In the west, tantrism has a different impact on each man. Elevated people can see in its teachings an authentic path that can help them spiritually. Common people consider it a collection of sexual practices, meant to reinvigorate the already worn out, stressed and immoral instinct of the polluted west.
IT APPEARED ABOUT 7000 YEARS AGO
During the first centuries of the Christian era, a spiritual movement (different form previous spiritual currents) sprang and manifested on Indian territory.
It is with magical beliefs, rituals, elevated esoteric teachings and initiatory revelations. Known under the name of tantrism, the movement is a synthesis of the main hindi currents and spiritual directions. However its aspects make it fit for all times.
Although, well known Easterns, situate the origins of tantrism in 7th century A.D., other evidence and oral traditions prove that its origins are much older.
Many statements demonstrate that this is a spiritual current with an extraordinary vision on the whole of creation, and it could not have appeared and developed that fast.
The great hindi thinker Sri Prabhat Rainjar (known under the spiritual name of Sri Anandamurti) asserts, after more studies, that tantra is a very old spiritual science that appeared in India about 7000 years ago.
IT IS THE FABRIC OF THE UNIVERSE
The word tantrism is derived from the sanskrit word tantra meaning system. An older meaning is that of fabric. Tantra comes from the root tan , generally meaning to straighten, to continue and to multiply.
From all the meanings of this word, Mircea Eliade has chosen that of succession, extension and continuous process. Thus, tantra could mean the one that extends knowledge, the one that can develop the individual consciousness, so that it reaches the superior levels of the macro cosmos, of the infinite creation.
Other meanings of the word tantra are: body (as the tantric system insists on body postures), expansion (as it amplifies the subtle faculties of perception), rope (as the connection between the tantric and the worshiped god becomes very close), harp (expressing the music and the beauty of the system itself), veiling (because its doctrines and methods remain secret for most).
The most common meaning of the word tantra is that of carpet loom, fabric, suggesting the existence of two cosmic principles, masculine and feminine, which continuously generate and absorb the whole of creation through their permanent interaction.
IT HAS BEEN RECEIVED THROUGH DIVINE REVELATION
Tantric writings have not been conceived by someone but, they have been perceived through visions by the great and wise and then, revealed to the mankind. Every writing is characteristic for a certain age or for a certain cyclic division of mankind.
The tantric bibliography is extremely rich; there are hundreds of writings named tantra, most of them in sanskrit or Tibetan, belonging to the Hindi and the Buddhists.
1. Agama -s, when the one asking questions like a disciple is Shakti, and Shiva, as a spiritual master or guru, answers them. Most of the writings belong to this category.
2. Nigama-s, when Shakti explains and offers the knowledge asked for(for example, Nigama Kalpadruma).
These dialogues, generally contain certain lessons and the ways in which they can be applied. Generally, tantra deals with almost all the subjects that concern a human being.
They also offer many elements and indications about the many ways of worship, thus using the science of astrology, the subtle physics of the human being (especially the nervous system and chakras ), spiritual discipline and breathing control techniques (especially in hatha yoga), the art of the inner alchemy (of transmutation and sublimation of the energies in the human body).
Some texts are almost exclusively about the mystical eroticism; these are veritable treaties of sexology for which, in fact, tantra yoga has become well known, but also wrongly interpreted by most westerners.
PART 1 | PART 2