial aspects, defects and imperfections are exchanged.

The harmony of a tantric couple can be compared with the harmony of a rhythmic dance. This harmony finds its best reflection during the love fusion. Love becomes the joy of spiritual transforming. The couple experiences that eternal and immutable moment when they discover together the Divine Reality.

From the emotional point of view, love is a resonance that can appear between two human beings of opposite sex. This resonance potentially exists here in an undefined form and emerges like a state of profound spiritual communion.

In itself, it has the possibilities to bloom and to offer the Infinity to the two lovers, but if this resonance is not directed to the higher, superior frequencies, to the pure spiritual dimensions, it will lose its brilliancy in time.

The love that was at first a potential way to the perfection will become an experimental residue of their tumultuous way of life.
This is the greatest drama of the majority of modern couples, because they have little or no idea on how they should develop their love or what real love means.

Reaching the highest point of the human condition, the ones who practice Tantra live the love of the most pure and subtle ideas. This way of living induces an ineffable and continuous joy – and we are not speaking about intellectual, dialectic counterfeits; we are speaking about an abstract, conceptual world of ideas.

By the nature of the ideal love, there is no fanaticism possible, the love fusion being lived as an impersonal meeting, a Living Word, a celestial message of a New Dimension.

In fact, the love transfer is now “out of any changing movement” of the forms and appearances. As it is previously mentioned, the problem of an “exchange” of “barter” type: “I give you because you give me” appears at the dualistic level of the mental.

This is the expression of a gross and very limited level of conscience. But from the spiritual point of view, only the transpersonal (spiritual) dimension of the human being permits the apparition of such a mutual sublime transfer. This mutual transfer becomes a source of evolutionary potential for the both lovers.

We are no longer speaking about a simple date or a usual relationship that is only a common and superficial form of “exchange “. Now there appears a superior trans-substantial transfer, that makes the two lovers become the living incarnation of the two universal complementary principles: the male and the female, the solar and the lunar, and in the tantric acceptation, Shiva and Shakti.

The Mystery of the Subtle Body, Part 3

 

 

 

“The person who practices the high Tantric learning becomes capable of perceiving all subtle vibrations, of directing them and make them ascend through the central channel, the Great Axe of the Subtle Body. When the four signs will appear (a strong light in front of the eyes, smoke, trembling, and cold, radiant light, like that of a lamp) then that person is free.”

Naro Chos Drug

 

After the simplest meditation on Subtle Centres, the practitioner has to perform techniques leading to the awakening of the fundamental energy, Kundalini (contraction of anal sphincters, mental repetition of the seed-sound “hum”, retaining of breath and erotic visualisations).

Further on, visualize the image of Brahma appearing from the lotus of the navel, resplendent and radiant, surrounded by Kundalini’s radiation. Visualize Brahma’s appearance spreading light all around and identify yourself with it.

Then, focus Kundalini in the area of the heart centre. Imagine her erotic energy penetrating this lotus and creating Vishnu (the Master of the seas, emotions, and blood flow in the body). Once more identify yourself with the appearance of Vishnu, the keeper.

Further more direct the Kundalini up to the crown lotus, reaching the pure domain of Shiva, the Transcendent. Hold your breath. If you practice this type of meditation while making love, you avoid ejaculation discharge. Try to become one with the blissful union between Kundalini Shakti and the male principle Shiva.

Some late Tantras give complex descriptions of the chakras by using sounds, colours, gods, seed-sounds, numbers of petals, psychological elements and qualities that from a synthesis of the connection between the inner and outer aspects of a human being.

The system of the Subtle Body and chakras are steps to the ultimate state of Freedom, it is best to follow them and take into account the basic structure.

Esoteric learning state that the true desire for spiritual evolution will necessarily meet with conscious action in order to develop the Subtle Body. Though the basic structure and energies exist in each and every one of us, they must be awakened, focused and directed in a conscious manner.

Body, mind, and emotions will be directed in a conscious flow of energy evoking the Subtle Body, which serves as a source of power, intelligence and overcoming the limits of the physical universe. This is one of the most important secrets of the Tantric tradition.

The famous secret treatise the Shiva Samhita introduces us to an impressive meditation technique on the awakening of Kundalini and of the Subtle Body.

Practice: “Focus your mind on the chakra of the sacral area and contract the anus while holding the breath. Meditate on the God of Love (Kama), who dwells in this chakra. Visualize Kundalini waking up as a shining, subtle flame, whose nature is the divine intelligence itself. Picture in your mind the sexual union between the God of Love and Kundalini in the form of a flame, which makes the sexual energy enter the central nadi (Sushumna), successively penetrating the Chakras on its way up. Also picture the subtle red and white channels, on the right and on the left sides of Sushumna, emitting a enchanting light pink in colour, which feeds and harmonizes the entire being.”

Tantric texts also refer to a chakra situated on top of the head. It is poetically described as the Lotus with a Thousand Petals, which Shiva Samhita describes as being “beyond the microcosm of the body”.

All great spiritual masters are perceived as having total control over the huge energy of this chakra. Different traditions have come up with various types of meditation techniques on this supreme chakra, yet all agree with the fact that, the practitioner who focuses on this chakra comes in contact with the source and the cause of Creation.

By awakening the natural inner powers, through different Tantric techniques, you realize in fact the harmony between the psychic and the cosmos. People practice certain Tantric meditation techniques for thousands of years.

Nowadays, more and more people become familiar to these and prove their extraordinary efficiency. Understanding the subtle body is an extremely important aspect for those who want to explore their psychic.

Particularly Tantric couples should explore the psychic more than the physical aspects during intercourse. Lovemaking offers numerous possibilities in discovering new things about another person. It is practically the only act that can give life.

Consequently, sexual love has profound mystical valences. If a couple can learn how to use sexual power in a creative manner, other than procrastinating, they will gradually discover, intuitively, the mysteries beyond this world.

The Subtle Body is the vehicle helping the practitioner to go freely through this life to the future one and to enjoy the delights of the spirit.

The Mystery of the Subtle Body, Part 2

 

 

 

“Contemplation is of three kinds: common, light and subtle. When contemplating a certain figure, such as a guru or a certain god, we deal with the common contemplation. When the Brahma, or the Principle of Nature is contemplated as a light we deal with the subtle contemplation. This last type of contemplation makes us eternal.”

Gheranda Samhita

 

Tantric texts offer detailed explanations of the psychic centers (centers of force) – chakras, meaning “wheels”, situated in the sacral area, the area of the genitalia, the navel, the heart, the neck, the forehead and respectively the crown.

FORCE CHAKRA PETALS
The sacral chakra 4
The chakra of the sexual area 6
Sun The chakra of the navel 10
The chakra of the heart 12
The chakra of the throat 16
Moon The chakra of the forehead 96
The chakra of the crown 1000

 

These Chakras do not exists in the physical body, they represent mere “plasma fields” of the subtle energy vibrating on specific frequencies, with different shapes, sounds and colours.

The esoteric and occult literature of the West provides many descriptions of these centres. Most of these descriptions rely on C.W. Leadbeater’s works, of the Theological Society. Other depictions derive from Sir John Woodroffe’s work (an English judge who lived in India for a while and translated some of the most important Tantric treatises).

Unfortunately, due to some errors, many contemporary works on this issue, (i.e. the subtle body and the existence of chakras) is wrong, often diverging in the main aspects from the concise and objective descriptions given in numerous Yogic and Tantric ancient works.

The most important aspect of the system of the Subtle body and Chakra is the Yin-Yang (solar – lunar) symbolism and the place of macrocosm energies. Thus the “Moon” is situated on top of the head and the “Sun” in the centre of the navel.

The ancient Tantric texts refer to the existence of four main chakras (situated in the area of the navel, heart, neck and head respectively). Each chakra is made up of a number of petals, symbolizing the natural colour of that chakra.

The centre of the navel is described as a lotus oriented upwards, having ten petals. The one of the heart area is depicted as a lotus oriented downwards and having twelve petals; the neck chakra has got sixteen petals, oriented upwards; the forehead chakra has got ninety-six petals. This is a very simple vision of the Subtle Body.

The centres situated below the navel are described in these works, as well. They are situated in the area of the genitalia and the sacrum, and traditionally are considered of a more physical nature than of a subtle one.

According to traditional sources, the subtle centre situated in the area of the sacrum has got four petals oriented upwards; the sexual chakra has got six petals oriented downwards. Tantric texts say that each of the four petals of the first centre can be divided to three and they are thus twelve petals.

The meditation on the Subtle Body made up of these psychic centres helps one to perceive the subtle flow of energy through the organism. For instance, Kundalini Yoga implies to direct the sexual energy from the lower chakras to the superior ones, in order to accomplish the complete union with Shiva situated in the Chakra of the head.

The simplest meditation on Subtle Centres is that of picturing an opened lotus flower in each of the centres situated in the area of the navel, heart and neck.

“The Subtle Body connects this universe to the subtle ones. No object or doctrine equals in importance the teaching of the Subtle Body – a door opened towards Ultimate Freedom.”

Kaula Tantra

 

Techniques to Control Male Sexual Energy, Part 2

 

 

 

Sexual continence involves a total aware control of the sexual function during lovemaking. This implies the total experience of the love fusion having the possibility of reaching many orgasms by the two lovers. This kind of love fusion doesn’t end with ejaculation for man or with an explosive discharge of the erotic, sexual fluids for woman.

This technique is also known as coitus rezervatus (refraining the ejaculation) or karezza.
Both lovers, changed between them the sexual energies, but they totally refrains themselves from the orgasm with discharging of sexual energy. The man admits to have the orgasm with ejaculation only when both lovers want to have a baby.

This kind of sexual fusion was named by Dr. Stockham “coitus rezervatus” or “sublimated coitus”.
Karezza recommend also taking total breaks during the moments of intense erotic pleasure. During these breaks the erectile penis should remain immobile in the woman’s vagina, while the lovers are enjoying the mutual transfer of the erotic energetic fluids.
Dr. Stockham stated that by this technique it is achieved the youth and life prolongation. Also the vitality increases.

For women, the control of sexual energy is often spontaneously and implies in very rarely cases a minimum training.
For men, the sexual energy control and the stopping of the ejaculation for long periods (weeks, months, years) implies a gradually and perseverant training.

Attention!
The stopping of the sexual energy discharge, by the retaining within the body of the sexual fluids of both lovers doesn’t lead to the impossibility of procreation. The man can have the orgasm with ejaculation when they want to have a baby. The researches proved even that in the case of the couple that have practiced the continence the babies are more health and vigorous.

What is happened with the spermatic liquid of the man that practices the sexual continence?

Usually, this is the most frequent question raised by a man when hears about the sexual continence for the first time.
Far being harmful, a long time seminal retention leads to the biological transmutation of the sperm and make possible the sublimation of the huge resulted energy in the superior levels of the human being. This is happened moreover if the retention is accompanied by adequate techniques of raising energy in the superior levels of the human being such as yoga exercises, intense intellectual efforts etc.
Therefore, by transmutation, the sperm is transformed in energy and it is not stock leading to the somatic disturbers.

The beneficial effects that accompany the practicing of the sexual continence are felt different according to the power centre (chakra) that was awaken and harmonized through sublimation of the sexual energy.

SEXUAL ENERGY CONTROL TECHNIQUES FOR MEN

  • ASWINI MUDRA
  • INTERMITTENT URINATE
  • SLOW PENETRATION

Usually the men tend useless to cling to the feeble pleasure that they feel during the orgasm with ejaculation. Even if they understood intellectually the necessity of the sexual continence, they prefer to follow this instinctual way. This fact is caused by the laziness, commodity, or simply by the less of their spiritual mobilization that can draw them out of this morass of animalic sexuality.

To justify in any way his inferior tendency he will try to find various external pretexts. In fact, the reason is only the animal tendency that comes from the subconscious mental. For this reason, it is necessary, for those that are still confronting with such inferior tendencies, a hard training, and an adequate inner discipline.

In this sense, the yoga practice could offer the necessary and sufficient conditions to successfully practice the sexual continence.

ASWINI MUDRA
One of the most efficient methods to avoid the discharging of the sexual potential is to practice ASWINI MUDRA for long time periods. ASWINI MUDRA means the strong contraction of the anus muscles and maintaining this contraction as long as possible.
This technique, which is extremely simple can be easily done in the “dead” times during a day (during bus or car traveling, etc).
Though it seems to be something extremely simple, yet ASWINI MUDRA has amazing effects in obtaining a very good control of the sexual energy if this technique is sufficiently practiced.

INTERMITTENT URINATE
This process implies the successively contraction and the relaxation of the urinary sphincters during the micturate.
The process permits to get the skill of control the sexual mechanisms and to have the consciousness of some process occurred during the discharging. It permits also to anticipate and to avoid the climax, to experiment the orgasm without wasting the sexual energy.

Do not confuse the states of unsatisfying or impotence, when the man doesn’t feel erotic pleasure, with orgasm without sexual energy discharge, which it is strongly euphoric and regenerating.

SLOW PENETRATION
To obtain a perfect sexual continence you have to start the intercourse having a transfiguration vision of the erotic attraction between a man and a woman and keep this transfiguration during lovemaking. Both lovers have to understand that the sexual attraction has its roots in the primordial attraction between the masculine principle and the feminine one; these two principles govern the entire creation. That is why the lovemaking with sexual continence is a spiritual path through which the lovers can immerse themselves into the primordial love that springs from the fusion between masculine and feminine principle. Thus the lovemaking with sexual continence is a way of rediscovering the UNITY.

Practical advices:
Do not rush and take sufficient time and a lot of patience and love.
For the beginning you have to learn to penetrate your lover very slowly and to be aware of the pleasure states that occurs.

If you feel that the excitation increases very much, you have to slowly withdraw the penis so only 1-2 cm of it remain in the vagina. Stay motionlessly in this position. (In the case that you feel the ejaculation impends, quickly withdraw the penis, with a suddenly move).

Inspire deeply, hold your breath; contract the pelvic muscles (the anal sphincter muscles and PC muscles).
Simultaneously focus your mind over the sperm retention. Imagine your sperm retention. Imagine that an inner alchemy force transforms your sperm in energy. This will help you to avoid ejaculation.

Then focus your mind in order to sublimate the enormous energy that is contained in the sperm. Sublimate it in psychic, mental and spiritual energies by letting the energy of love to suffuse you.

After this short break, that can last 10-50 sec or more depending on your necessity, you can gradually and cautiously resume the penetration movements. If you feel that the excitation is still very intense, you can do many times the above-mentioned method.

The method is also valid for your lover having an increased efficacy if both of you practice it simultaneously (even in the case that one of them hasn’t reached the preorgastic level).

Attention!

  • At the beginning you have to prove a huge will and tenacity.
  • At the beginning it is better to practice the above-mentioned technique sooner the preorgastic level than latter, when there are less possibilities to successfully stop the ejaculation process.

General Introduction to Tantra Yoga

 

 

 

The Sanskrit word TANTRA literally means “warp (on a loom)”, or “extension”. It proceeds
from the verbal roots TAN – “to stretch, expound”, and TRA – “to save”, which give further hints
upon the other meanings of the word TANTRA.
This name is applied both for a certain category of texts of the Oriental spirituality, and for
the doctrine, and teachings which they contain. However, the Tantric texts, the TANTRA-s – and
there are several hundreds of them: proper TANTRA-s, SHIVA AGAMA-s, VISHNU SAMHITA-s,
SHAKTA NIGAMA-s, etc. – are written in a kind of “code language”, so that without an oral
explanation from a competent GURU, a lot of passages are bound to remain unclear. Moreover,
there are still many untranslated, and secret Tantric texts under the dust of forgotten, or
private libraries. All these, plus the extremely varied, and complicated nature of Tantrism
renders the manipulation of a single definition almost impossible. That is why, it has been found
useful to sketch some of the main features of the Tantric system in a detailed manner.

CHARACTERISTICS OF TANTRISM

1. TANTRA YOGA offers an alternative, and practical individual road to salvation, called a
SADHANA, beside the Vedic one which is often deemed to be antiquated. It is important to remark
here that the true Tantric SADHANA is accessible to people of any caste, social status, age,
women as well as men, householders as well as ascetics.

2. The TANTRA-s are presented as the most fit form of teaching for the men of KALI YUGA,
that is for the people of the “dark age”, in which we live today. KALI YUGA is often connected
with the “iron age” of the Greek mythology, and with the “age of the wolf”, of the Northern Edda,
deemed to have exactly the same meaning. Therefore, nowadays, when the spirituality is declining
while man is desperately trying to reintegrate himself in a spiritual reality, it is stated that
TANTRA is the last, and best way of salvation.

3. TANTRA has a rigorous metaphysical basis, of a very non-dualist nature. However,
according to its opinion an intellectual knowledge is not enough, but there is need of direct,
personal experience, which becomes possible only through the agency of SHAKTI, the power, the
intense energy. The concept of SHAKTI, the feminine energy is the specific colour of the entire
Tantric system.

4. TANTRA recognizes, and expounds mundane aims besides spiritual emancipation, as a lawful
goal for a practiser. Its aim is to transform the adept in a kind of super-man, who not only has
liberated himself of the Universe, reaching Enlightment, but also – alike the Supreme Lord
Himself – is able to rule over it, and control its secret forces. This involves that Tantric
methods are applicable for various sorts of practical accomplishments, including astrology,
medicine, parapsychology, alchemy, and magic. Many written sources are pre-occupied with the
description of supernatural abilities (SIDDHI-s), and the ways to attain them. There remains
however, always a connecting thread between the magical, and the spiritual.

5. The eminent place given to the energy entails a brilliant revalorisation of the body.
This is not meant with the sense of object of idolatry, like in the contemporary world, but as
necessary instrument, unavoidable premises of the spiritual realization. This is due to the
perpetually reminded analogy between the macrocosm, and the microcosm, which is the human body:
“What is here is everywhere, what is not here is nowhere”. A consequence of this fact is the
appearance of the HATHA YOGA system in the Tantric schools; system which has as goal neither
the “health”, nor the “well-being”, as it is commonly believed.

6. TANTRA teaches the practice of a special variety of YOGA, destined to transform the
animal instincts and functions, by creating an upward movement in the body, along the energy-
channels, NADI-s, and through the centre-s of force, CHAKRA-s. The process is most commonly
expressed as “raising the KUNDALINI“. Connected with this YOGA is the elaboration of a subtle
physiology, in which the microcosm of the body is homologized with the macrocosm, and the world
of the gods.

7. TANTRA emphasizes the metaphysical, and operative importance of the feminine principle.
The Woman, the Goddess, SHAKTI represents for the TANTRIKA-s the universal Power, the energy of
bondage and Liberation, who veils and reveals, blinds and illuminates; the world is her toy, and
her mirror. Therefore we encounter here a genuine revalorisation of the woman, and perhaps the
only spiritual path that acknowledges a total equality between the two sexes, at all levels.
The importance of the female manifestations extends on all the levels of the experience, from
daily life, till metaphysics.

8. Important are also the speculations upon the mystic nature of speech, and its constituents; the existence is assumed of a phonic creation, parallel to the material phenomena. These revelations are connected with the sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet.

9. This has been developed concretely in the very frequent use of generally short, unintelligible formulas, called MANTRA-s and BIJA-s, correlated with various supernormal powers, and levels of consciousness by means of definite Yogic procedures, and which make the object of cosmic symbolism. Actually, the MANTRA-s are the most efficient instruments, according to TANTRA, and therefore the overwhelming majority of the Tantric texts deals to some extent upon this topic, and its secrets.

10. The general use of other concrete devices, like geometrical designs (YANTRA-s), symbolical representations (MANDALA-s), gestures (MUDRA-s), for the practical accomplishment or expression of metaphysical principles. The supernatural worlds are approached by specific methods of meditation (DHYANA), visualization, worship, etc.

11. The Tantric teachings are structured on several levels, depending on those to whom they address; the traditional texts assert the existence of three different human types: the “divine” one (DIVYA), that practically doesn’t exist any more in our age, the “heroic” one (VIRA), which is the best for the Tantric initiation, though rare, and PASHU, “the herd of the Gods”, the “animal”, that swarms in our dark age. Only the VIRA-s, say the tantric texts, the heros liberated of fear, hate, and absurd shame are qualified for receiving the full of the Tantric revelations, while the others receive an adequate SADHANA, which will first gradually bring them to the heroical condition.

12. Addressing to heroic beings, TANTRA is not so very concerned with theology, or common moral. It is not a trite anarchism that we are talking about, but the need for transcending some of the appearances of the illusory world, for reaching the strongest awakening. Very often the Tantric texts themselves over-emphasize this side, for banishing the narrow-minded aspirants, by the use of a symbolical language: “to pet the breasts of your sister” means to arouse the SHAKTI in ANAHATA CHAKRA, “to put the LINGAM (penis) in the maternal cavity” means to pierce the root-CHAKRA, and so on.

13. Most of the Tantric lines are SHIVA-ite, because of the exceptional aspects of SHIVA: Benefactor, and Terrible, Healer and Destroyer of the evil, Supreme Androgyne.

14. TANTRA emphasizes the absolute necessity of initiation by a qualified spiritual guide, or teacher (GURU), and on constantly following his (or her) directions for spiritual practice. That is why, the Tantric texts use a special set of terminology, inaccessible for the outsiders, and whose “key” is handed over orally by the GURU.

15. In TANTRA there often appears an ambivalence of the divine and human existence, as complementary aspects of the same awesome, grandiose reality.

16. There is also a far-fetched categorization of the reality, especially in the symbolism of the numbers, and speech, which leads to the mysterious science of the breath, and TATTVA-s, and to connections with the ancient alchemical processes of the SIDDHA-s, and the body culture of the HATHA YOGIN-s.

Aspects of Shiva

Bhairava or Paramashiva are names given to the Supreme Absolute, the “One without the Second” in the Shivaic tradition. Nevertheless, this Pure Transcendent Consciousness can be perceived and conceived by the common human mind only by means of a personalized form, capable to be addressed to by the human understanding. This aspect of the Divine Supreme Force bears names such as Maheshvara, Shankara, Bhagavan, Isha, Shambhu, etc., the transcendent and at the same time the immanent Deity whom all believers, regardless of religion, form or appellative worship and adore. As Swami Vivekananda put it, this somewhat personalized form of the Divine “is the supreme form the human spirit may grant/confer to the Absolute.”
The Tantric finds in Shiva the Deity of love, living and vibrant reality, full of spontaneous energy, a divine force whose presence he perceives directly, but whom he considers as a person: “you are the great being (mahapurusha), the unique, refuge of all beings”. The great mystic poet Utpaladeva addresses to Shiva: “you are the Splendid Being (adhipurusha), permanently awake in a sleeping world.” In fact, Shiva does not have any observer but himself. He cannot be an object of human perception for He is the Supreme Subject himself, that which is attained by the beings who reach the top, the knower of the knower, the only Subject who is truly and totally conscious.
For the Tantric metaphysics, the Absolute Reality encloses /comprises within Itself all dualities and polarities reunited, reintegrated in a state of absolute Unity. Creation and all development it implies represent the destruction of primordial Unity and the separation of the two principles (Shiva-Shakti, etc.); the suffering, the illusion, the slavery we experiment as human beings consist precisely in this acute state of duality (subject-object, etc.). The purpose of Tantric sadhana is to reunite the two principles inside the disciple’s own heart and body.
Leaving aside the metaphysical and intellectual problems rose by the simultaneous transcendence and immanence of the Divine, we will now mention the different aspects of Shiva, as transmitted by the tradition of purana-s and agama-s. These aspects of Shiva are essential guidelines in the understanding and practice of Tantra.

MAYAVIN, the Supreme Magician, or the Master of the Cosmic Illusion, MAYA
Shiva is a perfect magician, who creates the phenomenal world by means of his Cosmic spell. He is the perfect painter as he puts on the wall of his own consciousness, without instruments and materials, the fresco of the universe. Through his hand gesture (mudra), he impresses upon the whole world the differentiation between masculine and feminine. As an actor, he plays alone in the theatre play of the three worlds, identifying Him

Pashupati, the good Shepherd or The keeper of the herd
Shiva is also the deity of compassion and infinite grace. As Pashupati, he is adored as the shepherd of the souls subdued by ignorance, which he protects and constantly impels towards reaching the supreme freedom.

Umapati, Uma’s lover
This aspect of Shiva portrays the Deity of Love, the beloved husband of the essential creative divine energy/ cosmic mother, named Shakti, Uma or Parvati, whom he eternally embraces. To this universal love between the two cosmic principles corresponds on a human level, the happiness and ecstatic beatitude of two hearts that share ardent feelings of love.

Virupaksha, Shiva transcendent
As Virupaksha or Trilocana, Shiva is endowed with a third eye, terrible and mysterious, destroyer of duality and death, but at the same time the eye of infinite compassion which radiates permanently divine happiness and love.

Dhurajati, the hermit and Shivaratri, the mysterious night of Shiva
For yogis, Shiva appears sometimes as the archetypal hermit, symbol of detachment and transcendence, the Supreme initiator in Yoga and Siddhi.
Shiva, in his aspect of Dhurajati reduced to ashes the God of sensuous love owing to the perfect sublimation of sexual energies on the level of Ajna chakra (the third eye), while practicing yogic techniques beside the Parvati’s pyre, symbol of the transcendence of all that is evanescent and transitory.
But from that moment on, he is the terrible Bhairava, dreading for the egoistic and ignorant. He is depicted completely naked, (owing to the fact that he is beyond all forms, determinations and attributes).
Nataraja, the Master of Cosmic Dance

Finally, Shiva is the Cosmic Dancer, who creates and destroys the universe through his impetuous, terrible or impassioned movements or which he sustains by means of his own harmonious rhythms.

The fully liberated being takes part as well to this sublime ballet, dancing spontaneously and freely along with all universal phenomenal manifestations and energies because now he is perfectly integrated in the secret rhythms and cycles of Nature. He is dancing now with the whole of creation, with Life itself, in its multiple aspects, which he recognizes now as expressions of the divine energy, Shakti.

For millenniums, Shiva Maheshvara was worshiped on the whole Hindu territory as the Dancer, the Supreme Master of the Creation’s rhythms and vibrations. Through his dance, by means of his hand gestures (mudra) and the symbolic objects he holds, he expresses the most disparate and apparently incompatible aspects of Life.

As the cosmic Dancer, he dances holding a tambourine and wearing bells at his ankles. As a hero (Vira) he victoriously waves a trident above his head. As a hermit, he is anointed with the ashes of the universe, wears his hair in a loop, and has snakes as ornaments. As a destroyer of human ignorance and misery, he is armed with bow, arrows, sword and bludgeon. As a shepherd of his herd, he holds a noose, a stake to prompt his herd and a hook. As the supreme Sovereign of the universe, shining in glory, he weook. As the supreme Sovereign of the universe, shining in glory, he wears the signs of this sovereignty: the white umbrella of the full moon, the Milky way fan, the celestial Ganges springing from his hair, which gives birth to the universe and keeps it alive. As Supreme Yogi, he wears the blinding brightness of his cosmic body, having a crescent moon in his hair, while the third eye is open on his forehead.

Thus, Shiva, the masculine universal principle, may assume different forms and faculties in order to fulfill the aspirant’s most ardent and profound desires. Nonetheless, in the Tantric view, Shiva does not remain distant, somewhere in the clouds, looking down to his devotees. He is to be found in he very heart of every human being, in every act of compassion, learning, right guidance, and ardent aspiration towards spiritual perfection. And moreover, he is not limited to all these. Join us again in order to find out the ways to recognize and love Shiva at a human level.


 

The Mystery of the Subtle Body, Part 1

 

 

 

Esoteric texts state that both men and women are surrounded by an “aura” of subtle energy (also known as the Subtle Body), visible to the sensitive eye, just like any being has got a physical body.

The different subtle energies existent in the body generate a kind of subtle energetic field around the physical body, named aura, perceived only by people with paranormal capacities.

The aura changes colour and shape according to the emotions and thoughts a man experiences; the colour and shape of an aura may vary according to the physical structure of that person.

The aura is said to have the property to contract or dilate. For instance, a happy person has got a “vibrant aura”, shining and radiant; the aura of a sad, angry person is contracted, constricted and tensed, according to his negative emotions.

The scientific research of the past few years have come to accept the traditionalist vision on aura. Thus, the photos obtained through the method of the Kirlians clearly show the changes that take place in the structure and colour of an aura.

The existence of an “aural field” or “psi” energy around the human body is the foundation of a lot of theories, which attempt explain telepathy and other extrasenzorial phenomena.

Andrija Puharich, in his book “Beyond telepathy”, has proved biologically and physically the existence of the “psi” field of energy. The demonstration is, in fact, a synthesis of the Yogi and Shamanist learning and it relies on the most accurate observations of subtle fields of energy.

In the Yogic treatise the “Shiva Samhita” we find a clear explanation of the nature of the Subtle Body:

“In this body, the Great Central Axe (which is Meru Mountain, i.e. the spine) is surrounded by seven islands (the vital force, blood, flesh, fat, bones, marrow and sperm/eggs). There are “rivers” and “seas” over there, as well as prophets, wise men, gods, goddesses, intelligent beings, all the stars and planets, the sacred places of pilgrimage, altars and guardian deities.

 

There are also the Sun and the Moon, the factors of creation and destruction, the five Great Elements: space, air, fire, water and earth. In the Great Central Axe there are all creatures, of all universes.

In this body, called Brahmanda (Brahma‘s “egg” or “aura”) we find an entire macrocosm and the “Moon” from which springs the divine nectar. It lies at the upper top of the spine facing down, allowing the nectar to spring night and day.

The ambrosia of the “Moon” has two “branches”, from a subtle point of view: the first nourishes the body and keeps it alive, descending through the left side of the spine, resembling the River Ganges.

The other, shining as the purest milk, comes in through the right channel of the spine maintaining and refreshing the “Moon” placed on top of the Great Axe.

The “Sun” is situated in the inferior region of the spine. From this inner “Sun”, placed in the area of the navel, springs a subtle channel, which leads the solar (Yang) energy up, through the force itself of these rays, in the right side of the body.

This channel on the right side is another form of the “Sun” and it goes through the entire body, uplifting the vital emanations and leading the soul to the Ultimate state of Freedom.

The human body is made up of about a few hundred thousands of subtle channels, but of these, only 14 are of great importance. And of these 14, 3 are of utmost importance. They are: Ida (on the left side), Pingala (on the right side) and Sushumna (on the centre).

Sushumna is the most important subtle channel. Ida is on the left side of the body and it “wraps” around Sushumna, in a spiral like movement, until it goes in through the right nostril.

Pingala is on the right side of the body and it “wraps” around Sushumna until it goes in through the left nostril. The one who gets to know the microcosm of the body mysteries will undoubtedly experience the highest state of conscience.”

All ancient Tantric works deal with the solar – lunar symbolism, with the “sun” situated in the area of the navel and the “moon” situated on the crown of the head. They all mention that there are 3 main subtle channels (Ida, Pingala and Sushumna).

For instance, in Gheranda Samhita we find that, “The Sun is situated in the navel and the Moon at the root of the palatal arch.”

The subtle Body connects people to cosmic elements, a bridge between this world and the one beyond.

The Superior and Inferior Access Gates of the Body, Part 1

 

 

 

The “superior and inferior” gates of the body have already been mentioned in the article “The Temple of the Body”.

Briefly, the superior gates are all the orifices placed in the area of the head: mouth, nose, eyes, ears, and opening on top of the head. The inferior gates are the anus and the genitals.

All these are ways through which the force of life is channelled either to come out or to get inside the body. From this point of view the superior gates are more efficient because they lead to high spiritual states.

Tantra says that the inferior gates lead the conscience to inferior forms of existence, even sub – human ones.

The force of life is divided into two main energetic fields: one ascendant, called prana and one descendent, called apana. Usually prana appears in the region of the heart and acts as an intelligent ‘string’ of energy, whose role is to maintain life.

Apana appears generally in the inferior region between the stomach and the anus. There are other three types of energy, which are placed in the area of the navel, neck and around the entire body; these types of energy are named samana, udana and vyana.

Thus, there are five energetic strings of energy:
Prana – ascendant motion, around the heart;
Apana – descendent motion, around the anus;
Samana – around the bellybutton;
Udana – around the neck;
Vyana – through the entire body;

Each of these five currents of energy has got a well-determined function in the body, having its role to the general state of health.

Goraksha Shatakam presents the following allegorical description of Jiva‘s motion through the body:

“Just like a ball, that comes back into the air when it’s smashed against the ground, jiva (the individual soul) does the same thing when led up and down by prana and apana.”

When you get the control over the motion of the individual soul (jiva) and can focus it on one single place, only then you will be able to conduct your life exactly the way you want to. Tantra says that a person can set his/her own destiny and not accept it as a fatality.

The Tantras (secret Tantric texts) say that these energetic strings, both ascendant and descendent, can be controlled and unified through different physical techniques or through the force of the mind, practicing certain Hatha Yoga positions, such as the reversed poses (standing on the head, for instance).

Gheranda Samhita presents a description of the way the reversed positions help controlling the flow of energy, in its different forms:

“Normally the Solar force resides at the level of the navel, while the lunar force resides at the top of the head. The Sun consumes the divine nectar springing from the moon, and this is the cause of death.

However, one may overcome death by practicing the following technique: place your head on the ground and support it with your hands; raise your legs in the air, and remain like this.

The flow of energy reverses, and thus you will be able to control the energies of life and to prevent premature aging and death.”

The contraction of the anal sphincters and the abdominal contractions help the transmutation of the descendent flow of energy. You can get the same result by focusing and visualizing the process of reorientation of the energy. When apana unites with prana the spirit centres on the heart.

During intercourse, the subtle energies vibrate strongly, they elevate and expand. In the moment of ejaculation, an electric charge, like a thrill or a vibration that almost stops you from breathing is perceived acutely.

The heart beats faster, the face blushes, energy flows in waves through the orifices of the body and the mystical moment, the one of “the spirits getting together”, is wasted.

The ecstatic, vibrating sentiment gets lost and the body becomes cold and empty. Thoughts start to pop up in the mind. A general contraction goes through the body, involuntarily.

“The apparent death” is one of the most frequent themes in both Eastern and Western erotic texts. Though this experience is very attractive because of the fact that it leads to forgiveness, yet Tantra shows us that the “apparent death” or “the small death” is a negative form of mysticism, connected to the losing of the communion with the universal source.

Traditional texts show us that before erotic experience ends the body’s orifices will block the energies between the two lovers, because the couple often wastes its own ecstatic potential energy due to the fact that the union of their consciences is too short in the case of intercourse without sexual continence.

The Superior and Inferior Access Gates of the Body, Part 2

“The superior gates of the body, as well as the inferior ones will be kept close so that the energies of life will not leave the body. By concentrating the inferior ecstatic forces you will obtain wonderful visions on the sky of your mind. This is a great mystery that shortens your journey to the Final Freedom.”

Yogini Tantra

The secret of the inferior gates lies in the contraction of the anal sphincters or in placing a finger or a part of the foot on the orifice so that to cover it (usually the heel).

The secret of the superior gates refers to the closing (physically or mentally) of the orifices in the area of the head: mouth, nose, ears, eyes and fontanel.

If the mouths of the two lovers are pressed one against the other, they block one the other. If the lovers look into each other’s eyes, then the energies will circulate between them, without being dissipated.

The nose is blocked by holding the breath or by an intimate contact with the nose of the other. The ears may be covered with certain parts of the body. Finally, placing a hand over the top of the head will close the fontanel.

Yogi texts refer to a “mystical block”, known as Yoni Mudra, described in GHERANDA SAMHITA as follows:

“Block your ears with your thumbs, your eyes with your forefingers, your nostrils with your middle-fingers, the upper lip with your ring-fingers and the lower lip with your little fingers. Inhale the prana and unite it with the apana. Contemplate the Subtle Body as well as the Chakras.”

Though Yoni Mudra is not essential to those who form a couple, it can be adjusted to a sexual contact. What you have to keep in mind is that, while the ecstasy approaches, there will be the tendency to lose the energy. You can stop this by blocking your orifices.

The best way to do that is to block the top of your lover’s head with your hand while you strongly think it is a mystical initiation. Thus, the ecstatic moment can be prolonged and the mystical conscience will develop.

When the couple starts confronting with the indescribable pleasure of their sexual ecstasy, the mind will start “having” different visions and the heart will “feel” them.

The two lovers will confront with the mystical conscience of the goal of their lives and they will perceive wonderful visions through the third eye. It will help them realize that their spirits are unique.

A common mystical vision, associated with sexual ecstasy, represents the Jewellery Island, an archetypal manifestation of the souls in harmony with each other.

Such a vision can be developed and maintained by bringing the elements together. GHERANDA SAMHITA offers a wonderful technique of visualization in order to create the Island of Jewellery:

“Close your eyes and imagine that there, in the zone of your hearts, there is an endless ocean of nectar. In the middle of this ocean there is an island of gems, the sand is made of diamonds, the rocks are emeralds and rubies and the mountains are sapphires.

Imagine that there are trees all around that island. They are full of wonderful, nice smelling flowers. The Yogi will sit in the middle of this island and he will picture the presence of the Great Tree of Desire, with its four branches (symbolizing the four sacred Vedas and revealing antique pictures), filled with fruit and multicolour flowers.

The bees are flying around this magnificent tree picking up the pollen. There are birds and animals all around. Imagine that there is a divine beauty under this tree. There are coloured lights, thousands of rays in ferric games, projecting on the sky, in the mind and in the heart.

Then picture the god that you chose to adore (or your lover) in that pretentious place and contemplate the entire picture to its smallest details.”

If the lovers are aware of the superior forces of their bodies during intercourse, then they will be able to stop their energies from flowing outside through these gates.

“Death is overcome by those who make their energy flow inside their bodies. The natural flow of energy can be reversed through body positions, different “seals”, reverse “orientation”, controlling the breath and meditation.”

Kaula Tantra