Shri Vijnana Bhairava Tantra: The Ascent Paperback
by Saraswati Satyasangananda (Author)
Tantra is a spiritual tradition for the wellness of body, mind, and soul. It is found in both Hinduism and Buddhism and has also influenced other Asian belief systems. For both the Hindu and Buddhist forms, tantrism may best be defined in the words of Teun Goudriaan, who describe tantra as a “systematic quest for salvation or spiritual excellence by realizing and fostering the divine within one’s own body, one that is the simultaneous union of the masculine-feminine and spirit-matter, and has the ultimate goal of realizing the “primal blissful state of non-duality.”
Many people wrongly consider tantra to be full of obscenities and not suitable for people of good taste. It is also often misunderstood as being a kind of black magic. However, in reality, tantra is one of the most important Indian traditions, representing the practical aspect of the Vedic tradition.
The religious attitude of the tantric is fundamentally the same as that of the Vedic followers, and it is believed that the tantric tradition is a part of the main Vedic tree. The more vigorous aspects of Vedic religion were continued and developed in the tantras. Generally, Hindu tantrics worship either Goddess Shakti or Lord Shiva. There is a considerable number of texts devoted to this practice, which dates back to the 5th-9th century CE.
The Meaning of Tantra
The word tantra is derived from two words, tattva and mantra. Tattva means the science of cosmic principles, while mantra refers to the science of mystic sound and vibrations. Tantra, therefore, is the application of cosmic sciences with a view of attaining spiritual ascendancy. In another sense, tantra also means the scripture by which the light of knowledge is spread.
Tantra for wellness
There are three distinct tantric traditions–Dakshina ( Right ), Vama ( Left ), and Madhyama ( Middle ). They represent the three Shaktis, or powers, of Shiva and are characterized by the three Gunas, or qualities–sattva, rajas, and tamas. The Dakshina tradition, characterized by the sattva branch of tantra is essentially for a good purpose. And the Madhyama, characterized by rajas, is of mixed nature, while the Vama, characterized by tamas, is the most impure form of tantra.
In Indian villages, tantric are still easy to find. Many of them help the villagers solve their problems. And, every person who has lived in the villages or has spent his childhood there has a story to tell. What is so easily believed in the villages might appear illogical and unscientific to the rational urban mind, but these phenomena are realities of life.
Tantra is different from other religious beliefs in the sense that it takes the whole person with all his/her worldly desires into account. Other spiritual traditions ordinarily teach that desire for material pleasures, and spiritual aspirations are mutually exclusive, setting the stage for an endless internal struggle. Though most people are drawn into spiritual beliefs and practices, they have a natural urge to fulfill their worldly desires. And with no way to reconcile these two impulses, they fall prey to guilt and self-condemnation or become hypocritical. But the Tantra offers an alternative path.
The Tantric practice is systematic and comprehensive. The profound science and practices pertaining to hatha yoga, pranayama, mudras, rituals, kundalini yoga, nada yoga, mantra, mandala, visualization of deities, alchemy, ayurveda, astrology, and hundreds of esoteric practices for generating worldly and spiritual prosperity blend perfectly in the Tantric disciplines.
Experts say a regular tantric practice can help you reap the following benefits:
1) It reduces stress, anxiety, depression and other related mental issues.
2) It inculcates a better understanding and love for oneself.
3) It improves sleep quality boosts confidence and performance in the bedroom
4) Tantra improves the quality of life and overall wellness.
Traditionally Tantra has been divided into two parts for wellness i.e. red tantra and white tantra. White tantra is the solo practice, which incorporates yoga and meditation. But Red tantra is the sexual practice.
While both use sexual energy, the goal of the two practices is different. The goal of red tantra is to create a deeper bond with a partner, while white tantra is about creating a deeper bond with yourself.
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“Tantra is freedom; freedom from all mind-constructs, from all mind-games; freedom from all structures; freedom from the other. Tantra is space to be. Tantra is liberation, a total orgasm of the whole being.” —Osho
This book takes readers on a fascinating journey to the very heart of Tantra: its key teachings, foundational lineages, and transformative practices. Since the West’s discovery of Tantra 100 years ago, there has been considerable fascination, speculation, and more than a little misinformation about this spiritual movement. Now, for the first time in the English language, Tantra Illuminated presents an accessible introduction to this sacred tradition that began 1,500 years ago, in the far north of India. The book uses translations from primary Sanskrit sources, offers a profound look at spiritual practice, and reveals Tantra’s rich history and powerful teachings.
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