Essays on the Gita - Track 404

So, there is a synthesis, no doubt, of the Supreme Lord and the Divine Mother but this synthesis has got some kind of emphasis. In fact there is one school of Tantra which says that the Supreme Mother is even superior to the Lord because the Lord is entirely at the mercy of the Supreme Mother. The Supreme Lord will do nothing unless He is completely controlled by the Supreme Mother. So even in Tantra, there are various kinds of formulations and one of them again becomes exclusive to this extent emphasizing that everything must pass only through the Divine Mother. In fact the main distinction between the Vedantic Yoga and the Tantric Yoga rests on this: that according to Vedantic Yoga the emphasis falls upon the principle of the soul and the Self, for entering into the higher from the lower. In the Tantra, the emphasis falls upon the power, not soul and self, but upon power, upon Shakti; it is through Shakti and by development of Shakti that you enter into the Supreme Lord. It is almost a kind of a reflection of the two paths of which we spoke in the Kena Upanishad, Yadasya tvam yadasya deveshu, both the paths were there but here it is even much more manifestly said in the Tantra.

The Tantra also discovers the sleeping Shakti in our own body, called Kundalini, and points out that this Shakti is already in you, and if you can awaken it, this Kundalini, then by a very special process, it can rise, it can awaken and join with the supreme Shakti that is above. And through that realisation of the joining, of the union, you can then enter into the portals of the Supreme Lord. So this is a very special method that you find in the Tantric Yoga: the awakening of Kundalini and in doing so they tookthe help of both Hathayoga and Rajayoga. These two Yogas also are united and the entire process of Kundalini is awakening assisted by the methods of Hathayoga and Rajayoga. It also unites the processes of Jnana, Bhakti and Karma because the worship of Shakti requires the worship of Jnana Shakti, Karma Shakti and also Shakti which comes by devotion. So an emphasis upon a synthesis of Jnana, Karma and Bhakti, a synthesis of Raja Yoga and Hathayoga, and a very bold experiment in which the so called obstacles in the Yoga were themselves utilized as aids in Yoga.

The theory is that whatever obstructs you in the path, instead of avoiding the obstruction you embrace it and take out the truth of it, utilize it for your higher development. If `anger' is you obstruction, then develop the Anger that is behind anger, develop  kalibhava; instead of only being angry now and then, develop the kalibhava - which is a very great achievement. If you have a kalibhava which does not tolerate any kind of obstacle, any kind of impurity whatsoever, with a sword you stand and impetuously you fight and destroy the enemies. Even anger can be used if you develop this power as your method of liberation. So, accordingly they took a very powerful attitude, towards all the obstacle and said whatever is your obstacle you take it in your hands and liberate its power, develop its power, because there is no obstacle which has no power behind it. And that power ultimately is a divine power. Therefore take it to its extreme logic and develop it. It is a powerful experiment made by Tantrics: develop your body, develop your life, develop your mind capacities, develop Jnana, Bhakti and Karma, awaken Kundalini and achieve a very powerful development in which Shakti and Purushottama stand together and you become the vehicle of that supreme Purusha and Prakriti.

Question: Is not there a great risk in the first stages of the journey?

Answer:A very great risk of course! Not only a small risk, it is a complete risk! That is why people do not recommend Tantra normally. And Tantrics themselves test you tremendously before admitting you to Tantra because it is very, very dangerous, very risky. But it was bold because it undertook this experiment. India's greatness is that there is nothing which it did not attempt. Like scientists of highest order, they said, "if these are the problems and let us face them, and make tremendous experiments, how much risk they must have incurred in that process”. How many failures must have been in this process! Even to develop this theory; today we can talk of this theory as if it is a child's play, but to develop this theory and to say with assurance that these obstacles can be turned into opportunities, can be turned into means of your achievement, even today we say so confidently, but how can you say it without experimenting! So you can imagine what a tremendous experiment India must have attempted, and how much achievement India must have done, to say today with confidence: `if you do this, this would be the result' This is what was done by the Tantrics; that is why also Tantra fell, because to sustain the Tantra very few can be a fit for it. But when you try to popularize it, seeing the dangers in it, and people succumb to the dangers also, and that is why Tantra went into disrepute. But there are three elements of this great experiment which can be regarded as a kind of a synthesis.

First, a synthesis of this concept of the Divine as the Male and the Female at the same time. Secondly, the synthesis of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and Raja Yoga. And third, the synthesis of the powers of the body, life and mind with the powers of the Supreme Shakti, and even the idea of the perfectibility of man, so that on all sides the human being can be integrated. And finally, a synthesis between the idea of individual liberation and collective liberation. These are the elements of synthesis that you find in the Tantra.

But even this synthesis is not enough for the present day. The kind of synthesis that we now need is a total synthesis because even the small emphasis that were put – like in the Upanishads the emphasis on knowledge, even though syntheses of disciplines of Knowledge – but emphasis on Knowledge. That has to be worked out as to bring it into a greater synthesis of that synthesis of Knowledge with the synthesis of Karma with the synthesis of Bhakti. The kind of synthesis that we find in Tantra also has to be synthesized with this – a total synthesis.