Skip to main content

The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna - 12 :



TANTRA :-




According to the Tantra, the Ultimate Reality is Chit, or Consciousness, which is identical with Sat, or Being, and with Ananda, or Bliss. This Ultimate Reality, Satchidananda, Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, is identical with the Reality preached in the Vedas. And man is identical with this Reality; but under the influence of maya, or illusion, he has forgotten his true nature. He takes to be real a merely apparent world of subject and object, and this error is the cause of his bondage and suffering. The goal of spiritual discipline is the rediscovery of his true identity with the divine Reality.



For the achievement of this goal the Vedanta prescribes an austere negative method of discrimination and renunciation, which can be followed by only a few individuals endowed with sharp intelligence and unshakable will-power. But Tantra takes into consideration the natural weakness of human beings, their lower appetites, and their love for the concrete. It combines philosophy with rituals, meditation with ceremonies, renunciation with enjoyment. The underlying purpose is gradually to train the aspirant to meditate on his identity with the Ultimate.



 The average man wishes to enjoy the material objects of the world. Tantra bids him enjoy these, but at the same time discover in them the presence of God. Mystical rites are prescribed by which, slowly, the sense-objects become spiritualists and sense attraction is transformed into a love of God. So the very "bonds" of man are turned into "releases". The very poison that kills is transmuted into the elixir of life. Outward renunciation is not necessary. Thus the aim of Tantra is to sublimate bhoga, or enjoyment into yoga, or union with Consciousness. For, according to this philosophy, the world with all its manifestations is nothing but the sport of Siva and Sakti, the Absolute and Its inscrutable Power.



 The disciplines of Tantra are graded to suit aspirants of all degrees. Exercises are prescribed for people with "animal", "heroic", and "divine" outlooks. Certain of the rites require the presence of members of the opposite sex. Here the aspirant learns to look on woman as the embodiment of the Goddess Kali, the Mother of the Universe. The very basis of Tantra is the Motherhood of God and the glorification of woman. Every part of a woman's body is to be regarded as incarnate Divinity. But the rites are extremely dangerous. The help of a qualified guru is absolutely necessary. An unwary devotee may lose his foothold and fall into a pit of depravity. 



 According to the Tantra, Sakti is the active creative force in the universe. Siva, the Absolute, is a more or less passive principle. Further, Sakti is as inseparable from Siva as fire's power to burn is from fire itself. Sakti, the Creative Power, contains in Its womb the universe, and therefore is the Divine Mother. All women are Her symbols. Kali is one of Her several forms. The meditation on Kali, the Creative Power, is the central discipline of the Tantra. While meditating, the aspirant at first regards himself as one with the Absolute and then thinks that out of that Impersonal Consciousness emerge two entities, namely, his own self and the living form of the Goddess. He then projects the Goddess into the tangible image before him and worships it as the Divine Mother.



 Sri Ramakrishna set himself to the task of practising the disciplines of Tantra; and at the bidding of the Divine Mother Herself he accepted the Brahmani as his guru. He performed profound and delicate ceremonies in the Panchavati and under the bel-tree at the northern extremity of the temple compound. He practised all the disciplines of the sixty-four principal Tantra books, and it took him never more than three days to achieve the result promised in any one of them. After the observance of a few preliminary rites, he would be overwhelmed with a strange divine fervour and would go into samadhi, where his mind would dwell in exaltation. Evil ceased to exist for him. The word "carnal" lost its meaning. The whole world and everything in it appeared as the lila, the sport, of Siva and Sakti. He beheld held everywhere manifest the power and beauty of the Mother; the whole world, animate and inanimate, appeared to him as pervaded with Chit, Consciousness, and with Ananda, Bliss.



 He saw in a vision the Ultimate Cause of the universe as a huge luminous triangle giving birth every moment to an infinite number of worlds. He heard the Anahata Sabda, the great sound Om, of which the innumerable sounds of the universe are only so many echoes. He acquired the eight supernatural powers of yoga, which make a man almost omnipotent, and these he spurned as of no value whatsoever to the Spirit. He had a vision of the divine Maya, the inscrutable Power of God, by which the universe is created and sustained, and into which it is finally absorbed. In this vision he saw a woman of exquisite beauty, about to become a mother, emerging from the Ganges and slowly approaching the Panchavati. Presently she gave birth to a child and began to nurse it tenderly. A moment later she assumed a terrible aspect, seized the child with her grim jaws, and crushed it. Swallowing it, she re-entered the waters of the Ganges.



 But the most remarkable experience during this period was the awakening of the Kundalini Sakti, the "Serpent Power". He actually saw the Power, at first lying asleep at the bottom of the spinal column, then waking up and ascending along the mystic Sushumna canal and through its six centres, or lotuses, to the Sahasrara, the thousand-petalled lotus in the top of the head. He further saw that as the Kundalini went upward the different lotuses bloomed. And this phenomenon was accompanied by visions and trances. Later on he described to his disciples and devotees the various movements of the Kundalini: the fishlike, birdlike, monkeylike, and so on. The awaken- ing of the Kundalini is the beginning of spiritual consciousness, and its union with Siva in the Sahasrara, ending in samadhi, is the consummation of the Tantrik disciplines.



About this time it was revealed to him that in a short while many devotees would seek his guidance.


By Swami Nikhilananda 


Next : 13.Vaishnava Disciplines -


Continues....

Popular posts from this blog

All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : 2.1.1.g) -2.

CHAPTER 2. HINDU SCRIPTURES : 1.

The Scriptures :

1. The Srutis : g)-2

g ).The Vedangas-2.


Vyakarana is Sanskrit grammar. Panini’s books are most famous. Without knowledge of Vyakarana, you cannot understand the Vedas.

Chhandas is metre dealing with prosody.

Nirukta is philology or etymology.

Jyotisha is astronomy and astrology. It deals with the movements of the heavenly bodies, planets, etc., and their influence in human affairs.

Kalpa is the method of ritual.

The Srauta Sutras which explain the ritual of sacrifices belong to Kalpa.

The sulba Sutras, which treat of the measurements which are necessary for laying out the sacrificial areas, also belong to Kalpa.

The Grihya Sutras which concern domestic life, and the Dharma Sutras which deal with ethics, customs and laws, also belong to Kalpa.

Swami Sivananda
 To be continued  ....


All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-4.5.

08/03/2017.

CHAPTER - 4. HINDU ETHICS-5.

5. Ethical Codes In Hinduism :

5.1
Hindu ethics is superb. Hinduism lays great emphasis on ethical discipline.

Yama (self-restraint) and Niyama (religious observances or canons) are the foundations of Yoga and Vedanta.


5.2
Undeveloped persons cannot think for themselves.

Hence rules of conduct have been laid down by great sages or seers like Manu and Sage Yajnavalkya.


5.3
Lord Krishna says in the Gita: “Let the scriptures be thy authority in determining what ought to be done or what ought not to be done.

Knowing what hath been declared by the ordinances of the scriptures, thou oughtest to work in this world” (Ch. XVI-24).

The Smritis written by Yajnavalkya, Manu and other sages distinctly prescribe the rules of conduct.

As you have not got the power nor the time to think of the moral principles and rules given in the scriptures, you can get them from the sages and saints and follow them to the very letter.

Swami Sivananda
To be continued ..


All About Bharatiya Sanatana Dharmam otherwise known as Hinduism : Ch-3.15-4.3.

MEMBERS VERY IMPORTANT TATTVAM, READ CAREFULLY AND REMEMBER TILL YOUR LIFE ENDS."

CHAPTER- 3 :  HINDU DHARMA- 15.4.3.
15. The Law of Spiritual Economics-4.2.

4. Use and Abuse of the Caste System -3.

At the present moment, the Varnasrama system exists in name only.

It has to be rebuilt properly.

Brahmanas, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras, who have fallen from their ideals and who are not doing their respective duties, must do their respective duties properly.

They must be educated on right lines.

They must raise themselves to their original lofty level.

The sectarian spirit must die.

They should develop a new understanding heart of love and devotion, with a spirit of co-operation, sacrifice and service.

Next : 5. The Four Asramas

Swami Sivananda
      To be continued...