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Tantra Yoga

Tuesday December 28 2004 10:28 IST

By Karmayogi

Among the many yogas, hatha yoga and tantra are popular. Hathayoga is popular for the asanas. Tantra is popular for its power. It is more popular in North India. Tibet is said to be its home. Sri Aurobindo says Tantra in its nature is a synthesis of all Indian yogas. The occult part of this yoga attracts people. It uses mantras, yantra, asana, pranayama. All yogas concentrate on Brahman. The world has two parts, Brahman and Shakti, or Soul and Nature. Tantra recognises the value of Brahman and Shakti. Therefore, it acquired the hue of a synthesis. Sri Aurobindos yoga is a complete synthesis of all yogas. He actually uses the idea of Tantra in a different form.

Tantra recognises that Nature is a power of the Spirit. Nature is Spirit in the form of power. Tantra aims at raising the nature in man into manifest power of Spirit. This is the method it employs. For this purpose, it gathers up the whole of mans Nature. Its processes subject that Nature to spiritual conversion. The process of opening the subtle centres as in the Hathayogic practice and the Rajayogic processes of purification and concentration are employed here. Further, it attempts at a synthesis of these disciplines. It is done in two directions. Desire and action are the mainsprings of human existence. They are subjected to an intensive discipline with a view to achieving the souls mastery. So disciplined, these motives of desire and action are ripe to be elevated to the diviner spiritual level. The entire aim of all Indian yogas is liberation, mukti. Tantra adds a wider cosmic purpose - enjoyment, bhukti. In truth, it aims at cosmic enjoyment. In this aspect, Tantra, says Sri Aurobindo, is a larger system. It is bolder than other yogas, as it attempts to bring the entire universe into its ambit.

Sri Aurobindo takes these approaches of Tantra to yoga and adds another aim - the aspiration of the Earth, evolution of the next species beyond man - the Supramental Being. Also, he does not consider Man as a Soul in the body as Tantra does. He takes Man as a Soul in the Mind. His view was to begin at the maximum point of mans evolution of today. It helps the yogi to dispense with the laborious methods of asana, pranayama, etc. What is done in these yogas physically, Sri Aurobindo wishes to do by a mental will. The universal energy enters into the system in pranayama. In Sri Aurobindos system, a thought can let the same universal energy into the human body. It is a thought of consecration. By consecration Man eliminates his ego, sacrifices his works to the Lord. The thought of working for the Lord and only the Lord makes the thought universal and powerful. Therefore, the universal energies are at his command.

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