Why Yoga Doesn't Work . . . and Why it Does (Tantrasaara Chapter Four, Part 2)

Why Yoga Doesn't Work . . . and Why it Does (Tantrasaara Chapter Four, Part 2)

In this section of his most accessible work, The Essence of the Tantras, Abhinavagupta makes a compelling — and controversial — argument that none of the practices of Yoga contribute to the possibility of abiding awakeness or final liberation except insofar as they contribute to discernment and insight, for only accurate insight into the nature of reality liberates. This nuanced and careful argument is a must-read for all Tantrik Yogis!

The Ways to Liberation (Tantraloka 1 cont'd)

The Ways to Liberation (Tantraloka 1 cont'd)

In this section of the Tantrāloka, Abhinavagupta unveils his key teaching of the three Ways to Liberation for the first time! This excerpt, newly translated, is packed with rich and juicy teachings to contemplate.

The Empowered Method (Tantrasaara Chapter Four, Part 1)

The Empowered Method (Tantrasaara Chapter Four, Part 1)

Chapter Four of Abhinavagupta’s masterpiece, The Essence of Tantra, offers self-realization in nutshell, succinctly articulating precisely what we need to realize. Of course, it’s easier said than done!

TANTRALOKA 29: The kula-yaga, or secret sexual ritual of original Tantra (part 1 of 12)

TANTRALOKA 29: The kula-yaga, or secret sexual ritual of original Tantra (part 1 of 12)

The first of 12 posts translation Tantrāloka chapter 29, which details not only the kula-yāga or sexual ritual, but its preliminary meditations, the nonsexual variant forms of the practice, and the important topics of how to perform a Kaula initiation and the ways in which the Guru can pierce the cakras of the disciple and activate his or her energy-body.

The Pathless Path (Tantrasaara Chapter 2)

The Pathless Path (Tantrasaara Chapter 2)

Chapter Two of Abhinavagupta’s Tantrasaara teaches the (rare) possibility of spontaneous realization of the Truth without the need for any spiritual practice or method. This chapter contains one of Abhinava’s most powerful and direct pointing-out instructions! He puts the realization of ultimate Truth into the first person for you to savor.

The nature of awareness (Tantraloka 1 cont'd)

The nature of awareness (Tantraloka 1 cont'd)

In this section of the text, Abhinava discusses the nature of Awareness as the ground of all being. He breaks down sentience & insentience, gradations of awareness, individuated awareness vs. overarching Awareness, what full realization entails, and refutes objective materialism, all in the course of just five Sanskrit verses!

What distinguishes Tantra?

What distinguishes Tantra?

Many who believe that Tantra is mainly about sex found justification for their belief in the publication of a book called Kiss of the Yogini: "Tantric Sex" in its South Asian Contexts. This short post, drawn from my PhD dissertation, seeks to show how deeply problematic that book is, and offers a three-point definition of what distinguishes Tantra from other forms of Asian spirituality.