An expolation into the world of Tantra Yoga, by Advaita Stoian.
“No one can attain spiritual perfection by using sterile and complicated methods. On the contrary, perfection can easily be attained through the lucid and perfectly controlled fulfilment of desires.” – Kularnava Tantra.
This is a short introduction to the spiritual path of Tantra Yoga, in order to demystify it and bring it a little closer to those who are truly ready and interested.
Tantra is an ancient term which, among other things, describes an authentic spiritual path that is characterised by a rare efficiency. It is a system that has recently been brought back into the awareness of contemporary culture; nevertheless it is often superficially explained, constantly leading to the same catastrophic results for those who are interested not only in some exotic spiritual entertainment, but in finding some effective ways to live a happy life in the middle of life’s storms.
The word “tantra” is a Sanskrit word which, similarly to the word “yoga”, has numerous distinct meanings which are all connected. Simply put, it means “network” or “fishing net”. Its etymology shows that Tantra is derived from the verbal root tan, meaning widen or extend. It is deeply significant that the Tantra Yoga system re-emerges today when one of the most important ideas of human civilisation is the conscious acknowledgement of the interconnectedness with all its positive and negative effects.
To define the Tantra Yoga system in an essentialised way, we can say that it is a system of practices that generates a safe and effective expansion of individual consciousness beyond personal limitations, until reaching Cosmic Consciousness or Oneness.
Even though it is more famous than actually known in our modern age, Tantra Yoga still ceaselessly incites the imagination of those who are curious and attracts the attention of enthusiastic practitioners who are prepared to deepen its mysteries. What is this irresistible fascination of Tantra all about?
We can state with certainty that Tantra Yoga is one of the most fitting spiritual systems for our times, when spiritual values are most often replaced by ignorance and by a deeply materialistic orientation. Tantra is a specific spiritual system,which has at its roots the same fundamental principles on which the foundations of contemporary science are laid, while simultaneously succeeding to harmoniously and coherently integrate the highest spiritual ideals. Tantra Yoga is also a philosophy of life in which direct experience and awareness always validate theory: an efficient and transformative combination.
#1 Tantra Yoga recommends lucidly looking into all areas of life, gradually replacing taboos and dogmas with understanding that comes through direct experience.
In today’s world we are used to living a life full of diverse experiences, aiming for a large variety of sensorial stimuli, which are supposed to nourish our almost insatiable hunger for variety and novelty. This attitude apparently leads to exteriorising and creating conflict in the goals of our spiritual development. Different spiritual paths and systems often recommended the following spiritual solution: withdrawal from the bewildering tumult of life’s daily experiences, enclosure behind the fortified walls of monasteries, ashrams or spiritual communities, and total renunciation of all worldly temptations.
Yet this recommendation most often becomes a utopia for contemporary people, given the fact that most do not have the strength of character, the willpower and determination to make this decisive and radical step and they also lack a deep understanding of the benefits. Deep down many feel that refusing to live life in its entirety is not a complete spiritual solution.
Tantra Yoga offers a solution to this ageold dilemma, recommending not to refuse or deny sensorial experiences, and not to label anything as good or bad. With proper training, a practitioner can reach a level where a highly lucid immersion in desires replaces all these dogmas and limiting mental constructs. By training lucidity and awareness, Tantra Yoga leads directly to the state of freedom, without the need for
intermediary dogmas that will eventually have to be eliminated after they have fulfilled their role. The role of awareness in the formation of our reality is an essential factor and the Tantra Yoga system offers the necessary tools to amplify our individual power of awareness.
At this point it is worth emphasising the astounding correlation between the ancient Tantra Yoga system and modern physics, especially quantum physics. The presence of consciousness in determining the unfolding of any phenomenon is becoming a fundamental crossroads between these two systems of human knowledge.
#2 At the heart of Tantra Yoga lies the fundamental universal energy: love
The entire system of techniques and methods offered by Tantra Yoga are based on the law of occult resonance and on the revelation that the entire Creation is made of vibration or spanda.
The Tantra Yoga system explains that the energy of love is a constant and extremely refined vibration, which is always the same in time or in space, and which exists everywhere in the macrocosm. It is the energy that “binds” the whole Creation, also making a connection between the Creator and His Creation. The ancient Tantra Yoga science reveals that love is one of the fundamental universal energies, which is why it is found in the core of the entire Creation.
From the tantric perspective the very essence of interconnectedness is the law of occult resonance and the energy of love. All techniques and methods of evolution offered by Tantra Yoga are based on the awakening of the sublime energy of love, (in a specific way) and integrating it into your life. For the aspirant who follows the Tantra Yoga path with lucid care, the energy of love becomes the guiding thread which helps you to escape from the labyrinth of the mind and return to the essence of yourself, in the secret chamber of the Spiritual Heart.
The Tantra Yoga practitioner learns to control the mind through training and liberating the Spiritual Heart by actively loving. All inferior temptations can therefore be easily transcended.
#3 Tantra Yoga is the science of spiritual evolution
Tantra Yoga offers a systematic approach to spirituality for anyone who gets close enough to this system and who does not allow themselves to be tricked by the over-simplification of so many Tantra Yoga presentations today.
Encouraging a lucid, practical approach to all spiritual experiences, Tantra Yoga offers methods for immediately validating all concepts that can be encountered in this system. Moreover, it offers explanations about the mechanisms of our consciousness together with practical ways to validate this knowledge in our daily experiences. All aspects of life are rigorously integrated in a coherent and complete view upon Reality:
nothing being useless or meaningless. For this reason within the Tantra Yoga system, even the deepest metaphysical aspects, such as, for example, the manifestation of Divine Grace, are approached in a systematic, lucid and integral manner, in the same way as intimacy, love or sexual power.
#4 Tantra Yoga: a spiritual system based on universal laws and principles
The set of spiritual laws and principles upon which the Tantra Yoga system laid its foundation is structured in a complex network. These principles mutually support and develop each other, constituting a solid foundation upon which human consciousness is able to expand its state of awakening towards Reality. Genuine Tantra Yoga will always start from fundamental laws and principles that allow a universal
understanding, which remains the same in every age, culture or context. This is the reason why we can find traces of this system in almost all places on Earth, even under different names. Within the Tantra Yoga system, the practitioner goes from conscious experience to realising the laws and principles that exist beyond these experiences, thus gaining gradual control over all aspects of life. There is no need for blind faith or dogmas because the practitioner of this system will replace them with the unshakeable certitude of experience. This is the only reason why tantric practitioners eliminate taboos and preconceived ideas: not as a form of spiritual anarchy – as it is often superficially presented – but as a side effect of such an approach to evolution that allows the profound understanding of all laws and principles.
This is the path to freedom and perfection in a systematic and objective way.
#5 Tantra Yoga is a system of gradual transformation through alchemy
The spiritual journey in Tantra Yoga can be described as a continuous state of awakening that naturally leads to the expansion of the consciousness through the inner alchemical transformation of all that is inferior.
The Tantra yoga practitioner cultivates the courage to look at each life experience as it is, without trying to adjust it to his own convenience. The essential capacity of being and remaining aware and lucid in the middle of the most intense experiences represents a “philosopher’s stone” that triggers alchemical transformations within, leading to a gradual transformation of the entire character of the practitioner. The Tantra Yoga system does not look at transformation as the result of privileged circumstances, but as the result of the preparation through
gradual, successive transformations. The aim of the Tantra Yoga system is to become able to gain complete control over our choices, irrespective of exterior conditions. For example, one can be happy in special conditions but the successful practice of the Tantra Yoga system will teach you to be and remain happy in all conditions. And that is possible when we discover that in our true nature we are happy.
This characteristic of the Tantra Yoga system makes it very difficult to formalise it, because alchemical transformation always starts from inside and leads towards the outside. The outer reality is a mere mirror of our inner realisations and the tantric practitioner uses the world only to learn about himself/herself. This is also a deeply moral attitude that would naturally solve most of the moral crises we have in the world today.
#6 Tantra Yoga is the path of efficient transformation of all aspects of life
Tantra Yoga facilitates the gradual spiritualisation of each domain of our lives, including eroticism and intimacy, but not only that. The fact that it covers all aspects of life, including those aspects that most religions refuse to deal with and often treat in a childish way, makes Tantra Yoga a system that is famous for the wrong reasons today.
Indeed, in order to obtain a much desired spiritual result, Tantra Yoga provides, among other things, efficient methods to free us from the grip of obsessions, desires and temptations. However, the way of doing this does not involve the suppression or refusal of the objects of desire, but rather their conscious alchemical transformation.
Precisely through this spiritual approach, Tantra Yoga offers the aspirant a much deeper vision of life; life stops being a place filled with dangerous temptations to which the only solution is to avoid them to the greatest possible extent. The tantric practitioner lives an intensely conscious life, full of amazing and meaningful experiences that are always lessons, which have the essential goal of awakening the practitioner even more.
In the vision of the Tantra system everything has its own importance, which is why it includes methods for the harmonious, spiritual re-integration of our sexual impulses through transforming them into superior impulses. However, for anyone to simply state that Tantra Yoga is nothing but a system of sexual yoga is plain ignorance. In reality, the tantric practitioner learns to make love in a sublime way as an amazing spiritual experience, adding it to other life lessons.
A fact which is currently misunderstood by many is how easily we can obtain elevated states of consciousness in the midst of daily life and by using the very forces which we would otherwise have to avoid. The correct and systematic application of the methods of the Tantra Yoga system enables us to discover a state of amazement, enjoyment, wisdom, beauty, inspiration and sacredness right in the middle of a life that for others is dull and unspiritual.
#7 Tantra Yoga is a genuine highway for spiritual evolution
Even though a famous saying speaks about this spiritual path as being as narrow as the blade of a knife, this metaphor refers to some other aspects of the Tantra Yoga system. From the perspective of the possibilities it offers humanity, we can say that Tantra Yoga is the most accessible path for this age of individualisation and diversification. Oftentimes we hear that Tantra Yoga is a path that is addressed only
to the very few who are prepared for it, yet this is an error. Due to its structure around universal laws and principles, Tantra Yoga can be adapted to the specific needs of each aspirant, each practitioner finding their methodology, being able to tailor their path according to their needs.
This system takes everyone from where they are and empowers each person with their most suitable tools in order to make the most from this cosmic journey.
Advaita Stoian, Tantra teacher and author of the world’s most comprehensive esoteric Tantra course and the world’s first Maha Vidya book series. (tarayogacentre.co.uk)