A Tantrik Talks on Tantra Tantra practitioners or Tantriks are known for their supernatural powers derived from their knowledge of Tantra and its devotional practice. Proper recitation of mantras help invoke the natural forces to produce the desired effect. "Tantrasadhana" or tantrik meditation and worship helps one attain many supernatural powers. These powers may be used for good or for bad purposes. Shiva & Shakti Tantrik practices mainly aim at the illumination through the unification of polarities inherent in the world and one's self. These opposites are symbolically subsumed as "Shiva" and "Shakti" or consciousness and energy, personified as male and female forces of nature. Shiva, the Destroyer, represents universal consciousness diffused throughout the galaxies, while Shakti, the Divine Mother, is the power swinging in a celestial dance, between energy and matter, giving birth to all creation, both tangible and transcendent. Awakening the Latent 'Shakti' in Us Long ago, tantrik masters discovered that to be successful externally or internally we must first awaken our latent power, for only those who are strong and blessed with great stamina reach the final destination. The key to success is the Shakti - the power of the soul, the power of divine force within. Although every individual possesses an infinite and indomitable Shakti (power), most of it remains dormant. Within this Shakti, we can neither find spiritual illumination nor enjoy worldly life. The Misuse of Tantrik Powers Unfortunately, a large number of tantrik enthusiasts, in both the West and the East, mistakenly identify tantra as the yoga of sex, black magic, witchcraft, seduction, and an amalgam of techniques for influencing the minds of others. "This is due, at least in part, to the fact that tantra is both a spiritual path and a science," says Rajmani Tigunait in his book Tantra Unveiled. "As a spiritual path, it emphasizes on the purification of mind and heart, cultivating a spiritually illuminating philosophy of life. As a science, it experiments with techniques whose efficacy depends on the precise application of "mantra" and "yantra", ritual use of specific materials, and the performance of tantrik mudras and accompanying mental exercises," writes Tigunait. In the layman's language, such practices can be thought of as tantrik formulas. They will yield a result if properly applied, regardless of the character, spiritual understanding or intention of the practitioner. When this scientific aspect of tantra falls into the hands of charlatans, it is inevitably misused giving tantra a bad name. Fortunately, however, there are still tantrik masters, authentic scriptures to undercut such false and distorted notions and make it possible for us to gain a better understanding of this sublime path. Explore More: The Wild World of Tantra NOTE: The author of the above article is the well-known tantrik master Shri Aghorinath Ji. The views expressed here are entirely his own. Photos reproduced with permission. For more information, please see our user agreement.