Mantra (Lecture Excerpt)
Tantra (Lecture Excerpt)
We have to understand that tantra is not spiritual. Tantra is physical. But tantra is not only physical. It works with the occult level. Tantra has five objectives:
Boghti or Ishtprapti (Control of Desired Objects or Enjoyment)
Vibhuti (Control of Supernatural Powers)
Parimansankramana (Change of Dimensions)
Swa par-gyan (Knowledge of Self and Others)
What is physical and what is occult?
Physical means any matter that occupies space and is constrained by time – so it has a fixed beginning and end. Our body is physical. Yet there are many things in our body that are simultaneously physical and not physical. There are things that cannot be taken into the laboratory and defined by the dimensions of space and time. Some examples include memory, thoughts, dreams, dreams within a dream, and intuition. All of these things fall within the occult level, also known as supraphysical.
Tantra directly deals with occult matters, where science deals with physical matters.
Candlelight Practice (Jyoti riyāz)
Two major concepts should be kept in mind when doing candlelight practice:
1) You must play one composition until the candle burns out
2) You must stare into the flame jyoti while practicing
Candlelight practice should not be done at a very fast speed. It is better to take a Tāl versus a particular composition (e.g. Tīntāl or jhaptāl ṭhekā versus a kāydā).
It is also very important to have the Tānpurā drone and perfectly tuned tabla during candlelight practice.
Fire has four basic elements: heat, sound, light and darkness. This is why fire is worshiped in traditions around the world.
Staring into the fire is called Trāṭak. When playing a ṭhekā and doing this, after some time (after weeks in fact), one feels that the taal and the flame elements begin to merge and drive one into unknown areas. It’s a kind of experience that cannot be described in words.
Sometimes one feels that the sound of the theka disappears and reappears. Sometimes one feels that the flame appears and disappears. Sometimes one feels that both disappear and reappear. That is the time when you meet total emptiness – the gap where all secrets reside.
I strongly recommend anyone who has the desire to explore deep experiences through music to try this practice. You will not be disappointed.