Tantra is a blend of hymn & legend, ritual & tradition, art & science that can only be experienced. It can not be learned from books, only from one who has been initiated into it's web. It is the practical application of the knowledge of the Vedas. It is the meeting place between vedic science and the shamanic wisdom of tribal peoples. It shows us how to work with the subtle energies that work in both the world around us and the world within us as a tool for transformation.
Veda in Tantra
The vedic mantras are expressions of cosmic intelligence. Tantra gives us methods of working with these building blocks of cosmic intelligence to effect profound transformation both within and without in an excellerated way. By establishing relationship with the five elements of nature, the pancha maha bhutas, we learn where they reside in our bodies and how to work with these energies. We work with all the charkas or energetic centers in the body. We learn tools for integration of all parts
of our nature and emotions for the greater benefit of all. Because tantra integrates all parts of our being, including our sexual nature, in the west this one aspect is often focused on to exclusion of the rest, however this is an important part of a greater whole. It should not be the sole focus, yet it should not be excluded from the integration of our entire being towards spiritual evolution.
Shakti Tantra has its roots in the prehistoric worship of a fertile Mother Goddess. The roots of Goddess worship go back some 40,000 years to the very dawn of human existence. “Tantra” is believed to evolve largely out of the Goddess cults of pre-history. Sri Vidya is the world’s most sophisticated living tradition centered on Divine Mother. However half of creation is male, and one cannot truly honor Siva without Shakti nor Shakti without Siva. Mother based religions follow the left handed path, the male baseds religions follow the right. The Sri Vidya path is a goddess based spirituality that is a Misra, a mix of both paths that falls more to the left of the scale than center. This mixture is the Kaulachara tradition. One of the definitions of Kaulachara is one who travels the petals of the chakras.
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Colin Earl has been a dedicated student and practitioner of yoga and tantra for over 25 years. His teaching comes from balancing the triangle of scriptural knowledge, Guru’s instruction and personal experience. Colin studied hatha yoga with Aadil Palkhivala as his mentor, including study in India with BKS Iyengar directly. He spent 5 years in service traveling with the female saint Sri Karunamayi learning mantra, stotram about the nature of Divine Mother. Colin took diksha in Sri Vidya in 2000 learning tanric ritual with Sri Chaitanyananda, affectionately know as Haran Aiya at the Sri Vidya Peetham in Rochester, NY. In 2003 Colin received Purna Diksha (full initiation) from his Guru’s Guru, Sri Amritananda of Devipuram, India and was made a holder of the lineage in 2011. Since then Colin continues to spend his winters in Devipuram learning and teaching tantric aspects of the vidya with Sri Amritananda.
Weekend Workshops, Individual Classes & Private Sessions
A typical weekend consist of and introductory puja and satsang on Friday evening, an event, and some combinations of three classes/pujas. If the venue permits a homam or fire ritual can be included as the final session. This events and classes can be offered individually, in a one or two day combination or as a week long retreat. Kalaavahanam, personal empowerment, rituals for singles and/or interested couples can be made available as well. For a weekend workshop individual sessions can be offered Sunday evening, all day Monday and or Tuesday as needed. Once someone has received an initial kalaavahanam, more advanced versions of this ritual are available in series as appropriate. Pictures are encouraged and note taking is fine during classes, however at no time is audio or video recording permitted.
Mantra is the sound form of the deity. Yantra is the geometric form, be it sacred geometry, an enlivened statue or a living person in front of us. Tantra is the art of joining the sound form, mantra, and the geometric form, yantra, and making them work together in a practical way to produce a spiritual experience, tantra. Tantric pujas are tools for us to work with the forces of nature, cleansing and empowering our energetic centers, removing the false sense of separation between our selves and divinity. They help us burn away our karmic load while developing devotion, cultivating
wisdom, and enhancing knowledge of ourselves and our own divinity within, karma, jnana and bhakti.
Tantric Empowerment rituals consist of recognizing that the body it self is the ultimate yantra. In these rituals the human body receives the same worship that is offered in to a statue or yantra in the temples. The vessel of the body is purified by installing the cosmic lights of fire, sun and moon as well as energies of the five elements into the proper register of the body, polishing or flipping on the internal energetic switches. Then the divine light and energy is invited into this vessel that has been prepared to accept it. This can be done in a general way in a group ritual known as Siri Jyoti, or in a more pin pointed and personal way know as kalaavahanam for an individual or couple. All tantric rituals prepare the body for this experience, however kalaavahanam is an accelerated process. It can be a powerful stand alone experience or they can be done in a concentrated series for a more complete empowerment experience.
India 2016 and Beyond
If you have a sincere interest in receiving the full series of advanced empowerments and/or learning these rituals and being initiated into Sri Vidya, please consider a trip to Devipuram. I am usually in Devipuram from at least January through the end of May and can arrange Sri Vidya courses, advanced empowerment series and temple tours for serious students upon request.