4.16.2005

Tantrik Cults and temples

The misconception to Tantrik cults in India is that it appears to be an orgy of sorts. The other biased opinion is that sex is wrong or bad. A good question would be "Why"? Its definite that those higher up in the social ladder have had extremely biased opinions and that definitely has trickled down to the masses over time.

The actual truth of it is this. Tantra is a version of the AtharvaVeda. It prescribes various rituals to one of the many activities of man in a day - sex. Whats wrong with that and why consider it bad? Tantrik cults have prevailed across india everywhere. The khajurao and konark temples speak for it so do the temples in the south, though not as explicite.

Why is sex important, or is it the lack of it that makes people commercialize something so sacred into an element of shock or silent delight? Why dilute the potency of the act or ritual? These texts help a human being attain a higher goal through sadhana and rituals which need to be performed with the right thought and respect. It was never simple, and living in a superficial world only dilutes the entire act to a mere performance with results that are satisfactory, leaving one to just imagine what the real thing would be like. Not that i know it, but i believe there is more to it than what meets the eye.

We cannot dismiss something that we fail to understand the first time and stupidity. You need to have patience, for the subtle world is not so easy to understand. No wonder its called "Subtle".

Temples at best can depict concepts at various levels of potency and its up to the aspirant to really try and understand it. What appears as a grose act on the walls of Khajuraho, actually hides something far more potent within its sculptures and people in their limited thoughts just think it stops with sex! These are tantrik diagrams, or yantras which are best understood only be the initiated and are meant only for them. The rest of the superficial guys can quite go fly a kite!

These temples depicted a way of life, whether it is the depiction of a devotee in the act of decapitation or whether its a human sacrifice on full moon night, whether its the worship of the Mother or whether its the fear of Kali, whether its an act of copulation or whether its a sensuous kanya entising a man to enter the temple walls, it has value and that is meant to be respected, not ridiculed. The temples silently tell us through their walls, that there is a world out there beyond our senses and we are quite wasting our time if we do not attempt finding it out.

Living the "real way" was never so simple, so the next time you head to the temple, ask yourself whether it stops with that, or whether you really want to know what the temple has to offer. Clarity come when you open yourself to receive it, till then... you wait.

1 comment:

JC Joshi said...

Hi!
Any number or words are insufficient to express a realisation reached by the ancients…
The basic purpose of man, reached by the ancients, or the so-called ‘search for truth’, was to reach the one and only Creator of the universe - who unfortunately for man was a dot, or a formless being - through whatever physical actions one apparently was engaged in during the day-to-day life. That would include sex also. Some Tantriks reportedly even perform it with a recently dead body in order to control the concerned ‘soul’ or the unseen spirit...

Today, it should not be difficult to visualise God, as a dot or Naadbindu, or souls, once we have accepted the presence of micro-organisms, bacteria and viruses, that need to be magnified many times, sometimes with the help of electron microscopes even, without demanding one to “Show it before I will believe in it!” the usual expression in respect of God. We readily believe ‘scientists’ today when they indicate existence of HIV-1 virus as the deadliest of all viruses till date. Some years ago, it was the TB which created mortal fear in man. Thus with increase in ‘technology’ fear has reduced in certain people who have access to the materially costly ‘treatment’. It is said that alcohol is injurious to health. But, it is also a fact that those who drink milk also eventually die! ‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ therefore have different connotations to different people – it is a matter of Faith. Faith or belief in a supernatural force has proved to exhibit miraculous powers at all times in different regions of the world.

It would perhaps help to mention that today man is considered as the most evolved among all life forms in the animal world. He is called, “A social animal”. The ancients, who had advanced in Astronomy to a very high level, appear to have reached the conclusion in the East, ‘Man is a model of the universe’, and in the West, ‘An image of God’, where God meant the Creator of the universe, i.e., the entire physical forms, categorised today as ‘non living’ and ‘living’, contained within the infinite space.

Thus, in view of the above, it was well understood in the past that each man is a ‘magical mirror’ like illusionary image of the formless Creator, who Himself remained unseen. And, therefore, there was illusion created for each 'image' because of the apparent varieties in all aspects of life, as the basic principle of the grand design… Hindu temples, like those at Khajuraho, are like examination papers to test individual’s mastering of the ‘middle path’, or the neutral thought – remaining unmoved under all circumstances, as a proof of having realized the illusion part…

It is the passage of time that appears to be the cause of the apparent confusion in the present. The present day common observations also indicate how all material forms loose their original values - a man made machine gives its best performance when it is ‘new’ and eventually, with the passage of some appreciable time, goes to a junkyard early, if not handled properly, just as fresh food tastes ‘good’, but when it is stale (or unpreserved) it ends up in a dustbin. Philosophies even seem to have similar outcomes. The original import of all ‘religious’ beliefs also appear to get lost in the sands of time. These were originally meant to unite individuals in a particular society to seek the real meaning, or purpose, of human life. The ancients, located anywhere in the East, West, North or South on earth, appear to have independently reached the same conclusion, at some point of time, that universe is the result of creation by some ‘Divine’ power and the only purpose of human life is to reach Him within the allotted time.

The ‘wise’, based on realisation of the above mentioned truth in the past, exclaimed “Shivoham, or I am Him!’ Shiva (in the beginning, as Ardhanarishwar) was believably the perfect physical form, or the ‘incarnation’, of the formless or Nirakar Vishnu… Similarly, in the present, because of his selfless character, even Mahatma Gandhi like characters could be realized by the ‘unwise’ as an individual quite close to Rama - if not ‘incarnation’ of Vishnu. However, the ‘wise’ could even say, "I am Vishnu or the formless creator, in reality - the big zero, before He received the thought of Creation of the universe the last time, or at any other times before that"! The Hindu philosophy believes Him to be unborn!