Tag Archives: Tantric

The Maya of Tantra

An Individual who, (though) desirous
of doing various things, but incapable of doing them due to his innate impurity, (experiences) the supreme state (Parma Padam) when the disruption (ksobha) (of his false ego) ceases.” ~ .9 Stanzas on Vibration. Translated with Intro and Exposition by Mark Dyczkowski.

The tantric perspective of Maya has been the focus of several of my past blog entries. Most people in the west recognize the concept of maya from Buddhism or Vedanta philosophies. Following these modes of thought, maya translates as illusion. The path of these philosophies is a path of negation (neti neti/not this not that): to distinguish the real from the unreal. They say that only god is real and everything we recognize in this world as real (the objects of the mind and senses and such) are not real. Such objects arise only through the illusion of maya.

Tantra accepts maya to be just as real as god himself. Since god consciousness permeates everything completely and fully, then every object of the mind and senses is, is a sense, equal. Rather than being a force of illusion, it’s a force merely of ignorance.

Ignorance is of two types that need to transform into knowledge in Tantric path:

1. Ignorance regarding our true self
2. Ignorance of the attachment to thought constructs and psychological impressions.

Tantrics must purify what is impure in themselves. The impurities of humans are threefold:

1. Karma is the first impurity we must polish to purity. Karma in this case can be described as the imprint that is left in the mind when we perform action out of attachment or desire. This is why so much yoga is focused on releasing desire and attachment. Rather then think of karma in terms of good or bad, think of it in terms of making karma or not making karma for yourself. Only by relinquishing the desire even for good results can we release ourselves from the karmic implications of our actions.
2. Once we have started to effectively deal with the part of ourselves that is guided by karma, we can begin to see maya for what it is: a kind of necessary limitation. In many ways, it’s these apparent limits are what set the stage for the human struggle against self and nature. They are also the veils that keep us from recognizing our true godly nature. The characteristics of divine nature are fivefold. 1. Omnipotent, 2. Omniscient, 3. Satisfied, 4. Eternal, 5. Free. Maya too is fivefold in it’s actions to obscure each of these characteristics: 1. Power appears limited, 2. Knowledge appears limited, 3. Desire motivates us, 4. We have the linear experience of time, and 5. We are subject to cause and effect.
3. And finally, after we have effectively and fully understood these lessons in our hearts, we are ready to fully purify our perception and cleanse the final impurity (or rather the original impurity) and bring our dual focus into oneness. We see clearly and spontaneously that all is one and that god is everywhere in equal measure. Duality ceases.

Everything in the tantric’s path involves divine grace; nothing at all can happen without it. The very will underlying all action is said to be equal to the will of god. For tantrics, the motivation for action comes from the desire only for self-recognition, liberation, and god consciousness. A tantric cannot say for instance that he is taking action to recognize his true flow of consciousness. we are rather gods in human form seeking the god in ourselves. There are four ways that such grace descends upon us to give us the will and desire for self-seeking (but these I’ll go into another time).

Too many misguided tantrics these days superimpose the spiritual laws of tantrism onto material life. Nothing is prohibited and nothing is enjoined. The path of Tantrism they say, is unlimited; we can do anything. This is true only in spiritual life when we have overcome our mundane desires and attachments and when the goal is union with god consciousness. To say everything is allowed and then run off to fulfill desires for sex or material possession or power over people is not the path of Tantra.

I once sat with the owner/instructor of a yoga studio. She was telling me about some of the yoga styles and studios available in the relatively small town. She mentioned the Tantric studio that was around the corner from her own presumably more orthodox. She complained that people were going to Tantra because Tantra allows them to keep doing whatever they want (eat, drink, party, have sex, and pretty much continue to follow their most base instincts). As she told me this, she sipped on her beer and chewed on her hardy beef burger.

I wasn’t surprised by her misconception of Tantra, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the studio was indeed teaching such a path devoid of knowledge. Nor did the fact that she was eating meat and drinking beer phase me until she made this statement. Every persons path to higher consciousness is their own, what is important is that we follow our own rules. Only by recognizing and following our own rules will we make spiritual progress. If we believe the orthodoxy that drinking beer and eating meat will dull our consciousness, then it most assuredly will. On the other hand, we truly believe as many tribal cultures believe, that eating meat will bring us in union with the spirits of higher consciousness than eating meat in this way will most assuredly raise ones consciousness.

There are two kinds of worship in this world: inner worship and outer worship. These days the majority of people are focused on outer worship, Outer worship will bring only outer fruits. If you really want to practice yoga, you mush focus intently on inner worship.

Why do Tantriks talk about sex?

I’ve been lucky enough in my travels to meet a few Tantriks who were not trying to sell me anything, nor did they want anything from me: they never spoke about sex. They laugh at the west and their so called Tantric sex cults and the culture of permissiveness that has grown from the idea that we can somehow become enlightened if we can just have better sex.

When ever I have heard these less lustful Tantriks talk about sex, it’s been as a metaphor. We all know how overwhelming sexual desire can be. Our entire focus will shift to sex so that everything else that was in our minds is gone. One pointed in focus we take action to get what we want: satisfaction; a feeling of fullness that quenches all desires. The moments of orgasm they liken to the more eternal blessing of having your true desires fulfilled. But of course the orgasm of sex is over in a few moments and the feeling of fullness quickly begins to fade, especially when the feeling that we’ve perhaps chosen our partner too hastily stars to set in.

To continue the metaphor of sex, most of us these days know that the difference between average sex and good sex has little to do with the physical action and everything to do with how much heart the couple put into it. The more you attach by heart with your partner and the moment, the more intense will be orgasm as well as the feeling of fullness you receive.

Tantriks like to ask: “What do you want?” They push you to get to know yourself and become aware of your desires and discover what it is you truly want; your lasting desire. There’s nothing wrong with fulfilling your desires, but learn from them, use your experience to figure out what it is you really want. As you discover deeper and deeper desires you will discover that you are willing to sacrifice many lesser desires for the bigger one. Thru such sacrifice you will build more power and resolve to achieve the greater desire which in turn will make the satisfaction that much greater.

Tantrism is very practical. It’s not the mystical practice it’s so often portrayed as. Sure it takes a different view of The world, but it’s no hocus-pocus. All the knowledge of Tantrismis is contained in our actions: our hopes, desires, wisdom, will and joy. Just look at yourself, learn from your elders, learn from your experience, learn from sharing, and then put it all into practice in the direction you want to go. Moksha will be there only when you hold your desire and your direction firmly without going here and there and everywhere.

Today the world is full of youths who want Moksha, but they want it now and when they don’t get it, they move on. There is nothing wrong with this, everyone must follow their heart, and without age and experience the youth cannot be expected to know their heart. Many people in the world maintain their entire lives in fear of looking at what they might have inside, so having this courage at whatever age is a blessing alone, but at a young age we have not so many heart experiences to learn from. And at any age there are few people who know what it is they really want.

Most sages tell us that the greatest longing of the heart is for union with god (with energy), and though many of the tantriks of the west profess to this longing, few sacrifices are being made for it’s attainment. They are often much too busy following every little desire that arises to focus on the bigger picture. This is why moksha is reserved for the end of life, because by then, if we’ve really paid attention, we will have realized by heart and by experience that there really is no such thing as moksha. But if they’ve really been following Tantra way, they will experience the full fullness of life.

Tantrism has nothing to do with sex but everything to do with desire, you just have to keep your head out of the gutter to see it.

Om namah shivaya