"In Wonders We Sail, Questing for the Answers in Veil"

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tantra : Finding A Way In (Introducing The Spectrum of Practices)




Tantrics hold that there is only one primordial force animating all forms of life, that this force is the Divine, and that the world is Her manifestation. For them experiencing this divinity in every aspect of life is liberation, and anything less is bondage. That is why to them worldly success is not an obstacle to spiritual growth; on the contrary it is the ground for spiritual success, because those who are without worldly means and resources have little time and energy for spiritual endeavours. Most of our problems, tantrics maintain, are not caused because we do not know God; rather, we suffer because we do not know this world. But once we know what this material world is all about and can regulate the subtle forces that govern it, we can overcome all suffering.

THE SPECTRUM OF PRACTICES

Because tantrics do not accept the notion that spirituality and worldliness cannot commingle, tantra addresses all the concerns of both body and spirit. It is up to us, the tantrics say,to choose the nature and scope of the practices we undertake. Highly evolved practices, such as those pertaining to the tradition of Sri Vidya, address all aspects of life, while practices with narrower objectives may address just one or two life's concerns.

Dattatreya Tantra :



These concerns run the gamut of human experience, from the base to the lofty. In the vast tantric literature there are practices that can be regarded as a form of black magic. For example Dattatreya Tantra describes a practice for driving an enemy insane. It involves concentrating the negative forces of the mind on feathers from two natural enemies (an owl and a crow), and further charging these feathers with rituals consisting of ingredients which reinforce the animosity, such as the fruit of the nux plant, red chilies, salt, and the paste and smoke created by bitter objects such as neem (Azadirachta indicia). The practice is done on the night of the new moon and is concluded by burying the feathers along with the other ritual ingredients in mud, preferably under a neem tree.The entire procedure is accompanied by the recitation of a specific mantra.

If we have not seen the effect of such practices through our own eyes we can dismiss them as superstition. But once we understand that plants, minerals, animals, and humans are all the locus for nature's subtle forces we can find a scientific explanation for why these practices work. Homeopathic medicines, which are diluted to the point at which no physical trace remains of the original substance,work at the level of energy. In the same way the feathers of an owl and a crow contain the subtle impression of animosity. And once this animosity is awakened with the use of rituals and the energy polarized in a certain direction with the power of sound (mantra) and mind, it can affect a person with a weak will.

To Be Continued in the Next Article,

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