Tanyatē vistāryatē iti tantram – That through which it is known and through which it is spread, is known as Tantra. Tantra is a broad word whose meaning cannot be understood easily.
Even though super conscious knowledge is beyond human comprehension, it is well within our reach. To attain it, a practice is necessary and that practice is called Tantra. The Hindu path of Knowledge (Jnana Marga) or the Vipassana meditation taught by Lord Buddha are nothing but different methods of Tantra.
Tantra is useful in understanding the laws of Nature and putting them into practice to experience the grace of Nature. The knowledge of Tantra is very powerful and it can be used either for good or for bad purposes. It can be used to attain Self-realization or God realization or to attain occult powers. In Tantra, we generate karma and face its consequences based on the path we follow.
Tantra is bestowed upon the world by Lord Siva who is the first Guru. He taught its hidden knowledge to his consort Sakti. Why are the Tantras kept hidden? Many believe that Brahmins destroyed the holy scriptures by hiding them from the public gaze.
It is quite natural to think so because we don’t remember our ancient history and believe in whatever the pseudo historians have taught us. Brahmins did not conceal anything. They imparted their knowledge to those who are worthy of. Many individuals like Jabali who never knew their lineage learned Vedas by being the disciples of sages. This knowledge is never refused to those who are of good conduct. If one can comprehend that students from other countries studied and taught at Nalanda University, one can realize how irrelevant the accusation that the Brahmins concealed everything is. Our invaluable literature was destroyed by Muslim invasions and their heinous behavior. It is lost to the modern world not because Brahmins concealed it. The Vedas survived in India to this day because of the Brahmins as they safe guarded this knowledge by passing it onto the successive generations.
Spiritual knowledge cannot be and should not be used as a trade. Moreover, mere knowledge confers nothing on the knower. There is a law of Nature according to which the worthy will get everything unasked for. We know theoretically as to how an atom bomb can be made. But one needs to procure materials like uranium, plutonium etc., in a purified form, have the machinery needed, know the process of making the bomb, and should be able to fix it if something goes wrong in the process.
Similarly, it is not enough to have mere academic knowledge of Tantra. The method of using herbs, fragrances, objects and tools in proper proportions is required. One has to do Sadhana under the guidance of a competent Guru and know how to overcome the obstacles in his Sadhana. Above all, a sadhaka is supposed to have the necessary qualifications for walking on the spiritual path. He has to forego many things in his life voluntarily. Only then perfection is achieved in Tantra.
One may think - why all this ruckus? What is the need of Mantra and Tantra? Why can’t we live our life happily? You can live your life as you like without learning anything like Mantra and Tantra. Millions are living like that. These ideas are the results of our misconceptions. We know how one studies hard to succeed in the Civil Services examination or to get admitted into the Indian Institute of Technology. Why should we go abroad and live there as second rated citizens? Isn’t it all only for the sake of money and food? Why can’t one live happily in a village without any hustle and bustle? Why wander in different countries for food? Why study so hard? Why so much suffering? Why so much stress? Why so much hardship for one morsel of food we eat? – How does one feel if we say all this? The case of Sadhana is similar.
Man always tries to achieve a goal. Some wish to obtain material benefits and some wish for spiritual benefits. Tantra can give both. Taking the laws of Nature into our hands and getting a task done with its help, is a part of Tantra.
With the practice of Tantra, there is nothing impossible in the world. With the practice of Tantra Sadhana and grace of God, a sadhaka can obtain anything he wishes from Nature. If he wishes, he can even attain a state beyond all desires. Steadfastness in Sadhana is the essential thing.
Even though he struggles hard, man cannot achieve anything without the grace of God. The IQs of one who passes an examination and one who fails in it are not very different from one another. But the life of the former will take drastic turn for the better whereas the latter will lead a very normal life. What is the difference? It is the grace of Sakti. Man can achieve anything if he has the grace of Sakti.
Adi Sankara in his ‘Soundarya Lahari’ says that ‘Without the grace of Sakti, Lord Siva Himself cannot move’. It is only with the support of Sakti, Lord Siva is able to create and maintain the universe. A sadhaka who has the grace of Sakti has the power to change the universal laws. Tantra Sadhana aims to attain the grace of Sakti.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Akhila J, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 6, 2009. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.