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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Yantra : The Second Initiation In Tantra

We have seen that initiation into mantra sadhana and our subsequent engagement with the accompanying practices gives us an opportunity to bask in the presence of the primordial lifef-orce known to tantrics as the Divine Mother. We have also seen that, through prolonged mantra sadhana, an increasingly intimate relationship develops between the practitioner and the mantric energy. And as this intimacy matures, an urge arises to explore the intricacies of this relationship to a greater degree. That is when we are ready to be initiated into yantra.

Yantra sadhana is the natural extension of mantra sadhana, and in a strict sense kaula tantric practice begins here. Mantra initiation enables us to recognize our relationship with the Divine Mother, but it does not necessarily help us experience either Her relationship with the dynamic forces that emanate from Her or our own relationship with those forces. This is the fruit of meditating on a yantra.

The deity is not the only visual form of the mantra.Mantric energy also takes a visual form known as yantra, a geometrical diagram (perceived intuitively by the sages in the course of their inward journey) which reveals complex interrelationships between the meditator and the Divine Mother: the sound of the mantra is accompanied by the same vibratory patterns in yantric form. In other words, like the personified form of the deity, yantras are visible expressions of the mantric rays. Just as the nuclear activity in the sun engenders the heat and light that radiates outward, so does the inherent creativity of the Divine Mother radiate outward in the form of mantras (sound) and yantras (light). To those of us who have not gained access to the Divine the patterns formed by the mantric rays remain imperceptible; so to guide us to the realm beyond mind and senses the sages have mapped the mantric world in the form of yantras. By following this map we not only draw nearer to the Divine Force,we also begin to experience its dynamic interplay with the mantric energy of the yantra.

Tantric sadhana is long and difficult, and for this reason the first and fundamental practice is to meditate on a yantra that will help us remove all of the obstacles that may arise during the more advanced practices. Most of these, the tantric masters have observed, are associated with concerns and issues that correspond to the two lowest chakras. For example the obstacles of fear, insecurity, sloth, inertia, and dullness are associated with the first chakra; those of desire, attachment,anger, lust, and all forms of sensual urges are associated with the second. Most of our diseases, both physical and psychological,constitute further obstacles; they have their origins in issues related to these two chakras. The obstacles of depression,grief, and a lack of self-motivation are caused by disturbances at these two chakras.

All of these forces wreak havoc on the spiritual journey and have to be brought under control if we hope to succeed.We must be healthy and strong at the physical level, and stable at the emotional level. Intellectual clarity and sharpness is of utmost importance. When we have cultivated an indomitable will and the power of determination that accompanies it we will face fewer obstacles, and we will have the ability to overcome those we do encounter. For all of these reasons adepts first initiate their students into the Ganesha yantra, a special sadhana that removes all obstacles.


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