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Articles / Tantra
Tantra: Seeing Beyond the Veil
For most of us, the spiritual path of tantra is veiled in mystery, and popular misconceptions abound. Understanding tantra, as this amusing story illustrates, means learning to see reality in a new way. The tantric vision is radically different from ours.
Deborah Willoughby headshot
Deborah Willoughby
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Articles / Tantra
Re-enchantment with the World
In India, the miraculous, the astonishing, the impossible, and the unbelievable are common occurrences. Sandra Anderson reflects on a spiritual festival thousands of years old, a river that flows in many dimensions, and the juxtaposition of ancient traditions and modern culture.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
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Articles / Tantra
The Triune Body in Yoga Practice
According to the yoga tradition, a human being has three interpenetrating bodies—physical, subtle, and causal—each influencing the other. Every aspect of our yoga practice can shape and direct these three bodies to develop a foundation for powerful and lasting healing and awakening.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
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Articles / Tantra
Praising the Devi: Inviting Divine Grace
Reciting or singing praises to the Divine Mother, such as the Sri Sukta or Durga Saptashati, has the power to fill our life with greater richness, grace, and a feeling of being blessed. Shari Friedrichsen tells how her regular recitation of these mantric verses has brightened and nourished her life.
Shari Friedrichsen headshot
Shari Friedrichsen
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Articles / Tantra
The Role of Fire in Yoga and Rituals
Fire is shakti, the creative energy of the divine. At the core of yoga practice, it enables us to cultivate a radiant body and a brilliant mind. Through fire rituals, it enables us to detoxify and revitalize our air, water, and soil, sustaining life at every level. Pandit Tigunait explains how fire creates transformation and healing within us and around us.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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Articles / Tantra
The Kanda: Tantric Anatomy in Practice
Prana shakti, our life force, emanates from a shimmering bluish kanda, a bulb-shaped nexus of vitality and intelligence that is the root of embodied life. The kanda is the key to accessing the pranic body, mastering the mind, and awakening a deeper level of awareness. Sandra Anderson explains the significance of the kanda along with ways we can tap into this source of vitality to fuel our spiritual growth.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
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Articles / Tantra
Mantra: Silence as Sound
How does silence manifest as sound and lead us to the stillness deep within us? Shiva Tigunait explains what mantra is, where it comes from, and how it works with the mind at increasingly subtle levels to help us clear away mental noise and negativity—thus allowing us to experience the perfect tranquility, joy, and silence of our essential nature.
Shiva Tigunait, PhD headshot
Shiva Tigunait, PhD
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Articles / Tantra
The Awakening of Kundalini
Kundalini shakti—the vast reservoir of energy, intelligence, and power within each of us—is often depicted as a coiled snake resting at the base of the spine. The sages speak of awakening kundalini and systematically guiding it from the lowest to the highest chakra, leading to intense bursts of creativity and transformation along the way. The completion of this journey at the sahasrara chakra, it is said, takes us to the highest peak of human experience—extraordinary power and enlightenment. But what is this mysterious shakti, really, and how can we tap into it? In this previously out-of-print article, Swami Rama explains what kundalini awakening is and is not. He describes the authentic methods of awakening kundalini that the traditions of yoga and tantra have kept alive for millennia, distinguishing these from false ones. As he takes us on a journey through the landscape of the subtle body, he explains the psychobiological vortices and knots (chakras, nadis, and granthis) and describes how unlocking the capacity of each furthers our quest for fulfillment and freedom.
Swami Rama headshot
Swami Rama
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Articles / Tantra
Lotus of the Navel
In a number of spiritual traditions, the lotus flower symbolizes beauty, purity, and even enlightenment. But the lotus also plays a vital role in the Hindu story of creation. As Sandra Anderson explains in this post, this ancient story offers us important lessons about our own inner growth and transformation. Like the lotus stalk emerging from Vishnu’s navel to nourish Brahma, the creator, our connection to our divine source provides us with the nourishment we need to blossom into our highest self.
Sandra Anderson headshot
Sandra Anderson
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Articles / Tantra
The World According to Tantra
Tantra’s most fundamental principle is that we are all interconnected. How can we bring this awareness into our daily experience? Pandit Tigunait suggests we look for this interconnection in ordinary things, like where our coffee comes from. By honoring our connection to those whose lives support and enrich our own, we will be filled with gratitude and begin to experience divine love and grace manifesting everywhere.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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Articles / Tantra
Patanjali: Master of the Masters
Patanjali, well-known as the author of the Yoga Sutra, is also the genius behind the Mahabhashya (The Great Commentary). In this astonishing story, Patanjali attempts to set in writing the oral teachings of the Mahabhashya by dictating them to a thousand students simultaneously—an effort that ends in catastrophe when his instructions are not followed. What ensues, as Pandit Rajmani Tigunait relates, is a dilemma that only Patanjali can solve.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD
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Articles / Tantra
Four Ageless Birds: The Sages of the Vindhya Mountains
The Sri Vidya sages often work in mysterious ways. In this extraordinary narrative, four small birds born on the battlefield of the Mahabharata War become the source of a celebrated spiritual text. Pandit Rajmani Tigunait reveals who these birds are, the odd circumstances of their birth, and why they impart to the sage Markandeya their secret wisdom in what is now known as the Markandeya Purana—a scripture that includes the renowned tantric text Durga Saptashati.
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD headshot
Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD