Tantra- Do what you Desire and become Enlightened
What is the Essence of Tantra
When the word Tantra is perceived, what comes to our mind are sexual orgies, strange rituals and witch crafts. To the common person, this might be justifiable as that is what is projected in media and society outlook .
Tantra do promote sexual harmony, as it is considered by scriptures to be one of the fastest and easiest way to reach enlightenment. However this is only one of the subcategories that define the system or which can be considered part of a whole.
That is what that makes tantra practices appealing as there is no restriction or bar on anything.Nothing is right or wrong, good or bad. In fact your desires, dreams and fantasy are just gateways to reach enlightenment. This is a sharp contrast to other meditative techniques, such as yoga were repression is taught and followed.
Origin of Tantra
Origin of Tantra was believed to be 3000 years ago, before the writing of Vedas. The contribution to this system, was mainly provided by the Dravidian culture, that inhabited India before the coming of Aryans. As the Aryans were warriors, they looked down upon Dravidian and Mongolian race as inferior. However there were ascetics in Aryan race, who were interested in philosophy and intellectual ideas. They were termed as Rishis.
The Rishis became very much interested in the tantric ways, practiced by the Dravidian culture that it was integrated into Aryan studies as well.
However some of the concepts of tantra was so unorthodox and its practices mistaken to be witchcraft, that persecution started happening. Tantric sages were crucified and sacred books destroyed, that most of the past knowledge were completed dissolved. Tantra went underground and remained in hiding until rediscovered in the present era.
Principles of Tantra
Goddess Shakthi is much revered in tantric practices. Shakthi represents the cosmic energy flow and is also perceived as the dynamic force of change. Her state of existence is termed as swathanthriya, which means dependent to none but related to all.
So coming back to the question of why Tantra attracted negative criticism. This is because Tantra focuses on expression in every aspect of life and condemns repression .The word Tantra itself mean to Expand and Liberate
- You are Thyself
One of the core teachings of Tantra, acceptance of oneself. If you accept yourself, if you accept your present state, if you accept your weakness, if you accept your strength, remain in total acceptance then peace dawns in you. By letting go of uncontrollable situation, be it future or past, we accept destiny. You are then going with the flow of life than against it. Acceptance should not be related to defeat. Defeat occurs when we try to deceive ourselves by comparison, anger and jealousy. Also by complete surrender, we become open to new experiences and ideas for self development.
- This moment, this very moment is yours
Mindful awareness is another strong aspect for bliss and happiness. What ever be your past, what ever bad experiences you had undergone should be forgotten, Never cry for spilled milk. Future can be created by your mind in the most beautiful of thoughts. But it is yet to come and may not be, as you envisioned. What you have now is the present. Tantra states, enjoy the very moment you are in, relish the taste of each minute, the events that unfolds therein and you live a more meaningful life. A life event that is well spend, will not produce regrets.
- Never shun Life, true meditation occurs now and here
In early times for an ascetic to be enlightened, he had to leave his family, job, relations and move to a remote location such as a forest or cave, to meditate. tantra is against such practices. As such, this method of renunciation can affect our mind and body. In short, no need to torture oneself to attain divinity, which includes fasting, feeling guilty of pleasures etc. The world as such is not Maya, as stated by many. It is a creation of God and to go against it , is to go against the Creator. Enjoy life to the fullest. Experience all that the world has to offer. To live life completely, is the best meditation.
- All are Welcome, every desire is a step towards Enlightenment
The beauty of tantra is that no desires, no ambitions or emotions are labeled bad or good. It is believed sexual arousal provides the strongest and most potent path towards enlightenment. That is why tantric sex has this much appeal. Tantra also advises not to repress your emotions as this can lead to unwanted energy build up in the body, leading to stress and anxiety. So if you feel like dancing, do so, if you want to laugh, do it with whole heart. There is nothing to feel guilty about. This is a sharp contrast to what is advocated by many systems.
Yab Yum- Tibetan Tantra
Tibetan tantra exhibits a godly figure known as the Yab- Yum. Yab Yum is fierce in nature with three heads and four hands. He is depicted in a lotus posture with his consert sitting in his lap. An image projecting a love elope. This sexual union depicts compassion and wisdom which is mainly associated with enlightenment.
The male figure depicts compassion and skillful means needed for self awareness while the female entity projects wisdom and passiveness.