Tantra : ‘Shiva, or Rudra’, is worshipped in ‘Tantra’. Today most educated people of the East and West, confuse tantric worship with ‘Tantra’ of the left hand and right hand paths and all kinds of other things. But this something different, this is called ‘Vedic Tantra’.
The literal meaning and etymological meaning of ‘Tantra’ is esoteric technique. It is a technique that leads you inside, that takes you from outside into you own self. So this technique is called, ‘Shiva Abhishek’, anointing Shiva with sixteen items – curd milk, honey, butter, oil, water and other things, accompanied by chanting of mantras.
Then there is chanting form ‘Yajurveda’, called ‘Rudri’, which means, prayer to ‘Rudra’. Shiva’s original name is ‘Rudra’.’ Rudra’ means to cry. When you lose this external consciousness and enter into another more befitting consciousness, a beautiful consciousness, an inner consciousness, then in between you call out, you cry. It happens to many aspirants.
Ramakrishna and many others had that experience. That consciousness is a transit consciousness from the external to the internal, from the outside to the inside. In between there is a point called, ‘Sandhi’, which means the meeting place where this ends and that begins. That point of union is called, ‘Sandhi’. At that time a cry or shriek issues forth, and that is called Rudra. So this is the Rudra Path. Path means chanting. The ‘Rudri Path’ is a special chant from the ‘Yajurveda’.
Aum Namah Bhagavate Rudraaya
Aum Namaste rudra manyva utata Ishave namah
Namaste astu dhanave bhaabhyaamuta te namah
“Aum, i bow down to Lord Rudra. Aum, O destroyer of sin and sorrow! Prostrations to your anger! And then to your arrow and to your brow and then to your hands”.
You must have very good fortune because you will have the privilege of witnessing ‘Rudra Abhishek’. You will not have seen it in full before, even though you are lord Shiva’s devotees. You go to a crowded temple, pour water on Lord Shiva and after chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya’, have a tika mark placed on your forehead and then leave. But this worship that you are witnessing here is in accordance with our scriptures. It takes us inward from this mundane world. It takes us from ‘Maya’, illusion to our own Self, so enjoy it with bliss and love.
Tantric Tradition and Modern Science:
The source of all human beings, animals, insects, vegetables, and minerals, is one and the same. Each and everything has emanated from one nucleus. The entire creation has one nucleus, not two. The whole universe is like a proto-matter, like an egg. The upper pole and the lower pole are two separate dimensions of energy. One is the positive pole, and the other is the negative pole.
In Tantra you call them’ Shiva and Shakti’, and in physics time and space. Time is one pole and space is another. Time and space are two separate dimensions of energy and they have to be united. When time and space come together, they travel from opposite directions towards the centre, and they meet at the nucleus. In physics the nucleus is called the centre of matter, the point from which the object becomes unmanifest.
It is a very simple thing to understand. How was I born? My father and mother met with each other. Nobody can deny this. Is there anybody who was born without union? The union between male and female components, between the positive and negative physical components, brought me into existence. Every dog, every donkey, every man, was born through the union between the two opposite poles. Man and woman, male and female, represent two opposite poles of nature and energy. They are not the same. Physically they look the same, except for a few basic differences, but from the point of view of energy, they are not the same at all.
Male represents positive energy and female represents negative energy. Therefore, both of them represent time and space and when they meet, in the form of sexual union, in the form of emotional union, they create a connection, a contact between time and space, and creation occurs. This happens with everything in the world – creation is the result of a union of positive and negative forms of energy.
When you meditate, you are creating another union. At the cosmic level, union takes place between time and space. At the human level, union takes place between the male and the female. In mediation, union takes place between mind and prana, the mental force and the vital force. These two forces in our body are represented by ‘Ida and Pingala Nadis’,’Sun and Moon’,’ Shiva and Shakti’. In cosmic parlance, Shiva and Shakti are responsible for the myriad forms of creation and again in human life, the male is Shiva and the female is Shakti. Their union beings us into existence.
Swami Satyananda Saraswati