May all be happy and free!
For many people word ‘Tantra’ brings either bad taste in mouth or some creepy images of sexual fantasies. However, I know for fact that the real practice of Tantra is far from sexual orgies or fantasies.
The truth is everyone wants to be happy. And we all understand that happiness is a state of mind. We try many different things (foods, drinks, yoga, art, ambition, sex, shopping, games, etc) to get into that state of mind, where it “feels good”. However, we know for fact that it does not last long, something or other changes our mental state and we become bored, stressed, depressed, angry or unhappy. It is the same old uncomfortable trip on an uneven gravel road that we all sometime go through with flat tire.
Siddhas and Tantriks tell us that there is an internal process that continuously weaves all the sensations, thoughts and feelings to create our metal state. Hatha Yoga Pradipika gives the hint by saying: “wind moves mind moves, stillness in one brings the stillness to other (chale vaate chalam chittam nischale nischalam bhavet.)
Movement of winds within subtle spaces of our being creates our mental-emotional state. Knowledge and understanding of how to manage the movement of inner-winds so that we can create a desired mental state is the Tantra. Tantra literally means ‘to weave’. It is a practice of weaving our mental-emotional state. Now, given a choice who will not like to be in a state of bliss all the time?
In Tantra inner-wind is metaphorically referred as Dakini. Dakini is a Sanskrit term, Khandro is its Tibetan equivalent, it means “Sky-Goer“. Dakinis are portrayed in female form and are shown in union with peaceful or wrathful Buddha forms which represent the various mental states of peace or suffering. Different traditions have given various names to the inner-wind or dakini: Valley-Spirit, Mother, Breath-of-life, Chit-vriti , Hiimori, Archetypal-energy, etc. All names point to the same moon, names are not important, realization through direct experience is the key aspect of Tantra.
Khyungpo Naljor, a twelfth-century teacher in Tibet, had a visionary experience in which a lion-headed dakini appeared to him and sang this song about working with dakini:
Crystal dakini guards against interruptions.
Jewel dakini increases wealth.
Lotus dakini gathers energy.
Action dakini gets everything done.
When wanting and grasping hold sway
The dakini has you in her power.
Wanting nothing from outside, taking things as they come,
Know the dakini to be in your own mind.
The essence of mind is realization.
Know that the crystal is the non-thought of mind itself
And the crystal dakini guards against interruptions.
Know that the source of wealth is contentment
And the jewel dakini fulfills all wants and needs.
Know that the lotus is the non-thought of freedom from attachment
And the lotus dakini gathers energy.
Know that action has no origination or cessation
And the action dakini gets everything done.
Those who do not understand these points
Can practice for eons and know nothing.
So, the heart of the matter is
To realize that the dakini is in your own mind (chita).