[Advaita-l] Is there Connection between Tantra and Srauta Karma?

Venkatesh Murthy वेङ्कटेशः vmurthy36 at gmail.com
Mon Apr 16 10:01:16 CDT 2012


Is there connection between Tantra and Srauta Karma of the
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ?

Sakti and Sakta BY Arthur Avalon Pages 558, 559, 560

The Divinity in woman, which the Śākta Tantra in
particular proclaims, is also recognised in the ordinary
Vaidik teaching. The wife is a House-Goddess (Gṛhadevatā)
united to her husband by the sacrament (Saṃ skāra)
of marriage and is not to be regarded merely as an object
of enjoyment. Further, Vaidik Dharma (now neglected)
prescribes that the householder should ever worship with
his wife as necessary partner therein, Sastrīko dharmamācaret
(see also Matsyasūkta Tantra, XXXI). According to
the sublime notions of Śruti the union of man and wife is
a veritable sacrificial rite—a sacrifice in fire (Homa) wherein
she is both hearth (Kunda) and flame—and he who knows
this as Homa attains Liberation (see Mantra 13 of Homaprakarana
of Bṛhadāranyaka Upaniṣad and Edward
Carpenter’s remarks on what is called the “obscenity” of
this Upaniṣad). Similarly, the Tāntrik Mantra for Maithuna
runs (see Prāṇatoṣiṇi and Tantrasāra 698), “Oṃ , Into
the Fire which is Spirit (Ātmā) brightened by (the pouring
thereon) of the ghee of merit and demerit, I by the path
of Suṣumnā (the central ‘nerve’) ever sacrifice (do Homa
of) the functions of the senses using the mind as the ladle.
Svāhā.” (In the Homa rite the performer pours ghee into
the fire which causes it to shoot up and flame. The ghee
is poured in with a ladle. This being internal Homa the
mind is the ladle which makes the offering of ghee).
O m
Dharmādharma-havirdīpte ātmāgnau manasā srucā
Suṣumnāvartmanā nityam akṣavṛttīr juhomyaham: Svāhā.

Here sexual union takes on the grandeur of a great
rite (Yajña) compared with which the ordinary mere animal
copulation to ease desire, whether done grossly, shamefacedly,
or with flippant gallantry is base. It is
because this high conception of the function is not known
that a “grossness” is charged against the association of
sexual function with religion which does not belong to it.
Grossness is properly attributable to those who mate like
dumb animals, or coarsely and vulgarly, not to such as
realize in this function the cosmic activity of the active
Brahman or Śiva-Śakti with which they then, as always,
unify themselves.
It has been already explained that Sādhakas have
been divided into three classes—Paśu, Vīra and Divya,
and for each the Śāstra prescribes a suitable Sādhanā,
Tāmasik, Rājasik and Sāttvik accordingly. As later stated,
the Pañcatattva ritual in its full literal sense is not for the
Paśu, and (judging upon principle) the Divya, unless of
the lower ritual order, should be beyond it. In its fullest
and literal sense it is for the Vīra and is therefore called
Rājasik Sādhanā or Upāsanā.



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