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Thread: Tantra, Please explain?

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    Tantra, Please explain?

    Namaste all,
    the more and more I seem to interact with westerns who are into spirituality, it seems a large percentage of them who have had exposure with buddhism/hinduism are into Tantra. A lot of the things they tell me go completely left field from what I've been taught and experienced. Can someone please explain the tantric tradition to me? I read the Wiki page and a few sites and also read this forum, but I'm still confused. Also I remember some of them go to a ''hindu'' workshop where people sexually harness each other (no penetration) in order to transmute sexual energy or something. Is this truly part of Hinduism or a perpetuation by the west? Thanks all.

    Some also say there is a divide between what Tantra is and what it is perpetuated as? I would love a overall clarification.

    Aum Namah Shivaya
    Last edited by IcyCosmic; 01 June 2014 at 05:29 PM.

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyCosmic View Post
    Namaste all,
    the more and more I seem to interact with westerns who are into spirituality, it seems a large percentage of them who have had exposure with buddhism/hinduism are into Tantra. A lot of the things they tell me go completely left friend from what I've been taught and experienced. Can someone please explain the tantric tradition to me? I read the Wiki page and a few sites and also read this forum, but I'm still confused. Also I remember some of them go to a ''hindu'' workshop where people sexually harness each other (no penetration) in order to transmute sexual energy or something. Is this truly part of Hinduism or a perpetuation by the west? Thanks all.

    Some also say there is a divide between what Tantra is and what it is perpetuated as? I would love a overall clarification.

    Aum Namah Shivaya
    Namaste,

    Even I am not very well conversant with Tantra. I will share little that I know.

    Tantra-s are of three types external, mixed and internal. Actually all the Agama-s are called as tantra-s, specially Saiva Agama-s.

    Some say, even panchrAtra has tAntrik elements. Brahma samhitA discovered or written by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is also said to have tAntrik elements.

    Again tantra-s are vAmacAra (left hand path) and daxiNAcAra.

    tantra-s are step by step procedure to please lord. The procedure is generally not disclosed to all. By practising them, one acquires supernatural powers (major and minor siddhi-s).

    Even in vaiShNava-s have tAntrika path. Aga-as are more connected with temple worship, their procedures and other related matter. It is said that Sri Abhivanagupta converted a vaishnava agama into Saiva Agama. I dont remember the name of this text.

    Initially there are external procedures, later there are mixed external and internal procedure, dealing with kundalini and nADI-s and chakras. Lastly, everything is shifted to internal practice.

    e.g. of 3rd kind is projecting a devatA from AGYA chakra (3rd eye) or from anAhat (heart) chakra, then worshipping this devatA mentally with different items like offering flowers, etc. Everything is done mentally. After worship is finished, entire projection is pulled back. There are advanced practices for opening and cleaning nADI-s, raising kundalini and acquiring powers.

    What is present externally is also present internally. An example can be found is Sri Abhinavagupta's gItA samgrah (Gita commentary). Here in some verses the great and unique tAntrika has given tAnrika explanation.

    e.g. is kurukshetra is mind. kaurava-s and pANDava-s are negative and positive qualities.

    Another interesting explanation given is:

    There are devatA-s of 5 senses. They enjoy or are feeded by us through our enjoyment of senses. If one follows harsh way of not attending to sense pleasures, then this devatA-s do not get happy and so they obstruct our path. But if they are attended, then they allow us to progress spiritually and ultimately rise above sense pleasure. So there is both yOga and bhOga. This is a easy way to progress for all.

    When one offers any prasAda to any idol of God or any devatA mentally, then that devatA accepts and enjoys this bhOga (prasAd) through the tongue of devotee.

    Now, coming to seusuality. There is a mUdrA called as vajrolI mUdrA. It is mentioned in Siva samhitA. Here it is said that protection is semen is most important. When you mate with partner, then must suck back through phellus, his semen and seminal fluid of female partner. Now both types of seminal fluid is inside male. This is total conservation of seminal fluid in male. In this way if one practices and achieves mastery (which is quite difficult), then one can progress and get siddhi-s even while enjoying with 100 women.

    It is said that same applies to women (Bhairavi).

    Finally one achieves total control over his senses and progresses spiritually.

    This path is not accepted by all Saiva-s and they reject Agama-s or portions of Agama-s that deal with such topics. They adapt pure daXINAcAra mArg.

    viShNu's heaven looking like shape of eye, ISvara being said to be of size of goad, etc all have tAntrika meaning.

    You must be aware of Siva linga being called as phellus and male female mating pair.

    This is a negative left hand interpretation.

    Shiva linga represents formless brahman and all Gods reside in this linga. refer this link

    It is said that agni is first expansion of Siva. linga also represent agni. Hence to cool down agni, water is constantly poured on Siva linga.

    Kindly note that it is always said 'Siva linga' and not 'Sankara linga' or 'rudra linga' or by any other name. Siva is both formless and has form. Mostly Siva is connected with formless (nirAkAra). linga is representation as formless brahman also known as Siva, which is nothing but auspiciousness as brahman cannot be unauspicious. There is direction connection here of Siva with brahman and Siva can grant moxa (liberation).

    I didnt dive much deep into tantra. I hope this is helpful.

    Oh and most Buddhist practices are influenced by tantra (vajrayana Buddhism).

    Maybe yogic and tantric explanation are able to impress western or modern mind.

    Namah Shivaya
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Namaste,


    Quote Originally Posted by Amrut View Post
    Now, coming to seusuality. There is a mUdrA called as vajrolI mUdrA. It is mentioned in Siva samhitA. Here it is said that protection is semen is most important. When you mate with partner, then must suck back through phellus, his semen and seminal fluid of female partner. Now both types of seminal fluid is inside male. This is total conservation of seminal fluid in male. In this way if one practices and achieves mastery (which is quite difficult), then one can progress and get siddhi-s even while enjoying with 100 women.
    Normally one would assume that when you quote something, you agree with the source and have also made an attempt to verify the contents of the quote at a personal level. Should I therefore think that you agree with, and have tried and to some degree been successful in the exercise that you describe so eloquently in the above paragraph?

    Pranam.

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Believer View Post
    Namaste,

    Normally one would assume that when you quote something, you agree with the source and have also made an attempt to verify the contents of the quote at a personal level. Should I therefore think that you agree with, and have tried and to some degree been successful in the exercise that you describe so eloquently in the above paragraph?

    Pranam.
    Namaste,

    Not everything can be practised at a personal level. I have mentioned it in my post hat I have not dived deep. Earlier I was associated with Kundalini Yoga and had some experiences of kundalini awakening.

    Not all 700 verses of Gita can be applied by one individual. If you ask anaya bhakti, can it be done practically in physical life? But we try to. As far as vAmachari marg is concerned, I have personally not practised it, but shiva samhita says the same. So it is upto us to accept certain things given in shastras as authentic or not. Certainly I am not going to practice it.

    I came to know about vajroli mudra when a discussion was going on about Adi Sankara's para-kAyA praveSa. He entered into the body of dead king and stayed in his body for 6 months. Before temporarily leaving his body, he assured his students that he has full control over himself as he knows vajroli mudra. Interestingly Adi Sankara is also said to be an adept in mantra sadhana and like his guru, he was a master of Sri Vidya upasana.

    As it is said that there is no smoke without fire. This discussion made me curious and I found out that vajroli mudra is given in Shiva Samhita.

    Still I understand your point and appreciate it (positively). Most of time I write things that I have experienced, hence my posts have less quotes, as I believe that rather than just quoting and memorizing shastra-s (which I am bad at), better is to apply them in your practical life.

    I have also experienced and practised mAnasa pUjA and believe me, it has a deep impact. I surrendered all my chakras and offered them one by one to me central deity Siva (I am a smArta). (That day I didnt had flowers to worship). Shringeri Shankaracharya in one of his discourses had explained importance to manas puja. I think the topic was (Shiva Manas Puja).

    There are certain experiences which should be kept to ourselves

    Oh and Yes, preservation of semen is very important for spiritual progress. I think you will personally agree with it.

    Regarding vajroli mudra, here are quotes


    The Siva Samhita - Chapter IV

    (9) Vajrondi-mudra.


    53. Actuated by mercy for my devotees, I shall now explain the Vajrondi-mudra, the destroyer of the darkness
    of the world, the most secret among all secrets.


    54. Even while following all his desires, and without conforming to the regulations of Yoga, a householder can
    become emancipated, if he practices the Vajrondi-mudra.


    55. This Vajroliyoga practice gives emancipation even when one is immersed in sensuality; therefore it should
    be practiced by the Yogi with great care.


    56. First let the talented practitioner introduce into his own body, according to the proper methods, the germ-
    cells from the female organ of generation, by suction up through the tube of the urethra; restraining his own
    semen, let him practice copulation. If by chance the semen begins to move, let him stop its emission by the
    practice of the Yoni-mudra. Let him place the semen on the left hand duct, and stop further intercourse.
    After a while, let him continue it again. In accordance with the instruction of his preceptors and by uttering
    the sound hum, let him forcibly draw up through the contraction of the Apana Vayu the germ-cells from the
    uterus.


    57. The Yogi, worshipper of the lotus-feet of his Guru, should in order to obtain quick success in Yoga drink
    milk or nectar in this way.


    58. Know semen to be moon-like, and the germ-cells the emblem of sun; let the Yogi make their union in his
    own body with great care.


    59. I am the semen, Sakti is the germ fluid; when they both are combined, then the Yogi reaches the state of
    success, and his body becomes brilliant and divine.


    60. Ejaculation of semen is death, preserving it within is life; therefore, let the Yogi preserve his semen with
    great care.


    61. Verily, verily, men are born and die through semen; knowing this, let the Yogi always practice to preserve
    his semen.


    62. When through great efforts success in the preservation of the semen is obtained, what then cannot be
    achieved in this world? Through the greatness of its preservation one becomes like me in glory.


    63. The vindu (semen) causes the pleasure and pain of all creatures living in this world, who are infatuated, and
    are subject to death and decay. For the Yogi, this preservation of semen is the best of all Yogas, and it is
    the giver of happiness.


    64. Though immersed in enjoyments, men get powers through its practice. Through the force of his practice,
    he becomes an adept in due season, in his present life.


    65. The Yogi certainly obtains through this practice all kinds of powers, at the same time enjoying all the
    innumerable enjoyments of the world.


    66. This Yoga can be practiced along with much enjoyment; therefore the Yogi should practice it.


    67. There are two modifications of the Vajrondi, called Sahajoni and Amarani. By all means let the Yogi
    preserve the semen.


    68. If at the time of copulation the vindu is forcibly emitted, and there takes place an union of the sun and the
    moon, then let him absorb this mixture through the tube of the male organ [urethra]. This is Amarani.


    69. The method by which the vindu on the point of emission can be withheld through Yoni-mudra is called
    Sahajoni. It is kept secret in all the Tantras.


    70. Though ultimately the action of them {Amarani and Sahajoni) is the same, there are arisen differences
    owing to the difference of nomenclature. Let the Yogi practice them with the greatest care and
    perseverance.


    71. Through love for my devotees, I have revealed this Yoga; it should be kept secret with the greatest care, and
    not be given to everybody.


    72. It is the most secret of all secrets that ever were or shall be; therefore let the prudent Yogi keep it with the
    greatest secrecy possible.


    73. When at the time of voiding urine the Yogi draws it up forcibly through the Apana- Vayu, and keeping it up,
    discharges it slowly and slowly; and practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru, he obtains
    the vindu-siddhi (power over semen) that gives great powers.


    74. He who practices this daily according to the instructions of his Guru does not lose his semen, were he to
    enjoy a hundred women at a time.


    75. O Parvati! When vindu-siddhi is obtained, what else cannot be accomplished? Even the inaccessible glory
    of my godhead can be attained through it.
    source
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~

    Namasté

    from a previous post ( some years ago):
    For me I have heard this POV for some time:
    Shiva Linga is a wide spread Indian Phallic figure
    that the liṅgaṃ represents the phallus. I am not fond of this view and never bought in to this idea.

    I could see how one may view the liṅgaṃ as the generative power of the Universe, yet I find no comfort in this POV. Liṅgaṃ लिङ्गं - means 'mark' or 'sign'. It is my POV that śiva-liṅgaṃ is a 'mark' or stambha स्तम्भ ( some write stamba स्तम्ब). Stambha is a post , pillar , column , beam. But what kind of pillar? A yūpa यूप stambha स्तम्भ, or sacrificial piller. This stambha some say, is a cosmic column; that is, it connects heaven or svar with earth or pṛithvī ( pṛithvī = the material level of creation).

    I look to svāmī Lakṣman-jū's view on this matter and he suggests too it’s a mistake to consider that the liṅgaṃ represents the phallus. I then remembered what svāmī Śivānanda said on this matter¹:
    "The popular belief is that the Siva Lingam represents the phallus or the virile organ, the emblem of the generative power or principle in nature. This is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of the Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex-mark. You will find in the Linga Purana: Pradhanam prakritir yadahur-lingamuttamam; Gandhavarnarasairhinam sabda-sparsadi-varjitam—The foremost Linga which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc., is spoken of as Prakriti (Nature) ."

    praṇām

    references:
    All About Hinduism, Appendix I, svāmī Śivānanda, The Divine Life Society.
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva

    _

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by yajvan View Post
    hariḥ oṁ
    ~~~~~

    Namast

    from a previous post ( some years ago):
    For me I have heard this POV for some time:

    that the liṅgaṃ represents the phallus. I am not fond of this view and never bought in to this idea.

    I could see how one may view the liṅgaṃ as the generative power of the Universe, yet I find no comfort in this POV. Liṅgaṃ लिङ्गं - means 'mark' or 'sign'. It is my POV that śiva-liṅgaṃ is a 'mark' or stambha स्तम्भ ( some write stamba स्तम्ब). Stambha is a post , pillar , column , beam. But what kind of pillar? A yūpa यूप stambha स्तम्भ, or sacrificial piller. This stambha some say, is a cosmic column; that is, it connects heaven or svar with earth or pṛithvī ( pṛithvī = the material level of creation).

    I look to svāmī Lakṣman-jū's view on this matter and he suggests too it’s a mistake to consider that the liṅgaṃ represents the phallus. I then remembered what svāmī Śivānanda said on this matter:
    "The popular belief is that the Siva Lingam represents the phallus or the virile organ, the emblem of the generative power or principle in nature. This is not only a serious mistake, but also a grave blunder. In the post-Vedic period, the Linga became symbolical of the generative power of the Lord Siva. Linga is the differentiating mark. It is certainly not the sex-mark. You will find in the Linga Purana: Pradhanam prakritir yadahur-lingamuttamam; Gandhavarnarasairhinam sabda-sparsadi-varjitam—The foremost Linga which is primary and is devoid of smell, colour, taste, hearing, touch, etc., is spoken of as Prakriti (Nature) ."

    praṇām

    references:
    All About Hinduism, Appendix I, svāmī Śivānanda, The Divine Life Society.
    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    I completely agree with you.

    I forgot to add that linga it representing a beginningless - endless stambha, a pillar of light. Thank you for reminding Swami Shivananda's writings I feel that Sri Abhinavagupta's writings and interpretations are not easy to understand, as much depends upon our personal progress and experience. Swami Laxmanjoo says that without guru you cannot understand Sri Abhinavagupta.

    Actually, it is just puruSa and prakruti. Even the word virya, though it is translated as semen has many meanings. On of them is pulsation, energy, power, spender, of unlimited potency (capability).

    By reading the word 'pulsation', I recalled spandan kArikA, theory of pulsation. (source)

    Dramatic representation or pictorial representation / imagination is not to be taken literally.

    I too am not fond of this view. I am told that interpretation depends upon the mental make-up and mental status. sAttvika person (person with more % of sattva guNa) will interpret everything in a positive way.

    Actually, Siva linga has no sharp edges, it may not have smooth finish. It is a natural stone. Anyone can make a linga our of wet mud and worship it anyone. Items required are also limited. Siva ji does not require decoration and is even pleased with natural items or materials found in nature, in forests. Even bilva patra (leaf) are easy to get. Water is easy to get. There is also a mAnas pUjA.

    I think due to above factors, Siva worship was very popular everywhere.

    Regarding taboo, I saw an interview with aghori-s and they said that nothign is that which is not Siva and hence nothing is inauspicious. When performing normally forbidden acts and practices, aghori-s stay detached from the objects and in this way they remain untained. They say a very strong mind is required. They even say that smearing ash on whole part of body acts as mosquito repellent. Ash is a stable material and it itself does not undergo any transformation or degradation and hence they use ash to apply it. He even said that ash has some healing abilities too. I do not know how much true these things are.

    ---

    I am sorry if certain info is disturbing.

    ---

    Hari OM

    Pranams
    Last edited by Amrut; 01 June 2014 at 01:08 PM. Reason: added link to spoken sanskrit.de
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Namaste Yajvan ji,

    Have you read GYAnadeva's amrutAnubhava?. I have not read it fully but it is really filled with bliss with great poetic beauty.

    It is available with samata books.

    Amritanubhava is a great work praising Shiva and Shakti. Their unity, oneness and separateness are beautifully and poetically explained.

    Pranams
    Only God Is Truth, Everything Else Is Illusion - Ramakrishna
    Total Surrender of Ego to SELF is Real Bhakti - Ramana Maharshi

    Silence is the study of the scruptures. Meditation is the continuous thinking of Brahman which is to be meditated upon. The complete negation of both by knowledge is the vision of truth – sadAcAra-14 of Adi SankarAcArya

    namah SivAya vishnurUpAya viShNave SivarUpiNe, MBh, vanaparva, 3.39.76

    Sanskrit Dict | MW Dict | Gita Super Site | Hindu Dharma

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by IcyCosmic View Post
    Namaste all,
    the more and more I seem to interact with westerns who are into spirituality, it seems a large percentage of them who have had exposure with buddhism/hinduism are into Tantra.
    Vannakkam Icy: I'll cut to the chase with my opinion. It's a bunch of hogwash ... nothing to do with Hinduism, and much more to do with the fact sex sells in the west. I suggest you ignore it.

    Aum Namasivaya

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    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Namaste

    The term Tantra primarily refers to a group of scriptures, this is explained in the Monier Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary:

    a class of works teaching magical and mystical formularies (mostly in the form of dialogues between śiva and durgā and said to treat of 5 subjects , 1. the creation , 2. the destruction of the world , 3. the worship of the gods , 4. the attainment of all objects , esp. of 6 superhuman faculties , 5. the 4 modes of union with the supreme spirit by meditation

    But the term can also apply to any other doctrine. So even the Vaishnava scriptures can be called thus vaishnava tantras. But it is quite doubtful how much all this has to do with some kind of "transmute sexual energy or something".


    regards

  10. #10

    Re: Tantra, Please explain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    Vannakkam Icy: I'll cut to the chase with my opinion. It's a bunch of hogwash ... nothing to do with Hinduism, and much more to do with the fact sex sells in the west. I suggest you ignore it.

    Aum Namasivaya
    Namaste,

    I have to agree with this. A lot of the popular 'Tantra" that you will find here in the west has been very far removed from what it might have meant originally, and has nothing to do with Hinduism or spirituality.

    I typed in books on Tantra in Amazon just to get an idea, and came back with a list that includes the following:
    • Sex Yoga - The Seven Easy Steps to a Mind Blowing Kundalini Orgasm
    • Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen You Passion in Just Ten Minutes a Day
    • Tantra Between the Sheets: The Easy and Fun Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex
    • Tantric Sex for Women: A Guide for Lesbian, Bi, Hetero, and Solo Lovers
    I could go on and on and on, but I think you get the idea. Frankly it is just embarrassing that this culture has taken something deep and spiritual and reduced it to what you see in that list.



    Pranam.
    Om Namah Shivaya

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