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

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tantra: Positive Tantras And The Use Of Mantras

At the other end of the spectrum there are practices that expedite our meditation and bring us closer to the inner light.Unlike negative practices such as the one just described in the last article I posted, these positive practices incorporate spiritually illuminating and rejuvenating ingredients, such as lotus, ghee, brahmi (Bacopa monniera), sesame seeds, and guggul (Commiphora mukul). Like the negative tantric practices, these positive practices greatly intensify whatever is undertaken. For example according to the scriptures the gayatri mantra helps us wash off karmic impurities, and it is therefore one of the most powerful mantras for purifying the mind and heart. As this process begins we gain clarity of mind, our thoughts become organized, and our concentration improves, enabling us to intuitively distinguish good from bad and right from wrong. Ordinarily, however, when people meditate on the gayatri mantra it takes years before they notice any effect. The tantric method of practicing gayatri accelerates this process. It includes rituals, meditation on a specific yantra, meditation on the chakras, the recitation of auxiliary mantras, pranayama practices, and, ultimately, the making of a fire offering.

In tantra the gayatri mantra can be used in several ways to achieve worldly goals, to overcome specific obstacles, or to advance spiritually. Offering a mixture of sugar, honey,coconut, ghee, and kaner (Nerium indicum) into the fire while repeating the gayatri mantra cures physical and psychosomatic problems. Offering the flower of a lotus while reciting the gayatri mantra brings prosperity. Offering the fruit, leaves,and sticks from a bilva tree (Aegle marmelos) brings both peace and prosperity. Offering karanja fruit (Pongamia pinnata) is a tantric cure for phobia and schizophrenia. An offering of sticks from a palash tree (Butea monosperma) grants retentive power (memory) and clarity of mind.

Similarly, chapter six of Netra Tantra describes six ways to use the maha mrityunjaya mantra for healing oneself or others.Most of these consist of rituals, visualization, and meditation on different chakras.

To be continued in the next post.


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