Ardh-Narishwar/ Shiva and Sakthi as one, like the sun and moon within all of us.

 

Tantra the Way of Life, talk given by The Father of ParaTan and Master of the Living Goddess Tradition and founder of the first Mahavidya Temple in Tamil Nadu, South India,
Shri Param Eswaran

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Introduction

to

Religions in India

Lord Siva, the Father of Tantra.

Mother Gayatri, the Mother of Tantra and healing HINDUISM. Hinduism is probably the oldest of all living religions. The term 'Hindu' is a corruption of Sindhu, a river that flows through the northwest of the Indian sub-continent. The Greeks called this river the Indus and the people who inhabited the region southeast of it were called Hindus. Their faith came to be called Hinduism. These people were the Aryans who migrated to India from Central Asia about 3,000 BC.

Over time, their beliefs and practices mingled with those of the indigenous people to become Hinduism, as we know it today. They define the religion of the Hindus as Sanatan Dharma or Eternal Faith. It is not based on the teachings of a single preceptor but is the collective wisdom of great sages since the beginning of civilization. The Aryans, in awe of natural forces and phenomena and unable to control or even understand them, personified and prayed to them.

As early man, the Hindus faced grave danger from other life forms, and therefore developed respect for them early on. This explains the presence of the various animal gods in the Hindu pantheon. The two most important aspects of Hinduism are the sanctity of the Vedas and the caste system. The four Vedas - Rig-Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda - are poetic compilations of the teachings of the ancient sages. These teachings form the basis of Hinduism.

However, since this faith is based on collective wisdom, it has no scriptures in the traditional sense. Most Vedic hymns are addressed to various forces of nature and deal with Aryan ritual worship or yagya. In time, the concept of a Supreme Being who caused and affected everything in the universe assumed a definite shape.

Gradually the Supreme Being found its manifestation in three forms to carry out the three main tasks of Creation, Preservation and Destruction. This Being came to be represented and revered as the Supreme Triad of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The second characteristic feature of Hinduism, the caste system, began as a loose economic division of society, based on an individual's capabilities and the profession he chose to follow.

However, the economic divisions slowly transformed into a rigid system of social distinction based on color, between the fairer Aryans and the darker Dravidians. Society was divided into Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Each caste had its distinctive rules of profession, education, food, dress, behavior, and marriage. With increased education and urbanization, today the rigidities are not as severe but it may be sometime yet till centuries-old caste distinctions are completely eradicated from the Hindu mind-set. Classic Hindu thought defines the four goals of man as dharma, artha, kama and moksha. Dharma broadly means righteousness, justice, morality and duty. To lead a righteous and just life is the first goal of every Hindu. Artha, or wealth, and its acquisition are the second goal and Kama or love, the third. Moksha or liberation of the soul from the cycle of rebirth is the ultimate goal of Hinduism. It is so much a part of Hindu belief that the later years of atman's life are believed best spent satisfying the yearnings of the soul.

As mentioned earlier, Hinduism is based on collective wisdom of many down the ages and has no one scripture. The Vedas, as the oldest texts and covering a huge gamut of subjects, are considered the basis of the faith. The two sacred epics of Hinduism that animate almost all the performing and visual arts across India are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata; the Shrimad Bhagavata Gita (the song of God), though a part of the Mahabharata, is independently considered a sacred text.

The Puranas however, are the source of the most interesting mythological stories and explanations, especially about festivals, despite being more recent. A common but erroneous perception of Hinduism is that it is polytheistic because of the vast array of iconography, symbols, gods and goddesses. But these are all different expressions of the same single divinity: the Supreme Being or Brahman, who is formless, shapeless, and all pervading. Since it is difficult to concentrate one's thoughts and energies on so conceptual a god, idols and images provide a focus for supplication. The two most widely worshipped gods are Shiva and Vishnu. Shiva's wife, Parvati is also worshipped in various forms like Durga, Kali and Shakti. Vishnu is worshipped as the Creator, as well as in the form of his many incarnations. The ten most important ones are collectively known as the dashavatara, or ten incarnations. Of these, Rama and Krishna are most widely worshipped. In fact they are the only two deities whose birth anniversaries were important religious festivals in the ancient times and are still celebrated all over India. Other than the icon graphic images of various deities, two important symbols in Hinduism are Om and the swastika. Om represents Brahman, the all-pervading divinity, and the word is chanted aloud or silently during meditation. The swastika is widely used as a symbol of good luck and well being. The Hindu place of worship is called a temple. Devotion to the deities is usually expressed by performing puja, the ritual of worship. Puja can be performed in a temple by the priest or within a home by any member of the family. The three deities, Shiva, Vishnu and Parvati, are the focus of the major sects of Hinduism: Shaiva, Vaishnava, and Shakta respectively. More than 80 per cent of India is Hindu. Elsewhere, Nepal is the only Hindu country in the world. And although Hinduism is largely confined to Indians living in different parts of the world, it has influenced and left its mark in Sri Lanka, parts of Southeast Asia, Fiji and Mauritius.

Today's Hinduism is much changed from the faith the Aryans brought with them over 4,000 years ago.

Food, clothing, languages, even beliefs, like Buddhism, are integrated, internalized and 'Hinduism'. In fact, present-day Hinduism represents an amalgamation of Vedic culture with a wide variety of other influences - from the Indus Valley Civilization, through Central Asian cultures and Islam to British Christian beliefs. This is reflected even in the way festivals are celebrated today. Though retaining their original flavor, most festivals have adapted to include current trends. In earlier times, agriculture provided man's basic requirements.

A good harvest was always a reason for joyous celebrations, dancing and singing. In their time of happiness, people worshipped their implements, cattle, land, and other sources of prosperity as a community. It was from this practice perhaps that the first form of a harvest festival arose. With time, this was regularized and ritualized with the help of mythology, until it assumed its current form. Even today, the seasons and harvest are of great significance in India, and almost every month has at least one related festival. Though most festivals have a practical rationale, they are usually accompanied by a mythological explanation, probably so as to provide religious sanction. Most Hindu festivals can be traced to the Puranas.

On the top right-hand corner of this page you will find the sound of the Goddesses, Bija sound that are used during ParaTan sound healing. An Inner Sakthi Yoga practice, deeper tradition of Tantra, its multidimensional vision of the Divine and its transformative practices of bija mantra that take us far beyond the outer models of how Tantra is usually presented today

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We are proud to bring to you Bija Mantras of the Goddesses. When listening to this Audio-video, please use good headphones to enjoy the maximum healing benefit of the sounds. This is only a recording, when you receive a sound healing personally, it is much, much, more powerful.

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Last modified: 12/30/14