Tantra

Definition - What does Tantra mean?

Tantra is a set of spiritual practices that direct the universal energies into the practitioner, thereby leading to liberation. Meaning "to weave" in Sanskrit, the term is derived from two words: tanoti, which means "to stretch" or "to expand," and trayati, which means "liberation."

Life in this world is based of the three principles of creation, sustenance and dissolution. The three are interconnected and the dissolution is an essential for creation. The Bhagavata states that Narayana alone was in the beginning, who was the pious of principles of creation, sustenance, and dissolution - also known as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh - the Supreme Hari, multi-headed, multi-eyed, multi-footed, multi-armed, multi-limbed. This was the Supreme seed of all creation, subtler than the subtlest, greater than the greatest, larger than the largest,and more magnificent than even the best of all things, more powerful, than all the gods, more resplendent than the Sun and the Moon, and more internal than even the mind and the intellect. That is Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh.

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Brahma is the generator or the creator. Bramha is a four faced god, seated on a lotus. He has in his four hands, one water-pot (Kamandalu), a manuscript (Vedas), a sacrificial implement (sruva) and a rosary (mala) . He wears the hide of a black antelope and his vehicle is a swan ( hansa ). Brahma is also called as Hiranyagarbha. It is the soul of the universe or Brahman as we know it. It is believed that Hiranyagarbha floated around in emptyness and darkness of the non-existence, and then broke into two halves which for the swarg and the prithvi. The creator must possess knowledge to create. Without knowledge, no creation is possible. Hence, Bramha is wedded to the goddess of knowledge, Saraswati.

Vishnu is the operator or the preserver and the protector of the universe with his steadfast principles of order, righteousness and truth. When these values are under threat, Vishnu emerges out of his transcendence to restore peace and order on earth. He is depicted as a blue being, holding a padma (lotus flower) in the lower left hand, the Kaumodaki gada (mace) in the lower right hand, the Panchajanya shankha (conch) in the upper left hand and the discus weapon Sudarshana Chakra in the upper right hand.Vishnu is either worshiped directly or in the form of his ten avatars, the most famous of whom are Shri Rama and Shri Krishna.

Shiva, also known as Mahadev, is the destroyer or the transformer. Shiva has many benevolent and fearsome forms.At the highest level Shiva is limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless.In benevolent aspects, he is depicted as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with wife Parvati and his two children, Ganesha and Kartikeya and in fierce aspects, he is often depicted slaying demons. Shiva is also regarded as the god of yoga and arts. Shiva are the third eye on his forehead, the snake Vasuki around his neck, the crescent moon adorning, the holy river Ganga flowing from his matted hair, the trishul as his weapon and the damaru as his instrument.

Together, they are represented as Om Tat Sat - which means 'Three words of the three forms of gods'. What is everlasting and unchanging is God, whose infinite existence, consciousness, bliss is denoted by Om. Within Om is everything.

Om contains all. Om is all. Om is present everywhere.