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Years of systematic exposure to verbal teaching of Prasthana Traya Bhas hyas and sincere, serious and devoted arthanusandhanam for long hours proved to be insufficient and inadequate because of the missing links between the words an d experiences. The discipline of upasanas based on Tantra Shastra has been the s aving grace for the author of this paper. The upayas to overcome the problem of missing links revealed by the Guru-Shishya-Shastra-Sampradaya-Parampara of Tantr a Vidya have made it clear that an akritopasti (one who has not fulfilled the re quirements of upasana) cannot attain chittavishranti (repose of the mind) and ji vanmukti (living in liberation). Tantra Shastra is the source of Tantra Vidya and it is said to be the mo st efficacious means of Akhilapurushartha in the present Kali Yuga. It is a perf ormance oriented sadhana shastra and hence it has little to do with interpretati ve, speculative, and linguistic exercises. The upayas of Tantra Vidya are to be followed 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 Shastra 2) The quantitative dimensions of Manah 3) The vertical dimensions of Manah 4) The necessity of calming the Manah 5) Mind calming methods in Tantra Shastra Three approaches of Tantra Shastra help an upasaka-jijnasu to master th e inner instrument of life experiences. 1) The functional approach 2) The instrument – field approach 3) The power mode approach Different prakriyas(treatment of topics) of Uttaramimamsa/Vedanta dars anam help one to grasp the functional aspects of the antahkaranam (the inner ins trument of knowledge, agency of doer- enjoyer, and memory).This is often referre d to as manah. There are as many as eighteen prakriyas based on the Prasthana Tr aya texts and the Bhashyas. The relevance of Tantra Shastra comes to surface and gains prominence in the context of upasanaprakriya which is Tantra specific. There are five major Tantra prakriyas based on performance and experience in Tantra Vidya which reve al the field and power mode of manah. Conclusion: The necessity of calming the mind in the modern life is very poignant ly felt by the mature elder generation of humanity. The acute and reckless moral indifference 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 se cret strength of Indian culture lies in the intergenerational transfer of the me thods of mastering the mind. This seminar ought to be considered a step towards achieving 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 English Sri JCBM College, Sringeri. 577139 Mobile: 9900100230, 9483017280
Mind Calming Method in Tantra Shastra (A Paper presented by Dr.S. Ramakrishna Sharma M.A., Ph.D(English)., Ph.D(Sans krit)., in the National Seminar on The Indian Approach to Calming the Mind, at Veda Vijnana Gurukulam,Chennenahalli, Bangalore. 25th&26th,Aug.2007) This paper is the outcome of a series of practices of its author over a lo ng period of more than forty years. This paper contains certain insights into th e chosen topic of this National Seminar from the standpoint of Tantra Shastra. T his shastra is the source of Tantra Vidya which is a performance oriented discip line. Vidya means Upasana in this context. The term tantram, derived from the ro ots tan and tra, means expansion and protection of the upasaka the practitioner. The components of Tantram are Mantra and Yantram1. Mantra is not mere linguisti c construct and yantram is not just geometric pattern. These are called Devatash ariram 2, the body of the Deity or the Godhead chosen for the upasana according to the Guru-Shishya-Shastra- Sampradaya-Parampara of Tantra Shastra which is in the mainstream of Sanatana Vaidika Samskriti 3, the perennial Vedic Culture. The discipline of upasana has two stages namely Sakamopasana and Nishkamop asana. The common factor is obviously upasana which is essentially manasavyapara h, mental activity. It requires mastery over the senses in both cases and it lea ds to the mastery over the mind. Tantra Shastra recognizes the importance of Kam a in the process of upasana. Dharmakama, Arthakama, and Mokshakama do have the e lement of kama which facilitates expansion and protection. But, Kamakama does no t. The former two purushasrthas form the basis of sakamopasana and the latter fo rms the basis of nishkamopasana. Thus all the purusharthas are integrated into A khilapurushartha 4 in Tantra Shastra. Years of systematic exposure to verbal teaching of Prasthanatraya Bhashyas and sincere, serious, and devoted arthanusandhanam for long hours proved to be insufficient and inadequate in the case of the author of this paper because of t he missing links which were identified between the words and experiences. It bec ame clear that an akritopasti(one who has not fulfilled the requirements of upas ana)cannot attain chittavishranthi (repose of the mind)and jivanmukti(living in liberation) 5. “How can I calm my mind?” was the question at the age of eleven. The aspir ing mind of this author was blessed by the all-merciful Lord. The roots of one’s own Guru-Shastra-Sampradaya-Parampara were revealed. The insights revealed from behind the curtain by the Divine Mother gradually took this seeking soul to the spiritual interior of the micro and macro dimensions of the cosmos. The core pr actices6 of Tantra Shastra are Parayanam and Japa which help the upasaka to spir itually comprehend the interconnectivity of Adhyatma-Adhidaiva-Adhibhuta aspects of the Prapancha. As the inner instrument becomes alert and gets sensitized dur ing the intense moments of Tattvanusandhanam (focusing the attention on various levels of japa-mantra-devata manifestations) the upasaka gathers the inner stren gth to pursue the upayas 7(the efficacious means which are compatible with the s piritual goal) revealed by the Devata and / or Guru. These upayas address the sp ecific needs of the upasaka at the given stage of upasana. Neither by appeasing the impulses of the senses and the mind nor by rejecting them can any individual achieve mastery over the mind and senses. The relevance of Tantra Shastra gains prominence in this context. Its practical approach enables the seeker to experi ence the subtle and deeper levels of the senses, the mind, the elements, and the beyond. Calming the mind is not an end in itself, by itself. It is necessary to master the inner instruments of life in order to make them purusharthopayogi( a dequate and efficient) to accomplish akhilapurushartha in this life.
Different prakriyas (treatment of topics) of Uttaramimamsa / Vedantadarsha nam help one to grasp only the functional aspects of the antahkaranam(the inner instruments of knowledge and action, agency of doer-enjoyer, and memory)which i s often referred to as manah, the mind. There are as many as eighteen prakriyas 8based on the Prasthanatraya Texts and the Bhashyas. They are given in the appen dix to this paper. There are three approaches in Tantra Shastra namely 1) Anavopayah, the fun ctional approach, 2) Shaktopayah, the instrument – field approach, and 3) Shambh avopayah, the power mode approach to comprehend the gross, subtle, and causal le vels of the individual body. In the context of upasanaprakriya of the upasanakan da of the Vedas these approaches are found scattered in the spiritual literature across the nation over thousands and thousands of years. In the devotional lite rature which developed later these approaches are given prominent place 9. There are five major Tantraprakriyas based on anushtanam (performance) and anubhuti(d irect experience) which reveal the operative dynamics of the manah of the upasak a. This enables one to become the driver and the mechanic as well of one’s own m ind. The approaches of the Tantra Shastra are briefly presented below in five s ubtitles. 1. Manah in Tantra Shastra. As a Sadhana Shastra, Tantra has nothing to do with interpretative, specul ative, and linguistic exercises. The upayas of Tantra Vidya are to be followed w ithout the intervention and interpretations of the immature mind. Unlike vrittij nanam of conventional Vedanta which remains buddhyarudhashastrajnanam the prakri yas of Tantra Shastra help the upasaka to enter the spiritual interior of the su btle body and this will facilitate intuitive comprehension of the inner dimensio ns of manah, the mind. The following prakriyas are based on Anavopayah. i) Deekshaprakriya-( deekshanama chitdhatoh samskarah) ii) Tattvashuddhiprakriya iii) Dravyashuddhiprakriya iv) Nyasaprakriya v) Shaktipataprakriya I Further, there are many more prakriyas based on Shaktopayah such as: vi) Sankocha- vikasa - prakriya vii) a)Srishti- b)sthiti- c)laya-prakriya a) Shabdasrishtih;Arthasrishtih at the subtle level Pada-Padartha-Bhasha-Vyavahara at the gross level b) Japa-Homa-Purascharana-Parayana-prakriya The following prakriyas are based on Shambhavopayah . c) Samadhividhanaprakriya viii) Grandhiprakriya Hridayagranthih Brahmagranthih Vishnugranthih Rudragranthih Chitjadagranthih ix) Shaktipataprakriya II The functional definition ‘sankalpa-vikalpatmakam manah’ does not point ou t the quantitative dimensions of manah. How does sense perception give rise to t he knowledge of the respective sense object true to its quality, nature, and dim ension? How does the mind accommodate the unified object in association with oth er objects? These questions demand non-verbal, intuitive comprehension of the di mensions of the mind. The locative and accommodative special experiences relative to the physica l body are to be focused to comprehend the physical space occupied by one’s gros s 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 m ahakasha, the expansive space. The space within one’s living body can be felt wi th deeper attention. This is chittakasha, the luminous psychic space (kash to sh ine).
The conventional Panchakoshavivekaprakriya does not take the jijnasu into the spiritual interior of the five koshas and the three shariras. The word and word-meaning oriented linguistic approach must be backed by upasana in order to perceive the mind material, its field, and the corresponding cosmic forces which make the functions possible. Increase and decrease, height-depth-length-width, directions, expansion-co ntraction, volumes, distance and remoteness, size and patterns and many more int ricate aspects of dimensions are experiences which indicate the quantitative, no n-linguistic possibilities of chitta, the mind. It must be further noted here th at the gross can be measured by the subtle, but not the other way round. Hence t he mind material and its properties can be measured and its functions can be int ervened only by another mind. Indeed by a master mind. It appears to be irrevocably true that language is required to understand language. And yet it cannot be directly applied to perceive the dimensions of th e mind. But this limitation pertains to the tool of communication available to t he common man. Tantra Shastra deals with the multi-dimensional aspects of the ar ticulate and inarticulate speech termed as Vak 10. It is necessary to scale the heights and depths of one’s own mind to experience the expanse of the cosmic min d. 2. The Dimensions of Manah. (This is based on the instrument- field approach.) Where the body is there the mind is. This is the prerequisite for normal wak ing state experiences. While the dream state experiences take place where does t he mind function? What is its dimension? Is the mind non-separate from the physi cal brain? The physical distance between the body and the other objects is clear ly experienced by all. What about the distance between the conscious mind and th e physical body? What about the distance between the jivatma, (the individual be ing) and the mind and the body? The answers are to be sought through upasana. Proper upasana reveals that the mind takes very subtle form while dream st ate within the nadis and this dimension is pointed out by the term anuparimanam. This does not mean atomic in size. The subtlety meant here is pervasiveness and permeating nature. The dream objects are life size objects which manifest withi n the mind which is supported by the cosmic mind. This chittakasha has an elemen t of sattvaguna which makes it possible to recollect the dreams. The experience of simultaneity and totality all over the body while plungi ng into a water pond proves that the chitta pervades the body. This is the madhy amaparimanam of the mind. The Tantra Shastra prescribes the sandhya upasana 11to facilitate such realizations. How to comprehend the mahatparimanam (cosmic expa nse) of the mind where the individual mind meets the cosmic mind? It is possible through the prescribed upasana in the Tantra Shastra. These upasanas are extens ions of the Vedic upasanas 12which are ignored and forgotten by the pandits, the scholars. 3. The Vertical Dimensions of the Manah. (This is based on the power mode approach.) Tantra Shastra mentions that Vak is a form of energy which manifests in the vertically upward direction within the chittakashah, the psychic space. Althoug h there are four levels of this upward manifestation namely Para, Pashyanthi, Ma dhyama, and Vaikhari, the extrovert human beings recognize only the fourth, gros sest, articulate, audible level called Vaikhari. How does an alphabet manifest i n the articulate form? Unlike the saliva spit out from the mouth an alphabet is not a product of the throat. Nabhi, Hrit, Kantha, and Rasana are identified 13as the physical locations of efforts in the process of speech. This is enough to p rove the vertical dimension of articulated speech. Written form of the speech, i.e., the script seems to follow the horizonta l movement and order. But in reality even this has its basis in the vertical for mat of top- to- bottom arrangement. The tangible, articulate letters and words of Vaikhari are endowed with prana and manah. The uttered speech travels in the medium and field of cosmic Prana and cosmic Mind. But this movement cannot be p erceived by an uninitiated, unrefined lay mind. In fact the Vak moves against the gravitational force from the Muladharaks
hetram onwards within the chittakasha where the chakra-padma-mandala-vyuha-syste m exists and operates. Para Vak is the domain of chetana, (the consciousness) be fore it gets contracted into chitta, the individual mind. This chetana 14can be experienced just before waking up from deep sleep at the dawn of aham, the sense of I in the heart. This consciousness pervades the pranas, chitta-dravya, the s enses, and the gross body. Those who are not initiated into the discipline of upasana do not have the facility of the instrument –field approach and the power mode approach. As a re sult they would find it difficult to settle account with their own mind. 4. The necessity of calming the manah. (This is from the standpoint of power mode approach.) The powers 15of Ichha, Jnana, and Kriya are responsible for the individua l life and also the manifestation, maintenance, and dissolution of the cosmos. T hese powers delude the ignorant, indulging beings on the one hand and direct the discriminative seekers towards the ultimate goal of life on the other hand. The refore it is obvious that one ought to know how these powers within operate. Her e arises the necessity of calming the manah. Sri Bhaskararaya unravels the secre ts of upasana in his bhashya on Bhavanopanishat 16very succinctly. He states tha t the presiding powers of the inner instrument of perception and action give ris e to binding identifications and cause distractions in the case of those who do not invoke the divine grace through proper means of upasana. The treatment of mala, vikshepa, and avarana in the Vedantic treatises is not given much attention by the scholars. As long as the individual mind is unde r the spell of vikshepa the individual will not be able to enjoy even relatively calm state of mind. Bhakti in application is upasana. It helps the seeker to di scover the spiritual relationship with the Lord which is unopposed to the essent ial nature of the seeker and the Lord. The Lord is not only karmaphaladhata but also jnanaphaladhata. The Lord instantly reciprocates to the communications of t he upasaka whose devotion is firm and unflinching. It may be noted that Tantra S hastra 17prescribes the attitude of sarvadrshana-aninda and the value of samanva ya to every upasaka. Sri Adya Shankara Bhagavatpada Acharya revived the discip line of Panchayatana Upasana and Sri Chakra Upasana because they are meant to fa cilitate calming and taming the mind in order that it becomes purusharthopayogi, competent and adequate to intuit the spiritual interior of the micro-macro –cos mic existence. 5. Mind Calming Methods in Tantra Shastra. (This is based on the functional approach.) The question of calming the mind does not arise in the context of sahajata datmyam and karmajatadatmyam because these are ordained by the laws of the Lord for the conduct of daily life till the death of the physical body. An upasaka re alizes these two facilities to be the glories of the Lord. But in the case of bh rantijatadatmyam due to raga and dwesha, fear of death and disease, and the like one has to seek the ways of calming the mind. These are hindrances in both the cases of sakama upasana and nishkama upasana. Mouna, Antarmouna, Manasajapa, and Upavasa are composite disciplines in th e Tantraparampara. These lead one to kashtamounam and ultimately to the Mahamoun am of Lord Sri Dakshinamurti. The interconnectivity of adhibhuta- adhyatma- adhi daiva- prapancha is gradually revealed to the upasaka of Tantra Vidya. The Tantr a specific locations like the vilwa-mula, goshala, and many others provide certa in external environment for calming the mind through tattvanusandhanam. Mounam is not suppression of speech. It is the entrance door to the platfo rm of chitta. From there the upasaka ascends to the field of chetana and gains r epose in the rising ground of the universe i.e., Devatmashakti 18. Conclusion: The necessity of calming the mind in the modern life is very po ignantly felt by the mature elder generation of humanity. The acute and reckless moral indifference 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 to wards achieving this sacred task. It can perhaps be achieved through the means o f Tantra Shastra as it is said 19to be the most efficacious discipline meant for this Kali Yuga.
Notes and References: 1 Prof. S.K. Ramachandra Rao, Sri Chakra, Its Yantra, Mantra, And Tantra,(Banga lore: Kalpataru Research Academy,1982), ibid. Introduction. All Acharyas have authored treatises on Tantra Vidya. For example, Sri Adya Sha nkaracharya’s Prapanchasaratantram and Sri Madhvacharya’s Tantrasaram. Kamakoti edn. Soundaryalahari, Nine commentaries in Sanskrit,ed. A. Kuppuswamy B.A., B.T.,(Tamilnadu: The Ministry of Education and Social Welfare, Govt. of I ndia,1976),p.264. Verse. 31. Sri Vidyaranya, Jivanmuktivivekah,Anandashrama Series 20, (----:Anadashrama,19 78), The living tradition to which this author belongs provides the evidence for the se practices. Vasugupta, Siva Sutras, trans. Eng, Jaideva Singh, (Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass,1 979),p. i- lli. Although these prakriyas appear to be logic oriented, actually they are experie nce based. But the akritopasti does not have the refinement and sensitivity to c omprehend them. Among the Stotras, Soundaryalahari occupies a unique place as it has the maximu m number (thirty six) commentaries in Sanskrit and many in vernacular languages. S.Shankaranarayanan, Sri Chakra,(Pondicherry : Dipti Publications, Sri Aurobind o Ashram,1979),p.23. Rg-Veda quoted at the footnote: Rv.1. 164. 45. (Guha treeni nihita nengayanti tureeyam vacho manushya vadanti.) Sir John Woodroffe, Introduction to Tantra Sastra, seventh ed,(Madras: Ganesh & Company,1980),p.96. Kavyakantha Sri Vasishta Ganapati Muni, Dashamahavidyasutram, Tamil Introducti on and Text in Sanskrit, ed, Srivatsa Natesan,(G.L.Kantam,1958), C. Ramanujachari, The Spiritual Heritage of Tyagaraja, Songs of Tyagaraja in De vanagari Script & Trans. Eng,(Madras: Sri Ramakrishna Math,1966),p.514-15. Chowkhamba edn. Sri Lalitasahasranamastotram, Text in Sanskrit,(Varanasi: Chow khamba Orientalia,1977),p.35. (Chitchhaktischetanarupa-jadashaktir-jadatmika ). ibid. p. 45. (Ichhashakti-jnanashakti-kriyashakti-swarupini).
Sri Bhaskararaya, Bhavanopanishat Bhashya in Sanskrit, trans. Eng, S. Mira,(mad ras: Ganesh & Company, 1976), p. 7. Sri Parashurama, Parashuramakalpasutram, with Rameshwara’s comm, in Sanskrit, e d, A. Mahadeva Sastri,(Baroda: Oriental Institute, 1979), p. 31. Upanishad Series, Shwetashwataropanishat, trans. Eng, Swami Tyagisananda,(Madra s:Sri Ramakrishna Math,1971), p. 18. Sir John Woodroffe, Introduction To Tantra Sastra, p. 37-42. Suggested activity: Remain in constant prayer for timely and right guidance. The depth and intensity of one’s aspiration determines the promptness of divine response. The receptivi ty to the divine communication will be proportional to the unbroken and unflinch ing devotion one is capable of.
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in seeking and seeing the intended meaning and also to recognize the spiritual content of the words. AUM TAT SAT __________________________________________________________________ Name and address of the resource person: Dr. S. Ramakrishna Sharma M.A., Ph.D (English), Ph.D (Sanskrit) Mobile: 91+ 9483017280 Daya , 19 -16/3 Aranthabettu, P.O. Srinivasanagar. Mangalore - 575 025. Prof.&Head, Dept. of English Sri JCBM College, Sringeri. 577139 ed version -22-8-07.)