October 25th, 2009
Tantra asana is a “yogic practice of transcending the human condition. Tantra itself is unique for being a synthesis of bhoga and yoga, enjoyment and liberation. There is no place for renunciation or denial in Tantra. Instead, we must involve ourselves in all the life processes which surround us. The spiritual is not something that descends from above, rather it is an illumination that is to be discovered within.
“Also fundamental in Tantrism is the notion of identity of the human body (anda), the microcosm, with the universe or macrocosm (brahmanda). Tantra holds that the body is the abode of truth, the epitome of the universe; and so man contains within himself, the truth of the whole cosmos. Therefore, the body, with its physiological and physical processes, becomes the perfect medium (yantra) to attain truth. ‘He who realizes the truth of the body can then come to know the truth of the universe’, says Ratnasara” (p15-16).
“Asana is visualized [in the painting above] as the pattern of forces sattva, rajas, and tamas [the three gunas], symbolized by the colours yellow, red and black along with the colourless white of cosmic consciousness — that principle which stays forever motionless, yet acts through its own radiation —, generates all forms of manifestation. The squares complete the suggestion that all this is ‘within'” (p136).
Compare with the coloration of the Classical four elemental processes (see previous post):
|yellow||water, liquefaction, movement, “the functional principle of the earth planet and all its creatures” (Benson, p33)||sattva, essence, purity, calmness, creativity, “…the illuminating force which releases consciousness” (p17)|
|red||air, rarefaction, animation, life force||rajas, activity, atmosphere, motion, energy, dynamicism, passion, “…the activity of attraction and repulsion” (p17)|
|black||earth, condensation, stability, corporeality||tamas, inertia, inactivity, darkness, obscurity, “…the condensation of energy in matter” (p17)|
|white||fire, combustion, illumination, invisible connective, the goal of nous||“The trilogy becomes energized for the sake of creation. Dynamic forces are released strirring all latent existence in Brahmanda, the embryonic state of the universe.” (p17)|