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Checking It Out - The Tantric Path

Today the young person has got a lot of freedom to explore. With the internet, the mobile phone and the television the youth is being exposed to the best and the worst at a very early age. In previous generations, social and familial structures had created some norms based on the experience which had to be adhered to. But with globalization, all rules have broken down and the inexperienced teenager (or even sometimes the small child) is left to find her own way. There are many pitfalls to this availability of information and many unfortunate experiences which can be avoided if we have a wise guide who has traversed almost the same path as we are currently on. We call such a person a 'Guru'. Changing priorities in society have made true Gurus a rare commodity. Faith and patience have also taken a beating in the current atmosphere of instant gratification resulting in people not being able to recognize a great master even if they come across one. Consequently, the youth will have to also have to develop her inner strength to equip herself with the means to go through life relatively unscathed. Our heritage can construct this support system beautifully. It builds an anchor that pulls us back to shore when we are going through turbulent times. Previous generations had a relatively safe passage through life, but now the youth are being thrown into the deep blue sea which they have to learn to navigate largely by themselves. The key lies in them learning to connect with themselves. This is the art of ‘Yog’ which has been discovered in this great nation by our ancestors. If the youth all over the world could learn some form of 'Yog' their lives would become fuller and more meaningful. Let me explain with the help of an example—the man-woman relationship. This can bring the highest degree of selfishness. We are aware of the unhappiness that romantic relationships largely generate in the modern context. Knowing this we still run towards the flame like a moth, to experience fleeting moments of extreme pleasure at the cost sometimes even of death. The mind takes hold of us and leads us into the abyss. If we could somehow control this mind we could avoid such a situation. It is not that relationships are intrinsically bad. It is in the manner in which the mind makes us approach a relationship that makes it good or evil. If we could somehow direct the mind we could make relationships beautiful. 'Yog' helps us to do exactly that. By practicing any of its forms, the mind becomes 'Ekagra' (focused) and tends to obey the commands of its master more frequently. But this is not sufficient. So the practice does two more things. It cleanses the mind and also makes it subtle. With this, the subtle mind, being able to recognize the pitfalls in the abstract domain is able to guide the human being, taking her to unprecedented heights.

'Naad Yog' is one such technique developed using sound which manifests itself in our classical music. 'Hatha Yog' uses the physical body to help us achieve the same end. 'Bhakti Yog', 'GyanYog', ‘Raja Yog’ and many other paths experimented with extensively in this country can help us find our way. There is a very thin line of demarcation between what is right and what is wrong. The same situation can turn from right to wrong or vice versa in a split second. A controlled, pure and subtle mind can help us discriminate and can take us in the direction which will facilitate our inner growth. With so much disharmony in today’s society (which is a reflection of the disharmony within each individual), it is the need of the hour to develop ourselves internally.