Q: You have written that Tantra is dangerous, having seen half a century of people harmed by it. Could you expand on this? Why is it dangerous? Which practices for example are dangerous? How was it harmful in your observation?
The “path of power” is always dangerous, whether yogic or occult/esoteric. Our nature is consciousness, not shakti, and obsession with and cultivation of shakti leads to delusion.
But the ego, being energy itself, naturally loves it because it will increase the ego and eclipse the Self whose realization puts an end to our involvement in prakriti and the various worlds formed of it. One former Christian (Franciscan) monk who had become deeply involved in a tantric/occult tradition told me: “I feel like I am dying inside.” And he was. There was no way to help him because he was deeply enmeshed in his self-disintegration. It pleased his ego.
The difference between Yoga and Tantra
Tantra is not Yoga, though of course it seems to be so since they appear to have elements in common. But they are opposites, for Tantra is involved with shakti and Yoga deals with consciousness (chaitanya) alone. For example, they both work with mantra and breath. But the mantras and the breath modes are completely different because they do not at all have the same purpose. They are two different paths and do not lead to the same result.
It is the nature of Tantra to alter the configurations of the subtle bodies and the mind rather than to resolve the awareness into Self-awareness. Oh, of course tantrics talk about realization, but it is only talk. Sincerity on their part in no way protects them from the harm they inflict on themselves ignorantly.
Just as there are drugs that so distort the mind that the addict is not even aware of the distortions until the drug wears off, so tantric practices do the same. I have met people who lived on the edge of mental collapse from the practices given them by a tantric guru. (Suicide is not unknown among such people.) [Read more…]