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LALITA JAYANTI

February 23, 2021

Power in Simplicity

Oh Lalita,
you stand outside the walls of time and space.
Indeed your secret is that you are the wall’s,
and you are time and space itself.
You are the one where time and space meet.
To you we bow.
The delicate power beyond compare.


Lalita is commonly known as Tripuri Sundari, Sundari means the beautiful woman. Tripuri means the one who is beautiful in the three worlds. Lalita is the feminine essence that receives and cools the fire of the sun. She is the cooling receptive lunar energy that balances the fire of Agni.
Her mantras are cooling and are the opposite of her sister Bhairavi’s which are heating.

Lalita promises a receptive comforting place to the fires of our ambition, we may have to get a view of her face through the fires that surround us if we are to get her Darshan (vision). And this exactly is her lesson, to cool down into the very simple and innocent sweetness, perhaps forgotten and secret.

Her mantras and mudras are cooling and softening, so much so, as to melt into the magical corners of our being. The face of Lalita can not be seen through the fires that surround us. Our ambitions, ‘urgencies’ and active impulses are made to rest if we are to see where Lalita is.

Hers is the rising sun
that has been cooled by the night forces.
Her seat is upon a lotus flower
that grows out of the Nabi chakra (navel)
of Shiva.

The forces of fire are implied by this lotus emanating from the fire Chakra and Lalita is the Cooling Moonfire of Tejas that sits atop the hot fire of Agni. Lalita’s beauty is the Soma that results when Agni and Tejas unite. Poems and scriptural verses describe her as having a milky complexion, along with full breasts and a smile that can break the trance of Shiva’s concentrated meditation. She is the ultimate alluring beauty and lunar promise.

Triple meanings


Tripuri Lalita, as she is called, means the one who is beautifully delicate and soft in the three worlds. She is the beauty on the third element hidden between extremes of opposites. Lalita has a twilight gaze!

When Night and day unite, they create the mystical magic of twilight. When Rajas and Bindu unite. That is, the red blood and egg of the woman and the white seed man, then they create Soma which is life – this Tantric law of circuitry holds true in all levels of divided opposites in all the worlds.
Tripuri Lalita then, is the Beauty of these three worlds of Rajas, Bindu and Soma.

For this, she is known as Raj Rani or Rajeshwari, which means, Queen of Kings and Kingdoms.
She represents Mata the subject.
She represents Mana, the instrument.
She represents Maya, the object.
These 3 M’s represent the secret of all yogic investigations.

Lalita means the delicate soft one and she embodies the power of softness. We might very easily associate power as something active and expressive, but Lalita is the reverse and is the very peak of receptive power. The beauty that the poems and scriptures ascribe to her, receives the mightiest of the mighty revelations in the tale that follows.

Stories of Lalita


The legend tells that it was Lalita who subdued the Asura named Bhanda. It is a deeply interesting story that tells of polarities. Bhanda was born of Shivas rage when Kama the god of desire tried to lure him out of his Samhadi (deep spiritual trance). The gaze of Shiva burned Kama to ashes in an instant. But one of Shivas attendants tried to revivify desire by mixing the ashes of the burned up god of desire with the last remaining semen that could be found in the 3 worlds. It had been expelled exactly the moment that Kama thad been turned to ash, causing all desire in the 3 worlds to go dry and flaccid. With the paste, the Gana (spirit attendant of Shiva) began creating Kama again.

The last ejaculation before passion died represents an inner yogic pursuit on the many layers of ones being. It was ejaculated at the exact moment Chandra and Rohini were losing sight of each other. When the Moon starts to move out of the star of his beloveds constellation – the Red star Rohini – then there is a tear cast by the Moon and that is the Moons last ejaculation.

This lunar event occurs periodically on Lalita Jayanti. Every yearly Lalita Jayanti, is connected to this constellational event through geometrical lines of celestial force. The upcoming Lalita Jayanti happens to be in the exact constellation where Chandra (Moon) and Rohini who are the greatest of all Lovers, lose each other’s gaze.

It is a ritual day
of studying the original wound
upon the softest place within.

As the paste carried the energy of Shivas raging glare and an ejaculation devoid of Love, the revivified Kama was most powerful but equally most destructive. The revivified Kama was renamed Bhanda, which means ‘stop’, this name was cried out as he raped and pillaged his way through the universe.

Bhanda replicated the moonlit celestial realms in a murky shadowy reflection. All the Gods and Goddesses were mirrored destructively in Bhanda’s version. The destructive counterparts of the Gods and Goddesses, waged deathly war upon those they resembled in the Moonlit celestial realms.

Bhanda asked the obliging Shiva for a powerful mantra. Shiva gives to those who asks, as he is Bola, full of tenderness and compassion for those who approach to the mountainous heights where he dwells, knowing as he does, how arduous the journey is, Shiva never refuses.

Bhanda got the mantra from Shiva which would make Bhanda immediately receive half the power of those who oppose him. These was no way he could be defeated, along with his own great power and being able to imbibe half that of the numerous enemies he was creating, Bhanda became invincible.

Lalita approached Bhanda and he laughed straight in her face. Soft and delicate as her name suggested, Bhanda roared with laughter from the belly, at the absurdity of such a delicate creature as Lalita coming to defeat him. He was somewhat captivated by her beauty and thought that he would have her the way he had had so many beauties. He realized this beauty of Lalita was something unusual and didn’t realise that what he was actually about to enter into was a painful demise.

Bhanda was wild in sexual rapture and wrestled for aeons with the goddess, never gaining admittance to her delicate moon temple. Every time the mighty Bhanda would apply his strength he would ejaculate. He ejaculated the many Asuric (evil) forces that are told of in the epics. For example, he ejaculated Ravana into being, and so the Goddess Lalita breathed out Hanuman and Raam – and the well-known defeat took place.

Bhanda was burning with desire but could not prevail with his fiery power upon his lunar adversary. His desire would not dwindle and he ejaculated a second time. This time he ejaculated the well known foe Hiranyakashipu, and once again the well known story took place as Lalita breathed out from parted lips his defeater – Prahlaad and Narashima.
A third ejaculation lead to the Buffalo headed Mahishasura being expelled from Bhanda, as the famous story of the end of Navaratri tells. Lalita breathed out the Godess Durga upon lionback and the Buffalo headed beast was defeated as in the well known story.

The fight went on for endless aeons and Lalita played with Bhanda’s desire. He grow frail as his power was ejaculated for ages gone past, each destructive force meeting its opposite. Never ceasing to give up the fight with the Goddess, until perhaps when the power to fight exhausted.

The last expulsion did not come, as Bhanda grew weak and impotent. He tried desperately to emit one more painful ejaculation, knowing that it would be the last. Lalita laughed at him sweetly and said his name, ‘Bhand’, which also means ‘the one who has stopped ejaculating. Her laughter causes her body to ripple erotically and Bhanda responded to the beauty before him by one last attempt to worship her.

Lalita played with him, allowing him closer but not close enough, as he ejaculated for the last time his power left him and the Great War was over. He watched the Goddess Lalita walk away as he expired.


Lalita is the woman
within every woman that is desired,
she is the one who calls forth
the milk of creation
with her captivating and desired gaze.

Lalita is known as the ultimate slayer of badass beasts. Her fingernails when clipped, are said to give birth to the cycles of time along the ages.
Creation, preservation and destruction are all under her charm.
The creator and the preserver grovel at her feet and lose their crowns.

Shiva was too proud and so Lalita stamped upon his belly and took her Moonlit seat upon the fiery lotus that erupted out of the Nabi chakra.
The power of her softness is so great that the creator, the maintainer, and the destroyer fall at her feet, or get stamped underfoot.

The World of the three Granthis


The trinity of creator, preserver and destroyer all fall at the feet of Lalita beauty. She opens the doors to the secrets of three worlds which cannot be got with active force, but by receptive lunar power.
The granthis are the closed doors in oneself that are made up of psycho physical knots of energy, they mask the potentials of the portals of the chakras to receive and give. A Granthi can exist as Surya Granthi which obscures the active force, and a Granthi can exist as Chandra Granthi, which obscures the receptive force.

The Gods
of the three worlds
worship Lalita.

Brahma is connected to the Brahma Granthi, which is the knot at the creative chakra that relates to the unconscious. Brahma is often called the creative force; he is the underworld root that creates the fruit. The underworld is known as Patala in Tantric law.

Vishnu is often described as the force of preservation and the lord of the earthly realm of Bhumi. The Vishnu Granthi is the knot at the area of the heart, that is loosened and opened by the Yogis.

Shiva is often called the destroyer, his Granthi is in the third eye, it destroys reality through the storage of information, belief and opinion.

Shri Vidya


The Shri Vidya is a symbolic system of wisdom that deserves mention when speaking of Lalita. The Shri Chakra is a yantra (representation) of the Goddess. Initiates of Shri Vidya would say that the diagram is the Goddess herself. It is a initiatic and secret practice of working with the geometrical Yantra and Mantra amongst other things.

The Shri Chakra is composed of 9 triangles. Most commonly shown with 5 pointing down and 4 pointing up. Depending on what way it is viewed, and in which position it is viewed, the Shiri Chakra has an impact on the energy body. It is a tool for moving energy when one knows of its uses.
It is not something that is written about, although the mantras and the diagram may be widely available these days.

Visualizing the Shri Chakra and finding upon the psychic and physical body, the points where the lines intersect, reveals a world of energies for example, relating the mantras to the geometry of the Shri Chakra is a very mathematical and geometric pursuit that brings rather and order to the different spiritual bodies. Some practitioners of Tantra work a lifetime with the Shri Vidya system and its far reaching branches. Branches that are said to grow beyond the three worlds.

In the commercial age of Tantric practices, many schools offer instructions and so called initiations into Shri Vidya. They may offer powerful practices and confess of ancient lineages.

In truth
the initiation into Shri Vidya
is only given after 9 months
of continuous contemplation of the diagram.
That means, without sleeping or moving.

This is the time it takes to create a life in the womb and all the Mahavidyas are traditionally approached with a 9 month Tapasya.
9 months of active work and then 3 months of inactivity to absorb what has been learned, a time of dilation to relax the strenuous effort of 9 months of sadhana is often undertaken in complete darkness.
So the sadhana of all the Mahavidyas requires 10 years, if one were to do them consecutively, of course they can be spread out over a lifetime.
Some of the sadhanas of the Mahavidyas seem more extreme than the others. some are done only at night. Some require pilgrimage, some require staying in one place.

Mantra and the Moon


Hrim, La, Ka, Sa,
Hrim, La, Ha, Ka, Sa, Ha,
Hrim, La, i, e, Ka

These are the commonly known Mantras of Lalita of the Shri Vidya. They can be uttered in such a way as to open the receptive currents and equally in another way to emphasize the active currents.
15 Bija sounds that relate to the both the 15 days of the descending and ascending Moon, depending on how they are said.
30 intonations = 15 x 2. Sometimes 15 syllables are spoken on the inbreath and relate to the ascending Moon phase. Sometimes 15 syllables are uttered on the outbreath of the waning half of the Lunar month. Sometimes the order is reversed. The effects are different and are studied by Tanntrics.
Some directions of energy nourish while others deplete. This law of force is what tantrics study and come to see.

This knowledge is helpful in relating Tantricly to the quality of each moon phase. Her mantra also changes intonation with the character of the Lunar month. This knowledge is kept by Tantrics and is applied in healing and ritual. It is the Law of Raag (rhythm) and following and aligning oneself with the ever changing Raags of nature.

So each Moon day in the lunar month, has a mantra that governs its particular and unique expression. And who is that expression , she is Lalita, her ever flexible secret is that she moves with the tides of nature, she is the woman in all, that learns to listen to nature’s every changing note. She has no fixed formula to adhere to at the expense of nature, she is the original witch woman who sees the magic of nature’s secrets.

The Tantric attempts to see magic.
When it unfolds within,
then it unfolds without,
and the third element
that is the un-folder,
is Lalita.

One of Lalita’s names is Sodasi, it means the Blooming 16 year old maiden. The extra number on the 15 is the magic number of Lalita. It is the 16th element of Raag, which means the one who moves with the rhythm of nature that is whispered by the Moon. Lalita is that one, that magic mysterious Moonlit one.

If you would like to know more about the Dasha Mahavidyas, check out out series.

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SHRAVANA NAKSHATRA

February 9, 2021

The Star of Inner Wisdom

Wisdom comes in silence,
where the sound
between the diversity of thoughts
is revealed
.”

Boonath

The upcoming New moon of Thursday 11th of February 2021 will be in the lunar house of Shravan. When the Star of Shravan meets the new moon and intersects with the human astral body, it is an auspicious offering of the lunar year to us for developing clairaudience – the ability of the third ear of the throat chakra to hear whispered secrets.

Each Nakshatra (lunar house) brings a particular energy into focus. The yogis tune into the stars and the moon within their rituals and decode the soul – studying and freeing themselves of the impositions of illusory structures.

Shravan Nakshatra pertains to themes of sound, hearing, listening, words, language, noise and all the themes that encompass the throat chakra.

Sometimes we starve to be heard,
Sometimes we starve for magic
because we do not hear.

Wisdom is simplicity’, it has been said. In the cacophonous themes that reverberate in the inner ear of excess consumption, along with the sounds of seemingly variegated dualisms, where can secret simplistic and magical wisdom lay her head? A head moist with Moon sweat.

Crocodiles & Snakes


Shravan Nakshatra encompasses Makara, the crocodile constellation (Capricorn). It rules over ancient things – the crocodile itself is an ancient creature.

The energy of Makara brought to us by Shravan reveals to us the echoes of sounds of the past. This Nakshatra of Shravan offers us an ear of listening, to revise the ancient lessons needed to be heard if we are to move into the secret sound of wisdom.

Ananta Shesha is the Naag king of Snakes. He is the 1000 headed serpent upon which Vishnu – the ruler of this Nakshatra rests. Ananta is another name of this Nakshatra Of Shravan. Ananta is eternal. When disillusion of opposites comes, Ananta remains unchanged. He is the crown chakra beyond terrestrial reach – from which the Anahat Naad (original sound) emanates. Ananta Shesha was sent under the earth by the creator to hold the earth in place, he keeps balance and stops it falling into the sounds of duality.

The Silent Wisdom of Mauni


This coming New Moon is known by Tantrics as Mauni Amvasya – the Annual Tantric ritual night of silence. For thousands of years it has been kept as a silent time by Tantrics.

A time of mantra and working with the inner-ear of the throat chakra to gain admittance to the inner word of words. A Mauni is a silent sage possessed of inner wisdom, the wisdom of both inner and outer sound. Language and noise can veil the more silent tones of wisdom. The Mauni is she or he who has stripped the forms of sound and gone to the naked music of the soul.

The practice of Mauna is the yogic technique of working with speech. Part of Mauna is to keep silence but it encompasses so much more and presents many inner practices of finding the magic inherent within sound.

When Mauni Amvasya falls under the Shravan Nakshatra it brings a major blessing: it can gift one with the clairaudience powers of Moon-infused flower dew.

The Healing Science of Flowers


Neelpadma is the blue lotus that rules the throat chakra. The Tantrics know that it flowers in twilight at dawn. If Neelpadma is found at the time when the New Moon is in Shravan Nakshatra, the moisture upon its petals is imbibed with power that can confer clairaudience to those who drink it.

This is the science of flowers
that the Siddhas keep alive.

Some lotuses bloom in the twilight of dawn and some in the twilight of dusk. The lunar house upon the full or new Moon at either dawn or dusk leaves healing moon milk-like dew drops upon her lotus petals. If the blue lotus Moon-milk is taken when the full moon is in Shravana, then it makes the physical ears hear much better and can cure hearing problems.

It is not a theory but a practice that can be verified by the Moon and flower practitioner.

Chandrapadmavidya
is the name of this mostly unwritten
& hidden science.
It means the wisdom of the Moon flowers.

Shravan Nakshatra is the farthest Nakshatra from the elliptical zodiacal belt and rules rare flowers. Far away and rare flowers that are ruled by this Nakshatra are medicinally harvested by Yogins when the Moon is in Shravan Nakshatra.

The Original Sound


The Yogin listens and hears the Anahat Naad – that is the sound of silence in-between the various sounds that bounce off the walls of our inner universe. The internal dialogues that repeat in our inner sanctum are what create our reality.

The Tantric axiom of ‘There is nothing out there’ reveals that there may be a lot ‘in there. The Anahat Naad is the nourishing sound. Ana means food and nourishment, Hat implies duality and Naad is sound. A balanced diet is indeed of psychic and physical necessity.

The Moon Bird


Shravan is the Star constellation of Aquila. Aquila is the eagle, Vishnu the ruling deity of this Nakshatra has as his Vahaanh (power animal) the eagle.

This is the Nakshatra of extreme psychic sensitivitya d the throat chakra which is under its rulership. This Nakshatra is contained within Capricorn. When Shravan Nakshatra is in the lunar orbit, it brings an extreme sensitivity to sound – when in the new Moon then it brings awareness of inner sounds. The symbol of this Nakshatra is an Ear.

This is a good time to work
with mantra and observe silence.
Wisdom comes in silence,
where the linking sound
that lives between and within
the diversity of thoughts
is revealed and unveiled.

The energy of Shravan Nakshatra is the profound quality of taking in and listening. The ability of remembering and keeping information is brought by this star that rules the memory aspect of the Manas (division of mind). When this star creates a vortex with the new moon, then it draws issues around listening and hearing from us to look at. The lunar sway can go as deep as our souls, to draw clairaudience from the throat chakra.

Shravan’s lesson is all about hearing the unheard, forgotten and secret silver and gold intertwined thread that connects all things. This thread resonates mystical sound with the breath of innocence. When we are a storehouse of information in the spectrum of sound, then the dualisms and separations inherent in the codes of language and variegated principles, challenge us to hear the song of unity. Should the gold and silver threads end up untwining themselves – this is the loss of hearing the secret sound.

The Trimurti


The Trimurti are the 3 principle energies of creation, maintenance and destruction. These 3 qualities are ever present in all things. The energy beyond the middle, beginning and the end is the doorway that opens when the balance between them is established.

The energy beyond is a quality of mystic sound inherent within the 3 Trimurti energies. Neither a cry of birth, expressed by the mantra Hey, nor the death rattle expressed by the sound Ho. But the spirit between them.

The Nakshatra of Shravan is one of the 3 lunar houses that have their ruling planet as the Moon. The ruling deity of Shravan is Vishnu. Particularly in his form of Vaman, the dwarf god. Vishnu is the middle part of the Trimurti – he is the balancer between the energies of creation and destruction.

It is to be remembered that Shravan is symbolised as an ear, and it is the ear that keeps the sense of balance in the human system. Vishnu then, is like the cosmic ear. He is the maintaining energy that keeps equilibrium within the Cosmos.

The 3 steps


The constellation of Makara (Crocodile) encompasses Capricorn and is known as the Aquila star constellation. Aquila star constellation has 3 principle stars that are in a direct line and constitute Shravan Nakshatra. They are: Alshain, Altair and Tarazed. They are visible in high summer when they come alive.

Vishnu in his form of Vaman, the Dwarf God, takes 3 steps in the famous story where he defeats Mahabali who had taken over the 3 worlds. The steps that Vaman takes are the 3 stars. In one stride Vaman steps from the Tarazed star to the Alshain star, for the next step, Vaman follows his step and treads upon the head of Mahabali, the head of Mahabali represents the Altair star.

Mahabali is the middle and brightest star of the 3. The step upon the head gradually darkens the star and presses it into the underworld until it returns to its glory in high summer. At this part of the year that we are in now, the star reaches its deepest point of departure and Mahabali resumes his throne as lord of the underworld. 

When Shravan Nakshatra 
appears on Mauni Amvasya, 
then Mahabali calls us 
into the very depths of underworld sound.

The Ear of Shravan


The Ear of Shravan gives us a Vaak Siddhi which is the power of speech. Vaak Siddhi is linked to the tongue and how it is used. The Vaak Mudras are the mudras that work with the tongue as a means to access the inner ear at the throat chakra. 

The throat chakra 
is the ear of clairaudience 
that admits us into the world of hearing the spirit calling.
It is the ear of finding the way home through the noise.

There is a wisdom of hearing beyond information that exists within us all. By tuning to the astral energies that rule that intersect with the spirit, we may see the effect they have upon us; we may see our reactions to effects; we may open doors within.

Central to Tantric practice is the tuning into the astral plane through focussed ritualised formulas. Reducing or extinguishing all impositions upon nature at twilight and sitting in simplicity and listening to the spirit beyond even silence – reveals a place of power.

If you would like to join our Thursday Ritual for Mauni Amvasya

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SAVITRI PURNIMA

February 7, 2021

The Moon is more than glow in the sky.
She is a psychic mirror that Tantrics learn to read,
and tune into her ever changing rhythms.
Rhythms not Man-made
but ordained by Nature herself.

This full Moon day is known as Savitri Purnina and is the time when woman worships, blesses and honours the masculine principle both within and without herself.
In the orthodox fashion women fast and pray for the wellbeing and honour of the men in her life (father, lover, children…). This ritualistic formula works best when done on this day and confers many blessings upon the men she prays for.

Savitri Purnina
is the time when the wishes and prayers of woman
are fulfilled as the feminine is empowered
by the universal currents of nature.

Woman being a manifestation of these universal currents of femininity, she stands in her power and is granted a boon upon this full Moon.
In the language of ritual there are universal currents based on happening in nature that empower ritualistic undertakings.

Tantra is in many ways
the study and seeking of alignment
between outer and inner currents.
Seeking the balance
between the visible and the visible by ritualistic formulae,
condensing and expanding
upon a specific theme with clarity and focus.

On this Savitri Purnima the Tantrics harness this lunar energy current by their own austerities and mudras connecting the feminine to the masculine in search for balance.
This will be the focus of this specific ritual gathering

GANGA DUSSEHRA
THE WATER FESTIVAL


This full Moon (Savitri Purnima) falls within the ten day festival that marks the birth of the water element. Ganga Dussehra is the name given the festival celebrating the birth of Ganga (the first water to touch the earth). Its energy is what gives power to the full Moon and represents the strongest feminine energy within the lunar year.
Ganga being She in the form of the water of life that blesses the feminine.

Goddess Savitri represents
the pinnacle of feminine power
within every woman and man.

When this happens then Shuni brings great suffering into our lives to show the destructive nature of the imbalance – which can be restored only by honouring the Feminine.
This may result in outer or inner imbalance. For example, we may honour and serve the solar active currents but fail to equally nourish the receptive and passive states and feelings.
The two Tantric festival build on each other as a process of initiation: first purification, then devotion.

As we experience during (and after) the practice, the dark Moon of Shuni is a time for touching the most profound and challenging austerities of Tantra. It is said that woman is at her strongest at this time and that the feminine is empowered either to cause harm or to bless – according to how she chooses to handle her power.
Shuni represents the dark deep slow planet Saturn that governs the unconscious. He clears the path for us so we may stand karmically naked before the Goddess.




THE FEMININE
BRINGING LIFE TO THE MASCULINE


The story goes that Savitri was so beautiful and truthfull that all men were intimidated by her, as her feminine clarity lay bare the truth of their own hearts.
One man alone was able to bare her truth: Satyavan.
But Satyavan, whose name translates as ‘truthful’, had been cursed to die on the first anniversary of the couple’s union.

Savitri
did not fear her lover’s death
for she knew and believed in her power.

When the time came for her lover to die Savitri stood by her lover and waited for Yama, the Lord of Death (and brother of Shuni), to arrive and claim Satyavan’s body.
Yama arrived riding on the back of a bull and was surprised to find Savitri standing before him fearlessly.
Yama was so impressed by the Goddess’ fortitude and focus, her clarity and devotion towards her beloved that Yama granted Savitri a wish: anything but the life of her husband.
Savitri managed however to outwit Yama and brought her beloved back to life.


THE DIVINE MARRIAGE
BEYOND POLARITIES


Inner and outer relationships are dependent upon both elements seeing each other, balancing and worshiping each other in their own uniqueness. This is the way to unity within the seeming polarity.

Whether it is an inner subtlety of relational energy
between the feminine and masculine manifesting in outer planes of life,
it is the journey towards the sacred marriage
that the Yogis believe in.

The alchemical fusion between opposites. The recognition that one cannot exist apart from the other.

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HOLI

February 7, 2021

THE COLOURS OF LOVE IN THE CHAKRAS

The story of Holi begins on Vasant Panchami – Vasant Panchami is a festival on the 16th of February that begins to welcome the spring. 40 days hence – of Vasant Panchami is Holi – which occurs on the 28th of March. Holi is the first full Moon of the bright half of the year. Having passed the spring-equinox the days exceed the nights in length and the first lunar rays of spring are transferred to us on earth on this Purnima day.

Holi is known as the famous festival of colours – where people throw colored powder on each other. People also throw water mixed with different coloured powders upon each other in a game like manner. The festival of Holi has become known worldwide in recent years. Usually Holi is understood as the celebration of life and colour, but what does this fun filled festivity of playful games signify for Tantrics?

The Story of Holi


There are variations of the stories surrounding Holi, from the colour full game of Love of Radha and Krishna. To the cloak of immortality saving the life of Prahlada from the designs of his evil auntie Holika. The story about to be told, itself has its own slightly varying forms. The essence of the Story that follows is clearly spelled out as the rebirth and awakening of colour and sound.

The Story begins with Love.

Pharbhati was the incarnation of Shakti, the earthly manifestation of Shiva’s eternal love. She is the manifestation of Adiparashakti (the essence of feminine power) that had taken form into the physical plane of manifestation. She was in Love with Shiva, but Shiva was so aloof and remote – given to continuous yogic practices and austerities in far off places. He seemed to be far beyond any romantic sentiments – dwelling in Adiparaparush (the great soul beyond). Though Shiva dwelt in the manifest plane of earth, he had traveled back spiritually to the essence of the seed of spirit. 

Notice how the opposite of Shiva and Shakti collide here in Adiparashakti and Adiparaparush.

Pharbhati was an incarnation of Shiva’s Lost Love Sati. After losing his Love and going half mad in rage and longing, Shiva was more ardent than ever to enter into the ultra-terrestrial realms beyond the reach of the human hand.

There was no way that Pharbhati could arouse any interest from Shiva. The Devas had the motive of helping Pharbhati in her endeavour, for it had been foretold that together they would have a child who would save the world of the Devas from Asuraic forces (The Asuras are beings that work for division and the Deva’s are beings who unify. Often translations relate them simply as Demons and Angels but such transposed terms have other connotations that are not descriptive of the principles of Asura and Deva).

Kama was summoned by Pharbhati to help her win Shiva’s Heart. Kama is the god of Love who shoots arrows made of flowers from a sweet sugarcane bow. Kama’s arrows arouse desire in anyone struck by them. Shiva was so far gone into the ultra-terrestrial worlds that he seemed impervious to Kama’s arrows of desire. Kama and his two wives Rati and Priti, each one representing pleasure and longing.

Rati and Priti tried their utmost to coax desire for Pharbhati out of Shiva, they tried with all their powers and charms but to little avail. Shiva was ever so slightly disturbed by their attempts that he opened his third eye – and like a bolt like beam of concentrated rage, he shot a glance at the god of desire and burnt him to ashes, with desire gone there was no hope of Union.

Indeed without desire the whole creation was in peril. Pharbhati was heartbroken at the prospect of failed love with Shiva, equally sad and angry were the-now widows of the God of Love. It took 40 days of wild feminine rage and tears to finally melt the heart of Shiva, and when it did melt he restored Kama to life and entered into eternal embrace with Parvati.

The resurrection of Kama (desire)
and the resultant Union of Shakti and Shiva
is the day upon which Holi rises and falls.

Holi marks the arrival of spring and the colours of life ready to come into flower. A place where stories are not only written, but lived.

THE FESTIVAL
Melodies of Love


Holi takes place upon the First full Moon after the spring equinox. The days are now longer than the nights and this first Full Moon of the ascending season marks the lunarly beginnings of Spring. The medium of the full moon reflects these forces of colourful flowering to us – Nature affects the hormonal currents as flowering abounds in the plant, animal, human and spiritual worlds. The beginning of Holi began 40 days previously on Vasant Panchami, which is Tantricly known as the ritual day of Sarasvati Puja.

Sarasvati is the Goddess who plays the divine melodies upon the Veena (a sitar like musical instrument) the Veena is a seven stringed yogic instrument that has deep effect upon the Chakric system.

The seven strings of the Veena, correlate to the seven chakras. The four melody strings of the Veena, relate to the 4 lower chakras and to their corresponding tangible physical elements. The three drone strings of the Veena correspond to the subtle elements that rule the upper 3 Chakras.

Sarasvati is often regarded as the Goddess of music and wisdom. She is the beloved of the creator Brahma. She is the one who receives the seed of creation and gives birth to the fruit. Her fruit is the music of Love.

Sarasvati plays all the Ragas (melodies) for the 40 days that the saga of Love goes on for, (from her Puja day on Vasant Panchami on February the 16th – unto The Day of Holi on the March the 28th. All the notes and scales of Love were played out in the eternal story of Love and its endless trials and tribulations.

When the final Union came about
between Pharbhati and Shiva,
the complete scale of colours
that had been played for 40 days
erupted into the festival of Holi.

The Ritual


Tantric ritual traditionally has kept this Holi night for the practice of inner and outer colour and sound. The intonations of each Chakra along with inner and outer work with colours is ritualised in a colourful and enlivening practice of awakening to Life and Love.

The effect of these practices is to open the potentialities of the Chakras. The Chakras are doorways to the spirit and can be accessed with the keys of sound and colour. Working with the chakras opens the psycho-physical doorways of our being.

Emotional and physical memory is stored in the chakras and gives shape to the reality and dreams we live through in our lives. Tantrics understand that we create our lives through the lenses of the chakras. By working with the Chakras, we create the possibilities to open to the spring like blooms of Love and uproot the dead and faded bouquets of yesteryear in the healing journey of life that we are all upon.

Like the Music of Sarasvati, the sacred song and its colourful sounds are infinite and eternal. There awaits the possibility of magical and hitherto unknown mystical tones when we open the doorways of the chakras into the melody of expansive resonant being.

This ritual
will be a focused evening
of working with the colours and sounds
of the chakras,
musicians and artists of the soul are welcomed.

Please note | For this ritual you will require seven pieces of paper that reflect the rainbow of the colour spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. You can be creative and use scarfs or colour in upon pieces of paper. We will be engaging in some powerful and lesser known tantric mudras of colour, known as Rangi mudras – literally the practice and attitudes of colour.

If you would like to join the ritual,

CLICK HERE

Datta Jayanti

February 7, 2021

ABSOLUTE UNIFICATION


The December Full Moon will be the last one of the year. It is equally the fist full Moon of the natural year – of the rising half of the year, now that we have traversed the threshold of the winter solstice and the days begin to lengthen once again in the eternal cycle of nature.

This ritual night is known as Datta Jayanti, It means the birthday of lord Dattatreya. He is the Guru of the Tantrics and the grand master of awareness and healing trance.

This is a time
honored night kept by Tantrics
for strong ritual explorations of consciousness.

Dattatreya is he who is full of compassion and fully Loving. He is so unified in all levels of being that there are no distinctions in his awareness. This is indeed a teaching of Wisdom for all humans.

Dattatreya is  shown with 3 heads, these heads are the trinity of the energies of creation, preservation and destruction, Dattatreya brings them all together. 

These energies are known as the Trimurti of Brahma, Vishnu and Shivji. Dattatreya is the Tantric of the secrets of time, space and matter. Dattatreya is the exemplary Guru of the Tantrics and the Nath Yogins. It is said that he was the first Aghori who founded the line of Aghori left handed Varmamaga practices. 

In his numerous timeless wanderings, Dattatreya is said to have passed by 24 Tantrics but never had a Guru himself. The number 24 bears a great significance to Tantrics. The 24 incarnations of Vishnu are implied here, they are cyclic occupancies as well as archetypal astro celestial occurrences in the rhythm of the universe. Datttatreya observes all the movements as his travels are so far and wide, not just to the corners of the world, but beyond the edges of awareness does he roam.

Stories tell that Dattatreya wandered the earth as an Avadhut. He was a natural Tantric. The Avadhut is the one who has merged duality – often defined as someone outside of measurable convention and normal social standards. One who roams in places of no border or definition.

The left hand path is the path of the Heart. 
The path that melts the structures
to make way for the Avudhut that lives in each soul,
deep within the soul,
free of time and space and all constraints.

This is a time honored night kept by Tantrics for strong ritual explorations of consciousness. Dattatreya is then free wanderer in the wilderness of the 4 directions, these are both inner and outer directions. Physical and psychic directions come together in his wanderings. Indeed Dattatreya brings them together. Dattatreya brings all things together – The legendary Tantric. His Love and compassion is Legendary.  Love is the absence of borders between absolutely everything.  The Tantric practitioner studies the very borders of being and perhaps coming to realise that in Reality, there are none.

DIRECTIONS OF CONSCIOUSNESS


Dattatreya has the wisdom of the North, which is up.
He has the wisdom of the South, which is down.
He has the wisdom of the East, which is in front.
He has the wisdom of the West, which is behind. These four directions align to the four states of being that Tantra works with.

1. Jagrat – awake
2. Supna – dream
3. Sushupti – unconscious 
4. Turya – state of unification of the above 3

These states of being are a deep concern of the Tantric practitioner. When the first 3 states are studied, known and united – then the 4th state of Turya appears. This is sometimes felt in the trance that appears where all things merge. 

This trance like state often appears when doing Tantric practices. It is a place where traumatic structures and codes of information in the nervous system are healed.

Four wild dogs always surround Dattatreya wherever he roams. They represent the 4 states of consciousness listed above. The Mother cow is also always there with Dattatreya – She is Turyatita which is the 5th state of consciousness even beyond Turya.

Turyatita is a mystical state, not to be reduced to a concept that can be understand or read about. It is a state of being to be pondered deeply. It is Magic.

THE RITUAL 


On this ritual night we will work under the last full Moon of the year – with the Guru of the Tantrics that is Dattatreya.  This will be the 4th and final installment in the Teacher of Wisdom Series. Dattatreya is he who wanders the four directions – followed by four wild dogs and the Mother Cow wherever he goes. 

This ritual will engage us in the practices of the directions, whilst honouring the dog and cow Mudras. Dattatreya is the grand Aghori Guru who dissolves the borders that separate the various states of awareness. Dattatreya is the spirit of Yog who unifies all separation unto the great Wisdom.

On this ritual night, we shall engage in Pargal Karana – this translates as the practices of madness. They are Tantric Mudras that shake up the divisions between the various states of consciousness and open doorways in the nervous system and routes of awareness that may hitherto have been out of bounds.

When the secret and magical avenues of awareness are traversed then we enter into the Avudhut state of being that is beyond constructs – a place of cosmic uninhibited awareness. Being a Purnima ritual, (Full Moon) we shall work with the Chandra Parampara sequence of Moon Mudras, these open the system profoundly on both physical and psychic levels.

If you would like to read more about the ways in which Tantrics honour their teachers, read our deditated Blog Post.

And if you would like to join our Datta Jayanti Rituals

CLICK HERE

MAHA SHIVARATRI

February 7, 2021

THE GREAT TEACHER OF YOGINS


The Festival of Maha Shivaratri translates quite literally as ‘the great night of Shiva’. Shivaratri is a Powerful Tantric ritual night. The crescent Moon that appears just before the dark Moon at Sunset is a focal point in this ritual. Indeed, Shiva is known as Chandra Shekkhara, which means, ‘the one who wears the Crescent Moon Crown’.

Shiva has the goddess Ganga – the Goddess of the sacred river – flowing from the top of his head, from the Gangotri point, the pinnacle point that meets the highest and in a river like flow – flows to the deepest valleys. Shiva has the third eye that unites the polarities and opposites by glimpsing the power between.

Maha Shivaratri is the uniting of the mountain heights with the deepest valleys. This is the uniting of Shiva and Shakti. This night is a night of the secret wisdom that is born of their embrace.

NAMES OF SHIVA


Shiva has an endless array of forms that express the numerous facets of his being.

Adinath – meaning the original teacher of the Yogins. 
Shankhara – the destroyer and drinker of all experience, both the elixir and the poison.
Bhootnath – is his name and means the friend of the Ghosts. 
Mahadev – is his name as the overseer of all the Gods
Nataraj – is the celestial dancer, the one who both links all things together and tears them apart.
Pashapati – is the wild Shiva, friend of all animals.
Kaal Bhairav – is time, terror, fear.

All these aspects and endless others make up the facets of the jewel of Shiva. It is said that the Shiva force is strongest at this last lunar phase just before the Equinox moves northward and extends the days to become longer than the nights.

But why is Shiva the grand original teacher of Tantra for which he is known as Adinath? It is important to remember firstly that Adi means ‘the origin’.  What is the original Wisdom of Shiva? This question opens up a discussion of the notion of wisdom itself.

The intellect that deduces and reasons, is a great and valued facet of our being in this life. Yet the intellect actually eclipses Wisdom. Reason may only be the holding of a point which it; itself defends and moves itself around. 

The intellect
has its value
but is a very unstable
teacher of wisdom. 

The intellect is something that can be opposed, it is something that itself can oppose, it carries strategy that can defend and fortify the foundation it sets for itself, but the intellect has no real roots of foundation.

Wisdom unites all things, it can’t be opposed and does not oppose. Wisdom is the deeper dance step of Nataraj – Shiva as the celestial dancer.

Wisdom is the Adi (origin) quality that Shiva represents. When we meditate upon and look closely at the many forms of Shiva, we may get a glimpse at what lays beneath the eclipsing characters of self and intellect that dance upon the foundation of Wisdom. This in turn might get us to look at ourselves and study our foundations or lack of them.

THE FOUNDATION OF WISDOM


Shivaratri is the celebration and honouring of the very roots and foundation of Wisdom. The endless forms of Shiva, point to expressions of a character, or a state of being that manifests from the roots of Wisdom and not the peripheral levels of self and intellect.

Traveling through the structures unto the foundations and roots of innate wisdom is the reaching of Shiva – from intellect to intuition it could be said. Shivaratri is the celebration and honouring of the very roots and foundation of Wisdom.

All of the faces of Shiva are Teachers of Tantra, from the Strict fearsome Bhairav who in unyielding and causes us to yield – to the deeply compassionate Bholonath, who undergoes anything for the well-being of his friends – Shiva is the teacher who turns many a mask to show us the masks we ourselves wear upon the face of true wisdom.

Shiva, in the style of a true tantric teacher, doesn’t show us just what we want to see, he doesn’t give us only reassuring comfort. He reveals that which we do not want to see, that which is out of sight and that which we fear, he turns our gaze to these places of deep issue and power. 

The stories tell time-and-again of Shiva being a fearsome outsider who is not so palatable for the civilized mind that wishes it’s orders to be obeyed. Shiva shows himself in the place where structures break. Shiva shows himself when things go against our will and corner us into a powerless place. 

The deep diving
into the corners of our being
is where the Wisdom
that Shiva moves us towards
is to be found.

This ritual night will be an investigation into the original wisdom of the soul that gets eclipsed by other forces, though those other forces are an important part of our lives, they are no replacement for the foundation of being.

THE RITUAL


The ritualistic practices of Shivaratri are very much concerned with loosening the grip of the intellect and the reason and unfolding the wellspring beneath that they can superimpose themselves upon.By repetitiously applying the seed mantras of Shiva in a sequential manner along with powerful breath work and physical and psychic mudras, the structure of the self is shaken to reveal the deeper foundations of consciousness – the deeper foundations of Wisdom.

If you would like to join our healing ritual circle on Shivaratri,

CLICK HERE

If you would like to know more about the ways in which Tantrics honour their teachers, you may like to read our dedicated Blog Post.

TEACHERS OF WISDOM

February 4, 2021

The Link in the Chain of Wisdom


“Tantra is a wisdom tradition
that entails strict codes
that are handed on
in unbroken lines
from teacher to student.
The teacher is the link
in the chain of Tantra.”
– Boonath

The original tantric practices are themselves the Teacher that lead us to the Darshan (vision) of the Guru Tatva (element). In the Tantric tradition, the teacher is no job but a way of life. Those who go forward and become teachers must undergo extreme initiation rituals. Such rituals are to teach – or rather prepare them for a life that belongs more to their students than it does to themselves.

The axiom in Tantra
is that our lives are not given for ourselves
but for others.

The sacrifices of a true Guru go unseen and know no bounds. Sacrifices motivated by the weight of Love.

So, who is the real teacher? The real teacher is the one who is able to look beyond the characters that we think we are and see who we really are – beneath the library and archives of personal history that lay upon our souls.

The Love of the teacher is not sentimental, but is a visionary Love of who one really is. The Guru’s role is not to satisfy and please the student by giving what the student wants. Often the Guru must show the student that which they do not want to see. For those blind spots are where the true self lays buried like a precious underground treasure. A strict Love indeed, but a love that forgives time and again and holds a profound and enduring patience.

The teacher can seem like they do not care. Maybe they do not care for the skin and surface of our being, but rather for the one within and behind the costumes and uniforms of character.

The Heavy One


Guru means “the heavy one”. Guru is an adjective that means Heavy. It is popularly and modernly translated as “the one who brings one from darkness to light”. This is a perhaps a Christian inflection upon the principle of Guru. In-fact, this could be said to be a reversal of meaning.

The Guru
is linked to Shuni
who is the planet Saturn.

The stories of Shuni tell how he is the child of Surya (sun) and, with his dark, weighty underworld gaze, even caused Surya to blacken like a dark crispy shadow of his former self.

Saturn is just like the Guru who has the ability to take away all visible and known light within us and take us into the parts of ourselves that have previously not been seen. Tantric methods themselves act like the Guru who can eclipse the solar vision and make us aware of the spirits of the unconscious world that colour our visible lives. By seeing and addressing these forces, they are brought to the altar of the soul for healing, and this is exactly what the weight of the Guru stands for.

Just like Shuni, the Guru indeed brings us to our deep inner weight. He is like the heavy dark planet indeed and brings us to our deep inner weight. Like many words of the ancient Tantric vocabulary, Guru has been transposed across cultures and taken on a somewhat negative connotation in modern times, of the imposter who uses his power to exploit others. This is indeed a pity and an anomaly of a sacred word and principle.

There may be those who set themselves up in such ways as they break into the western market. Tantra has never attempted to break into any market, though a click and scroll through contemporary pages might show us differently.Again another word that has become taken out of context and perhaps been used, exploited and cheapened dishonorably.

Codes of Tantra


The codes of Tantra revolve not around the teacher as a personality or a celebrity but as an imparter of techniques. To be able hold some of those techniques indeed takes great power and weight. Tantra understands that the heavy quality and presence of the Guru is of utmost importance.

The heavy Guru has a heavy vision that must stand for solidity and look only to the real weight of the student. The guru is strict about practices and the regulations of living if one is to come to their true deep weight. Flimsy light weighted abstractions, and clever escapisms, pale in the presence of a Guru.

Laghoo is a Sanskrit word for ‘aspirant’, which means ‘lightness’. The Guru in his vision might not tolerate or overlook the light, flimsy and superficial aspects of our character. The Guru puts heavy focus upon the deeper self that is locked in the very weight of our beings.

If we are used to living in empty vanities and airy realities, the mere presence of the guru can at times be painfully and heavily oppressive. If we are to follow the teachings of Tantra with sincere focus, it does not allow for indulgence in superficiality and escapism. The Tantric way is the way of the weight of reality and truth.

Sometimes seeing and swallowing the Truth is bitter.
But sweetening the bitter taste is not an entertainment
that Tantra in its original sense will offer us.

The strict insight of the Guru is timed with reality. The gaze might appear as unbending, but their eyes firmly focus upon the optimal power of each and every moment. This is a vision that takes great stamina and integrity of being. This is the weight that awakens the weight of the Guru Tatva.

The weight of the Guru is within each person. The practice of Tantra has a strict form that becomes the Guru. If one is to engage in ritual successfully, there is to be no sidestepping – light wishful thinking and good intentions do not drive the car. One must put the foot on the pedal of Tantra. It is a pedal that takes some weight to press.
That is the weight of the Guru.

The true inner and outer teacher wants us to drive the car of life power and not sit back lightly and hypothesize about life. Whether the teacher is our own inner rooted power, or an actual outer guide, the essence of the Tantric teacher is weight.

What blocks the Teacher from coming close? The teacher can not reach us if we are in the habit of defense. When we suffer the habit of defense then we close off the reception of Wisdom. Defense fades as trust grows, by learning to uncover and trust our innate power we open ourselves in all directions.

Tantra is not really the learning of new wisdom, but rather the unfoldment of our innate wisdom, by a process of practical study we come to see the coverings upon our innate wisdom – and can then apply ourselves to a process of excavating the treasure of inner wisdom.

As we uncover wisdom’s face, we may find the hidden games and strategies we play to banish wisdom from our hearts and lives. Wisdom requires the death of many things. We might have got used to make others less than ourselves in our hearts and minds.

We might have come to believe
that the unseen and unknown has no measurable value.
We might have taken the stance
to critically stand above things
as a way to navigate through life.

Wisdom’s Face


In the face of uncovering wisdom, such things may come to our attention. Such attitudes isolate us from learning anything now and fade as the mask is taken away from wisdoms face. These attitudes are based on traumas that have their roots in self protection. The dropping away of self protection does not mean that one abandons their dignity. The Teacher wants us to keep our dignity while losing our self defense against wisdom – this is the state of empowerment where subservience and self abnegation does not enter.

The Teacher of Wisdom series


All those who venture to find the inner Guru
and to understand the role of the Teacher
in Tantric wisdom
are welcomed to the Teacher of Wisdom series of rituals.

The days upon which we shall gather for these rituals relate to Tantric festivals that celebrate the quality of the Teacher of Wisdom. Beginning on the ritual day of Mauni Amvasya, we will honour the secret and unspoken wisdom of silence. A Mauni is a silent wise teacher, and this dark moon day is commemorative of exactly that.

We will move onto Maha Shivaratri in the next ritual and honour Shiva. Shiva is the first of the Yogis and he is connected with ritualistically on the night of Shivratri, which translates as the great night of Shiva.

The next ritual will be upon Guru Purnima, this is the full moon of honouring the elders and the principle of the Guru.

The final ritual in the Teacher of Wisdom Series will be upon the commemoration day of Lord Dattetreya, he is the legendary Tantric of the left hand way of the heart.

In this series of Wisdom rituals, we will travel through many Tantric practices along with the stories and myths of these ritual nights. We will connect to the principle of the inner wise one that takes us deep into the Inner Teacher of Wisdom in the cave of our Heart.

In this series we will explore tantric methods of wisdom that can eclipse the outer solar vision, and make us aware of the spirits of the unconscious world that colour and dream our visible lives into being. Tantra is the Teacher.

To find out more about the series and the rituals

CLICK HERE

RAVIDAS JAYANTI

January 13, 2021

Guru Ravidas was notable as one of the most radical teachers ever to appear in India. He was a forerunner of justice, though his name is certainly not forgotten, his acclaim deserves more mention. Not a political revolutionary but a mystic poet, Ravidas brought together a Tantric vision of living spiritually within the heartless confines and structures of life.

Let us investigate the Vision of Ravidas with a question or two in our Heart – “Has Ravidas’s vision become manifest in the world?” Maybe the more important question is – ”What vision do we hold as we wander through our lives?”

Perhaps in a country like India, where 20 percent own 80 percent of the wealth and influence his teaching, the figure of Ravidas is not popularly or widely presented by those in power. Regardless of this, his influence still exerts itself in spiritual and social fields. Tantrics hold him in high esteem as one of the true wisdom teachers who addressed equally the balance between spiritual and social life.

Figures like him rock the boat of established order and are forerunners of spiritual and social revolutionary maneuvers. Reactions such as discriminatory assassinations, religious unrest  have risen as reactionary measures against his vision of unity. But equally have sectarian obliterations of modern oppressive social/religious structures grown from the seeds he planted in the unified Heart.

In his life and in his wake Ravidas left a profound legacy that stood for both inner and outer spirituality. He is revered by Tantrics for his no bullshit vision that exposed and continues to expose spiritual hypocrisy. 

His vision was that 
the outer structures are a reflection 
of our inner constructs. 
Like an architect of the soul 
he shows that sometimes 
a pause is needed 
to review the framework 
and its reflection.

He was a cobbler, fixing and making shoes, considered a low-class and second-class being in the elite view of the spiritual society in which he lived. He continues to be a profound influence even unto this day and age. Organizations that support his teachings have stood up greatly in recent years against religious and class discrimination.

Though his poetry still exists, much was destroyed by forces that opposed his vision equality and favored their elitist structures to stay in place. The life of Ravidas was a testament to the vision of undying truth within all beings – a truth that lies oppressed beneath the man-made separative constructs that are rampant in organised societies. That vision of truth that Ravi Das saw is known as the inner Guru Tatva – that is the element of the true power and weight of the spirit.

The highly discriminatory caste system and organised religion in India was something that was held in lowest regard  by him. He saw it as something that caused nothing but sickness of repression. Some states in the modern day  India to this day, still do not allow so-called lower-classes to own land or start businesses. He did stare right through the high caste oppression of the priestly classes, both in terms of its class discriminatory measures, its oppression of women and religious elitism.

In today India things have not changed greatly since his times. There are still temples that are out of bounds to lower classes. There are still religio/political systems that carry out cultural oppression and strategic genocides of lower classes. Ravi Das recognised that the patriarchal dominance was so ingrained in the systems of India, it was so established that it seemed to be the norm.

If anything can be said of Ravidas, it is that he had the vision of the Teacher of Wisdom, who saw through the sick structures that prevail in society. His followers are marked by his vision of seeing beneath the surfaces and carry his trait of exposing injustice, left right and center. 

Ravidas is perhaps best known for his mystical poetry, his verses have found their way into several prominent scriptures of India. Ravidas was a romantic poet who spent his time seeking out and spending time with mystics, babas and and Sufi mystics, following the ways of magical vision and composing mystical verse. His verses enumerate upon romantically spiritual themes, revealing that love and grief go hand in hand. Grief as a refining sobering force of awakening, is sprinkled throughout his poetry.

Ravidas rejected
all spiritual definitions,
he saw beyond forms and techniques
and followed the way of the heart.

There have been numerous speculations whether he was Sanguna or Nirguna. Sanguna means to worship and celebrate the forms that Shakti takes, Nirguna means to only focus upon the supreme reality with no reference to manifest or visible form.

To Ravidas both views were correct, both views were equally important and irrelevant at the same time. Indeed he stood firm to see the enduring truth beyond dogmatic forms and accepted ideologies.

Many of the so called central cities of religion and Yoga in India today are still headed by the higher priestly classes. These cities are regarded by outside Westerners who don’t know about the codes and history of religious oppression in India as the holy cities – in the unified vision of Ravidas, little could be further from the truth. Within India there are temples where lower classes and women are not allowed. Westerners and Women are readily admitted but natives risk violence, persecution,  livelihood and even their lives if they would try to enter. 

As long as the oppression of the caste system and socioeconomic inequalities across the world still occur, Ravidas will always be relevant.

Ravidas
was a true mystic
who spat in the blind eyes
of ideology.

His vision was that Love is the truth that is constrained and strangled by social and spiritual segregations. He had the vision or Tadaruup – that is the vision that there is only one collective Heart together and no separate hearts. He was profoundly compassionate and felt the suffering of the oppressed heart, but rather than wallowing in pity he stood up and spoke things that were so reactionary that they had never been spoken.

He engaged a whole new courageous movement of equality within spiritual and social contexts – influencing many poets and mystics down the line. The Sikh religion has its origins with Guru Nanak. Guru Nanak was said to be a friend of Ravidas and came under Ravidas’s influence to compose the verses of spiritual poetry, the poems of both mystics share similar qualities of devotion and revolt against the bigotry of the time. Without Ravidas it is quite possible the Sikh tradition would never have come into being as Ravidas put out his influence upon Nanak.

This has a sad irony to it because the Sikh religion itself as it gained status became a grand modus of oppression of lower classes itself. Itself withholding the rights of land, and commerce and creating religious segregation, or allowing lower classes inside its temples. The Sikh religion as it developed became a pinnacle of patriarchy and abolished the Goddess while looking down upon the ancient pagan practices and rituals as lesser superstitious. The writings and developments of Sikhism can be seen to develop along the passage of time into even more constrictive patriarchal forms, becoming even military. It can’t be refuted that the Sikh military has been a profound source of power for saving India from invasions and upholding justice. The source of its teaching must be acknowledged and its injustices must be exposed if we are to really look with the humanitarian vision of Ravidas. Ravidas in his romantic verse speaks time and again of the need to humble and crumble the structures of the constructed separative self in order to unveil the one heart.

In his poetry there are consistent references to the insanity of societal, religious and gender segregations.  His poems are devotional and mystical, they embrace feelings of mystical longing and sorrow upon the path. But they are more than mere mystic sentimentality.

Ravidas brought together the mystical and the mundane structures and how they interrelate and even cancel each other out. His radical approach in the rampant sectarian society in which he roamed created an aura of freedom in him that inspired everyone he met in his wanderings.

Ravidas’s style of mystical poetry was so influential that he was emulated by other Indian poets after his lifetime, many of the disciples of his poetry were so devotional to him that out of respect they would assign their writings to Ravidas.

The best known disciple was the mystical princess poet Meerabhai. She composed some of the most beautiful verses of mystic poetry to ever grace the Earth. Many of her verses have found their way into contemporary song. 

The princess Meerabhai wrote deeply about the longing for the true vision of the unified heart. Though the message in her writings is hidden under romantic symbols, her message was the same as that of her inspiration and Teacher – the great Guru Ravidas – the message of love and the one vision of unity, both within and without. Ravidas was a true Tantric, he saw the absurdity of so called elevated spiritual ideals being proclaimed – but not being mirrored into outer life. He saw through the empty agenda of the high class power hungry religious elites.

Kings and princesses sought the company of Ravidas, this was a radical maneuver in itself. As Ravidas was labeled within the so called lower classes. The higher classes were deeply troubled by the fact that a spiritual teacher could be of lower class. This might sound like it is of little matter to our ears these days but it is something quite profound. Even to this day the elite classes in the majority still believe that a so-called person of lower caste can not be a spiritual teacher, women are equally considered lower class and barred from the elite patriarchal orders of the priests.

The role of priest and guru is reserved to higher classes. Things may have changed somewhat, but in the times of Ravidas it was unacceptable that a cobbler was a spiritual teacher. Scriptures and rituals were hoarded by the higher strictly, wisdom that had power was  not shared but kept within elite circles that oppressed lower classes.

Ravidas’s message showed his vision that if such wisdom is exclusive, then another and more inclusive and cause for social oppression, then another way of wisdom was needed. He rejected the codes and forms along with their corruption for the vision of Tadaruup, that is: there may be many beats, but there is only one Heart.

If you would like to join one of our rituals,
CLICK HERE

KHODIYAR MAA

January 12, 2021

KHODIYAR MAA
Womb & Fertility

When looking at the Goddesses in Tantra, we notice that their stories point to energetic principles. A Goddess is a whole world of energetic principle made manifest. The work of a Tantric practitioner is to condense and concentrate their forces into a focussed point and to align with the world of the Goddess behind her archetypal representation.

When we align to a Goddess, we bring vast movements to our lives. It takes work and focus and is no flimsy affair of wishful thinking and good intention. The Vajra is the concentration of electrical force. In any branch in life the focus of force is a law for creation. This law holds true in Tantra as it does in any other field.

Tantra is a practical subject that magically accesses the Goddess energies through concentrated techniques and ritual applications. The techniques are not random, but work with a scientifically detailed system of aligning to astral and lunar currents. 

Mudra and Mantra become a doorway that links our lives to the energies of the Goddess. By opening doorways, we can bring much healing and flow into our lives. Just as there is a herb for every ailment – there is a Goddess principle for all our human trials and tribulations.

The goddess we shall be working with is Khodiyar Maa. Though she is not a vastly known Goddess, she is highly honoured by Tantrics. Having a wider appearance in Gujarat and Rajasthan which lay over 7000 Km apart from each other .

Khodiyar Maa is worshipped by Tantrics on her Jayanti, the half rising Moon, which this year falls on the 20th of February.

KHODIYAR MAA RITUAL

Khodiyar Maa is linked to the womb and to childbirth, and the marriage between the base and sexual Chakras. She is a Goddess who shows us how to unite the energies of Earth and Water – first and second Chakra themes are her speciality.

Working with her ritualistically, can help those wishing to conceive a child. Khodiyar Maa is a powerful Matriarch to those who have interest to work with the sexual energy and its healing.

Khodiyar Maa is a Goddess who addresses physical handicaps and impediments. Indeed her name means ‘the Goddess who hobbles and limps from an injury’, as she herself has an injury that causes her to limp.

She is a fearless Goddess 
who will ride deep 
into the bowels of the underworld 
to bring about healing.

She addresses emergencies and is a profoundly helpful force that will stop at nothing to address the problems of life and living.

HER STORY & ITS MEANING

There exist a few variations of her story, some assign her to an actual historical figure. The outer variations of the story in the inner essence are the same. It is a Tantric teaching story that embraces pivotal themes of love, sex and birth.

Here follows an account into the birth of Khodiyar Maa…

Once upon a time there was an unhappy Man and his wife. They were unhappy because they were Baanjh (childless). They engaged in much ritual, and sexual Tantric practices to call upon Shakti and Shiva for help.  Though they were devoted and focussed in their rituals, it seemed that nothing happened. They grew so desperate and thought that offering their lives was the only option left, they were so stricken by their barren plight that they came to the very edge.   

As they reached the very pit of despair, Shiva appeared before them and said: “let’s travel down to the deepest and most beautiful world – where the most precious jewels are to be found”. Deep into the bowels of the earth they journeyed for 7 days and 7 nights, until they came to Naaga Lokh, the deepest 7th subterranean portion of the Patala (underworld ) – the place where the seed and origins of things are to be found.

Shiva introduced them to Naagaraja – the King of the Snakes.

The couple related their childless situation as the King of Snakes listened on. The youngest daughter of the king of snakes was moved by their tears and laments and slithered in to help. Taking charge of the situation, she hatched a plan along with her 7 siblings.

Whispering in snakey tones they reassured the couple that all would be well.

The snake princess told the couple to return to their world and prepare their lives as if they were expecting 8 babies.

The couple climbed back up to the Earthly plane and went about preparing all the necessities for 8 babies. Clothes were sewn, little cribs were made and all the supplies that are required for babies were brought into their home.

And on one 5th Lunar night, when the moon is in the snake constellation of Ashlesha Nakshatra… a miracle happened.

Eight shakes crawled into the baby cribs and grew unto the half moon, until they took the human form of little human babies. Cries were heard through the fulfilled home and now the wife and man wept once more; this time though with tears of joy.

The eight children of the Snake God had been so moved by the sincerity of the previously childless couple that they saw the opportunity to enter into earthly incarnation.

The babies grew up with a great underworld power, 7 daughters and a single son. They dressed in jewels and wore only black as a testament to their underworld heritage. They were magnetic and had mesmerising eyes that saw into the depths of things.

Naaga Lokh is the place of deepest black. That is the place where the most brilliant jewels can shine.

Seven daughters and one son brought life to the home, each daughter wore a jewel reflecting the colour of each Chakra. They doted on their brother, day and night, but one day, destiny had it that the brother was to meet with a great misfortune. He was bitten by a snake and his life hung in peril.

Khodiyar Maa was the most ruthless of all the sisters, she wore the jewel of the second chakra that in Tantra is known as Shaktistan. The place of the Goddess.

Instinctively, she knew exactly what to do: she dove into the waters of the nearest lake and swam deep down into the underworld to obtain the life giving elixir from the Naaga world. 

Upon swimming back-up to the surface to reach her brother – who would be dead by midnight, if she did not succeed – another misfortune ensued, as she met with a vicious undercurrent that dashed her on the rocks.

She sustained a serious injury to her foot and could no longer swim. As the life of her brother and herself flashed before her, she helplessly began to surrender to an inevitable death. A Makara (crocodile) watched on and quickly swam her to safety. Upon the riverbank she emerged, limping homeward. 

Her siblings who had been waiting eagerly for her to return rejoiced as they saw her – ‘Khodiyar Maa’  they chanted in unison (Khodi means ‘injured foot’, and the girl was given this name thereafter).

‘Praise to the limping healing Mother with the Amrit, (elixir of life) they sang, ‘Here she comes limping’.

The elixir was given to her brother just in time and all was well.

MAKARA | CROCODILE POWER

In the month of Makar – the month of the crocodile – also called Magh, depending upon region, the Jayanti of Khodiyar Maa is celebrated.

The sun has moved only recently into the constellation of the 10th zodiacal house of Capricorn. This is the Crocodile constellation of Makara, that the Tantrics work with upon this ritual day and night.

Khodiyar Maa’s Jayanti is on the half ascending Moon, just as in the story when she emerges from the water unto the earth.

The two halves are mirrored in her annual Lunar day. The halves are apparent also in the symbol of the crocodile constellation that is the transition between water and earth and the dark and light poles of the year  (see also the blog dedicated to the pagan festival of Lohri )

Khodiyar Maa has temples that are often located next to rivers.

In some parts, legend has it that a real crocodile emerges from the waters to give Darshan (vision). The crocodile is an amphibious creature that moves between Water and earth.

It is the Vahaan of Khodiyar Maa. The base Chakra is linked to the earth element and the water element rules the second Chakra. The symbolism of the story shows how Khodiyar Maa transitions between these two elements with the healing elixir.

KUNDALINI

Khodiyar Maa grounds the sexual power into the base so that the Kundalini serpent can ascend from a rooted foundation. The Kundalini power must have a base, if it is to not be dashed upon the rocks of the spiritual waters of life in which we spin.

The story is a deep inner allegory with many layers of meaning.

In Tantric practice one meditates upon such stories which reveal their secrets as insight and focus develop. The seven sisters are the manifest Shakti powers of the Chakras who focus on.

The one brother that they have represents Shiva, the raw unmanifest unto which the Kundalini of the Tantric is focussed in devotion to the great mystery. Just as the story reveals, Shakti is needed to animate him into life and into our lives.

The Tantric is just like Khodiyar Maa – diving deep and fearlessly, despite dangers and fears – unto the quest of the elixir of life. 

The story shows that her motivation was Love and not power. When the motivation is raw and pure then the ally appears, just as the crocodile did in the nick of time.

Hara Ring

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SHAKAMBHARI

January 7, 2021

The great nourishing Goddess.

Her name translates as the bringer of vegetation. She is twilight blue in colour and she brings the gift of herbs, fruits and vegetables to the earth.She is the revealer of nourishment and growth.She is the great mother of nurture who brings magical growth to the garden of our souls. 

The first rising half Moon of the year, 20th of January, signals the beginning of Shakambhari Navaratri, the nine nights of Shakambhari. For Tantrics, these 9 nights are a time of studying deeply the order and disorder of our inner garden. 

Shakambhari is depicted with a thousand eyes from which she waters the garden of our soul, reaching even into the most dry cracks and corners. She brings the latent seeds of our secret innermost life into flower.

Shakambhari’s powers culminate on the 9th night, upon the Full Moon of the 28th, when she is in her full power, on the day known to Tantrics as Shakambhari Jayanti. At this time, celestial forces are conspiring to begin awakening nature after her yearly sleep. Being ourselves part of nature, these forces act upon us and afford us an opportunity to tend our spiritual garden.

LAW OF EXCHANGE


The story of Shakambhari 
tells of the law of exchange, 
of the psychic & physical draught 
that befalls us 
when the reciprocal 
laws of exchange 
are not honoured.

Tantric cosmology tells of how the world of spiritual forces, intersects with the physical plane by a law of reciprocity. The spirits depend upon us for sustenance as we depend upon them.

If we dissociate ourselves from the spirits then we fall into psychic and physical famine as the story points out.

Shakambhari is also revered as the keeper of the secrets of herbs and their medicinal use, precisely because she mediates between the spiritual and physical world by means of the law of reciprocity. She reveals the science of healing by showing how a herb and a food has a different effect upon the system according to which Moon phase it is imbibed upon.

Shakambhari is the great balancer and nourisher, she balances dryness and moisture. The balance of dryness and fluidity in the human mechanism is of utmost importance to Tantrics. Tantra has a whole science of practices connected to working with dryness and moisture, by honouring the fluidic movements of the Moon.

When the psychic and physical nerves become dry there is not the capacity for the human organism to contain Shakti. 

Some substances and practices are extremely heating and create dryness, this is to be balanced by working with the Moon and especially working with the 3 fluids that comprise Soma, that is Milk, Blood and Water. Soma balances dryness and brings softness and the feminine into our orbit.

THE GREAT SPIRITUAL DROUGHT

Once upon a time a great draught was upon the whole of creation. The draught was so severe that it traversed the 3 worlds: conscious, unconscious and earthly. The Draught came into being because the people of the earth plane had stopped to give honour to the spirits and fallen into dryness. The fluid of Soma did no longer flow and in utter dryness Shakti did not have a place, for she lives in the place where fluid and dryness is balanced.

The sacred ways had been forgotten and the spirits who depend upon human interaction for their sustenance were drying out for lack of prayers and offerings. The dryness of the spiritual world was reflected upon the earth plane. All around things withered. As the spirit world grew dry, so did the earth, right down to the very underworld, the great famine enveloped.

The earthly plane is nourished by the milk (Kamakhya) the fluid of desire.
The underworld is nourished by blood (Kali, the fluid of time)
The upper world is nourished by water (Kala) the lord of death who takes us Northward.
Together these sacred fluids equal Soma.
The heaviest of the 3 sacred fluids is Blood, then milk, and then water.
The heaviest sinks South, whereas the lightest rises North, and in the middle is the milk of life.

The story tells of how there were few people remaining upon the earth who still knew of the importance of giving honour to the upper and underworld spirits. These last few adherents to the laws of nature and magic were the original Tantrics. Legend has it that together they formed a circle and prayed with their united concentrated spirits. They believed that Soma could still flow and heal all worlds. And so, upon the first rising half Moon of the uprising year, they gathered together in concentrated ritual and prayed to the Goddess for help.
The Goddess was nourished by their Love and longing and she took form as Shakambhari. She nourished them in return, for this is the Law of Exchange that is central in Tantra. 

Shakti (in the form of Shakambhari) found an entrance back to the earth plane through the middle line of the half Moon. Rituals of the half Moon are rituals of balance. 

The dividing line 
between the two halves 
of dark and light 
becomes a meeting place 
of polarities 
& a place where spiritual forces 
can be invoked.

Shakambhari appears on the half ascending Moon of Shakambhari Navaratri (20th of January) in response to prayer, and she comes into her full power on the Purnima (full Moon, 28 January).

Compassion & Nurishment

The story of Shakambhari tells of the importance of compassion and nourishment. She appeared with a body covered in a 1000 eyes and, as she saw the dried out plight of the creation, she began to weep tears of compassion for the suffering of the world. Her many eyes wept for nine nights, in which she poured Soma into the three spiritually barren worlds and restored full moisture by the Full Moon.

She brought fruit, vegetables and herbs, she restored the rivers and the seas and sprinkled the earth with flowers.

Shakambhari Puja is a ritual of finding that for which we hunger and thirst for, her ritual goes even further to look into the reason for the inner hunger,

Shakambhari can teach us the laws of nourishment and fortification. She brings healing to our relationship with nutrition on inner as well as outer levels. Shakambhari reveals to us the laws or reciprocity, that in order for the garden to grow, we have to water it.

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