Tantra Unveiled

  • By Pandit Rajmani Tugnait
  • April 2003

1. Bhairava: the most vibrant form of Shiva, often associated with destruction, the form of Shiva that destroys our ignorance & grants mental clarity & spiritual illumination.

2. Brahmacharya: practice leading to the realization of Brahman, often used synonymously with celibacy.

3. Brahma Nadi: the energy channels that flows between the eyebrow center & sahasrara chakra (the center at the crown of the head).

4. Brahmastra: ‘The weapon of Brahman’. The force engineered by tantric practices to destroy the ultimate enemy, ignorance, the tantric name for the goddess Bagalamukhi.

5. Chakra: ‘Wheel’. A center of consciousness within the body corresponding to a major nerve plexus of the gross physical nervous system situated along the spinal cord, a circle formed around the master for left-hand tantric rituals, synonymous with yantra & mandala.

6. Chakra Puja: ‘Worshipping the Chakras’. A special term referring to the left-hand tantric practice that employs liquor, meat, fish, mudras & physical union or its substitute, the tantric practice which is done by a group of practioners under the supervision of a master.

7. Chandra Vijnana: ‘the lunar science’. The mystical knowledge of the moon, another term for Sri Vidya.

8. Darshana: ‘Glimpse’. The direct vision of the invisible, absolute reality, revelation, system of philosophy.

9. Gorakhnatha: a Siddha master who attained immortality through the practice of hatha yoga & alchemy, an immortal yogi honored in Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian traditions.

10. Hridaya: ‘Heart’. The tantric term referring to the aspect of the mantra which is to be visualized at the heart center or to be synchronized with the energy of the heart center, a practice consisting of recitation of a long set of mantras that enables the practioner to induce a state of oneness between the power of mantra & oneself.

11. Ishta Deva: a personal form of the Impersonal Divine Being, a personified form of a mantra.

12. Ishwara: The Almighty Divine Being, the divine force endowed with the unrestricted power of will.

13. Japa: repetition of a mantra.

14. Jiva: Individual self, the soul, the innermost aspect of ourselves, in the Samaya School of tantra, the final constituent of our existence.

15. Kala Chakra: the wheel of time, famous Buddha yantra.

16. Kavacha: ‘Armor’. The portion of the mantra that corresponds to the energies of the front, back, left & right sides of the body and thus, like armor, protects the aspirant from obstacles.

17. Kundalini Shakti:  the primordial divine force, the dormant energy that yogis awaken through yogic means, in the latent form it resides in the muladhara chakra.

18. Kundalini Yoga: a system of practice that includes the use of mantras, yantras, mudras, and breathing exercises to awaken the latent kundalini in the muladhara chakra and channel it upward to the highest chakra, the sahasrara.

19. Maha Mrityunjaya:  ‘the great conqueror of death’. The form of Shiva that grants immortality & freedom from all pains & miseries, the famous heading mantra first mentioned in the Yajur veda & further elaborated in tantric scriptures.

20. Maha Vidya: ‘Great Knowledge’. The ten manifestations of the Divine Mother: Kali, Tara, Chhinnamasta, Tripura (Sri Vidya), Tripura Bhairavi, Bagalmukhi, Bhuvaneshvari, Matangi, Kamala & Dhumavati.

21. Nada Yoga: the school of Yoga in which the practioners meditate on the eternal sound.

22. Ojas: the finest form of the life-force, the source of vigor & vitality.

23. Parakaya Pravesha: the yogic technique of leaving the body without dying & entering another body without being born, this usually refers to the process of entering a fresh corpse, thus bring it back to life.

24. Pranayama: ‘expansion of prana, the life-force. Breathing techniques leading to the mastery over the pranic force, the science of prana that enables an aspirant to gain access to the pranamaya kosha, the pranic body that lies beyond the physical body.

25. Siddhi: spiritual power, the power of success, extraordinary ability, supernatural power gained through tantric practices, psychic power.

26. Tara: the force that helps us to cross the ocean of pain & misery, star. One of the ten maha vidyas.

27. Tirtha Raja: ‘.lord of shrines’ Also known as Prayaga Raja, another name for Allahabad.

28. Upasana: ‘Sitting near’. Worship, tantric practices consisting of rituals, recitation of prayers, and other external practices which help an aspirant draw closer to the Divine.

29. Vairagi: one who is not attracted by the charms & temptations of the world, a person practicing non-attachment & dispassion.

30. Yantra: ‘Device’. A geometric representation of mantric energy, the Divine Force in the form of light.

Hope you found this introduction on Tantra useful.

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