1960, MAY 25, DMC, SAHARSA, INDIA
TANTRA AND SÁDHANÁ[corrected from different source]
SHRII SHRII ÁNANDAMÚRTI
25 May 1960 DMC, Saharsa, INDIA
Human desire is not satisfied with limited material achievements. Since the beginning of creation, man has worshiped the Infinite. It was this desire for the Infinite that enable him to discover the path of spiritual realization. Man’s quest has been for knowledge of the Infinite, direct or indirect.
The Vedas are a collection of truths visualized by Rs’is(sages) through a process of contemplation and meditation.
This appeased to some extent his urge for knowledge but his inner
desire was not satisfied. This inner desire attains full satisfaction only with real experiences in the course of “SÁDHANÁ”.
No authentic evidence is available that in the Vaedic age spiritual SÁDHANÁ was handed over from Preceptor to Disciple.
Historical researchers reveal Sadashiva to be the first expounder in the realm of Spiritual Sádhaná’, and HE named it as Tantra.
Tantra indicated progressive realization in Spiritual SÁDHANÁ.
The authoritative meaning of Tantra is that which relieves one from the bondage’s of crudeness or ignorance – “TAḾ JÁD́YÁT TÁRAYET YASTU SAH TANTRAH PARIKIIRTTITAH”.
Taḿ is the acoustic root of staticity. It is benevolent in character.
The word Tantra has another meaning also as derived from the Saḿskrta root verb “tan”.
It means the spiritual path which leads to expansion of the Self, which ultimately results in achievement of MOKŚA.
Sádhaná for MOKŚA or liberation of the mind is, therefore, synonymous with Tantra.
Really speaking, theoretical knowledge cannot be accepted as Tantra. It is a practical science. Theoretical knowledge, has therefore a secondary importance only in Tantra.
This SÁDHANÁ starts from the body and subsequently becomes a
psycho-physical process and ultimately is established in the
consciousness of the Self.
Practical behavior is the most important factor in Tantra and therefore the Preceptor- Disciple relationship is to be rigidly followed.
The Tantrika has to learn diligently at the feet of the master and has to prove himself worthy of the lessons by his conduct in the various walks of life.
That is why Sadashiva never wanted Tantra to be presented as a book. But with the lapse of time and lack of worthy Preceptors, need was felt to put it down in script to avoid it from being completely lost.
Sixty-four books on Tantra are now available in script.
Basically, Tantra can be divided into two:-
NIGAMA and (2) AGAMA
Nigama primarily deals with the principles of Tantra and Agama with the practical.
Vaedic scriptures have no practical application, they cannot be categorized as Nigama.
According to the Rudrayámala Tantra,
ÁGATAḾ SHIVAVAKTREBHYO GATAIṊCA GIRIJÁSHRUTAO;
MATAIṊCA VÁSUDEVASYA TASMÁD ÁGAMA UCYATE.
The school of pure Tantra cannot accept this as authority.
The truths expounded by Sadashiva cannot be classed as Vasudeva’s opinions.
Rudraya’mala Tantra is a later composition, and the supporters of Vedas have cunningly inserted this couplet.
In Tantra, the relationship between Master and disciple is vitally important. Every aspirant knows that the path of spirituality is a razor’s edge.
KŚURASYA DHÁRÁ NISHITÁ DURATYAYÁ.
The disciple has to tread the path with complete surrender. At every step he needs guidance from the Master.
The slightest error in spiritual practices communicated from the Master or the least negligence in meticulously following them will inevitably lead to degeneration.
A worthy master and a worthy disciple are a pre-requisite and the disciple must therefore be carefully selected.
Initiation is the seed of spiritual attainment which under favorable environment grows in the heart of the aspirant depending upon the sincerity and regularity of practice.
If the teacher is unworthy, that is if the seed is defective it will not sprout, and if the soil is barren it will not flourish.
Even if the seed is good and the field is fertile, the harvest will not be upto expectations if ploughing and irrigation are deficient.
According to Tantrikas, disciples are of three kinds:-
The first category is like Adhomukha Kumbha or like a pot lowered into a pond with mouth downwards. It appears to retain water till it is dipping but the moment it is withdrawn it is empty. Such disciples appear to be full of wisdom till they are with the Master.
The second category of disciples learn with great pains and inconveniences but they do not try to retain this knowledge. Negligence results in the loss of what was learnt after much diligence.
The third and best type of disciples are compared to Urdhva Kumbha – ie., like an upright pot which gets filled in when immersed and is brimful when withdrawn. Such disciples carefully retain the theoretical and practical knowledge learnt at the feet of the master and value it in their hearts.
Tantra categories the Preceptors into three kinds.
The first category of Preceptors limit themselves to imparting knowledge only. They are unconcerned about the conduct of the disciple.
The medium category of Preceptors , in addition, keep themselves acquainted as to how the disciples are following.
The best Preceptors impart knowledge, keep themselves familiar with the progress of the disciples and take necessary steps to ensure that the disciple follows the right path.
The Vaedic system does not lay down such a strong master disciple relationship, because Vaedic knowledge is purely theoretical.
In Tantra, there is much strictness in the selection of Preceptor and disciple on the one hand and on the other; the disciple has to surrender himself completely in the beginning at the feet of the Master.
The characteristics of the best Master have been defined in Tantra-Sara.
SHÁNTO DÁNTO KULIINASCHA VINIITA SHUDDHAVESHAVÁN
SHUDDHÁCÁRII SUPRATIŚTHITA SHUCIRDAKŚAH SUBUDDHIMÁN
ÁSHRAMII DHYÁNANIŚT́ASHCA TANTRAMANTRA VISHÁRADAH
NIGRAHÁNUGRAHE SHAKTO GURURITYABHIDHIIYATE.
All extroversial actions have their origin in the mind. SHÁNTA is one who has control over functions of the mind other than hearing, contemplation and meditation. Mind gets expression in multifarious activities of the organs. Hearing, contemplation and meditation imply important functions of the organs. One who has mastery over other than the above functions of the organs is said to be DANTA.
A KAOLA Sádhaka who practice to arouse the KULAKUŃD́ALINII (coiled serpentine) are known as Kulina. They have been referred to as Kula Guru.
The Master must be VINIITA [modest], SHUDDHAVESHAVÁNA [Soberly dressed], and have right conduct, right livelihood and pure mind.
In the spiritual field, HE must be learned in theory and skilled in practice. It is not sufficient for the Guru to be learned in theory only. HE should be highly intellectual and benevolently inclined.
HE should lead a normal family life; then only HE can act as Preceptor to a person leading a normal life.
Initiation in the process of Dhyána alone does not qualify one to become Guru. HE himself must be established in Dhyána and other Spiritual Practices. HE should be well versed in theory and skilled in the practice of Mantra. Mantra is that contemplation and meditation upon which leads to Liberation from all worldly bondages.
The Kula Guru knows the Mantras which have been proved and also knows how these are applicable to individuals.
The Guru must govern the disciple and also love him. Those who only administer or love the disciple are not worthy of the dignified position.
The Characteristic of a disciple have also been similarly laid down.
SHÁNTO VINIITO SHUDDHÁTMÁ
PRÁJIṊAH SACCARITO YATIH;
SHISHYO BHAVATI NÁNYATHÁ.
Samartha are they who are always ready to carry out the biddings of the Master under all circumstances.
Pragyah means having requisite knowledge and expression.
Yati means having control over the mind. The worthy disciple is tranquil, modest, noble, morally virtuous, reverential and preservant, obedient.
He must have knowledge and expression, control over mind, and be enthusiastic to learn the science of Tantra. It is better not to initiate persons not possessing these qualities.
If the master and the disciples are both worthy, spiritual attainment is a certainty.
Tantra has many aspects. Every individual has his own Saḿskáras or reactions in potentiality, or complexes and sentiments.
Initially man is ordinarily an animal like. Man devoid of rationality is nearer to an animal.
What is pardonable in lower life is unthinkable and intolerable in the case of men who are the result of evolution.
In any case the first lessons in Spiritual Practice are intended to elevate man from his animal tendencies and is called Pashvachara or Pashu Bhava.
With continued Spiritual Practice according to the dictates of the Master, the aspirant comes to manliness or Viira (brave) Bhava.
Animals need an external pressure; in Pashvacara SÁDHANÁ, one controls himself by external pressure to attain elevation to Viira Bhava. Those beyond the animal stage cannot get elevation through external control only. They need external pressure and internal urge.
SARVE CA PASHAVAH SANTI TALAVAD BHÚTALE NARÁH;
TEŚÁḾ JIṊÁNA PRAKÁSHÁYA VIIRABHÁVAH PRAKÁSHITAH;
VIIRABHÁVAḾ SADÁ PRÁPYA KRAMEŃA DEVATÁ BHAVET.
In crude state every one is an animal. With the rise of a spiritual inspiration he becomes VIIRA (noble) and when this VIIRA BHAVA is firmly assimilated he becomes Godlike. This practical truth is the basis of the SCIENCE OF TANTRA.
There is no conflict between Tantra and Natural sciences.
According to their mental stages, human beings can be classified into Animalistic, Noble and Godlike.
The Master initiates his disciples, according to his Spiritual and Mental stage.
VAEDIKAḾ VAEŚŃAVAḾ SHAEVAḾ DÁKŚIŃAḾ PÁSHAVAḾ SMRTAM;
SIDDHÁNTE VÁME CA VIIRE DIVYAḾTU KAOLAMUCYATE.
“Vaedikácára, Vaeśńavácára, Shaevácára and Dakśińácára are the different stages of animal feeling (pashubháva).
Siddhántácára and Vámácára come under Viirabháva, and Kaolácára under Divyabháva.”
Vaedikácára SÁDHANÁ has no deep principles. It is merely theoretical and ritualistic in character and for show.
Tantra and its adherents regard Vaedikachara as the lowest stage. This is because a Vaedikacari accepts unlimited distinctions and discrimination.
Tantra in its elevation does not accept any discrimination; whatsoever of caste, class or creed, the Tantra Sadhaka has got only one identification he is Bhaerava.
According to Ajiṋánabodhinii Tantra it has been said,
VARŃÁSHRAMÁBHIMÁNENA SHRUTIDÁSYE BHAVENNARAH;
VARŃÁSHRAMABIHIINASHCA VARTATE SHRUTIMÚRDHANI.
Elsewhere in Tantra it has been said,
YE KURBANTI NARÁH MÚRDÁ DIVYACAKRE PRAMÁDATAH;
KULABHEDAḾ VARŃABHEDAḾ TE GACCHANTYADHAMÁM GATIM.
“Those who discriminate class and caste in the realm of Spiritual Practice, get degenerated into lower life, or get inanimated. Nothing can check their degeneration.
The science of Tantra is for broadening the horizons. Tomtoming the distinction of caste and class based on a literal interpretation of Vedas leads to narrowness of mind and vision. This can only lead to annihilation.
Person vocal in slandering Tantra often cast aspersions at the practice known as PANCHA MAKARA (Five M’s). Little knowledge is dangerous. They neither know nor comprehend the real meaning, nor do they try to understand it.
Tantra has two main branches – one dealing with the crude and other dealing with the subtle.
THE SUBTLE FORM IS SYNONYMOUS WITH YOGA.
There is a middle path between the subtle and the crude which has also been recognized.
SADASHIVA IS THE EXPONENT OF BOTH THE FORMS.
THERE CANNOT THEREFORE BE ANY CONTRADICTION IN THESE.
Ordinary man is dominated by animal tendencies. Of course the dominance of such instinctive impulses differs from man to man, where these impluses are pronounced the individuals run after material enjoyment.
They just cannot give up the objects of their crude desire in favor of spiritual SÁDHANÁ.
Others whose desires are relatively limited can abstain easily in favor of a Spiritual Practice.
However for the former category repression or suppression of the instincts is undesirable and may lead to disastrous consequences.
One may be able to put up a show of saintliness for a short duration but in the long run the suppressed and repressed impulses will become more violent and those who in their earlier life appear to be saintly, with the passage of time indulge in various immoralities.
This was also the reason for the dark shadows of sin in the lives of hermits or bhikshus etc., as they tried to suppress the tendencies through external physical pressure.
Increasing immorality and sin in the garb of hypocrisy is not a sign of healthy society.
For persons having strong desires for material enjoyment, tantra has prescribed the SÁDHANÁ of crude M’s, and for persons having subtle bent, Tantra advocates the path of subtle M’s or Yoga.
The object of five crude M’s is to conduct Spiritual Practices while enveloped in material enjoyment and to gradually limit and reduce the urge for enjoyment during this period.
Use of the object of desire in a controlled way leads to increase of will power and finally the aspirant gets over the weakness.
One who is a drunkard, will reduce the quality of liquor as a part of Spiritual Practice. This will establish the superiority of his mind over his desire and gradually his extroversial practice will lead to introversion.
The modern critic does not understand the deep secrets of tantra and therefore comments adversely. The five M’s have a subtle meaning as well, viz –
SOMADHÁRÁ KŚARED YÁ TU BRAHMARANDHRÁT VARÁNANE;
PIITVÁNANDAMAYASTVAḾ SA EVA MADYASÁDHAKAH.
He who enjoys the bliss of the nectar secreting from the Pineal gland is a Madya-sadhaka. Hormones are secreted by every gland, the hormone secreted by Supreme Gland, the Pineal, is partly controlled by the moon (soma) and hence the nectar secreted from this gland is known as Somadhárá or Somarasa.
This Somadhárá vitalizes the different glands and blesses the aspirant with the joy of divine intoxication. Man does not ordinarily taste this bliss. The existence of various thoughts in the region of Pituitary gland and mind destroys the fluid. Those who are absorbed in meditation alone can taste this nectar and with it, the aspirant feels an intoxication. The laymen mis comprehend this state.
Devotee poet Ramprasad says : -
SURÁPÁN KARINE ÁMI SUDHÁ KHÁI JAYA KÁLII BALE;
MAN-MÁTÁLE MÁTÁL KARE MAD-MÁTÁLE MÁTÁL BALE.
Tantrika Yogis have given another interpretation to the word “Madya”.
YADUKTAḾ PARAMA BRAHMA NIRVIKÁRAḾ NIRAIṊJANAM;
TASMIN PRAMADANAJIṊÁNAM TANMADYAḾ PARIKIIRTTITAḾ.
“Intense love for Nirvikára Niraiṋjana Parama Brahma leads to the annihilation of thought, intellect and ego, and appears as an intoxication which may be termed a MADYA SÁDHANÁ.”
Similarly Máḿsa to the Tantrika Yogi does not indicate flesh.
MÁ SHABDÁDRASANÁ JINEYÁ TADAḾSÁN RASANÁ PRIYE;
YASTAD BHAKŚAYENNITYAM SA EVA MÁḾSA SÁDHAKAH.
“Má”means “tongue”; “Máḿsa”means “what is uttered by the tongue or speech” and denotes a control over speech. Alternatively “Máḿsa” has also been described as:–
EVAḾ MÁḾSANOTIHI YATKARMA TANMÁḾSA PARIKIIRTTITAḾ;
NA CA KÁYAPRATI VÁNTU YOGIBHIMASIMUCYATE.
The complete surrender of all the actions, good or bad, including the fruit of Spiritual Sadhana upto Ma (Mam) ie., to the Lord makes one, a real MÁḾSA SÁDHAKA.. Animal flesh has no use to the Yogi.
Fish eaters when they practice the five M’s in crude form will gradually reduce the quantity of fish taken. In its suitable form Matsya sádhaná means:
MATSYAO DVAO CARATAH SADÁ;
TAO MATSYAO BHAKŚAYET YASTU SAH BHAVENMATSYASÁDHAKAH.
Here the two nerves leading to breath through the left and right nostrils have been compared to the fish.
These nerves are beside the Id́á and Piuṋgalá nerves also referred to as Ganga and Yamuna. MATSYAO BHAKŚANA here means practicing Purna Kumbhaka or Shunya Kumbhaka on the Trikut́i or ÁJIṊA Cakra.
About Matsya – Sadashiva says:–
MATSAMÁNAḾ SARVABHÚTE SUKHADUHKHAMIDAḾ DEVI;
ITI YATSÁTVIKAḾ JIṊÁNAḾ TANMATSYAH PARIKIIRTTITAH.
The state in which one feels the happiness and sorrow of all created beings as his own, such sentiment realization is called Matsya SÁDHANÁ.
There is nothing like crude MUDRÁ SÁDHANÁ:
SATSAUNGENA BHAVENMUKTIRASATSAUNGEŚU BANDHANAM;
ASATSAUṊGAMUDRAŃAḾ SÁ MUDRÁ PARIKIIRTTITÁ.
Association with the impious leads to bondage and with the righteous leads to Liberation. In consonance with the truth eschewing all association with the impious is MUDRÁ SÁDHANÁ.
The Fifth practice of Painca Makara Sádhaná has been very much scandalised.
In crude Maethuna Sádhaná progress will be achieved by gradually practising restraint. This is the dictate of Tantra and is universally acceptable. As regards to subtle Maethuna Sádhaná it has been said
KULAKUŃD́ALINII SHAKTIRDEHINÁḾ DEHADHÁRIŃII;
TAYÁ SHIVASHYA SAḾYOGAH MAETHUNAḾ PARIKIIRTTITAḾ.
The lowest vertebra of the spinal cord is called kula. In this part of the MÚLÁDHÁRA CAKRA is located the Divine Power or the coiled serpentine (kulakuńd́alinii). Elevation of kulakuńd́alinii to Paramashiva in the thousand petalled lotus (Sahasrára cakra ) is the Maethuna Sádhaná of the Tantrika.
Spiritual Sádhaná in Tantra is in stages from the phyiscal to the psycho and from the psychic to the Spiritual. In other words, it is physico-psychic-spiritual.
Tantra lays down that spiritual elevation is possible only after the edification of body and mind. This appears to be logical and rational too.
Purification in the spheres of food, conduct and thought is therefore, essential for Sádhaka. In their absence, a Sádhaka cannot experience any real spiritual ideation, and hence the greatest emphasis on this practice of tantra.
Tantra defines Ideation as.
SHUDDHASATTVA VISHEŚÁDVÁ PREMASÚRYÁḾSHUSÁMYABHÁK;
RUCIBHISHCITTAMÁSRŃYA KRDASAO BHÁVA UCYATE.
Idea is mental tendency, “Bhávo hi mánaso dharma manasaeva sadábhyáset” and practice leads to expansion and attainment. Japa or outer suggestion and auto-suggestion are a repetition of this mental tendency. If one repeatedly meditates upon God, continued association will cause the curved psychic waves of the individual to approximate to the straight radiation of the Cosmic Consciousness.
Auto-suggestion and outer-suggestion are the practical ways for God realization.
Vedas refer to phrases like “Ahaḿ Brahma”, and “Tattvamasi” denoting non-duality bent to a Sádhaka; these are empty sounds in the absence of spiritual realization. What is to be the nature of ideation or how to imbibe the spirit of Mantra or how to associate the vital force of a Mantra are problems to which no reference has been made in the Vedas..
ANUBHÚTIḾ BINÁ MÚD́HA VRTHÁ BRAHMAŃI MODATE;
The image of a fruit has no taste, so also book knowledge of Brahma possesses no value in life.
AHAḾ BRAHMÁSMI, VIJIṊÁNÁDA JIṊÁNÁVILAYO BHAVET;
SO’MITYEVA SAḾCINTYA VIHARET SARVADÁ DEVI.
The supreme Knowledge “Ahaḿ Brahmásmi [“I am Brahma”] leads out of all ignorance; nothing else can cause enlightenment. But if this truth remains confined to utterance alone it is worthless. The ideational-flow is “So’ham” mantra has to be imbibed by continuous suggestions and this is not possible by mere repetition. This psycho-spiritual principle is the discovery of tantra. Japakriyá (auto and outer suggestion) and Dhyánakriyá have been prescribed in Sádhaná by Mahákaolas.
The Tantrikas assert that mere Japa cannot prove fruitful unless there is a rhythmic parallelism in the waves of the unit mind and the flow of the Mantra. If while mentally reciting a Mantra, one is also engaged in thinking something else, such a recitation is useless. To obtain good results, one has to concentrate all the mental faculties and the process of breathing in resonance with the mantra.
MANO’NYATRA SHIVO’NYATRA SHAKTIRANYATRA MÁRUTAH;
NA SIDHYATI VARÁNANE KALPAKOTISHATAERAPI.
With the mind loitering away from the divine object, and breath and vital energy dissipated elsewhere, meditation is impossible.
INDRIYÁŃÁM MANONÁTHAH MANONATHO’STU MÁRUTAH.
Mind is the controller of organs (indriyas) and Vayu (breath) is the controller of mind. None of these are, therefore to be ignored. Every constituent fact must be controlled and directed towards the Supreme Lord.
The process of DIIKŚÁ(Initiation) in Tantra is very scientific. There are two factors in initiation — Diipanii and Mantra caetanya. Diipanii means a “torch” and Mantra Caetanya denotes “Conceptual understanding and psychic association with the Mantra”.
Vishvasára Tantra defines Initiation as —
DIIPA JIṊÁNAḾ YATO DADYÁT KURYÁT PÁPAKŚAYAM TATAH;
TASMÁTDIIKŚETI SÁ PROKTÁ SARVATANTRASYA SAMMATÁ.
Initiation enables one to have a psychic visualization of the Mantra as a result of which Saḿskáras, get
annihilated quickly. This is the reason why after initiation the aspirants undergoes unexpected and uncalled for happiness or sorrow. This is an encouraging symptom but it does not follow by merely repeating the Mantra. Before proceeding with the Japa of the Mantra, the torch light to guide the mind in a proper frame and during the process psychic association with the meaning are essential. These contexts are clear to persons practicing in the Sadhana of Ananda Marga.
ANDHAKÁRAGRHE YADVANNA KINCAT PRATIBHÁSATE;
One cannot place any object howsoever valuable in a dark room. Similarly without the beacon, one cannot correctly make use of any Mantra howsoever effective.
Without being able to arouse the kulakuńd́alinii(colied serpentine), auto-suggestion and outer suggestion are futile. Mantra caetanya is understood to mean assimilation and association of the idea expressed by the Mantra, and to achieve early by completing the suggestion by a full conceptual understanding of the meaning of Mantra. Without Ideational concept all repetition of a Mantra is a waste of time. In Rudrayamal Tantra, according to Shiva-
CAETANYA RAHITÁH MANTRÁH PROKTAVARŃÁSTU KEVALÁH;
PHALAḾ NAEVA PRAYACCHANTI LAKŚA KOT́I PRAJAPATI.
Dhyána – the Process of Dhyána needs neither Diipanii nor Mantra Caetanya. These are requisites only for the process of auto or outer suggestion. To aspirants who have not acquired facility in the process of Mantra-Japa, Dhyána is exceedingly difficult. Dhyána is unification with the Cosmic Consciousness and embraces all the three Mantra.
Diipani and Mantra Caetanya
Manta – Japa combines a number of Spiritual processes where as Dhyána is a process complete in itself. That is why novices find difficulty in practicing Dhyána. Aspirants who can easily practice Dhyána can easily attain a state of Samádhi.
VINÁNYÁSAEH VINÁ PÚJÁḾ VINÁ JAPAEH PURASKRIYAḾ;
DHYÁNAYOGÁD BHAVETSIDDHIRNÁNYATHÁ KHALU PÁRVATII.
–Shrii Krama Tantra
Nirvikalpa Samádhi is attainable only after one gets established in Dhyána and attainment of Samádhi is a natural prelude to Salvation or Absolute Liberation.