These two words have become a fashion statement these days, Every aspirant on a spiritual path calls himself or herself a yogi or a yogini. And a student of the “black magic” calls himself a tantric, because it seems like a cool thing to do! So who is a Yogi and who is a Tantrik? Do you do not have to leave your house or indulge in weird stuff or dress up crazy? No, both these terms in their essence are a way of thinking. Read on.
Our soul carries with it a huge chunk of karmic load which needs to be worked through and balanced out. This is a weight on our soul and prevents us from knowing our real self truly. So we work our way through it slowly but surely in every life we take. The trick is to not create new stuff for us to carry while we are on it.
When we were born all of us decided on how much of this karmic load we are going to deal with in this life. Now there are 2 ways of dealing with this load, either you go through the actual process of repayment or you burn the “I owe you” slips. Eg. If you have hurt a lot of people physically in your past lives, you may have to become a doctor in this life to treat and heal them as patients and balance the energy. But as always, you have a choice, you can do this actually or return their energies by doing deep pujas/ dhyan/ spiritual activities targeted for the greater good. Both these ways are acceptable.
Now a tantrik is the one who does everything, but with awareness, immersing himself in the experience with complete awareness. Seeing everything that can be seen, but all through being very aware of what is the reality of the event, how is the experience affecting him, his mind and his consciousness. And once he has reached the maximum depth of the experience he recognises that he has seen everything that can be shown to him and now it hold no attraction of him. He will never ever be drawn to it again. This is a tremendous intellectual process where intention, awareness, intelligence, analytical ability, and conscience all play a role. Self control is also of the highest degree. The consciousness is so highly aware that it allows the mind to experience but also control the mind so effectively that after the experience is complete it does not allow the mind to again seek that same as a repeat performance. The path of the tantrik is called the left handed path or Vamachara in Sanatan Dharm.
A yogi follows the right handed path, Dakshinchara. He refuses to even taste of the experiences available, thus avoiding getting caught in the net of temptations. He withdraws from the society, becomes a Sanyasi. He does intense puja, yagnyas, mantra sadhana, ultimately Dhyan. He prefers to burn out the karmic “I owe you’s” with the intense fire of his sadhana/tapa. This path of the yogi is also very difficult path. It is a complete test of intention, intelligence, Shraddha/faith, awareness and firmness. The yogi has to control his mind and body so intensely that he does not feel even the slightest attracted to the desires of the world. You can see such Yogis often bind themselves with very severe rules. They follow the basic rules of a Sanyasi, but do more, not allow anyone to touch them, cover themselves with the Vibhutis of their yagnyas, wear minimal clothes, matted hair, be very particular about the food they eat, speak very less or remain silent always etc. These rules represent their cut off from the realm of the Mahamaya, the world of desires.
For me, I think I am trying the tantrik way! I got married, had a child and have my professional work, take care of my home and do my work, counsel my clients. Immerse myself in being a wife, daughter, mother, professional everything, experiencing the joy and the hurts completely. But I try, in all this to remain aware of my real purpose that is to experience my true self. These experiences are just stepping stones on that path.
One of my clients was insistent on taking Sanyas. He is from a very rich family and the family was not willing to let him go like this as the life of a Sanyasi is very difficult. When you leave the society like this, it is possible that you may fall in the hands of rouges who might kill you for your organs or fake gurus who may tap you for your spiritual energy. And looking at the young man’s horoscope I wanted to help him but also keep him safe. My client’s brother was married and had a son himself so the next generation had also arrived. My client was thus free. So his parents agreed with my counsel. They added one new storey to their house for him, and built him a completely new home with a dedicated puja room. He now lives there separately and does his sadhana, last I heard he was doing Dhyan for over 4 hours daily. He is on his way to being a Yogi.
A small astrology tidbit. If you have your ascendent in Cancer/ Karka, you have the potential to be great in spirituality or waste your life energies in worldly activities. Ascendent in Karka is one of the most challenging positions as worldly satisfaction is almost non-existent for them. But if by chance, these persons can bring their minds in control of their consciousness, they can achieve greatness in the spiritual realm.
My client, the young man, after going through his struggles and tapa will eventually be a Guru, a Satguru. When I saw his chart for the first time, I felt the pressure of his disciples both born and as yet unborn intensely waiting for him. And I too look forward to seeing him in that form soon. Reading horoscopes sometimes brings very deep joy.