Monday, 27 January 2014

Tantra, Yantra, Mantra.


I used an expression in my previous post, 'noetic map', an ungainly locution I freely admit and without excusing it let me plead for its retention. It has some flavour of 'mind maps' those doodles which Tony Buzan writes about,
mind maps
that have both a mnemonic and inspiriting effect. There is also in it, but expanded to a lifetime, the Memory Theatre of Giulio Camillo. Frances Yates in her The Art of Memory has written about it. (cf. Yates)
If your soul is your way of living the world then there are events, pictures, poems, memories, books that point like finger-posts towards areas in one's soul. Using Bergson's image of the inverted cone (cf:memory cone) that area is a conic section as it were.

By Tantra, Yantra and Mantra states of consciousness are accessed and goals are attained. According to the Saundarya Lahiri even the fascination of women can be achieved without the use of expensive unguents and aftershave. It requires a gold or lead plate with Yantra (mystic diagram) and bijas inscribed to be worn and to be worshipped for 6 days with 1000 repetitions of stanza p.d.and an offering of tri-madhura or cooked rice. The stanza is a Bollywood dance routine:

Damsels in hundreds, with their locks dishevelled, their saris flying off their figures, their girdles bursting asunder with force, their silk garments slipping down, run after a decrepit, ugly and impotent man who falls within the range of Thy (Devi) side-glances.

The use of visualisation is well developed in Buddhist and Hindu iconography but there are also the standard literary tropes such as the mirror and all its elements which are used in the explication of cosmology in Tantra and Vedanta. In both the Tripura Rahasya an ancient Sanskrit work and Upadesa Sahasri by Shankara the 'mirror' as metaphor is used extensively. That must be the subject of another post.

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