I have found that Tantra is an ambiguous but strong word for many. It conjures up at least three different images for different people – sex, harnessing dark forces or the notorious lounge in the United States.
The reason for the first is easy to understand – sex is a universal buzzword and New Age bookstores use ‘Tantra’ as an attention-grabbing keyword. Authors, too, find sex to be the easiest tool to sell their name and their works. In fact, a majority of people relate Tantra to the sexual act, and most books available on Tantra deal with only that aspect of the philosophy.
Tantra also finds itself limited by various negative connotations that elicit shudders in many. Even in popular cinema, Tantra is depicted as a powerful tool for harming others, and its practitioners as pre-disposed to using it for just that. The fact is – Tantra is an esoteric science, with highly artistic methods and processes that carry the essence of Creation within.
When someone tries to use Tantra for any kind of selfish gain, karma – which plays a part in the process – can go awry if misdirected, even unconsciously. The tool cannot be blamed – only the one who wields it. A knife can cut a person’s throat as easily as it can cut an apple, but one can never blame the knife – only the hand that holds it.
Finally, there’s the lounge in the United States whose activities underline the popular and misguided belief that Tantra is a licence for free sex. What the lounge has going for it is the lack of knowledge and easy access to sensuality that plagues the average American, who lives on fast food and Playboy. As pointed out earlier, this lounge merely uses sex as a tool to draw people in through the exoticism of Tantra.
Here, I would like to clear out the misconceptions and help you understand the path I follow. This will help you understand what the truth of Tantra actually is, and I ask for your full attention. What follows is something you may never have considered due to the current social limitations placed on individuals. I will take you to a place that you have seen, felt, maybe even experienced… but never completely understood.
You’ve heard of the Big Bang Theory, right? A mass of energy that exploded and created the planets, including ours? Well, the Tantric theory of how life began is not all that different. At one point, there was a mass of energy, pulsating, throbbing with life and forever expanding. When large enough, it expanded and formed several, smaller masses of energy, each expanding on its own but, in essence, conjoined with the source. One became 100, 100 became 1000 and this continued till the energy reached what mathematicians despairingly call Infinity.
It is still expanding, throbbing with life, and will forever do so. Imagine if you could hold this energy within you, feel it throbbing inside you, filling each and every nook and cranny of your body, flowing in your veins … how do you think it would feel?
Stop for a moment and imagine it, then read on…
For one thing, you would feel complete. You would feel at harmony with everything around you – a feeling every human being yearns for in every lifetime. The feeling of completeness, of oneness with the cosmos, of balance – for that is what happiness is all about. And that is what Tantra gives you.
Admittedly, there are many paths to harmony. There are many religions… but let me tell you in all humility that the only path with the answers to every query on anything and everything under the sun is the one called Tantra. Tantra is, after all, encompasses all existing paths in the world.
Each and every religion, be it Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism or Judaism, is wholly or loosely based on Tantra. I like to call it the one-stop- spirituality shop. While every religion is demarcated into learning and practices, for Tantra, learning is practising.
With other religions one can easily stop at the learning and talk as though from vast experience. With Tantra, there is no such scope. If you’re not doing it, you’re completely wasting your time. In fact, Tantra is not a religion in the modern sense – nor does it either deride or approve of other religions. It lets everything and everybody just … be. If you liken all religions and spiritual paths to a web of roads to take you to your destination, then Tantra is the freeway.
However, while it is the most powerful and effective way, it is also the most misunderstood. Throughout the ages, everything of great value has been easily abused – and also feared if it is not understood. Someone not ready for Tantra can never find success with its methods. By ‘ready’, I mean having attained a certain level of consciousness.
The true teachers of Tantra have never denied their knowledge to those who they perceive as ready for its wisdom. After all, does one run before one learns to walk? Just as a person’s body grows in stages, so does one’s mind. A seeker cannot be expected to grasp the bigger picture before the attainment of a certain level of consciousness.
How does a person come into being? How did you come into this world? There are a million answers to that question, ranging from a simple ‘From my mother’ to a detailed textbook account of the procreative act. But consider this – one sperm conjoined with one egg and suddenly there is life? Have you ever thought about the implications of the truth of that sexual act? About the immense force of energy it carries?
Consider this, too – if that energy does not go into creating a baby, where does it go? What happens to it, keeping in mind that scientists have proven that energy can neither be created nor destroyed? The answer lies in Tantra.
Tantra can be used to create anything you want. The depth of the process of procreation is least understood. Not many realise that creating anything requires the processes of comparable depth. Tantra helps harness this energy in order to derive the maximum benefit from any activity. Tantra can transform every mundane act into an act of Ecstasy.
Ideally, every moment of human life should be filled with limitless happiness and joy that engulfs a person completely. Tantra can bring you to a point of complete and utter happiness, satiation and contentment… but following the path it prescribes requires you to keep an open and unbiased mind about everything. All achievement calls for unwavering focus, unstinting acceptance of the path and a destination. Any two without the third can achieve nothing at all.
Vast energy reserves can be harnessed by Tantric kriyas and mudras, which can elevate your life to a totally different level. Sexual union is an important part of Tantra, for in that moment of sexual ecstasy one unknowingly glimpses the divine harmony that awaits a follower of this path.
Consider – what if you could magnify that moment a thousandfold and hold it forever? What if you were no longer subject to the process of wooing a mate and making love just to be in that moment for a few seconds? Tantra can help achieve this state.
To be continued…
Copyright (C) Subhojit Dasgupta
Subhojit Dasgupta is a teacher of Tantra