The 3 Types of Pleasures

The 3 Types of Pleasures

Bhagavan Shri Krishna has laid down three types of pleasures: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic. 

Starting with sattvic, the Lord says (BG XVIII: verse 37) :

 

यत्तदग्रे विषमिव परिणामेऽमृतोपमम्
तत्सुखं सात्त्विकं प्रोक्तमात्मबुद्धिप्रसादजम्

That pleasure which feels like poison at the beginning, but becomes the very nectar of life towards the end, is sattvic, and leads to happiness.

         

Sattvic pleasures involve study and activities involving creative art like music, martial arts, painting, acting, learning languages, rendering seva and service to society, etc. to name a few. Meditation is highest form of sattvic pleasure.

These activities require discipline, commitment and hard work in the beginning but once mastered, they become big sources of happiness for oneself and inspire others to do the same.

The next type of pleasure is rajasic. On this, Bhagavan says (BG XVIII: verse 38):

विषयेन्द्रियसंयोगाद्यत्तदग्रेऽमृतोपमम्।
परिणामे विषमिव तत्सुखं राजसं स्मृतम्।।

That enjoyment which, arising from the union of senses with their objects, is at first like nectar but like poison in the end, is known as rajasic.

 

Most pleasures fall into this category. The type of enjoyment that is highly appealing in the beginning, but turns out to be painful later is referred to as rajasicRajasic pleasures are food indulgences (over eating), movies and music (excessive visual and auditory stimulation), total preoccupation with career, money, fame (worldly pursuits), etc.

Our senses are forever turned outwards towards objects to seek some form of pleasure and happiness. The “unholy alliance” between the senses and the sense objects, even though they look promising in the beginning, always results in pain later. Neither our senses belong to the sense objects nor do the objects belong to the senses. They deceive each other and can often lose interest in each other. When that happens it becomes very painful and the mind will remain agitated for a very long time unable to meditate. That is why I call it an unholy alliance. Hence, a wise person does not fall prey to such an insidious play between the two, and therefore moderates the needs and desires of the senses and their objects.

Most do not understand the need for “sense management” and often get swept away by the play of senses and suffer severe consequences later. If the senses are allowed to roam freely indulging in every object of desire either through thoughts (fantasies), actions, or both, it will always lead to agitation of the mind and interfere in sadhana. Attachment to sense objects will also lead to fear and anger and create further disturbances in our mind. By restraining the mind and body (Sama and Dama) towards such indulgences, we prevent ourselves from much pain and suffering and can easily focus on our sadhana.

Sense management through Sama and Dama doesn’t mean total abstinence. It means moderating our desires towards these pleasures, so that we don’t fall into cravings and urges which would agitate our mind. Total preoccupation and obsessions must be totally avoided and efforts must be made towards removing them if we are to succeed in our sadhana. 

 Last are tamasic pleasures. According to Bhagavad Gita (BG XVIII:39):

यदग्रे चानुबन्धे सुखं मोहनमात्मनः।
निद्रालस्यप्रमादोत्थं तत्तामसमुदाहृतम्।।

That pleasure which deludes the self initially and in its result, caused by sleep, lethargy and intoxication, that joy is called as tamasic

Unlike the two other types of pleasures mentioned above, tamasic enjoyments are those which do not make you feel good at any point. Tamasic pleasures are intoxicating substances of any kind, excessive sexual thoughts and desires, excessive sleep, etc.

They are distasteful at the very beginning, in the middle and until the very end. Not only are they distasteful, but they also dull the intellect, and do not allow the mind to remain focused and concentrated on any higher goal as one falls prey to false intoxication, lethargy, dullness and sleep.  YET, many people suffer from indulgences of tamasic nature. Why?  Because there is some sensation of joy which has to be acknowledged even though it is unwanted and destructive. It is toxic and is a perverse form of joy and pleasure. This is what makes tamasic pleasures different from rajasic pleasures. 

Such habits don’t go away easily due to repeated past actions of indulgence in these forms of enjoyments. Often those who indulge in them experience an uncontrollable urge and craving, and fail to get passed such habits. They also suffer from guilt and shame due to that.

One must never be disheartened despite repeated failures to overcome such addictions and obsessions, and strive harder each day. One will require supreme effort to overcome it but with conviction and devotion to the Lord (Higher OTHER) one can easily overcome such addictions.

With love and support from ever deepening faith in the Lord arrived through discernment (making conscious right choice) and daily meditation (at fixed time each day) such cravings can lessen in a matter of days, and finally one becomes free of being dependent on them. Once free from these pleasures one must NEVER try to flirt with them even to test one’s inner strength. One must forever guard against them and totally renounce such pleasures. If memory or craving arrives we must remind ourselves the of the limitations (dosha) and suffering (dukkha) that such pleasures bring about. Total abstinence is the requirement as regards pleasures of tamasic nature.

Announcing new ebook by Rajivji ‘Ramana and “I” – 30 Verses of Devotional Self-Inquiry for Devotees of Shri Ramana’ [free download]

Announcing new ebook by Rajivji ‘Ramana and “I” – 30 Verses of Devotional Self-Inquiry for Devotees of Shri Ramana’ [free download]

New eBook available now for download

In this profound ebook, Rajivji shares his experiential insight into Sri Ramana’s definition of the “I”, and the limitations that exist within the common understanding of self-inquiry. Through his thirty verses, Rajivji addresses these limitations by expounding on the importance of devotion to Sri Ramana, who is none other than the SELF manifest, urging sadhaks to allow their spiritual efforts to transform into devotion and openeness to Sri Ramana’s Grace, and ultimately the depths of Self-realization. 

Why Holding the Sense of I-Am Exclusively is NOT the Most Effective Method

Why Holding the Sense of I-Am Exclusively is NOT the Most Effective Method

 

Holding the sense of I-Am is considered one of the most valid methods among traditional teachers. Those of us who have followed Self-Inquiry or Advaita teachings are well aware of the I-Am , especially after this method was advocated by the great Advaita Master Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj.

This method is popular and easy to understand. The technique can be summarized as follows:

You know that you exist — not as this or that, just simple existence — an existence without any reference to thoughts, names or forms. Now hold on to this feeling as your I-Amness. Keep coming back to this feeling and hold on to it at regular intervals. In time, with perseverance and dedication, the I AM will reveal itself and then, one day, it will finally disappear, leading you to your SELF.

This is a simple and profound truth. However, in practical situations it does not prove very effective nor productive for achieving the goal. In fact, the results from this practice, when used exclusively, are very inconsistent and can often leave a practitioner confused as to why they experienced a ‘drop’ in their state, or cannot feel their joyous being which they were able to feel a few days before.

The reason for this is due to the impurities collected at the gross, subtle, and subtlest levels at play within the I-Am feeling.

It is important to understand that the I-Am  feeling usually perceived by a practitioner is often a mixed feeling (awareness) of all the layers (koshas) at work within. These koshas have their energy, vibrations and codes which exert a ‘pull’ and influence over the Pure I-Am . Hence, when we abide in the sense of I-Am, what we are actually feeling and intuiting as our ‘existence’ is nothing but the totality of these koshas — and NOT the PureI-Am .

These five koshas, which act as coverings over the SELF, are the:

 

  1. Annamaya kosha – outer body feeling or sensation
  2. Pranamaya kosha – breath, the life-force that feeds and nurtures our actions, feeds our senses
  3. Manomaya kosha – mind, thoughts, emotions, memories
  4. Vijnanamaya kosha – intellect, discriminating faculty which decides what is right or wrong
  5. Anandamaya kosha –bliss sheath

These koshas are unreal, but still veil, conceal, and keep us from our real SELF.

In fact, the practitioner will find that each day of practice brings forth a ‘feeling’ from a particular kosha, and it is that kosha that is experienced instead of the Pure I-Am (Anandamaya Kosha).

So, some days, body sensations (Annamaya) will predominate the seeker’s awareness. On other days, energies coursing through the body (Pranamaya) will prevail. Yet other days, visions, intuitive ‘downloads’, or messages from higher Consciousness (Manomaya) will be more prevalent. And on some rare occasions, a torrential flow of Joy in the Heart (Anandamaya) will captivate the seeker’s awareness.

So the feeling of I-Am will vary. 

Sometimes the feeling of I-Am will be unstable, and progress will be inconsistent, depending upon the state of one’s mind. Often, when rare bliss (Anandamaya) is felt, it will quickly be disturbed by one of the four preceding koshas. This is because the practitioner has no awareness of how to control the workings of the preceding koshas. They have no awareness of the techniques available to control them quickly and effectively. This cycle will continue until a lot of effort, seeking, and ‘hunting of the I’ is done and enables one to finally transcend all the koshas and arrive at the final destination — the Spiritual Heart.

Yes, it is definitely possible for all koshas to roll back revealing the SELF exclusively through holding theI-Am method, but it is like walking into a dark room not knowing what lies ahead. It is a very slow, tiresome and inconsistent method. Most often a seeker will understandably feel dejected and demotivated when they realize that they have practically no control over how they will feel in their meditation. That is why ‘holding the sense of I-Am’ exclusively as one’s practice of Self-Inquiry will not work for 90% of seekers (unless they have been a very strong meditator in this or past lives).

The other problem with this method, apart from its inconsistency, is that one usually ‘peaks out’ relatively early and feels that they have ‘hit a wall’. There does not seem to be much headway or progress, and their state feels static. Nothing seems to be happening. They will feel much the same as they did a few years back.

Remember, the great Nisargadatta Maharaj himself had to persevere with this method continuously, like a man possessed, for three (3) years. But such perseverance is rare to find in a busy, worldly life. Hence we need to use other methods along with I-Am to be able to sustain the state for deeper and longer periods of time.

The reason is that there is no insight or importance given to purifying oneself. This is one of the biggest flaws of current non-dual teachings. They do not lay down spiritual principles or ethics aimed at an inner cleansing of the life-force (Prana) and nerves (nadis) dealing with habitual tendencies/projections/vasanas, and outer adherence of non-violence in thoughts, speech, deeds, etc.

No matter how many times you dip a white shirt into dirty water, it will never come out clean. It will remain dirty. Similarly, no matter how many times you bring the mind to yourI-Am, it will still remain the same — unless you clean your koshas too (the layers that make up the I-Am).

It is, probably, for this reason that Sri Ramana hinted that the Heart is the seat of Jnanam (knowledge) as well as of the granthi (knot of ignorance). The nadis (nerves) that connect the Heart to the brain, prana, and spine must be purified, otherwise they can easily mislead the practitioner away from the SELF and into a state of ignorance.

It can be seen that those who abide in, or hold to, the feeling of I-Am as their sole practice usually do so at their Heart centre. As a result, it is not uncommon to witness these practitioners as being impulsive, unstable, reactive and predominantly driven by heightened emotions, even though they occasionally feel a sense of peace and love emanating from their Heart. The ‘high’ they experience in their meditation is often replaced by a new ‘low’, or depressive ‘gloom’, within a few days.

The reason for this is that they have little control over the inner workings and influences generated by impure nadis. This reinforces the fact that purification is a must for stability and sustained abidance in Pure I-Am.

That is why the correct way to practice ‘holding the sense of I-Am’ is to do it either in combination with a practice where the breath, prana and mind are relatively stilled, and kept suspended through either breath control techniques (pranayama), or by using Sri Ramana’s method “Who Am I?”, in both the waking state and the sitting meditation (where the breath is automatically controlled).

Breath control is, relatively, an easier method to practice than Sri Ramana’s “Who Am I?”, where a subjective awareness of ‘I’ is often difficult to maintain and sustain. Hence, a fusion of both is needed for the best, most effective, and longest lasting results.

It was from this perspective that the Implosive Self-Inquiry Protocol™ (ISIP) was designed — wherein holding the sense of ‘I AM’ is also accompanied by simple, yet highly effective techniques for removing and filtering the impurities of the distracting layers of koshas within the I AM. This provides each seeker with an instant glimpse of the real I AM, and enables him or her to sustain deeper and more stable abidance in the SELF.

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

The Song of Kali

by Rajiv Kapur and Daniel Mills

The I-Am that I am is not just in the background; the I-Am that I am is also in the foreground.

The I-Am that I am in the background is in the form of Durga; the I-Am that I am in the foreground is in the form of Me, Kali. Together we serve Shiva, the Absolute. But know, O Wise Ones, that unlike Durga, the Kundalini, I have no interest in merging with the Absolute; I work independently.

The I-Am that I am in the background in the form of Durga manifests beauty in this world. Golden sunshine, sparkling streams, flowering trees, majestic mountains are all part of My creation. But when I, as Kali, arrive in the foreground, the sun, streams, trees, and mountains may still remain, but their beauty fades and vanishes.

The I-Am that I am in the background has always been given attention; the I-Am that I am in the foreground has always been ignored. That is why I, Kali, come for you with a flashing sword, eyes red in rage, face and breast stained with blood. Your cries of “Mother, Mother” cannot save you. Your Father, Shiva, the Absolute, cannot protect you. No one and no thing can rescue you. Know that for certain, O Children.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, am brutally fierce with any and all deep relationships you have established with anything, profane or sacred. Your misery, pain, and agony will show you I do not allow any trace of attachment or identification, lofty or lowly, to remain.

To know the Absolute, you need the blessing of the I-Am that I am in the background, but to recognize even a glimmer of Consciousness, you need My blessing.

Impure ones are obsessed with the world; pure ones are obsessed with the I-Am that I am in the background. But in the foreground, I, Kali, spare neither the impure nor the pure.

The I-Am that I am in the background is available as peace, stillness, joy, and bliss. But this is all lost to you when I, Kali, arrive in the foreground. I bestow the blessing of the destruction of your pride; I will burn you in the flames of True Wisdom.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground comes in three forms:

  • One to burn the seeds of habitual tendencies and vasanas.
  • One to dispel the results of past bad karmas.
  • One to deliver suffering, humiliation, and disgrace.

I, Kali, come as temptation, anger, and attachments in my first form,
As loss of health, money, and people you love in my second form,
And finally as old age, prolonged illness, ignominy, and death in my third form.

The I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, see no difference between Jnani or fool, saint or sinner, spiritual or worldly. When I come, all doors to the I-Am that I am in the background will be closed.

O Proud Ones, remember that the I-Am that I am in the foreground, I, Kali, will destroy whatever pride and faith you have in Me as the I-Am that I am in the background. Indeed I am my own bane and adversary.

The I-Am that I am in the background deludes Jnanis, Yogis, and Bhaktas to believe their ego is gone; the I-Am that I am in the foreground reveals the truth that the ego never leaves you until your skin is burned, bones are crushed, and heart is wrung like a piece of wet cloth. The last shred of ego is never destroyed by any practice, means, path, Guru, or God, but by Me alone.

You cannot please Me through any penance, abidance, meditation, devotion, or good deeds. Nothing can soothe Me. Only the humiliation, disgrace, and helplessness that arrive by your defeat can satisfy Me. O seekers of Truth, know that this alone may calm Me and free you from My wrath.

When tremendous pain and suffering, humiliation and disgrace come, know that it is not a time for seeking or accepting. Both will be impossible. Meet My arrival by surrendering and enduring all, and taking refuge only in My ferociousness and brutality.

The I-Am that I am in the background can witness, accept, dissolve, and direct you towards the Absolute, but when I, Kali, arrive, none of that is possible. Know, O Wise Ones, that at that time, you are Mine.

Some offer Me mantras. Some offer their breath. Some offer various other sacrifices. Yet the One who pleases Me most is the One whose eyes are ever-resting on My feet, and whose heart is one-pointedly devoted to My Lord Shiva, the Absolute.

The Foreground I-Am

The Foreground I-Am

Most teachings, especially New Age, advocate a “romantic idealism” form of spiritual practice, rather than acknowledge the stark reality of the relative plane. But while we are in the body, the world continues to affect us all, including our abidance in SELF. This aspect of reality has repeatedly been ignored, and we have discovered new ways to escape from what stares us in the face. Hence, we are not prepared for calamity when it strikes.

Knowledge is freeing. It may not get rid of the situation we face, but knowledge can prepare us for the many things that can otherwise confuse and create doubts in us as seekers. I am addressing those sincere seekers who, in spite of their unflinching devotion and abidance in SELF, often lose their connection to their Being, or are suffering miserably on the earthly plane. I believe that if these seekers understand the workings of the foreground I-Am, they will stop looking for answers in places from where answers will never come, and hopefully stop criticizing themselves for their inability to fix the situation. Truth, no matter how harsh, is always liberating and healing. 

Many of us have been told about the background I-Am, which I call the “male principle.” All the spiritual practices we have all been doing are concerned solely with strengthening this male principle I-Am. Practices like witnessing, abiding in the “I” or the Self, and actively raising the Kundalini up the spine, are all concerned with the male background I-Am. 

The qualities of the background I-Am are that of stillness, peace, joy and bliss. As we deepen our relationship with this background I-Am, these qualities become more and more profound, and eventually lead us to the Absolute. There, everything dissolves. 

But there is another I-Am, a very important one. It has not been talked about, but presents itself again and again in our lives: The “Foreground I-Am”. 

That foreground I-Am is like Mother Kali who arrives with the noble motive of freeing us from our habitual tendencies (vasanas). But She then intensifies Her attack directly on anything we have latched onto, protected, or guarded. Having our attachments broken can be brutally painful and terrifying for us, for we cannot find any refuge in anything, whether God or the world. Even the Absolute, Shiva, absolutely collapses under Kali’s Lotus feet, and finds no favor. All our identifications, even the slightest, are Her enemy, irrespective of whether they are spiritual or material in nature. In Her eyes, all are the same.

Ego is never really eliminated until Kali visits. Facing Her, the subtlest trace of ego that remains hidden in us is plucked out. Such is Her power and glory. 

As I sat pondering Kali’s immense power, beauty, and terrifying form, the Truth about Her came to me as verses collected into the Song of Kali. I was fortunate to have Daniel Mills next to me recording them as they flowed through me. He helped me choose the verses, edited them, and offered his own input as my student, my friend, a teacher to many, and one who has finally awakened and continues to awaken deeply in his heart.

Together we present these verses to all those who feel the need to know the Truth as it is.

As a prelude to the Song of Kali, I share with you all a work by the Bengali poet, Dwijendralal Ray called “Clinging to Your Feet”: 

I lie clinging to your feet,
but you never look at me, Mother.
You’re lost in your own play,
and engrossed in your own emotion.
What is this sport you revel in
across earth, heaven and the underworld?
The entire universe closes its eyes in terror,
and calls out “Mother, Mother!”
while clutching at your feet.
In your hands, Kali, you hold
the world’s final destruction.
Under your feet
even the great Shiva
lies unconscious.
Wild laughter issues from your mouth
and streams of blood flow down your limbs.
Tara*, forgiving one, end our fear!

Pick me up like a baby in your arms.
Come shining like a star,
with a smiling face
and in fair dress, like the dawn
after a pitch-black night!
All these days, O Terrible Kali,
I’ve worshiped only you.
My puja is done, Mother.
Won’t you put down your sword? 

*Tara means star
The Essence of Tantra

The Essence of Tantra

Introduction 

I have spoken on many aspects and various practices — from Kriya Yoga to Self-Inquiry techniques… from effort to grace… from the Absolute to the wrath of Kali… from affirming to burning.

The reason is simple. One particular teaching or technique cannot be prescribed to everyone. Each seeker is different — with differing temperaments, inclinations and approaches that suit them in their own unique manner.

So today I am going to talk about Tantra. The term ‘Tantra’ often sends a sense of uncomfortable energy into the Hearts of many seekers, particularly traditional Advaitins and Yogis who, because of a particular mindset, believe that this form of practice is somehow ‘impure’ or ‘unholy’ as compared to Inquiry and Raja Yoga.

Trust me, I know that feeling. And I do not blame them as we often associate Tantra as a playground for free sex. This is a common misconception.

Many of the revered saints of India were Tantra practitioners — Shri Ramakrishna, Aurobindo, Shivananda, and Nityananda.

Adi Shankara himself was not only the most famous Advaitic Guru, but also one of the most important Tantric teachers. His great poem to the Goddess, Soundarya Lahiri (Waves of Beauty), remains perhaps the most important Tantric text that is used for Sri Chakra (also called Sri Yantra) worship.

Tantra 

There are many books on Tantra which describe it in greater detail as so much has been written about it. My purpose is not to go into too much detail from an academic point of view, or go into detailed philosophic interpretations. Instead, I would like to bring out the real essence of real Tantra by presenting the practical aspects through the light of my own personal practice and experience. I am simply writing down my own personal experience here.

Inclusiveness 

Most spiritual paths have a central ideology… system… approach… or way of practice… which forms the basic theme of its teaching.

Raja Yoga — the classical approach based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali — talks about breath control with some moral and ethical restraints as the main tenet.

While Self-Inquiry (direct path) — through the approach of ‘Neti Neti’ — purely emphasizes sole abidance in the subjective awareness of ‘I’.

Because these approaches have a theme or an ideology, they become fixated and attach some boundaries to themselves. They get trapped inside a box. Both of these approaches consider the world to be an ‘illusion’ and ‘Maya’, and something that one needs to reject and be careful about so that one doesn’t get caught up with the world. One can’t deny that there is an element of escapism in these approaches.

Tantra, on the other hand, has no fixed theme or ideology. It has no problem being inside a box, outside of the box, or even getting rid of the box. That is its beauty. It has the symphony of all paths, and of life itself. It denies nothing.

If I were to give a one word description of Tantra, I would say ‘Inclusiveness’, and end it there.

Tantra includes everything — the practices of Raja Yoga, Bhakti and Inquiry, and the experiences from them. All merge into one. Mantras, yantras, rituals, pranayamas, bhakti, energies, worship of deities, chakras, etc. all form part of Tantra.

It also does not deny this world, the body, the mind, the senses — nor does it deny any form of practice or deny your experience.

For Tantra there is only one rule ‘Experience and Embrace’.

If anything is in your experience, then it is real, and on becoming aware of it, this becomes Tantra.

For Tantra, every experience (human, spiritual, or in any dimension) is valid. There is no room for suppression. No escape from anything.

Tantra is about being fearless, as everything is an expression of the SELF Itself that needs to be embodied to reach real happiness. In spite of Tantra embracing all the paths within itself, there are some remarkable principles that separates it from these paths.

1) The Goal is an Ever Present, Ever Available Companion

Tantra practitioners are not goal oriented, they are Rasa (juice) oriented. These are teachings for those who are lovers of passion, sweetness, wetness, aliveness, spontaneity and beauty. In Advaita or Yoga, the bliss is in attaining a goal — stillness, bliss or joy.

In Tantra, bliss is NOT something that one needs to wait for. It is immediate and never delayed.

They are like honey bees. They seek flowers and find the sweetness of honey in them, collecting them and accumulating them within themselves — ‘the hives of SELF’ — full of juice and sweetness, and then move again looking for the next flower.  So bliss is always their companion.

Similarly, Tantra practitioners — due to the inclusiveness of all paths, practices and teachings, and also of the relationships they develop in the world — find sweetness in everything they connect with. They find their ‘honey’ through the senses — and even beyond the senses.

While in stillness, they are in bliss — and in movement too. So ‘bliss and joy’ is their constant companion. Even in the element of seeking, there is joy. That is the beauty of Tantra.

2) Both Subject and Object are Equally Important

Even though Tantra recognizes the non-dual state of awareness as the final state, it is not obsessed about the SELF alone.

In Tantra the object is as important as the subject — the flower is as important as the hive (the SELF). The Tantra practitioner (the ‘bee’) does not compromise the flower for the hive, for he knows that the hive exists because of the flower, and that the purpose of the flower is to help build the hive. One cannot exist without the other. It believes that being tied down to the subject is no different than being identified with the objects.

An object without the SELF is useless, and the SELF without objects is juiceless. This is the essence of Tantra.

So in Tantra, ecstasy and joy is a constant companion, where both the SELF and the object co-exist together in order to fulfill your Divine destiny of being in joy and bliss.

3) Attached to Neither Subject nor Object

A worldly man attempts to find his ‘centre’ in objects, the wise man in the SELF — but a Tantra practitioner believes in MOVEMENT.

What is most prominent for him is the dance… the swing (movement) from subject to object to subject and so on. Even though both the SELF and object are equally important, the Tantra practitioner is not attached to either of them.

He stays in the middle and moves from one to the other — much like a honey bee moves the honey from the flowers into the hive, stays there for sometime, and then moves again looking for the honey.

The journey is more important than the destination.

He is ruled by aliveness, spontaneity and the joy of travel.

He is the only one who can begin a journey again and again… even after reaching the goal.

It is like a pendulum. Swaying back and forth, and at the end of every swing there is complete stillness. In Tantra you are allowed to halt or pause… but never to stay in one place because the belief is that with momentum, your reach even greater heights.

That is why a Tantra practitioner is the most adaptable of all practitioners. Like a bee, he can be happy alone or together (building and sharing hives of joy with others).

Osho once said: “…Tantra is indulgence with awareness.” (unlike worldly indulgence, to differentiate). I do not know whether this is so, or not. It could be, or it may not be. It depends.

In my experience, the question of ‘indulgence’ becomes quite unimportant in Tantra as ‘indulgence’ would be a position that is taken towards an object.

In Tantra, both the SELF and the object lose significance over Rasa. There could be abstinence, and yet still be Tantra in my opinion because the main focus is not on indulgence, or identification, but on the purpose, the juiciness that is attained.

One could abstain and yet derive the juiciness from the object through Tantra. Thirst has a unique juicy feeling too. This principle holds true in all situations, whether in relationship with your practice, or with the world, or with the SELF.

Real Tantra is not about forgetting the SELF and indulging in objects, 
 or vice versa, but about the juiciness that connects both.

It becomes clear that the Tantra practitioner approaches his relationship with every object as an opportunity to fall back into the SELF, and takes every delight to witness the SELF reflected in his beloved object.

4) The One Object that Halts All Seeking

You have heard about the SELF — where all seeking stops. But have you ever heard about an object that puts an end to all seeking? This is only possible in Tantra. And this is where Tantra meets its own end too.

A question that may arise when I talk about the bees and the relationship they have with flowers is: “Does Tantra suggest that we keep moving from one object to another in search of Rasa (juice), much like the bees move from one flower to another?”

This is why we have so many Masters, so many practices, so many relationships to choose from. But this comes to an end too. Through Grace, you can come across one such practice, one such Master, one such beloved or lover, from whom you can derive such juiciness, such variety, such quality, such flavor, that seeking other objects will become unnecessary.

The Kula Teaching: The Heart’s Secret Teaching states (verse 2.80):

“The followers of the Heart, knowers of the essence, do not consider other religion, just as bees who serve themselves the blossom of the coral tree don’t seek to obtain other flowers.”

When the ‘coral tree’ is known, such intimacy will be formed that it will no longer be possible to maintain a SELF apart from it. That one ‘coral tree’ could be your lover, your wife, your husband, your teacher, or your practice. The walls of separation between the two will be torn down and all will merge as ONE.

There will not be any separate ‘hive of the SELF’, nor the flower… not even the Rasa. There will exist only the blissful buzz of BEEing.

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