The verbal root of tantra is “tan”, “to expand,” followed by the suffix “tra”, which is usually an instrumental suffix. Hence tantra means “an instrument (tra) for expansion (tan)”. There is only ever ONE correct etymological meaning of a word.
It is a science to experience what is and is not a philosophy. It is not mind-oriented; it is living in the moment, not future and past-oriented. It is a rediscovery of yourself who is hidden in the dust of concepts, ideas, dreams and desires. It accepts the human being as it is without any judgment, guilt, fear, comparison and offers a way to unveil or rediscover it. Tantra says that whatever you are, the ultimate is not opposite to it. No struggle, no conflict, no fight with nature is needed. Tantra says greed, anger, hate and sex are not your enemies – take them as a divine gift and approach them with a very grateful heart. Tantra says move in desire with full consciousness so only consciousness remains.
Tantra is not against senses. Rather it uses senses. It doesn’t teach you to control your mind but rather be aware of it without any judgement. Tantra is for choiceless witnessing beyond likes and dislikes. It teaches spontaneous awareness to be present as life flows. Tantra embraces the change as the flow of life and flows with it. Tantra trusts in life force; it allows to unfold your true nature. There is no goal in Tantra, you don’t have to reach somewhere – you are already there where you should be – just be aware that you are. This awareness is you. Tantra helps you to feel your own presence in order to live your life in harmony.
Shakti & Shaivism
Shaivism is practically the oldest spiritual path of the world. In India, Shaivism is millennium old, and the archeological researches from Mohenjo Daro and Harappa revealed a history going back even beyond the Chalcolithic age.
Shiva represents that hypostasis of God that is manifested as Great Savior or Great Master of the ignorant, limited beings. Any sincere, frantic aspiration towards the state of spiritual freedom is addressed in fact to this aspect of God, Shiva the Good and Kind.
Any sign of the manifestation of the divine grace, which is indispensable to reaching the state of supreme spiritual freedom is closely connected to Shiva. Therefore, we may even say that Shaivism can be found in any place where a strong, authentic spiritual tradition flourished.
In India, there are six main forms of Shaivism:
1. Siva Siddhanta: In Rishi Tirumular’s monistic theism (ca -200), Siva is material and efficient cause, immanent and transcendent. The soul, created by Siva, is destined to merge in Him. In Meykandar’s pluralistic realism (ca 1200), God, souls and world are beginningless and eternally coexistent. Siva is efficient but not material cause. Highlighted are Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
2. Pashupata Saivism: This school, traced to Lakulisa (ca 200), is bhedadbheda, simultaneously monistic and theistic, emphasizing Siva as supreme cause and personal ruler of soul and world. The liberated soul retains individuality in its state of complete union with God. Final merger is compared to stars disappearing in the sky. Noted areas of influence (clockwise) include Gujarat, Kashmir and Nepal.
3. Vira Saivism: Made popular by Basavanna (1105-1167), this version of qualified nondualism, Shakti Vishishtadvaita, accepts both difference and non difference between soul and God, like rays are to the sun. Siva and the cosmic force are one, yet Siva is beyond His creation, which is real, not illusory. God is efficient and material cause. Influential primarily in Karnataka.
4. Siva Advaita: This monistic theism, formulated by Srikantha (ca 1050), is called Siva Vishishtadvaita. The soul does not ultimately become perfectly one with Brahman but shares with the Supreme all excellent qualities. Appaya Dikshita (1554-1626) attempted to resolve this union in favor of an absolute identity — Shuddhadvaita. Its area of origin and influence covers most of Karnataka state.
5. Siddha Siddhanta: Expounded by Rishi Gorakshanatha (ca 950), this monistic theism is known as bhedabheda, embracing both transcendent Siva Being and immanent Siva Becoming. Siva is efficient and material cause. The creation and final return of soul and cosmos to Siva are likened to bubbles arising and returning to water. Influential in Nepal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.
6. Kashmir Saivism: Codified by Vasugupta (ca 800), this mildly theistic, intensely monastic school, known as Pratyabhijna Darshana, explains the creation of soul and world as God Siva’s shining forth in His dynamic first impulse. As the Self of all, Siva is immanent and transcendent, a real but abstract creator-preserver-destroyer. Founded in Kashmir. The tradition of the Kashmir Shaivism was transmitted from master to disciple centuries in a row, according to the method named “from mouth to ear”.
Mukta Tantra Yoga is not to get lost into systems, philosophies and history, rather using their wisdom to express who we truly are.
Mukta teaches the essence of Tantra and not focusing on a particular school or thought, or recommending or referring to any particular book, rather helping to read one’s own book. It is based on direct self-inquiry and Mukta will try his best to support you on your journey without converting you in to new beliefs without any logical or scientific ground.