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Δευτέρα, 27 Ιουλίου 2015

What is Tantric Initiation

Satsang with Swami Niranjan

Satsang given by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati
(Ganga Darshan 1986-89)

How many different paths are there for the liberation of man?

There are seven ways for the liberation of man. 

The first way is the path of Karma. This is the discipline for the man of ordinary mettle. 

The second is the Vaishnava path in which devotion to the Lord (bhakti) plays a greater role than work, and is meant for a higher competence. 

The third is the Shaiva path which is more a path of meditation and gyana (knowledge)

These three orders or successive stages of discipline are meant for the ordinary category of seeker without any special qualification, the 'pashu' sadhaka, a creature who is bound by the bonds of existence.

The fourth path is the Dakshina path where karma, bhakti and gyana are skilfully harmonised and synthesised. Here the fruits of the first three are organised and conserved. Then we have the Vama path or the reverse path where the natural turn outward (pavritti), is turned inward (nivritti), to the source of all, and everything in creation is looked upon and used as the means for the return to the one consciousness that bases all and governs all. The process is one of inner identification of oneself with divinity, not only in its state of self-existence, but also in its movement of manifestation.

The Dakshina and Vama paths are for the aspirant who has evolved into higher competence, the one heroic enough, who can struggle and fight the nether forces of ignorance. This type of sadhaka is known as the 'vira' sadhaka.

Then we have the Siddhanta, the stage or path where things are finally determined as to the real nature and direction of one's goal, and one is prepared to have the knowledge embodied in all the parts of one's being and consciousness, This stage and that which succeeds it are for the highest type of sadhaka, the 'divya' sadhaka, who is fit to tread the highest path of inner consciousness that is rapidly nearing transcendental consciousness.

The last is the Kaula path. It is one of the most secret traditions of Tantra and the most pre-eminent. According to Tantra there is nothing higher than the Kaula which is the essence of all essences. There are certain conditions to be fulfilled before the truth of the Kaula path can he revealed. One must have matured in mind and nature as a result of study and discipline undergone in the previous stages. Only to such a person does the knowledge dawn without being taught and explained by others, for one's mind and inclination depend entirely upon previous preparation. 
One is ready according to one's stage of evolution.

The second factor is the degree of purification of consciousness that one has undergone at it result of japa from the Shaivite, Vaishnavite, Shakta, Ganapatya and Saura traditions. Third is the extent to which one has been freed from the deforming elements of ignorance and ego as a combined result of previous austerity, self-giving, sacrifice, repetition of mantras, observances of niyamas and similar acts aimed at ridding oneself of instinctive and lower tendencies. Here also one must have devotion and faith in the deity or guru.

Thus, to one of purified consciousness, calm, active in the ways of the spirit, of high faith, humility, cheerfulness, dedicated to truth and obedient to the commands of the guru, does the Kaula knowledge reveal itself.

How many types of guru exist in Tantra?

There are many types of gurus but according to Tantra there are gurus of six kinds:
1. Prerak (impeller) - one who impels the interest that leads to initiation. 
2. Suchak (indicator) - one who indicates the sadhana for which interest has been awakened. 
3. Vaachak (explainer) - one who explains the process and its object. 
4. Darshak (shower) - one who shows the workings and its aim in greater detail. 
5. Shikshak (teacher) - one who actually teaches how the sadhana is done. 
6. Bodhak (illuminator) - one who lights the lamp of knowledge, both, spiritual and mental, in the disciple.
There is a tradition which speaks of twelve different kinds of guru:
1. Dhatuvaadi guru - who ensures liberation by making the disciple practise sadhana, observances and so forth. 
2. Chandan guru - who emanates his high consciousness like a sandal tree giving out its fragrance and imparting it to other trees in its environment. His mere proximity acts towards liberation. 
3. Vichar guru - who acts on the intelligence of the disciple, leading him through subtle and subtler operations of the intellect. 
4. Anugraha guru - who uplifts by sheer grace. 
5. Paras guru - who's mere touch, like that of the philosopher's stone, transmutes the disciple. 
6. Kachchap guru - who redeems the disciple merely by thinking of him, like the turtle nourishing its young ones by thought alone. 
7. Chandra guru - who's natural rays melt the being of the disciple in the manner of moonlight. 
8. Darpan guru - who, like a mirror, reveals the true nature of the self. 
9. Chhayaniti guru - who's mere shadow confers divinity on the disciple. 
10. Nadaniti guru - who like the precious stone of that name, gives knowledge the moment the call of the aspirant reaches him. 
11. Kraunchpakshi guru - who's mere remembrance confers spiritual elevation on the disciple. 
12. Suryakant guru - who's mere glance burns up the sins of the disciple like the rays of the sun burning cotton.

How can we attain the goal of awakening the kundalini?

Kundalini may be awakened by intensity of work or by deep concentration. 
There are many practices in Yoga and in Tantra for awakening the kundalini, but we have to remember that any practice of Yoga or Tantra will awaken only one aspect of kundalini. The methods which have been outlined in Yoga and Tantra represent the techniques which are relevant to a particular personality type.

According to modern psychology, the human personality is divided into four categories - dynamic, intellectual, emotional and psychic, and we all tend to become creative in one of these aspects. An intellectual will tend to develop his intellectual creativity, while an emotional type of personality will be inclined to develop his emotional faculties and creativity. Kundalini represents an awakening of the inner self which does not fall into any of these categories.

Some of the methods prescribed for awakening are:
1. Mantra japa - repetition of mantra. 
2. Tapas - austerity. 
3. Swadhyaya - deep self-study. 
4. Bhakti yoga - remembrance of God's name and the singing of devotional songs. 
5. Gyana yoga - the yoga of contemplation. 
6. Karma yoga - the yoga of action. 
7. Raja yoga. 
8. Practice of various other techniques like mudras, bandhas, pranayama, etc. 
9. Shaktipat - awakening through the grace of guru. 
10. Deep esoteric rituals of Tantra. 
11. Other sadhanas of Tantra such as the pancha makar sadhana, the practices of vama marga or dakshina marga systems such as kaulachara and vamachara. 
12. Aushadi - awakening through use of certain specific herbs. 
13. Total surrender to guru or God. 

What is tantric initiation and can you talk about the different forms of initiation in Tantra?

In Sanskrit the word for initiation is 'diksha' which comes from the root 'diksh', to dedicate oneself. Initiation implies that the disciple dedicates himself to the service of the guru and accepting his guidance. It also means that the disciple dedicates himself to something that was previously beyond his perception and understanding. Whether formal or subtle, initiation has been known and utilised throughout the world. 

In ancient Greece the word for initiation was 'musierion' which means 'dedication and knowledge that cannot be divulged'. Initiation was an essential part of the ancient mystical societies - 'The Mysteries'.

In Latin the word for initiation is 'sacramentum', that which binds. 

Initiation binds the disciple to his guru and also binds him to a deeper identification with his own being. 

Further, initiation has the same type of implications as the word 'Yoga'. 

'Yoga' means 'the process whereby one gradually binds or yokes oneself' to one's deeper nature or being'

We can say that the path of Yoga is a process of progressively more subtle initiations. One gains a deeper insight into life and oneself. Such is the meaning of initiation.

Initiation in Tantra is to awaken the Shakti that is dormant in us and, through a series of initiations into different practices and techniques, a tantric seeks to unite this dormant Shakti with the ever-wakeful Shiva. 

In Tantra there are the following types of diksha or initiation:
1. Sparsha diksha: Initiation and instruction by touch is likened to the slow nourishing of its young by the bird with the warmth of its wings. It is the diksha where the guru divinises the sadhaka by his mystical touch. We have the example of Ramakrishna Paramahansa who one morning put his feet on the chest of Narendra, and as a result of that mystic touch Narendra lost his body-mind consciousness and was transformed from a skeptic Narendra into a God-intoxicated Vivekananda.
2. Dhrik or dhriksangya diksha: Initiation by sight is Like the nourishing of its young by the fish through its seeing alone. In this form of diksha, the process of transmission of shakti is by sight. The guru transmits spiritual power to his disciple by mere seeing. Ramana Maharshi used to impart initiation to his deserving disciples by sight only, at Arunachalam, his ashram in South India. 
3. Manasa diksha: In this diksha the disciple receives the grace of the guru by thought. Here, the dormant Shakti within the disciple feels the subtle, intuitive powers of Shiva, This diksha is also known as 'Shaktipat', the awakening of Shakti. 
4. Anushthana diksha: It was like a preparatory class. This initiation was also known as vaidiki diksha. Before taking the tantric initiation, it was customary to go through the vedic rites and rituals. In the absence of a competent guru who could initiate and guide the disciple in the deeper science of sadhana, vedic diksha became very popular among the ordinary folk, and tantric diksha was confined only to a few. Anusthana diksha was considered necessary and important for the man of animal tendencies and instincts, to transcend his primitive and underdeveloped frame of consciousness and to try to reach into the other higher levels of consciousness. 
5. Varnamayi diksha: It is said that it removes all bonds and brings the realisation of supreme godhood and a stats of eternal bliss. It liberates man from the bondage of pasha (the noose). Here the pasha is represented by one instinct. There are fifty instincts in a human being and each instinct is a vritti or pattern of mind. They are represented by fifty letters and these fifty letters are represented by different petals of various Lotuses.
The lotuses are known as chakras and the letters are placed in the different chakras of the disciple and are swallowed by the kundalini as it ascends through the chakras, freeing the sadhaka from those vrittis, instincts or pasha. When all the letters are swallowed up by the kundalini, the sadhaka attains the stale of eternal blessedness. This is called samadhi. It means that all the vrittis are extinguished and that the sadhaka is liberated from the bondage of pasha.
6. Kalaa diksha: The different expressions of Shiva or consciousness are known as kalaa; the crude manifestation of Shiva is in the form of waves and vibrations. Bindu, nada and kalaa are the three stages of cosmic evolution. In the state of bindu and nada the bondage of Shakti is theoretical. Paramshiva undergoes transformation due to the activation of Shakti, but in the state of bindu and nada there is no objective manifestation of Paramshiva, supreme consciousness. Gradually, due to the predominance of the static principle, tamoguna, Paramshiva is transformed into the phenomenal world. This is the state of kalaa. Kalaa is nothing but the physical waves and vibrations of the cosmological order. 
According to Tantra, the whole universe is Shiva -maya. Every being is transcendental but due to certain faults the world becomes Shiva- Shakti - maya, the illusion of energy and consciousness. Due to the illusion, a human being, who in reality is transcendental in nature, does not have the realisation of his perfection, and thinks that he is an imperfect creature. For it the world is maya and for the liberated soul the world is Shiva-maya. 
In kalaa diksha there are two elements. First, it brings the awareness of the mind, and second it brings the awareness that the world is a mystic arrangement of Shiva, Kalaa diksha destroys darkness. Man attains divinity. He becomes Shiva. 
7. Aanavi diksha: When, with the help of mantra sadhana, under the guidance of a competent guru, the disciple becomes free from the bondage of world maya. 
8. Shakti diksha: The guru transmits his shakti to his disciple by any means and method of sight, sound or touch, by written letters or verbal communication. The guru transmits his shakti to his disciple in order to conquer the maya and awaken his creativity. 
9. Shambhavi diksha: This is one of the highest initiations in the tantric tradition. By the mere touch of the guru, a disciple goes into sahaj samadhi. It is known as shambhavi diksha where 'through the mere look or speech or touch of the guru, the disciple attains, instantaneously, knowledge of the supreme reality or truth.

What is the difference between the moral viewpoints of Yoga and Tantra? Tantra says you have to accept yourself as you are, but religions tell us that things are 'good' and 'bad'. It means you have to restrain yourself. However, Tantra says, 'Don't restrain, don't regret, just accept, but be aware and you will transcend'.

Both ways are acceptable. The father is Tantra, the son is Yoga. They may be two different manifestations but the genesis is the same. All the concepts of Yoga, whether of following the desires and not allowing any suppression to take place, or of maintaining brahmacharya and the yamas and niyamas, are derived from Tantra. How?

In Tantra the bane philosophy is that you do not repress yourself. You accept yourself as you are, whether you are a criminal or a saint, because that is the expression of your life, of your consciousness in its natural course of evolution. Maybe in this life you are a criminal. So, you must evolve through this criminal mind, and as you transcend, in the course of one or two lives, you allow nature to unfold within you. Then you will leave the criminal mind behind and transcend it. The same mind will transform itself into a saintly mind.

Within us we have both aspects, 'good' and 'bad', creative and destructive. Usually, philosophies and religions tell us to accept 'good' and reject 'bad' or negative aspects of our personality. Up to that point they are right, but we, with our limited power of understanding tend to mess things up. We read, 'Do not develop negative qualities, but develop positive qualities', so we try to create a change in the pattern of our behaviour and thinking. This enforced change within the personality is suppression - suppression of the normal expression which applies to all levels of our consciousness both 'good' and 'bad', positive and negative.

Let us consider the example of Tantra where they talk about the union of Shiva and Shakti. If you read the Mahanirvana Tantra or any other tantra then you will find that Shakti has nearly always been defined as kundalini, and Shiva, the male aspect, has always been defined as chetana or consciousness. In our ignorance we think that a physical relationship is being referred to, but Tantra is not really referring to a physical relationship. Although it accepts it, it says that in order to experience the internal union you first experience the external union; in order to experience the internal bliss you experience the external bliss. The difference is, external bliss is momentary; internal bliss is continuous.

If you achieve internal orgasm it will continue for life. How will you control that? 

For that the process of sadhana is explained in Tantra - meditation, dealing with the mind; pratyahara, dharana, laya yoga, mantra, yantra and mandala. 

The word 'mantra' literally means 'expansion and liberation' - expansion of consciousness and liberation of energy. 

The word 'mantra'- 'manas' meaning 'mind' and 'trayati' meaning 'liberation' - a power through which one can liberate the mind. 

And 'yantra' - 'yana' means 'vehicle' and 'trayati' means 'liberation' - vehicle of liberation. Yantra meditation expands the awareness and this awareness then merges into the ocean of consciousness. 

Mandala- 'man' means 'mind' and 'dala' means 'movement' - movement of the mind.

In normal life we are aware of the mind in a very limited way, but according to Yoga and Tantra, within the mind lie many dimensions of experience which are happening in the form of sound or vibration, some which are known, some which are unknown. The experiences of the whole universe, the cosmos, exist within the mind, To bring this out we have to tap certain aspects of the mind. We have to 'explode' that experience, and for that purpose there is mandala meditation.

Then there are initiations, awakening of Shakti, which take place in many ways. 

The practice of asana is an initiation for the body. Initiation happens on many levels of our personality, not only on the psychic or mental plain.

Pranayama is initiation of the pranas- The yamas and niyamas are initiation into the positive aspect of life-There is no difference between yogic and tantric theory. 

The only difference between Tantra and Yoga is that Yoga is more outgoing; it deals more with the world, with the body, mind, personality, emotions, actions and environment, whereas tantric philosophy or practice has more of a meditative nature. You have to have desires in order to have a progressive mind. You require desire because, for the evolution of consciousness, conflict is necessary. When your body is diseased, through research and investigation you develop various forms of treatment. That is a means for awakening part of the consciousness. If' there were no disease, it there were no conflicts, there would be no evolution - there would be a stagnant state of consciousness.

Regarding our desires - we must accept them. If I desire to give you a slap. I should give you a slap, but at the same time I should think of the repercussions it can have, either positive or negative. You will hit me back and that is a negative repercussion. If I simply follow my emotions like an animal there will be a big fight between us. This is where you have to learn to detach yourself. Both processes happen together. You allow the emotions to flourish; you observe them, but at the same time you team how to control them. You come to know when it is the right time for action and then let that energy manifest. Then this manifestation will be positive and creative, rather than haphazard. You wait for the right time; you follow that desire through - so there will be no conflict.

There should be no conflict in the mind because where there is conflict there is a breakdown of natural tendencies. Then you are not a yogi, you are not a tantric. You are a bhogi.

Does yogic philosophy consider that men and women have different spiritual roles or attributes?

Yoga is an offshoot of Tantra, and as Tantra believes that, there is no distinction of thought between Yoga and Tantra. Tantra believes that women or the feminine energy is much more refined and is of a higher quality than the masculine energy. In Tantra the female principle has the position of guru, and the male principle has that of a disciple.

What is the difference between the male and female aspects? And why has the feminine aspect been considered as something superior in the tantras? 

The only reply that we get after a lot of searching and discussion is:

Because of a woman's ability to flow without any kind of intellectual barrier, which binds one to the gross material level. Women have this ability more than men; intuitive ability - they have more, and picking up the vibratory field is more predominant in the female principle, because it is a psychically active and not a passive energy, Male energy is passive and it seems that malt energy tends towards tunnel-vision. Men only see straight, whereas the feminine energy has a very broad vision. Women are able to perceive things which the male energy generally cannot perceive. This is the theory of the tantras.

In Tantra the role of the female has been that of a teacher: one must learn to flow with sensitivity; one must learn to flow with higher awareness. This does not mean higher awareness. It means just the subtle or sukshma awareness. Awakening of the subtle awareness is an important aspect in the life of a yogi.

Is celibacy necessary? Can a sannyasin really experience the union of Shiva and Shakti without physical contact? And what role does the guru play in this process?

Let us divide people into three categories. One, the 'real' sannyasin; two, the 'real' householder; three, halfway house. A 'real' householder does not just mean one having a happy family. By using this term I mean to imply that two people understand, support and encourage each other in their respective growth. Tantra is for such householders who do not simply seek company for the sake of pleasure, but who can encourage each other's growth in all spheres of life, both mundane and spiritual. By 'real' sannyasins I mean those who have renounced and who are celibates. They do not require any relationship with the opposite sex because through sadhana they can invert the energy process.

The problem comes when we fall in between the two. If we are an 'in-between' sannyasin out mind will be swayed and then we shall find excuses: 'the mind is willing but the flesh is weak'. And if we are a 'halfway' householder a similar thing will happen. You may decide to convert the sexual tendency into a spiritual tendency but the urge for pleasure is so powerful that it is impossible to change it. The majority of us fall in the 'in-between' category, because there are very few 'real' sannyasins and very few 'real' householders who can systematically and seriously follow the path of Tantra.

If we deal with the middle majority group then we have to consider many things. What is the state of their mind? Is it pulled towards the tamasic, rajasic or sattvic nature? Even a sannyasin can be very tamasic or rajasic. A 'real' householder who follows the path of Tantra sincerely, may not need the constant guidance of the guru - just one meeting is enough. A 'real' sannyasin who follows the path of tantric sadhana may also not need constant guidance; 'You go and do that': 'Alright'. Then nothing can shake me from what I have decided to do. But for the 'in-between' the constant guidance of the guru is necessary. He can observe the disciple's growth and say 'Now, this is what you need to do!

If the tamasic or rajasic nature of the sannyasin does not allow the practitioner to follow in the path outlined for sannyasins, then the guru can also say 'Alright, it is not for you, so leave aside your guru robes. Go and marry and raise a family. Forget about sannyasa'. However, if the guru sees that there is even a five or ten per cent chance that the person can come out of his tamasic or rajasic tendency then despite every difficulty he will try to encourage that growth. It may of course be possible that the sannyasin 'slips up' without the knowledge of the guru but in the case of the householder it is a. different matter, for they have an outlet for that surplus mental, sexual or spiritual energy.

Tantra says that, even though you may need the help of a companion initially, in the later stages of evolution you will not, because you have to experience the aspect of Shakti within yourself. And this Shakti aspect is not a physical, emotional or rational aspect.

It is an experiential aspect. The realisation that I am a combination of energy and consciousness, that I am the combination of Shiva and Shakti, is the ultimate aim of Tantra. So we can achieve this as a householder or as a sannyasin by following a sadhana which involves practical sexual experience and interaction, or just a meditative conversion of Shakti from gross to spiritual.

This has been further clarified in the chakra philosophy. The chakras in the body are manifestations of Shakti and Shiva representing different experiences, stages or states of consciousness. If a chakra awakens in the body then that experience of Shiva and Shakti will also be there, and as we evolve we experience the manifestation of Shiva and Shakti in different chakras. The theory is that we have to raise the Shakti from mooladhara and merge it with Shiva at sahasrara chakra. The Shakti is raised from the level of the earth element to that of water, from there to the fire element, from fire to air, air to ether, ether to mind, and finally mind to pure consciousness. This is the meditative conversion of energy in Tantra.

Is it possible to have power over another's mind through the practices of tantric mantra?

It is possible because Tantra usually works with energy fields. I will give you one small example. During the time of British rule there was a judge by the name of Sir John Woodroffe. He became interested in Tantra after the following incident happened to him. When he sat down to pass his judgement on a particular case he found that he could not do so. One day he would be attracted towards the plaintiff and the next day he would be in favour of the other party. The judgement was very simple and he could not figure out why his decision was wavering from day to day. Everything was over. The jury had given their verdict and only the final judgement was to be given.

Later on he made enquiries and found that both parties were independently employing tantrics to influence the judgement. So one day he would decide in favour of the criminal; the nest day he would favour the plaintiff. He became interested as to how his mind was being influenced and started studying the tantras. He has written many good books on Tantra: "The Serpent Power", "A Garland of Letters". All these boots deal with mantras, chakras, kundalini, and the aspects of Shiva and Shakti. To date they are considered to be the best authoritative English translations of the tantras; nobody has done so much thorough research as Sir John Woodroffe.

The final conclusion he reached was that Tantra deals with energy fields. A person who is tamasic and using the tantras for tamasic attainments will influence the energy fields in a tamasic or negative way, while a person counteracting that will influence the energy field positively. It is now an accepted fact that we can project our thoughts and that those thoughts go into the environment in the form of energy waves.

How can you stop someone influencing your mind?

Everybody influences each other directly or indirectly because of their weak will. You just have to be strong within yourself. If I am trying to influence you negatively, how will you stop that ? You cannot influence me, but you can be strong and committed within yourself so that, if I try to do something positive for you, then you accept it; if I try to do something negative against you, you reject it-Why can we not learn to stand on our own two feet ? That is the biggest siddhi. Swamiji was once asked by a reporter, 'Your disciples say that you have many powers; can you describe them to us?' Swamiji said, 'You start asking me and I will answer 'yes' or 'no'. So the reporter started, 'Can you read, peoples' minds?' Swamiji said 'No.' 'Can you walk on water?' 'No.' 'Can you fly in the air?' 'No.'.........etc. After about ten minutes of questioning the reporter gave up and asked. 'What can you do then? I have asked you everything under the sun and you have denied everything. Tell me what power you 'have.' 

Swamiji Satyanandaji simply replied, 'I can stand on my own two feet That is my biggest siddhi!'

Photo of the Sat Guru - Paramahamsa Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.

Σάββατο, 27 Ιουνίου 2015

The MAPUCHE Nation in Araucania

                                                THE MAPUCHE NATION

The Mapuche are the "people of the land", Mapu means land and che means people. They are also known as Araucanos, a name given to them by the Spanish colonialists. Before the "huincas" (Spanish) arrived in 1541, the Mapuche who numbered one and half to two million were the original inhabitants of the Southern Cone of the continent in a region which today covers half of Chile and half of Argentina. The Mapuche nation comprised of both sedentary and nomadic communities: hunters and gatherers, shepherds, farmers and fishermen. They lived in small family groups known as lof, which were under the authority of a Lonko (chief).
The Mapuche territory had its border with the Inca Empire south of the Maule river. This border was established after a long war and the failure of the Inca to conquer the Mapuche nation by the use of force. The Mapuche territory is divided into four main regions or wallmapu. These are known as: Puelmapu (land of the east), Pikunmapu (land of the north), Lafquenmapu (land of the Pacific coastal region in the west) and Huillimapu (land of the south). Therefore the Mapuche of those regions are identified accordingly, such as Puelche, Pikunche, Lafquenche, Huilliche. There are, however, other areas in which the Mapuche are known by their association with a particular eco-system or natural environment, for example Pewenche (people of the monkey puzzle tree) region, Waidefche (people from the cordillera), Ranquilche (people from the apple tree region), etc. Before the colonialists arrived the Mapuche people had and still have a distintive cultural identity, social organisation, language, religion and way of life. Inhabiting such a vast area the Mapuche had developed regional cultural diversity without a centralized power, but they nevertheless had a strong sense of unity. Their clear sense of nationhood and an unquestionable desire to maintain their self-determination and freedom, forced them into armed resistance, firstly against the Inca Empire and then for over 350 years against the Spanish, Chileans and Argentinians.

The traditional Mapuche organisation has its origin in the extended family structure, known as Lof. It is shaped by their socio-cultural, political and ideological concepts, complemented by their spirituality and religious beliefs, as well as taking into account the harmonious relationship between man, land and nature.
The community’s daily way of life was regulated in a code of practice known as Ad-Mapu. It was transmitted by the Ulmen (wise) who, as well as giving advice, also acted as negotiators in the prevention and resolution of internal disputes, or the formation of alliances with other Butalmapu in times of war. Ulmen in general were chosen to ensure that the communal law was respected, and acceptable standards of behaviour of its members were maintained. To this day, community Elders are still an important authority within communities. On the other hand the Lonko or chief is the highest authority of the community. In times of war the Mapuches organized themselves in Ayllarehue (8 rehue/lonko) and in addition a Council of Lonkos comprised of representatives of all regions (Butalmapu) used to choose a Toqui who was responsible and in charge of the army.

The Mapuche are a deeply spiritual and religious society, their belief system maintained that the world was created by a celestial family, who were the creators of all beings as well as holding the power of nature.
The religious organisation, which is formed by the Machi or spiritual leaders still plays an important role in the decision making processes regarding the internal affairs of each community. There are various ranks of Machi some of whom in addition to their spirituality, also have a profound knowledge of traditional medicine and psycho-therapy, most of these being women.
The Nguillatun is the most solemn civil and military religious ceremony in the Mapuche society. This sacred ceremony is conducted in an area specially allocated by the community known as Nguillantue. The ceremony, depending on the region may last two or three days and takes place in each region every two or three years. There, at the altar or Rehue in the open air, the Mapuche of all ages give thanks to Nguinechen, the Mapuche God. The ceremony is guided throughout by the Ngenpin, the chief of the ceremony, The Machi and the Lonko also play an important role in the preparation and conducting of the event.

The language of the Mapuche is called Mapu-dugun, which means the language of the land, an oral language passed from one generation to the next. According to our ancestral beliefs the language of the Mapuche emerges from listening to the land, and all earthly elements, sounds and movements, including the animals, birds, trees, wind, rain, and even the mountain springs. It is this deep rooted communicative relationship developed between the Mapuche and the land which has brought the language into being.
In Chile as in Argentina the official language is Spanish and therefore Mapu-dugun is dying out. However, today in Chile there are a number of Mapuche organisations that are working towards the creation of a Mapuche alphabet in order to preserve and sustain the oral tradition.

In 1536, when the Spanish first set foot on Mapuche territory, they were welcomed by the Mapuche. Even when they came again in1541 with the intention of settling in our land they were well received. Only, when the real nature of their enterprise was disclosed did the Mapuche oppose them a fierce resistance which lasted for over 350 year. This war became known as "la guerra de Arauco" or "the Araucanian War".
The Spanish arrived from Cuzco, Peru, where they had their Viceroyalty, their main headquarters in South America. Pedro de Valdivia, the Captain General of the "Conquest" of Chile, set out from Peru to conquer the Mapuche land, and in February 1541 founded Santiago (Chile’s capital). The plans and objectives of the Spanish were fundamentally economic as well as ensuring that the geographical expansion of their colony was maintained. Their pretence of coexistence with their hosted nation, was soon to be exposed, when they invaded Mapuche land and began to enslave them, rape their women, pillage their communities and inflict horrendous torture and mutilation on those who resisted or tried to escape from the inhuman treatment inflicted in the mines or encomiendas. The first military action by the Mapuche took place in September 1541 when Toki Michimalongo who was in charge of the north part of the Mapuche territory liberated the Mapuche prisioners and in the process destroyed Santiago. The second encounter with the Mapuche army took place in the Quilicura locality in March 1546 when the Spaniards once against lost the battle, although some of their soldiers managed to escape back to Santiago.

In January 1550, the so called Conquistador of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia prepared a new military incursion deep into Mapuche land, during which his army built several military settlements and fortresses throughout the territory, at Tucapel, Puren, Angol, Imperial, Villarrica, Valdivia, and Osorno. By the end of 1553, however, much of this Spanish enclave had been destroyed and on New Year’s Day 1554, Valdivia and his troops were totally defeated by the Mapuche forces under the command of Toki Leftraru. Valdivia was taken prisoner, charged and sentenced according to Mapuche law. He was executed the next day by a blow on the head. The Mapuche forces, under the command of Toki Leftraru, then advanced north, towards Santiago, destroying one by one what remained of the Spanish enclave. In so doing the Spanish were expelled from Mapuche territory.

During the first century of the "Araucanian war" the Spanish tried stubbornly to conquer the Mapuche territory; unable to accept defeat from people they considered "inferior and uncivilised". Time and again they constructed new garrisons South of the Bio-Bio river into Mapuche territory, and the Mapuche responded by dispelling them from their land. In the process both the Spanish and Mapuche forces suffered considerable losses. The Mapuche lost powerful Toki (high chiefs); Leftraru was killed and Calfulican was taken prisoner, the Spanish, using their barbaric methods of execution, impaled him in the centre of the square in Cañete village. In 1598 another famous Toki called Pelantaru confronted the Governor Oñez de Loyola in Curralaba and defeated him in battle, leaving the governor dead. Pelentaru then proceeded to destroy all the latest Spanish enclave situated south of the Bio-Bio river.

During the war the Mapuche forces employed diverse military strategies and tactics which constantly surprised the invaders. The intelligence, creativity and determination of the Mapuche made it possible to defeat the, then, most powerful nation on earth. The Araucanian war has been widely documented by Spanish historians who recognize that the Spanish loss in soldiers and resources in this war was greater than losses through all other conquests throughout the Americas combined.

One hundred years after their arrival, on the 6th of January 1641 the Spanish were forced to sign a treaty in Quillin acknowledging their failure to defeat the Mapuche peope. With this treaty Spain recognised the independence of the Mapuche nation, an admission of the military capability as well as the determination of the Mapuche people not to accept defeat. It was agreed that the Bio-Bio river was the border and that the Spanish would dismantle the few remaining fortresses and retreat to the North of the river. The Mapuche on the other hand would return the Spanish prisoners of war and allow missionaries to continue with their work. Both sides agreed not to violate the settled borders. 

The Spanish however, did not stand by their obligations for long. They recognised the border of the Mapuche territory, but from time to time organized military incursions, to pilllage communities, kidnapping people who were sold as slaves to work in mines situated in the North of the country. Their actions maintained a permanent state of war, where the Spanish could not reconcile their demand for slaves and their agreement to keep the peace. In 1542 the Spanish formally declared Indian slavery illegal everywhere in the Americas, except in those regions where indigenous nations resisted and did not accept Spanish jurisdiction. However, a century after this declaration, slavery was still a fact of life everywhere in the Americas. The constant slave raiding in the Mapuche territory forced the Mapuche to retaliate and in 1655, once again the Mapuche forces swept through the Spanish resistance and destroyed the Spanish positions right up to the Maule river, originally the old border with the Inca Empire. The Spanish defeated and demoralised, their feelings of ‘human superiority’ chastised, realised that all they had constructed in over a century of hard work had been swept away. Furthermore, resistance to the Spanish grew overtime, as many indigenous peoples from the north of the continent, attracted by the strength of the Mapuche sought refuge in Mapuche land. The Mapuche welcomed these refugee families and gave them protection.

After the Treaty of Quillin, the Spanish promoted a number of parliaments in order to pacify the Mapuche people, as the "Araucanian War" became a military and economic burden to Spain, and therefore difficult to ignore. According to their own sources the Spanish lost, during the period 1603 to 1674, 42.000 Spanish soldiers, a similar number of indians auxiliares (*) and 37 million Pesos. As far as the Mapuche were concerned treaties became increasingly irrelevant as they were constantly violated by the Spanish. Nevertheless there were a number of well known parliaments, one of which took place in Negrete, in February 1726, and another in Lonquillmo January 1784 under Colonel Ambrosio O’Higgins. During this Parliament once again the border treaty of Quillin was ratified and an agreement made to release prisoners. It was also agreed that each side would appoint a permanent ambassador and a mutual security pact was also agreed. The last Parliament took place in Negrete in 1803 just before Chilean independence, under the administration of the governor Luis Muñoz Guzman.

These parliaments were called for and organized by the Spanish Crown usually when they suffered major losses in battle. They were designed to neutralize the Mapuche counter-offensive strategy. For the Spanish Governor in the colony such parliaments were not desirable Events Calendar to look forward to. They felt humiliated having to talk to their adversaries, especially since they knew their word was not being taken seriously by the Mapuche, who were dubious of their intentions and sceptical of Spanish honesty. These Parliaments were celebrated with grand solemnity; and serving as a symbol of their commitment to peace, the Mapuche obliged the Spanish to bury their weapons and on top of them a Canelo tree (Mapuche medicinal tree) was planted. In addition the Spanish had to invest a great deal of money, present gifts to the Mapuche, give parties and military parades. Both sides made speeches, the Mapuches who were great orators often spoke for hours during which time the word "huinca" (referring to the Spanish) was discreetly but effectively used. The Mapuche word "huinca" literally means thief.

The cost to the Spanish army during the Araucanian War was around 50.000 soldiers and an estimated 60.000 "indios auxiliares". These indians auxiliares were enlisted (sometimes by force) from others indigenous nations by the Spanish, who were driven ahead of their armies, acting as a sort of battering ram against the enemy. Many Spanish historians referred to Mapuche soil as the Spanish soldiers cemetery of The Americas.

The Mapuche losses are unknown but in addition to the losses in the battlefield they also suffered kidnapping and the Spanish brought with them diseases such as yellow fever, measles and smallpox against which the Mapuche had no defence. The effect of these diseases caused major epidemics throughout the Mapuche land, and by the beginning of the 1560’s had caused the death of hundreds of thousands of Mapuche people.

Treaties with the Argentinean……..

The Mapuche remained an independent nation long before and after the period of the Spanish conquest of the American continent, who were expelled during Latin America’s independence movement in the early Nineteenth century. In fact the Mapuche have always been an independent nation, it has never formed part of any colonial power or states. The Mapuche has its own common descent, history, social organisation, a self sufficient economy, cultural identity, its own language, and a set of unique cultural and spiritual values. The Mapuche originate and remain in a particular region of the Americas, which they regard as their ancestral territory. The Mapuche has its own sense of identity and a proud feeling of nationhood.
The Mapuche independence was further recognised, when the Spanish in 1641, a century after their arrival, signed the Treaty of Quillin which formally defined their frontier with the Mapuche nation.

In 1810 a new generation of Spanish decendents, creole and anti-royalists from Chile and Argentina declared their independence from Spain, followed by a war against Spain which last almost 10 years. During that time the Mapuche society evolve and it was a diferent one of that the Spanish found 269 years early. before of confrontantion with the Spanish in which most of the time were in constant war, the Mapuche society evolve, they took a number of people adopt During this period the Mapuche nation was ...........
With the final defeat of the Spanish by the newly formed states, the original treaties of 1641 between the Spanish Crown and the Mapuche nation were abrogated and by decree they declared the Mapuche territory as theirs. At the same time these new Republics, instigated new treaties leading to the gradual takeover of the Mapuche territory. Under the same pretext of that of the Spanish of "promoting civilization and Christianity" the Mapuche people suffere territorial conquests, military aggression, persecution, and the genocide of entire communities.
At the end of the 19th century Chilean and Argentinian armies seized the Mapuche territory, a dispossession recorded in Chilean history as the "Pacification of Araucania", and in Argentina as the "Campaign of the Desert".
It is known to most Mapuche people as ‘La Ultima Matanza’ - The Last Massacre.
Since the defiet of the Mapuche forces in Patagonia, in 1885, legislation brought about by successive governments whether democratic or dictatorship, are indistinguishable in its objective, to undermine the Mapuche nation. The huincas (mestizo) using their legislation, reserve the right to modify it, if it prevented them from confiscating or appropriating Mapuche territory. Their laws tend to favour them and also envelope the "complicity of the "authorities" which, after one hundred years continues as standard practice, resulting in the Mapuche people constituting the most deprived sectors of the Chilean and Argentinean society today. The gradual loss of their cultural identity, insufficient land and resources, a lack of technical and financial help, and widespread poverty.

In 1858 Orelie Antoine de Tounens (a French lawyer) came to Chile, attracted by the historic, brave and heroic resistance of the Mapuche people against attempts by the Kingdom of Spain to colonise them over a period of nearly 300 years. He travelled to the Mapuche territory to get to know, as he put it, ‘this noble race of heroes’, and became fascinated by the history, hospitality and good nature of her people. He was soon integrated into their society, learning Mapu-dugun (the Mapuche language), wearing the poncho and even let his hair grow in the Mapuche style. Welcomed and entertained by the Lonko (local chief) and Toki (highest chief), he gained the confidence, respect and affection of the highest authorities of the Mapuche nation.

This extraordinary event took place in a time when the Chilean and Argentinean republics were plotting the complete occupation of the Mapuche territory. The Chilean and Argentinian Republics, ever since their independence from Spain in 1810, had claimed the Mapuche territory as their own; and to "legally" justify this used the means of their own judicial systems. In other words, authorities of foreign powers made decrees over yet unconquered land and tried by means of communiques, to extend the jurisdiction of their domestic laws to people and territories over which they had no right. During the next 50 years these new republics began to consolidate their territory and prepare to take control of the Mapuche territory by force. Military activities on the frontier, either side of the Andes were intensified. The Mapuche nation and its Toki could see that a new colonisers’ invasion was imminent. New weapons had been introduced into the republics’ army increasing its strength relative to the Mapuche forces. Faced with this reality, the Mapuche leaders felt that the time had come to employ a new tactic in the promotion and legitimisation of their nation. On the brink of the demise of the Mapuche nation’s independence, the kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia was created. This new governing system presented them with a fresh opportunity to seek support, alliances and international recognition.

The basis of a Kingdom was established after prolonged deliberation and consultation throughout the Mapuche territory. This process culminated on the 17th November 1860, with the approval of a constitution which gave origin to the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia. Part of the document stated:
"Considering that Araucania is not dependent on any other state, it finds itself divided by tribes and that a central government is required…. We decree the following":
Article 1: A constitutional and dynastic monarchy has been founded in Araucania; Orelie Antoine de Tounens is appointed King: the Constitution also contemplates the formation of: Council of the Kingdom, ministers, a legislative body nominated by universal suffrage, a Council of the State, responsible for putting together bills, etc. According to the Mapuche way of life and Ad-Mapu it also guarantees with respect to human and civil rights, the freedom and equality of individuals before the law. The Toki Quilapan was appointed Minister of War; Montril, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Quilahueque, Minister of the Interior; Calfouchan of Justice, Marihual of Agriculture.

The Chilean and Argentinian governments organised a well orchestrated propaganda and diplomatic campaign to discredit the formation of the Kingdom. In addition the Chilean security forces infiltrated it and offered 250 Piastras reward to whoever could capture the King dead or alive.

King Orelie Antoine was taken prisoner by Cornelio Saavedra with the help of his spy Rosales who was working as one of the servants of the King, Rosales was Second Corporal of the Civil Squadron of Nacimiento and one of his roles was to keep his superiors informed of Orelie’s movements in his territory. On the 5th January 1862, taking advantage of the King’s visit to an area close to the border, a military platoon seized him. The platoon had entered Mapuche territory disguised as merchants (priests and traders were allowed into Mapuche land). He was imprisoned in Los Angeles where he was confined to a damp, dark cell, deprived of food and medical care. His testimony reveals that he developed serious illnesses which almost took his life. However, King Orelie summoned enough strength in order to act as his own advocate, and proceeded to discard one by one the charges against him. The government could find no legal charges to hold against him: to declare him insane was their only solution. (Insanity was the version that has been continually portrayed by the official historians, anthropologists, etc.). It was argued that it could not be normal for a ‘white’ person to claim rights for the ‘savages’. This constituted an absolute ‘anomaly’ and ‘lunacy’. He was sent to the lunatic asylum in Santiago, Chile, and on the 16th of October 1862, was released and expelled from the country, forbidden to re-enter either to Chile or Argentina. However, he returned three times, where he was always welcomed by the Mapuche.

King Orelie Antoine was without doubt an important ally and true friend of the Mapuche people in the most crucial moment of their existence as an independent nation, on the eve of the most vile and inhuman genocide known in the history of the Americas. An atrocity which the creoles, like their ancestors the Spanish, committed in the name of ‘civilization’ and ‘progress’.
The formation of the Kingdom of Araucania and Patagonia in 1860 is a clear and irrefutable historic statement that then, from the Bio-Bio river to the South was independent territory under the political jurisdiction of the Mapuche people.

The legitimate successor today is Prince Philippe I. He lives in Paris, France, and hold the title of His Royal Highness to the Crown of Araucania and Patagonia, in exile.

In 1885, in Patagonia, the Mapuche nation was finally defeated by both armies, and many people were either killed or forced from their homes to live impoverished lives in small rural communities and in the cities. During this campaign many children were taken from their families and given to white people to be trained as servants.
In Chile the Mapuche communities are concentrated in the provinces of Arauco, Bio-Bio, Malleco, Cautin, Valdivia, Osorno, Llanquihue and Chiloe, though many have migrated to the cities. In Argentina, the Mapuche live mainly in the Provinces of Neuquen, Rio Negro, Buenos Aires and Santa Cruz.
According to the last census (1992), 44.1% of the total Mapuche population live in the capital of Chile Santiago.
Their main source of income comes from agriculture, predominantly grain and cattle.
The official Mapuche history written is yet to be written by the Mapuche themselves and this account is an small contribution. This short version of the Mapuche history has been compile and it will be extended in a booklet to be printed form in the near future.