Kularnava Tantra – manifestation of the ocean
The origin of Kula-Arnava texts is not scientifically proved but some scholars think that the Tantras date back to the age of the Vedas, or even before Gautama was born. Shiva said that he brought the tantrik teachings of the Vedas and Agamas from the ocean. Kula means to manifest the power of the supreme Shakti consciousness. Arnava is ocean.
The Kaula school looks at the peak experiences. In everybody’s life there is a moment when we touch something sublime. We see a beautiful baby and our heart opens up. This is the state of love. This beauty is coming from inside. Sensual pleasure is similar to that too, just like eating. The outside world is merely a trigger to what is already inside us. In Tantra we don’t have to go someplace else. The transcendental is right here. Humans are lucky to have a body – the higher ladder to the Self – have the degree of self-awareness. We may meditate and have full awareness of who we are – and one should attain the Truth. Tantra starts from our life, from our practices. Being present is being anchored in timelessness. Anchor yourself, through inner sacrifice, and then you can plan for the future.
From the four sections of the tantras often only the Kriya pada – which is the first – survives. Tantrik temples follow particular tantrik texts. The Yoga pada, which is the fourth section of the tantras, is very often missing. Yoga pada contains the practices of tantra.
Kularnava tantra plays with the idea of Mama. The things we own, possess and associate with. We create attachment to things we own and then we take it personal when someone criticizes it. Why don’t we enter the natural state of the mind and expand there? The sense of identity is something we create. Just as well we have to destroy it, as it is only an illusion. Or, we can expand our circle to everyone and everything. Love is the power to dissolve the boundaries. Tantra often uses visualization to expand the awareness. Through visualisation in meditation we can become one for example with the entire solar system, step by step. As we feel the expansion in the space, our awareness expands too. Our boundaries dissolve.
In Tantra nothing is inherently good or bad. One thing can make us go down, but the same thing can make us go up. Tantra wasn’t the explosion of feminism, men were still the teachers. They made excuses about practices – like Maithuna – as they explained that the disciple was going toward higher awareness by practicing it. Maithuna was part of the transmutational practices, altogether with meat, fish, grains and wine as the main M’s. Through the play of Shakti, even the ‘beast’ – pashu – can be transformed into Shiva.
The importance of mantra is paramount in tantra. According to texts from Kula-Arnava Tantra, ten million mantra recitations equal to one meditation, on the journey to the moment of absorption – Laya. However, the practitioner has to be initiated through Dikhsa, by the right guru. The mantra recitation – Japa – has to be done with full awareness, and not too fast, best near the guru, a cow, a tree or sacred fire. Then happiness will reside in the body.
Hamsa is one of the most powerful mantras. Ha represents Shiva, the male energy on exhalation and Sa connects to Shakti on inhalation. Hamsa refers to the divine balance of Shiva and Shakti, the rhythm of breathing. Through daily practices, sacrifices, pilgrimages, mantras and pujas we get closer to our Truth – our impurities will diminish.