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Mind Calming Methods in Tantra

Mind Calming Methods in Tantra

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The secret strength of Indian culture lies in the intergenerational transfer of the methods of mastering the mind.
The secret strength of Indian culture lies in the intergenerational transfer of the methods of mastering the mind.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Dr.Ramakrishnan Srinivasan on Jul 10, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Mind Calming Method in Tantra ShastraAbstract of the PaperYears of systematic exposure to verbal teaching of Prasthana Traya Bhashyas and sincere, serious and devoted arthanusandhanam for long hours proved tobe insufficient and inadequate because of the missing links between the words and experiences. The discipline of upasanas based on Tantra Shastra has been the saving grace for the author of this paper. The upayas to overcome the problem ofmissing links revealed by the Guru-Shishya-Shastra-Sampradaya-Parampara of Tantra Vidya have made it clear that an akritopasti (one who has not fulfilled the requirements of upasana) cannot attain chittavishranti (repose of the mind) and jivanmukti (living in liberation).Tantra Shastra is the source of Tantra Vidya and it is said to be the most efficacious means of Akhilapurushartha in the present Kali Yuga. It is a performance oriented sadhana shastra and hence it has little to do with interpretative, speculative, and linguistic exercises. The upayas of Tantra Vidya are to befollowed without the interpretations and interruptions of the immature intellect.The content of this paper is delineated under five sub-titles:1) Manah (Mind) in Tantra Shastra2) The quantitative dimensions of Manah3) The vertical dimensions of Manah4) The necessity of calming the Manah5) Mind calming methods in Tantra ShastraThree approaches of Tantra Shastra help an upasaka-jijnasu to master the inner instrument of life experiences.1) The functional approach2) The instrument – field approach3) The power mode approachDifferent prakriyas(treatment of topics) of Uttaramimamsa/Vedanta darsanam help one to grasp the functional aspects of the antahkaranam (the inner instrument of knowledge, agency of doer- enjoyer, and memory).This is often referred to as manah. There are as many as eighteen prakriyas based on the Prasthana Traya texts and the Bhashyas.The relevance of Tantra Shastra comes to surface and gains prominencein the context of upasanaprakriya which is Tantra specific. There are five majorTantra prakriyas based on performance and experience in Tantra Vidya which reveal the field and power mode of manah.Conclusion:The necessity of calming the mind in the modern life is very poignantly felt by the mature elder generation of humanity. The acute and reckless moralindifference among the younger generation is a matter of serious concern today.Tantra Shastra does have the effective upayas to calm and tame the mind. The secret strength of Indian culture lies in the intergenerational transfer of the methods of mastering the mind. This seminar ought to be considered a step towardsachieving this sacred task.Name and Address of the Resource Person:S. Ramakrishna Sharma M.A., Ph.D(English)., Ph.D(Sanskrit).,Professor and Head, Dept. of EnglishSri JCBM College, Sringeri. 577139Mobile: 9900100230, 9483017280
Mind Calming Method in Tantra Shastra(A Paper presented by Dr.S. Ramakrishna Sharma M.A., Ph.D(English)., Ph.D(Sanskrit)., in the National Seminar on The Indian Approach to Calming the Mind, atVeda Vijnana Gurukulam,Chennenahalli, Bangalore. 25th&26th,Aug.2007) This paper is the outcome of a series of practices of its author over a long period of more than forty years. This paper contains certain insights into the chosen topic of this National Seminar from the standpoint of Tantra Shastra. This shastra is the source of Tantra Vidya which is a performance oriented discipline. Vidya means Upasana in this context. The term tantram, derived from the roots tan and tra, means expansion and protection of the upasaka the practitioner.The components of Tantram are Mantra and Yantram1. Mantra is not mere linguistic construct and yantram is not just geometric pattern. These are called Devatashariram 2, the body of the Deity or the Godhead chosen for the upasana accordingto the Guru-Shishya-Shastra- Sampradaya-Parampara of Tantra Shastra which is inthe mainstream of Sanatana Vaidika Samskriti 3, the perennial Vedic Culture.The discipline of upasana has two stages namely Sakamopasana and Nishkamopasana. The common factor is obviously upasana which is essentially manasavyaparah, mental activity. It requires mastery over the senses in both cases and it leads to the mastery over the mind. Tantra Shastra recognizes the importance of Kama in the process of upasana. Dharmakama, Arthakama, and Mokshakama do have the element of kama which facilitates expansion and protection. But, Kamakama does not. The former two purushasrthas form the basis of sakamopasana and the latter forms the basis of nishkamopasana. Thus all the purusharthas are integrated into Akhilapurushartha 4 in Tantra Shastra.Years of systematic exposure to verbal teaching of Prasthanatraya Bhashyasand sincere, serious, and devoted arthanusandhanam for long hours proved to beinsufficient and inadequate in the case of the author of this paper because of the missing links which were identified between the words and experiences. It became clear that an akritopasti(one who has not fulfilled the requirements of upasana)cannot attain chittavishranthi (repose of the mind)and jivanmukti(living inliberation) 5.“How can I calm my mind?” was the question at the age of eleven. The aspiring mind of this author was blessed by the all-merciful Lord. The roots of one’sown Guru-Shastra-Sampradaya-Parampara were revealed. The insights revealed frombehind the curtain by the Divine Mother gradually took this seeking soul to thespiritual interior of the micro and macro dimensions of the cosmos. The core practices6 of Tantra Shastra are Parayanam and Japa which help the upasaka to spiritually comprehend the interconnectivity of Adhyatma-Adhidaiva-Adhibhuta aspectsof the Prapancha. As the inner instrument becomes alert and gets sensitized during the intense moments of Tattvanusandhanam (focusing the attention on variouslevels of japa-mantra-devata manifestations) the upasaka gathers the inner strength to pursue the upayas 7(the efficacious means which are compatible with the spiritual goal) revealed by the Devata and / or Guru. These upayas address the specific needs of the upasaka at the given stage of upasana. Neither by appeasingthe impulses of the senses and the mind nor by rejecting them can any individualachieve mastery over the mind and senses. The relevance of Tantra Shastra gainsprominence in this context. Its practical approach enables the seeker to experience the subtle and deeper levels of the senses, the mind, the elements, and thebeyond. Calming the mind is not an end in itself, by itself. It is necessary tomaster the inner instruments of life in order to make them purusharthopayogi( adequate and efficient) to accomplish akhilapurushartha in this life.
Different prakriyas (treatment of topics) of Uttaramimamsa / Vedantadarshanam help one to grasp only the functional aspects of the antahkaranam(the innerinstruments of knowledge and action, agency of doer-enjoyer, and memory)which is often referred to as manah, the mind. There are as many as eighteen prakriyas8based on the Prasthanatraya Texts and the Bhashyas. They are given in the appendix to this paper.There are three approaches in Tantra Shastra namely 1) Anavopayah, the functional approach, 2) Shaktopayah, the instrument – field approach, and 3) Shambhavopayah, the power mode approach to comprehend the gross, subtle, and causal levels of the individual body. In the context of upasanaprakriya of the upasanakanda of the Vedas these approaches are found scattered in the spiritual literatureacross the nation over thousands and thousands of years. In the devotional literature which developed later these approaches are given prominent place 9. Thereare five major Tantraprakriyas based on anushtanam (performance) and anubhuti(direct experience) which reveal the operative dynamics of the manah of the upasaka. This enables one to become the driver and the mechanic as well of one’s own mind.The approaches of the Tantra Shastra are briefly presented below in five subtitles.1. Manah in Tantra Shastra.As a Sadhana Shastra, Tantra has nothing to do with interpretative, speculative, and linguistic exercises. The upayas of Tantra Vidya are to be followed without the intervention and interpretations of the immature mind. Unlike vrittijnanam of conventional Vedanta which remains buddhyarudhashastrajnanam the prakriyas of Tantra Shastra help the upasaka to enter the spiritual interior of the subtle body and this will facilitate intuitive comprehension of the inner dimensions of manah, the mind. The following prakriyas are based on Anavopayah.i) Deekshaprakriya-( deekshanama chitdhatoh samskarah)ii) Tattvashuddhiprakriyaiii) Dravyashuddhiprakriyaiv) Nyasaprakriyav) Shaktipataprakriya IFurther, there are many more prakriyas based on Shaktopayah such as:vi) Sankocha- vikasa - prakriyavii) a)Srishti- b)sthiti- c)laya-prakriyaa) Shabdasrishtih;Arthasrishtih at the subtle levelPada-Padartha-Bhasha-Vyavahara at the gross levelb) Japa-Homa-Purascharana-Parayana-prakriyaThe following prakriyas are based on Shambhavopayah .c) Samadhividhanaprakriyaviii) GrandhiprakriyaHridayagranthihBrahmagranthihVishnugranthihRudragranthihChitjadagranthihix) Shaktipataprakriya IIThe functional definition ‘sankalpa-vikalpatmakam manah’ does not point out the quantitative dimensions of manah. How does sense perception give rise to the knowledge of the respective sense object true to its quality, nature, and dimension? How does the mind accommodate the unified object in association with other objects? These questions demand non-verbal, intuitive comprehension of the dimensions of the mind.The locative and accommodative special experiences relative to the physical body are to be focused to comprehend the physical space occupied by one’s gross body. This is bhutakasha, the physical space. By listening to thunder, conch,bell, and the roar of the waves along the seashore it is possible to grasp the mahakasha, the expansive space. The space within one’s living body can be felt with deeper attention. This is chittakasha, the luminous psychic space (kash to shine).

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