I was meditating the other day, and while swilling in the intoxicating nectar of a delightful occult dimension, my mind began to wander. Suddenly, I remembered with some amusement a conversation I’d had regarding Tantra and the sometimes bewildering and diverse wonderland of the Occult. An acquaintance of mine had just finished reading several translations of ancient tantras, and an oddiment or more of modern magick thrillers, and was anxious to have a word with me.
His confusion was obvious and his desire to communicate was intense. He opened a book which contained a number of chapters and said, “What does this all mean?” The book in question contained a number of formulas for shatkarma or six works. The six works relate to Shanti – the power to remove diseases or pacify evil influences, Vashikarana – the power to subjugate men, women, Gods, etc. and have them fulfill one’s desires, Stambhana – the power of stopping others actions or paralyzing, Vidveshana – the power to separate friends or relatives, Uchatana – the power to make enemies flee in shame or destroy dwellings, Marana – the power of killing and maiming. A rather low flying and motley collection of possibilities by most spiritual estimations.
Nevertheless, I couldn’t resist displaying my passing association with such formulas by repeating a colorful formula for Uchatana. With appropriate mantras one constructs a yantra and inscribes the name of an enemy on it. While repeating the holy mantra, and at a precise moment, the yantra is hurled into a pot of pig’s piss.
A look of horror spread over the man’s face. “But does this work, and by what means?” I laughed and said, “Whether or not it works depends on if an idiot is doing the rite or if an idiot magician is doing it. I believe this type of thing is classified as sympathetic magic, though.” He looked distraught, but I told him “not to worry, pig’s piss is hard to come by these days. Anyway, these things have a way of coming back to haunt the ignorant who indulge in them.”
While this digression amused me, I could tell that my acquaintance still had more on his mind. He proceeded to ask me about sitting on corpses and repeating mantras to obtain siddhis, eating strange herbal and metallic formulas to live forever, and a host of other inventive ways to fulfill mundane desires. Then came the lead-in line. He said, “It looks to me that Tantra is just a tool to obtain power and satisfy one’s mundane desires.” Still in a playful mood, I replied, “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law,” but then continued.
“Tantra,” I said, “is like a Mysterious House with many rooms. Each room has its attractions and practical advantages. Sages throughout history have often commented on how Tantra is the short cut to spiritual success, but at the same time difficult and dangerous. Mundane life has its traps and pitfalls, and so does our Mysterious House of Tantra. The Magick House of Tantra has a strange design. Many seekers have wandered in and after getting accustomed to their surroundings decided to count and map out all the rooms in the house. None of these types were ever heard from again. I think to this day they are still wandering around with their note pads.”
A look of amazement spread over my friend’s face as he began to realize the vast scope and complexity of the design. I blithered on, “As a guideline I would suggest that one not spend more time than absolutely necessary in the rooms with only one door. “What do you mean?” he asked. “It is difficult to explain exactly,” I ventured, “but the rooms with only one door don’t really go anywhere. In these rooms one may be able to more efficiently rearrange one’s mundane life, but this can go on indefinitely due to the process of rebirth. The real trick is to find the room of Peace, Freedom and Happiness, which contains something I call the Mystic Portal.”
A glow of excitement spread across my friend’s face as he anticipated that a great secret was about to be revealed. “How does one find the Mystic Portal?” he asked. “Well,” I said, “it goes by many names, but the important link is to find a great Guru who has the keys to this room, and if you are up to the program he may even be able to teach you to open it. The attainment of Moksha or Atma Gyan and escaping the cycle of rebirth is no easy task considering all the distractions. Divine Grace can play and important role in this development due to the fact that as the individual begins to see the cosmos as it really is. From this, dispassion arises and distractions begin to fall away like cardboard props in a low-budget theatrical production.”
Intrigued, my friend said, “I know that you are a disciple of Shri Gurudev Mahendranath. I’ve read many of his writings.” A discussion ensued about the manuscripts in question and after a brief time my friend had to admit that, while he had read the manuscripts, he couldn’t really remember what they were about. I encouraged him to reread the manuscripts and perhaps postpone his study of the newly printed “Reconstituted Compendium and Wizz Way to the Secrets of the Universe” hard bound and complete in only 10 volumes. He half-heartedly promised that he would take another peek at the manuscripts and then he said, “How did we get on this subject, anyway?”
I gave him a puzzled look as if groping for an answer and offered, “Didn’t it have something to do with higher mind development?”…