The word Tantra tends to conjure up visions of complicated sexual practices and techniques. However, as any tantra teacher will tell you, it is actually a complete philosophy, science and way of life in itself. Ancient Indian sages studied mankind as well as Nature and formulated this system so that men and women could synchronize their bodies and souls with Nature.
Ancient tantra involves various rituals and techniques. However, to practice the tantric arts, the student of tantra must first attain the spirit of sadhana. The Sanskrit word sadhana means ‘the path towards accomplishment (of a desired goal)’. The spiritual practice and attitude of sadhana requires the student to relinquish and transcend his or her ego, with the goal being spiritual awakening. It calls for meditation, chanting of spiritual intonations and invocations (mantras) and deity worship.
In tantra, worship takes the form of ‘puja’, which is nothing but a systematic ritual of worship. The student of the tantric arts learns to approach the process of instructions by a tantra master with an attitude of worship. In the sexual aspects of this ancient science, he or she also learns to regard the intimate partner as an object of worship (deity). As a result, all of the tantric student’s relationships undergo a profound transformation.
Ancient tantra is not aligned to any religion. It is an independent spiritual science which embraces the wholesomeness inherent in all religions while rejecting their rigid prejudices and repressive teachings. This is because tantra is about liberation – of the body, of the spirit and of the mind.
In the course of practicing the tantric arts under a tantra teacher, the student experiences a reuniting of Shiva and Shakti. Shiva is the quintessential tantra god, and Shakti the tantra goddess. Between them, the entire dance of life takes place. Any division between the two in a person’s and couple’s life causes spiritual and emotional imbalances.
By means of specific tantra pujas or worshipful rituals, the student gets in touch with both the Shiva and Shakti. These two deities must hold sway over every aspect of intimacy between two human beings. Only then can an intimate relationship be reborn and raised to its fullest divine potential
Throughout, the tantra master acts as conduit of knowledge and spiritual catharsis. His role is to instruct and mould his students by means of rituals and techniques that will set them free. As such, there is no substitute for an accomplished tantric teacher to guide individuals and couples through the process of spiritual awakening and evolution.