Secret of Tantra

Tantric Benefits

This course Luke Master of Tantra' is a program that aims to teach people specific tantric skills that will help them improve their sex life and life in general. It is a perfect course for anyone seeking to generate, accumulate and exchange energy with their partners. Tantric helps individuals achieve successes in a variety of fields. It is claimed that the knowledge of tantric has been hidden from common people due to its life-changing effects. If you buy this course, you will be the only person in possession of knowledge that over 99% of society doesn't have. For this reason, you will be full of real energy. This course is backed by science also. It has been scientifically proven that people of Tantra looks forever young. The course comes in three modules and four bonuses in the form of eBooks. Many users seem to enjoy this course and the majority of them have given it 5-star ratings. I personally recommend you also try it out. Continue reading...

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Tantra A Wide Web of Practices

Tantra is a Sanskrit word that literally means loom and is associated with weaving. Tantric yoga is an approach to yoga that developed to help men achieve self-realization by weaving their own individual selves with the greater cosmic Self. Sexual tantric practices can help a man to achieve self-realization by sexually weaving himself in a sacred union with a sexual partner. The origins of tantra are obscure, although some scholars believe its roots are very ancient and formed part of both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Because it is comprised of many and varied practices, it is difficult to define Tantrism in simple terms. According to some, Tantrism flourished most fully from 500 to 700 c.e., and represented an alternative to traditional yoga practices, which had, until then, been reserved for the priestly class in India. Tantric yoga allowed ordinary laypersons to practice yoga.2 For many men, tantric yoga is synonymous with sexual yoga. However, sexual practices make up a...

The right and left hand path of tantra

In tantra, much is said about the left hand path (yama viarga) and the right hand path dakshina marga). There are many misconceptions about these terms. It is often said that the left hand path is somehow decadent and immoral and the right hand path is preferable. This is a misunderstanding, because actually the left hand path is for those aspirants who are firmly established in spiritual life. It is the path for more advanced sadhakas and comes after they have trodden the right hand path. It is commonly accepted that there are seven stages of sadhana on the path of tantra (sometimes nine are given). These are called acharas and represent progressively higher levels of understanding and practices associated with progress along the spiritual path. W e will not describe these different acbaras here, for this is not the purpose of this discussion. What we want to point out here is that four stages are included within the realm of dakshina marga. This is also called pravritti marga, the...

Tantra Mantra and Kundalini Yoga

Mani Padme Hum Written Sanskrit

Tantra, Mantra, and Kundalini Yoga are grouped together here because they are all somewhat different than the other types of yoga. Although they share many practices and ideas, Tantra, Mantra, and Kundalini Yoga are more esoteric than other forms of yoga. Tantra Yoga involves the study of sacred writings and rituals. Mantra Yoga is the study of sacred sounds. Kundalini Yoga is the study of kundalini (energy) movement Tantra Yoga has been associated with sexual rituals in popular culture, but that is an inaccurate portrayal. Tantric thought assumes that we live in a dark age (kali yuga) and therefore must use every method possible to boost our spirituality. Because Tantra Yoga emphasizes the power of ritual, it has become most famous in Western culture for its notion that sexual energy is an important store of energy that can be rechanneled to further you along your way to spiritual enlightenment. Our culture has expanded on the idea of sexual energy and sometimes perverts the concept...

Tantra the universal system

Tantra is in the widest sense a universal system. It has been and still is a way of life for various diverse groups of people throughout the world. Though there may be local differences, the basic premise is fundamentally the same that for the sake of understanding, worship and spiritual practices, existence is divided into two aspects - the unmanifested and the manifested. In fact, the real nature of the world and existence is way beyond even this concept, but this must be realized in higher states of awareness. For practical purposes it is convenient to make this division. In Indian tantra, the subject of this topic, these two aspects are called Shiva (consciousness) and Tantra is a system that carries on the tradition that has been practised throughout the world since time immemorial. It is not really something that has been invented it is an expression of the deeper realizations of man. The system of tantra (universal tantra, not necessarily the form prevalent in India) has been...

Tantra

This discussion is not intended to be practical. It has been included to give you a general background and introduction to tantra. Many of the ideas may seem a little strange at first, vet the more one delves into tantra the more one will understand its sublimity. Its philosophical concepts reach up to the loftiest heights in an effort to express the inexpressible, yet they have not lost touch with practical application. Many philosophies become lost in words and are not applicable to the average person. They formulate complicated conceptions that in no way relate to the individual and his attempts to grapple with and understand life. They rarely make any effort to show the individual how he can experience higher awareness for himself. Tantra, on the other hand, is a practical system. It is called a sadhana shastra, which means that it is a practice-oriented scripture. Its purpose is to give each and every individual spiritual illumination by any means that is suitable and available....

Tantra Yantras

Hereunder we give you some ofthe best known and powerful tantric yantras, the mystic diagrams which, when properly concentrated and meditated upon, or trataka practised thereon, bestow both bhukti and rnukti (enjoyment and liberation). We have given the name of the yantra, its mantra, and its presiding deity. Mantra, yantra and devata are the essence of tantra yoga.

Tantric centres

There is a well-known story concerning Shiva and his consort Sati (an aspect of Shakti), concerning the origin of the traditional centre of tantra. There are many versions but the following is a brief summary of its main theme. Sati was the daughter of Daksha (Prajapati). Much against the wishes of Daksha, who intensely disliked Shiva, Sati yearned for and eventually married Shiva. At a later time, Daksha held a vast worship and sacrificial ceremony (yajna) to which all the deities were invited, all that is except Shiva and Sati. Sati came to hear of this through sage Narada, and she was very angry at not being invited. .After much pleading she finally persuaded Shiva to allow her to attend. When she reached the ceremony she immediately became involved in an argument with her father regarding the non-invitation of her husband and herself. Her father said that they were not invited because Shiva was so dirty, never wore clothes, was always adorned with a number of snakes and was...

Tantric Ritual

Tantric yoga with a sexual partner involves worshiping the divinity of your partner. It is about being open and giving of yourself to please your partner in every way that you can tactilely, sensorially, emotionally, and spiritually. It is about complete giving and abandonment without thinking about receiving. For, according to tantra, in giving of your entire self you will receive far more than you ever imagined possible. So try performing a tantric ritual of your own. Set aside an evening or a special time where you will do nothing but be attentive and responsive to your partner's needs whether your partner is female or male. Set a special atmosphere light candles, arrange flowers in a vase, play soft music, burn some incense, or diffuse fragrant essential oils. Prepare or have available some special delicacies for your partner. Draw a bath for your lover and bathe him or her gently. Sit across from your partner and stare into his or her eyes, merging your souls. Let the energy of...

Tantra and yoga

How is tantra related to yoga Yoga is well known, yet tantra is surrounded and veiled in an aura of superstition and mystery. This in a way is very strange, for in fact yoga and tantra are in essence the same system. They are intimately related. To be more specific yoga is a part of the more encompassing, wider system of tantra. All practices such as asanas, prana-yama, all yogic paths such as karma yoga, bhakti yoga, kundalini yoga, hatha yoga, mantra yoga, kriya yoga and so on, are all an integral part of tantra. All the practices that you know as yoga are also part of tantra. You have already been practising tantra and you have not known it Some people say that the science of yoga originated from Samkhya philosophy, but this is not really true. Yoga as it is widely known and practised, the yoga that has been practised in India for thousands of years, comes directly from tantra. Even Samkhya, which is a wonderful system ofclassifying the material world as a means to enlightenment (a...

ISHTA Yoga The Integrated Science of Yoga

ISHTA is an acronym for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda a nomenclature coined by Alan Finger, the innovator of ISHTA Yoga. This approach to yoga was initially taught at Yoga Zone studios. Beginning in 2001, ISHTA Yoga has been taught at Be Yoga studios, located in New York City, and throughout the country by teachers trained in this style of yoga.

Suitability for the present age

Tantra has grown naturally throughout the past eons. It has never really been rigidly defined as a whole, which actually is a point in its favour, for it allows tantra to adapt to the continually changing conditions and not become frozen with fixed dogmas. Actually, as we have already pointed out, tantra is probably the only system that fully realizes that its written texts become semiredundant in the course of time. People's tastes and attitudes, social rules and conditions change and so forth. Each society has specific characteristics with which the individual has to come to terms on the path of physical and mental well being and higher awareness. It is for this reason that tantric tradition says that new tantric texts will be revealed and recorded. These will automatically replace archaic texts that have lost their relevance. This is not merely an idea, for it has actually occurred most of the age-old traditional tantric texts are no longer available they have either been lost,...

The science of the infinite

Tantra is the science of seeing, feeling, knowing the infinite in and through the finite. It leads one to the experience of the infinite through the limited world of form. And once the infinite has been seen in one object, it is then a short step to seeing the infinite in everything. Tantra teaches knowledge and experience of the macrocosm through the instrumentality of the microcosm. It teaches knowledge of the unlimited through the means of the limited knowledge of the supreme consciousness (paramatman) through knowledge of the individual consciousness (jivatman). Tantra is a means to know your divine nature and then the divine nature of everything. It is a method of utilizing the material to tune in with the immaterial, of using the manifest to know the unmanifest. It is a method of being swallowed into the infinite, of being sucked into the infinite through a whirlpool of material objects and energies. The world is used as a stepping stone to the beyond, to that which is...

Suggested Further Resources

If you'd like to find out more about tantric yoga and how you can use yoga to enhance your sexual life, the following books are recommended Pala Copeland and Al Link, Soul Sex Tantra for Two (Career Press, 2003). Written by a couple that has been practicing and teaching tantric yoga for many years, this book shows both beginners and skilled tantric practitioners how to use the techniques of tantra to create lifelong, loving relationships. Kerry Riley with Diane Riley, Tantric Secrets for Men What Every Woman Will Want Her Man to Know about Enhancing Sexual Ecstasy (Destiny Books, 2002). This book aims to present everything a man needs to know to be a good lover, including practical and easy-to-follow tantric rituals and sacred sexuality exercises for a modern man's lifestyle.

Different types of actions

This type of action stems from general ignorance. In tantra, the individual who performs these types of action is classified as pasku bhava (instinctive man). The next form of action, at a higher level, is called rajasic Action which is done for the fulfilment of personal desires, for the fruits of the action which is done with much ego and much effort, is rajasic. (18 24) This is the most common type of action in the world today. In tantra, an individual of this temperament is The highest form of action is called sattwic and is motivated by understanding. Duty or actions done without passion, love or hatred, without consideration of the fruits, is sattwic. (18 23) This last form of action falls within the realm of karma yoga and leads to higher awareness. He is known as divya bhava (divinely inspired man) in tantra.

The Synthesis of the Systems

We observe, first, that there still exists in India a remarkable Yogic system which is in its nature synthetical and starts from a great central principle of Nature, a great dynamic force of Nature but it is a Yoga apart, not a synthesis of other schools. This system is the way of the Tantra. Owing to certain of its developments Tantra has fallen into discredit with those who are not Tantrics and especially owing to the developments of its left-hand path, the Vama Marga, which not content with exceeding the duality of virtue and sin and instead of replacing them by spontaneous rightness of action seemed, sometimes, to make a method of self-indulgence, a method of unrestrained social immorality. Nevertheless, in its origin, Tantra was a great and puissant system founded upon ideas which were at least partially true. Even its twofold division into the right-hand and left-hand paths, Dakshina Marga and Vama Marga, started from a certain profound perception. In the ancient symbolic sense...

Integration of mantra

However, we advise you to adopt the Soham mantra, for this has been tested by yogis throughout the ages in conjunction with ajapa. It is this mantra that is most conducive to continuous awareness in union with the breath. In the Kularnava Tantra, Saham (or Soham) is called the Sri Prasadapara mantra because it gives sublime grace (prasada) and is regarded as the greatest (para) of all mantras.

Traditions of the guru

If you have no guru, you may well ask How will I find him The answer is that you must just go on looking and following the path of tantra-yoga or any other system as a means to bring about greater levels of mental and physical harmony. This will accentuate your sensitivity and receptivity and eventually your guru will find you. We can never find the guru because we cannot recognize him. If we try to choose our own gum, we will choose according to our mental conditionings and projections. And if we choose a teacher who conforms to our present mental whims, then we will never be able to remove those whims, the very aspects of our personality which keep us in bondage. We should remain open, receptive and make personal efforts to tread the yogic path to mental harmony, breaking down current preconceptions. One way to do this is to hear satsang (spiritual teachings) of wise men whenever possible1. There is no need to make any commitment or confine yourself to one teacher or one belief,...

Religious and traditional aspects

In tantric and various other scriptures, energy or prana is symbolized by the all powerful divine mother Shakti or Kali and various other goddesses. It is regarded as the feminine aspect of existence, the fertile ground on which consciousness (represented by various gods, notably Shiva) can take root, grow and manifest in the universe. Shakti or prana is the womb of existence. The main theme of tantra is the unification of Shiva and Shakti so that consciousness can express itself perfectly through the medium of energy, prana. Shiva is the sight and Shakti is the eve Shiva is the hearing and Shakti is the ears. Prana and its control is integral in all these systems, but it is known by different names.

History and scriptural references

Various texts mention parts of kriya yoga, but never in much detail. Texts such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gherand Samhita, Shiva Samhita and so forth give specific details regarding asanas, mudras and bandhas, many of which are part of kriya yoga, but they are not integrated together as they are in kriya yoga. The Kularnava Tantra is a very practical text which explains ajapa japa in some detail this is a part of kriya yoga, but nowhere is kriya yoga mentioned specifically. The same applies to a number of other texts they hint, but never give details.

The Ultimate Strength

Prana has always played a vital role in hatha yoga. Ancient Tantric texts, like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita, list various techniques to help build, channel, and regulate life force. In these writings, asana is described as the foundation for hatha's deeper practices because it is so accessible and helps to free life force The process ofholding a pose while breathing through it dissolves pranic blockages. Different postures unlock prana in different ways. Forward bends, for example, increase the types of prana that calm, soothe, and ground backbends unblock pranic forces that are more expansive and revitalizing.

Scriptural references

This practice (like agochari mudra) is widely quoted in the yogic scriptures. For example, in the GherandSamhita it states Direct your eyes towards the middle of the eyebrows. Reflect on your real nature. This is shambhavi mudra, tl most secret of all tantric scriptures. (3 59)

Divine love allegorized

The poem talks much about drinking wine. But this is not the alcoholic wine. It is the divine nectar of bliss. This is the intoxicating experience of expanded awareness, known as amrit (nectar or immortality) in many Indian scriptures, as .soma in the Vedas, and as wine in the tantric texts. In the poem the main preoccupation seems to be drinking wine, day in and day out. This does not mean that the hero of the poem is in a continual state of drunkenness or semi-consciousness through consuming too much alcohol. It means rather that the bhakta was always in a state of divine intoxication, of heightened awareness. He was in a continuous state of meditation through drinking the inner wine of bliss.

The bhaktas of different religions

There are many artists who expressed bhakti through their work. Many poems, paintings and sculptures were produced by bliss-intoxicated bhaktas. Their masterpieces are an attempt to express the ineffable. Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, William Blake, Rabindranath Tagore, the incredible tantric artists and sculptors of India and many more in all parts of the world tried to express and depict their feeling of divine love. The beauty and sensitivity of their masterpieces clearly shows this. Great works of art are not really made, they are divinely inspired by revelationary experience. They are an expression of the heart. They don't really require effort, they happen.

Bhakti the means to harmonize the mind

Live and take whatever comes, whether good or bad, for actually there is really nothing that is either good or bad. These are merely relative concepts. Everything is. Do and accept. This leads to peace of mind. Many of the tantric deities are depicted performing abhaya mudra. This is a mudra that indicates that everything will be all right. Everything that you are thinking now is incorrect and in time all your misconceptions and fears will disappear. These deities are indicating a great truth but without words. They are speaking through this mudra. Listen to them. In time you will find that they are 'speaking' the truth.

The barrier of unawareness

The Ishavasya Upanishad Large numbers of yogic-tantric scriptures proclaim the importance of a psychic symbol in meditative practice. Probably the briefest and profoundest explanation is given in the Ishavasya Upanishad. In slokas 9,10 and 11 it emphasizes the importance of balancing ida and pingala, and the importance of karma and dhyana yoga. These three verses and their implications are described in our previous discussion - 'The Balance of Life'1. The next three slokas 12, 13 and 14 are concerned directly with the use of a psychic symbol. The first relevant sloka can be translated as follows Those who worship the unmanifest reality enter into blinding darkness those who worship the manifest enter into even greater darkness, (sloka 12) This verse has many meanings we will confine our discussion to its implications regarding laya and the psychic symbol.

For Further Information

The Himalayan Institute maintains one of the richest Websites on yoga at its principal Web address of www.himalayaninstitute.org. Its Website presents articles from the current issue of Yoga International magazine, as well as numerous archived articles from past issues on topics as wide-ranging as asana practice, ayurveda, health, meditation, spirituality, and tantra. It presents an Asana of the Month in addition to various archived discussions and instructions on a diverse group of asanas. Its Quarterly Guide to Programs and Yoga Teachers Guide are also available online. Through the Find a Teacher searchable database of its Yoga Teachers Guide, you can find a yoga teacher near you by entering your city or United States zip code. Information on the site is available in Spanish as well as an English language version.

Nyasa traditional yoga nidra

Nyasa is described in various scriptures such as the Brihad Yoga Yajnavalkya Smriti and the Yogataravali, as well as many upanishadic and tantric texts. The Aruneyi Upanishad (verse 5) advises all wandering sannyasins to practise nyasa at all times - to chant Aum and to place it mentally at different parts of the body. More specific and ritualistic forms of nyasa are described in the Mahanirvana Tantra. They include the following

The Secret Of Yoga

In fact, each petal of every lotus has a letter on it, which, all combined, form the Sanskrit alphabet or Verna-mala. In addition to the letters each lotus has a presiding shakti, or goddess, with a specific shape and colour. The Buddhist Tantrics recognize only four cakras, or lotuses, beginning at the umbilical cord and ending in the Usnisa-Kamla (lotus) in the head, corresponding to sahasrara. The other two correspond to the anahata and visuddha in the cardiac and laryngeal regions. In some ancient statues of Buddha the opened Usnisa-Kamala is depicted by a slight protuberance on the top of the head. The general impression prevailing at present that there are seven Cakras on the cerebro-spinal axis is of comparatively recent origin. In the early Upanishads only one, two, or three centres are mentioned, while in some texts dealing with kundalini ten, eleven, and even more cakras are described. The Brhadarnyka-Upanishad (2.1.19 and 4.2.3) mentions...

Ajna chakra in different traditions

The ajna chakra is widely symbolized in Hinduism and Tantra. Many of the deities, such as Shiva and Dakshina Kali, often have a dear marking on the forehead. Also, one of the most widespread rituals of India involves placing a tilaka (spot of coloured powder) on the forehead of all people during a religious or festive occasion. Furthermore, all married Hindu women wear a tilaka on their forehead at all times. This tilaka symbolizes the bhrum-adhva and ajna chakra.

Pranayama Ujjayi Pranayama and Khechari Mudra

Most techniques based on tantric yoga utilize a pranayama practice called ujjayi, supplemented by a tongue lock called khechari mudra. Though extremely simple to perform, this combination contributes a lot to the efficacy of meditational techniques. For this reason we are explaining them to you at an early stage in this book.

The power within the infinitesimal point

The power of the point (bindu) has been known by mystics through the ages. In tantra, each bindu, each particle of manifested existence, is regarded as a centre of power - shakti. Shakti is an expression of the underlying substratum of static consciousness. The aim of tantra is to merge shakti (the individual) with shiva (consciousness). The means to do this is the bindu. According to the philosophy of the Kabbala, nine sephiroth evolved from the kether (bindu). Together they formed ten sephiroth on the mythical and symbolic tree of life. The nine sephiroth below the kether are chakras (levels of human consciousness). In yoga, only six main chakras are utilized and discussed, but there are others. Therefore, though there are different numbers of chakras in the two systems, yoga and the Kabbala, the light of consciousness and manifestation shines firstly through the kether, then progressively filters down to the other sephiroth (chakras) in turn. This is exactly the same as...

Meditation Nada Yoga Part

According to traditional yogic scriptures, nada brahman (transcendental sound) is the seed of the manifested world from the gross to the subtle and from the visible to the invisible. Nada is flowing in the living and the nonliving, in the trees, grass, animals, everywhere. This concept is an integral part of tantra and Hinduism in general. It is also mentioned in the first verse of the Gospel according to St. John in the Christian Bible where nada is called 'the word'.

Sound of the kundalini

According to tantra, everything is a manifestation of shabda, subtle sound vibration. This is really another way of defining the kundalini. Sound in the form of mantras can also be used to raise the kundalini. It should therefore not be surprising to know that the cosmic sound Aum symbolizes and is kundal-ini. Aum arises in the realm of the sahasrara and then descends through the various chakra levels, until it manifests gross matter, organic life, including man. In the Yoga Chudamani Upanishad it says Aum resides in all created things (i.e. it is the kundalini). Generally, it remains downwards enjoying the material world. (v. 73) In man, Aum or kundalini resides in mooladhara.

The methods of unfolding bhakti

Archanam (ritualistic worship and offerings). This mode of expressing bhakti generally follows prescribed rules and formulas. It is a method of unfolding inner potential. These ritualistic forms of worship can be powerful when done with awareness and feeling. This is an integral part of most religions including tantra.

Ida pingala and the air flow in the nostrils

There is a direct relationship between the ida and pingala and the air flow through the two nostrils. The Rudra Yamala Tantra states On the left and right side of the sushumna are the ida and pingala. These go straight upwards, alternating from left to right. Having pierced all the chakras (the main ones in the spinal region) they proceed to the nostrils.

Names And Techniques Of Asana

The word utthan is also akin to the word 'tan', which makes up part of the word tantra (the mother system of yoga). In this context, it is not physical stretching that is implied, but stretching or expansion of awareness. The word paschima still means the back, but has greater significance if it is taken to mean the sushumna nadi. This nadi is the most important psychic pathway in the body. During higher states of awareness, prana ascends this nadi from the bottom of the back (perineum) to the head (sahasrara). In fact, it is said that the experience of higher awareness cannot take place unless prana flows within this nadi. So this asana has a very elevated meaning. It means the asana which expands awareness by unleashing pranic currents which flow upwards within the sushumna nadi. This is a fitting name, for this is indeed a powerful asana.

Tools for Advanced Ritual and Practice

A Shiva Linga is a powerful ritual and meditation tool. The linga is a symbolic icon representing the male and female generative organs. This is an ancient sacred, tantric symbol for the creative and powerful energies of the Divine. This is a potent form of Lord Shiva containing both the masculine and feminine energies of the Divine, the sum of Divine Intelligence and Compassion. Crystal is a material that amplifies subtle vibrations. It is used in meditative arts only for positive purposes. Doing ritual and meditation practice with a crystal Shiva Linga accelerates the practice.

Bhakti and the other yogic paths

Deeper knowledge of existence does not arise separately from bhakti or devotion. They arise simultaneously. As one gains more knowledge, so bhakti increases. As both knowledge and bhakti increase, so actions become more incisive, powerful and efficient. This is karma yoga. Also as these other attributes arise, so one is more able to explore and know the mind (raja yoga). These are all interrelated. As all these things increase, so does the experience of beatitude one becomes enveloped in a cloud of intoxicating bliss. This is the wine of the tantras and the soma of the Vedas. It is the nectar . . . the amrit . . . the divine fragrance. Therefore, remember these paths are not rigidly separated, they are all intimately connected. In tantra, there are vast numbers of forms of Shakti, the cosmic mother. They all represent the various aspects of existence. They all represent the absolute. It does not matter

The mandala and y antra

A mandala is a magic circle, in which one performs tantric rites. It is a focus of cosmic powers. During worship and other tantric practices a mandala becomes the centre of the universe in a symbolic sense and in a far deeper sense beyond normal comprehension. A tantric mandala is usually laid out according to a fixed plan in fact the making of the mandala is a tantric rite in itself. As we have already pointed out under the heading entitled 'Tantra - The Universal System', everything in the manifested world is in essence a mandala. Each and every object is a focal point of consciousness. There is not one thing that is not a mandala. Everything is a point of manifestation of Shakti an expression of the underlying consciousness. It is for this reason that deep concentration on anything, and we mean anything, can bring about higher awareness and realization of the deeper nature of that object. But almost every person lacks sufficient power of concentration to do this. Instead, the power...

The wisdom of the ancients

Many ancient and tested traditional systems have praised the benefits of amaroli. In tantra there is one whole text devoted to it. The text is called the Damara Tantra and the process is called shivambu kalpa vidhi. The word shivambu has various meanings in this context, it means 'urine' the word kalpa here means 'to change', or 'to revitalize' and vidhi means 'process' or 'technique'. Therefore, shivambu kalpa vidhi can be translated as 'the practice of using urine to regenerate the body'. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a traditional tantric yogic text, it says The first and last portion of shivambu (urine), which is pungent, should not be taken. The intermediate flow should be consumed daily. This is called amaroli according to the Khandakapalika.

The implications of kundalini

In tantra and yoga, kundalini is regarded as feminine and is also called Shakti. She is the link to higher awareness and bliss. She is the revealer of all mantras and the means by which bliss trickles down from the eternal source, sahasrara, to individual beings. In animals, insects, plants and all so-called inert objects, kundalini resides and sustains from levels below mooladhara chakra. In fact, the tantric scriptures list seven more chakra levels which exist below mooladhara atala, The kundalini both binds and liberates. It is both the cause of the fall and illumination. In the tantric scriptures, Hevajra Tantra, it says kecsplacitiyno'Karae lymest draseHby that which one falls. That is, kundalini only shows herself to those people who seek her. To these she gives liberation to others she is the cause of bondage. The kundalini is often associated with sexual energy. In fact, in tantra, under specified conditions, sexual energy is utilized as a method of raising the kundalini and...

The seat of the kundalini

Chakras below mooladhara, in patala, for example. However, in yoga-tantra and most other systems, the kundalini is arbitrarily defined as abiding in mooladhara chakra, for it is at this level of being that life, in this case man, begins to become aware of itself and to unfold understanding even if it is very ego-centred and rudimentary. There are even many yoga-tantra texts that state that the kundalini really resides in sahasrara and this is true in a higher sense. So don't become confused by seemingly contradictory statements about the seat of kundalini. In the context of the practical application of yoga-tantra techniques, the seat of kundalini is mooladhara chakra. This is clearly stated as follows The power of consciousness resides in the form of the kundalini at the mooladhara chakra. It is in the shape of a serpent with three-and-a-half coils. While this serpent power lies dormant in the human body, then men and women lead an instinctive life. (Gherand Samhita 3 44-45)

The chakras symbolized

The story tells of a sage called Enoch (sometimes identified with the Egyptian mystic Hermes Mercurius Trismegistus) who raises his consciousness through the different chakras. He ascends through ten heavens, not seven. This is not really a contradiction to the Indian system for there are a number of other chakras widely mentioned in the tantric scriptures, but which are not commonly utilized in practices. For example, above the ajna chakra there are a number of additional chakras, such

Kriya Yoga An Introduction

The source of the practices of kriya yoga goes back into antiquity and slowly evolved over a period of time through practice and experience. Eventually the practices, or kriyas, were written down and can still be found in the numerous tantric texts. These were written in Sanskrit, and to date only a few have been translated into other languages. The full form of kriya yoga consists of a combination of over seventy kriyas. Out of these kriyas, about twenty or so are commonly known. Kriya yoga does not ask you to abstain from your sexual life. Why should it Sexual activity is a natural part of life, so why abstain from it Kriya originated from the ancient system of tantra, and of all the spiritual systems tantra is the most understanding regarding sexual life. In fact, under correct circumstances tantra has encouraged the use of sex as a means to evolve spiritually. Of course there is much written about the conservation of sexual energy and its sublimation into spiritual power. This...

Meaning of the chakras

The chakras represent the powers of consciousness that lie within the range and reach of every human being. They show that the reality of the macrocosm exists within the microcosm of man according to the well-known maxim from Vishwasara Tantra That which is here is there that which is not here does not exi st. It is impossible to explain man's progressive flight into higher consciousness in terms of logic or the intellect. The process is alogical. That is, it is neither logical or illogical it transcends both of these terms. Therefore, the ancient rishis, saints, yogis, sages, tantrics, seers, wise men, whatever name you wi sh to use to describe these illumined people, formulated the ascent into higher and higher states of consciousness in the form of symbolic diagrams of the chakras and sahasrara.Though still severely limited, these diagrams convey much more than words. And moreover, in this form they are less likely to cause confusion and useless intellectual speculations. Added to...

Meditation Ajapa Japa Stage

In the Yoga Chudamani Upanishad it says The breath comes out with the sound Ha (Ham) and is taken in with the sound Sa (So). Thus each individual continuously repeats the mantra Hamsa . . . Hamsa . . . Hamsa (Soham Soham . Soham). Therefore, this mantra is repeated throughout the day. This is called ajapa gayatri and can bring liberation to yogis. (v. 31, 32, 33) This indicates the power of continuous ajapa. This is further emphasized in the Kularnava Tantra The more you repeat this mantra (Soham or Saham), the greater the fruits both temporal and spiritual. Therefore, with intense effort, in all conditions, at all times, you should repeat the mantra. (chapter 3)

Winter Solstice Yoga Sequence

A group of eleven students began doing this meditation at the Winter Solstice Celebration in the early seventies for Yogi Bhajan. We wanted to give back to him for all that we were receiving from him. This meditation is now done as part of the routine of every White Tantric Meditation Course and is done on a regular basis around the world to send healing energy to Yogi Bhajan. It is the meditation that he requests when he needs our healing prayers.

Unity of Shiva and Shakti

Shiva represents the unmanifest and Shakti the manifest. Shiva is the formless and Shakti is the formed. Shiva is consciousness and Shakti is energy, not only in the cosmos as a whole, but in each and every individual. Shiva is the supreme consciousness pervading each individual and Shakti is the power that manifests the potential contained within the consciousness in different manifested centres within man and the universe. The roots of Shakti are in Shiva. Though one is manifested and the other unmanifested, they are in the ultimate sense one and the same. One is the principle of changelessness and the other is the principle of change. Shakti is change within changeless-ness and Shiva is changelessness as the root of change. This relationship seems contradictory in logical terms, yet the experience of perfect oneness and unity of the changeless and the changeable, the dissolution of duality, is the aim of tantra as well as yoga. There is ultimately no difference between Shiva and...

Meditation Trataka Stage

Tantra, probably the most all inclusive spiritual system ever developed and the root of yoga, utilizes trataka on a wide scale in its many practices, whether using symbolic diagrams, deities or objects as a focus of worship or awareness. Trataka in one form or another is utilized by almost every religious and spiritual system, though often heavily disguised. In Hinduism, an integral part ofthe religious practice is to sit in front of a picture or a statue of Krishna, Rama, Shiva, the symbol Aum and so on. Though many will regard this as a form of worship, and of course it can be if the worshipper is sincere, it is actually a form of trataka for the aim is to concentrate the mind on the external deity. From this comes mental peace and a meditative state. Furthermore, many Hindus have the ability to create at will internal visualizations of the outer objects and perform inner trataka.

Yoga to Enhance Your Sexual Performance

Maybe a tantric yoga ritual isn't for you. Maybe you're not worried about shortening your life through multiple orgasms and ejaculations. Maybe you're just wondering if yoga can help you get more out of your sex life. exercises you can do to increase sexual stamina and performance. In many books on tantric yoga, you may see Kegel exercises referred to as PC exercises PC stands for pubococcygeus and refers to a group of muscles that surround the penis and anus.5 In addition to massaging the prostate gland, Kegel, or PC, exercises can help strengthen the muscles in the genital area, bring increased circulation and blood to your sexual organs, help you build more stamina and control when making love, and, some men claim, even make you shoot farther when you do ejaculate.6 These exercises can also help you become more aware of your sex organ and be more sensitive to the pleasurable sensations you experience when you make love. Additional yoga postures presented in Chapter 13 that can help...

The Origins of Kundalini Yoga

The Yoga-Shikha-Upanishad (Secret Doctrine of the Crest of Yoga) is an ancient scripture that deals specifically with the process of raising the kundalini serpent power.3 This text refers to kundalini yoga as the combined practice of mantra yoga, laya yoga, and hatha yoga. Kundalini yoga is also considered to participate in the tradition of tantra yoga. The asanas and breathing exercises that form a common base in hatha yoga are believed to purify and steady the body and mind for the tremendous outpouring of energy released by the rousing of the kundalini energy.

Pravritti and nivritti paths

Scientifically, evolution is defined as the process where more refined life forms (vehicles of consciousness) grow and develop from the less refined. That is, more advanced life forms arise from lower forms, the gross produces the subtle. This is the theory of scientific evolution. Tantra and Indian thought in general has a completely different concept of evolution. Tantra regards the refinement of life forms (that is, scientific evolution) as merely the pattern of the manifested world. It is the blueprint, the design. It is not the source of life as we know it. The real meaning of evolution, written about by Indian sages thousands of years before Darwin, is the process of Shakti arising or evolving out of Shiva, of the material evolving out of the immaterial. That is, in a deeper sense, each and every life form is not the result of the unfoldment of previous life forms, every form of life has evolved from the underlying source of existence called consciousness. The subtle does not...

And it came to pass

Tantra encompasses all aspects of life. Its philosophical basis reaches the loftiest heights of comprehension, yet at the same time is amenable to practical application. It has different levels of meaning and significance which only unfold themselves gradually through personal experience. Modern man is looking for something, but does not know what it is. We feel that tantra, including yoga, is the answer that you are looking for. It is based on the wisdom and experiences of thousands of tuned in enlightened sages, throughout the ages. It is tested by time. Without joy and experience of higher awareness, life is dull, frustrating and often purposeless. Even one small glimpse of a transcendental experience will inject new aspiration, new joy into even the most unemotional person. Tantra promises just this higher awareness, happiness and knowledge. Tantra is a method of instructing and leading you to material and spiritual fulfilment. Cosmic awareness can come through participation in...

The guru

Do is to point out the role of the guru in tantra'. It is the guru who pushes and inspires his disciples to higher levels of awareness. In the higher stages of tantra, he is indispensable. He is the very essence around which everything else revolves. He is the sun from which all the planets in the form of disciples draw their energy and aspiration. When tantra was widely practised in India (and other parts of the world) it seems certain that each tantric community had a spiritual centre, a focal point, a pivot a guru. Without a guru, tantra in the higher stages cannot be practised. This does not mean that you cannot practise tantric techniques without a guru, for it is possible in the early stages. This is the reason why we are starting to introduce you to tantra if you needed a gum to practise then there would be no point in publishing details. But at a certain stage one needs a gum. There comes a point in a person's life when he is ready to surrender himself to a gum. And when you...

Why worship a deity

Tantra does not aim to make you consider a stone idol as the truth. Tantra regards worship of any relative aspect of existence as the means to break through into the experience of the real, as a means to fuller harmony and knowledge. Anything that you choose can be regarded as a form of Shakti (or Shiva, as you wish). Of course, this will be a slight divergence from traditional forms of Shakti as known in India. But the scope and benevolence of tantra will allow this extension of its boundaries. Such is its flexibility. Tantra in the shakta form asks you to regard everything that you see as a form of Shakti. Even though you have had no higher experience one should try to regard them as such. One should try to regard all pleasant and beautiful things as Shakti, as well as things that are normally classified bad such as disease, famine and war. One should try to see a reason or sense or divinity even in things that appear to be destructive. It is the seeming contradiction and unfairness...

Ritualistic worship

Much of tantra is concerned with worship in a ritualistic form using incantation (mantras) and magic circles or altars (mandalas). This is not done for superstitious reasons or in a blind manner. There is a very good reason for this form of spiritual practice, namely, eventual transcendence. All religious systems use this method, but generally the aim of ritualistic worship is lost sight of and it degenerates into mere automatic and meaningless actions. Because of this, little or no benefits result and in fact many people eventually come to regard ritual as mere ignorance, which it is indeed in most cases. There must always be a clear understanding of the purpose of ritual, to know that it is a means to go beyond. This is a point that tantra constantly bears in mind. things in this world than science can even dream about, let alone study. As Shakespeare said There are more things in heaven and earth . . . than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Tantra also knows this, for it utilizes...

Mantras

Mantras on a gross level are special sound patterns. On a deeper level they are much more. Together with mandalas and yantras, mantras are the most important aspects of tantra. They are the essence of practical tantra. Almost invariably, mantras and mandalas or yantras are utilized in conjunction with each other to form powerful combinations. A mandala, yantra or devata is the form of consciousness, while the mantra is the vehicle of consciousness. The mandala, yantra or devata is the manifested form, configuration of Shakti, while the mantra, which is also Shakti, is the link between consciousness and form. This applies to everything in the world around us. The visible form is the expression while the mantra is the vehicle of expression. The mantra is the direct link with the beyond. The world we know is materialized and shaped through mantras, through sound at all levels and degrees of subtlety, generally way beyond one's usual perception of sound. The mantras originate in the...

The universal system

Japa is probably the most widespread and universal meditative system. It is an integral part of yoga and tantra as well as Hinduism in general. Many traditional scriptures describe the practices and merits of japa, especially tantric texts. Many of the ancient yogis are pictured practisingjapa. According to tradition, Brahma, the creator of the universe caused everything to be created by continual japa of the mantra Aum. Such is the importance of japa in the spiritual life.

Imagining Our World

According to the ancient Tantric master Abhinavagupta, imagination is not just powerful it is power itself. The human capacity to imagine, according to Tantra, is simply our individual form of the power of the infinite consciousness, the infinite mind. That great mind imagines worlds within itself and brings them into existence, say the Tantric sages. Our own imaginations do the same thing on a smaller scale.

Bhakti and the guru

In the Kularnava Tantra it says The fire of devotion to the guru burns away all taint of bad thought. As steady devotion to the gum grows, so does one's self-knowledge. (ch 8) Such is the power of bhakti towards gum. But this bhakti must be spontaneous. It cannot be created. In this respect it is the same as bhakti towards a deity - it must arise directly from the heart. It cannot come from mere logical analysis.

Aimee Sicuro

And are interwoven with yogic philosophy at the deepest levels. But they have their roots in the Rig Veda, the most ancient and revered of Hindu scriptures. What the Rig Veda suggests is that the purusharthas are the inherent values of the universe, explains Douglas Brooks, a Tantric scholar and professor of religious studies at the University of Rochester. The cosmos is considered a living being, and the issues of law, prosperity, desire, and freedom belong to it. These are not just human concerns or psychological concepts. When we engage them as human beings, we are aligning the microcosm with the macrocosm. The cosmos is all laid out for you your job is to get with the program.

Imagine That

The ultimate Tantric bhavana is to imagine yourself as the incarnation of grandeur, the very form of God. The affirmations am the Absolute, I am That, I am Divine love itself are imaginative constructions, but they work because they encourage you to identify yourself with a higher truth, and then to feel how that affects your inner experience, your body, and your sense of self.

Dedication

Swami Satyasangananda (Satsangi) was born on 24th March 1 953, in Chan-dorenagore, West Bengal. From the age of 22 she experienced a series of inner awakenings which led her to her guru, Swami Satyananda. From 1981 she travelled ceaselessly with her guru in India and overseas and developed into a scholar with deep insight into the yogic and tantric traditions as well as modern sciences and philosophies. She is an efficient channel for the transmission of her guru's teachings. The establishment of Sivananda Math in Rikhia is her creation and mission, and she guides all its activities there, working tirelessly to uplift the weaker and underprivileged areas. She embodies compassion with clear reason and is the foundation of her guru's vision.

Expression of bhakti

Actually, every saint, yogi, tantric or sage is a bhakta. This applies whether they appear to be karma yogis, jnana yogis, raja yogis or whatever. They must be bhaktas, for the knowledge, the realization that they have in higher states of awareness must automatically lead to bhakti.

Creative Force

The Tantric traditions are especially skilled at this type of constructed imagination. They use visualization for opening your inner centers (Imagine a full moon in the center of your head), for removing psychological impurities (Visualize anger leaving your body as a stream of black smoke), for creating intimacy with higher energies (Find yourself on an island where the trees have jeweled leaves you see, sitting on a throne under a tree, a wise and beautiful guide).

Dharma

Try not to take yourself or your work so seriously. The world will continue without you. Don't become fanatical but work as well as you can under the given circumstances, with as much detachment and awareness as possible. There is a law ofkarma. The Hindu, Buddhist, tantric, yogic and other scriptures of India have written reams and reams of information on this subject. In the Bible of Christianity, it is beautifully summed up as follows whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.

Yoga True and False

Magic has been an ingredient of religion from the earliest times. In fact, in the primitive stages religion is indistinguishable from magic so much so that some scholars, among them J. G. Frazer, trace the origin of the former to it. Magic was much in evidence in India during the Vedic period and echoes of it are found in the Upanishads also. Thus in Brhadarnyaka a magical remedy is suggested to an injured husband (6.4.12) in this way Now if a man's wife has a lover and he wishes to hurt him, he should feed the fire in an unbaked earthen vessel, spread tips of reed inversely (to the usual way) and offer these inversely placed tips of reed, smeared with ghee (clarified butter), in the fire, uttering the following Mantras 'Thou has offered in my burning fire thy prana and apana, I take them away, etc.' . . . 'Thou hast offered in my burning fire thy sons and cattle, I take them away, etc.' . . . Patanjali has devoted the third book of his Yoga-Sutras to the enumeration of the...

Unmani Mudra

The state of unmani is widely mentioned in the traditional yogic-tantric scriptures. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika states Without support for the mind, one should become thougbtless then one will remain like a space which is both inside and outside ajar. (v. 4 50) This is the state of meditation - unmani.

Mudras Hand Mudras

There is a distinct sect of tantra who worship this aspect of Shiva and Shakti. They are called bhairavis. There is also a well-known tantric text called the Bhairava Tantra. This is a mudra that is widely practised in tantric circles. The word maha means 'great' or perhaps even better in this context 'supreme'. The word yoni means 'womb', 'source' or 'origin'. Therefore, this mudra can be called the 'supreme source mudra'.

The ananda kanda

In some tantric texts the kalpa vriksha is also called chintamani. The Sanskrit word chinta here means 'thoughts' and man means 'jewel'. Therefore, chintamani means 'the jewel of thought'. It is said that the chintamani is a tree growing in the middle of a divine lake. The divine lake is located in the middle of a beautiful garden. The garden is said to be the abode of divine beings. The meaning of this scene is that people who live at the level of anahata chakra have a divine awareness, and that whatever they wish will happen. We don't ask you to believe the implications behind this centre called the ananda kanda it is better to tread the tantric-yogic path and discover the experiences for yourself.

Ganapatya sect

Followers of this sect are more prevalent in western India. Huge processions are entirely devoted to the veneration of Ganesha. However, this sect has really ceased to be a distinct tantric group as such and has been absorbed into the mainstream of Hinduism. Ganesha is traditionally regarded to be the scribe of many of the important scriptures of India, including the tantras. That is, when Shiva, Shakti, Krishna or any other deities, together with rishis, seers, etc. discoursed, Ganesha wrote everything down. He represents the higher understanding that must accompany all scriptures before they can be written, and before they can be utilized by the reader. In fact, Ganesha is invoked at the beginning of many of the tantric texts the very first words are 'Shree Ganeshaya Namaha', which means 'Salutations to the blessed Ganesha'. This is done to encourage correct understanding by both the writer and the reader. There is also a well-known tantric text called the Ganesha Tantra. This...

Ujjayi Pranayama

Ujjayi Pranayama

Maha mudra is mentioned in yoga-tantra scriptures, though the descriptions tend to be either different or inadequate. The Yoga Chudamani Upanishad states Maha mudra is a practice which purifies the entire network of nadis (pranic passages), balances ida and pingala and absorbs rasa (nectar of bliss) so that it pervades one's whole being. (v. 65)

Mantra for Tuning In

By the way, if you ever dream of Yogi Bhajan, it is not a mere dream. You have tuned into him and his subtle body is coming to assist you in some way. Years ago at a Winter Solstice White Tantric course, a student was very ill from food poisoning. He desperately needed help and

Physical Wisdom

Kundalini Wishdom

The technology of Kundalini Yoga and White Tantric Yoga was brought to the West from India by the grace of the Siri Singh Sahib, Harbhajan Singh KhalsaYogiji (Yogi Bhajan).The teachings in this manual are entirely his gift. We wish to gratefully acknowledge his gift and inspiration to serve our highest human potential. Any errors or omissions in this manual are entirely the fault of the Editors and the Illustrator and by no means reflect upon the perfection and comprehensiveness of the teachings.

Kundalini Mudra

Sexuality plays a significant role in Tantric Yoga as a spiritual practice. It is important to understand that our sexual organs have a major effect on moods, which is why it's important that these organs be healthy. We should also realize that the desire for sex will change during the course of life. If a person feels no sexual desire, but feels good otherwise, then this is fine and normal. When the desire is there, it should be indulged, either with a partner or alone. This is very important because the secretion that is released in this act has a cleansing function. Bacteria, fungi, etc. that have

Vaishnavas

Vishnu is said to appear in incarnation whenever mankind is in spiritual and material need. So far, nine incarnations (avataras) have come, including Rama and Krishna. The tenth and last, it is believed, will come in the future. He is Kalki, and it is believed he will bring the present Kali age to an end and bring the new golden age. The wife of Vishnu is Lakshmi, who represents prosperity in all spheres. This group includes vast numbers of people in India today, though very few would admit to following the path of tantra. In fact, they would probably be offended if you made such a suggestion, for much abuse has been heaped on tantra through misunderstanding. This sect of tantra has been absorbed into the main stream of Hinduism, of which it is probably the most popular and most widely practised path. It is mainly a path of devotion (bhakti) and thousands of beautiful stirring songs have been composed and are sung as an expression of this devotion. Pancharatra...

Sushumna nadi

Sushumna is the symbolic passage through which kundalini rises through the chakras. It is generally regarded as starting at mooladhara chakra and ascending in turn through the other higher chakras to sahasrara. However, some scriptures give apparently contradictory information. For example, in the Nigam Tattvasara, a tantric text, it says categorically The bony rod (sushumna) goes from the feet to the brahma randhra (entrance to the sahasrara) it is known as the merudanda (literally spine, but meaning sushumna) of the fourteen spheres of being (the fourteen chakras from the patala to the ajna). any other chakra. It depends on definition. The sushumna starts wherever the kundalini is regarded as having its seat. In the Buddhist system, therefore, sushumna can be considered to begin at manipura chakra. In the case of a piece of rock, the sushumna, in a wide sense, can be regarded as beginning at the patala chakra. For the purposes of man in relation to yoga-tantra practices, however,...

About Sri Siva

He served as coordinator of Indian Studies within the Asian Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh and taught several courses on Buddhist meditation and other Buddhist topics. His specialty was research on religious phenomena in light of modern science. He has training in neuropsychology, which he used in research to interpret traditional yogic and tantric wisdoms about psychobiology. He also served as an editor for the Encyclopedia of Hinduism.

Shaivism

It is said that there are twenty-eight traditional texts of shaivism, supposed to have been revealed by Shiva personified in an aspect with five heads. Each of the five mouths is said to have spoken and contributed to the total 28 texts. The name of each of these tantras is well known but they are not readily available. Possibly they have all been destroyed. Information on them is rather vague. Apart from these traditional texts there are large numbers of other texts, especially within the two principal shaiva sects that we have previously mentioned. The southern shaiva school has produced many elevating and inspiring texts that combine the highest realm of thought with overwhelming devotion. For example, the Shiva Rahasya (the essence of shaivism) is a masterpiece, especially a section called the Ribhu-gita. Another wonderful book is a tantric text called the Tirumandiram which outlines the precepts of shaiva siddhanta. It was written by a great sage called Tirumular. The text...

Shaktas

Kamadhenu, kubjika, tantraraja, varahi, nila, jnanarnava, gayatri, yogini, rudra yamala and the bhuttashuddhi tantras. There are many, many more. The kama sutra, kama ratna and other texts concerning sexual relations and techniques can also be included among shakta literature. One of the most recent and comprehensive tantric texts is called the Maha Nirvana Tantra (supreme liberation of enlightenment). It covers a wide range of subjects, covering metaphysics, philosophy, everyday life, as well as the spiritual path. It deals with the creation and destruction of the universe, mode of liberation from ignorance, nature of Shiva and Shakti, the worship of Brahman, origin and worship of devas (celestial beings), description of the various levels of being (lokas) and many other subjects. It is mainly orientated towards practise, and deals extensively with rituals, mantras, yantras, japa, yoga and other forms of practice (sadhana). It also deals with everyday life and prescribes rules for...

Put It Into Practice

Take the mudra (gesture) known as the Divine Posture (Divya Karana) for Meditation from an ancient text, the Svacchanda Tantra. The text instructs Having made the body straight, the tongue is to be extended upward into the palate a little bit, but should not touch It. The mouth and two lips are not to touch and should be separated just a bit, along with the two rows of teeth. The mudra is said to dispel stress, anxiety, and anger and to increase concentration by calming the chattering teeth of our monkey minds.

The Chakras Part

Though we have included sahasrara in this list, it is not really a chakra it transcends them all and includes all of the chakras and sahasrara together because they are the basic centres common to many mind awakening systems throughout the world, including yoga. Together with another focal point called the bindu they are the fundamental centres used in kriya yoga techniques. Some mind expanding systems bring in other chakras, such as the sun a and chandra chakras above the navel. These are perfectly acceptable, but in yoga and tantra they are not used.

Shivalingam

The shivalingam is a widely venerated symbol in India. It is a tantric symbol, as well as being an integral part of Hinduism. But the veneration of the lingam is not confined to India. It has been revered throughout every part of the world, especially in bygone ages. It is a symbol which is buried in the deeper layers of your psyche. Even though you may not know this, it is nevertheless there, waiting to rise to the surface, to conscious perception, together with all the knowledge that surrounds it. If you bring the symbol up from the depths, then you will simultaneously realize the incredible reality that it represents. The word lingam means 'symbol' or 'sign'. In the tantric sect of shaivism (followers of Shiva) the lingam is the most important symbol. It represents consciousness or Shiva. There is a beautiful song about the shivalingam in India, called 'Lingasthakam'.

Manipura Chakra

Manipura chakra is the third of the ascending chakras, mooladhara being the first and swadhisthana the second1. The manipura is a most important centre and is widely mentioned in traditional scriptures. In Buddhism, it is regarded as the seat of the kundalini, although in reality the kundalini can be regarded as residing in all chakras. Tantra yoga regards spiritual life, or expansion of awareness, as starting at the level of the mooladhara chakra, for it is here that man begins to become aware of himself, even if in a very rudimentary form. Therefore, the kundalini is said to reside at the mooladhara chakra level. Buddhism, on the other hand, regards expansion of awareness as beginning at the manipura chakra, the lower chakras being considered as instinctive levels of man, and therefore the kundalini is considered to reside at the manipura chakra. In this context, the abode of the kundalini is a matter of definition. The manipura chakra is indeed the centre of prana within the human...

Texts and sects

Tantra consists of a large number of sects and subsects, which have characteristically different rituals and modes of spiritual practice. This seems a little confusing and contradictory to those who are not familiar with the implications of tantra. Basically, of course, all the sects follow the same path, for the differences, even those that seem the greatest, are merely different ways of expressing and eventually experiencing the same thing. However, one must be careful in making generalities about tantra, for it is so easy to make one definite statement about tantra only to find that the opposite is clearly written in some obscure tantric text. This must be the case for as we have already said, tantra has embraced many systems witbin its fold throughout the ages. Having said this, however, we can say that tantra can be divided into five sects, according to the deity which is worshipped and the basis of their sadhana. These are as follows The tantric texts are often called agamas,...

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