Enter the Temple of the Goddess


The Tantras
The Tantras is a series of ancient sacred scriptures, such as the Vigyan Bhairav Tantra (a dialogue between Shiva and Shakti). These scriptures contain spiritual and psycho-physical teachings and describe all parts of life like the inner- and outer cosmos. They are concerned with the transmutation of energy, liberation of the mind, attainment of (supernatural) skills and other more or less esoteric practices. There are many varieties of Tantra: Saiva Tantra, Shakti Tantra, Buddhist Tantra, Neo Tantra, Red Tantra, White Tantra, Black Tantra, etc. Knowing that the approach of the Tantra paths can differ greatly, it’s good to consider the content of the different types before you choose the path of Tantra

The secret of surrendering

Originally, Tantra was occult – just like Yoga. ‘Occultus’ is Latin for ‘hidden’ or ‘secret’. The teachings were only known to initiated and therefore committed people, known as Sadhaks. Why was it hidden? If we see the confusion around Tantra today, we may understand the reason. In the old days they spoke about Siddhis and powers that came with certain Tantric and Yogic practice. That sounded like powers everyone wanted to have! Siddhis are merely a by-product. If there is any goal at all in Tantra, it would be a total surrender to life in being aware of the ‘play’ or Maya or duality where we live in – The Divine Play of Shiva and Shakti. Tantric practices that include the senses are designed to experience the senses – not for pleasure, but for expansion. Senses are a door to the formless, to the timeless: from Samsara to Nirvana.
Masculine and Feminine
In Tantra, God is one and unity (Advaita); Shakti is the feminine aspect of God and is manifesting continuously with Shiva (Tantra), and Shiva is the masculine aspect of God and pure consciousness (static energy). Shakti is flowing within as Prana or sexual energy and is also known as Kundalini seated on the root chakra.

The best way to understand Tantra is as an expanded form of Raja Yoga. Like the Yoga Sutras and in more detail Tantra teaches asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, but providing many more specific forms and techniques. It gives the details on mantras and methods that are only alluded to in the Sutras.