PHILOSOPHY / TANTRA TANTRA UNVEILED Seducing the Forces of Matter and Spirit by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D. "TANTRA UNVEILED is a most valuable addition to the literature on Tantra. It combines excellent scholarship with an initiate's firsthand knowledge of the subject. Through many colorful anecdotes of his own encounters with Tantric adepts, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait affords his readers a unique glimpse into the living heart of real Tantra." - Georg Feuerstein, Ph.D. Author, The Yoga Tradition and The Shambhala Encyclopedia of Yoga; Director, Yoga Research Center "TANTRA UNVEILED.shows the reader the keys to mind-body transformation, to a personal and spiritual unfoldment.The book contains both wonderful stories and powerful teach ings on many levels that gives it a special appeal. It shows the magic of Tantra as a living tradition, a current of blissful shakti that can renew and revitalize our lives." - David Frawley Author, Yoga and Ayurveda and Ayurveda and the Mind; Director, American Institute of Vedic Studies "Tantra.has for too long been portrayed as a religion of sexual excess.Pandit Tigunait clatifies these and other misconceptions in TANTRA UNVEILED.[His] level of erudition.hold[s] the reader's attention from beginning to end as he portrays Tantra.as an experiential path.The book is chock full of detailed information.a worthy addition to any numinous bookshelf." - Dr. Robert E. Svoboda, BAMS Author, Aghora: At the Left Hand of God; Faculty, The Ayurvedic Institute "Wonderfully done. TANTRA UNVEILED is a riveting narrative.this book at once engages us, aids us, inspires us, and illumines us. Herein lies the quest and a read par excellence." - Professor John Grimes Department of Religious Studies, Michigan State University Spiritual head of the Himalayan Institute, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait is the successor of Sri Swami Rama. He holds two doctorates, one from the University of Allahabad in India and the other from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a regular contributor to Yoga International magazine, the author of numerous hooks including the best-selling, At the Eleventh Hour and the force behind Sacred Link - The Healing Revolution. $14.95 US ISBN: 0-89389-158-4 HIMALAYAN INSTITUTE P R E SS Honesdale, Pennsylvania USA .
Also by Pandit Rajmani Tigunait Inner Quest: Yoga's Answers to Life's Questions The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition Why We Fight: Practices for Lasting Peace At the Eleventh Hour: The Biography of Swami Rama Swami Rama of the Himalayas: His Life and Mission Shakti: The Power in Tantra (A Scholarly Approach) From Death to Birth: Understanding Karma and Reincarnation The Power of Mantra and the Mystery of Initiation Shakti Sadhana: Steps to Samadhi (A Translation of the Tripura Rahasya) Seven Systems of Indian Philosophy Audio & Video The Spirit of the Vedas The Spirit of the Upanishads Pulsation of the Maha Kumbha Mela In the Footsteps of the Sages Living Tantra™ Series Tantric Traditions and Techniques The Secret of Tantric Rituals Forbidden Tantra Tantra and Kundalini Sri Chakra: The Highest Tantric Practice Sri Vidya: The Embodiment of Tantra Eight Steps to Self-Transformation Nine Steps to Disarming the Mind .
The Himalayan Institute Press RR 1, Box 1129 Honesdale, PA 18431-9709 ©1999 The Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA Second Printing, 2004 All tights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Printed in the United States. Designed by Jeanette Robertson Computer Production by Francis J. Ryan Cover Art: Ajit Mookerjee Collection. From The Art of Tantra by Philip Rawson published by Thames and Hudson, Inc., New York. The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences - Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tigunait, Rajmani, 1953- Tantra unveiled: seducing the forces of matter and spirit / Rajmani Tigunait. p. cm. ISBN 0-89389-158-4 (pbk.: alk. paper) 1. Tantrism - Rituals. 2. Spiritual life - Tantrism I. Title BL 1283.852.T64 1999 294.5'514 - dc21 99-20108 CIP .
CONTENTS ix • Foreward by Deborah Willoughby 1 • Chapter One THE LIVING SCIENCE OF TANTRA 27 • Chapter Two WHERE TANTRA STILL THRIVES 47 • Chapter Three FINDING THE WAY IN 63 • Chapter Four THE FIRST INITIATION: MANTRA 81 . Chapter Five THE SECOND INITIATION: YANTRA 101 • Chapter Six THE THIRD INITIATION: CHAKRA PUJA 115 . • Chapter Seven A PRACTICE FOR SEDUCING THE FORCES OF MATTER AND SPIRIT 141 • Glossary .
FOREWORD In the late 1950s a missionary in West Africa persuaded two tribal chieftains to accompany him to the region's largest city. Never having been more than twenty miles from their village, the two were almost overwhelmed with unfamiliar sights and sounds. Man-made structures more than eight feet high were outside of their experience, so naturally they were astonished by the tall buildings. But having built their own dwellings, they easily understood that one story could be placed on another, and another on that. Similarly the mis sionary's jeep was the only vehicle they had ever seen so the traffic was dizzying - but there was nothing in the rush and roar of trucks and jitneys that collided with their view of reality. The three men wended their way through the crowded streets to the city's main hotel, and while the missionary was checking the party in, his guests noticed a door opening in the opposite wall to reveal a metal grate in front of a tiny room. The man seated inside folded the grate back to admit four men, who then turned and faced the front. Next the seated man pulled the metal grate over the opening, and the door closed. A few minutes passed while the tribesmen continued to take in the sights of the lobby. Then the door to the tiny room opened again. The man seated inside again pulled ix .
back the metal grate and out stepped - not the four men who had entered, but two women and two little girls! What black art was this that had reduced healthy men to women and girls? Sickened and terrified, the two tribesmen made for the street, bent on reach ing home and safety as quickly as possible. The missionary raced after them, and once he understood what the problem was, he tried to explain what they had seen. But both men had witnessed the same awful metamorphosis and were not to be persuaded that they had seen something else. It is the problem of "seeing" that lies at the center of the misunderstanding that swirls around tantra. Like the tribesmen watching the elevator, we cannot comprehend what we are seeing when we look at tantra until we enlarge our view of reality because the tantric vision is radically different from ours. Accomplished tannics see the world and everything in it as an indivisible whole - as a tangible manifestation of the Divine Mother. This is not a metaphor for them, nor is it a philosophical premise; it is a living, breathing reality. Where we see duality - young and old, right and wrong, male and female, pure and impure - a tantric adept sees One. The Divine Mother is not in the world; She is the world. Indeed She is the entire universe, and to see any difference between the individual self and Her or between Her and any natural force or cosmic influence is misperception. Most of us have heard this before, so there is a natural ten dency to react to this information with a reflexive "I know," and resist it. But unless we can actually experience the world as a vibrant, seamless manifestation of the Divine Mother - if only for a moment - there is no meaningful way to "know" what the tantric masters see nor to understand what they do. As long as this unitary tantric vision of reality is a matter of intellectual understanding only it will continue to be misunderstood, misinterpreted, and misused. And if we take our dualistic vision of reality, paper it over with a simplistic philosophical formula ("Everything is sacred; nothing is x .
profane.") presto! we have the exploitative sexual practices that have so sensationalized (and misrepresented) tantra in the West. This further complicates the challenge of "seeing" tantra - we have to be able to separate the popular view of tantra as an amalgam of black magic and sexual practices from the ancient and elegant philosophy of tantra that skillfully demonstrates how to use the objects of the world as a means for spiritual unfoldment. The ancient view of tantra is veiled in mystery, and the only way to penetrate this veil is to patiently cultivate the ability to see the universe the way the tantric masters do. How is someone who is grounded - as we all are in the West - in a thoroughly dualistic view of the world to cultivate unitary vision? How do we see what we do not know how to see? The tantric vision springs from a vari- ety of sources - knowledge of the scriptures, contact with tantric adepts, visits to tantric shrines, and a systematic course of disci plined practice, among others. The dilemma is that it is difficult to assimilate one in isolation from the rest. So how to begin? As you will find in this book, translation of the scriptures is not the answer in itself. Few of the key scriptures are available in translation, and the accuracy and usefulness of the existing translations rest with the skill and understanding of the translator - which is impossible to discern without a subtle understanding of tantra. And even if you do stumble upon a good translation you will not be able to glean practices from it, for it is an inviolable principle among the adepts that none of the more potent practices is ever set down in its entirety. A crucial piece is always missing, one that can be supplied only by a master who will consent to teach it only to a fully qualified aspirant. So leaving aside for a moment the all-important question of how to become a qualified student, how is one to find a master? As we will see in chapter two, one time-honored way is to make a pilgrimage to places where they are likely to be found - the famous shrine to the Divine Mother at Kamakhya, for example. Unless we XI .